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Honda SP-2 Sports Motorbike Review

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Honda SP1/2 motorcycle review - Riding
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Honda SP1/2 (2000-2010)



Detail Value
New price £9,399
Used price range View Honda SP-2 bikes for sale to see current asking prices
Engine size 999 cc
Power 133 bhp
Top speed 170 mph
Insurance group 17 of 17
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 5 rating is 4.5
Engine rating is 4 rating is 4.5
Ride & Handling rating is 4 rating is 4.5
Equipment rating is 4 rating is 4
Quality & Reliability rating is 5 rating is 4.5
Value rating is 4 rating is 4.5

MCN overall verdict rating is 5

The Honda SP1 and Honda SP2 were built to prove a point; that the world's number one bike maker could beat Ducati on the track, using a V-twin. Sadly, that makes the Honda SP1/2 less satisfying, because it has an on/off fuelling set up, too much power for the chassis and a cramped riding position. On the upside, the Honda SP1/2 is beautifully made, sounds awesome and makes 90% of riders look faster than they really are.

 

Watch the Honda SP-2 take on the Ducati 1098 and the Aprilia RSV1000R in our V-twin sports bike test

 

Engine

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

A truly great motor, ruined by a glitchy fuel injection system, especially on the Honda SP1 which is sometimes unpredictable at low rpm. With 133bhp at 10,000rpm the Honda SP2 is 4bhp up on the Honda SP1, but the later model feels easier to ride, thanks to bigger throttle bodies and a better 12 point injector system feeding it.

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

Like most V-twins, the Honda SP1/2 series need a bit more rider input than the average four when cornering hard. The ride is harsh on both motorcycles, with a massive twin spar frame as the backbone of the motorcycle and firm suspension. The Honda SP1/2 really needs a racetrack to appreciate the abilities of the chassis, as it just seems too hard and unforgiving on many normal roads.

Equipment

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4

The Honda SP1/2 oozes class. There's little doubt that Honda lost money on each one of them, even at ten grand a pop. Beautiful machined alloy parts, an exquisite swingarm on the Honda SP2, top notch Showa suspension, stunning brakes - the Honda SP series bikes are a techie's delight to look at - and the dashboard looks like it came straight off a Suzuka endurance racer. Spartan but sexy.

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

The Honda SP1/2 feels like it was made in the HRC race shop, not an anonymous factory. Every detail fits together just right, the Honda SP1/2 has an aura of engineering excellence and durability than many other Honda machines sadly lack. Apart from chinning fuel at 30mpg, the Honda SP1/2 has no real faults and if you were some kind of sick masochist, you could probably despatch on it. 

Value

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

The Honda SP1 enjoyed respectable UK sales, but was soon discounted as dealers realised people wouldn't pay vast sums for what was perceived (wrongly) as a jazzed up Firestorm. The Honda SP2 struggled to hold its 10K list price too, dropping to about 8K new in late 2002. All of which makes the Honda SP 1/2 series V-twins true bargains on the used market - you get a top class WSB race rep for very little money and undoubtedly the later Honda SP2 model, in its Castrol colours, is the one to have. Find a Honda SP-2 for sale.

Insurance

Insurance group: 17 of 17

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Model History

2000:  VTR1000 Honda SP1 launched.
2002:  VTR1000 Honda SP2 launched; new swingarm, fuelling system, ECU map, longer wheelbase, subframe, 6kg weight reduction and Castrol Honda team colours amongst the key changes. Top end work squeezes another 4bhp from the motor.

Other Versions

None.

Specifications

Top speed 170 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 11.2 secs
Max power 133 bhp
Max torque 75 ft-lb
Weight 194 kg
Seat height 820 mm
Fuel capacity 18 litres
Average fuel consumption 30 mpg
Tank range 110 miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group 17 of 17
Engine size 999 cc
Engine specification 8v V-twin, 6 gears
Frame Aluminium twin spar
Front suspension adjustment Preload rebound compression
Rear suspension adjustment Preload rebound compression
Front brakes Twin 320mm discs
Rear brake 220mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 190/50 x 17

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11000 miles

£9,750

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6426 miles

£6,500

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£75

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37568 miles

£4,500

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18600 miles

£4,995

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 4.5(32 reviews)

  • Stunning looks and performance to match.

    theboysteve

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    The bike Honda built to beat Ducati in WSB (and it did) was always going to be a classic. The bike is awsome with loads of torque and a feeling you get from only a V twin. Yes, the bike is very focussed but, what do you expect? Loads of HRC design and tech stuff. When you buy one first thing you need to do is look at getting the suspension set up properley. When first ridden you will notice how hard the set up feels but, dont forget this bike is straight from WSB and has race pedigree written all over it. Once you are used to that side of the bike, the rest falls into place and the art of riding a race bred V twin begins!! Strengths: HRC design and technology.It's gorgeous. The motor is bullet proof. It sounds awsome. Weaknesses: Tank range (light on at around 90/100 miles)

    19 October 2006

  • 05' bought for £6000 with a measly 547 miles on the clock,, 3300 quid saving.bring it on...

    rapid6

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    I bought a vtr firestorm which I loved and then a gixer 600,but new it should've been the sp2, which later followed. after 10 minutes on the bike, I was in biking nirvana,in the last 3 weeks, I have never been out on any bike so much, the torque is awsome, and that v-twin boom is unbeatable, my mates hate coming out with me now, because everyone stares at the sp as we go by...they don't get a look in....(shame) feel free to read the press reports,,,not always the best,,,but ride the bike yourself and you wont want anything else. Strengths: Looks, sounds, presence, balance on road. Weaknesses: People say suspension is hard..which it is,, but there is a lot of adjustability for that reason..find out what suits, aint that difficult to put back to standard if you muck it up,,,fuel aint what the press say either...110-128 before fuel warning, medium to hard riding.

    25 July 2006

  • Racer for the Road

    crowbird69

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Having leapt from a 2001 R6 to the SP2, I am learning what torque is once more. Careful on the throttle on winter days, the tyre spins if you give it a bit too much. Never a problem with the Yamaha. Crouch down, listen to the bellow of the twin cans and imagine Troy Bayliss is just behind you. That is what this bike is all about. Fantastic! Fuelling and tall first gear make life difficult untill you adapt to slipping the clutch until the speedo shows 30mph. Fuel economy? Not as bad as I thought. An R6 shows its reserve light at 100 - 120 miles so the Honda is no worse. Strengths: Race attitude, sound, handling, torque, build quality. Weaknesses: Tall first gear.

    30 January 2006

  • Fantastic bike, my second and not as uncomfortable as some say.

    royeggleston

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Blackbird and Fireblade owner and previously SP2 owner I have just returned to the sp because it is a brilliant bike and at 6ft 1inch and 15 stone I have no problem with its comfort in fact I changed from the blade partly due to that. It handles superbly and sounds fantastic also a real eye catcher. If you are looking to buy one don't let anyone put you off, just do it you will not regret your decision, always park next to a ducati and watch their owners faces its fun! shame Colin is not on one anymore. Strengths: Honda Reliability, Service costs, Looks, Sound, Handling, Fun Factor, Not everybody has one, should I go on! oh! the missus says it is far better on pillion than Blade. Weaknesses: Uncomfortable I suppose if you are 8 ft tall, if you are tall do not let it put you off!

    29 September 2005

  • Second SP2 I have owned

    Scorptc

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    I have had / ridden a number of bikes and consider the SP2 to be one of the best V twins around, it has great reliability and build quality and it corners like its on rails, the sheer torque tries to pull your arms from your sockets as you exit the corners with consummate ease, a blast to ride as long as you are not going through too many towns (something you get used to, being able to ride one that is). A few must have aftermarket components to enhance your sp2 would be exhausts, a power commander, and a sprocket change, but above all get the suspension set up for your weight and height it transforms your SP2 into the bike it was intended to be! Strengths: ITS A HONDA AND A V TWIN. Weaknesses: Can be a bit of a pig a low RPM through town if you have not ridden one before and are not used to it, you soon learn, or get a Power Commander. Stock suspension set up is far to hard for road use, needs to be adjusted for the ultimate ride, cost range from £20 to £150 to get it set up for your weight and height, trust me get it done, it will be the best money you spent on it!!

    06 June 2005

  • Somewhat controversial bike which is loved by anyone who buys one.

    pcll

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    The sp-2 has had a mixed reception in the bike press although it now seems at last to be more appreciated. This is a true race replica for the road but it needs a bit of adjusting to get it right for each individual rider. I have tried numerous suspension settings and think I have found the ideal combination. A power commander is a must as it transforms throttle response. The stock cans are o.k. but you really need race ends to get that real v-twin sound. This is really a great motorcycle by any standards. Strengths: Handling, finish, performance, looks. Weaknesses: Can't think of any except tank range but hey this is a race replica!

    09 August 2004

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