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I Think BR46 Has Spare Time

Razors Edge

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So, maybe the Trans-Labrador would be his thing?

I had always wanted to buy a Honda RC—which is a series of racing motorcycles—but I could never afford one. Then, in 2000, Honda created the RC51, a bike with a 999cc, fuel-injected V-twin engine, which the Japanese manufacturer produced to beat the Italian-made Ducatis in the Superbike World Championship. To qualify the bike for racing, the company had to sell a certain number to customers.

I had to have one. Shortly after hearing the announcement about this bike, I started searching all over the East Coast. I found one from a dealership in Oklahoma, and bought it for $9,995. It was affordable for a bike like this, and I think Honda priced it that way because the company wanted to sell these motorcycles quickly. That same year, in 2000, the American rider Colin Edwards captured the Superbike World Championship, on an RC51. It has since become an iconic bike—called a “Ducati killer”—and I still have mine from the first year of production.

For the past 22 years I have been riding this motorcycle, and I call it my multi-tool. It is a production race bike, but I have used it for all kinds of adventures. I’ve ridden it all over the East Coast, throughout eastern Canada and around the Great Lakes.

In 2008, a friend of mine had the idea to ride the Trans-Labrador Highway. So we started from Connecticut and rode about 700 miles on the Trans-Labrador Highway through northeastern Canada on almost entirely unpaved roads. Throughout, there was almost no sign of human civilization except the dirt road itself. I remember pulling into a town called Happy Valley-Goose Bay. A guy saw us and said to me, “I’ve never seen anyone riding a sport bike on the Trans-Lab.” It wasn’t easy, let me tell you.

In 2019, I took the bike to Loring Air Force Base in northern Maine, where the Loring Timing Association holds land-speed racing events. On my RC51, on an airport runway, I clocked 159.822 mph, which set a record for a “pure production” motorcycle in its class. 

I also belong to a group called the Iron Butt Association, and to join I had to be able to prove that I’d ridden 1,000 miles in 24 hours, which I did on my RC51.

What I love most about this motorcycle is all the friends I’ve made while riding it. The bike has 70,000 miles on it, and I’ve loved every one.


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It's a sweet ride.

A few years ago a RC51 went up for sale not far from my house. I wish that I would have bought it but I already had 6 motorcycles in the garage. 

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