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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-17-2002, 07:18 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 379
RC-51 Comments

Hey all.

Drove by a fire station today with a '01 RC51 sitting outside. Talked to the guy for a wee bit (the bike only had 900miles or so), and is asking $9K. I'm not really ready to buy yet, but I wanted to get some opinions of what people thought were good and bad about the bike.

I think my next bike is going to be a twin, but I'm not sure which one yet (not like there are a lot to choose from). Some of you may know that I'm lusting after a Duc, but after reading some posts, and talking to damn near everyone I can think of, I 'm not sure if I would be ready to do the vavle maint. on it Especially if you need to remove the engine to get to the necessary toys.

RC-51...fun ride? or any gripes?.....

Everyone's comments will be considered.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-18-2002, 08:12 AM
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 32
New Bike

My Brother in Law just got an 02 RC51. Awesome awesome bike. very very cool. I wonder if the 01 you are looking at has had any mods?

By the way, in depth studies show that the maintenance costs over time of owning a modern Ducati are not really higher than owning anything else, including a Honda. The valve inspection (not necessarily adjustment) intervals are more often, no doublt about it. But anyone who told you that you need to pull the engine for this was maybe smoking some crack. It is not that big of a deal.

However, the RC51 is a very cheap bike in the U.S. for what it is, i.e., direct competitor for the 998, Mille. You do understand that it is a RACE bike, right? So real world friendliness is not optimized. Hunt around for some RC51 sites.

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-18-2002, 08:51 AM
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 20
AAAAHHHHHH The RC51. Its a beautiful thing. I have a 2000 RC and I love it. It screams performance the first time you ride it. Its smooth and it corners like its on a rail. Then of course it looks awesome and sounds even better. Heres some good points to riding an RC..... Once you feel comfortable on the bike it will build your confidence. The cornering ability of it will make a good rider better. (tip.. the RC responds better to body positioning when cornering more so than counter steering.) This things sticks to the road. Its heavier in the front than most inlines so the front end tucks better into a line. Now the power issue will take a little while to get used to. Theres plenty there, and it doesn't matter what gear your in, the power is always there on demand. Its great when you come out of a corner a gear too high; on an inline you would have to take time to shift down to bring up your rev's however the RC will power through it as you roll the throttle. Now I have riden the DUC's too and don't get me wrong I loved them, however... The body position is too cramped for me and it was very uncomfortable. It cornered awesome to but there was a lot of engine noise and after 2 mo we had to repair my friends 748 because of a coolant leak. Now just like any bike there are some gripes.. One the RC seat is hard as a rock. I replaced the seat with a custom corbin right away and had no problems since. Also EVERYTHING vibrates loose. I lost the head fairing bolt 4 times. I have locktited everything now. I even had my Triple tree neck bolt vibrate loose one day. I suggest locktite. As long as you check everything periodically and make sure its tight your fine. The bikes exaggerated committed position for racing makes the bike a little rough for awhile until you get used to it. Depending on your height I suggest rearsets. Now I have tried to make this a subjective reply for you however I have trouble hiding my love for the machine. I ride it everyday and I get excited everytime I get on it. Its sound even makes a slow sunday cruise fun. When you cruise through town and everyone looks to see if thats a thunderstorm rolling in.
RAGGEDLEAN17 is offline  
post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-18-2002, 09:19 AM
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 312
Never owned one, but have always liked the RC-51. Gotta love the gear driven cams, lack of a back seat (I love that), and the dual cans. If I were buying a vtwin superbike, it would be at the top of my list. But, personally, I would NEVER own one as a streetbike. If I owned one it would be for trackday duties only. There are much more streetable, comfortable, and fast bikes out there for street duty.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-19-2002, 10:43 PM
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 346
Thumbs up im in the same boat

my gripes..

-a little heavier than most bikes.. but i hear weight i placed well.

-runs hot, but not performance hindering. i hear.i dont like the side mount radiators

-not sure of the twin type power, but if you build one with enough power and revs, then this shouldnt be a problem

-not that streetable, but bearable

the good i read about..


-great planted feel, stable, no head shakes.

-v twin roar

-super sexy, great looking ride.

-lots of mods to make on the bike that wont cost that much, but lots of mods that will cost a lot..

-good suspension out of the box, but money spent on it will make a good susp, great!

-lots of aftermarket

-all in all, 95 percent of ppl i talk to about it, love the bike, i really like it, im tryin to get a test ride before i bite into one, so i can decide if i really like twins.. i was born on an inline that revs to stratospheric levels..

knight, if you find a place giving test rides, let me know.. im lookin at an 02.

Last edited by gixxerboy; 07-19-2002 at 10:45 PM.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-20-2002, 06:35 PM
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It's a love it or hate it type of bike...

It's built to do one thing & one thing only. Get from point A to Point B on a twisty stretch of asphalt. Fuel mileage is dismal, ergonomics are not even remotely streetable (regardless of the macho men that will jump up & say "oh it fits me perfectly") & it does need alot of money thrown at it to make it comparable to even out of the box current liter bikes, but once you have shelled out the cash & performed the real mods & I'm talkin reworked forks, Ohlins shock, PCIIIR & QUALITY exhaust (not a corbin seat, michelin stickers, an undertail & a red windscreen) then you have a truly balanced machine that will easily do what you ask of it.

I make mention of this on my website & I will note it again here.

"If you are a good rider it will prove & exploit your skill to the world, if you are a mediocre rider it will kick you in the teeth & laugh at you. It is purpose built for strafing curves, serious commuters or tourers need not apply"

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-21-2002, 11:09 AM
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Posts: 178
I got to ride it back to back with a 929 and I would have picked the 929, it just felt better.
The RC handled great, dove right into the twists, but I doubt very much if I could do more on an RC than a 929 on the streets, the 929 would just take a little more urging in the bends than the RC.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-21-2002, 11:32 AM
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Originally posted by Fizzman
I got to ride it back to back with a 929 and I would have picked the 929, it just felt better.
The RC handled great, dove right into the twists, but I doubt very much if I could do more on an RC than a 929 on the streets, the 929 would just take a little more urging in the bends than the RC.

Dude I hate to call you out on it, but one of two things is happening here, A. you have never ridden either of those bikes or B. you have absolutely no business whatsoever reviewing them... Not that I disagree with your choice as the 929 is definitely a better street bike for the majority of riders, but your assessment of the handling characteristics of each bike is just plain wrong.

The 929 turns with about half the effort required to turn the RC, even after raising the rear end of the RC, lowering the front & switching to a 180 tire the 929 still turns in easier...

In stock form the only thing the RC has going for it is incredible stability and of course the fact that it responds very well to mods, much more so that most other bikes.

I value everyone's opinion, but come on guys when someone is asking for real information, don't post just to be posting... If ya can't contribute something truthful or at least funny then please just keep it to yourself. There is no sense in convoluting the answers with info that is incorrect beyond anyones subjective reasoning. I don't know of any credible source that would state an RC51 turns easier than any bike that is 50 lbs lighter than it is with a sport oriented geometry...
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-21-2002, 12:40 PM
Join Date: Feb 2000
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Call me out all you like.
I stand by my opinion that I personaly found it easier to throw the RC50 into a turn than the 929.
Maybe it was a false placebo effect because I was all giddy to be riding what was at the time a very hard bike to get a hold of .
My friend has since sold his 929, and I havenít ridden the RC since (that was last summer).So I canít really do it all over.
That was my opinion I remembered from last summer.

If you look at when I registered and how many posts I have I think youíll have a hard time saying that I post just to post. I thought I might have something to contribute, apparently I didnít, I may have been mistaken, maybe Iím a shitty rider, who knows.

But please don't question my reasons for posting, like I said call me out all you want. Question every word that leaves my mouth if you like (and I have a feeling you will from now on).
but please don't call me a liar, or tell me I'm just posting just to "hear myself talk" so to speak.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-21-2002, 01:12 PM
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Sorry I really didn't mean to offend, but I guess in the scope of my intent that would have been inevitable. All in all it was worthwhile as you defensively shed some more light on your own background which makes your personal review plausible in light of your experience or lack thereof. I didn't mean to directly insinuate that you intentionally mislead anyone or were posting to increase your count etc... but I did want to word the post to get the point across that such a scenario does happen all to frequently.

I can fully understand & relate to the placebo effect, but in order to properly convey your comparisons then you have to be able to discern between what's real & what's fabricated in your mind. Experience is critical in making such an opinion valid especially in response to direct questioning from an interested party.

It would be the equivalent of someone asking me which is better the Merlot or the Shiraz? I've tasted both, but could no more tell you which had the better or more vibrant bouquet nor could I tell you if it was due to the organics or aging etc... Bottom line is I just don't have a clue so I won't be answering any wine questions if you catch my wave...
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