In the HRC design offices, things have been bubbling for a while, several years already. For 1994, they have provided us with a new exceptional machine. In Japan, the R & D de Honda is locked on the descendants of the RC 30, while the rest of the world still cash in the end of Czechoslovakia, the appointment of Edouard Balladur as prime minister, the dissemination in the States of a little-known series: X-Files and the elimination of Pablo Escobar. But for now, all energies are converging on Superbike and Endurance. Especially since the technical regulations of the machines sharpened to face Bol d´or, Mans and Suzuka will be in 94 the same as that of the SBK.
Still incredibly resistant but outdated in performance, the fabulous RC 30 must give way to a new pearl of efficiency: the RC 45.
A new performance monster, with a heavy heritage and a task as noble as it is generous. A quick first glance allows you to rediscover the main lines of the VFR 750 R born in 1987: the superb single-sided arm, a round double killer optic, and above all the V4, quite a symbol. But this new RVF no longer has the super compact appearance of the RC 30. Yet it is barely bigger, although it does seem more consistent, more menacing, more powerful, more opulent, more potent almost. By taking a look at the scales, we actually realize that the new generation of RC has gained weight: + 4 kg, or 189 dry now. A machine therefore heavier than the very young 900 CBR from the same manufacturer. But put it back in its element, the Superbike, with its less junk (headlights, indicators, etc.), the preparation that is going well, and it can go down to 165 kg.
Menacing, self-confident, the RC 45 is not that different from the 30. The solutions are however very suited to the demands of current and future competition. The design of the frame inspires more than confidence, with its two aluminum triple box beams. A big reinforcement was added to hold the engine. The single-sided arm is retained but modified to accommodate the new 6-inch-wide road. The gommard becomes monstrous: a 190. The front wheel follows the trend initiated by the spearheads that are the NR 750 and the CBR 900 Fireblade. It is a 16 ’rim that fits between the fork legs. Which has also been adapted to the evolution: an inverted 41 mm model attached to a steering column retracted by half a degree. Beautiful 310mm discs allied to Nissin 4 piston calipers are more than enough to stop this missile powered by one of the most famous engines that motorcycle production is created.
All new, the new 4-cylinder V gives pride of place to technology and performance. The close collaboration between the competition department and the R&D (Research and Development) made it possible to design a mill that was immediately very efficient and able to evolve as progress or improvements to come. It was becoming necessary: far from being dropped, the RC 30’s V4 was reaching the end of its boom.
For now, let’s see what the new 749cc can do. Let’s remove the tank, the air box, the hoses, the…. Well, where are the carbs? Clear…. The RC 45 is now supplied by injection. A PGM-FI control unit, derived from the exceptional 750 NR, is informed at all times of the engine situation by 7 sensors: throttle opening, position of the crankshaft, of the camshaft, atmospheric pressure, pressure in intake, intake air temperature, and coolant temperature. With this, the system manages in real time the operating conditions and a precise dosage of fuel to be injected. In addition, to adapt operation to use, it is now sufficient to change an electronic chip; and with the optional HRC kit, you are entitled to a setting box allowing you to intervene directly on various parameters.
Let’s resume our exploration. Let’s get the injection system out of the way to finally see this V4 up close. See those intake ducts straightening out, as well as the valves spread out at an angle of 26 °, much narrower than the 38 ° valves on the RC 30. Let’s get into the cylinders. Here, there is a little more room (+ 1 cm3) but it is above all wider. The dimensions have become more super-square, with a bore that goes from 70 to 72 mm, while the stroke is reduced from 48.6 to 46 mm. Enough to promote high revs, with more power in the towers. The civilian version already offers 120 horsepower – a little better value than the Suzuki GSX-R, and, on paper, behind the furious Kawasaki ZXR and Yamaha YZF. But these horses are impatient, and make the V4 an engine that clearly outclasses the others. Above all, he is only waiting for his racing kit to express himself at his best. Because it is a racing machine, initially planned to develop 150 hp in its optimum form. He only needs a few parts of the HRC (in fact, nice kits that will quickly triple the price of the machine) to express himself as the racehorse he is..
The search for power was not the only line of research. It was also necessary to make the V4 more compact. Compared to its predecessor, it is shorter and less high, weighs 4 kg less, and above all, its cascade of pinions has been seriously modified. Once placed in the center of the cylinders, the timing has moved to the right and is losing a ride while being stronger, lighter and shorter.
It’s not just that. Materials and techniques evolve. We thus see appearing on this mold of magnesium parts and inside composite metal liners (a mixture of sintered aluminum powder with ceramic and graphite).
As mentioned recently, the new RVF is designed to spew a lot of power. It will therefore be necessary to seriously cool all that. This is why the RC 45 has 3 radiators. 1 for oil, 2 for the fleet, with a cooling capacity of 21,500 Kcal / h (more foresighted, those of RC 30 announced 23,200 Kcal / h).
It is not easy to succeed a machine as emblematic as the RC 30. However, the RC 45 RVF 750 must and will take up the task. The world of competition is changing very quickly and sportswomen must constantly adapt…. or give way to new war machines. The RC 45 is the new strike force of the HRC; and obviously Honda does not laugh with its efficiency.
With time…. The RC 45 had good times of glory but did not erase the fantastic reputation of the RC 30. Yet more powerful and more efficient, the RVF did not have the same charisma, did not reach the level of finish and of passion which was pampered in the VFR 750 R. Its track record was lower, its cost of use much more rare, and its results are mainly due to the strike force of the factory. The RC 45 was a fascinating sports car; but for many, only the RC 30 had reached the absolute.
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What you must remember
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RC 30 – VFR 750 R 1988
Model marketed in
approx. 260 km / h
The technical aspect
Honda RVF 750 R – RC 45 1994
- Tank: 18 liters
- Wheelbase: 1,407 mm
- Dry weight: 189 kg
- Train before
- final by chain
- Rear axle
(72 x 46 mm)
at 12,000 rpm
at 10,000 rpm