Honda RC51 Maintenance Schedule and Service Intervals

This is the maintenance schedule and associated service intervals for the Honda RC51 a.k.a. RVT1000R.

The Honda RC51, also known as the RVT1000R (in the United States) or VTR1000 SP1 (Europe and Australia), is a 90° V-twin motorcycle produced by Honda from 2000 to 2006. It was built by Honda to prove a point that Honda could outsmart Ducati on the track using a V-Twin. (Ironically, these days Honda is now using a V4, and still winning. History is a circle!)

The RC51’s engine is a 999cc dual overhead cam V-twin unit with two fuel injectors and four valves per cylinder. Power is delivered to the rear wheel by a close-ratio, six-speed transmission. The chassis is constructed from aluminium alloy, being a twin-spar design.

The RC51 is a racing superbike which people often change the sprockets on for street use, as factory RC51s were highly geared for top speed performance.

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Honda RC51 Maintenance Schedule

Below is the maintenance schedule for the Honda RC51.

Honda gives these recommendations for how hard it is to do various maintenance tasks:

  • * Should be serviced by your Honda dealer, unless you have the proper tools and service data and are mechanically qualified. Refer to the official Honda Service Manual.
  • ** In the interest of safety, we recommend these items be serviced only by your Honda dealer.

Maintenance Procedures:

  • I: inspect and clean, adjust, lubricate, or replace, if necessary
  • C: clean
  • A: adjust
  • L: lubricate
  • R: replace
Itemsx 1000 mi0.64812162024
Emissions-Related ItemsNOTEx 1000 km16.412.819.225.63238.4
*Fuel LineIII
*Throttle OperationIII
*Choke OperationIII
*Air Cleaner2II
Crankcase Breather3CCCCCC
Spark PlugsEVERY 16,000 mi (25,600 km) I, EVERY 32,000 mi (51,200 km) R
*Valve ClearanceI
Engine OilINITIAL= 600 mi (1,000 km) or 1 month: R REGULAR= EVERY 8,000 mi (12,800 km) or 12 months: R
Engine Oil FilterRRRR
*Engine Idle SpeedIIIIIII
Radiator Coolant4IIR
*Cooling SystemIII
*Secondary Air Supply SystemIII
*Evaporative Emission Control System5II
Non-Emission-Related Items
Drive ChainEVERY 500 mi (800 km) I, L
Brake Fluid4IIRIIR
Brake Pad WearIIIIII
Brake SystemIIII
*Brake Light SwitchIII
*Headlight AimIII
Clutch SystemIII
Clutch Fluid4IIRIIR
Side StandIII
*Nuts, Bolts, FastenersIIII
**Steering Head BearingsIIII
Honda RC51 maintenance schedule


  • 1. At higher odometer readings, repeat at the frequency interval established here
  • 2. Service more frequently if the motorcycle is ridden in unusually wet or dusty areas
  • 3. Service more frequently if the motorcycle is ridden often at full throttle or in the rain
  • 4. Replace every 2 years, or at indicated odometer interval, whichever comes first. Replacement requires mechanical skill. Refer to the official Honda service manual
  • 5. California type only

Tyre size and tyre pressure for the Honda RC51

  • Front: 120/70ZR17 M/C (58W)
  • Rear: 190/50ZR17 M/C (73W)

Tire type: Radial, Tubeless

Recommended Tires:




  • DUNLOP D208N

The manual for the Honda RC51 recommends the following tyre pressures (when cold):

  • Front: 250 kPa (2,50 kgf/cm2) 36 psi
  • Rear: 290 kPa (2,90 kgf/cm2) 42 psi

About the Honda RC51

The RC51 is a race bike. It’s not practical for street use. It gets hot, it’s uncomfortable, and it really doesn’t like going slow. But it’s definitely a classic, and used prices are already sky high.

Whether it’s the hugely powerful, but immensely controllable, V-twin’s torque or the rock-steady handling provided by the twin-spar, aluminum frame that is responsible for Honda’s dominance, the result is the same. The RC51 decimated the competition its day. And you can own a part of history because the RC51, the latest in a series of exotic racing four-strokes that started with the RC30, broke new ground by being the first of Honda’s sophisticated roadracers made readily available to aficionados.

The 999cc DOHC eight-valve 90-degree V-twin engine was specially designed to withstand the rigors of Superbike competition. Prodigious power is produced across a broad engine-rpm band, peaking with 130+ bhp at 9500 rpm and 71 lb./ft. of torque at 8000 rpm in street-legal trim. Each cylinder head features large, 40mm intake and 34mm exhaust valves with a 24-degree included valve angle.

This provides a short, direct path for the air/fuel charge entering the combustion chamber and results in a high power output. Gear-driven camshafts utilize drive gears to maintain accurate valve timing and durability at sustained high engine speeds. Direct shim-under-bucket valve actuation system ensures high-rpm durability, and allows 24,000 kilometre valve maintenance intervals. High-pressure programmed fuel injection (PGM-FI) delivers fuel at 50 psi to two injectors per cylinder, mounted opposite each other in huge, 54mm throttle bodies. Fuel is forced through four nozzle tips in each injector, producing a very fine spray and a highly combustible air/fuel charge.

Centrally mounted ram-air intake duct routes cool, pressurized air directly through the frame’s steering head structure to the 10-litre airbox, improving intake efficiency while slimming the aerodynamic profile. Cast aluminum pistons are screen-printed with solid LUB-Coat finish to minimize friction. RC45™-inspired aluminum composite cylinder sleeves are high-pressure-formed from sintered aluminum powder impregnated with ceramic and graphite to provide better wear resistance and superior heat dissipation. Nutless connecting rods feature bolts threaded directly into tapped holes in the rods. This design is lighter than a conventional bolt-and-nut combination. Carburized rods provide strength and durability under high loads.

Crankshaft lubrication system carries oil to main and connecting rod bearings through passages in the centre of the crankshaft and uses centrifugal force to help distribute the oil. This allows lower main gallery oil pressure and a smaller oil pump design, consuming less horsepower at high engine speeds. Electronic CPU provides digital 3-D fuel injection and ignition maps for each cylinder, creating ideal fuel mixture and spark advance settings for maximum power and throttle response.

All-stainless two-into-one-into-two exhaust system with two 5.3-litre canister-style mufflers buffed to a satin finish. Side-mounted dual radiators utilize the low pressure airflow passing over the outer surface of the fairing to draw air through from the inside. Side positioning allows forward placement of the engine for optimal weight distribution and permits the flow of air to reach the cylinders for enhanced cooling efficiency. Air-cooled aluminum oil cooler promotes long engine life. Magnesium head cover and clutch cover. Smooth-shifting close-ratio six-speed transmission.

Manual for the Honda RC51

Honda RC51 Maintenance Schedule Screenshot From Manual

The above maintenance schedule comes directly from the user’s manual for the Honda RC51.

You can download it from here.

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