Monday, 30 January 2017

Honda SP-1 (2000) Review, Top speed, Color

                                 Honda SP-1

Honda SP-1 Price, Specs, Review, Top speed, Pics, Colour

                 With its lean and aggressive look, the SP-J was a very different machine to the VTR1000F roadster from which it was derived. Low handlebars, rear set footrests and a racy seat revealed serious sporting intent. A seat-pad could be clipped to the tailpiece for a pillion, but this motorcycle was designed to be ridden alone - and fast.

                    After spending many seasons struggling to keep up with Ducati in the World Superbike championship, whose rules gave twin-cylinder bikes a weight advantage,

                     Honda finally abandoned its traditional V4 engine layout to develop a V-twin of its own. The VTR1000 SP-1, launched in 2000, proved doubly successful. American ace Colin Edwards rode a twin to the Superbike world title in its debut season, and Honda’s roadgoing range was enhanced by the arrival of a superb sports machine.

                  Despite its powerful 999cc, 90-degree V-twin motor, high-quality chassis, race-derived styling and some neat technical features, the SP-1 was not a limited-edition machine intended solely as the basis for Honda’s Superbike challenger. The model known as the RC51 in the United States was built in large numbers and priced closer to a normal sports machine than to its exotic V4 predecessor the RC45.

                        Honda’s line-up already contained a big V-twin, but the SP-1 shared fewer than ten per cent of components with the VTR1000F Firestorm. Its motor differed in having higher compression ratio, gear instead of chain drive to its cams, and a close- ratio gearbox. In place of the Firestorm’s carburettors the SP-1 used fuel-injection, fed by an innovative intake system whose central main duct ran from a fairing slot between the twin headlights, through the special aluminium steering head casting to the airbox, reducing the turbulence generated by normal intakes. Peak output was 136bhp at 9500rpm.

                        In contrast to the Firestorm’s pivotless frame, the SP-1 had conventional twin aluminium main spars. The frame used the engine as a stressed member, and mounted its rear shock on a large aluminium lower cross-member. Front forks were upside-down 43mm units and, like the rear shock, were multi-adjustable.

Compact and eager to rev

                        The SP-1 was compact, its clip-ons low. footrests high, and seat thinly padded. The finish was basic by Honda standards, with unlacquered stickers, and wiring visible inside the fairing. Equally racy was the tall first gear, good for 70mph (113km/h). But the motor’s flexibility helped make the bike fast and easy to ride. And the engine loved to rev, rocketing towards the lO.OOOrpm redline with such enthusiasm that the rider's left foot had to flick rapidly through the gearbox, as the bike headed for a top speed of 165mph (266km/h).

                        The SP-1 was not particularly light, at 4311b (196kg), but it handled very well. Its rigid twin- spar frame combined with high-quality cycle parts to make for precise control. Suspension at both ends was firm, ideal for racetrack or smooth road (though harsh on a bumpy one). And the front brake set-up of large twin discs and four-piston Nissin calipers gave real bite plus just the right amount of feel.

                          There was no doubt that the SP-1 had been designed primarily for the track, to recapture Honda’s reputation for building the world’s fastest four-stroke motorcycles. Edwards’ title in the bike’s first season was vindication of Honda's approach. Equally importantly, in designing the street-legal machine on which the racer was based, Honda had produced an outstanding roadster that blended the firm’s traditional sophistication and engineering quality with V-twin feel and character.

Edwards' Superbike Winner

                     Even Honda could not have expected that its new V-twin would win the coveted World Superbike title in its first year, but Colin Edwards did just that on the Castrol-backed works machine. The Texan's bike produced 180bhp with plenty of mid-range torque, weighed just 356lb (161kg), and proved reliable as well as fast. To add to Honda's delight, a similar SP-1 ridden by Japanese grand prix stars Daijiro Katoh and Tohru Ukawa won the prestigious Eight-hour endurance race at the firm's home circuit of Suzuka.

                    Finn, well-damped suspension made the SP- I great for hard cornering on a smooth road or racetrack, but gave a less than comfortable ride the rest of the time.

                       Air was fed to the V-twin's fuel-injection system via a slot between the headlights, and through a specially shaped steering head casting.

Specification Honda VTR1000 SP-1 (RC51)                                      (2000)

  • Engine Liquid-cooled dohc eight-valve 90-degree V-twin
  • Capacity 999cc (100 x 63.6mm)
  • Maximum power 136bhp @ 9500rpm
  • Transmission Six-speed, chain final drive
  • Frame Aluminium twin spar
  • Suspension Telescopic front; single shock rear
  • Brakes Twin discs front; disc rear
  • Weight 4311b (196kg)
  • Top speed 165mph (266km/h)