Your Choice of RC51 Motor – 2000 Honda RC51 + 2002 Mondial Piega

In Italy, Japan, Sport by AbhiLeave a Comment

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Post Sale Update:
The RC51 sold for $7,811 after 8 bids on Iconic Motorbike Auctions in San Jacinto, California.
The Piega did not meet reserve with 7 bids up to $12,500 on Iconic Motorbike Auctions in San Jacinto, California. If you’re interested, I know that $17,655 will get you this bike!


Over on the auction site we’ve got two interesting motorcycles that share the same engine. The reason why is an interesting story of loyalty.

There’s an interesting backstory as to how Mondial got Honda to supply engines for the Piega. In 1957, Soichiro Honda approached Mondial about the purchase of one of their racebikes (which had just won 125cc and 250cc World Championships). Mondial gave Honda a bike, which was used to set the standard for Honda racebikes of the future. Nearly 50 years later, when Mondial was looking for an engine to power the Piega (after Suzuki pulled out of the deal), Honda repaid the favor. This was the first time Honda allowed use of their engines in another companies’ motorcycles. The Mondial Piega uses the SP-1 motor from a RC51, but Mondial developed a proprietary exhaust, injection system, and airbox to bring power up to 140 at the crank. Build quality was supposedly excellent, and you had the reliability of a Honda engine. It was destined to be great. Unfortunately, finances proved to be a problem, and after only 35 were built, the factory was placed into bankruptcy. Deals were worked out and a third party came in, eventually producing approximately 120 (accounts differ on the exact number produced, but the original intent was to produce 250 for homologation reasons). Interestingly enough, 11 bikes were apparently stolen from the factory – rumor is they were looted by employees trying to get compensation for lost wages – and the Italian police are still looking for them!

While the Piega is special, this specific RC51 is also quite nice for its own reasons – it is incredibly well-modified, and it started life as the RC51 originally used by Dan Kyle to make the Kyle Racing map for Sato exhausts. It’s also got Magical Racing carbon mirrors and dash cover, Moriwaki belly pan, Tyga billet rearsets, Brembo floating race front rotors, SP2 swingarm, Thermae front mount radiators, Marvic magnesium wheels, 520 chain and sprockets with 15/43 gearing, Tyga carbon fiber tail cowl, rear hugger, and front fender, PAIR/flapper/soft rev mods with a Power Commander with custom map, Ohlins top mount steering damper, Ohlins shock with Moriwaki shock link…the list goes on and on.

The Piega has a bit of a history, and not all of it is good. It’s one of the first 35 that were built, and it was originally ordered by and sold to Grease Monkey in Yokohoma, Japan. Per the seller, it was originally ordered without the blue stripes. While in Japan, the bike “suffered an accident.” The seller acquired it five years ago and “personally completely disassembled the bike and went through every part of it. Original replacement parts were sourced from Italy, the upper radiator, front wheel, front brake rotors and right rearset were replaced. The tank, tail and both lowers were repainted to touch up scratches, the upper cowl is original paint. The triple clamps were straightened by GP Frame and Wheel, the forks were checked and were straight. The entire bike was taken to GP and checked for straightness, all the paperwork with numbers is available and will go with the bike. I have since put over 700 miles on the bike, including a track day at Thunderhill Raceway, and the bike performs flawlessly, goes straight, stops straight and handles as it should.” The sale includes the original Mondial owners manual, commemorative large picture book from Mondial, and some decals and patches. The book includes a DVD with a video that the seller (Glenn S, the same gentleman who let me take his RZV500R for a spin recently) was kind enough to share:

Find the RC51 for sale in San Jacinto, California with bidding up to $7,000 and the reserve already met here on Iconic Motorbike Auctions.

Find the Piega for sale in Marina del Rey, California with bidding up to $12,000 and the reserve not yet met here on Iconic Motorbike Auctions.

Disclosure: Bike-urious is a partner in Iconic Motorbike Auctions.

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