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Cult bike Honda VTR 1000 SP

What Ducati can do …

In the Superbike World Championship, bassy, ​​humming two-cylinder engines drove away the wildly turning fours. Honda thought: What Ducati can do, we can too. Only better.

I.On a global scale, the hustle and bustle of this factory was by no means worrying. Around 40,000 motorcycles were built in Bologna, most of them monsters. But a good dozen was enough to annoy the world market leader: To introduce the popular Superbike World Championship in 1988, Honda had designed the ingenious RC 30 with its 150 hp V4-750 and now thought of dominating this series comfortably. That worked twice, then Ducati thwarted the bill and between 1990 and 1999 cleared all titles with the racing versions of the 851, 888, 916 and 996 except for two (a Kawasaki, a Honda). In this extreme emergency, the Japanese giant did what he otherwise always avoids: taking up the arms of others.

Cult bike Honda VTR 1000 SP

What Ducati can do …

165 kg and over 180 hp at 12,000 rpm

So, here it comes: As with its four-cylinder predecessors, the Honda VTR 1000 SP has a gear cascade that drives the two camshafts per cylinder. This is mechanical poetry, it warms every heart and sets you free for high speeds. The throat of the intake manifold injection measures 54 millimeters, and so that there is never any shortness of breath, the intake air whips through an opening in the front of the fairing directly into the airbox, almost through the control head. At the beginning of 2000 that was enough to be able to call himself the strongest serial twin, typical Honda was once again that this muscle man comes up with polished manners. Anyone who had doubts about the racing suitability of the overall package in view of the high weight was quickly informed: The very expensive, emaciated racer weighed just 165 kg when dry, developed over 180 hp at 12,000 rpm and could immediately compete with the Ducati. After Carl Fogarty’s serious accident, there was no stopping Edwards.

Unfortunately, Ducati immediately followed suit, and the opponents immersed themselves in a splendid technical guerrilla war won by Ducatista Troy Bayliss in 2001. Because Honda wanted its paying customers to participate in this struggle for perfection, the Honda VTR 1000 SP-2 appeared in 2002 . With a 62 suction loop like the factory racer, with an adorable swingarm, with even more pressure from the lower rev range and an even more manageable, significantly more precise and firmer chassis. A very clear, extremely elaborately made and purposeful motorcycle. Nice too. Just differently beautiful than a Ducati. Edwards didn’t care, he wanted titles. In 2002 he got his second.

Data and information


The 90-degree cylinder angle unites the competitors, but with a 100 mm bore and only 63.6 mm stroke, the Honda VTR 1000 SP-1 has a slightly shorter stroke than the 996.

Technical specifications

Water-cooled two-cylinder four-stroke 90-degree V-engine, 999 cm³, 100 kW (136 hp) at 9500 / min, 105 Nm at 8000 / min, six-speed gearbox, bridge frame made of light metal profiles, weight 223 kg with a full tank, front tires 120/70 x 17, rear 190/50 x 17, tank capacity 18 liters, top speed 275 km / h, 0-100 km / h in 3.2 seconds.


It has become common practice that Honda’s basic motorcycles for superbike races will become cult at some point, see RC 30 and the even rarer RC 45. Its successor, the RC 51, was sold in much larger numbers, but it now seems to be on the threshold to stand by fan articles: The prices for both SP-1 and SP-2 are increasing significantly. Almost nothing goes below 4000 euros, copies with less than 20,000 kilometers also cost twice as much. Of course, all SP are still in good hands with the Honda dealer, spare parts worries are also unknown.


There are no books on the VTR 1000 SP, but of course there are websites:

Honda’s fixed V2 in the VTR forum ( are welcome guests, and there is a lot of specific and well-prepared information on Lots of information in English is available at:

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