Honda VF/VFR/RVF History
[ Recent History ] [ Over 400cc ] [ 400cc ]
A brief history of our beloved Honda VF/VFR/RVF, V-four sportbikes
Models are listed (sort of) by size and in chronological order by year. A brief description is given and "Specs at a glance" are given for major model changes.
Please Note: This list is currently not completed. We are missing specs for some of the models. For the most part what is listed should be accurate. If anyone has more information or would like to challenge a particular item, please contact David M. Matthew @ this E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
History of V-Four 400cc sportbike models
Note: Unless you are in a market that sells them (ie, Japan, Europe? Australia, New Zealand etc.), you would be better off looking at the VF 500F Interceptor, CB-1, or Hawk GT. Gray market imports of the VFR400R to the USA are expensive (to purchase, to get parts for, to insure), and often more than the cost of a brand new VFR750F.
Regardless of this, these "Tiny terrors" are a part of the VF/VFR/RVF family and since this is a "World Wide" forum, they should be included. Besides, if more Americans would forget the notion that a bike's cost is directly related to it's engine size, models like the new RVF400 would be sold in markets like America.
Date Model Overview:
1982 VF400F Overview: The first model of V-Four 400cc. It was "Naked style" with bikini-cowling that looked like "MVX250".
Specs at a glance Max. H.P.: 53 hp @ 11,500rpm Torque: 3.5kg-m @ 9,500rpm Size: 2060mm(D) x 750mm(W) x 1160mm(H) Wheelbase: 1415mm Dry weight: 173kg Front wheel:100/90-16 54H Rear wheel: 110/90-18 61H Price: 528,000yen ($6,211 - USD)
1984 VF400F "Integra" Overview: Same as above, with full-covered-cowling.
Specs at a glance Max. H.P.: 53 hp @ 11,500rpm Torque: 3.5kg-m @ 9,500rpm Size: 2060mm(D) x 750mm(W) x 1195mm(H) Wheelbase: 1405mm Dry weight: 177kg Front wheel:100/90-16 54H Rear wheel: 110/90-18 61H Price: 589,000yen ($6,929 - USD)
1986 VFR400R (NC21) Overview: Completely different from the VF400F model. V4 engine configuration featured a 180x crank. Alloy twin-spar frame without PRO-ARM rear swingarm.
1986 VFR400Z (NC21) Same specs. as above, but naked (no fairing) model.
1987 VFR400R (NC24) Similar in specs to NC21 but with the "Elf Designed" PRO-ARM (single sided) rear swingarm.
1989-90 VFR400R (NC30) Overview: Major upgrade to the line. Looks just like an RC30. 360x crank. Color: white/red/blue (RC30 look alike but with the dark blue stripe on top of the light blue stripe and a white a stripe between the blue and red) or black/ silver/red. Both models sported white wheels. The VFR400R(NC30) is known for its handling, turning quicker than most other 400s on the market.
Just a quick summary of pains and pleasure of owning a VFR400R (by Colin MacKellar). He has a 1989 NC30 gray import to Holland from Japan. This is the first year of the NC30, the previous model being the NC24.
First of all it's a small bike. If you're anything over 6'0" (1829 mm), you might consider a different bike. It's a race-replica so you're scrunched up behind the fairing and this can result in stiffness and pain in the back and neck. There is quite a lot of weight on the low handlebars and your wrists get sore after a time. The seat is wafer thin with little padding and don't even consider carrying a pillion (passenger).
The engine is complex and compact and not that easy to work on (although this seems true of most modern bikes). There are odd niggly things like the tiny 8mm sparkplugs that can only be obtained from Honda and need a special long-reach plug spanner. (Make sure you get a tool-kit if you buy second-hand).
There is of course no center stand. You can buy the Honda official RC30/NC30 stand at (c.$500) or get one of the after-market stands no doubt available.
There are comparatively few after-market accessories available e.g. bodywork, exhausts, etc. It's gotten slightly better this past year in the UK, but the choice is limited.
Despite the above, it's a fantastic bike. It has useful power from 5,000 through to the 14,000 red-line and does not require continuous gear changes to keep it on the boil. It looks gorgeous and trick, even though it's 6 years old. It always reminds me of the NSR250 run in the GPs.
It has a top speed of c. 130 mph and I've seen 200 kph on mine. It is quite heavy for a 400 and the first gear is quite long (tall) so quarter mile times are disappointing. Some testers have called it "bland" but it's fine for me.
It is said that some bikes are fitted with rev limiters for 4th through 6th gear but my bike does not have this. There are Japanese after-market "black boxes" that remove this limitation and also change the ignition curve adding about 6 bhp. it's claimed. A Dynojet kit does not officially exist I believe, but there is a shop in Holland that will fit a kit they've developed themselves along with a less restrictive air filter. The only pipes I know are Laser and Micron race pipes. The Micron was developed for Honda Britain race team that campaigned the NC30 in the supersport 400 class early in the 90s. It is NOT street legal. The Laser claims to be street legal, but makes a LOT of noise. Sounds fantastic. There are probably others available in Japan (OVER?)
What to look out for....
Make sure there is a tool kit with the plug spanner. A new tool kit costs +/- $120 !!
The sump plug thread is very fragile, I had to have mine helicoiled.
If you need to buy bodywork, there is very little pattern stuff available here in Europe. Honda painted bodywork is criminally expensive, mind-bendingly so. Try repairing first, often possible.
Check all the screws and fasteners are present on the fairing. There are dozens of them and they often get lost during maintenance.
All the usual stuff for all bikes.
By and large, the bike performs and is reliable (at least in my case). If you want to go for relatively short blasts through the twisties with some friends and you're not into touring/doing the shopping with the bike, it would be a good choice.
1989-90 VFR400R (NC30) Specs at a glance: Max. H.P.: 59 hp @12,500rpm Torque: 4.0kg-m / 10,000rpm Size: 1985mm(D) x 705mm(W) x 1075mm(H) Wheelbase: 1345mm Dry weight: 182kg Front wheel:120/60R-17 54H Rear wheel: 150/60R-18 67H Price: 695,000yen ($8,176 - USD)
1991 VFR400R (NC30) Overview: Similar to 89-90 models but Honda Upgraded the suspension at both ends. A new 41mm (standard) cartridge fork with external preload adjustment. The new rear shock features a remote reservoir. New dual opposed 4 piston brake calipers are added as well. Also changes in color - a red/white/blue (like HRC color) with white wheels, a red/black/silver model with red wheels and a black/ silver model with black wheels.
Specs at a glance: Max. H.P.: 59 hp @ 12,500rpm Torque: 4.0kg-m / 10,000rpm Size: 1985mm(D) x 705mm(W) x 1075mm(H) Wheelbase: 1345mm Dry weight: 182kg Front wheel:120/60R-17 54H Rear wheel: 150/60R-18 67H Price: 719,000yen ($8,459 - USD)
1992 VFR400R (NC30) Overview: Changed suspension at both ends. Both units are now fully adjustable. Two new colors are red/white/blue (like HRC color) with white wheels and a red/ black/silver model with red wheels.
Specs at a glance: Max. H.P.: 59 hp @ 12,500rpm Torque: 4.0kg-m / 10,000rpm Size: 1985mm(D) x 705mm(W) x 1075mm(H) Wheelbase: 1345mm Dry weight :182kg Front wheel:120/60R-17 54H Rear wheel: 150/60R-18 67H Price: 730,000yen ($8,588 - USD)
1993 VFR400R (NC30) Overview: Same as above, only changed color - red/white/blue (Like Suzuka 8- hours "OKI-HONDA" HRC color - mostly red and white with a small dark blue triangle on the sides of the upper fairing. Honda logo, number plates, forks and wheels are rendered in black and a large HRC sticker is located just below the seat on the side panels. Brake calipers, rotor hangers and chain are gold colored.
Specs at a glance: Max. H.P.: 59 hp @ 12,500rpm Torque: 4.0kg-m / 10,000rpm Size: 1985mm(D) x 705mm(W) x 1075mm(H) Wheelbase: 1345mm Dry weight: 182kg Front wheel:120/60R-17 54H Rear wheel: 150/60R-18 67H Price: 739,000yen ($8,694 - USD)
1994 RVF400 (NC35) Overview: The latest model of V-Four 400cc in Japan. It's a hot, hot bike! It looks just like RVF750 (RC45) except the headlights are smaller and shaped more like the Factory RVF Suzuka 8-hour Endurance bike. Fully adjustable upside down forks are featured even though the CBR400RR still sports conventional forks. The "claimed" max horse power and torque are reduced due to a notice from department of traffic in Japan*. Finally switched wheels from the RC30 like 17" front 18" rear to the now standard 17" at both ends. Like the VFR400R(NC30), the RVF400(NC35) is known for great handling and turning quicker than other 400s. It sports the latest Nissin 4 piston calipers (black colored). Graphics are just like the RC45 - mostly red and white with some purple and black on the fairing sides. Black number plates and wheels round out the look.
*NOTE: Japanese companies have had sort of a "Gentlemen's agreement with each other and the Government to "limit" the maximum horse power per given engine size. For example, All the listings for 750cc bikes show 77 hp. This is for a standard GSXR and the GSXR-SP, the YZFR and YZF-SP, The ZXR750 and the ZXR750R and the NR and the RC45. The 400s are held to the 59hp (now 53) barrier weather you are talking VFR/RVF, CBR-RR, NSR, GSXR, RGV, TZR YZF etc. It seems kind of funny that they ALL make Exactically the same max hp. Of course Torque values would be different at least between 2-stroke and 4-stroke models.
1994 RVF400 (NC35) Specs at a glance: Max. H.P.: 53 hp @ 12,500rpm Torque: 3.7kg-m / 10,000rpm Size: 1985mm(D) x 685mm(W) x 1065mm(H) Wheelbase: 1335mm Dry weight: 183kg Front wheel:120/60R-17 54H Rear wheel: 150/60R-17 67H Price: 780,000yen ($9,176 - USD)
History of V-Four over 400cc sportbike models
Date Model Overview:
1984-86 VF500F Overview: The "Miniceptor" as it is affectionately called ran basically unchanged (except for graphics) until replaced by the CBR600 Hurricane in '87. Like the original '83 VFR750, it sported a 16" front wheel, 18" rear wheel, silver alloy painted Steel Perimeter (Twin Spar) frame (Similar to GSXR or Honda NS500 frame), Single rear shock w/ 2 sided Alloy swingarm, 1/2 upper fairing with chin or belly fairing, chain driven cams, 4/2 exhaust.
A great little bike, it begged to be ridden hard. You did not "feel" fast on this bike then you would look down at the speedometer and either impress/scare yourself at your corner speeds.
Specs at a glance: Max. H.P..: 66 hp / 11,500 rpm ( 12,000 redline ) Torque: 4.2 kg-m / 10,500 rpm Bore & Stroke: 60.0 x 44.0 mm ( 2.36 x 1.73 in ) Dimensions: 2,070mm(L) x 760mm(W) x 1,175mm(H) (81.5 x 29.9 x 46.3in) Seat Height:800mm (31.5in) Wheelbase: 1,420mm (55.9in) Dry Weight: 184kg (406lb) Curb Weight:201kg (443lb) Front Tire: 100/90-16 Rear Tire: 110/90-18 Price (new):1984 - $2898, '85-86 - same (List-USD)
1983 VF750F Overview: Debut in U.S. and world markets. 16" front wheel, 18" rear wheel, silver alloy painted Steel Perimeter (Twin Spar) frame (Similar to GSXR or Honda NS500 frame), Single rear shock w/ 2 sided Alloy swingarm, 1/2 upper fairing with chin or belly fairing, 360x crank, chain driven cams, 4/2 exhaust system with a HUGE, overweight collector box in the middle. The forks had TRAC mechanical anti-dive mechanisms. One cool feature was the fuel petcock which was built into the left side of the tank. Colors were white w/red stripes and white w/blue stripes (U.S. models). Canada/Europe got combos of the colors (i.e. mostly blue with the small red strip instead of same color blue stripe or red w/ blue stripe). American models were outfitted with cast rims while European models recieved bolt together "Comstar" wheels that featured large "plates" drilled with holes, attaching the hubs to the rims. They were gold anodized.
Specs at a glance: Max. H.P.: ?hp/?rpm Torque: ?.0kg-m/10,000rpm Size: ?mm(L) x ?mm(W) x ?mm(H) Wheelbase: ?mm Dryweight: ?kg Front tire: 110/90-16 Rear tire: 130/70-18 Price (new):$3,498 (list - USD)
1984-85 VF750F Overview: No changes except for the European colors came to U.S. market (Cool!).
Note: Tamiya has a 1:12th scale model of the 83-85 VF750F that includes and "Optional" full fairing as well as the split upper lower fairings as the bikes were sold in America. It is assumed that this model sold in Europe but this has not been confirmed. Price (new):'84 - $4,398, '85 - same (list - USD)
1984-85 VF700F Overview: This U.S. "Tariff Beater" model was similar to the VF750 with the only external difference being no 750 designation in the graphics just the Interceptor name. Inside difference was shorter stroke, different cams, and ignition timing.
Specs at a glance: Max. H.P.: ?hp /?rpm Torque: ?kg-m/10,000rpm Size: ?mm(L) x ?mm(W) x ?mm(H) Wheelbase: ?mm Dryweight: ?kg Front tire: ? Rear tire: ? Price (new):'84 - $3,498, '85 - same (list - USD)
1984 VF1000F Overview: 16" front wheel, 18" rear wheel, silver alloy painted Steel Perimeter (Twin Spar) frame (Similar to GSXR or Honda NS500 frame), Single rear shock w/ 2 sided Alloy swingarm, 1/2 upper fairing (that molded into tank covering part of the frame) with chin or belly fairing, Gear driven cams, 4/2 exhaust. The forks had TRAC mechanical anti-dive mechanisms. Since it was only slightly faster than the 750 and since it was taller and carried it's weight higher, it was considered the worst product of the VF exercise for Honda. The (U.S.) color was mostly blue (sides of bike) with a red stripe and white (on top of tank and fairing), black seat with "1000F" stenciled (in white) on it and white wheels.
Specs at a glance: Max. HP: ?hp/10,000 rpm Torque: ? kg/m (63.7 ft/lb) @ 8000 rpm Size: ? mm (L) x ? mm (W) x ? mm (H) Wheelbase: 1500 mm, 59.1 in Dryweight: ? kg (? lb) Curb weight:? kg (? lb) Front tire: 120/80 V16-V250 Rear tire: 140/80 V17-V250 Price (new):'84 - $4,998 (list - USD)
Thanks to Jim Arnott (email@example.com) for providing the following information...
1984 VF1000F has chain driven cams. 17" rear wheel, and the color scheme is WHITE w/ red and blue strips. According to Honda's shop manual: Overall length: 2,165mm (85.2 in) Overall width: 800mm (31.5 in) Overall height: 1,240mm (48.8 in) Wheelbase: 1,505mm (59.3 in) Seat height: 800mm (31.5 in) Ground clearance: 135mm ( 5.3 in) Dry weight: 234kg (516 lb) Curb weight: 259kg (571 lb) Displacement: 998 cc (60.9 ci) Bore/Stroke 77 x 53.6mm Compression ratio: 10.5 : 1 Max hp: 113BHP @ 10,000 rpm Max torque: 8.8 kg-m (63.7 lb-ft)@8,000 rpm
Thanks to Richard Simbirski (firstname.lastname@example.org) for the following drag strip times: 8.156 sec for 1/8 mile 152 km/hr (94MPH) top speed 0.606 sec reaction time
1986 VFR750F Overview: Major upgrade. Alloy beam style frame, 2.5x16" front wheel, 3.5x18 rear wheel, full fairing, Seat extends or wraps around tank slightly, Single rear shock w/ 2 sided Alloy swingarm, 180x crank, lighter pistons, connecting rods and valve train, gear driven cams, 4/2 exhaust, "Goldish" Cast engine covers looked trick. U.S. Colors were white w/red & blue stripes (R/W/B), Europe got all white or white with a large red stripe through the mid section and on the front fender w/gold pinstripes on the edges of the red. This model dropped 49 pounds off the (VF700/750F) weight at 215.9 kg (476 lbs). Honda claimed 105 Hp.
The weakest part of the package were the 37mm forks with wimpy springs. The forks still had TRAC mechanical anti-dive mechanisms. This bike needed a fork brace and progressive springs before it left the showroom. Brakes are now "gold" painted instead of black.
Typically it had about a $1,000 price penalty for the extra 50cc's. A $4k (USD) engine race kit was available from HRC which included a Titanium exhaust system.
Specs at a glance: Max. H.P.: 105hp/11,500 max rpm Torque: ?kg-m/10,000rpm Size: ?mm(L) x 653mm(W) x ?mm(H) Wheelbase: 1480mm Dryweight: 215.9 kg (476 lbs) Front tire: 110/90 V16, tubeless Rear tire: 130/80 V18, tubeless Price (new):'86 - $5,298, '87 - same (list - USD)
1986 VFR700F Overview: This U.S. "Tariff Beater" model was almost identical to VFR750 with the only external difference being no 750 designation in the graphics (on the lower side fairings), just the VFR and Interceptor name. Colors were white w/red & blue stripes (R/W/B). Inside difference was shorter stroke, different cams, and ignition timing. The R/W/B models had the "Factory" goldish engine covers as found on the 750.
Specs at a glance: Honda Service Manual specs for the '86-'87 VFR700F/FII. Max. H.P.: ?hp/?rpm, 11,500 max rpm Torque: ?kg-m/10,000rpm Size: 2120mm L x 730mm W x 1170mm H 2120mm (83.5 in) L x (28.7 in) W x (46.1in) H Wheelbase: 135mm (58.3in) Dryweight: 198kg (436 lbs) Front Tire: 110/90 V16, tubeless Rear Tire: 130/80 V18, tubeless Price (new):'86 - $4,498, '87 - same (list - USD)
1985-86 VF1000R Overview: Patterned after the FWS "Works Bike" that Steve Wise, Mike Baldwin and Freddie Spencer used to shred rear tires with regularity, this was Honda's effort to homologate an endurance racer. Full fairing (in fiberglass not plastic) with a single headlight lens and small vents on either side and two cute round tail lights out back, 16" front wheel & 18" rear wheel were of the NS/NSR style "Comstar" bolt together wheels, not cast (hub an rim where connected via bolted on struts), endurance racer spec. quick release forks, with the obligatory TRAC mechanical anti-dive mechanisms. Single rear shock w/ 2 sided Alloy swingarm, Gear driven cams, 4/2 exhaust. Color was typical Honda HRC colors - White base with lots of red (in fairing and on the front fender and forks) a small blue stripe and black wheels.
According to John Perkins (VFR list master) It does indeed feel like 120 ponies, on the straight-aways anyway. "Plenty of power and torque for that beast" were his words. He noted however, that it DOES feel like 600 lbs of dead weight in a parking lot, though. That's his only criticism.
Specs at a glance: Max. HP: 120BHP @ 10,000 RPM Torque: 8.8 kg/m (63.7 ft/lb) @ 8000 RPM Size: 2180 mm (L) x 730 mm (W) x 1200 mm (H) Wheelbase: 1500 mm, 59.1 in Dryweight: 244 kg (538 lb) Curb weight:275 kg (606 lb) Front tire: 120/80 V16-V250 Rear tire: 140/80 V17-V250 Price (new):'85 - $6,298, '86 - same (list - USD)
VFR's, RC's, RVF's
Date Model Overview:
1987 VFR700F Overview: No changes from the '86 VFR700F Price (new):'87 - $4,498 (list - USD)
1987 VFR700F2 Overview: Mechanically the same as the standard "F" model. The F2 spec received square gauges, an all black engine and less "Ricky Racer " graphics. It sported reworked fork internals and a better rear shock than the '86 VFR750 or the "standard" '87 VFR700. Colors were metallic blue with silver/pewter wheels and stripes or a pearl white w/gold accents. Price (new):'87 - $4,498 (list - USD)
Note: There seems to be some confusion about the F2. Some say the F2 was the blue with silver graphics & wheels, the pearl white was an F1. Personally, I have never heard of an F1 and think both the blue and white models were called F2. No verification either way has been found.
1987 VFR750F Overview: No "official" '87 VFR750F in U.S. market. Those for sale were left over '86's
1987 VFR750R (RC30) Overview: Released in Europe. Used by Fly'n Fred Merkel to win inaugural World Superbike (WSB) Title. Big news is the "Elf Designed" PRO-ARM (single sided) rear swingarm. The bike sported a 3.0x17" front and a 5.5x18" rear wheel (held in place by a single nut), 41mm forks with no apparent anti-dive, completely new bodywork w/solo saddle and dual headlights, 4/2/1 (left side) exhaust, engine changed back to a 360x crank, gear driven cams, Titanium connecting rods and valve components.
The bike was (is) lighter and more compact in every way from the VFR700/750Fs. New brakes were mounted but still "gold" painted. Color (or Colour in U.K. English - hey it wasn't American yet!) was white with light blue, dark blue and red stripes with gold pinstripes separating the bands of color and red # plates) Note: The European models sported the designation VFR750R on the side panel number plates with no mention of RC30.
Specs at a glance: Max. H.P.: *86.3 hp/11,500 rpm, 12,500 max rpm Torque: *41.4 lbs-ft/10,500 rpm Size: 2,045 mm(L) x 700 mm(W) x 1,100 mm(H) Wheelbase: 1,410 mm (55.5 in) Dryweight: 192 kg (423.3 lbs) Front tire: 120/70V17 Rear tire: 170/60V18 Price (new):$14,998 (Approximate - USD) *Rear wheel Horsepower and torque data from Cycle, May 1990. All other data from VFR750R Owner's Maintenance Manual, 1989.
1988-89 VFR750F (RC24) Overview: Changes in '88-89 European models were mostly bodywork. Plastic from an '86-87 (two-part fairing) will not fit on an '88-89 (three-part fairing). The intsrument panel is different and so are the controls on the handlebars. Windshield was changes as well (the '88-89 has an adjustable windshield; two fixed positions - not motorized). The turnsignals are different. Mufflers are polished instead of black. 17" wheels front and rear. No major change in the engine or chassis.
Note: No "official" 1988-'89 VFR750F sold in the U.S. market.
1989 VFR750R (RC30) Overview: Hits American shores, Ye-ha! Similar to our European brothers except we got the RC30 letters inside black # plates. There was a $7k (USD) chassis and a $5k (USD) engine race kit available from HRC. Unfortunately (at least for posing) the engine race kit featured a stainless steel exhaust not titainium as the '86-'87 race kits included.
1. It has 43mm (quick release axcel) forks, not 41mm Note: this applies to all models, Euro and U.S.
2. The U.S. version featured white mirrors while other markets (Canada and Europe) got black mirrors. As with the Euro models, it sported red number plates. The Black number plates were the Japanese models (Suzuka 8-hour replica).
Note: Kaz Yoshima of Ontario MotoTech said that the engine internals for the U. S. models are not the same as the European models, which are very similar to the factory RVF endurance racers. Other sources confirm what Kaz said about the European models getting slightly different engines but it was considered that the European bike was sold with most of the pieces from the optional "race kit" already installed on the bike which brought it closer to RVF specs. There is no conclusive data to back up this assertion.(Tamiya makes a model kit of this one too)
Specs at a glance: Same as European model listed above
1990 VFR750F (RC36) Overview: Advertised as similar to the RC30 yet more "civilized". U.S. Honda's advertisement showed a VFR750F on one page with the caption that read "Inside one of these..." then the next page had an RC30 with the words "One of these trying to get out".
Another major upgrade. New frame (even different from the RC30). New racier bodywork with the turn indicators as part of the bodywork, except U.S. models which got Department of Transportation (D.O.T.) approved dorky rear turn signals attached to the truly ugly, 3 foot long "Euro" rear fender. Seat extends well attached to the truly ugly, 3 foot long "Euro" rear fender. Seat extends well into the tank/bodywork and the riding position was made a bit more prone. Dual headlight bulbs (45/45 watt - Why? don't ask) with different pattern mounting tabs from a D.O.T. H-4 bulb - go figure) in a single lens (fairing made the lens look like a double lens), 4/2/1 (right side) exhaust that pivoted out of the way for rear wheel removal, engine changed back to a 180x crank, "Elf Designed" PRO- ARM (single sided) rear swingarm, 3.5x17" front and 5.5x17" rear wheel (held in place by 4 nuts), 41mm forks are new and much improved over the '86-'87 models. Newest Nissin front brakes are still gold but the rear brake is painted black. Pillion rider grab rails fold into bodywork out of sight (or can be easily removed). Center stand and seat cowl are now options in U.S. market, right side heat bath is not an option, it's here and it's hot! This is virtually the only complaint of the bike, that and most would rather have the RC30 style (left side) exhaust.
All the "Upgrades" have added some weight over the '86-89 models, but the new lady hides her weight well and is actually more comfortable. New cockpit is more high-tech and classier at the same time. Color is red, very red with white wheels.
Specs at a glance: Max. H.P.: 94hp /10,500 rpm, 11,500 max rpm Torque: ?kg-m/10,000rpm Size: 2180mm(L) x 700mm(W) x 1185mm(H) Wheelbase: 1479mm (58.2 in) Dryweight: 216kg (475.2 lbs) Front tire: 120/70-17 Rear tire: 170/60-17 Price (new):$6,998 (List - USD)
1991 VFR750F (RC36) Overview: No changes except for gold rims which are supposed to match the color of the brake calipers but never really did. Price (new):$6,998 (List - USD)
1991 VFR750R (RC30) Overview: No "official" '91 U.S. models but at a $14k price they had plenty of '89s left (most sold for about $12-13k USD, though)
1992 VFR750F (RC36) Overview: No major changes except cosmetics. U.S. Honda went to black with purple/silver stripes and silver wheels (actually the black is a really, really dark green with a black flip-flop translucent coat and blue pearl on top of that). European models get a silver (on the lowers) on blue/silver paint scheme with a black stripe running the length of the bike with VFR designation (same design as the U.S. model but rendered in silver inside the black stripe) and silver wheels. The engine was tweaked (cam timing, intake fiddling, and a larger silencer) to gain approx. 3-5 horses. Standard style - 41mm Cartridge forks make their debut. Price (new):$7,299 (List - USD)
1992 VFR750R (RC30) Overview: No "official" '92 models but rumors of the RC30 replacement (RC45) are tossed about in the motopress. Bike is starting to get "Long in tooth" on racetracks around the world.
1992 NR750 32-valve, oval piston, high-tech V-4 exotic. Carbon fiber reinforced plastic fairings, heads up display, $60,000 list price. Slow without race kit.
1993 VFR750F(RC36) Overview: No major changes save for cosmetics. Honda had some white wheels left over from 1990 and decided to build a white bike around them. It still sports that ugly rear fender. Price (new):$7,399 (List - USD)
1993 RVF750 (RC45) Overview: Note: Not only are there stickers that call this model and RVF but the frame badge designates it as well. See 1994 RVF750 (RC45) for more details.
The "Street" version of the RVF/RC45, shows up (in pre-production form) at the 1993 Suzuka 8 Hour Endurance Race as marshal rides. The bike is based more on Honda's Works endurance (and TT) racer, the '91-93 RVF, than the RC30 it replaces.
The bodywork is new with shape and graphics looking very much like the 1992 RVF (in Suzuka 8-hours "OKI-HONDA" color). The front/sides of the fairing touch the radiators for less wasted airflow. Twin NACA ducts at the top of the fairing route cool air through the top/front of the 4.8 gallon aluminum fuel tank and into a pressurized airbox shaped more like the '93 factory RVF than anything else.
Note: About the same time as the Suzuka 8 hour race and the first appearance of the RC45, RC30's in AMA competition started to sport new upper fairings with the Twin NACA ducts at the top of the fairing routing cool air through the top/front of the fuel tank to "hand made" pressurized air boxes.
Frame is revised to lower the CG, engine and fuel tank, the later to make room for the larger airbox. 41mm Inverted (USD) forks feature adjustable preload, compression & rebound damping. The now obligatory single sided swingarm sports a shock with adjustable compression & rebound damping. Wheels are 3.5x16" front and 6.00x17" rear.
Gear driven cams are now run off the right side of the engine as on the CBR600F2/3 and CBR900RR, unlike the center driven cams of engines on the earlier VFR750F, VFR750R(RC30), pre-1991 RVF.
Fuel injection is the weapon of choice for the intake mixture. This is obviously done with an eye on the future (read homologation) as even the 1993 RVF's used 40mm Keihn flat slide carbs (rendered in Magneseium). 4/2/1 (left side) stainless steel exhaust features an aluminum silencer instead of the Factory RVF's Titanium exhaust with a Carbon Fiber can.
1994 RVF750 (RC45) Overview: The long awaited RC30 replacement, the RC45, unchanged from the preproduction form that people had seen at the 1993 Suzuka 8 hour race, hits the showrooms and lays a big egg in magazine tests. With a $27K (USD) price tag and performance only slightly better than a CBR600F2/3, people are wondering what Honda is thinking. Honda's Propoganda said that the RC45's engine is capable of "Over 150 hp, in HRC race kited form". They fail to mention that it berely makes 100hp out of the box. The U.S. D.O.T./EPA legal "Black box" seems to be the main problem. Snip a wire and gain 8-10 hp is the rule of the day. It will take a lot of time and money to run with the other Big dogs in both AMA and WSB competition. They seem to be getting better in AMA but are still struggling in WSB (though Arron Slight has been doing amazing things on his Castrol sponsored RC45). IMHO: Honda should have just hung lights on the 1992 RVF and called it a day.
Wayne Gardner talked highly of the 1992 bike and said the '93 Factory RVF's and the RC45 went in the wrong direction as far as engine placement in the frame and it's effect on turning/handling. Even though Honda claims the engine sits 10mm further forward in the frame compared to the RC30, both Factory team racers Arron Slight and Doug Polen, talked about chasing the front end as it pushes and has lack of feedback in the turns. In the August 1995 Issue of Sport Rider Magazine Lance Holst mentions more than a couple of times the unnerving lack of front-end feedback both on Arron Slight's Factory RVF and similar characteristics the RC45 Street bike.
Note: The markings on the bike are RVF not VFR. I asked a Castrol Honda/HRC guy on Arron Slights team what's up with this. He said that the RC45 (street bike) & current HRC/RVF ("Factory" race bike) are the same machine to comply with FIM- WSB & AMA Superbike rules. Like in AMA motocross, there are no true "Works Bikes" anymore, you have to have production based frames and engines. The RC45 was designed by HRC off the RVF lineage instead of the VFR family.
Specs at a glance: Max. H.P.: 97hp /10,500 rpm (w/U.S. EPA ECU) 101hp /10,500 rpm (w/ "Updated" Euro/ but still restricted, ECU) 118hp /10,500 rpm (w/Euro/unrestricted ECU) 148hp /12,500 rpm (in HRC race kit form) Torque: ?kg-m/10,000rpm Size: ?mm(L) x ?mm(W) x ?mm(H) Wheelbase: 1407mm (55.4 in) Dryweight: 189.01kg (416.7 lbs) Front tire: 130/70-16 Rear tire: 190/50-17 Price (new):$27,000 (List - USD)
1994 VFR750F Overview: Honda claims to have made some "300" changes to our beloved VFR. The new bodywork is "Styled" after the NR750 (Honda's Oval Piston Wonder bike) U.S. D.O.T. has "Seen the light" and mounted the rear turn signals are where God (or at least Honda) intended them to be (in the bodywork). Red is BACK on U.S. Models, although this time it has a pearl finish in the clear coat ('90-91 VFR's were solid red). Europe gets Red, Black or Turquoise. Personally, I wish that Honda would have went further with the NR style and given the VFR simular tank/ tail pieces with the exhaust under the seat (ala NR and Ducati 916).
Everything on the bike was looked at to reduce weight, even the rear wheel went down to a 5.0x17" (from the previous 5.5 wide hoop). Depending on who you talk to, the bike dropped 16 to 30 lbs. According to the Honda propoganda sheet, the front wheel is 600 grams and the rear 800 grams lighter. The new (lighter) frame holds revised cartridge forks (600 grams lighter yet stronger because of more overlap) and a new shock. The "Elf Designed" PRO-ARM (single sided) rear swingarm is both stronger and 200 grams lighter. The new O-ring chain is even lighter by 100 grams! Other items specifically mentioned are the foot pegs/ brackets, handelbars, side & center stands, faring, passenger grab rails and exhaust system. It does feel lighter than the '90-93 models from the cockpit which looks different as well with a white faced tachometer. Less heat hits the rider's right leg which is another good point. The seat does not wrap around the tank anymore. The Center stand is now standard in U.S. and Europe. The engine is essentially the same but sports smaller 34mm carbs and a new design 4/2/1 exhaust mostly for better throttle response (Who knew it needed it?)
Note: Good news for U.S. '90-93 VFR owners - buy the amber lenses from the '94- 95 VFR, they fit this model too. It's easy to make the turn signal lights work, then drop kick the signals mounted on the fender, trim said fender and enjoy a sleeker look.
Specs at a glance: Max. H.P.: 97.5hp /9750 rpm, 11,500 max rpm Torque: ?kg-m/10,000rpm Size: 2,125mm(L) x 720mm(W) x 1,185mm(H) (83.7 x 28.3 x 46.7 in) Wheelbase: 1,470mm, 57.9 in Dryweight: 211 kg (465 lbs) (49 state model) 212 kg (467 lbs) (California model) 210 kg (463 lbs) (Euro model) Curb Weight:237 kg (523 lbs) (49 state model) 238 kg (525 lbs) (California model) 236 kg (520 lbs) (Euro model) Front tire: 120/70-17 Rear tire: 170/60-17 Price (new):$8,198 - $8,399 (List - USD) depending on who you talk to
1995 VFR750F Overview: Unchanged except for "normal" price increase. Europe gets white and silver in addition to existing colors. Why can't we get the sexy Turquoise? Price (new): $8,699 (List - USD)
1995 VFR750R (RC45) Overview: Unchanged. They even held the price for us! Nice guys.
1996 VFR750F Will be available in December of 1995 for $8999, and only in red (US). Canada gets Silver.
1998 VFR850?? Drawing seen in recent Motorcyclist. See the Pictures page for a picture of this.
This document was compiled by David Matthew (email@example.com) with help from members of the VFR Mailing List. HTML by firstname.lastname@example.org. Note, I plan to include links to a photo of each bike from this document.