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The Honda VFR 750 has, in its later forms, been rated as the best all rounder of the two wheel world. How does a used example stack up against the seductive charms of newer flashier models.?
I've had mine for 18 months now , it being a late model 750, made just before the fuel injected 800 was produced. It's the bike I got back into biking for, a combination of restrained styling and swiss watch like engineering. The heart of the bike, the wonderful v four engine, idles a bit lumpily unlike in-line fours but produces a wave of torque from as little as 2500 revs. You can ride it by just walloping up from 3 to 8 thousand in any gear and the feeling is addictive. Above 8 k the engine note drops, the exhaust starts to wail and you can hear the carbs sucking air in through the intakes mounted under the front indicators. In a world of clone like fours from the other manufacturers (and Honda) the v four really stands out.
As to looks, I'm getting too old for flash race replica graphics, so the restrained mono colours of the 750 appeal. The late ones have a split headlight (which like that on the Blackbird, is superb) and seriously good looking NACA ducts and Testarossa like strakes in the fairing. This combined with the absence of graphics (other than the "VFR" and gold Honda badge) makes it a particularly sporty, sleek and classy looking machine. The single sided rear swing arm and black alloys leave the look clean.
The bike is physically quite big, and might be a problem in town for the rider of shorter height. At just under 6' I find it very comfortable and the pedals in an ideal relationship to the seat. Also as I can't bend my ankle too far (transit van-ankle-BMW bike sandwich---don't ask) the fact that the brake is straight in front of the footpeg is a boon. My 5'2 wife finds the pillion seat comfortable, but preferred the view from the higher saddle of the Beemer. The grab rails are ideally placed.
I'm no racer, and so I find that the bike's limits exceed mine by far. On Battlax BT 54 tyres, the bike can take a firm push of counter steer to drop it into a corner, but it is stable when leaned over. A warning though, it is very susceptible to rear suspension height, so if you dont raise the preload when carrying a passenger you can find it wants to go straight rather than turn in.
In passing, I don't find any real dip in performance with my wee wife on board, but braking is a bit heavier.
The gearbox can be a bit clunky, but is always positive and I've only had one false neutral in 12000 miles so it can't be bad.
The clutch is hydraulic and can get a tad heavy in town but you can leave the bike in second when filtering and accelerate from walking pace to motorway speed without changing gear!, so it's not too much of a problem
The brakes are powerful but with standard pads are a bit dead feeling. I might try softer pads.
The dash is clear, a black speedo, white tacho, black temp and fuel gauge with warning light, the usual idiot lights and a clock.
As with all Honda's the finish of bodywork and mechanics is superb so no worries there.
Running costs, not as high as more sporty bikes-- 35ish mpg in commuting, no oil used (of course). Tyres last with my type of riding about 6000 miles back and about the same front and cost about £200 for a decent pair.
Servicing a bit complicated if valve clearances involved, a couple of hundred for a big service, about half for routine. I've needed no other parts, not even a fuse.
All in all I love it and plan to hold on to this one for as long as I can!
toying with the idea of a VFR or a CBR600 from this i think i'll go for the VFR. The insurance was slightly less on the VFR also.
Nina85 09.04.2003 23:47
Excellent review for an excellent bike. I've seen these on the road and they look and sound lovely! Nice to see a decent, honest, and helpful review about a bike. Well done, Nina x
KneeDown 24.01.2003 12:03
Great op for a great bike. I have a 10 year old FL which followed my written off FJ (interface with storm drain at 60 plus mph) which I love. The guys I ride with have sporty bikes and I'd like to change mine but to what ? I'm scared the engine won't be half as good.
The new VFR is crap - chain driven cams - come ooooooon - that isn't a VFR !
Honda's release of their limited production, road-going, 'works racer' VFR750R made ... more
headlines in the motorcycle scene in 1987. The VFR750R is a street-legal counterpart of the formidable RVF750 endurance racer which displayed remarkable potential in the world endurance championships. This bike follows the concept seen in the RVF750, including the use of space-age technology and components such as titanium, carbon-fiber, kevlar, and magnesium. It betters the earlier bikes by a wide margin. The VFR750R also uses a twin-spar aluminum box frame, Pro-Arm (rear swing arm), and a center-lock hub rear wheel. These superlative features and the RVF's racing reputation have made it a collector's item even before the first unit was off the production line. The 748cc, liquid cooled, V4 cylinder 16 valve engine has been kept compact to keep the VFR's overall dimensions very close to the current 500cc Grand Prix racers, for a minimum frontal area. Further, this motorcycle departs from the typical Japanese mass-production practice by using a great deal of human labor on each unit, such as the FRP cowling and windscreen being laid up by hand. The Honda VFR750R is one potent package and has been designed to be very competitive on racing tracks in stock form, yet remain street legal. It will remain a desirable and elusive high performance bike for years to come. Suggested Tamiya Paint ColorsX-1 - BlackX-11 - Chrome SilverX-12 - Gold LeafX-18 - Semi Gloss BlackX-2 - WhiteX-26 - Clear OrangeX-27 - Clear RedX-3 - Royal BlueX-4 - BlueX-6 - OrangeX-7 - RedX-9 - Brown
Video available on BuyBits site & You Tube. Suitable for the Honda VFR750 all years. Fits ... more
Fork Stems 17.5mm - 20.5mm / 0.68" - 0.81". This strong, durable hard shell protective case offers protection from rain and damp. Bespoke silicone liner which protect from vibration and shocks. Designed to IPX4 standard, this all weather case will keep your iPhone 4/4S secure and dry in most riding conditions and is robust enough to withstand daily use. The Tough Case: Clear responsive TOUCH SENSITIVE front lens. Hinged with two secure side clamps which click reassuringly in place. Internal moulded silicon liner. Designed to contour the iPhone 4 /4s only. Included is a detachable soft web lanyard with safety clasp. Power cable access for your original charger or for our Hardwire 'Direct to Battery' or DIN charging cable. Weather caps & camera access Detachable lanyard. VIEW HORIZONTALLY or VERTICALLY : The TOUGH CASE can be turned 360 degrees ideal for satnav & map applications. The Ultimate Addons CENTRAL FORK STEM MOUNT. 1" Ball fixing to connect mount to case. Light weight - made from Aluminium. Attaches easily to the steering head tube of fork stems. First check that the stem cover can be removed leaving a central hole for the mount to fix in. Simply drop the Fork Stem Motorcycle attachment into the hole of the stem and tighten. The split shaft will expand to fit the inside wall of the fork stem Use an Allen Key to tighten to create a tight fit. IMPORTANT - Measure your hole: This option is designed to fit stems that measure from 17.5mm - 20.5mm / 0.68" - 0.81". IPX4 standard for general use - Do Not submerge, used underwater or run under a tap.