The slippery VFR
1988-1989 VFR750F-J/K 148mph 87.5bhp £3899
Top speed Power
In 1986 Honda had six V4-engined bikes on sale in the UK. By 1988 only the VFR750 remained. But a growing reputation as a complete, high-quality motorcycle – enhanced by glowing press reports – was boosted by the introduction of the RC30, a bike impossible to mention without adding ‘legendary’. As a race bike with lights, the RC30 was loosely based on the VFR, but shared little more than its engine configuration, capacity and the badge on the tank. But some of the glamour rubbed off on the standard bike.
The VFR750 evolved, averaging out 16in and 18in wheels for 17in with a wider rear rim, bigger brake discs and uprated suspension. The engine got bigger valves and more power, and the
fairing slimmed into an aerodynamic jellymould with faired-in indicators, panels and a sleeker shape. Dave Bailess’ 1989 VFR750 F-K feels sprightly and lively, the way an early VFR should. The motor purrs up and down the revs with an oiled precision, but the K’s running gear could use an overhaul. “The bike was a £500 basket case when I got it three years ago,” says Dave. “It was my very first road bike; I wanted one because there’s just something about them. It was mechanically sound – in fact it’s never missed a beat – but cosmetically I’ve done a lot of work. “I love it. I’ve been offered over three grand for it, but I’d never take it. It’s a keeper.”