The RC30 VFR
1990-1993 VFR750F-L/M/N/P 152mph 97.8bhp £8675-£7999
Top speed Power
The 1990 VFR750 got an Rc30-style makeover. Massive extruded aluminium beam spars aped the RC30’S frame and the cast subframe looked like it could suspend a bridge. A single-sided swingarm completed the RC30 look. Suspension got uprated with cartridge forks and more adjustment. Steering geometry was sharper and the VFR’S styling sleeker and more luxurious – paint quality reached a new high.
Internally, bucket and shim valvetrain replaced finger rockers, which made room for a steeper valve angle and larger valves to shift more gas. Power was up to 90bhp, and midrange boosted for a top speed of 150mph. But still, the VFR was in a unique position, neither sportsbike nor tourer yet capable of both. And while it was left behind by faster 750cc machines, the Honda kept its aristocratic air of being a bit different and special. It was the connoisseur’s choice.
Malcolm Sandison’s VFR750F-P from 1993 is special because it looks and feels brand spanking new. It’s a treat to ride a 26-year-old bike that
could’ve rolled from a crate yesterday. I drop into the low seat and feel the suspension take my weight, then reach forward, click the immaculate switchgear, flick the greased brake and clutch levers, tickle the starter and get that gentle, unmistakable, off-beat grumble of a pair of 374cc 90° V-twins alongside each other. Other bikes make more noise, or are more aggressive, or trumpet their presence with mechanical fanfare. But Malcolm’s VFR750 deports itself with a dignified grace, gliding along the road in serene magnificence. It’s a remarkable machine, from a time when Honda were building bikes to a quality unseen before or since.
“I’ve owned this bike since 2000,” says Malcolm. “It’s not the amount of power, it’s the feel. It’s smooth and calm, but it’s sporty too – it does everything I want.” The VFR was seven years old when Malcolm bought it, but “it was looked after and only done 16,000 miles. I’ve been careful with it, but the only thing I’d change are the brakes; they’re a weak point – but I don’t want to modify it.”