The RC30 VFR

1990-1993 VFR750F-L/M/N/P 152mph 97.8bhp £8675-£7999

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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

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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.”

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