The NR750 VFR
1994 VFR750F-R/S/T/V 155mph 92.6bhp £7455-£8675
Top speed Power
By 1994 Honda’s VFR750 had sold 100,000 units worldwide, but in the UK in the age of the Fireblade, was still the gentleman’s bike. Its final years as a 750 did little to change perceptions; the VFR’S engine was mostly the same, with carb and inlet mods to improve midrange and throttle response – which was perfect anyway. Even so, 96bhp was the same as a CBR600, and explaining how deceptively rapid the VFR was through its midrange didn’t cut it in a market obsessed with horsepower.
The VFR’S chassis lost weight and sharpened steering geometry with 300 modifications. The VFR’S styling was now – through a squint – reminiscent of the techno flagship NR750. Bodywork plastics were substantial, with rolled edges and a fit and finish that had a hand-built air.
Today, this is the VFR you’re most likely to see cluttering up classifieds;
there are no end for sale (and prices are rising fast). From winter hack to the odd low-mileage minter, Honda’s fantastic paint can draw the eye from the kind of owner-abuse that would reduce bikes of a similar vintage to scrap. This VFR – a 1996 F-T – also belongs to Richard Palmer and cosmetically it’s seen better days. But to ride – oh my, it’s so sorted. From the moment the clutch goes out it comes alive; taut and aggressive. The engine rasps and snarls through its airbox, the suspension is fresh and well-damped; even the brakes work. It’s a bit like riding a lighter, snappier RC45. What’s Richard done to make it feel so good? He smiles: “Not much, to be honest,” he says. “It’s got a Shock Factory rear shock, stock forks (but well set-up), no airbox snorkel, bigger main jets, a Quill end can and Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa tyres. And that’s it.”