The cur­rent VFR

2014-2016 VFR800F 155mph 104bhp (claimed) £10,499-£10,699

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Top speed Power

For 12 years the VFR800 had re­mained largely un­changed bar de­tail mod­i­fi­ca­tions to re­duce the sever­ity of the VTEC switch, plus tin­ker­ing with the linked brake ABS sys­tem, sus­pen­sion and mi­nor cos­metic de­tails. Then, in 2010, Honda re­leased the VFR1200 and an odd Vfr800-based all-rounder called the Cross­run­ner. So it was as­sumed the writ­ing was on the wall for the ex­ist­ing VFR800.

Not so. In 2014 Honda re­leased two

Price new

‘new’ VFR800S – both ba­si­cally the same frame and en­gine as the VFR800 VTEC (both up­dated, plus trac­tion con­trol); the new 800F had a sportier rid­ing po­si­tion than pre­vi­ously, and the VFR800X (a re­named Cross­run­ner) added long travel sus­pen­sion and ad­ven­ture styling.

And it turns out the VFR800F is, in­deed, sportier than the VTEC. The rid­ing po­si­tion is more ag­gres­sive, with rider weight placed more over the front end. The new fork (still res­o­lutely not in­verted), re­vised rear shock, ra­dial calipers, less over­all weight and the op­tion for a quick­shifter all give the VFR800F a com­pet­i­tive cut­ting edge it hasn’t had since the orig­i­nal VFR750F-G went head-to-head with the GSX-R750 and FZ750 some 30 years ago. And the story is now much the same as it was back then – the Honda can’t match cur­rent pure sports mid­dleweights for ab­so­lute lap times; but, on the road, they’d strug­gle to live with the VFR’S com­bi­na­tion of han­dling, midrange, prac­ti­cal all-day rid­ing abil­ity and build qual­ity. It might not have the ex­otic, gear-driven cam, jewel-like feel of the early VFR750S, but it’s still a V-force to be reck­oned with.

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