Model His­tory

Classic Motorcycle Mechanics - - CLASSIC EVENTS -

1982 Honda VF750S This was the first bike to fea­ture the all new V4 750. It had cruiser styling and shaft drive. The en­gine ran anti-clock­wise.

1983 VF750F The same en­gine, but run­ning for­wards not back­wards and this time in a de­cent, sport­ing chas­sis with looks to match. Early mod­els had top end prob­lems. They were sorted by 1984 but the stigma stuck and the model was dis­con­tin­ued in 1985.

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1983 Honda VF400F Amaz­ing lit­tle bike: it fea­tured TRAC, air as­sisted sus­pen­sion front and rear, and in­board ven­ti­lated discs (an an­swer to a prob­lem that prob­a­bly didn’t ex­ist). Frame tubes were round rather than square.

1984 Honda VF500F Pocket size ver­sion re­leased in 1984. Tester Jim Lind­say wrecked the bot­tom end of one on a Honda launch in South Africa while at­tempt­ing to keep up with rapid UK jour­nal­ist Roland Brown. Doh!

1984 Honda VF1000 The big­gest vari­ant of the orig­i­nal V4 also had a short pro­duc­tion life, last­ing just four years, end­ing in 1987. At the TT in 1985 Ge­off John­son (sadly now de­ceased), against all odds, took vic­tory in the 751-1500cc Pro­duc­tion race. Rid­ing a VF1000F2 Bol d’or he won by 3.8 se­conds from Kawasaki GPZ900R mounted Bill Simp­son.

1984 Honda VF1000R Cur­rently the only early V4 Honda with col­lectable sta­tus. It was a beauty to be­hold. It fea­tured gear-driven cams in a heav­ily re­vised en­gine and was aimed at pro­duc­tion rac­ing. How­ever, it was way too heavy to be com­pet­i­tive and also cost an eye-wa­ter­ing £5489 new (which is £17,252 in to­day’s money). It did not catch on at the time but prices are head­ing up – def­i­nitely a fu­ture clas­sic.

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