Resto tips: Honda VF1000R

Re­furb­ing Honda’s hand­made V4 thou

Practical Sportsbikes (UK) - - Contents - WORDS HANS SEEBERG

IF YOU WERE a fan of Hon­dav4s in the ’80s, you were cer­tainly well catered for. Half­way through the decade half a dozen­vfs had made it to mar­ket and the biggest and flash­est of the lot was the im­pres­sivevf1000r.

Its abil­ity to turn heads was hardly a sur­prise when you saw the spec, be­cause this hand-built range-top­per was a se­ri­ous piece of pro­duc­tion rac­ing kit that had re­ceived more than a smat­ter­ing of good­ies from Honda’s cup­board of spe­cial parts.

Ev­ery­thing from the car­bon fi­bre re­in­forced fair­ing to the Gp-in­spired six-spoke Com­star wheels screamed qual­ity, while those af­ter top-notch me­chan­i­cal com­po­nen­try were well looked af­ter: sus­pen­sion was 41mm Showa forks with four-wayad­justable TRAC anti-dive con­trol and an ad­justable Pro-link rear shock. Brak­ing was taken care of by twin 285mm float­ing front discs and dual pis­ton calipers.

En­gine-wise the com­pact, liq­uid-cooled, 90-de­greev4 was the first Honda mo­tor to be lav­ished with gear-driven cams. Its per­for­mance was punchy and pow­er­ful thanks to more ac­cu­rate valve timing at high rpm.and it didn’t just come in plain old red, white and blue. This was Fight­ing Red, Shasta White and Candyaleu­tian Blue.

All-round re­fine­ment and high speed sta­bil­ity were guar­an­teed, yet even with a claimed 122bhp and a 149mph top speed it wasn’t all great news.at 238kg thevf packed a full 23kg more than the more nim­ble Kawasaki 900R and de­spite its pur­pose of em­u­lat­ing the CB1100R’S rac­ing ex­ploits, track sight­ings of thevf were rare.a hefty price tag that aligned it with ex­ot­ica like Bi­mota meant that it was no sur­prise when Honda re­gret­tably pulled the plug in ’88.

These days this rare Honda is a great, un­der-the-radar resto choice that can pro­duce im­pres­sive re­sults. Just ask these chaps...

Junk the stan­dard shock and do this

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