PROJECT HUNTER

Practical Sportsbikes (UK) - - Contents - Big G

A Yamaha DT400 is wink­ing at us and a VFR750F can’t find a home

You have to won­der what makes one bike worth, say, £5000, yet another bike of sim­i­lar age, con­di­tion and per­for­mance un­able to even get a sniff at a few hun­dred quid.

Take the RD500 on the op­po­site page; a mid-’80s sports­bike, ca­pa­ble of rais­ing a smile and 140mph. It doesn’t even come with a mo­tor, yet some­one is pre­pared to shell out over five large on it. By the time it’s ti­died up and got a fresh en­gine be­tween its frame rails, I doubt the buyer will have much change from 10 grand, maybe more.

Now look at the VFR750F on the same page. It’s another mid-’80s, 140mph sports­bike that’ll smack a big grin across your chops when back to its best, yet all po­ten­tial own­ers have turned up their noses, even at 400 quid.

“It doesn’t even come with a mo­tor, yet some­one is pre­pared to shell out five large on it. By the time it’s ti­died up the buyer won’t have change from 10 grand”

What makes it stranger still is the fact that – and it pains me to say this about a Honda – the VFR is a bril­liant bike. Why isn’t it press­ing any­one’s but­tons?

It’s worth think­ing about if you’re in the mar­ket for a project. In many ways, a VFR is the per­fect project: cheap, mas­sively over-en­gi­neered, so most parts should still be in good or at least sal­vagable con­di­tion, and the end re­sult will be a mile­stone bike that’s as good to ride as an ’80s sports­bike can get. Will the RD owner have five times more fun? I think you know the an­swer.

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