Honda VFR800 buying guide
The original all-rounder, back to its best at last
IN THE LATE 80s and 90s the VFR750, and later the VFR800I, was a byword for elegance, reliability and build quality. There was a rumour that Honda deliberately over-engineered the original VFR to expunge the shame of the previous VF750’S chocolate camshafts, then sold it at a loss to guarantee success. It was easy to believe — the VFR was well built and capable, a reputation the 800 inherited.
Then it went a bit pear-shaped with the VTEC version of the 2000s. Not a bad bike but its styling divided opinion, the underseat exhausts made it less practical for touring and the VTEC variable-valve system kicked in with a horrible lurch at around 7000rpm, except when it sometimes didn’t kick in at all. The result was a peaky power delivery that just didn’t feel like a VFR and many fans walked away in disgust.
Then in 2014, along came this — the current incarnation of VFR. The frame and engine are pretty much carried over from the predecessor but with a couple of crucial differences. The engine was breathed on to give more midrange without sacrificing peak power and the VTEC system was refined so you hardly notice the step any more. New clothes, suspension, brakes and a few electronic tricks, and the VFR was back.
Five years and one very minor emissions-related revision later, it’s time to take a look at the new VFR’S attractions on the used market.