Honda VFR800 buy­ing guide

The orig­i­nal all-rounder, back to its best at last

RiDE (UK) - - Contents - with Kev Ray­mond

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.