1990 Honda VFR750R RC30
With an experienced team and a lot of data.
After grappling with the weight problems of the V-4 VF1000R for two years, Honda went back to the drawing board and came up with the alloy-frame, liquid-cooled DOHC VFR750F Interceptor, which weighed 436 lbs dry, (against 535 lbs for the 1000R). The Honda VFR750 produced almost the same performance, with Cycle recording a 10.9-second quarter mile at 113.95 mph and a top speed of 148 mph. The VFR also got a six-speed gearbox.
Handsomely painted in dark blue and white, the Honda VFR750F would be named the best all-round American sport bike for the next 10 years. The first year also offered a short-lived VFR700F model to deal with tariffs that expired in 1987. The VFR’s 16-valve engine was closely based on the original Interceptor, but utilized gear-drive to double overhead cams and a 180-degree crankshaft with pistons moving in opposite directions. In the VF’s 360-degree crank, they moved in the same direction.
The 748 cc motor used four Keihin carburetors and had the same dimensions as the earlier VF, but lighter valves, pistons and connecting rods helped increase power to 105 bhp at 11,500 rpm. First generation valve adjustment was by screw and locknut, but shims were fitted from 1990 and reports of 50,000 miles between adjustment are common.
Like the Suzuki GSX-R 750, the main frame was aluminum, as was the rear swing arm, with a steel rear sub-frame for the seat. The front forks were air-adjustable and the rear mono-shock could be preloaded. The bars were fairly high and the riding position was relatively relaxed for a sport bike, but the VFR could be hustled when it was called for. The first generation VFR750Fs had 38 mm Showa forks, which were up-rated to 41 mm in 1988 and the 16-inch front wheel grew 17 inches and improved handling.
In 1990, the bike gained a single-sided rear swing arm in the ELF pattern which had been introduced on the 1988 Honda Hawk. This enabled the wheel to be changed without removing the chain. Preload adjustment was fitted to the front forks and the rear mono-shock was adjustable.
Horsepower was increased in 1992, and dark blue bikes came with gray wheels instead of the gold in 1991. For 1993, Pearl White was offered with matching wheels, and the 1994-97 VFRs were finished in red with black wheels and a new air intake on the side. The model was replaced by the VFR800F in 1998, with all new bodywork.