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As Honda proudly boasted at the time in their brochure, this was ‘the most powerful, most aerodynamic and most technologically advanced sports bike ever offered to the riding public.’ Honda were going hard into the Sports Touring category, which was like touring, but with panniers just about spacious enough for a mouse and their toothbrush. Oh, and it was touring performed at lightning speed. A liquid-cooled, four-stroke engine, the 230kg monster lay claim to CycleWorld’s bike of the year six times. Additionally, it broke five world records in 24 hrs thanks to some seriously dedicated Motorcyclist Magazine staff, most notably clocking an average speed of 230kph, which ridiculed Suzuki’s previous record by 25kph. Back in its day, this was some serious machine.
Beautifully designed with two lithe new sweeping exhausts, the only thing that remained from its VF predecessor was the classic 90-degree V4 engine: it had new valve timing along with its lighter pistons, rings, con-rods, cranks and gear driven cams; it had a bigger airbox and repositioned carbs; lighter aluminium frame and running gear; in all shedding about fifty pounds of fat. The basic design was synthesised into the World Superbike Championship winning RC30 and RC45, which may have been hard to believe when the 748cc engine first arrived onto the US shores – Honda had been trialling for years Magna’s and Sabre’s that sported the same engine but with a camshaft made of wet noodles, with disappointing results. Honda needed to reassert their engineering.
For the attempt at the 24hr record, they were doing everything possible to beat the dominant GSX, as well as throw some shade on their other Japanese rivals in an aggressive marketplace. It was time to blow their competitors to smithereens, and what better way to achieve that than blowing up your engine only a few hours into the run? Stand back, Suzuki! No, really, a bit further, it’s not safe. Honda, fortunately, had a back-up machine, and over the next day fifty riders set incredible times. The ride is expertly relayed here by journalist Mitch Boehm, the highlights of which include losing the main headlight at 2am when purring at 257kph, and at another time hitting a badger (albeit on the US tariff beating 700 version, which also broke the 24hr record).
So, not only was it a quick and tough motorcycle, clocking an impressive 104 HP and with its race-winning Pro-Link suspension and air-adjustable front-forks with the famous Honda anti-dive system (TRAC), it was wind tested with a badger. That’s some dedication! Why that never made the brochure – Honda VFR Interceptor 750 and 700 - badgerproof! – is anyone’s guess.
https://www.motorcyclespecs.co.za/model/Honda/honda_vfr750f_91.html (See bottom of specs)