The VF1000R is the big behemoth that many consider the "first VFR". It was Honda's showcase for new its technology, and was created to homologate their endurance racers, as ridden by Freddie Spencer and Mike Baldwin. It featured the gear-driven cams that would become a trademark of the V4 Hondas.
The more pedestrian VF1000F was based on the VF750, and was similarly plagued by premature cam wear. The R model was the first to incorporate the modifications which saved the V4 model line from extinction - most notably the gear-driven camshafts. In the UK it cost £5489 in 1984, £2000 more than the VF1000F. It featured quick release wheels, floating front discs and a carbon fibre fairing - all very trick. But sales success was elusive, due to both the high price and the phenomenal success of Kawasaki's GPz900R.
The VF1000F didn't stand much chance either. The GPz and Yamaha's FJ1200 were better bikes. As Julian Ryder comments in the book "Honda's V-Force", "the VF1000F was a good motorcycle in a market sector crammed to bursting with great motorcycles". Suprisingly, Geoff Johnson won the 1985 Production TT on a VF1000F Bol D'Or - the touring oriented version with an 18" front wheel and less radical geometry. Quite what that bike was like to hustle around the bumpy, twisty TT course at speed we can only guess.