Honda  VF1000R

Honda VF1000R


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.

There were some differences between the European and American market models, and they are mentioned on the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame's VF1000R page.

VF1000R at RWHS  

A lovely VF1000R for sale at RWHS Classic Bikes


VF1000-powered sidecar  

VF-powered F1 sidecar owned & raced by Aussie John Swensen, built by Alistair Tassie.


VF1000F (1984)   VF1000R (1985-86)
Bore & Stroke
Compression ratio
Carburettors
Power (claimed)
Torque (claimed)

Front tyre
Rear tyre
Wheelbase  
Dry weight
77.0 x 53.6mm
10.5:1
4 x 34mm CV type
113bhp @ 10,000rpm
63.7 lb-ft @ 8,000rpm

120/80 V16
140/80 V17
1505mm
234kg
  Bore & Stroke
Compression ratio
Carburettors
Power (claimed)
Torque (claimed)

Front tyre
Rear tyre
Wheelbase  
Dry weight
77.0 x 53.6mm
10.5:1
4 x 34mm CV type
120bhp @ 10,000rpm
63.7 lb-ft @ 8,000rpm

120/80 V16
140/80 V17
1500mm
244kg


Relevant links
Daugherty Motorsports page features tech specs and Honda manual pages