Honda  VFR750FG  (1986)

1986 model VFR750

Image from the original brochure

The VFR was developed to to rebuild Honda's shattered reputation for reliability. The problems which dogged the VF models in 1984 and '85 could have sunk some companies. However, the bike was completely redesigned for 1986, and much effort was put into making the VFR an all-rounder rather than a race replica. They used gear-driven camshafts, as introduced on the VF1000R, and acknowledged that the influence of the endurance racing RVF was present, but that the race machine was only a stepping stone to making a good, useable sports road machine. The emphasis was on useability and all-round fun. The task was huge. Fortunately, it was more than up to the job. They have achieved their aim of producing a bike which combines the qualities of a fun yet practical machine. Motorcycling Weekly commented at the launch in Jerez:
Under normal riding conditions the VFR has impeccable manners and is a very forgiving machine. The consensus was that the new VFR750F was a well-rounded all-purpose machine. Whether you want a sports tourer or a street racer it will deliver as much as you want to put into it.
It took on and beat the Suzuki GSX-R and Yamaha FZ, and in the process Honda created the best all-round motorcycle in the world. Ron Haslam raced a totally standard VFR to third place in the Transatlantic Trophy production race at Donington behind Fred Merkel and Kevin Schwantz on factory superbikes. Honda sold all its VFRs shortly afterwards. Also, Kork Ballington and Rob Phillis finished eighth in the 1986 Suzuka 8-hour on a VFR, while Wayne Gardner and Dominique Sarron won on an RVF750.

The new price in 1986 was 3499. The pivotal role the VFR played in the public perception of Honda's V4s is discussed, along with many other fascinating facts, in Julian Ryder's book on this range. Read a brief review. The VFR700 was sold in the USA market after introduction of the ITC tariff on bikes of 750cc and above. The capacity was reduced by shortening the stroke 45.4mm. The 750cc model was available in limited numbers for an additional $800.

Bore & Stroke
Compression ratio
Power (claimed)
Torque (claimed)
Front tyre
Rear tyre
Seat height
Dry weight
Fuel Tank
70.0 x 48.6mm
4 x 34mm CV type
105PS @ 10,500rpm
56.4 lb-ft @ 8,500rpm
110/90 V16
130/80 V18
20 litres

Related links covers 1986-87 VFR700
Paul Peczon's VFR model history
Dez Chand has raced an ex-Fred Merkel VFR750 on the Isle of Man. Read his story.