The History of Honda’s V-FouR VFR, Interceptor, and sisters RC30 and RC45

20 Apr 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on The History of Honda’s V-FouR VFR, Interceptor, and sisters RC30 and RC45

Honda Interceptor

The History of Honda’s V-FouR VFR

By Paul Peczon

The history of the VFR, as explained in a concise article prepared under great stress in less than an afternoon on deadline in the CA Bike days with naught but a stack of Motorcycle Reports and a phone. Thanks, Pat (you probably don’t even remember).

Harken ye back to 1983, when ye olde AMA changed it’s displacement limits for fours to 750 ccs, and 1000 ccs for twins. There was much rending of hair and gnashing of teeth and the Japanese fabricators brought forth new bikes. There was the GPz750 and the G750E and there was the Interceptor, which was initially introduced just to homolgate the bike for racing. Hark! said the motorcyclasti, and Ho! said the raceri, who engaged in battle most ferocious.

In those dark and mysterious days there was much racing and the Interceptor was the winner.

The Interceptor was a radical departure from then current technology, borne from early design exercises which also created the infamous NS bikes. Honda firmly believed in the 90 degree v-four, with its unique power delivery and narrow frontal area. The streets had already seen the V45 Magna, and the track had been dominated by the legendary FWS1000 the year before.

The Interceptor hit the streets as a unique repli-racer.

It was the first bike to have a 16 inch front rim, all the rage in racing at the time. Stout 39mm fork tubes rose to a new steel frame which was painted the color of aluminum. The motor was based on the V45 Magna’s but the direction of rotation was reversed so that the engine spun in the same direction as the wheels.

The gearbox was updated, chain drive fitted, and horsepower was up to 86hp. Short bars, a boldly styled nose fairing mounted on the frame, and a chin dam gave it the extreme looks of a real sportbike. It also had the large fuel petcock mounted into the tank, a feature that owners came to love.

It’s short 58.6 inch wheelbase, trick front tire, and wide 120/130 series tires made it he best handling 750 of the time. There was that wide powerband that ended up giving it the best quarter mile times, top speed, and lap times of the class. And it was the street bike of the time.

The Interceptor kicked major butt on the racetracks that year. It took the AMA championship, and its sister, the RVF took the World Endurance Crown and the Suzuka 8-hour Endurance race. Privateer clubracers found that it was prone to overheating without antifreeze, and the street riders sometimes had problems with the hardfacings on the cams and rocker arms, which was warranteed.

But there was universal consensus that the Interceptor was the bike of the year in 1984.

Nothing changed for 1984, that is, until the ITC tariff on bikes 750 ccs and over (known in some circles as the Save Harley tax) produced the VF700F2 Interceptor. The 750 was still available in limited quantities for an additional $800. The displacement reduction was effected by destroking the motor from 48.6mm to 45.4mm. Connecting rods were lengthened in the oversquare (70mm bore to 45.4mm stroke) motor, and the bike lost almost 10 horsepower.

A tooth was removed from the countershaft sprocket to compensate for this, and the bike remained popular. Meanwhile, the sportbike market was really starting to heat up, with Yamaha’s release of the FZ750 and the introduction of the first GSXR.

Subject: Slight misinformation

Date: Mon, 10 Aug 1998 16:59:07 -0700

Honda Interceptor

The bike you list as the ’87 VFR was actually available as a 1986 model – that year, Honda offered 3 VFRs in the U.S. the 750F, the 700F (both bikes white with red and blue pinstripes) and the 700F2 (white with gold decals/accents). The F2 was carried over to ’87 unchanged, and interestingly it sold for the same price ($4500) as the 700F. The sides of the bike have a graphic that reads Interceptor, so despite what they told the insurance companies they were still selling a model under that name.

I have the ’86 VFR 700 F2, and it is the first modern sportbike – full bodywork, integrated fairing that covers the engine, modern aluminum perimeter frame – and it’ll hold its own with the current crop of sportbikes on any day. The only bad thing about this bike is that the wheel sizes are smaller than current sportbikes, and the tire choices are very limited. Fitting the CBR 600 rear wheel to this bike is a popular modification, and one I am considering this winter as a rainy day project.

Hello there


I think you should check your AMA records.

In its first year of racing the VF750F in the AMA Superbike Championship,

Honda fielded six riders – and went down to Wayne Rainey on the Muzzy

Kawasaki GPz750 – an AIR-Cooled, two valves a cylinder in-line four beat the

hordes of Honda water-cooled 16-valve V4s.

Honda Interceptor
Honda Interceptor
Honda Interceptor
Honda Interceptor
Honda Interceptor

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