Honda VF 1000R




Make Model

Honda VF 1000R




Four stroke, 90°V-four cylinder, DOHC, 4 valve per cylinder


998 cc / 60.9 cu-in

Bore x Stroke 77 x 53.6 mm
Cooling System Liquid cooled
Compression Ratio 10.7:1


4x 34mm CV type carbs


Inductive magnetically triggered 

Starting Electric

Max Power

130 hp / 94.8 kW @ 10500 rpm

Max Torque

92.2 Nm / 8.8 kg-m / 63.7 ft-lb @ 8000 RPM


5 Speed 

Final Drive Chain

Front Suspension

41mm center-axle with air-assist, 3-way rebound damping, anti-dive valuing

Front Wheel Travel 155 mm / 6.1 in

Rear Suspension

Air-assist coil-over shock, progressive linkage, three-way rebound damping

Rear Wheel Travel 123 mm / 4.8 in

Front Brakes

2x 285mm discs 4 piston calipers

Rear Brakes

Single 285mm disc 1 piston caliper

Front Tyre

120/80 V16

Rear Tyre

140/80 V17

Seat Height 810 mm / 31.8 in
Ground Clearance 135 mm / 5.3 in

Dry Weight

236 kg / 520 lbs

Fuel Capacity

23 liters / 6 US gal

Fuel Capacity

23 liters   (4.5L)

Consumption Average

 36 mpg

Standing ¼ Mile  

 10.8 sec / 124.4 mp/h

Top Speed

 149.0 mph

Honda's enthusiasm for the V4 engine layout in the early 1980s was such that by 1984 the VF range comprised six models with capacities ranging from 400 to 1000cc. The fastest and most glamorous was the VF1000R: a limited-edition super-sports machine that was created, with little expense spared, to dominate production racing in the way that the straight-four CB1100R had done three years earlier. With its full fairing and racy red, white and blue paintwork, the VF1000R looked every bit the street-legal competition machine. Its specification list was mouth-watering, based on a liquid-cooled, 90-degree V4 engine, that incorporated gear-driven overhead camshafts and produced no less than 122 hp @ 10000 rpm.

That peak power output was 6bhp up on that of the VF1000F, the standard 998cc, 16-valve V4 from which the R model was derived. The 1000F, also released in 1984 was an impressively fast and sophisticated bike. Its styling was similar to that of the original VF750F sportster, which had promised much before suffering widely publicized engine reliability problems.

The VF1000F handled well and its engine was flexible, powerful and reliable. The exotic VF1000R cost roughly 50 per cent more than the F and oozed quality from every pore. Its fairing was reinforced with carbon-fibre, its adjustable handlebars were made from polished alloy, its streamlined seat hump fitted perfectly. Its engine's gear-driven cams allowed more precise valve timing at high revs, which accounted for some of the extra power.

 Like the other VFs, the R had a frame of square-section steel tubes, but its chassis specification was decidedly upmarket. Big 41mm front forks incorporated air assistance, adjustable damping and TRAC anti-dive. Hinged fork bottoms allowed easy front wheel removal. The Pro-Link rear shock was easily adjustable: the impressive front brakes comprised sturdy four-piston calipers and large, floating discs. 


Stability and power

For road riding the VF1000R was a seductively fast and comfortable companion. Its fairing combined with the racy riding position to give excellent wind protection. High-speed stability was absolute, and the engine was superbly powerful and torquey. The 1000R cruised effortlessly at well over 100mph (161km/h) and surged smoothly to a top speed of 150mph(241km/h).

The Honda's refined feel was marred by a snatchy transmission that became annoying in town, where the engine also had a tendency to heat up its carburettors, resulting in a misfire. But such problems were forgotten when the rider found the open road, and wound back the throttle to send the 1000R storming forward with a free-flowing feel from 5000rpm or below.
Handling was good at high speed, where the VF's stability counted for much. But at lower speeds the Honda suffered from a weight problem. At 524lb (238kg) dry it was more than 50lb (23kg) heavier than Kawasaki's GPz900R, and its handling was ponderous despite its 16-inch front wheel. That was a problem on the racetrack, in particular. Even Honda star Wayne Gardner just failed to take a bike that he described as a marshmallow to victory in the prestigious Castrol Six-Hour production race in his native Australia.

Unlike its all-conquering CB1100R predecessor, the VF1000R was rarely seen on a circuit, let alone in the winner's circle. That hit sales, especially as the V4's price put it on a level with race-bred exotica from firms such as Bimota and Harris. It was fortunate for Honda that ill intended to produce only a small number. The VF1000R was fast, sophisticated and easy on the eye, but underneath that sleek bodywork it hid too much weight to be a success.

Source Fast Bikes by Roland Brown