10 things only true enthusiasts know about the Honda VFR750R RC30

When the first Honda VFRs hit the mean streets of the 80s, they were revolutionary machines. First, they weren’t 2-strokes, and second, they weren’t inline 4s.

Any engine configuration has its pros and cons, and the V4 is no exception. They are complex machines, both to build and to work with, but in terms of raw power, they have no equal. So in the racing world they make the most sense, but with this bike having to meet homologation requirements, the general public could get their hands on a 4-stroke V4 for the very first time.

Today we are spoiled for choice with several manufacturers offering V4 bikes, but back in the 80s this was the first of its kind.

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ten V4 engine

Mass centralization is the main advantage, no matter how heavy the engine is, the bike will still handle well, thanks to the weight remaining more or less in the middle of the bike.

This made these bikes exceptionally flickable, yet still easy enough to ride at the limit and led to one triumph after another on the track.

9 Special Homologation

For Honda to be competitive internationally, they had to produce at least 3,000 units of these bikes, which were quite expensive in the 80s at around $15,000 before taxes.

Needless to say, they didn’t really have a hard time moving these bikes around, even though that price was a little steep, and they’re now very collectible.

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8 Race roots

The main advantage of this bike is the fact that it was only available with a solo seat and no option for a passenger seat or foot pegs.

As a result, the bike is set up for a mid-size rider, and it’s a pretty dedicated setup, all things considered. This makes the bike useful to the point that it’s actually rather one-dimensional, and by that we mean it’s a fish out of water off the track.

seven Pro Arm

In truth, any one-sided swingarm is inherently limited because the forces generated at cornering speeds will make it more susceptible to flex.

It was initially used for endurance racing, facilitating quick wheel changes. However, in other forms of racing, time lost in corners would be scrutinized and its weight has since consigned it to the annals of racing history.

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6 Incredible engineering

It must be remembered that to compete at the highest level, it was necessary to reduce the weight and the engine capacity under 750cc.

All of this while adding more components, as the bike now needed 4 cams, all of which were gear driven (not chain driven) to serve two separate banks of cylinders. There is also a spare parts program for the RC30.

5 Reliable performance

With all the lightweight components and all the extra moving parts, you’d think these race engines were a little flimsy. Well, they weren’t.

Honda has a way of baffling the mind when it comes to reliability. On their smaller motors they often leave the motors under-stressed, but in racing there is no room for that as you need all the power available, but they are still reliable.

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4 Honda build quality

Most of these high-performance bikes have stood the test of time, and it’s pretty amazing when you consider how many would have been raced.

It’s easy to see why, their build quality is simply top notch, with everything oozing class and even though the entry point was expensive, you would have been very happy with your purchase at the time.

3 Supreme maneuverability

By today’s high standards, not so much, but for the late 80s it was in a league of its own.

This was aided by the fact that it was set up for racing, and as long as you had a smooth track ahead of you, it was the best tool for the job. It won’t necessarily make for a comfortable ride, as it will get hot if you drive it too slowly and the seat is about ½ inch thick.

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2 Ahead of its time

Any good race bike needs to be one step ahead of the competition, and it’s fair to say that this machine was at least two steps ahead.

Things got crazier and crazier for Honda who were doing an amazing job in the early 90s, but that’s the foundation they built it all on.

1 Simply the best Honda

Everyone will have their personal favorites, but this is the machine that really pushed motorcycle technology to its limits.

It ushered in a new era, an era that would eventually spell the end of high performance 2-stroke motorcycles and bring the 4-stroke V4 engine into the premier class of motorsport.

About Todd Wurtsbach

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