Friday, 22 January 2010


The iconic V4 from Honda has been described as many things from 'as good as it gets' to 'positively sterile', but a certain Ron Haslam has his own point of view. Rocket Ron, who had misplaced his race bike, took on a field of factory race machines from the back of the grid, on a brand new VFR750 and came fourth! Incidentally, sales of these bikes over the years has been staggering, in 2006 Honda sold nearly 200 in January alone, this is the same story ever since its original release in 1986.

Once on the road this 13 year old albeit low mileage VFR is quick to impress. Finish and build quality are clearly attributes Honda understood in 1996, the classic black and white dials complementing excellent panel fit and precise controls. The NACA duct on the side of the fairing is fully functional, whilst also hinting at its racing pedigree, gives off an almost Ferrari vibe. Rifle-bolt gear changes encourage sporty riding styles although this pre-VTEC edition was the last of the carburettor fueled models and provides ample reserve for instinctive overtakes with no noticeable flat spots or peaks.

Smooth, torquey and with a seemingly endless power band, it just begs to be ridden and rewards smooth inputs. Sporting 105hp, the bike can reach 150mph with handling to match thanks to a clever single arm rear set-up and the low positioning of the engine. The crafted aluminium frame that cradles the compact V4 motor is very well made and once the tank is removed provides excellent access for maintenance.

The comfortable seat with removable pillion cover and effective wind protection suggest realistic touring capabilities and reliability of the V4 has been repeatedly impressive. The bike has an ability to simply lend itself to your mood at the time. Not a Jack of all trades but a master of many. What Honda have created is the perfect compromise for a keen rider who requires an accomplished speed machine, but needs to commute during the week, keep up with modern sports bikes at the weekend and visit the South of France for their holidays.

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