Honda’s release of their limited production, road-going, “works racer” VFR750R made headlines in the motorcycle scene in 1987. The VFR750R is a street-legal counterpart of the formidable RVF750 endurance racer which displayed remarkable potential in the world endurance championships. This bike follows the concept seen in the RVF750, including the use of space-age technology and components such as titanium, carbon-fiber, kevlar, and magnesium. It betters the earlier bikes by a wide margin. The VFR750R also uses a twin-spar aluminum box frame, Pro-Arm (rear swing arm), and a center-lock hub rear wheel. These superlative features and the RVF’s racing reputation have made it a collector’s item even before the first unit was off the production line. The 748cc, liquid cooled, V4 cylinder 16 valve engine has been kept compact to keep the VFR’s overall dimensions very close to the current 500cc Grand Prix racers, for a minimum frontal area. Further, this motorcycle departs from the typical Japanese mass-production practice by using a great deal of human labor on each unit, such as the FRP cowling and windscreen being laid up by hand. The Honda VFR750R is one potent package and has been designed to be very competitive on racing tracks in stock form, yet remain street legal. It will remain a desirable and elusive high performance bike for years to come.
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