If you search for the awesome Honda VFR750 on google you’ll likely get hundreds of bikes for sale in various condition and prices. When Honda launched the VFR750 in 1986 they absolutely went all in to ensure the VFR750 didn’t suffer any of the reliability problems when killed the VF750 predecessor.
First off was a heavily revised v-four engine with gear driven camshafts and camshafts that stayed lumpy. This gives the VFR750 the iconic whine from the engine when you start to rev it, easily overcome with a nice aftermarket exhaust to hear the v-four burble is you want make things more interesting.
Honda’s VFR750 sales success
When the VFR750 launched in 1986 it was an immediate sales success, so much so that club racers started racing them straight from the crate, proving competitive alongside Suzuki’s track focused GSXR750 a year earlier.
Unlike the Suzuki GSXR750, the Honda VFR750 was bike that could do a bit of everything, commute, tour and race. Racers would later get their loyalty repaid when Honda launched the VFR750R (RC30) a year later, which included a revised firing order, slipper clutch and close ration gearbox, not to mention the race focused bodywork and revised suspension parts. The RC30 is now highly collectable and prices continue to rise.
Finding and buying a used Honda VFR750
With so many examples for sale it can be a bit overwhelming to choose the right model and what to look for. High mileage shouldn’t be concern if servicing has been kept up to date, mechanical failure is very rare and usually a consequence of poor maintenance.
Some areas of the engine are tricky to access due to v-four being packed within the beam frame. Exhaust collector boxes are known to rot quickly, so don’t be put off if the owner has replaced the end can and collector box as part of the process. Refitting the system is tricky, and gaskets are often difficult to seal. Check for any exhaust leaks around the collector box, exhaust paste can help solve the issues, however excessive amounts are probably hiding a poor repair or bodge.
Also beware of very shiny bodywork over tatty mechanicals, which could be hiding dubious history or something worse. If the bike has been resprayed get some information by the owner for the reasons, because with so many of these around it usually doesn’t make economic sense to get one resprayed.
Finally if something doesn’t seem to add up get a HPI check on the bike. There are a lot of crashed bikes written off by insurance companies that are put back on the road by the current owner (buy back) or by auctions. Even though the repair work may be high quality, insurance write-off bikes are worth far less and should be declared by the owner when selling.
Good example VFR750 for sale on ebay
This 1991 RC36 example looks very tidy and has relatively low mileage for a bike of this type and age. The bike has been in storage for a while so everything should be checked before attempting to ride. The usual checks for fluids, tyres, chain and brakes check should be enough to get riding again.
If you decide to bid on this nice looking VFR750 please let us know if you win and what plans you have for using the bike. You may also want to consider undertaking some of the maintenance yourself, and our workshop tools article could help you get setup.
Happy bidding, good luck and ride safe.