When you mention Honda’s endurance race replicas, most folks are likely to think of their iconic RC30 or RC45 machines, some of the best-looking bikes of their era, or maybe the smaller NC30 if they’re more budget-minded. But the VF1000R had endurance-racer styling and a host of sophisticated features to homologate them for competition. Possibly the bike has languished a bit forgotten as it hails from an in-between period of sportbike design, as the formula was still being established. It’s bulkier and heavier than you might expect for a sports-oriented bike, at 600lbs wet. But 125hp and a spread of V4 torque meant a top speed of almost 150mph and, in keeping with the endurance-racing theme, it could charge along at that speed all day long.
So why was this racing-styled beast so heavy? The typical Honda tendency to over-engineer everything: fairings on the bike featured spring-loaded flaps to vent hot air, and the rear brake actually has a vented disc. Torque-Reactive Anti-Dive Control forks were designed to reduce brake dive and featured quick-release axles, adjustable bars meant ideal setup for a variety of riders, and modular Comstar wheels were wrapped in radial tires, a relatively new development for motorcycles. At the heart of the machine was a 998cc V4 with gear-driven cams that gave precise timing and that distinctive whine.
The VF1000R is not exactly an agile machine, but handling is stable and good wind protection combined with those adjustable ergos mean reasonable comfort. This particular example appears to be in pristine condition, as you'd expect with just 442 miles on the odometer. The only possible downside is that slightly less-desirable single, US-market headlamp. Interestingly, Honda developed that configuration just in case the Euro twin-lamp [behind a single lens] set up didn't pass regulations here. They needn't have worried, apparently, but typical Honda thoroughness won out and luckily both treatments look good.
From the original eBay listing: 1985 Honda VF1000R with 442 Miles for Sale
Up for sale is my 1985 Honda VF1000R from my collection and it is in pristine condition and is listed with an astonishing 442 miles. The bike sat indoors for 27 years but that a full refresh has already been completed (details below).
Honda’s enthusiasm for the V4 engine layout in the early 1980s was such that by 1984 the VF range comprised six models and 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.
- Flushed brakes, add stainless steel braided brake lines, rebuilt rear master cylinder
- Lubed and adjusted throttle and clutch cables
- Flushed cooling system
- Torqued and checked all chassis fittings and fasteners, check/tighten steering head bearings,
- Replaced shock (rear) with Hagon coil-over upgrade, shock was valved and springs for me being a 180 lb. solo rider optimum.
- Replaced battery, NGK spark plugs,
- Performed compression check and full tune, including clean and synch carbs, flush fuel tank and add 1 gallon bath metal rust remover, replace petcock assembly (leaking).
- Added engine top-end oiling kit from Daughtry Motorsports (early VF1000's were reported to suffer top end oiling deficiency and this kit addresses that fully). Includes oil filter with adapter for top-end oiling kit.
- Replaced original tires (old and cracked) with brand new Bridgestone Battlax BT45's. Went to 150/70/17 rear (stock was 140) and 120/80/16 front (stock size).
Starting bid for this listing is $12,000 with no takers yet plenty of time left. These have been selling for shockingly low sums up until very recently, considering their rarity and specification, but collectors appear to have finally gotten wise to this forgotten gem. The seller is looking for big money, but I'd expect you're looking at the nicest, lowest-mileage example in the US. I'm not sure how much time it will take before that looks like a bargain, but I have the feeling it won't be all that long...