Published on December 13th, 2013 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Honda VFR800F Shows Its Face
The legendary VFR800F is completely updated with sharp, contemporary looks, a brand new telescopic fork, Pro-arm swingarm, wheels and bodywork. Plus adjustable seat height, standard-fit Traction Control System, ABS, heated grips and Honda’s unique new self-cancelling indicators. 10kg lighter than the previous model, with the engine re-tuned for greater low and mid-range torque.
The V4 engine configuration is a special one for Honda, going back nearly 40 years. A complex, yet compact unit, it has a unique power delivery and a soul all its own. Honda’s current RC213V MotoGP machine uses a V4, as does the flagship sport-touring VFR1200F. It’s a powerplant woven tightly into Honda’s engineering DNA.
And nowhere has the V4 engine been more at home than in the legendary VFR800F series – a truly all-round motorcycle that’s always done sport as well as it tours, and all areas in between, with or without a pillion. It has inspired huge loyalty among owners over the last two decades.
With such an important model Honda has listened intently to customers’ views; in essence they want a high-quality motorcycle with strong low and mid-range torque, light and slim but just as capable and adaptable, with a return to the evocative look and feel of VFRs of the past.
Two factors were key drivers for Honda’s engineers in development of the new VFR800F – firstly, to retain and expand the essential VFR qualities that inspire so many, and secondly, to update the new model with modern features and technologies.
Starting with the 782cc V4-VTEC engine, bottom and mid-range power have been boosted, to strike the ideal balance of enjoyable sports riding and easy commuting. The VTEC transition has been softened and the resulting power delivery is smooth, strong and linear. Honda’s TCS (Traction Control System) has also been added.
Extensive work has gone into making the new VFR800F lighter than its predecessor, a whole 10kg lighter in fact. A single exhaust muffler has replaced the dual underseat design of the previous model and a host of detail changes save weight.
A brand new Pro-Arm single-sided swingarm, 43mm telescopic fork, radial-mount four-piston front brake calipers and redesigned wheels hang from the quintessentially VFR twin-spar aluminium beam frame. Seat height is adjustable by 20mm, ABS is fitted as standard and – for the first time – a Honda Genuine Accessories shift assist system is available to bolt straight on.
And then there’s the styling. Considerably slimmer in the middle than the outgoing model, the 2014 VFR800F mixes a sleek silhouette with crisp, contemporary angles – and more than an echo of classic VFR design.