Honda VFR800

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Honda VFR800
Honda VFR800 red.jpg
Manufacturer Honda
Also called Interceptor
Production since 1998
Predecessor VFR750
Successor VFR1200F
Class Sport touring bike
Engine 782 cc liquid-cooled 4-stroke 16-valve DOHC V4
Bore / stroke 72 mm × 48 mm (2.8 in × 1.9 in)
Compression ratio 11.8:1
Power 104 hp (78 kW) @ 10,250 rpm
Torque 55 ft·lb (75 N·m) @ 8,500 rpm
Transmission 6-speed chain drive
Brakes 2×310 mm (front)
256 mm disc (rear)
Wheelbase 1,458 mm (57.4 in)
Dimensions L: 2,120 mm (83 in)
W: 735 mm (28.9 in)
H: 1,195 mm (47.0 in)
Seat height 805 mm (31.7 in)
Weight 481 lb (218 kg) US Spec (dry)
520 lb (240 kg) (wet)
Fuel capacity 5.2 US gal (20 l; 4.3 imp gal)
Related Crossrunner

The Honda VFR800, also known in some markets as the Interceptor, is a motorcycle sold by Honda since 1998 featuring a V-4 engine configuration shared with the Honda VF and VFR family of motorcycles. The VFR features heavier construction and a more upright riding position than a pure sport bike, though lower than a cruiser. Lighter and more aggressive than a pure touring motorcycle, the "viffer" revived the category known as the sport touring motorcycle first created by the BMW R100RS.


The VFR800's predecessor was the VFR750F (700 in the United States), which scored highly in many press reviews upon its introduction in 1986. While the new VFR was originally intended to be a sports bike, the introduction of lighter competitors (including the nearly 30 kg or 66 lb lighter GSX-R750) prompted Honda in 1990 to transition the VFR into a mid-sized sport touring bike, a category of which the VFR became the de facto benchmark. However, by 1997, the Triumph Sprint ST and the Ducati ST2 and ST4 presented Honda with significant sports-touring competition, so Honda responded with an all-new VFR, the VFR800, in 1998.

Fifth Generation: 1998-2001 VFR800Fi (RC46)[edit]

1998 Honda VFR800 (5th generation).

Rather than being a direct development of the previous, carbureted VFR750F engine, the VFR800 engine was a detuned and longer-stroke power plant based on the fuel-injected engine designed for the RC45 (which had debuted in 1994). The RVF750R RC45 engine, although a development of the VFR750R RC30 and originally derived from the VFR750F RC24, was very different from Honda's previous V-4 as the gear drive to the cams was moved from the centre of the engine to one side, similar to the CBR250. Tuned for road use in the VFR800, fuel injection provided excellent driveability and power was slightly increased over the VFR750. The most noticeable change, however, was that the torque figures were substantially improved from the previous model right up to the 11,750 rpm redline. All VFR800 models use fuel injection instead of carburetors. In 2000, Honda updated the fifth-generation VFR (RC46) with a catalytic converter, oxygen sensors, and an EFI system that would enter closed-loop mode under highway (cruising) operation.

The VFR800's bodywork covered a frame derived from the VTR1000 Firestorm. However, it incorporates the VFR trademark single-sided swingarm pivoted from the aft of the crankcase, using the engine as a stressed member of the frame. This was a departure from the configuration of the previous VFR750F (RC36) model's swing arm, which pivoted from the rear of the bike's frame.

Honda fitted its DCBS linked braking system (aka LBS linked braking system), a departure from traditional independent front/rear motorcycle braking systems. In this system, the front brake lever applies pressure to four (in later models, five) of the six front brake caliper pistons. The rotational movement of the left caliper when engaged actuates a secondary master cylinder and applies pressure to one of the rear caliper's pistons. The rear brake pedal is directly attached to the remaining pistons (two in the rear, and one (or two) in the front).

Sixth Generation: 2002-2013 VFR800 VTEC (RC46)[edit]

The sixth generation VFR (for the first time marketed only as the "Interceptor" in the USA and simply as the "VFR" in Japan) was introduced in 2002. For the first time it featured dual underseat exhausts, an optional anti-lock braking system (ABS) in addition to the LBS/DCBS, and optional hard luggage. It featured chain-driven cams rather than the traditional VFR gear-driven cams, and was the first non-JDM motorcycle to have Honda's VTEC valve-actuation technology. The implementation of VTEC was seen as a bid by Honda to meet tightening noise and emissions standards in Japan and abroad while improving the peak horsepower of the engine. Similar to the automotive version of VTEC-E the simplified motorcycle version of VTEC employs only two of the four valves per cylinder when operating at lower engine speeds. All four valves per cylinder are engaged above approximately 6,800 rpm. This is initiated by an electronically actuated oil spool valve, which send oil pressure to the lifter actuators, which then move the engagement pins into place above the valve stem, allowing the remaining two valves to open. This design allows for variable valve timing as well, since the cam lobe profiles can be made different.

After some criticism of the abruptness of power transition, Honda lowered the VTEC activation rpm threshold to 6,400 rpm in 2006. The VTEC disengages two cylinder valves when the engine speed drops again below 6,100 rpm.

The VFR800 was phased out after the 2009 model year in the United States, to be replaced by the larger VFR1200F.[1] However this model of VFR800 continues to be sold in certain international markets.

Eighth Generation: 2014-Present VFR800F (RC79)[edit]

2014 Honda VFR800 in U.S. showroom

A facelifted VFR800 debuted at the 2013 EICMA show in Milan, Italy. The revised VFR800 features a new single sided exhaust system, lighter wheels, and additional mass-reduction, lowering the curb weight by 10 kg. The new VFR also features traction control, a new instrument panel, and revised aerodynamic bodywork with LED lighting, though the engine and chassis remain largely unchanged from the previous sixth-generation model. The 2014 VFR800F is expected to be sold worldwide. In the US market it is available in two versions, Standard and Deluxe. Deluxe version adds ABS, traction control, grip heaters, self-canceling turn signals. Outside US only Deluxe version is sold.[2][3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 2009 Honda Motorcycles Released: Lineup includes company firsts and updates to old favorites,, October 2, 2008, retrieved 2009-05-20 
  2. ^ Wilson, Byron (3 November 2013). "2014 Honda VFR800F First Look". Motorcycle USA. Retrieved 30 January 2014. 
  3. ^ "VFR800F Coming To US As 2014 Honda Interceptor". February 2014. Retrieved 4 February 2014. 

External links[edit]