Racing bikes for the street have always had an allure for the go-fast crowd, and that was particularly true in the early 1980s when performance-oriented Americans were suffering through an onslaught of standard machines on the market.
One bike Americans lusted after that the Europeans enjoyed was the Honda VF1000R. Here are a few fun facts about that machine.
1. In 1984, European riders, but not Americans, were able to swing a leg over the racer-styled Honda VF1000R.
2. The big V-four motor was derived from the tire-ripping FWS1000 that AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer “Fast Freddie” Spencer raced at Daytona in 1982.
3. Honda offered the VF1000F in America, rather than the racier VF1000R that Americans claimed they really wanted.
4. The VF1000R’s trick bits included gear-driven cams, quick-release front axle holders, adjustable clutch and front brake levers and a solo seat cowl.
5. Honda officials listened to the American consumers and sent the VF1000R to the United States in 1985. The bike didn’t sell because Honda sent its race-styled machine to the U.S. too late. Kawasaki was changing the open-class sport bike landscape with the original Ninja 900, which was lighter, quicker and cheaper. As a result, Honda still had leftover VF1000Rs available as late as 1990.