HONDA VFR750 (1995-1998) Review

Published: 24 November 2006

"For many, bike journalists included, the best road bike ever built"

Honda VFR750F motorcycle review - Riding

"For many, bike journalists included, the best road bike ever built"

Overall Rating 5 out of 5

For many, bike journalists included, the best road bike ever built. In 1994 Honda revised an already exceptional motorcycle, giving it super-model looks while still retaining those quintessential VFR qualities of legendary reliability, consistent performance and supreme comfort. The bodywork become less angular and gained Ferrari-esque louvres on its side panels.

Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5

A new frame, swingarm, wheels and exhaust all cut 10kg (22lbs) from the VFR’s dry weight, but this is still very much sports-tourer instead of sportsr. The ride is smooth, the handling neautral and predictable. Only the slightly soft suspension limits heroics. But that together with the relaxed riding position and armchair-like comfort of the seat means that you arrive feeling human and thirsty for more.

Engine 4 out of 5

Although lacking the power of newer machines, the VFR’s sublime V4 still impresses. It never gets out of breath and the near tidal mid range wafts you along on waves of unflustered power. For newcomers and more experienced riders alike this bike rewards with a forgiving ride and silky smooth power delivery.

Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5

For a Japanese superbike, the VFR is about as good as it gets. Build quality is sublime, reliability (apart from a few duff alternators and suspension that gets soggy  over 20,000miles) is total. Don’t let high mileages put you off: VFR head over 75,000 with impunity…

Insurance, running costs & value 5 out of 5

A Honda PR man once (fairly) famously joked that “I don’t care how much a VFR costs, it’s worth three times as much.” He’s not far wrong. The VFR750 remains both revered and relevant and although used preices remain healthy, it’s still one helluva lot of bike for the money. Find a Honda VFR750 for sale.

Insurance group: 14 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 4 out of 5

Plush, comforting and classy without being extraneous. The pillion handles fold away neatly beneath the seat. There’s a streamlined pillion cover. The dash is classy and thorough (and includes a digitial clock and fuel gauge). The mirrors are good and there’s a main stand. A slight criticism would be the low screen and lack of a fuel gauge, but that’s being picky.

Owners' Reviews

24 owners have reviewed their HONDA VFR750 (1995-1998) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your HONDA VFR750 (1995-1998)
Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 4.5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4.4 out of 5
Engine 4.7 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4.8 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4.6 out of 5
Equipment 4.5 out of 5
4 out of 5

Very Fine Ride

27 October 2016 by Peter Tyldsley

4 out of 5 because I would have preferred a slightly more racy position. Subsequent models (VFR800) were even more bolt upright and so for that reason and the introduction of a linked braking system I never considered upgrading. Until now. Mostly... Read more I would echo Stuart Mudd's comprehensive review except I rate the engine a solid 5. Having just returned to Sydney from the Phillip Island MotoGP including several hundred kms of fast twisties with 10 other bikes, all 1000cc or above, I had plenty to test it against. BMW k1300, Harley, Ducati, Yam R1s, even a Hyabusa...all excellent powerful engines piloted by experienced and capable riders. The light and flickable R1s were like rapiers in the bends but NONE of the bikes accelerated away from the VFR. The key is dropping down a gear. VFR has low down torque enabling a higher gear to be used but comes alive if you slip back a notch. Ducati Diavel could use its grunt to accelerate away on a long straight. BMW had the extra legs - fab bike, well ridden, but they're discontinuing production - but VFR kept up easily In the tight conditions. My bike has done 115000km and so far have replaced chain and sprockets twice and steering head béarings twice. Minimal upkeep. I have a swept up after market exhaust which sounds beautiful without being overly loud and adds immensely to the look of the bike. Gripes? High centre of gravity and high seat making it even worse. As a result it can feel pendulous (slow handling). Keeping steering head bearings in top condition and choice of tyres - and good riding technique - can quicken the handling. Dull? In terms of styling I would be first to say this is an ugly duckling. In fact I bought it 22 years ago despite its looks. Front fairing was styled after a samurai war bonnet (I recall) - not very successfully imo - and the duck tail is big and FAT. Side fairing is nice but only gripe is the little tabs that lock into the front fairing simply wore off. It still stays in place with screws etc but annoys me that this was not well designed. This has been and still is a fabulous bike but time to move on. Contenders are likely to be BMW R1300RS or Honda VFR1200F depending what the new year unveils. It will need to be as good as my 750 so I'm setting the bar pretty high.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
I love the fact that front and rear brakes are independent. In the twisties the rear is your friend; the front saves your life. When you learn how to use them together it's like playing an instrument. In terms of performance I always found them capable and adequate for the weight of the bike with good feel. Have skated (rear) to a halt in the rain, while guiding the bike around a car that slammed on the brakes at an orange light, by deft use of the front. Excellent front feel in wet conditions and, yes, those braking and cornering courses paid big dividends. Comfort. Reasonably good. Just spent several days with a bunch of bike nazis spirited riding for 9 hours each day stopping only for fuel. Hurt like hell but do-able. And the other riders hurt more than me as the VFR is less of a crouch. Normally I'd say 2 hours and you need a break. The high centre of gravity is the biggest negative attribute of the bike and while I don't expect sports bike agility this is why I rate the ride quality ( really the handling aspect) a 4 out of 5. But it's a very easy bike for a novice to ride well.
Engine
5 out of 5
You can stuff up but still get through a turn even if you select a couple of cogs too high - it just chugs on. Low and mid range offers very good torque and you can convert that to nippy acceleration by dropping down a gear lower than what you might normally choose. Beautiful sound when enhanced by the right muffler. I have heard some raucous ones but my Remus has been nice.
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
After my rectifier cooked itself the Honda mechanic replaced it with one from a Yamaha FJR. Massive cooling fins. Aside from that it has been bullet proof.
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
A wild guess and excludes tyres. Basically oil and filter changes which I do myself every 3000km (with filter every 2nd oil change). I use Motul 4T. Other consumables are chain, sprockets and steering head bearings say every 40000 - 50000km. And I had clutch and brake fluids replaced at 100000km. Brake pads were changed at around 30000 km but I did track days back then. Still on my second set though must be close by now.
Equipment
5 out of 5
Standard, a well equipped bike. Fuel warning light is good alternative to reserve tank - my mates were recently telling me how they can get water accumulating in the reserve. On the other hand the actual sensor is another point of failure on this bike and I never did get mine replaced when it konked out after about 15000km. Centre stand is great and enables regular and quick application of chain lube while your shaft drive mates are stopped for fuel. Good tool kit. But carry a tyre plug kit. There is room under the saddle. Single swing arm looks good, makes wheel/tyre removal a snap, and is very easy to adjust for chain tensioning. Five stars for this by itself! I attach my custom lambs wool cover (and foam padding) for long trips. A custom saddle would be nice upgrade. Headlights are poor by today's standards. I'm sure there would be LED or similar bulb replacements that would be well worthwhile. Heated grips. Recently added these (Oxford - neat tidy effective) and although not a cure all they do keep the circulation going and numb frozen fingers away (at least on the inside).
Buying experience

Dealer. 22 years ago. Traded in my Honda Spada 250 plus $10000 cash for a rare (at the time) shiny black VFR. I never actually asked how much the VFR was? (Might have been $13k?) I asked if they could give me one for 10k plus trade-in and they agreed. Oh they also sold me an Arai Mick Doohan helmet for wholesale as part of the deal. That was Frasers near Strathfield - the sales guy was great. But their servicing was ordinary - you'd get your pristine bike back with greasy prints all over the tank, missing and/or foreign screws. I would hope they've learned since then but I never went back after several repeat experiences.

5 out of 5

It gets emotional.

03 May 2016 by JamesNR34

I've mistakenly looked to have an affair with another bike, out of curiosity of course, but have not found anything that even comes close to the VFR (Vercitile Fast Reliable) Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
Standing on your front tyre is not where you ever want to be, unless you're a unicyclist, however the brakes are man enough for the job. My front brake sticks if it sits about in the garage for any time but that's life. The ride platform is solid and stable, with little to surprise you. It can turn from zero to hero with little effort and will put a massive smile on your face every time with the twist of the throttle.
Engine
5 out of 5
The mid range torque gets you out of the pickle. The pick up and whooooosh (go) is beautiful. Solid and reliable with plenty of sparkle when you need it.
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
Conked out only once with an easy fix electrics fault since 96. Not bad at all. Not had to change a bulb a bulb either.
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
Economy starts in the wrist. Normally 120 miles in the tank on a progressive ride, and 150 if one is sitting back to enjoy the view.
Equipment
4 out of 5
4 way hazard indicators would have put the icing on the cake.
Buying experience

I bought this brand spanking new from C J Balls in Norfolk.

3 out of 5

Fast, comfy, reliable?: yes. Dull?: yes!

06 November 2015 by Stuart Mudd

Everyone knows how good these bikes are. Owners tend to highly rate them and their qualities are widely acknowledged throughout the interweb. Even on this very website. Yet I am left wondering: did these people ride the same bike as me? What people... Read more want to know is: what's NOT so good about them? 1) People sometimes call them all rounders. They're not. They're sports tourers. The riding position cripples wrists in the stop-start of city traffic. They're comfy at 50 mph or more. 2) They're really, really dull. No character. And also, kind of....gutless. They don't sound particularly amazing either. For that sole reason, i.e. lack of soul, although the bike is very very good at what it does, it's not a keeper as it's not a machine that gets under your skin and you fall in love with. Alternatives I would buy instead: BMW R1100S: looks mean, shaftie, has that BMW transverse rocking thing. THAT was a quality bike too. Yet somewhat unloved and un noticed. I would buy one over a VFR. Trumpy Sprint ST: more cc's and fewer cylinders = more grunt. The engine is more entertaining which is a big plus for me. It has a bit more soul than the VFR, but less refined. Which may be a good thing. Got caught at 170km/h in a 70km/h zone on Victoria Island once. Happy days.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
Some folk complain it's a bit softly sprung. But I actually PREFER a bit of sag in the suspension and the machine to tell me what it's doing. I find in setups these days sporting=rock hard, leaving you with a wooden feeling machine that doesn't inspire confidence. Or comfort for that matter. But the VFR was a great setup.
Engine
3 out of 5
Dunno what the fuss is about. I think the delivery is really bland! It's very quiet, and fuss free - emitting a soft whistle. Hardly an engine that stirs the soul. The unit doesn't have a warp drive power band, but nor does it have instant low down grunt. And yet you have to wind the power on and it gently builds up speed (can you tell I'm used to riding twins?) in a very predictable and linear fashion. Which is great if you want a boringly predictable (yet quite fast) bike.
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
Why not 5/5? Well...the exhaust rots out. And the way it is routed around the V4 means fitting a replacement is quite costly. And the easily sussed reg/rec thing. But 4/5 is very very good.
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
Pretty good allround. And had a centre stand! If a bike is supposed to have a modicum of practicality how can they not have centrestands? It does make chain lubing and adjusting so so much easier. It doesn't get 5/5 because it doesn't have the electronic whizzbangs of today. But if I was reviewing this 10 years ago would have got 5/5.
Buying experience

Paid nothing for it. My mate snapped his CCL in his knee and I got his bike for 6 months.

5 out of 5

Like it so much I bought it twice.

02 October 2015 by blackdot

I would certainly recommend this bike to anyone. It's the type of bike that'll surprise you and thrill you and you will grow to love it. Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
Plenty of power for me and it'll run all day on the highway at 5000 to 5500 rpm. :)
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
And that's just oil/filter and other fluid checks. I'll spend more if the previous season was particularly good replace the worn out tires. :)
Equipment
5 out of 5
-
Buying experience

Privately from a guy who was moving up to a faster bike to keep up with his friends. Advertised at $2400 Canadian, purchased for $2000. Two years later I was having a bad day and sold it for $3000 and just recently I purchased it back from the buyer for $1500. He wasn't using it and had only put on 70 miles in 2 riding seasons!!!

4 out of 5

Love at first ride.

18 August 2015 by Miguel Duarte

Never thought I would like a '96 sports touring as I like the VFR 750. For an almost 20 years bike it still turns heads. Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
It's a good all-round bike and you can't tell it's over 200kg while riding. Coming from a trail/road bike, I can stand driving 1 hour straight and then I start to feel my wrists numbing, however I feel I could drive longer with time.
Engine
5 out of 5
Simply the best engine built by Honda!! The sound is amazing and the power delivery is awesome.
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
Very well built, strait up Honda.
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
I guess the regulator/rectifier "problems" take a small toll on running costs. Other than that I guess its a cheap motorcycle to maintain.
Equipment
4 out of 5
The seat cowl looks cool. Probably I'll buy a double bubble windshield as I feel a bit too much wind on my helmet when I drive through highways.
Buying experience

Bought mine privately, it was listed €2300 and I bought it for €2000.

4 out of 5

23 July 2015 by simon

One of the best bikes I have ever had Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
3 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
4 out of 5

02 July 2015 by Stuart McCullagh

THE best all rounder bar none Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
Good all rounder
Engine
4 out of 5
Adequate performer
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
Usual reg/rec issue, replaced with UK item Usual downpipes/collector issues replaced with stainless system
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

honda vfr 750 fj

20 October 2014 by BANKSFIELD

I have a 1988 vfr 750 fj in red its like new done 45000 k which is nothing for a vfr . the bike is almost 27 years old and still can keep with new bikes I also have a triumph st 1050 , the brakes on the vfr are not as good as a modern bike, but hay... Read more how fast do you want to go.The build quality on these early vfr's is to a very high standard .That v4 engine has plenty of torque sounds well mine has had the exhaust changed for a full stainless steal one as they rot . You get early vfr's at a good price now and they are value for money, had mine 7 years use it as a second bike and it still brings a smile to my face when I ride it .

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

Brilliant all rounder!

13 July 2014 by Anonymous

I owned an '86 VFR 750 years ago but being young i didn't appreciate what it offered. Now 12 years on, i own a '97 VFR750 and it is a brilliant all-rounder bike. Handles the commutes to work as well as weekend trips all without fuss. Will average... Read more 58mpg sitting at 70 mph on the motorway, or in traffic commuting it returns 50mpg, but average overall is 54mpg. Genuine Honda build quality and reliability along with a charactorful engine note from the gear driven cams. Valve clearances check every 16k miles, after the initial 16k one they rarely go out of spec after. Engine feels very smooth with no vibrations, mirrors stay blurr-free at all speeds which is a joy! Plenty of useable torque from low down. Standard gearing is ok but me personally i would go +1 tooth on the front to lengthen the gears. The only not so good points to mention are the front brakes lack power, typical of 2-pot calipers, but genuine Honda pads and braided hoses help get the best out of them. And its not the lightest at around 226kg. Also it would be nice to have more storage under the seat, but a tailpack will cure this. If i had to have just one motorbike, it would be a VFR.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
5 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

SIMPLY THE BEST!

30 December 2013 by FrostyA1

Tried the whole gamut: R1,Blackbird, TLR,TLS,RSV,RST,900SS,ST4,Bandit12,ZRX12, even a`96 VFR750&`99 VFR800, nothing comes close to my lil,old`92 Veef 7.5,for larfs & jollies. I sold it once to my son to move up to the later models,then pestered him... Read more till he sold it back. 49k`s on the clock & still runs like a Rolex.Sorted the jets,+full Carb.Can Co exhaust,stiffed the suspension,it pulled 260kph last June down thru the plains & up into the montanas,Spain, on rails & still accelerating, only bike that comes near it for sheer excitement is my `fully sorted` SV650 but it cant hold a candle to the utter creaminess of the `Veef` on big trips..F.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
5 out of 5
-
Read all 24 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 1995
Year discontinued 1998
Original price -
Used price £1,700 to £4,000
Warranty term (when new) Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 14 of 17
Annual road tax £85
Annual service cost £280
Performance
Max power 100 bhp
Max torque 53.9 ft-lb
Top speed 152 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 11.6 secs
Average fuel consumption 39 mpg
Tank range 164 miles
Specification
Engine size 749cc
Engine type 16v V4, 6 gears
Frame type Aluminium twin spar type
Fuel capacity 19 litres
Seat height 800mm
Bike weight 209kg
Front suspension Preload
Rear suspension Preload, rebound damping
Front brake 2 x 296mm discs
Rear brake Single 256mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 17 in
Rear tyre size 170/60 17 in

History & Versions

Model history

1994: New F-R version introduced, available in red, black or blue.
1995: F-S version available in red, black or silver.
1996: F-T version available in red, purple or silver.
1997: F-V version available in red, blue or green.
1998: Model discontinued.

Other versions

None.

Photo Gallery

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  • Honda VFR750F motorcycle review - Instruments
  • Honda VFR750F motorcycle review - Brakes
  • Honda VFR750F motorcycle review - Front view
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  • Honda VFR750F motorcycle review - Riding
  • Honda VFR750F motorcycle review - Riding
  • Honda VFR750F motorcycle review - Riding
  • Honda VFR750F motorcycle review - Riding
  • Honda VFR750F motorcycle review - Riding
  • Honda VFR750F motorcycle review - Front view
  • Honda VFR750F motorcycle review - Riding
  • Honda VFR750F motorcycle review - Riding
  • Honda VFR750F motorcycle review - Front view
  • Honda VFR750F motorcycle review - Side view
  • Honda VFR750F motorcycle review - Instruments
  • Honda VFR750F motorcycle review - Brakes
  • Honda VFR750F motorcycle review - Front view
  • Honda VFR750F motorcycle review - Side view
  • Honda VFR750F motorcycle review - Riding
  • Honda VFR750F motorcycle review - Riding
  • Honda VFR750F motorcycle review - Riding
  • Honda VFR750F motorcycle review - Riding
  • Honda VFR750F motorcycle review - Riding
  • Honda VFR750F motorcycle review - Front view
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