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"

  • At a glance
  • 749cc  -  100 bhp
  • 39 mpg  -  164 miles range
  • Medium seat height (800mm)

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…

Value & Running Costs 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

17 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.

We’re currently improving the way this section works, which means we’ve had to suspend the submission of new owners’ reviews for a short period. Please check back soon.

Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 4.7 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4.4 out of 5
Engine 4.8 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4.9 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4.6 out of 5
Equipment 4.5 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 .

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
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.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
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.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
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
5 out of 5

A modern classic

07 June 2011 by dirtygringo

Bought my 1996 Viffer a couple years ago with about 9800 miles on her. The regulator/rectifer is shite but everything else on the 4th generation is near bullet-proof. Changing the exhaust to a D&D; immediate sound change and it seems quicker as... Read more well when rolling on the throttle. Ripping through the curvy country roads here in the hilly confines of Southern Indiana/Kentucky, the bike handles confidently and inspires you to hit the corners faster. I do like the single-sided swingarm. Yes, most gixxers and ninja liter bikes would thrash it. But that's not the point. From touring to corner carver, the VFR 750 is a do-it-all bike. And comfortable, too. The V4 sound with the aftermarket exhaust really does make it sound like a Chevy V6 small block, as some have described it. Deep and a bit nasty...people have to turn their heads when they hear it coming and going. It's a bit heavy at slow speeds but it's very stable at higher speeds. I probably won't sell it as it pretty much is as fun to hit the twisties on it as well as commute. And people still comment on what a nice bike it is...not that it's a deal seller but the bike doesn't look very dated compared to others of the same era. To me, the 4th generation is best of the VFR's; too bad the newer 1200 isn't like the 750.

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

My second VFR

01 March 2011 by twowheeltours

Living in rural Sweden means a season only April-October so something reliable and with a descent fairing that protects you from the cold wind is a necessaty. While wife and I enjoy touring in Scandinavia and rest of Europe VFR seems like the... Read more sensible choice when I enjoy a bike that can turn in a better way than for ex a Pan or a big BMW. Its also a great way to stay out of the GS-armada that has reached our shores as well. I just bought a blue VFR -97 with roughly 30000 km on it because my old red VFR -90 needs a new and friendlier home. I bought her 2003 with 43000 km on the clock and now more than 7 years later you can read +150000 km on the clock. The only thing I have swopped is of course the rectifier but also the petrol pump. A friend welded the exhaust some years ago and the Hagon shock I bought 2 years ago is the worst of crap coming from England, never again. 150000 km is what I think you should expect from a VFR but what impresses is that she is in such good condition even though I haven´t paid much attention to her except riding. Cleaning once a year and many nights out in the cold rain and too long between services. She has taken me and wife to many parts of Europe incl Italy, Ukraine and 2010 on honeymoon to Dubrovnik in Croatia. The honeymoon turned out to be her probably last trip abroad. Probably because of too many nights out in the rain the keylock gave up near Dubrovnik so a local mechanic fixed a switch from a lamp for on/off. Also on our way home on autobahn we had a long quee (stauh in german). Bike fully loaded +30 hot and upphill the clutch began to fail. No problems to get home but when giving full throttle the clutch slips. I´m 46 tomorrow and hope to enjoy VFR:s for more years until I will retire on a GS.

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
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
5 out of 5

Anything better out there ?

31 October 2010 by studad

I bought my 97 vfr750 about a year ago with 50,000 miles on the clock and a full main-dealer service history . I only bought it because i was a bit skint and it was a good price . I also remembered a despatch rider i used to work with that owned an... Read more older one and had covered 170.000 miles on and swore he had only ever spent on service parts . 1 year and 6,000 miles on i just cant fault it .I did my first ever track day last week at Snetterton and i love the bike even more now !.....obviously fireblades etc came flying past on the straights but nothing pulled away on the bends....wet or dry track . I have a bit more money now and have been looking around for something newer to buy but i just cant see what i will be gaining apart from a different number plate . Pound for pound it the best bike i have ever owned.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
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

Very impressed...

01 February 2010 by Anonymous

I bought mine in November 09, an FT with 21k miles. Paid £1850, so top whack, but it is near mint with service history and old MOTs to back it all up. In our 3 months together so far (through a very cold and icy winter) I have covered 3000 miles and... Read more finally, just about, got to grips with it. The paintwork is deep and still polishes up to a nice shine. The original exhaust is rotten and will fall off soon. There is a lot of plastic to take off to do any servicing, and balancing the carbs will result in much swearing and burning of hands. Chain adjustment is literally a 5 minute job if you have the original Honda spanner. The engine is torquey, and burbles satisfyingly at tickover. Rev it hard and it unleashes super acceleration over 6k revs, accompanied by a snarling, growling exhaust note. I had problems getting it to handle right. The front end felt wallowy and oddly detached. I spent a couple of days playing with the suspension and it feels a lot more nimble and planted now. The front is only preload adjustable, so fork oil changes are a must. The problem is that you lose some of that armchair comfort by winding up the preload to make it handle, but it is still all-day comfortable (400 miles in a day is easy with no real comfort issues). My first tank of fuel, when I was tickling the throttle, lasted me over 200 miles before the reserve light came on. Now I get no more than 150, but nearly all of my riding is round town and on twisty roads. Front brake pads wear quickly, as it is a heavy bike to stop. Make sure you use the front and rear brakes together to keep it balanced, or you will find the back end skipping all over the place under heavy braking. The weight means you have to get your bum off the seat to make it handle on twisty roads. With the weight it is prone to falling into corners, but the power available means getting it back upright is easy enough. I am running Michelin Road Pilot 2 tyres, and have had no grip issues as yet, no squaring off and little to no wear after 3000 miles. If you are buying look for rotten exhausts (replacements are not cheap), knackered and rusty rear shocks, as they don't come with a hugger as standard and the shock collects a lot of crap. The front spark plugs are a bitch to get at (you have to remove the fairing and the radiator) so make sure these have been changed recently, and are not 16 years old and seized in place. I know I have only done 3k miles but there is nothing to suggest it will give me any problems. It feels like a new bike, it is built like a tank, and still looks relevant when you pull up in the car park on a Sunday rideout.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
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
5 out of 5

King of the road.

28 September 2009 by Haluk

Beautiful, powerful, unique! I've had my '97 VFR750 since April this year. It's done 28k altogether so far. I have no intentions of changing it for another bike until it hits 100k, at the very least. It is all the bike a passionate motorcyclist will... Read more ever need. Just a shame that Honda charge £3.50 for one fairing bolt. Otherwise it is uncomplicated and cheaper to service (but also thirstier) than later VFR's. I prefer the individual brakes.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
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 5 out of 5
5 out of 5

the best bike !

12 January 2009 by kharheng

bought my 1995 VFR in 2005. its been 4 years with her and she is just stunning although the clock shows 53k miles. this is the most comfortable bike i ever own, passenger love it :) the engine perform more then your expectation. it last like a beemer... Read more boxer. for 53k miles on the bike, all i have done is just normal service.. no major service done before but the engine still run strong and smooth. i put my finger and rub at the exhaust and its clean!! the engine does not produce high BHP but the torque is brilliant! this bike could handle properly, very stable in freeway and twisties road, its easy to handle to town as well.. don't let the weight fool around, its light when the bikes goes. many beginner tried my bike and their feedback is easy to ride and friendly. she is so proud, everybody love her! i have change a braided hose and sintered pads and the brakes are just astonishing! ground clearance is good but if getting the bike lower, you'll scratch the center stand with the ground. rear suspension is weak now, properly its time to replace a new rear spring.. some said the rectifier will not last, been use more than 3 years now and it still working :) some people offer me with great value but i'll still keep this until i got a V5 VFR in 2009? :)

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 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
3 out of 5

Rode better - rode much worse as well

22 October 2008 by WHIZZA

Having just sold my V-Strom I bought my 1995 VFR in June 08 with a mere 21k on the clock for commuting and the odd bit of fun. My idea being - smaller engine better fuel return. How wrong I was, with a mere 19 - 21mpg the VFR drinks like a fish and... Read more giving me only 95-100 miles to the red fuel light. At first I thought in town, be better on a run... Quick blast on the motorway later and I still only got 100-110 to a tank pathetic for the "best Bike Ever" Besides the fuel non economy it is a nice bike but was draughty on a run until I fitted a double bubble screen. The riding position is quite comfortable and at 6 foot I dont feel cramped at all on it. The rear passenger seat is more than big enough for a pillion with pegs placed so their knees are not up around their ears. Handling is good even when 2 up on it. Brakes are excellent and pull up the mass of bike and rider very quickly even when on the motorways. The rear shock does feel a bit soft but that is probably down to it being 13 years old and it may be changed if I keep the bike. I'm still not sure I like the single sided swinging arm or to be more accurate the adjusting of the chain. Which reminds me I have to adjust the chain, now where did I put that spanner.....?

Overall Rating 3 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 3 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
Read all 17 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 1995
Year discontinued 1998
Original price -
Warranty term (when new) Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 14 of 17
Annual road tax £80
Annual service cost -
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

  • 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
  • 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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