I bought a 1990 FL model (1st of the single sided swing arm model) used with 3,000 miles in 1993. Rode it till 1998 having covered a further 62,000 miles on it.
Suspension was too soft, so I had forks revalved & resprung & a new shock built by Maxton (UK). It became a sharp handling and much quicker & more fun bike as a result. Brakes weren't the greatest - but some better (6 piston) front calipers and a CBR1000 master cylinder saw to that. Also fitted Dynojet kit & a better exhaust.
Mine took a lot of abuse. Toured UK & Europe on it, rode to work daily, commuted late nights for hours sat at 140 mph on the highway & went Superbike hunting on weekends. Although checked during servicing I never had to adjust valve clearances or carb balance & it never let me down. When I left the UK to work abroad I put it into storage, as it was worth more to me than it's market value. Have recently imported it to Japan and will shortly put it back into use alongside my RC51. Might even treat it to a respray and a new stainless exhaust - It'll go on for another 60,000 miles with ease and help keep the RC51 lower mileage & only for special fun.
The first 1986-1989 (FG-FK) models were very good bikes, although with 16" front wheels and tappet adjustable valve clearances as well as not having the single sided arm, the replacement model (1990-1993) was better.
The 1990-1993 offered better fairing protection, better headlights, foldable & very well positioned passenger handles on the rear and easier chain adjustment too.
The 1994-1997 model lost the "on the go" adjustable fuel tap and got slightly less fuel range (If I remember correctly) but had prettiest styling of all VFR's to date and is probably the best model of all, whilst keeping or improving most of the previous model's best features.
The 800cc models got linked brakes, lost the gear driven cams (& so the characteristic whine was lost too). The capacity increase was not for performance, but to keep performance levels similar to predecessors whilst having to meet ever increasingly stringent global emissions requirements now with cat converter & fuel injection (Cats don't work well with carbs because fuel still goes to exhaust when throttles are closed).
Not bad bikes, but the 750's are considered by most who have owned several VFR's to be the best of the breed.
Personally I'm not a fan of any of the 800 body styles and I think the 1200 looks like a glorified scooter, but there's no doubt they're all very good bikes.
In a way I think the VFR was ahead of it's time, not least with their V4 engines. Other brands have only just realised the V4 is the better configuration - Honda knew it in the 80's...
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