Buying a secondhand motorcycle is never easy and buying a Honda VFR800 VTEC needs also some special attention. The original VFR750 was the thinking man's sportsbike: agile, reliable and utterly dependable. Over the years it moved away from the cutting edge and became a sports tourer. In 1997 Honda took it up to 781cc and five years later, they added the two-step VTEC valve timing system – two valves per cylinder up to 7000rpm and four valve above – that divides opinion.
Some people love the Honda VFR800, others hate it. Either way, the VFR800 is still a brilliant blend of sportsbike and tourer that will do pretty much all you ask of it. The 782cc 16-valve DOHC V-four engine is more than capable and produces around 109 horsepower at 10,500rpm, with 80 N·m at 8,750rpm.
The side-mounted radiators are vulnerable if it's dropped, so any scuffs on the fairing need closer examination. The chain-driven camshaft rarely go wrong, but if they do it takes a very (hard to find) good mechanic to to repair them. The VTEC stutter is noticeable as you pass the 7000rpm barrier, but it's normal – clunky fueling elsewhere means the fuel injection needs a check up. The Honda VFR800 have a combined braking system. Pull the front brake and the rear also comes on, and vice versa, check this – some people maybe try to modify this.
The 25,000km valve clearance service cannot be missed or the valves close up and burn out their seats. Leading to a very expensive repair bill.
The Honda VFR800 VTEC was manufactured from 2002 to 2004.