The First Sport Bike? The 1983 Honda VF750F Interceptor

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1983 Honda VF750F Interceptor
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1983 Honda VF750F Interceptor
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1983 Honda VF750F Interceptor
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There were only two options available on the Honda VF750F: the chrome crash bars and the seat cowl.
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Only two colors were offered for 1983: Pearl Shell White, teamed with either Candy Aleutian Blue or Candy Bourgogne Red. Though having been ridden just more than 13,000 miles, our photo bike is as perfect an example as you’ll find.
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Only two colors were offered for 1983: Pearl Shell White, teamed with either Candy Aleutian Blue or Candy Bourgogne Red. Though having been ridden just more than 13,000 miles, our photo bike is as perfect an example as you’ll find.
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The optional removable seat cowl was available painted to match the VF750F.
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1983 Honda VF750F Interceptor
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Owner and photographer Jeff Barger bought his VF750F new in 1983 and has kept it stock.

Honda VF750F Interceptor
Claimed power: 86hp @ 10,000rpm
Top speed: 132mph (period test)
Engine: 748cc liquid-cooled 16-valve DOHC 90-degree V4, 70mm x 48.6mm bore and stroke, 10.5:1 compression ratio
Weight (wet): 551lb (250.5kg)
Fuel capacity/MPG: 5.8gal (22ltr)/37.3mpg (period test)
Price then/now: $3,498/$3,000-$5,500

An Interceptor is a fighter aircraft specifically designed to repel enemy missions. Relying on high speed and powerful armament, they were once seen as the first line of air defense. So did Honda’s first Interceptor, the 1983 VF750F, have the fleetness and firepower necessary to beat the competition?

It’s been said that Honda rushed its V4s to market after the launch of the Suzuki Katana, and in anticipation of a new world-beater from Yamaha that became the FJ1100. As the Eighties dawned, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha seemed bent on deposing Big Red as the default Japanese brand. Honda appeared to have taken its eye off the ball, perhaps because of its new range of four-wheelers. Its mainstream bikes were seen as sturdy and reliable, but stodgy and dated. While Honda relied too long on its single overhead cam design from 1969, Yamaha, Suzuki and Kawasaki, formerly 2-stroke dependent, had all developed dual overhead cam inline 4-stroke fours. Though technological tours de force, neither the Honda Gold Wing, nor the CBX — not to mention the CX twin — were considered mainstream: Honda’s volume marketplace lead was slipping.

Then the V4s arrived, like a squadron of F-22s to intercept and scatter the intruders, creating a sensation along the way. In 1982, Honda introduced the V45 Sabre and Magna for the U.S. market, and the VF750S for Europe. All had liquid-cooled, hugely over-square 70mm x 43mm bore and stroke engines, 6-speed transmissions and shaft drive. The short stroke, 4-valve V4 was state of the art, and buyers anticipated high-revving, high-power performance.

The VF750F joined the U.S. range a year later, in 1983. Aping Suzuki’s 1981 Katana, the VF sported a frame-mounted headlight fairing. But while the Katana was in many ways a dressed-up late-Seventies GS1100, the Honda was just about all new. Though based on the V45 Sabre, the VF featured an all-new GP-derived frame, a revamped power train and several other race bike goodies.

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