Model code ‘RC30’, the Honda VFR750R was designed and built for homologation purposes to enter the new for 1988 World Superbike Championship. The bike was built by the Honda Racing Corporation (HRC) being first released to the Japanese domestic market (JDM) in 1987, and Europe the following year.

The compact 748cc 90° V4 features gear driven double-overhead camshafts with a 360° ‘big bang’ crank arrangement/firing order. Titanium connecting rods reduced reciprocal weight (but cost 8x more than steel), a single piston-ring to reduce friction coupled to a close-ratio 6-speed gearbox (with tall 1St gear) and slipper clutch were standard.

Standard power outputs were 75.94 hp (56.63 kW) at 9,500 rpm for the restricted Japanese model and 118 hp (88 kW) @ 11,000 rpm for de-restricted models.

With fully adjustable front and rear suspension by Showa, a single seat unit and smaller, lighter rear subframe, gave superior ride and handling characteristics. The front forks had quick-release mountings. With the rear wheel carrying an in-board brake disc and a chain sprocket to the outside of a single-sided swingarm (originally patented by ELF of France), attached only by a single castellated nut and cotter pin, provided for rapid wheel changes, a must in endurance racing. The bike was fitted with a ‘Pro Squat Rear Brake Linkage’ that linked the rear caliper to the frame via a rose-jointed linkage through the swingarm (reducing rear wheel hop under braking).

Chassis-wise, the engine configuration, aluminium beam frame, and low storage position of the lightweight aluminium fuel tank combined to give a low centre of gravity which aided its handling prowess. The hand-built quality were displayed in the RC30’s unique full stainless steel 4-2-1 exhaust system, hand laid fibreglass bodywork, and the colours of its paint finish that has made the RC30 a design icon.

Make Model Honda VFR 750R RC30
Year 1990
Engine Four stroke, 90°V-four cylinder, DOHC, 4 valve per cylinder
Capacity 748 cc / 45.6 cub in
Bore x Stroke 70 x 48.6 mm
Cooling System Liquid cooled
Compression Ratio 11.0:1
Lubrication Forced pressure and wet sump
Induction 4x 36 mm Keihin CV
Ignition Digitalized full transistor ignition
Spark Plug NGK CR8EH9 or ND U24FER9
Starting Electric
Max Power 74 KW / 102 hp @ 9500 rpm
Max Power Rear Tyre 65.7 KW / 88.2 hp @ 9800 rpm)
Max Torque 76.5 Nm / 7.8 kgf-m / 56.4 lb-ft @ 8500 rpm
Clutch Wet, multiple discs, cable operated
Transmission 6 Speed constant mesh
Final Drive Chain
Primary Reduction 1.939 (64/33)
Final Reduction (sprockets) 2.6875 (43/16)
Gear Ratio 1st 2.8461 (37/13) 2nd 2.0625 (33/16)
3rd 1.6315 (31/19) 4th 1.3333 (28/21)
5th 1.1538 (30/26) 6th 1.0357 (29/28):1
Frame Twin-spar aluminum diamond
Front Suspension 41mm Showa cartridge forks, no external adjustment
Front Wheel Travel 140 mm / 5.5 in
Rear Suspension Pro-link single sided swingarm, adjustable preload
Rear Wheel Travel 130 mm / 5.2 in
Front Brakes 2x 296mm discs, 2 piston calipers
Rear Brakes Single 256mm disc, 1 piston caliper
Front Wheel 17 x 3.5 in.
Rear Wheel 17 x 3.5 in.
Front Tyre 120/70 VR17
Rear Tyre 170/60 VR17
Rake 26°
Trail 100 mm / 3.9 in.
Dimensions Length 2180 mm / 85.8 in.
Width 700 mm /27.6 in
Height 1185 mm / 46.7 in.
Wheelbase 1470 mm / 57.9 in.
Ground clearance 130 mm/5.1 in.
Dry Weight 216 kg / 476 lbs
Wet Weight 236 kg / 520 lbs
Fuel Capacity 19 Litres / 5.0 gal
Reserve 3.5 Litres / 0.92 gal
Consumption average 6.7 L/100/km / 15.0 km/l / 35.2 mpg
Braking 60 km/h/37 mph – 0 13.6 m/44.6 ft
Braking 100 km/h / 62 mph – 0 36.9 m/121 ft
Standing /4 Mile 11.2 sec / 193.7 km/h / 120.4 mph
Top Speed 239.4 km/h /148.8 mph