In 1985, the designation of Honda's V4 powered race bikes changed from RS to RVF, a change indicative of significant technical advances. While the liquid-cooled V4 base engine (such as used in the VF750F) remained fundamentally unchanged, changes in firing order and new 4-into-2-into-1 exhaust systems were featured. For increased chassis rigidity, the aluminium box-section double-cradle frame was changed to a high-rigidity aluminium twin-tube diamond frame. These improvements helped the RVF750 win many important international races, including the Bol'Dor 24-Hour and the Suzuka 8-Hour endurance races. In 1986 Honda released the now legendary VFR750F which was developed based on feedback from the RVF750. This newly designed V4 engine featured a 180°crankshaft, gear-driven cams and more compact engine design. Its impressive performance made it an instant favorite of sportbike riders around the world. The highly refined power unit was used to power many racing machines, including the RVF750. Development continues, and Honda's V4 engines still power winning race bikes around the world.
Powered by a race tuned VFR750F engine, the RVF750 dominated the Suzuka 8-Hour Race and many others. However, because the TT-F1 regulations required all bikes to be based on production machines, only limited modifications were permitted. "We wanted to enhance the bike's race potential and also provide racers with a machine capable of winning," said an engineer. Unlike the production machines, this new race-spec machine would be specially designed as a production bike that could win races. Designated the VFR750R/RC30, the bike would feature the latest racing technology and be powered by a powerful race-ready V4 engine. Special engine features included redesigned cam drive allowing use of smaller cam gears more suitable for high-rpm operation. Other race-spec features included 2-ring pistons and titanium alloy connecting rods. Chassis features included a single-sided swingarm, a lightweight FRP fairing and everything else needed to make the RC30 the most competitive machine in its class. The RC30s were not produced on a production line and were almost entirely hand-built. The machine debuted in 1987, and in 1988 a superbike version powered by a RVF750 base engine won the Superbike World Championship.