Every year, the top WGP riders fight it out in the Suzuka 8-Hour race, making it the toughest race in the world. The introduction of new Superbike regulations made it necessary to develop a new race-oriented machine with even higher potential, leading Honda to begin development of the RVF/RC45. Like the RC30, the RC45 was specially built to be a base machine for racing. Designed using the latest technology and lightweight materials developed on the RVF750 racer, the RC45's newly designed engine featured PGM-FI (programmable fuel injection) for improved throttle response. The cam gear drive was moved to the right side of the engine, making for a lighter and more compact engine that could be ideally located in the chassis. These modifications boosted the V4-engine's performance to a whole new level. Supersport riders were in awe of the bike, and when fitted with the dual injectors and other special parts, the RC45 became a formidable racing machine. The 1997 WSB championship and multiple victories at the Suzuka 8-Hour were only some of its many race wins.
In 1988, four years after the debut of the RC45, the bike was completely redesigned. The newly designed engine was based on the World Superbike power unit and featured PGM-FI and a larger displacement. This all-new engine was mounted in a lightweight new high-rigidity 'pivotless' frame. Loaded with advanced technology developed on Honda's racing RC45, this new VFR delivered a level of performance and comfort never before experienced in a supersport bike. Riders around the world loved it. In 2002, the engine was further upgraded with Honda's revolutionary variable valve timing system VTEC. Featuring the latest in advanced Honda technology, the new bike was environmentally friendly, more comfortable than ever and featured advanced air management. Whether blasting around the racetrack at high rpm, or cruising comfortably down the highway in the meat of the bike's torque band, the V4-powered VFR was the most sophisticated sports bike of its era. It was the VFR that firmly established the reputation of this unique line of machines. What began as a racing bike of the future in the NR500 became, with constant development, one of the greatest sports and racing machines in motorcycling history. The era may change, but the Force V4 remains the same.