News Releases 1998  
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MotorcycleJapanApril 10, 1998
Honda Announces Launch of VFR 800cc Liquid-Cooled 4-Cycle DOHC V4 Engine Road Sports Bike - Complies with New Japanese Motorcycle Emission Regulations

Tokyo, April 10, 1998 --- Honda Motor Co., Ltd. has announced the launch of the VFR road sports bike, which will go on sale on April 20. The exhaust system on this liquid-cooled 4-cycle DOHC V4 4-cylinder 800cc engine has been modified to comply with new Japanese motorcycle exhaust emission regulations for Class II motorcycles (250cc displacement or greater) due to be enforced from October 1999.

The VFR has been designed as an all-round sports tourer. It is equally at home whether negotiating city streets, winding country roads, or cruising on the highway. The engine is based on that used in the RVF/RC45 which is a frequent entrant in Superbike races worldwide. The stroke has been lengthened for the VFR to increase the engine's displacement.

This high-performance engine has been modified further to include an exhaust gas purification system, which consists of an electronically controlled fuel-injection system (PGM-FI), newly developed by Honda exclusively for motorcycles, together with an exhaust air-injection system.

The PGM-FI system uses a specifically designed electronic control unit (ECU) to regulate the air-fuel mixture to the engine. By constantly changing the mixture to make it the most suitable for the conditions at any particular instant, the system reduces the amount of pollutants generated during the combustion process.

The exhaust air-injection system channels air through the exhaust ports to mix with unburned hydrocarbons (HCs) and carbon monoxide (CO) in the exhaust gas mixture. This helps to oxidize excess HCs and CO within the exhaust pipe, thereby reducing the amounts of these pollutants that are emitted.

Honda expects the new 800cc VFR road bike, with its superior performance profile and its compliance with Japanese motorcycle exhaust emission regulations, to prove popular among a wide range of motorcycle enthusiasts.

Honda VFR
Honda VFR

Domestic annual sales target: 500 units

Main features of the VFR

Torquey high-performance V4 4-cylinder engine based on the RVF/RC45

Created by extending the stroke in the popular Superbike RVF/RC45 racing engine by 2 mm to increase the displacement to 781cc, the VFR engine is more powerful and compact, making it ideal for a wide range of uses from touring to racing.

A newly developed PGM-FI system changes the air-fuel mixture to make it the most suitable for the conditions at any instant, maximizing the power and boosting throttle response.

A new dual radiator not only increases the effectiveness of the cooling system, but also allows more freedom in the engine arrangement. The new V4 engine is closer to the front wheel, a layout much closer to the ideal for this engine type.

Pivotless twin tube frame provides superior handling and enhances safety

The new VFR incorporates a pivotless frame like the Honda Firestorm which creates an excellent balance between high strength and rigidity. Combined with the Pro-Arm (single-sided swingarm) suspension, this improves cornering and high-speed performance.

Dual-combined brake system for extra stability when braking

A further advance on the braking system used on the CBR1100XX Super Blackbird export model - the front brake lever also operates the rear brake for extra stability when braking - is just what is needed on a super sports tourer.

Fairing design gives extra protection from the wind

The new full-fairing design not only affords maximum protection from the wind, but also gives the VFR a uniquely individual styling, conveying an aggressive yet luxurious look.

Body color: Italian Red

Main specifications:

Model VFR
Type Honda BC-RC46
Length x width x height (m) 2.095x0.735x1.190
Wheelbase (m) 1.440
Ground clearance (m) 0.125
Seat height (m) 0.805
Curb weight/
dry weight
(kg) 233/209
No. of riders (person) 2
Minimum turning radius (m) 3.1
Engine type RC46E liquid-cooled 4-cycle DOHC
4-valve 4-cylinder 90o v-twin
Displacement (cm3) 781
Bore/stroke (mm) 72.0x48.0
Compression ratio 11.6
Maximum power output (PS/rpm) 80/9,500
Maximum torque (kgm/rpm) 6.9/7,000
Fuel economy (km/l)
[60 km/h test on flat ground]
Fuel injection electronic control (Honda PGM-FI)
Starter self-starter type
Ignition full-transistor battery ignition
Lubrication forced pressure and wet sump
Oil capacity (l) 3.8
Fuel tank capacity (l) 21
Clutch coil spring
Transmission 6-speed return
Gear ratios 1st gear 2.846
2nd gear 2.062
3rd gear 1.631
4th gear 1.333
5th gear 1.153
6th gear 1.035
Drive ratios (primary/final) 1.939/2.529
Rake (degrees)/trail (mm) 25o30' /95
Tire sizes Front 120/70 ZR17(58W)
Rear 180/55 ZR17(73W)
Brakes Front hydraulic twin disc
3-piston calipers
dual combined brake system
Rear hydraulic disc
3-piston calipers
Suspension Front telescopic
Rear swingarm
Frame type backbone
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