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Endurance racing

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Honda VF750FD

One of my favorite bikes!

It was a standard VF750F from 198?-ish, one of the first of Honda's V4's which became so famous, and also the model which was slated for cam and bottom end failures. In fact it was quite an early example. The only non-standard things are the exhausts, (not the pipes) which are N-eta's from the 80's, and the handlebar grips! The cam failures mainly happened on road bikes, on the track the problems were not so evident. My own bike still had it's original cams, though the cam chain tensioners were replaced with newer style ones.
The VF750 was the first road bike to have a 16" front wheel. In fact, the steering was so aggressive that many road bikes moved to 17", and have only relatively recently moved back again to 16" (people kept crashing...). The VF is type coded as an RC15.
The VFR is an RC25, and of course, Honda named it's next version as the RC30, followed by the RC45.The VF750F was sophisticated for it's time, with adjustable damping on front forks, plus adjustable bump/rebound damping on the rear monoshock. It also had Honda's mechanical TRAC antidive, which used braking reaction to adjust front damping. The amount of antidive was also adjustable. Honda incorporated a "reverse clutch" into the normal clutch, which slipped under controlled conditions when using engine braking, i.e. if you changed down hard, the rear would not 'skip'. Nowadays, these are called "slipper clutches" and seem to be quite trendy on performance bikes - pity Honda bunged it on the road bikes back in the 80's.... !!! 
The steel chassis was very stiff for it's day, so the VF handled well.The more recent road bikes called VFRs have little resemblance to the racing "equivalent" (the RVF), which was based on the original VF and used by Honda in Endurance and short circuit races. The RVF became justly legendary for it's combination of performance and reliability in endurance particularly. It took 10 YEARS for the competition to come up with machinery which could compete on equal terms with the RVFs and their successor (the RC30) in endurance racing!  A works RVF is quite close to one of the still later RC30's, especially if racekitted, but however, there are significant differences.

For a short time Honda built an 850cc version of the VF for racing only (known as the RS850), with gear driven cams (normal VF's had chains). Probably under 15 were built. They were rocketships but were outlawed by rule changes. Parts were available (if you were lucky and had the knowledge) to build an 850 - which is what we did (see the Endurance pages)!