Subtle V4 Restomod: 1984 Honda VF1000F Interceptor

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This 1984 Honda VF1000F Interceptor is described by the seller as a restomod, and quotes a 2014 Practical Sportsbikes article on the build in which the tester wrote that “The overall effect is understated, subtle, and very much as if Honda themselves had developed the bike.” Changes include an RC51 front end complete with brakes, a VF1000R swingarm, an Akrapovic/HRC (Honda Racing Corporation) carbon exhaust and more. Though expensive, complex, heavy, and ultimately not quite as sharp as competition from Suzuki and Kawasaki, these V4 bikes saw Honda really push the limit of then-current road bike technology, and this one sounds to have sharpened things up nicely while retaining the model’s iconic looks. Find it here on eBay in Colorado Springs, Colorado with reserve not met.

Says the seller: “I built this from a solid 1984 Interceptor in 2008-2009. It was featured in the June 2014 issue of Practical Sportsbikes Magazine as a “Special Brew.” It runs excellent and handles great. I do ride it. The cams are excellent. I had found two 1000 Interceptors previous to this but both of those had bad cams and rockers. This one has no such issue. Just over 27,000 miles on it.” The cam issue noted by the seller was a real headache for Honda with its early street V4’s, and premature engine failures were common, dealing quite a blow to the company’s hard-earned reputation for rock-solid reliability.

Honda tried everything from larger cam oil jets to harder lobe material, but ultimately the issue was discovered to be poorly matched cam bearings. Apparently Honda put too much faith in new automated bearing manufacturing processes, and in their hubris decided that hand-matching these components was no longer necessary. This explains why some bikes were effected while others weren’t, with future dependability boiling down to pure luck of the draw when it came time for heads to be built up at the factory.

Here’s the 998cc V4 in question, a 90° design with twin cams per bank operating four valves per cylinder. Some versions of this engine (starting with the homologation VF1000R) would trade chain cam drive for stacked gears, but they all made good torque for such oversquare, revvy motors, delivered with a sound unmistakable for anything else. This one should be good for around 113 HP. Note the factory hydraulic clutch, operated here by an upgraded VTR1000F master cylinder and stainless lines.

Despite the changes made to this one, it still remains easily identifiable as a classic Interceptor, even with that excellent carbon front fender leading the way. The seller admits to a few scratches and similar minor flaws here and there, but overall condition looks and sounds to be excellent.

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