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Honda VF 400F 1989 1990 Model Specification

Max. HP
59hp @ 12,500 RPM
4.0 kg*m @ 10,000 RPM
1985 mm (D)
705 mm (W)
1075 mm (H)
1345 mm
Dry Weight
182 kg
Front Wheel
120/60-17 54H
Rear wheel
150/60-18 67H
List Price (new)
695,000 yen ($8176 US)
No picture available


Overview: Major upgrade to the line. Looks just like an RC30. 360x crank. Color: white/red/blue (RC30 look alike but with the dark blue stripe on top of the light blue stripe and a white a stripe between the blue and red) or black/ silver/red. Both models sported white wheels. The VFR400R(NC30) is known for its handling, turning quicker than most other 400s on the market.

Just a quick summary of pains and pleasure of owning a VFR400R (by Colin MacKellar). He has a 1989 NC30 gray import to Holland from Japan. This is the first year of the NC30, the previous model being the NC24.

First of all it's a small bike. If you're anything over 6'0" (1829 mm), you might consider a different bike. It's a race-replica so you're scrunched up behind the fairing and this can result in stiffness and pain in the back and neck. There is quite a lot of weight on the low handlebars and your wrists get sore after a time. The seat is wafer thin with little padding and don't even consider carrying a pillion (passenger).

The engine is complex and compact and not that easy to work on (although this seems true of most modern bikes). There are odd niggly things like the tiny 8mm sparkplugs that can only be obtained from Honda and need a special long-reach plug spanner. (Make sure you get a tool-kit if you buy second-hand).

There is of course no center stand. You can buy the Honda official RC30/NC30 stand at (c.$500) or get one of the after-market stands no doubt available.

There are comparatively few after-market accessories available e.g. bodywork, exhausts, etc. It's gotten slightly better this past year in the UK, but the choice is limited.

Despite the above, it's a fantastic bike. It has useful power from 5,000 through to the 14,000 red-line and does not require continuous gear changes to keep it on the boil. It looks gorgeous and trick, even though it's 6 years old. It always reminds me of the NSR250 run in the GPs.

It has a top speed of c. 130 mph and I've seen 200 kph on mine. It is quite heavy for a 400 and the first gear is quite long (tall) so quarter mile times are disappointing. Some testers have called it "bland" but it's fine for me.

It is said that some bikes are fitted with rev limiters for 4th through 6th gear but my bike does not have this. There are Japanese after-market "black boxes" that remove this limitation and also change the ignition curve adding about 6 bhp. it's claimed. A Dynojet kit does not officially exist I believe, but there is a shop in Holland that will fit a kit they've developed themselves along with a less restrictive air filter. The only pipes I know are Laser and Micron race pipes. The Micron was developed for Honda Britain race team that campaigned the NC30 in the supersport 400 class early in the 90s. It is NOT street legal. The Laser claims to be street legal, but makes a LOT of noise. Sounds fantastic. There are probably others available in Japan (OVER?)

What to look out for....

  • Make sure there is a tool kit with the plug spanner. A new tool kit costs +/- $120 !!
  • The sump plug thread is very fragile, I had to have mine helicoiled.
  • If you need to buy bodywork, there is very little pattern stuff available here in Europe. Honda painted bodywork is criminally expensive, mind-bendingly so. Try repairing first, often possible.
  • Check all the screws and fasteners are present on the fairing. There are dozens of them and they often get lost during maintenance.
  • All the usual stuff for all bikes.
By and large, the bike performs and is reliable (at least in my case). If you want to go for relatively short blasts through the twisties with some friends and you're not into touring/doing the shopping with the bike, it would be a good choice.