Clymer visited the 22th Annual Heart of America Motorcycle Enthusiasts (HoAME) Vintage Motorcycle Rally/Show and got a close up look at Timothy DeWitt’s 1985 Honda VF1000R Interceptor (with 1986 headlight). This bike was named Best Modern Sportbike at the show and got a trophy sponsored by ThoughtBytes.
The 1000cc Interceptor was the most advanced street bike around when released and had some seriously trick features. The bolt together ComStar wheels were borrowed directly from the oval piston GP bike program. The rest of the bike was very much related to the HRD endurance bike racing program which had created the RS750R, RS850R, and RS1000RW, and the AMA Formula 1 FWS1000. The box section steel, and cast aluminum swingarm were not light, but they were stout and and unlike most anything on the street at the time. The adjustable suspension at both ends was state of the art. The front dual discs were fully floating, and the rear disc was ventilated like that of a car. The huge for the time fork tubes carried special quick release drop outs directly from the endurance race program. The V4 engine was a further development of that ones that had come before it the Sabre, Magna, and smaller Interceptors. With its gear driven valve train it could rev all day, and made power like a freight train from idle to redline. The race bikes had so much power that Honda had to team up with Bridgestone to invent radial motorcycle tires. The street bikes but out nearly 100hp at the rear wheel according to magazine tests back in the day, in line with their claimed 125hp (122PS in Europe). These bikes were not inexpensive, nearly 50% more than the VF1000F that came before it, and many sat in showrooms for 3 years looking for the right buyer. In the end only about 7,000 were ever made worldwide. You can read more about the VF1000R at Wikipedia or about all the Honda V4 sport and race bikes.
Clymer Girl and the crew didn’t have to go far to attend the HoAME show and rally, as it was just up the road at the Kansas City Airline History Museum in the Downtown Airport. The show was packed with classic vintage and antique motorcycles including British, German, Japanese, Italian, and American makes, all on display. Manufacturers represented include Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, BMW, Harley Davidson, Vincent, Triumph, BSA, Norton, Brough Superior, Indian, Cushman, Vespa, Laverda, Puch, Lambretta, MV Augusta, Ducati, Matchless, Zundapp, Moto Guzzi, AJS and more. There were 100% perfect restorations, well worn bikes daily riders, full-on customs, cafe racers, choppers, bobbers, dirt bikes, road racers – any type or style of motorcycle you could image. Also on display were vintage propeller driven passenger planes, including a Douglas DC-3, a Martin 404, and right outside the hangar was a 1958 Lockheed Super Constellation.
While Clymer has never made a manual for this exotic, limited production bike, we do have coverage for just about every other V-4 Interceptor Honda sold in the 1980s and 1990s, as well as most of their other models as well. Find yours here.