Honda Could Have A New V4 Sport Bike For 2023

The World Needs More V4

Simon over at Visordown states that sources are claiming that Honda could be resurrecting the V4 engine design and updating it for a 2023 motorcycle.

The current VFR800F hasn’t seen any notable updates for quite some time. With Euro 5 regulations purging the lands of motorcycles unworthy of an overhaul, the VFR800F will be swept under the rug and won’t see a new version for the 2021 model year. 

This would be the perfect opportunity to bring a new V4 motorcycle to Honda’s lineup. The brand has always had some variety of a V4 model available for buyers as the original VFR it the scene in 2002 with the VTEC models that blazed their own path until the most recent Interceptor was released.

It would be interesting if Honda decided to put out a full-size V4 engine configuration to compete with the Aprilia Tuono (RSV4) and the Ducati’s lineup of V4 motorcycles (over 1000cc). I would have purchased a VFR personally if they had a bit more power.

Tetsuhiro Kuwata, Director and Manager at HRC, stated in an interview that the prospects of a V4 engine making it’s way to their superbike racing model is unlikely as the current inline-four engine they are using is more than suitable for their needs. However, he did not speak on whether or not it would be a good or bad idea for a road-oriented motorcycle.

An image from a patent that Honda filed back in 2019 shows the blueprints for that looks like a V4 powerplant for what was to be their “v4 Superbike”. Now that Kuwata has put that rumor to rest, it’s looking increasingly likely that this engine could be used to a new VFR Interceptor that could come along down the line.



  1. Brian Cordell
    January 4, 2021

    The original VTEC model of the VFR was released as a 2002 model. However, Honda released the original version of their VFR as a 750 model in 1986. The first VTEC model is considered by many VFR riders to be the 6th generation of the VFR. The last VFR released by Honda is considered to be the 8th generation. The 2010+ VFR1200F picked up the 7th generation slot, and delivered the power you requested, however, it weight held it back from serious sporting consideration for many people.

    • Snake
      January 30, 2021

      I test rode the VFR1200 and completely understand why it was a market disappointment.

      It when beyond the weight issue, which really wasn’t an issue at all for the market it was *supposed* to hit – the sport touring class. But upon actually riding it you experienced the fact that Honda missed the target – actually, they missed many targets.

      It was a bit too sporty for sport-tourer, yet not spotty enough for sportbike. It didn’t have the fuel range of a good sport tourer, either.

      But then the engine. More specifically, the design dynamics of the engine. The moto magazines promised “174hp!” on the tin but then you actually rode it, only to discover that they neutered the output in both 1st and 2nd gear ‘ for your safety’.

      But then you got it up to speed. And realized that, for a bike claiming 174hp, the top gear acceleration starting from legal U.S. road speeds – 55 to 70mph – was absolutely pathetic. At U.S. highway speeds the VTEC engine is below the 5,500rpm VTEC activation point and power is far below expectations. You either need a quick downshift, or wait until about 85mph, to get the accelerating that “174hp” leads you to expect. But by that time you’re either in jail, as the VTEC really kicks in at 100mph, or you’re frustrated that you’re very expensive, top-end sport tourer needed a downshift just to pass that Toyota Corolla.

      I guess that’s why the DCT variant ended up the better loved of the two.

      I walked away shaking my head. Great on the Autostrada or the Autobahn, a dud almost everywhere else.

    • Darin
      May 23, 2021

      The first was 1982, with the VF750.

  2. FDV
    August 26, 2021

    Honda desperately needs to inject excitement back into their lineup. They seem to have forgotten all about the SPORT-touring class. An all-new VFR750 would do the trick. It should be lighter and more nimble than the upright “adventure” bikes, but much more versatile than the CB650 models. It does not need 150+ horsepower, it needs a serious weight diet. To keep price reasonable, Honda needs to remove the needless “features” that don’t add value: VTEC being the prime point of contention. But it does need to retain hard case luggage capability. Why has Honda been unable to deliver a 120hp, 380 pound motorcycle that you can comfortably use for commuting and weekend trips with a passenger? Hello? The VFR was the best choice by a million miles from about 1990 through about 2001. Then Honda lost the plot!!!

  3. FDV
    August 26, 2021

    I should add: Honda’s announced NT1100 may be an attractive sport-touring bike for some, but a parallel twin engine is weak sauce compared to a V4. The significantly larger displacement Africa-Twin derived engine might deliver pleasing torque, but at 523 pounds, the bike needs all the help it can get. Also the large engine puts it in a different class for insurance and fuel economy. Once again middleweight SPORT-touring riders are left with nothing to choose from the Honda lineup. Apparently Honda thinks that riders today are all big & fat and need liter-plus engines to move. Honda should have learned its lesson from the ill-conceived VFR1200. Honda’s core VFR riders didn’t want bigger and fatter bikes. They wanted sportier, equal power to the competition, with no loss in versatility. Honda still hasn’t upped the ante after all these years. Try to deliver a bike under 400 pounds kerb weight, Honda. TRY, for the love of Zeus.

  4. Marc Duville
    September 27, 2021

    Honda, you gotta lose the weight and keep updating your bikes more often than every 6-8 years. Your marketing department has done you complete disservice for two decades now.

    A decade ago there was a loud contingent demanding the next VFR to be a liter+ bike. Honda delivered Shamu: a large ponderous beast with no sportiness, muted V4 character, and no styling cues to evoke the muscular VFRs of the past. Honda’s thinly veiled take on a BMW K-bike didn’t deliver BMW performance though it was fine for the few riders who only ride on an autobahn. VFR riders looking for a sturdy but lighter, sportier bike have had to look elsewhere.

    In addition to weight bloat, the real issue is middleweight VFR riders haven’t seen a serious boost in engine performance since about 1990. Better emissions and fuel economy and electronic claptrap, with corresponding weight and cost: yes. Power, no. It should be eye-opening to Honda that a used non-VTEC VFR800 will sell for more than a similar mileage 2002-2013 model VFR800 with VTEC and heavy hot under-tail exhaust. Apparently your marketing department isn’t paying attention. You need new V4 engines to keep up with the competition and, yes, improve the power and torque over the excellent machines you delivered 3 decades ago.

    It’s time for Honda to show us they can still innovate with a family of new V4 engines. They would be well served to reintroduce smaller displacement VFR models as it had in the past: 500cc and 750cc are more than enough with today’s technologies, with no loss in power.


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