Outstanding Handling: 1985 Honda VF500F

At first, this dusty and forgotten motorcycle may not get your heart pumping. But do some light reading and it becomes clear the VF500F from Honda, otherwise known as the Interceptor, was quite a bike. Consider the lofty 12,000 RPM redline with a V4 engine that loved to be rung up to the heavens and outstanding handling out of the box and you have the essence of what bike editors at the time loved about the Interceptor. Find this example here on eBay with an opening bid of $500.

The seller doesn’t have much to offer in the way of details, only noting that the bike is dirty and has some rust, and while it rain at one point, it’s not running currently. It’s also showing a salvage title, but the seller acknowledges the bike was still running fine at the time it was presumably totaled by insurance.

It’s too bad, as the overall consensus is that Honda built a fine bike with it released the Interceptor. It’s far from the fastest modern sport bikes, but the handling capabilities at the time were considered top-of-class, and the V4 was supposedly capable of reaching speeds of 135 m.p.h.

I can’t quite read out the mileage, but it appears to be around 13K. I have seen other forum posts that indicate they get needy around 20K, but that’s to be expected on a high-revving bike. The lack of details hurts the seller here, especially since you can buy a driver-quality example for under $3K. Still, as a parts bike, it could be worth a look at $500.

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  1. poseur Member

    parts bike if you need something for a nice one & its close by.

    way too many sweet examples still available if you’re patient.

    i’ve picked up an ’86 GSXR750 & ’87 FZR1000 recently in similar shape for similar money as donors,

    Like 4
  2. mtshootist1

    I own its big brother, an 1985 VF1000R, I bought it new in 1986. a lot of power, and really good in a straight line. They also made a 750 Interceptor. This one looks like it went down on the left hand side.

    Like 3
  3. Steven

    This is my old bike, I zoomed in on a picture and found positive ID, I know the story behind the title

    Like 3
    • George

      Which is?

      Like 5
  4. Jeffro

    I had one of these. It was a fun bike. Handled really well. But it was a slow revver compared to the CBR 600 I bought after I sold the Interceptor

    Like 1
  5. Enesset

    The problem with 80’s Honda’s is the lack of excitement compared to Italian’s Or Brit-bikes or Harley’s…you put a new battery in that Honda even with 25 year old gas in it and I bet it starts and still gets 40mpg.

    Ask me how I know!

    Ps 20k on these is nothing….I’ve got over 50k on my CB700SC Nighthawk-S and it has never let me down.

    Like 1
    • Alex

      The nighthawk and this vf500 are two totally different animals. The nighthawk has a smaller capacity version of a bulletproof engine. This is a high revving v-4 and it will start to wear the engine much more quickly. Also the Honda v-4 carbs don’t like to sit and are hell to tune. And it has a salvage title. Pass.

      Like 4
    • Ross W. Lovell

      Greetings All,

      If by excitement, you mean break downs and wondering if you can buy parts, especially if it’s Italian, then yeah.

      These tended to be cheaply found but with scarred plastic from riders who weren’t ready for this type of power.

      Like 1
  6. Darren K

    I too owned a couple of these and the 750 version also. Absolutely loved the bikes because of their relative comfort and riding position. The VFs were wildly outclassed in terms of straight line power but as you mentioned, the handling was second to none in the 80s. I owned all of mine in the 90s and still love them to this day. I actually daily drove one of the 500s for over a year because I chose to not own a car at that time. The trappings of youth, lol. Traded my past 500 in on a then new, CBR900RR. Regret the $500 that was the offer. Might have to bid on one soon, not this one but definitely a more roadworthy version.

    Like 2
  7. LAB3

    At $500 it’s already at the top of the mark for what I’d be willing to pay, it’s going to take another $500 in parts to make it to where you’d feel good enough about leaving home without a decent set of tools along. The Magna’s of the time, which where also V-4’s, where known to have issues with the cams being too soft although I’m not sure if that applies to this smaller engine or not. As was already mentioned, this bike could be had in running condition for not much more, especially this time of year and throughout the winter.

    Like 1
  8. Emsea

    V4 Hondas are hell to work on, I had a 83 VF750F .I bought it new.
    I refer to myself as the anti-Honda poster boy. I tried to love that bike,and had some good times with it. But its troubles would fill pages.
    I also wrenched on a couple of these 500’s. Expensive/complicated.
    Stay away,you have been warned.

    Like 4
  9. jerry

    I had a 500 Interceptor. It was the best motorcycle I ever had. I opened it up all the way a couple times, I felt like a bullet.

    Like 2
  10. Richard A Whiting

    This one will need the carbs cleaned. Near impossible to remove all four, same applies to reinstall.

  11. Mike

    Had a 700 Interceptor. My then GF at the time (1988) bought it for herself, but it was way too tall for her. She then bought a Suzuki and was riding it for months without a MC endorsement. One day she called me from work telling me to bring my bike over. She came out with a huge dufflebag and told me to take it since she couldn’t carry it and ride her bike. I had the bag across the tank and it was trying to fall off at every opportunity. While I was trying to keep the bag balanced, she took off for home. I was riding about a block behind her when a police car pulled out of a side street and got in between us. She stopped at an intersection on a hill. She stalled out, started it and stalled again. The cop slowly pulled up behind her and me behind the cop. She couldn’t get the bike to move forward. She tried waving the cop by, but he told her over the PA “that’s ok, I’ll wait”.

    She just couldn’t get it moving. The cop had enough and told her to push the bike off to the side. I, being the dutiful BF, also pull over on the shoulder in front of both of them. I put my foot down and the dufflebag promptly fell off the tank and crashed onto the asphalt. The cop’s attention was now in me and the oversized bag. With him next to me looking at the bag, I got off and tried to put it on the centerstand. It sank into the gravel and fell over. If it couldn’t get any more embarrassing, another cop pulled up. They were so close to writing her a ticket for no MC license, but she charmed them out of it. Since I had a license, I was told to pick up my bike off the ground, ride her home, walk back to her bike and ride that back (home was only a short way away). Nothing was wrong with her bike, she just couldn’t get the clutch/throttle coordination right while on a hill. I told her that it was very low on gas to avoid an argument about her riding skills. Even though the cop told her the next time he saw her on the bike, he would pull her over to check for an endorsement, she still rode to work on it for months without one.

    Like 3
  12. chrlsful

    crazy kids.
    Boy duz anything he can 4 da girl. Shoulda just gone home. She obviously can handle herself…

    I thought U were gunna tell me abt
    contraband (or whatever) in the duffel…

    More stories / less haters, mmmm, BF!
    still got my ’78K750 (4Sale), no more H2…

    Like 1
  13. gto4ever

    Met up with the 1000 version of this in 1986 on I95 traveling from Fort Devens Mass to Philly. I was on my KZ1000, lost him somewhere after crossing the GW bridge. Fast but not fast enough. This one however looks like its best days are in the rear view.

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