Radwood Ready: 1985 Honda Interceptor VF1000R

If you don’t already know, Radwood is a traveling car show that has become a major attraction for fans of 80s and 90s enthusiast vehicles. From big-body Benzes to period tuner cars, the scene is augmented by period-correct colors and clothing, and this custom-painted 1985 Honda Interceptor VF1000R would be a welcome entry at any of their events. The seller calls the repaint “unfortunate” but I personally think it’s perfect for the era. Find this barn find Interceptor here on eBay with a starting bid of $899 and no reserve. 

The VF1000R sported some major modifications over the standard VF1000F, which was already a formidable performer thanks to being a production-version of Honda’s competition-grade superbike used in American Motorcycle Association events. The VF1000R added on the engineering feats of this platform, incorporating notable features like cams driven by the geartrain, with “straight-cut”-type gears. The heads were redesigned to increase compression, and the upper radiator utilized a “ram air”-type induction to provide cooling. The front fork was also unique, designed with the “TRAC” anti-dive system, manually-adjustable damping, and quick-release axle clamps.

Like my Mercedes 190E 2.3-16, the European models got larger fuel tanks for use in endurance racing events. The R’s also received the full-body cladding seen here, and U.S. models for ’85 also suffered with the boring single headlight set-up. European models received the wicked dual-headlight design, which was later incorporated on U.S. models. This VF1000R has a mere 21,000 miles on the clock and some light damage to the fairing from a mild “lay down” incident. The seller notes it sat from 1986 until this year, thankfully without any gas in the tank. It needs tires but does start and run, but will also need a tune-up and other mechanical freshening.

There’s no doubt the VF1000R is a significant bike for Honda, even if road testers at the time complained about the seating position and weight of the bike. Street bikes with a clear link to professional-grade competition enjoy the same popularity of vehicles built to meet homologation requirements, and this barn find Interceptor would make for a wicked restoration project that would likely find lots of fans at any car or bike show of your choice. But please – don’t paint it.

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  1. Howard A Member

    Inner city crotch rocket. When I lived in Milwaukee, there were these roving bands of “bros” terrorizing the streets. At night, you’d hear a bunch of them, all winding them out into at least 4th gear, so you know they were going 100 mph on city streets. Every once in a while, you’d see one laying on it’s side, with the driver sitting on the curb, holding their ear on, which is probably what happened here. I just don’t see how that riding position could be comfortable. I sit pretty upright with a back rest on my GW, and it is quite comfortable. If you drove around a road course all day, I bet this would be a rush, I-80,,not so much.

    Like 5
    • Tom S.

      You don’t drive a motorcycle. You ride a motorcycle.

      Like 5
  2. canadainmarkseh Member

    I remember being a young guy when these were new, and as much as I liked the look of them I didn’t want one. I was more interested in the touring bikes and in 82 I bought a brand new out of the crate gold wing interstate. I had it for about seven years then drifted away from bikes until 08 when I saw a Ural patrol with sidecar at a bike show. I had to have it but after I got it I discovered how slow they are and was disappointed but I was hooked on the sidecar aspect. I’m now on a 1977 goldwing with a custom sidecar that I designed and built and I love it. I still see the crotch rockets go ripping by just like these Hondas and at night you can here them on the freeway doing Mach 1 dieing to become a statistic and a few do each year. So as much as this bike appeals to me when it comes to styling I am still more interested in the big goldwings, they are the ultimate in touring bikes.

    Like 2
  3. LAB3

    Good thing it has that little bit of laydown damage, much easier to justify a paint job!

    Like 7
    • ken TILLY Member

      The first thing I would do as a lover of motorcycles since my first Triumph Tiger 110 in 1957 is PAINT IT !! Any colour than what it currently is.

      Like 6
  4. grant

    21k seems like a lot of miles for a bike with a year of use.

    Like 2
    • Patrick

      The ad actually states it was parked in 1996, not 1986.

      Like 2
  5. LT1 Mike

    I’ve ridden Harley’s all my life and I still own a Softail. Occasionally I ride my friend’s crotch rocket Kawasaki, just to scare the living s☆☆t out of myself every now and then. 👍This is a nice bike, and they are not uncomfortable at all IMO. Good luck to the new owner, ride safe, and watch for the people on their phones and texting !!! PS ; I agree, keep the paint !!

    Like 4
  6. On and On On and On Member

    With that paint scheme it would be perfect for an Easter Parade with a bunny suit on……………

    Like 9
  7. erikj

    Wish I could like the paint,but cant find the love!
    A old work buddy around 1985 special ordered a 1000r and when it finally showed up at work it was cool. And brand new red,white and blue. No robin egg blue on it..

    Like 2
  8. Alan (Michigan) Member

    Someone was in a temper tantrum, threw a wrench, and dented the speedo face edge, shattering the glass….

    I have a ’83 VF750S, (V45) but have always lusted after the VF1100S (V65), which is a bike similar to the subject here, except shaft instead of chain drive. Honda engineers were working overtime, trying to cover every possible part of the market. So many bikes, so little time…..

    Like 1
    • Jay Griffin

      Do you know of this bike personally?

  9. michael h streuly

    The person that felt the need to paint the bike in the current colors should be given a boot to the head.

    • Alan (Michigan) Member

      Geez Youse Guys…
      Give the painter a break. People use all kinds of color schemes on their rides, whether car, truck, motorhome, or… And their houses too. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It is not like Honda didn’t do something quite similar with the VTR250 in 1989!

      (wish I could have found a clearer photo, sorry…)

      Like 1
  10. Mike R in De

    These were and should still be VERY FAST!!! Also stable at triple digit speeds, & Almost race track ready . Had a short ride on one, was very confidence inspiring. My back can’t tolerate the riding position today, but back then, No problem! Repaint back to stock colors, or whatever floats your boat. Good luck to the new owner and seller.

    Like 2
  11. mtshootist1

    I bought an 85 VF1000R new in 1986, I have around 10K on the odometer. I still own it, a one owner bike, and have had it up around 170 on I 80 and I-90. Still original paint. I don’t ride it as often as I used to, I can’t see far enough out there anymore to run at much more than 100mph. At the time I bought it, I had my choice between it and a sportster, I figured what the hell, and bought the Honda, it is heavy, and great on a straight line, which Montana has a lot of long stretches of road. Definitely the bike if you had the NEED, the NEED for SPEED.. by the way, I would get rid of that sissy paint job right off the bat.

  12. Jay Griffin

    I’m excited to be the new owner and it will get painted to original colors…Sorry Jeff L.

    Like 2
  13. Jon Berndlmaier

    I just picked up a 1985 kawasaki kzl 900 eliminator, with only 14,000 miles on it, last year the guy put new tires front and back, new battery, and rebuilt carbs, it has been repainted a maroon color, but needs to be color sanded and buffed out.
    But I have seen the same bike selling for 12,000
    The old super bikes are making a huge come back, to the point the manufactures are making the new bikes reto, to look just like the mid 70’s to mid 80’s, it is not just cars, older bikes are coming on strong.

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