Gallery: Honda V-4 Timeline

A history of Honda’s V-4 models, from the original Sabre, Magna and Interceptor to the RC213V-S

Since their introduction almost 35 years ago in the Sabre and Magna, V-4 engines have found homes in a variety of Honda motorcycles, from cruisers to sport-tourers to all-out sportbikes. Scroll through our gallery below to see a timeline of those bikes, from the very first V45 Sabre to the latest Honda with a V-4 engine, the MotoGP-replica RC213V-S, and to learn more about each model.

1982 Honda VF750S V45 Sabre

Honda introduced its V-4 engines in 1982 with two models, the VF750S Sabre and the VF750C Magna. Both were given the V45 name as well to indicate their displacement of 45 cubic inches. The 90-degree V-four engine featured liquid cooling with double overhead camshafts and four valves per cylinder, and utilized a combination of two downdraft carburetors for the front cylinder bank and two sidedraft carburetors for the rear bank.Courtesy of Honda

1982 Honda VF750C V45 Magna

The Sabre was the sport version of the first V45 models, while the Magna shown here was the cruiser version. Both used shaft drive and were among the first motorcycles to use one-way clutches.Courtesy of Honda

1983 Honda VF750F Interceptor

The first all-out sporting V-4 was the original VF750F Interceptor, in 1983. This model used the same basic V45 engine from the original Sabre and Magna, but with the cylinders rotated slightly rearward and chain drive instead of shaft. The frame used rectangular-section steel tubing, and featured a cast aluminum swingarm.Courtesy of Honda

1983 Honda V65 Magna

Also released in 1983 was the first 1100cc version of the V-4 engine, in the VF1100 V65 Magna. This first "power cruiser" from Honda was the quickest custom-style motorcycle at the time, with a quarter-mile time in the low 11-second bracket and faster than many sportbikes of the time.Courtesy of Honda

1984 Honda VF500F Interceptor

The V-4 model lineup extended into the middle displacement category in 1984 with the VF500F Interceptor. The smallest Interceptor, weighing just over 400 pounds, quickly became known for its stellar handling. A 500cc V30 Magna was also produced, using the same engine.Courtesy of Honda

1984 Honda VF1000F Interceptor

Also among the seven new V-4 models introduced in 1984 was the VF1000F Interceptor. Because of tariffs added on imported motorcycles at the time, the V45 Interceptor, Sabre and Magna were slightly downsized to 700cc in 1984.Courtesy of Honda

1984 Honda VF1100S Sabre

The Sabre line was also expanded with the addition of the VF1100S V65 Sabre, which produced 121 horsepower -higher than even many open-class sportbikes available at the time.Courtesy of Honda

1985 Honda VF1000R

Just one year after introducing the VF1000R Interceptor, its replacement is announced - the VF1000R. This model was derived from Honda's Formula One FWS racer, and featured gear-driven camshafts, a higher compression ratio for more power, and full bodywork.Courtesy of Honda

1986 Honda VFR750F

The original V45 Interceptor receives its first update in 1996, with an all-new engine and chassis. The VFR750F featured gear-driven camshafts, an aluminum frame, and a 180-degree crankshaft (vs. the original model's 360-degree unit). Curb weight was reduced by nearly 45 pounds.Courtesy of Honda

1990 Honda RC30

In 1998 the VFR750R was produced for the European market , and later appeared in the US as the RC30. This homologation special built specifically for the new World Superbike series featured an engine outwardly similar to the VFR750's, but shared few parts - such as the titanium connecting rods used in the RC30. The twin-spar aluminum chassis was also significantly different and featured a single-sided swingarm and special fork with quick-release axle fittings.Courtesy of Honda

1990 Honda VFR750F

While the RC30 was destined for track use in World Superbike and World Endurance competition, the road-going VFR750F received an update in 1990 with a single-sided swingarm, a new frame and bodywork, and wider wheels.Courtesy of Honda

1992 Honda ST1100

Honda introduced a new sport touring V-4 in 1990, the ST1100, which featured a 1084cc engine with a longitudinal layout rather than transverse as in all the other V-4 models to date.Courtesy of Honda

1992 Honda NR750

The very-limited-production NR750 was produced in 1992, and featured oval cylinder bores with two connecting rods per piston and eight valves per cylinder, in a similar layout to the NR500 Grand Prix machine Honda raced in the early eighties. The NR also featured carbon fiber bodywork, magnesium wheels and other exotic parts.Courtesy of Honda

1994 Honda VFR750F

The third-generation VFR750F took its styling cues from the NR750, and featured myriad minor updates to increase power and shave 20 pounds from the previous model.Courtesy of Honda

1994 Honda RC45

The long-awaited successor to the RC30 was introduced in 1994; the all-new RC45 featured fuel injection along with a new chassis for increased rigidity and stability.Courtesy of Honda

1998 Honda Interceptor

The Interceptor was completely redesigned for 1998, with a new "pivotless" aluminum chassis and Pro Arm suspension, and a boost in displacement to 781cc.Courtesy of Honda

2002 Honda Interceptor

The 2002 Interceptor was the first model to incorporate Honda's VTEC, which operated two valves per cylinder at low rpm and four valves per cylinder at high rpm. Cam drive reverted to chain from the earlier gear operation; other updates included an underseat exhaust and optional ABS.Courtesy of Honda

2004 Honda ST1300

The sport touring ST1100 was heavily updated in 2003 and now called the ST1300. Displacement was increased to 1261cc, and an all-new aluminum frame replaced the previous model's steel unit.Courtesy of Honda

2006 Honda Interceptor

The Interceptor received a host of styling updates in 2006, along with changes in the ECU for improved performance.Courtesy of Honda

2010 Honda VFR1200F

The all-new VFR1200F featured a 1237cc liquid-cooled 76-degree V-4 engine with ride-by-wire and optional dual-clutch transmission, and a "Symmetrically Coupled Phase-shift Crankshaft" with a 28-degree crankpin offset to reduce vibration; the chassis incorporated a four-piece aluminum frame with a single-sided swingarm and shaft drive.Courtesy of Honda

2014 Honda Interceptor

While the Interceptor was discontinued in 2009, it returned in 2014 with significant updates; while the 782cc engine was essentially unchanged, the chassis had a new single-sided swingarm, new wheels, a more upright riding position, and a return to a low-mount exhaust.Courtesy of Honda

2016 Honda RC213V-S

Produced in very limited numbers, the RC213V-S is based on Honda's RC213V MotoGP machine, with a 999cc 90-degree V-4 engine, Ohlins suspension, Brembo brakes and a host of electronic riding aids.Courtesy of Honda