V4 and after.
Hello, my name is Janaki, and I have a classic Honda problem. Well, no, I wouldn’t call it a problem, exactly. You’ve probably seen my 1990 Hawk GT 650 here before. That’s a bike I love so much, I will probably take it with me to my grave. Thing is, I do also have room in my heart for other classic Hondas.
The one that got away was a beautiful 1985 VF500F. Yes, the Babyceptor. One popped up on Craigslist in 2019 that would have been SO PERFECT. Unfortunately, it was not to be. The bike had been ridden, but it had also, crucially, been cared for. Although this bike had an aftermarket exhaust installed, the seller said it also came with the stock exhaust as part of the deal. The asking price was around US $1500. So why am I not telling you how awesome it is to ride right now, as well as how much fun it is to sync all four carbs?
The sad fact of the matter is, someone else beat me to it. Cue much wailing and gnashing of teeth, rent garments, etc. Here’s the sad tale, in its entirety.
When I first reached out to the seller, it took them awhile to respond. After a couple more messages, he finally told me that someone was stopping by to see it later that day. If it didn’t sell, he said I was next in line.
By now, those of you who have lived this story probably know what happened next. I waited anxiously for a message to flash up on my phone all that day, and the next day too. Nothing. Finally, I messaged the guy and tried to play it cool. He messaged me back immediately to say that he was sorry, but it had been sold. I’ve basically been kicking myself ever since, because that specific VF500F was in super-nice shape. Even the little windscreen wasn’t scuffed up or discolored by exposure to the elements! It was SO PRETTY, you guys.
I’m not fond of the paint on the ‘86s, and I really like the ‘85 paint scheme the most of all. This particular one hit a sweet spot in terms of condition, originality, mileage (only around 18,000 miles), price, and proximity. It also should have neatly bypassed the early VF500F crankshaft recall issues (think 1984), so that would have been one headache I didn’t need to worry about. On top of all that, I could easily have ridden it home in less than half an hour, if the actual bike lived up to what was advertised and shown pretty clearly in a whole bunch of photos that, unlike some classifieds, were actually in focus.
Will I own one someday? Here’s hoping. Until then, I will content myself to sigh occasionally and also write sad songs about its great and enduring beauty.