By the Numbers: Honda V4s

Up To Speed

By Aaron Frank, Photography by Honda

1978 Year development began on the NR500 Grand Prix bike, Honda's first V4.
93.4 x 41mm Dimensions of the NR's four oval pistons. The shape afforded the increased piston speed and valve area of a short-stroke V8 without violating the FIM's four-cylinder maximum.
8 Tiny valves for each oval piston. Intake valves measured 18mm and exhaust valves measured 16mm, both on 3.8mm stems. Each piston had two connecting rods.
20,000 Spare parts that Honda shipped to the 1979 British Grand Prix, where the NR debuted.
38th Takazumi Katayama's qualifying position at the British GP. Teammate Mick Grant qualified 41st.
200+ Patents granted to Honda related to the NR500, for technology as diverse as oval pistons, side-mounted radiators, an inverted fork and Pro Link rear suspension-innovations that still influence Honda streetbikes today.
1982 Year the VF750S Sabre and VF750C V45 Magna, Honda's first production V4s, were released. The V45 Interceptor appeared in 1983.
21 Years the Magna cruiser stayed in production, before being discontinued in 2003. The standard-style Sabre disappeared after 1985, though the name reappeared on a V-twin muscle cruiser this year.
10.92 Quarter-mile E.T of the 1983 Honda V65 Magna, the first production streetbike under 11 seconds.
7 V4-powered offerings in the 1984 American Honda line-up-the peak of V4 popularity in this country.
1990 First year for the ST1100 sport-tourer, which mounted its 1084cc V4 longitudinally instead of transversely like Honda's other V4s.
8 Number of years the Interceptor name was dropped, beginning in 1990, to make the VFR sound more innocuous to American insurance companies. The name returned in 1998.
$50,000 Price tag of the 1992 NR750, Honda's only oval-piston streetbike. The company produced just 200 of these exotic, hand-built machines.
186.319 Speed, in mph, achieved by Loris Capirossi in August of '92, riding a de-restricted, 155-bhp NR750 at Fiat's test track in Nardo, Italy. This established a new flying-mile world speed record for 750cc motorcycles.

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