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Honda’s capable middleweight V twin

Superbike mag Nov ‘86

Click on the cover to download the ‘white Shark’ story as a PDF

Whilst looking through EBay for road tests on the VT I came across a listing for a Superbike magazine test of the VT500 Phasar. I wasn’t sure whether it was a typo so I bought the copy and waited for the customary manilla envelope to hit the doormat.

The test pitted the Kawasaki GT550 against Honda’s four cylinder VF500F2 and a VT500 which had been converted to ‘Feet First’ by Malcolm Newell over a long weekend in his Wiltshire workshop for its owner Julian Bond. The seat was lowered by about a foot, the tank chopped  and a second headstock fitted with a linkage to the forks. Looking at the bike it was definitely a triumph of function over form and wouldn’t win any beauty contests. However the test shows it scores over the conventional bike in both top speed and fuel consumption, pretty impressive for a machine with so little development time.

I am very grateful to Monty Billington for information and the photos below. Monty is a great FF aficionado who subsequently owned the ‘White Shark’ until it was eventually sold for spares some years ago. If you bought B868 WPP let us know, I still harbour the thought it may be lurking in a garage somewhere waiting to hit the road again.

If the thought of riding feet first appeals, visit Monty’s site at www.monty-ff.me.uk

Or search his YouTube channel ‘MontyFF’ for feet first action and the amazing ‘Carver’. Click on the ‘superbike’ cover on the right to download the article in PDF form.