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Getting over VFR snobbery

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by AntiSol, Sep 19, 2014.

  1. So my VFR750 was stolen and beaten up pretty badly. It's time to consider options for a replacement.

    But how do you replace an utterly perfect thing? There's the obvious option - get another one exactly the same, but they're not so easy to come by these days.

    I think I might be ruined for any bike that doesn't have "VFR" written on the side, but I figure I should at least try to consider alternatives. So here I am asking for opinions. :)

    What type of bikes do you think I should consider? What's the best sports tourer these days? Have they turned the VFR into a science experiment gone horribly wrong? Or does it just keep getting more awesome every year?

    I'm looking for something with a full fairing (it's all about ego and vanity) which is a really versatile all-round bike. Probably the most important thing is reliability - I need it to just start every single day and get me where I'm going. I need to be able to just hop on and do a few thousand kms on a weekend, maybe in the wet, no sweat. But it also needs to be comfortable for long trips and nimble and powerful enough to be fun in the hills and through traffic. Do I sound like an ad for the VFR yet? I did a lot of research before I chose the VFR, and I was happy with my choice. I might have ridden that bike for another 10 years if it hadn't been stolen. I'm looking for a bike for the next 10 years. Power and top speed are great, but secondary.

    I'm hesitant about the VFR800 mostly because I'm dubious about the direction the VFR took when it went to the 800 - the linked braking system sounds like crap I don't want. I'd love to hear opinions from people who have tried it - do you love it, learn to live with it, or hate it with a burning passion? When is it noticeable? Does the bike handle strangely? does it stop any better / worse? is it safer? Does honda perhaps know best - am I making a big deal out of nothing?

    I've looked at other things like the Ducati ST2 but 'ducati' kind of puts me off - it tends to make me think "expensive parts from italy, and lots of em!". Triumph also have a sports tourer, but I kind of have the same opinion of triumph - nice brand, sexy, expensive and not necessarily reliable. Anybody have any thoughts on this?

    The VFR was my first non-restricted bike (after the Suzuki Across). I had it for about 5 years (maybe 6) after having the across for 3-4 years. At first, the big 750 was intimidating, but now we're old friends - I'm a much more experienced rider now, and it's possible that I might grow out of a 750-800 in the next few years. I'm at a very high comfort level on the 750 and I'd say I'm pretty close to the limit in terms of that bike's power/handling/etc. I've only ever actually thought "more power would be nice" maybe 3 times on that bike and I was perfectly happy with the amount of power, but I figure if I'm upgrading then perhaps something bigger should be considered.

    I've been reading good things about the CBR1100XX Super Blackbird. With a name like that I don't see how it can possibly be bad. It looks serious. It looks gorgeous. It looks big and intimidating. There are lots of black ones. How does it go in the wet? Is it reliable? Comfortable? Would you buy one with 50000kms on it? would you ride one to perth? what about weaving through traffic? is a big heavy bike like that horrible at low speeds? I think the weight is probably the biggest put-off on the super blackbird. Well, there's the linked brakes, but we talked about that already.

    Opinions different from mine are why I'm here, so feel free to tell me that I'm a fool and your bike is much better than a VFR, or whatever. Debate is encouraged! Tell me your thoughts! Thanks! :)
  2. While you fix your beloved 4th-gen VFR, you might want to check out the 5th-gen ('98-'01 VFR800), 6th-gen ('02-'13 VFR800), 7th-gen ('09-'13 VFR1200), and the 8th-gen ('14 VFR800). That way, you can get a newer bike for every day, and you can make the old beast a nice example, suitable for a conneseuer (sp?) on special occasions. ;)
  3. @deadman@deadman is the man to ask about the Blackbird IIRC
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  4. Ride the new 800 before you make your decision. A friend down here has had one since release date, and he loves it.
    But there are still some nice '95s in the market, it just seems that prices have spiked in the last month or two...
  5. #5 GoldNine, Sep 19, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2014
    50,000km on a 'bird is nothing. Apart from the obvious different engine configuration and the extra horsepower and torque that comes with the increased capacity , a Blackbird is actually a lot like a bigger VFR .

    edit: I had a '93 P model 750 for 5 years , bought 2nd hand in '96. When I was looking around to replace it in '01 I looked seriously at the bird but ended up disregarding it as being too similar in overall concept and I wanted something sportier at the time. Ended up with getting a 929 Fireblade
  6. Give the Kawasaki Ninja 1000 a go. From what Ive heard its one of the best all round bikes, with Jap reliability.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. I had an early model VFR and although I loved it, the truth is that modern bikes are better. It doesn't sound like you are thinking of anything brand new? Perhaps if you gave us a budget...
    I had a Triumph and it was reliable. I've got a KTM that's been reliable. But you will always find someone who's had a problem with any brand you care to name.
  8. Stick with the VFR but make it a VFR750R then you ve got yourself a bike for keeps, much better than the new VFR's and dead sexy.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. For me, a bike is all about the engine. If you love the engine, everything else is moot.

    Buy the bike with an engine you love & build it from there.
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  10. ... and that's why the early VFRs are so appealing; nothing matches the whirr of the gear-driven gears, the 'half-a V8' feel, and, if you're lucky, the howl of a Staintune pipe.
    • Like Like x 2
  11. Hehe, sounds like a plan. I like the look of the 2014 one. Self-canceling indicators sounds pretty sweet.

    Yeah, that's the impression I get, and that's what I like about it. The ridiculous power / speed is just a nice bonus.

    Yeah, I do find myself thinking that even though some of these new features sound horrible to me, Honda probably does know better than I do. I guess the only way I'll really know for sure is to test-ride a bunch of different bikes - what a terrible chore that will be... ;)

    I have thought about getting something new, so if there's something brand new you want to recommend, I'll look at it. But I reckon I'll end up going for something used. I'm not looking to spend much more than 6k on something used. 5 would be nice.

    Is that the racing model I've seen around for 20 or 30 grand? I saw one of those with old-school moto gp styling with the rothmans logo. It looked awesome. I even considered selling my yacht so that I could afford it, but then I remembered I don't have a yacht. ;)
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Exactly right, the VFR engine is awesome. "Half-V8" is the best description I've ever heard, that's it exactly: smooth power all the way up the rev counter. And the whirr. The first time I saw one I thought it was broken or needed oil or something. But now any bike that doesn't make that noise will be missing something. Mine came with a pipe on it and it sounds amazing, it really growls - people comment on the note. And it just runs and runs and runs and runs and runs.
    • Like Like x 2
  13. hmmm i can't see that, it says ebay are having technical difficulties...
  14. sorry, I've got a revolving circle of frustration going at my end too....

    (I've deleted the post, it was a nice black one, but they want over 4 grand for it)
  15. I know where there's a pigoen pair of them in Rothmans colours. One has 18km on the odometer (that's 18 kilometres, not 18,000km) if I recall correctly. The other has 5km (again, not 5,000km) on the odometer. They will set you back a cool US$100,000... each!!! They're in perfect condition too. Hence the price tag!

    Is that why you're doing a 6th-gen trackie build? :)

    Or if you're even luckier, the snail-trail inducing growl of a Delkevic pipe. :p Honestly Paul, you have to hear a Viffer with a Delki! My old 5th-gen had a Staintune, and I thought it was great. When that bike went to the "twisties in the sky", I put a Delkevic on my new 5th-gen. There's no way I'd go back to a Staintune! And I only have an after market pipe on it for the aural pleasure! (y)
  16. Sweeeet
  17. You know you want one! 3:)

  18. Hell yeah! I was a huge fan of Wayne Gardner growing up and THAT'S HIS BIKE!!! :D Those repsol colours just aren't the same.

    I couldn't not ride it if I owned it.
    • Like Like x 1
  19. #19 hornet, Sep 20, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2014
    I photographed Wayne's first ever road race, back in May 1977 at Oran Park. He rode a plain white TZ 250 Yamaha race bike with green number patches, #61


    I still count him as a good friend

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  20. I have heard several other pipes on 750s and they all have their merits, but I love the Staintune because it's not that obtrusive around town but has a great howl out on the open road....