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Own VFR800 06 thinking of CBR1100XX Blackbird, Feedback?

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' at netrider.net.au started by redviffer, Jun 6, 2007.

  1. I own a VFR800 and am extremely happy with it, it is fun, comfortable, good looking and reliable. I upgraded to this after owning a VTR1000 Firestorm for a very short time because it was too small, cramped, noisy (it had custom pipes) and was very uncomfortable for the missus when going for short touring runs. Have twice been bitten by the VFR by dropping it after maneuvering in tight spots at low speed. I don't feel as if I have a balance problem although I'm sure someone might fire back that i do if I've dropped her twice. The weight (compared to a VTR1000F) and sloping ground was what got me on the first drop and wet grass and a rut got me on the second drop. No major damage just cosmetic but still a badly bruised ego. After the second drop i was very concerned with how top heavy the bike seemed to be. It was daunting at how easy and quickly it went down once i'd lost it, almost like the top heavy feel of the bike made it go over so quick that i had very little time to react or to try and save it.

    Looked into comparisons of the VFR800 and Blackbird and noticed a few people saying how the Bird was very well balanced and you didn't feel the weight so i decided to test the theory. Rode a Blackbird for about half an hour and was blown away by the power of it. Now power is not the biggest thing on my agenda. True to the posts i had read on various websites and forums the bike did seem to feel lighter and easier to control and did seem to have a much lower center of gravity.

    I don't get sore on my bike out to ranges of 500km or so and I would like to go further and do longer touring rides so being able to carry passenger and luggage is important and a more powerful bike would do that easier with less effort than the current bike. I'm 6"2 so I fit the bigger bikes, by the brochure the Blackbird's seat height is higher than the VFR but the VFR actually feels higher, perhaps from the upright riding position.

    I guess at the end of all this I'm asking if anyone has owned or ridden both and gone from VFR to Blackbird or Blackbird to VFR and why? Is it worth changing over? I know the VFR is better in town and on the twisties but the Blackbird is better for touring and high speed runs but as I like to do all of the above I'm a little stuck as to which way to go. I haven't even looked at insurance on it so if you have info on that i'd appreciate it also.

    Thanks for reading!
  2. I prefer the VFR800 to the Blackbirds, but I'm short and pudgy.

    I've noticed that taller, lankier people tend to have the reverse opinion.

    Blackbirds are solid, reliable bikes with no real issues... but try and get a later one. The carby version have a hole in the power delivery in the midrange.
  3. While the Viffer is a great bike, the Bird is outstanding.

    Come and visit www.ozblackbird.net where you will find much information on the bird from Australian owners (links to OS forums too) and there are a few ex VFR owners there too.
  4. Why do you want to sell the VFR at all? Sounds like it can do everything you want?

    If it's only because of a few bad experiences having dropped it, that's a matter of experience, not the bikes fault. Low speed drops are always avoidable, even on the heaviest bike.

    Both of them are built as versatile allrounders (like all honda's). Buy the one that sets your heart racing.
  5. Steady on... these _are_ Honda motorbikes we are talking about :LOL: :bolt:
  6. Its not that I really want to get rid of the VFR, i know me dropping it was me and all mistakes on bikes are avoidable in the end its just the opportunity is there to changeover before i lose too much on it as it was bought brand new. I know the blackbird is faster and better for the long runs with passenger and luggage as it can handle the excess weight better. The one I test rode had about 60 000 km on the clock and had very stiff steering, not sure if thats how they all are. I'd be far more confident in turns on a VFR however in traffic I found the Blackbird easier to control at low speed but not in twisties or tight turns ie going all the way around small roundabouts etc.
    They are both great all rounders as stated here earlier and they are both Honda's which makes it damn hard to choose. I guess what I'm saying is; is it worth changing over and which do you prefer and why, I know its a matter of opinion but I'm just interested in hearing yours.
  7. I own an 03 Blackbird and love it to death...great bike although I did modify it and put VFR bars on it to give my wrists an easier time...it does pretty much everything I want..it tours, commutes and in the right hands will keep the GSXRCBRR1 guys honest when out for a fang...the only downfall is the softly sprung front end but thats an easy fix that I'm giving some serious thought to at the moment.

    A good mate has an 02 VFR800 which is a great bike in it's own right...it's VERY comfortable, handles pretty good and is a fun bike...he loves it, however for me it doesn't satisfy me the same way the bird does...horses for courses really we swap bikes when out on rides and getting back on my bird is like coming home...it just feels right.

    Test em both and go from there...I would also maybe try to test a bird with lower k's...maybe the reluctance to turn in was due to that bike only...mine tips into corners very easily

    have fun narrowing it down! :)
  8. wot bamm-bamm said :).

    The only issue that seems to come up here a bit with the Blackbird is fuel consumption, but I guess people who enjoy them so much don't really care about that too much :LOL:.
  9. Just on that, how much does a Blackbird use in fuel anyone? My VFR gets 300km to a tank of standard unleaded on road trips but around town the low fuel light is flashing at about 270-280km depending on how i've ridden it. I once read someones journal about a road trip they did on a Blackbird and said it was getting about 540km per tank! I'm not sure if I should trust this as it seems a little far fetched. The VFR only has 1L less in the fuel tank than the Blackbird so is 540km realistic for the highway and do you get a lot less than that around town?
  10. not enitrly sure but i was under the impression that they had the same size tank :?
  11. Nope its definitely 23 for the Blackbird and 22 for the VFR, thats from the specs in the 06 Honda brochure from their website :)
  12. I doubt a blackbird even when babied to death would get 540km from a tank. From figures ive seen, a babied blackbird would get about 340 from a tank. Thrashing it, expect closer to 240.
  13. I get city about 280km to the warning light, and can easily push to 300km before filling.
    Highway with a bit of spirited running can get 360-70 to warning light and 400km before filling.

    I get between 15-18km per litre
  14. I have a mate, 6' or 6'1" who owns an 05 VFR800. He hasn't had any complaints about his height/bike mismatch.

    I'm around 5'11". I don't have any issues with the Blackbird except that like all bikes I get a sore arse after a while in the saddle. I get a sore right wrist too.

    But I also need to lose weight which undoubtedly will fix a lot of issues.

    On our next ride I'll swap with the mate and see how we feel about each others' bikes.
  15. Depends on how I ride, range to the low fuel light (around 18l of out 23l) can vary from 250 to 320km.

    Last big trip, Bright via Bairnsdale, Hotham, then home via Mansfield, Reefton, etc. saw around 290km on the way there and home I got 320km to the low level light.

    When I first got it I was lucky to get 230km to the low light. Then the voltage reg fried itself. When that was replaced fuel economy improved markedly. I think that prior to the failure that it was playing up (noticed the lights dimming and brightening at night). That might've affected the EFI/ECU units.
  16. I ride a VFR 800. Im bamm bamms mentor.
    I love my VFR, Im only 5'9 and about 62kg. I handle it no worries.
    I have dropped it twive also but no big deal just losing my footing and whilst a pillion was getting on (BADLY). Im tiny so its more of an issue.
    My VFR corners well, handles great, goes like stink and Excellent for touring.
    On some trips Bamm bamm will swap bikes as mine is a bit more roomy and comfortable.

    All ther same, I do like the Blackbird. I found it great and smooth to ride. I would get sore pulling it out of corners as I found it extremely heavy compared to the VFR. I almost couldnt get it off the sidestand when we where on tour.
    Its got power, but how often do you need that much, it get its nose up easily. And the back wheel spins up in the wet easily.
    Bamm Bamm is scraping the fairing and engine casing on tight corners......I couldnt deal with that.

    My VFR is fun , nimble and I dont think its heavy. Any bike goes down once its past its balance point.
    VFR will get 350km on a tank, I often get over 300km. Even when out for a fang.
    VFR is comfy 2 up. I know as I done it.
    I love the Blackbird but as Bamm bamm said , Im at home on the VFR. I would probably have another one. I got the bike in August, now Im on 58,000km......I get around Im such a slut.[/code]
  17. Asl Bamm Bamm about cost when you drop it.....$$$$
    Vfr when I dropped it......$0

    Good luck.
  18. My mate owns the 1100 Blackbird and he did alot of research and tested many bikes for months before he made the decision. At the time the dealer advised him for around town as well as touring the 1000 Blackbird was alot less of a handful. My mate is tall and lanky so he can reach everything no probs but he has told me that it is a bit big for the daily commute and slow speed manouvering which is actually where he uses it the most. I guess its weighing up how much you use it around town verses touring.
  19. If you can do it, go the blackbird..

    Although the viffer is still a great bike..
  20. Thanks so much for all the feedback. I think I will stick to the VFR, it is as all say super comfy and probably a bit better on fuel around town which is where i do most of my riding. I think the Blackbird would be nice but isn't worth changing over to as they both seem much of a muchness except the massive power differences of the blackbird. The VFR is still capable of license losing speeds but thats not why i ride. Glad to know i'm not the only one who has dropped one twice. 350km on one tank! You must be riding very conservatively. I get 300 but only if i was touring, mine only has 6000km on it though, maybe it gets better as time goes by. Having said all that i will still test ride a newer Blackbird just to see if i truly do love the feel of it more than a VFR but like somebody said before; they are both Hondas and both very good bikes so goodluck trying to choose one! Thanks again to all but feel free to add more to this post if you like, my time to choose is still a little while away ;)