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So, I've ridden the VFR800 & the Blackbird

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by doonx, Feb 9, 2006.

  1. Firstly, the Blackbird. I went out to Beaconsfield where xxsteve was kind enough to allow me to ride his 2005. He led on Coralie's VTR250. What a bike! Notwithstanding that it's still got that brand new pizzaz to it, it was a slick, sweet, sharp machine. Easy to ride, smooth as silk, but my god the POWER !!!. It had so much slap it's the stuff horror movies are based on. Given I'm used to my 250, but this thing was just lightning quick. The problem with that is that now I'll be judging all others by it, and that's a bit unfair when I'll prob be looking 6-8 year old bikes.

    Thanks for the ride though mate, I accomplished what I wanted to - get the feel for the bike, what it was like to ride, how it handled. Basically I wanted to see how well the hand fitted in the glove. She fitted pretty well.

    The VFR. I rode a '98 that is for sale. It was very similar ride position to the ZZR, which is great, cause I'm very comfortable on the ZZR. This one had 44 on the clock, but had more than heaps of pep. It seemed to be in pretty good nick, and has been serviced by Performance Bikes & Watercraft, which scored points as Mick & Frank there are the only guys who have ever touched my ZZR, so I know it's had some good eyes on it. One thing I did notice, was that it needed heaps more front brake than I thought it would. Maybe that was just this particular bike, but I'll find out a bit more tonight and tomorrow night when I go see 2 more Viffers.

    Last night's and tonights Viffers are both 1998's and on for $8990. I've been told that is too much for the bikes, so I expect there will be some wiggle room. A mate in Sydney who has owned 2 VFR's and a Blackbird has given me a wealth of info based on his experiences, on both bikes. Basically he has said that I'd be better off looking for a 2000 model onwards, that there are always a number of VFR's on the market (for some reason) and many of them are pretty much in "as new" condition. Whether or not I can find a 2000 or later for under $9000 remains to be seen.

    My mind is not made up yet, but I'm learning......
  2. The bird for sure is a sweet bike that does spoil its owner. Add to that the sweet set of Microns Steve has on his bird really tops it off nicely.

    The VFR's are a nice bike, i've played with a new one last year, not my cup of tea but still notable.
  3. I rode both of these when I was last shopping too. The blackbird seems to squat and drive under throttle, the engine felt to me like a car engine for some reason. I didn't find it very involving.

    The viffer I tried had VTEC, which meant you needed lots of revs before the engine sound got interesting, but I did like the guttural snarl it put out when the extra valves opened up.

    I didn't get along all that well with the riding position on the 'bird - seemed a bit too stretched out to me. The viffer was similar but nicer for me than the bird. Both of them were heavy on the ol' wrists.

    I tried the Hornet as an afterthought, my eyes went big, I started grinning like an idiot and I had to have heem. Hoon at heart I guess. KTM SuperDuke next.... :twisted:
  4. A 1998 VFR will have linked brakes. To get full pressure on the stoppers you have to use both front and rear brake. Using only front brake will put roughly 70% pressure on front and 10-30% on the rear. Punching the rear at the same time gives you full pressure on the front and adds more to the rear. A very odd but somewhat user friendly system that I can't stand. For this reason alone I bought a VTR1000F instead. Add the fact the calipers aren't the best and it made for a user friendly but not engaging ride.
    The engine on the other hand was quite nice and while it doesn't have anywhere near the punch of the Firestorm, it does the job well enough.
    The benefits the VFR800 did have were excellent fuel economy and range and it was very comfy.
  5. I know my coments here will cop some flak, I have owned some 10 bikes over the last few years, including a Blackbird. There is not much I liked about the Blackbird, a very much over rated bike.
  6. Good thread as I plan on buying an ST in a few months and the VFR and Blackbird are on my list of potentials. Did the VFR pale in comparison to the bird in terms of torque? Also, what insurance category are they both in?
  7. Spud, as I said, it wasn't really a fair comparison as I rode a 2005 Bird with 7,500 k's on it versus a 1998 VFR with 44,000 k's on it. The bird was much smoother and tight. The VFR could have pulled my ears off no probs mind you. But I was test riding for comfort, ride position, ease of riding, etc, not for speed/pulling power.

    I'll get back to you after the weekend. I am due to ride another 98 VFR with 24,500 on it tonight (although not if it doesn't stop raining in a hurry) and a 2001 with 24,000 on it tomorrow night, then a '99 Blackbird with 40,000 on it on Sunday.

    When I checked insurance estimate on the RACV site, both the Blackbird and VFR were exactly the same price for me to insure - $940, category "P" I think
  8. Doonks, the quote I got from Western QBE was around $200 difference between a 600 and an 800, maybe worth considering if you have to consider a budget.
  9. You will find that the ST will have bucket loads more than the VFR.

    What did I say about the Blackbird and your license doonks? :cool:
  10. must resist, must, resist .......................
  11. I didn't get up to see the VFR tonight, the weather was awful, and the guy said I could come look etc, but he wasn't happy with me going for a squirt on it in the bad weather, so I'll be seeing it first thing Saturday morning instead.