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Sport Tourer vs. Tourer Sports (Honda CBR600F vs. VFR800)

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' at netrider.net.au started by Climbatize, Aug 5, 2009.

  1. Hello folk,

    Well it's that exciting time for a bike upgrade from my ever reliable CBR250 to something a little faster and more comfortable.

    I've had my eye on the 99-2000(?) Honda CBR600F, (not Fi), for a long time now, but, I have also discovered the 97-2001 Honda VFR800F. Looks wise, both are exactly the kind of bike I want and could see myself happy on one of these for quite some time. I know that I probably couldn't go wrong with either of these beauties, but just wondering if I could possibly get some feedback from people that own, or have owned one of these bikes.

    I LOVE the high positioned exhaust and 5 spoke wheels on the VFR but I am VERY partial to the sound of the, (higher revving), inline 4 that the 600F has. VFR seems a little bit pricier as well. Eventually, I want to take the bike to track days and also possibly see a bit of Australia on it.

    Any suggestions appreciated. If anyone has experience with any Yamaha, Kwaka or Suzuki bikes that are similar to these 2 Hondas, i'd also like to hear your thoughts.

    The bikes in question:



  2. Well, it's not really comparing apples with apples, but I'll have a go. The CB is lighter, easier to muscle around and would make a better track day weapon. It's also more highly stressed and not quite as suitable as a touring bike.

    The VFR has character and uniqueness. The gear-driven cam whine and the half-a-V8 burble definitely sets it apart from the hordes of I4's out there. It's a perfect all-rounder, capable of all the types of riding you'd like to do. It is also surprisingly competent as a track day bike, believe it or not.

    The downside is that it's heavier and, yes, dearer. But you do get what you paid for and a VFR of the age you suggest will have a couple of hundred thousand more useful k's left in it than a similarly-aged and ridden 600.

    If you want a bike that will do it all, the VFR is the way to go. Oh, and there's a huge network of VFR enthusiasts around to tap into for info and help, too. www.ozvfr.net
  3. 600F would be my choice. Cheaper to buy, cheaper to maintain, cheaper to fuel. Superior power to weight ratio. Arguably superior handling.

    On the other hand, the VFR has the holiest of all holies, GEAR DRIVEN CAMS! =P~

    Having said that, if you want to see OZ on it, buy the one you find more comfortable. :wink:
  4. MCNews review on the '99 VFR: here.

    MCNews review on the '00 600F (F4 but still carb'ed): here.
  5. Thanks for the comments. As versatile as the VFR sounds, i'm not sure I can go past the CBR for its price. God damn it's only 1 grand more than I could probably sell my 250 for.
  6. So why ask if you already had your mind made up? :roll: :roll:
  7. Perhaps he just wants his choice validated, to make sure he isn't missing anything. :wink:
    • Like Like x 1
  8. My mind is never made up really. And who was to say I made my mind up in the first place? I am leaning towards one bike because that is the one I have had my eye on for longer. I did not know the VFR800 existed a few weeks ago.

    I was simply requesting opinions from those who have experience. I don't understand why you would put forward such an informative post and then ask a question like that. I haven't ridden either bike yet so there is yet a decision to be made. You have made one recommendation and one is all I need from each individual. There is hope for you yet, I may well choose the viffer.
  9. A VTR1000 would go well on your short list. Lighter and throbbier than the VFR and more laid back than the 600, but a still a great handler, especially with the suspension sorted for your weight (SV1000 also rates well with slightly higher all-round spec, but it's largely a case of which you prefer the look and feel of).

    Cheap, plentiful and bulletproof as well as simple to service thanks to side-mounted radiators.
  10. I previously owned a CBR600F 1999 model.
    Very very good bike. I had an aftermarket can on it & that's all you need. Fast, reliable & it has that uncanny Honda ability to make you ride better than you really are.
    I did later upgrade, but it took a Ducati 748 to sway me off the CBR.

    The plus for the VFR is that it's a V-4. That most desirable engine configuration ever created, even though in the VFR package, it suffers from being 'too much Honda'.
    In a few years time, all the most desirable bikes will be V-4s.
  11. In my perfect world, Singles are in the usual layout but maybe laid more forward, Twins are Vees, Inlines are Triples and Fours are Vees.

    That's only four basic congurations across the capacity and price range.

    Sod anything else...
  12. Marx & Wayned thanks for your input.

    Marx, what do you mean by 'too much Honda'?

    I'm one who needs my noise. I'm wondering how good a v-twin can sound.
  13. Congrats on the move up from 250.

    I recently upgraded from my v-twin VTR250 and really wanted a VTR1000. I loved and still love the V-Twin sound. However my final decision was a 98 VFR. This has the same frame as the VTR but a more tourey (is that a word?) riding position and a wonderful pre V-Tec, V-4 with a claimed 110HP!! it has a bigger fuel tank than the VTR, therefore a more realistic touring range.

    This bike was not expensive.

    The sound of my piped V4 is great, the geared cams also add a unique flavour. It has a very wide torque band and is very useful from 3K rpm all the way to redline. It has all the power I desire at the moment.

    But importantly the seating position is perfect for long stints on the bike. It is very comfortable. It is also a great bike for pillioning.

    Have fun testing and choosing your next bike.
  14. I went from a 600F to a VFR.... and prefer the latter. Prefer the engine with lower grunt, comfier, better fuel eco (though it does have a larger tank), windscreen, looks.... Not to mention how much better it is to pillion people on.

    I do have the not as much loved VTEC version, and have had a few issues (noisey cam chain tensioners anyone?) but... 28,000ks in a year and a bit later and I still love it to bits.

    I could go on (and often have in the past) about it... utterly love it.
  15. They sound fkn horn. The VTR1000 is what got me interested in bikes in the first place.
  16. As you probably know from your CBR250, cam gears are great.

    But on a value for money basis, I'd be pulled towards the CBR600F. You could get a 2000 model for low 5's. Whereas a similar age VFR would be closer to 7k.
  17. To be honest, i'm not all that familiar with cam gears.

    Unfortunately for the VFR/VTR I am on a bit of a budget and would be looking to spend about 6k. I have seen a couple of the VFR800s going between 6-6.5 grand though.
  18. There must be about a hundred VTR's for sale at any given time. I got only got 6.5K for mine at the start of 2007, and it was immaculate with only 27000km, though a few years old. Make offers and point out how many there are for sale. Walk if they don't deal.

    Also, apart from the bigger tank and higher grips from 2001 on, mileage is more relevant than year, since they were pretty much unchanged over their whole life (other than the latestest ones loking a bit less well finished to me).

    There appear to be a lot less VFR models on the market. Also, though with similar top end they are heavier and don't punch nearly as hard in most of the rev range, as you would expect from an 800 four next to a 1000 twin. I rode the '98 when it went up to the 800 while owning the VTR and had a good side by side comparison. But if you're coming up from smaller it will feel stronger, and is more comfy for the longer rides.
  19. Between the 2, I'd fancy the VFR. Wayned also puts up a good argument for the VTR.
  20. I've had a better look at the Firestorms and found a few ranging even around 5-5.5 grand. The full fairing ones, (bottom fairing bolt on), look great.. actually they look awesome.

    As attractive as the VTR looks, and sounds for that matter, i'm not sure I could trust myself on one of those beasts. I've been riding bikes since I was a kid, but, i'm only 25 and still have some cooling down to do. My 250 has been great because I can get the deafening 18,000 rpm noise without doing insane speeds.

    Not to be a stick in the mud, but a 1000cc bike may have to wait until I have 'matured' a little. I'm sure someone here can understand my sentiment.