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VFR800 or Blackbird...???

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by Rogues, Dec 26, 2007.

  1. Hi guys, new to the forum and in a pickle......... :?:
    Have narrowed the field down to these two for a nice stylish day tourer that I can take the wife on.......must be comfy seating.. :wink:
    Has anybody here got an opinion on:........
    1. Has the VFR got enough grunt for two-up?... somebody suggested it may struggle a little, especially if I had panniers fitted.
    2. Are the bars on a Bird too low for long distance riding..? I like the look, it looks sweet but I dont want the 'racing crouch' with a pillion sitting up there like a shag onna rock. :LOL:
    3. Why the bloody hell is a VFR more expensive than a Bird....? looking at bikepoint, used birds/near new are cheaper.

    Anyway guys, hope to enjoy the site and look forward to any educated opinions, appreciate the help.
    Cheers, Rogues
  2. 1. Yes it has enough grunt for a pillion
    2. The bird is quite comfy, its not fully upright, but its not super super sporty
    3. The VFR's in general are more expensive because they aren't a go really really really stupidly fast bike, and are built to tour, and they also typically have all the fancy everything from that year in it, vtec, abs, cruise control, whatever.

    Honestly, it sounds like you want a tourer, but you also want a blackbird. Best news is that blackbirds certainly aren't the worst tourers around.
  3. If you're covering big distances I'd go for the bird.
    If there is tighter stuff thrown in the VFR could be better.
    In my opinion the bird would be cheaper to live with but you probably should cut up your license here and now :LOL:
  4. I had a VFR800 and absolutely loved it to bits, it is just so comfortable and smooth. It could easily keep up with most sports bikes in the twisties.

    I have just replaced it with a ZX-14 Ninja as i did find once you threw a passenger on the back it lacked total power for example in overtaking cars on the highway and similar situations. I also found the brakes not as effective with the extra weight and that was only a passenger and not luggage thrown on also. Nearly all bikes will be affected by the extra weight of a passenger naturally but i just found myself wanting just a little extra grunt. I came close to swapping the VFR for a Blackbird once but after asking the same question you have, the feedback I had on here made me keep my VFR. The Blackbird has that power advantage but isn't as comfy and some said it bottomed out every now and then because of the weight in tighter stuff. When you sit on one or test ride it you'll notice straight away that its just not as upright and is more painful on the wrists.

    I used to be able to take my VFR on 800km trips and not end up sore at the end of the day. Since i have bought the ZX-14 the furthest I have travelled in one hit was about 450km and i was pretty damn sore by the end of it. I'm going to fit it with riser bars and a double bubble screen and see if it gets any better but i feel if i can't make it as comfy as the VFR I may end up going back to one eventually.

    I think the Blackbird would be similar to a ZX-14, they are both big, heavy and ridiculously powerful. They both will power along with a pillion, stop quickly and have good seating for a pasenger but they are both also more sport orientated then touring. The ZX-14 is a better bike than the Blackbird as far as I'm concerned but the VFR is by far the most comfortable out of all of them and its not exactly slow (I once kept up with a GSXR1000 and a CBR1000 through some very twisty roads with a few straights thrown in).

    The other thing about VFR's is they sound great, look fantastic and are very practical. They generally hold a special place in the heart of riders who have owned them and if i could have two bikes one of them would definetely be a VFR but for now i'm very happy with my ZX-14. The day may come though where i slow down and go back to a beautiful VFR800, i'm not kidding they really do have that effect on you once you have owned one and racked up the kilometres in comfort.
  5. I'D go the bird a fine supa fast comfy machine to ride. great tourer with not a natural ride position but still comfy compared to sports bikes and good for pillion....VFR are technical bikes and tend to be more expensive and very popular and good resale value
  6. Thanks for the feedback gang, I thought I'd get a little more from VFR owners actually, good or bad.
    Nice to here your positives 'Red' however you do worry me with the...
    As I said I like the style of this type of bike as opposed to full-on sports
    (gettin' too old I suppose) and with a first timer as a pillion I need to make sure its an enjoyable experience for her.........Oh well, its either going to confuse the hell outta me or iron some bugs out.
    I picked these two because my first choice ( FJR1300) was just too much overkill :rofl: :rofl: \
    Cheers Rogues
  7. Can you still buy Blackbird's readily ? I thought I read that what was in the country was all that was left to be sold before the replacement came out in 2008/2009 (can't remember which).

    I've read a fair bit on both bikes in reseaching up on what the next mount may be, and I'd say whichever you pick you can't go wrong.
  8. Some dealers were flogging them new for under $15k, presumably to clear old stock. Certainly there are some bargains in the used market out there.

    One of the things about the VFR is its engine. To me, it's overkill as far as technology for technology's sake goes. It has this variable valve thing where under say, 6k rpm it runs on two valves, then over that it runs on four valves. Those who ride it reckon that it can be like a turbo kicking in and out instantly. Dunno what that'd be like when you're scrapping through the twisties and are on that particular rev band.

    The 'bird can be made more comfortable with a few mods starting with a set of VFR handlebars and a gel pad seat and a "double bubble" fairing windshield, things that I plan for my 'bird.
  9. I never, ever, understood what Honda were trying to achieve with the VFR800's engine.

    The GSXR750 has more torque at the same rpm right across the rev range, and it revs higher and it makes more power.

    I find myself scratching my head trying to work that one out. On one hand you've got this engine that's meant to be this technological marvel with an even spread of easy to use power, and then you've got a more conventional engine from a smaller capacity focused sportsbike, that proceeds to trump it in every single conceivable way in which performance and power delivery can be measured.

    It's almost like the VFR800 is just an experiment in technology for the sake of it, but the disturbing thing about it is that it offers absolutely no benefits as a result of its fancy VTEC operation, and in fact I've seen and heard a few VFR owners complain about the lack of smoothness as a result of it when it kicks in, so much so that Honda have then spent more engineering effort on trying to dial that out.

    I never understood why they just don't drop the VTEC on it, and just tune the damn motor properly, and have it spit out 130hp with a flattish torque curve, as should be easily possible given the capacity and engine config.
  10. Rogue when i said it lacks total power its only an issue if you have a passenger and want to go fast. Most chicks i've ever taken on the back of a bike didn't want to go fast as getting on the bike was a huge leap of faith for most women in the first place. I don't what it is that scares them about bikes. They all agree they look cool and fun but have read too many road fatality statistics about bikes.

    If you were riding most of the time with a passenger and your choice is between the two Honda's then i suppose go for the Blackbird as it has more power and probably a better seat for the passenger (never heard from a pillion, i'm guessing just by looking at the thickness of the seat). If 70% of your riding is commuting or doing it alone go the VFR, its far more practical and is still comfy for a pillion for up to 2 hours of riding, well atleast it was for my ex but it might be even easier to do longer trips for someone else.

    The Blackbird design is dated and hasn't changed for many many years, VFR is new technology and the one I owned (a 06 model) they had rectified the abruptness of VTEC kicking in too early. As for the whole VTEC thing its nowhere near as bad as people make it out to be, i think people are afraid of change or messing with what works. Now i never rode a pre VTEC VFR but with VTEC i don't know what the fuss was. Around town you never really needed more than two valves per cylinder as the bike had plenty of low down usable torque. If however you are on that quiet back road and you just happen to be passed by a gixer or CBR you can let rip, open up those extra two valves per cylinder and keep up with them (well atleast in the turns, sorry, boasting again :)).

    As for price well in Canberra atleast a brand new 08 VFR goes for about $15k and so does a Blackbird. It deoesn't really make your choice any easier does it LOL. I think in conclusion the VFR is the better bike to have, its still fast enough to lose a licence on and is far more comfortable but if the majority of your riding is with a pillion then i think you'll be happier with a Blackbird, after all i just made the swap to a ZX-14! I miss my VFR, if i had the cash I'd own both bikes but at the moment i prefer the speed and power of the bigger bikes. One day i plan to go back to a VFR but not for some years yet.
  11. Hard to believe 200 ponies is not enough :?
  12. All modern bikes have 'enough' ponnies, power, speed or whatever you want to refer to it as. It just depends on the rider, hell a 250 has enough of everything if you have patience and obey the law, something nearly every rider or driver of a car is guilty of breaking atleast once in their lifetime, or is it just me?
  13. Not just you mate. Some of us need our licenses :grin:
  14. Just to throw a spanner in the works....have you considered a Triumph 955 ? I've seen plenty of people touring on them and have never heard a bad word about them.
  15. Getting more confused by the minute 'Martych'..............
    Luve the FJR1300 but its just too big, too heavy and too much overkill :cry: ........Like the look of the 'Bird' but she's probably getting on a bit in age and the bent over racing look isnt what I'm looking for. Plus its probably not the ideal for the wife as a pillion.. :cry: looking at the VFR as a good compromise and thought it matched the criteria but...........then some suggest it could be a bit light on, powerwise, :? so now I'm looking at writeups on XJR's, Bandits and still thinking about Birds.. :?
    Its just going round in bloody circles and getting to the point where ya go "is it worth the bloody drama" :roll:

    Did look at Trumpie's......half considering an 'American' as its the only one I kinda like other than a 'Sprint' but writeups for some reason make me go 'not as good as others in the same league'
    Cheers Rogues
  16. +1
  17. I didn't believe it at first, but I can't find any evidence disputing this :S.
  18. If I get some time, I'll overlay some graphs. In the meantime, http://www.sportrider.com/ has dyno graphs for the VFR800 and the GSXR750 if you care to look there. At the instant that the VFR's VTEC kicks in, the VFR800 briefly outpowers the GSXR750 for about 300rpm, but below this point the GSXR750 is putting out significantly more power at the same rpm from 2000rpm upwards, and just after the VFR temporarily catches up with the VTEC kick, the GSXR quickly outpowers it at the same RPM, and proceeds to increase its lead, and the proceeds to rev about 2000rpm higher making crazily more power than the VFR.

    Heck, if you "detuned" the 750, and made it rev to as high as the VFR, and boosted its mid-range torque curve even more, it'd completely monster the VFR by around 10-20% at every single point through the rev range.

    I seriously don't understand why Honda have made the VFR800's motor so ineffectual (in comparison).
  19. flux, built possibly with lengevity in mind? ive heard a number a stories of VFR owners getting some fairly rediculous kms on original engines.

    rogues, mate i considered the VFR breifly while i was upgrading, to me it sounded just way to complicated, over weight, underpowered and over priced for what it was, but evidently many many positive testimonials about them. im a young bloke, and it does seem like a bit of an old mans bike to me :wink: :LOL: so i went for the firestorm, maybe another bike you should consider.
    the bird, is an awesome bike. it feels like a bit of a land yaught to me after the firestorm, super smooth in every way. it is a sports touring bike but. it is far more touring orientated than sports orientated imho. in the right hands it can be punted along very quickly in a tight road, but can still be comfy for long stretches. but just because it can go fast doesnt mean it has to go fast, the bike is very content to sit on legal speeds all day.
  20. I didn't reply earlier as you seemed pretty clear about the two you had narrowed it down to. But given they aren't the cheapest bikes out there, have you considered the BMW F800ST?

    I wrote quite a lengthy review on it in this sub-forum that shouldn't be too many pages deep. Seems to cover what you're after, is significantly lighter than either of the two you mentioned, I've heard servicing is much cheaper than a VFR and insurance is a good few hundred dollars cheaper too!

    Take a look, and BMW offer good loooong test-rides too if you want to take one for a spin.

    Butz. :beer: