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Which Sports Tourer.VFR800 or SPRINT ST or ??

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by mainstage, Jun 2, 2009.

  1. Hi everyone
    Looking to upgrade in the next couple of months . this is the situation

    I don't want to much pressure on the wrists or lower back . 80% of my riding is freeway to work and back No traffic 60ks round trip

    And weekends around the hills for a couple of hours
    I've done a lot of searching on the Honda VFR800
    And Triumph sprint st1050.

    I know all the specs , I would like to hear from riders of the bikes in question .

    What do you get from a tank in the real world ?
    The VFRs linked brakes ?
    cost of service ?
    riding position ?

    I know I need to test ride first but I'am still on restrictions for two months yet so just doing some homework

    Thank you for taking the time to read this and replying . Adrian
  2. The eternal question. Well, I need to confess at the outset that I am a Honda man, as my nick implies. I've owned 4 VFR's and I love my 750 more than any bike I've ever owned, and I've owned plenty.

    So, it may come as a surprise to say that I believe that the ST is a better bike than the gimmicky 2002-onwards VFR800.

    In day-to-day usage there probably isn't anything to pick between them until you start looking at the foolish VTEC system with which the current model is burdened as well as the DCBS about which the jury is still well and truly out.

    VFR servicing costs are going to be higher because of all the gimmicks. Fuel mileage and distance on a tank is comparable. Comfort is also, although the ST does come with the option of factory higher bars for those who don't like the slightly leant-forward stance of the VFR.

    Build quality still definitely favours the VFR and longevity likewise, but, since nobody keeps a bike for too long these days, that's probably not an issue.

    Out of the box, the ST is the better bike.

    You CAN make the VFR much better with expensive and time-consuming modifications to the airbox, the exhaust system, yada, yada, yada, but, seriously, why would you bother when the ST is a complete package off the showroom floor?

  3. What do you get from a tank in the real world ? I have a 2007 Sprint ST and get 400km plus or minus, depending on how it's ridden. I don't really commute on it but ride in the hills a fair bit but not in racing mode.

    The VFRs linked brakes ? No idea sorry.

    cost of service ? Do it myself so no real idea but apparently not particularly cheap.

    riding position ? Depends on your riding fitness and what you're used to but it's ok. It doesn't cause me any problems with my back and the wrists got tired in the early days but no problem now. For long distances the seat, like many, requires a bit of getting used to. I ended up modifying mine. Riding position can be adjusted to suit the rider with things such as risers and so forth. I have Genmar risers but am thinking about taking them off. There's no option of factory high bars for later model Sprints as they come with them standard.

    I wouldn't agree that longevity favours the VFR. Here's an example:


    My opinion on the Sprint ST is that it's a great bike for it's intended use, which is Sport Touring (and I'm a Yammy man).
  4. Adrian, nothing scholarly or helpful here, but can you stop me giggling each time I see the thread title about a 'SPOTS' tourer, by editing it, please :)..... :LOL:.

    Longevity? VFR? Doesn't favour? Please show me ANY other bike which can match the verified mileage of an English courier's VFR, at 800,000 MILES, 400,000 on the first engine, and another 400,000 on the replacement engine.
  5. Nah, I don't have either of those bikes - It's a Tiger 1050!

    (Yeah, Hornet beat me to it. ;)
  6. GS500F sounds ideal :wink:
  7. Probably should go for the Bandit 1250 you're talking about...

  8. And OP stumbled on the answer with a fumble of the keyboard! :grin:
  9. Ridden the VFR, loved it, heaps of fun. The Vtec is a HOOT :cool:

    The ST was on my shortlist too, very nice bike, free luggage so good value as well.

    Are you looking new?? Maybe also check out the F800ST
  10. Thank you to everyone for all the replies and giving up your time ....

    Sorry MOD about the spelling. (after 9pm and on my way to work) old people get tired :grin: :grin:

    I'm looking to spend around 10-13k and to keep the bike for a number of years .

    I like the look of the VFR but a little concerned about the vtec and linked brakes. The ST has a long history of reliability .

    Need to wait for test ride time :? :? ( hate waiting life is too short)

    Thanks Flinders 72 good link ,,just found out the 12k service on the Sprint is around 800 - 900 dollars... anyone know the same for the VFR ??
  11. Hotly debated topics about the current generation of VFRs, but really, they are almost non-issues. Most of the debate revolves around personal bias rather then actual problems/limitations of having or not having them.

    VTEC means that at a certain point the bike makes more noise, vibrates a little more, goes a little harder, and uses a little more fuel. It will surprise you the first few times, but you get used to it pretty quickly. As a bonus it makes commutes a little more exciting, but when touring or doing long stretches of highway you probably wont want to keep the revs up to activate it.

    Linked brakes work exactly as they are supposed too, and again you probably wont notice them. Unlike the VTEC (which is in its first iteration on the current VFRs) the linked brakes have been refined a little from the previous generation of VFRs and the earlier Blackbirds. When you use the front brakes it also activates one of the 3 pistons on the rear brake. When you use the rear brake it activates one of the 3 pistons on one of the two front calipers (there is actually a bit more to it then that - the important thing is that the rear brake pedal has a very minor effect on the front brakes).
    Personally I don't care either way about the linked braking - on the one hand by partially activating the rear while using the front brakes it keeps the rear down and provides some stability - I also have yet to be able to lock up either brake (and not from want of trying). The stopping power is also very good. On the other I continue to brake like I would on a bike without linked braking (ie. using both brakes in the appropriate manner), so I wouldn't suffer without them. I am also not a huge fan of the rear brake having any effect on the front brakes.

    You could always get one of the 5th gen VFRs (the previous VFR800s), or the also excellent VFR750s. Another beauty of these bikes is that they don't loose value just because they have a lot of kms on the clock. People know they are almost indestructible so if you do decide to sell one a year or so after you get it you probably wont loose much (assuming you buy 2nd hand to begin with - the normal depreciation upon leaving the showroom still applies).
    Hornet already mentioned the famous 800,000 mile VFR (that's 1,280,000 km - lets see your average sports bike last that far!). Stands testament to the longevity of the older VFR models. No one has gotten quite that far on a VTEC model, but I do know there are few people over 200,000 miles, so it doesn't look like new tech has had much effect on the life of the machines. That said, tourers are made to do lots of ks, I would expect the ST to be impressive in that department too.

    Had my 12k recently, ~$500 (which I thought was very good). 6k was $250-$300. Of course, that all depends on what precisely needs to be done (I got new tires at the same time as my 12k, so that obviously added to the cost it a big way, but you don't normally include that sort of thing in the service cost). Also depends a lot on where you take it to be serviced.
  12. Have you considered the honda CBF thou? they sell for about $12,800 odd plus ORC atm. The top box and pannier set is worth, erm, $2,800 roughly. :shock:

    Still, if you just get the top box set up, about $700 and go for non genuine panniers, it might be considering.
  13. I ride an 08 Sprint. Love her to death but there has been a few build quality issues. Every time Triumph came to the party under warranty with no fuss. Service intervals are every 10k so even though might be a little more than VFR prices you're still getting away with fewer visits to the mechanics. my 10k was about $320......20k (the biggie) is a little over $1k. Tyres are approx $540 a set and my first set of OEM's got me 12000km of bloody great fun.

    With the free panniers jsut a topbox is needed to complete you're setup and that set me back approx $600 for a Motec rack and Givi box. Did 8 days touring tassie shortly after and she was an absolute trooper.
  14. As I remarked above, I'm a Honda man, have been since 1974. However, the apologists for the current model VFR are a bit like the crowd in the story of The Emperor's New Clothes. For those who can't remember, everybody knew that the king was naked, but nobody was game to say so for fear of being ridiculed.

    And so it is with the poor 2002----onwards VFR. Let's understand what the VTEC system is and does and why it was fitted. It works by disabling 2 of the 4 valves in the cylinder while ever the motor is running under 7200RPM. This is supposed to achieve better economy, but, in the real world, it doesn't. Why?

    Because, under 7200RPM the engine is a SLUG. It actually develops LESS torque than its predecessors did and it's easy to see why this is so. So, what do owners do? They rev the tits off the thing to get it above 7200RPM where the 2nd set of valves chime in and it becomes again what it was designed to be originally, a 4 valve per cylinder engine.

    But, in doing so, they fearfully impinge on fuel consumption. And, the VTEC will chime in at 7200RPM in the middle of a corner or whenever and wherever you happen to be whether it is safe or prudent for you to be suddenly receiving a kick in the guts or not.

    As I said in my original post, this alarming, useless, thirsty and potentially dangerous engine characteristic CAN be tamed, but only by considerable modifications at a not inconsiderable expense.

    Let me quote, finally, from Superbike magazine's test of the VFR800.

    "The claim behind the VTEC system are that just using 2 valves below 7000RPM makes for a gruntier motor, but that's simply not the case."

    Where do we (most of us) spend most of our time when we are riding? Over 7200RPM screaming around like a boy-racer? Not likely. The fact that you are LOOKING for a S/T bike indicates that factors like torque, smoothness of power delivery and down-low power are more important. If you WANTED to spend your life at 9000RPM, you'd be looking at a Gixxer or a CBR600.

    Sadly, the current 800 fails to deliver on this front, the very front, I might add, that was the original design brief and the reason why hundreds of thousands of owners all over the world have consistently voted the various models of the VFR the best "all-round" bike around.

    No, if you want a VFR, the 750 is the sweetest, the 98-2001 800 is the most sophisticated and the current 800 is The Emperor's New Clothes. Everyone KNOWS that it's flawed but the owners HAVE to say that it's great because they've shelled out good money and bought one.
  15. Damn thing just keeps getting heavier too.

    Should have been upped to a 1000 and kept the gear driven cams.

    We should see what the new V4 is like soonish.
  16. And that's why I have a soft spot for even the earlier ones!
  17. [​IMG]

    Doesn't look like much of a step to me? Is it really an issue in the real world, even with cornering? I haven't ridden one so can't tell but I've heard soo many owners of new gen vfrs say the 'zomgimgoingtodiebecausetheVTECjustkickedinwhoa' is bullshit and not an issue. Yes owners tend to be biased, but then again so do non owners.

    I do prefer the sports side rather than the touring side, would be nice if they just did the sensible thing and had an R version and a GT version. But if I got a vfr it would be 98-01 too.
  18. That dyno run was at full-throttle. If we are going to discuss whether the VTEC kick is a problem mid-corner, we need a partial-throttle dyno run. Good luck finding one. :LOL:
  19. Yeah, and while you're at it phyzog or whatever you call yourself, I'd think twice about editing my posts like this again. That is, unless you'd like me to do the same to your posts. :LOL: