Which model to choose for the real VFR feel (not trying to start a war...)?

Discussion in '3rd & 4th Generation 1990-1997' started by Michael S, May 17, 2017.

  1. Michael S

    Michael S Member

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    Hi,

    Not really sure where to post a cross generation question - sorry if wrong place.

    So, I've decided that my next bike is going to be a VFR. But haven't decided on the generation yet. I've read quite a lot about all of them, so I believe I know about most of the factual differences and some of the strengths and weaknesses. There are of course hundreds of forum threads on these topics, but I wonder if someone would offer their views on the "feel" of the bikes - as subjective as they might be.

    My choice is perhaps a little different than it is for most VFR buyers. I have narrowed it down to either the RC36 or the VTEC 2002 - 2005. In other words something rather old vs. something much more modern. I am aware that I thereby disqualify the much loved G5. That choice comes down to pure aesthetics. I prefer either the classic look of the R36 or the modern look of the VTEC. To me the G5 sits to much in-between.

    For the RC36 I am torn between the 90-93 and the 94-97. Most seem to think that the latter is the better one, but I really prefer the looks of the early model. As for the VTEC, my preference for the 2002-2005 is solely based on the financial cap I put on this "project".

    My wishes for the new bike are quite simple (but maybe not very tangible..): aesthetically pleasing, which I believe all of the three bikes to be, a "real VFR and V4 feel", and NOT a high maintenance project. Normal service and an occasional visit to the garage is of course ok, but I don't want a bike that needs frequent repairs.

    So I guess my questions are:
    - will the much newer VTEC provide the same joy of riding as the old legend? I'm talking about the "VFR feel" here (and I am really not trying to offend anyone which I fear just asking the question will...)
    - are the chances good that a well maintained RC36 be a relatively problem free bike to own?
    - any thoughts on feel of the RC36-1 vs. 2 are very welcome too.

    The reason why I place to much emphasis on the feel of the bike, is that I currently ride a Suz GSX 650 F from 2011 which in terms of reliability and ease of riding is a perfectly good bike that hasn't let me down a single time. But it just doesn't provide that extra something that joy of riding is made of.. .
     
  2. OOTV

    OOTV Well-Known Member

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    The two on my list are a 3 gen or a 5 gen, but if I were to say where to start, I'd say the 5 gen. There are still quite a few OEM parts out there on the internet for repairs and it's the last generation with the gear driven cams. I have a 5 gen and 6 gen AND I actually bought the 6 gen first and considering the slight differences in the bikes over the years, I think the 5 gen does a great job of encompassing what we like in the VFR. Of course, this is my opinion and subject to personal taste and preferences.
     
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  3. RVFR

    RVFR Well-Known Member

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    Ah, what a question. Ok fair enough. First off being a VFR user and fan since they have been out, maybe I can shed a little light. What I like here is you have all ready done your home work, so in that it's really up to you. I know you'd like some thoughts and opinions, but like that, every one will have one. So to be honest right off the bat, first the VFR is a motorcycle with a different way of going about what it does, but not by much. That begs the question what do you like in a Motorcycle? you've all ready answered that in some ways by just being here. For me it's one thing, pure and simple here the VFR is a sport-bike with an incredible engine that does all that a motorcycle can very well. In that it's just a matter of what you feel works for you. Hate to say it. the only way you will know for sure is to go out and ride one.
    But do not discount the 5th gen. I too wasn't sold on em, I'm a 4th gen fan for sure, but tech being what it is, it really does have the best bang for the buck. But you sound like looks plays a part more than function, I get that, just saying by not looking at the 5th gen, you're cutting yourself short. Now if I was going to buy just one now knowing what I know and experienced. I'd look at a 86 vfr 750, those are way cool. It's IMO the VFR that should be made today. Good luck.
     
  4. ksoholm

    ksoholm Active Member

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    Michael,
    Message me your email address, and I'll send you HQ scans of some original magazine reviews of 5th Gens that include references to the older VFRs. That goes for you others, too.
    Kristian
     
  5. Michael S

    Michael S Member

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    Thanks, both. Very interesting replies. Take away no. 1: don't cut out the 5th gen :)

    I wouldn't say that I am more concerned about looks than function. But I am definitely ALSO concerned about the looks. It's more that I am quite convinced that all of the generations are excellent bikes in terms of function and reliability.

    What do I like in a bike? As I am rather new to the MC world, I have to admit that I can't answer that with any high certainty. I started on a cruiser and that was not for me. What I am looking for now is a sporty bike but without the lean angle of a sport bike. And this in combination with a quality feel and joy of riding that for me has a lot to do with smoothness, sound and "this just works sublimely" (ok, to be more clear I'd like to have the MC's world's answer to a BMW 535i). That's why I decided on the VFR.
     
  6. RVFR

    RVFR Well-Known Member

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    Too Funny, when compering cars to MC, I've had an idea to me the VFR, for the most part all of them, where BMW M5s or 850csi. ;) I know I've call out the new 8th gen as an Acura of sorts. You're just going to have to trust what appeals to you and jump on it.
     
  7. Samuel

    Samuel Active Member

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    If you can find/afford an RC45...
     
  8. GatorGreg

    GatorGreg Honda Fanboy/LitiGator

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    Welcome Michael, DK = Denmark? No offense to the earlier gens as they are all great, but I would go with a new or lightly used 8th gen - especially since Honda is practically giving them away (at least here in the USA). If you study the two major VFR forums you will find that virtually everyone who has owned an earlier gen who now owns an 8th gen will say the same thing. I've never ridden an earlier gen but according to Cycle World the 2014 is "better than ever":

    "We assumed it was gone forever, a beloved model Honda would never again produce. We were wrong. But we’re thrilled to admit our mistake because not only is the VFR800F Interceptor back in business, but the 2014 version is better than ever. Considering that its 750cc and 782cc predecessors have a long, storied history of worldwide acclaim—including having won 12 Cycle World Ten Best awards—that’s high praise indeed."
    http://www.cycleworld.com/2014/07/1...iew-photos-specifications-performance-numbers

    But don't just take my word for it - I'm just an "Ugly American" according to some folks here :glee: Here's a great review by some dude with a European accent - this adds to his credibility as a reviewer I think :beguiled: He says he owns an '86 VFR and does a nice wheelie at the 1:05 mark.

    [video=youtube;aseRrd3mvBU]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aseRrd3mvBU[/video]
     
  9. Devo83

    Devo83 Member

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    I recently purchased a clean 93, took me about a year to find what I was looking for (low km, all stock, low owners, the right answers to my questions lol). Parts aren't as easy to find but I have always found what I was looking for. For me that's part of the fun as I enjoy restoring and working on my own bikes.

    I like the style of the older bikes and the simplicity. From all the research I did leading up to my bike, 90-97 are generally regarded as the golden years. After that they got a little gimmicky and over complicated for my liking. That being said as a whole it's still a great bike whatever year you get. It really depends on your tastes. Once I saw that all white 93.....well it was no question for me. And I originally started off looking for a late 80's rwb.

    Happy hunting! Team GEN3!!
     
  10. Terry Smith

    Terry Smith Well-Known Member

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    Well if you want sound and smoothness, you need a 3rd, 4th or 5th gen, with gear driven cams. These add a certain exotic sounds that the 6th gen and later don't have as they reverted to chain driven cams. My impression of the 6th gen by comparison is of the stepped power delivery when the VTEC activates, which some like but it didn't work for me. I do prefer the look of the 6G compared to the 5G however.

    Personally I'd be happy with any of them, but I'm very partial to the look of the early 1990's 3rd gen, especially in pearly white like Mr Devo's avatar. I doubt there is much difference in real world performance, and there is some happiness to be had from the simplicity of the 3rd and 4th compared to the 5th gen and later (linked braked, dual radiators, FI).
     
  11. Michael S

    Michael S Member

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    Hi everyone,

    Thanks for your interesting replies. And for the most amusing one, GatorGreg :smug: . I'm not sure I get the part about "ugly american" but the guy in the video certainly is European! And yes DK = Denmark - which is why the 8th gen is not really an option for me. Bikes are very expensive here and I capped the budget somewhat lower as it's just a weekend bike I am looking for.

    Having read your replies, and interesting articles and reviews kindly provided by Kristian, I can see why the 5th gen would be a good choice for most. But for me the design just won't do it. So it's still a choice between 3rd, 4th and early 6th gen. I'm gonna take a look at a white '91 on Saturday. Has 89k km on the clock: http://www.123mc.dk/brugt/mc/honda/vfr-750-f/til-salg/139517 . Is it possible to say anything in general about the level of maintenance costs to expect for such a bike compared to a much newer VTEC with low km but with the expensive valve adjustment people write about?
     
  12. Terry Smith

    Terry Smith Well-Known Member

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    All my bikes have high km, my 5G has 96000km, my ST has 107000km and my VTR1000 (the baby) has 76000km.

    All of them have had some coolant hose leaks that were easy enough to replace with new parts, two needed new thermostats. They all needed steering head bearings replaced, and new shock absorbers, but I am fanatical about getting the best out of the chassis. You may also need to consider replacing brake discs depending on usage. Collectively, these things do add up, especially if you pay a workshop to do them.
     
  13. Alaskan

    Alaskan Well-Known Member

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    It depends on the type of oil you use and the make/model of tires you mount . . .






    .
     
  14. GatorGreg

    GatorGreg Honda Fanboy/LitiGator

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    That's a besutiful white '91 you have your eyes on - hopefully it works out! Yes, it seems that we are pretty fortunate in the USA in terms of motorcycle prices - for some reason the VFR prices here are ridiculously low - it may have something to do with the fact that they have been discontinued here since the '15 model year. The "ugly American" comment was my joking reference to ksohlm's insult that he hurled in my direction just yesterday in my "spastic diarrhea" thread :glee:
     
  15. TOE CUTTER

    TOE CUTTER Mullet Man

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    Gen 2, the rest are to well refined and girlie.
     
  16. nicholas042416

    nicholas042416 Member

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    I am also hunting the perfect VFR 800/750 for me. I personally like the sound of the VTECH but I don't know how annoying it gets. Unfortunately I don't know anyone here in Houston that has one to try out :/ Good Luck bud


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  17. squirrelman

    squirrelman Well-Known Member

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    Just what i was thinkin.


    VF was flawed and quickly outdated and upgraded to VFR 700/750 in '86/'87. imo, '86 VFR r/w/b THE Collectable streetbike/superbike from the 80's . Riding an '86 700 for a few years is the education needed to best appreciate the sizable advances built into later models. seems like VF proponents haven't ridden enough newer bikes to comparatively identify their rides as primitive horse-wagons.

    Except for Alliance and one or 2 others.
     
  18. RVFR

    RVFR Well-Known Member

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    Rode an 86 the other day. My what a sweet bike, light and nimble, sounds great, had some oood ole fashion get up and go too. so imagine that with todays new tech, Nice huh.
     
  19. V4toTour

    V4toTour Active Member

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    5th gen has the loudest gear whine. :listening_headphone
     
  20. SweViffer

    SweViffer New Member

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    The 8th gen is ridiculous expensive here in the northern part of Europe, and I think Denmark has very high taxes on newer bikes on top of that. If you were based in north America I would say go for a 8th gen, here not so much. Get a newer 6th gen I would say, it will be so much easier to maintain in the slightly longer run. I own a early 6th gen, and yes there are gremlins aplenty in it but much was fixed 2006. I also own a 1st gen, and many needed gadgets for it is now obsolete (as in impossible to find new or even used). So I say skip the earlier generations for practicality, if you don't already have fallen head over heels in love with them.

    For reference, the cheapest 8th gen I can find on the local equivalent to Craigslist is a used 2014 with 10315 miles on the clock for 9640 USD. A new 2017 costs us 15000 USD.
     
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