1995 VFR750 comparison to CBR600f4i

Discussion in 'General VFR Discussions' started by JIMLARCH, Jul 25, 2018.

  1. JIMLARCH

    JIMLARCH New Member

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    Much as I love my VFR750 and think it is an all round excellent bike, I missed the daily use of something a bit more sporting. I'm not young but I still enjoy riding something that handles great and has performance. I noticed very soon after acquiring my VFR a few years ago that I tended to run it harder, because it was just plain fun going through the gears, and not really ending up in go to jail territory. The gsxr1000 I have is an excellent bike, but winding it up the same way as the VFR leads to dangerous speeds for your licence.

    So I looked around and decided a cbr600f4i met the sporting criteria without risking my licence every time I ride it.

    Right off riding the CBR I missed the torque pulling away. But what I really noticed was how light it was compared to the VFR. Sure my gsxr is pretty much the same weight of the CBR, but due to the CBR being physically smaller for some reason it feels even lighter. The riding position is comfortable and if you look at
    cycle-ergo.com/ you will see almost identical to the VFR. I have altered the bars slightly so there is less bend. For some reason the CBR bars are the strangest I've ever used in regards to how much they turn back to the rider.

    I find the brakes on my VFR good, but the braided line brakes on my CBR are amazing. Even better for feel than the gsxr, which has radial brakes.

    The CBR is fun to rev and whip through the gears without doing ridiculous speeds. It needs 6k plus to start moving and below 5 I find the engine sounds somewhat noisy and loose. But that's not surprising seeing it redlines at 14200. The motor is fairly tractable and will pull from 6k in top gear with authority. I'm not too impressed with the suspension. The bike has only 15000 kilometeters (9K) on it with adjustable suspension. Right now it's on standard settings but feels too hard in the front and too soft in then back. I'm sure adjusting for my weight and changing the fork fluid will make a big difference.

    Overall it is a nice bike to ride for bend twisting and having fun on shorter rides, which is why I bought it. But, it's no VFR. For a do everything bike the VFR is still for me the better bike, and it's only downfall is it's weight. But that is only a problem on a slow twisty road. The motor is still the most satisfying I've ever ridden. Free revving, torquey, and unburstable. It's not hard to feel the RC30 and RC45 heritage in the engine.

    As a last note. I rode a 2009 gsxr1000 recently which had really low k's and in great shape. It was...ok. A typical gixxer. What surprised me was when I got back on the VFR after climbing off the gixxer, I found the VFR was more free revving feeling and satisfying to ride. In the real world the VFR is not a slow bike!
     
  2. JIMLARCH

    JIMLARCH New Member

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    To continue the saga. On the vfr I can take off the side panels and lower cowl in under 5 minutes for an oil change. Everything is easy to get at, not much of a hastle. On the cbr it's a finicky 10 minute job removing the panels. Score one for the vfr.

    I've checked my Haynes manual and the owners handbook. Changing the spark plugs on the vfr at the rear 2 cylinders is pretty easy. Sure you have to remove the side panels and fuel tank, but that's not really a problem. Reaching the front 2 cylinders is a hastle but still doable after moving radiator. On the cbr it's back to removing side panels, and then you are at the vfr stage of moving the radiator and going in from ther front. Haven't done it yet but it really looks to be a major pain. Personally I'm going to change the plugs and air filter at same time which means panels off, tank off, air filter housing off, and then everything is easy to get at. Much rather spend a little more time doing this than possibly saving a few minutes, and cursing all the while.
     
  3. OCLandspeeder

    OCLandspeeder New Member

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    I also have '15 CBR600rr. I had a friend's CBR600F4i for a few months as well. The F4i was surprisingly VERY similar to a VFR in terms of ergonomics. And yes it is fast. The 600RR is even faster still. WAY faster than my VFR800...same horsepower, 120 lbs. lighter and revs all the way up to 15k RPM! Horsepower peak is at 13k RPM. What really amazes me is how Honda was able to tune a healthy amount of midrange on their CBR600's. Yes, they do need to be in the right gear to access the power but it NEVER feels slow (unless you're in the wrong gear). Also, I agree with you about the size thing. The smaller CBR's changes direction much quicker and easier. In my personal opinion, these 600's are the most fun bikes because they are small and lightweight, yet they have plenty of power (100+ rwhp) when you need or want to go really fast. And yes, the power is accessible more often than a literbike. With literbikes, you REALLY have to choose when and where you open them up because they WILL send you to 140-150 mph very quickly! The 600's will "only" send you to 125 mph quickly! LOL! It always makes me laugh when I see reviewers wax poetic about the KTM RC390 and Kawasaki Ninja 400 and how much fun they are! Pssssst......did you all forget that the 600 super sports are still around and weigh 400 lbs. wet and packing 100+ rwhp?

    My only gripe with my CBR600rr is the footpeg positions are high, which I fixed by lowering them an inch. It's still no VFR800 when it comes to comfort and long distance capabilities. But if you want to have fun riding a bike, the most fun is in the 600's. Even an SV650 or a Yamaha FZ07 are tons of fun to ride. They all have those similar characteristic: compact, lightweight, agile, powerful (enough) engine to get you well past 100 mph and cruising with confidence at 80+ mph on the freeway with plenty of power leftover.

    Glad you're enjoying your F4i.
     
  4. Diving Pete

    Diving Pete Insider

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    I almost totally agree with the post above - the 600's are just amazing. I still miss my CBR600rr7. The only reason I sold it was i found I was driving at 100mph almost every time I got on it - they really just want you to just kick it.. this is why I'm now on 400's -
     
  5. fink

    fink Insider

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    Miss my Cbr 600 fv , especially on my 50 mile commute to work. Was getting to silly speeds in some places totally effortless to ride and throw about compared to the vfr.
     
  6. JIMLARCH

    JIMLARCH New Member

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    Still liking the cbr600f4i. Only thing I really don't like is the position of the clip ons. Have modified them so that they swivel slightly more forward. Found it slightly better handwidth wise, but then found that they made the bike somewhat twitchy. This bike does not need any help in the handling department, which may explain why the bars are set so narrow.

    This particular bike has a notchy first to second gear change when hot, and pulling away is one of the few times it feels like a "little" 600. I've found that first and second gear are pretty close, so if I slow down to around 8 mph and want to pull away, I leave it in second. For normal riding this is fine. Obviously if you want to accelerate hard you use first.

    I notice the bike is smooth, but has high frequency vibes at different parts of the rev range under 6000. Very smooth above 6000 rpm.

    Without a doubt it is a great bike for the twisties, even the slow speed ones. Will be going down to the Back of the Dragon (Virginia) in September and we'll see how it does against my buds R1. Took my gsxr1000 there last year on the way back from Deals Gap. Found it more of a handful there than the Gap. It flows less, with very tight corners in much of the places.
     
  7. Diving Pete

    Diving Pete Insider

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    With my RR7 I was always in 1st till 40+ Mph - 15000 redline had it at 67mph...
    It just sang above 10,000rpm with a Yoshimura end can. lol

    I did change the gears to Race Shift too.
     
  8. OCLandspeeder

    OCLandspeeder New Member

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    Another nice thing I really like about the 600's are their gear spacing. JM alluded to it above. They are very closely spaced so the engine revs don't fall as much as the VFR800. It also eases the engine's load since it doesn't have to keep climbing up the rev range. VFR800 drops about 1k RPM per shift in some gears. My CBR rarely drops 500 RPM...so with every shift the motor is in its zone and the bike just maintains its momentum.

    Reviewers always say 600's are "slow" or you need to rev it.....it really paints an inaccurate picture because these bikes are the complete opposite of slow.
     
  9. pandes

    pandes New Member

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    Indeed, very interesting thread[​IMG]
     
  10. cbx1260cc

    cbx1260cc New Member

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    Have you considered the Honda 599 HORNET?? Same motor as the CBR600F3 but with UPright riding position.
    I sold my 2000 CBR600F4 because it had me leaned over too far. The 599 is much more upright but still has the "get up and go" of the middleweight bike.

    OR

    Step down to a 1989/90 Honda CB1. Slightly more "sporty" riding position than the 599 but loads of fun running through the gears and still maintaining your licence.
     
  11. OCLandspeeder

    OCLandspeeder New Member

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    The 599 is a rare bike here in the US. More rare than the 919. I remember seeing one in person years ago....maybe 2007. Never saw another ever again.

    Nowadays they have the Ninja 400, CBR500r, Yamaha R3, RC/Duke 390. I recently rode with a guy on a Yamaha R3 (35 rwhp, 365 lbs. wet). He was able to keep up most of the time except when I really got my VFR800 above 7k RPM. He told me was wide open when passing cars, especially at higher elevations. But in the twisties and highway his R3 had no issues staying with me. He also said he likes the R3 a lot because it doesn't "feel slow" and very easy to ride.
     
  12. JIMLARCH

    JIMLARCH New Member

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    Horror show! I changed the air filter and spark plugs on the cbr600f4i. I will never again complain that doing the front cylinder plug change on my 4th gen is a pain. Whoever designed this bike didn't have ease of maintenance as a priority.

    Honda recommend the you do the spark plugs by basically going from the front and moving the radiator. That seemed like too much work, wrong, but seeing as I was changing the air filter I decided to go by tank off route. On both my vfr and Suzuki, taking the tank off is a 5 minute job at most. Taking the air filter housing off on those bikes is pretty straight forward also. Not so on the cbr.

    First I removed the 2 bolts at the front of the tank, and 2 at the rear. Simple. But taking the tank off would require depressurising the system and removing lines. On the vfr and Suzuki this is much easier. But keeping the cbr tank in place just requires propping it up, being careful not to scratch the rear against the frame. Finicky but easy enough after I drained most of the fuel.

    Now the air box. There are, 6 separate connections, two of them being electrical. One of the electrical connections is very finicky to get off. With the air filter cover off and filter removed there are 6 screws holding the air funnels and base of the filter on the throttle bodies. Plus you have to remove the ram air rubbers, and the plastic ram air cover, which can only be removed by removing screws from the panels on both sides of the fairings.

    There is now access to the coils. Very finicky, but not difficult, removing the coils as there are parts of the frame and other parts in the way.

    Number 3 cylinder had a loose spark plug and coil. It was so loose having side movement that I initially thought that the thread in the head was likely ruined. Fortunately it wasn't. I'm frankly surprised that the bike ran well without appearing to misfire. I'm suspecting that the high frequency vibration at different parts of the rev band below 6000 will improve. Everything went back in a much faster time than the dismantling.

    Every bike has it's pros and cons. For general maintenance the vfr is a much easier bike to work on than a cbr600f4i. And a Suzuki sport bike is even easier to work on and just goes to prove that it is basically a race bike with headlights.
     
  13. JIMLARCH

    JIMLARCH New Member

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    The continuing saga. Took the cbr600f4i to West Virginia and rode the twisties. Verdict. I wish the cbr had the vfr motor in it's chassis. The cbr handles very well. The brakes were very good and saved my skin on a couple of occasions, but oh I missed the grunt of the vfr. The cbr runs well over 6000 rpm but you have to keep it on the boil. Having said that it would have run rings around the vfr in those particular twisties because of it's light weight.

    On returning home I rode the vfr and immediately noticed the weight with a full tank. Without a doubt the vfr's weight is it's major downside when compared to the cbr's handling. Other than that I still love the vfr and would choose it over the cbr if I could only have one bike.

    To finish. My vfr has Roadsmart 2's. The cbr has Roadsmart 3's. I like how they grip on the vfr and found them to be very good on the cbr also, even though being a much lighter bike I thought they may give a harsh ride. They don't. On numerous occasions I dragged the pegs and at no time did they give the impression of not being able to handle sporting riding. The tires have 4500 miles (7000 kilometres) on them and still appear like new.
     
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