Buying advice for 2011 VFR800Fi

Discussion in '6th Generation 2002-2013' started by nzmike, Sep 27, 2018.

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  1. nzmike

    nzmike New Member

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    Hi everyone, it's my first post so I hope you'll be kind to me :)

    I've only ever owned new bikes but have always wanted a classic VFR to put in my garage and the one I'm looking at is looking like a great bike for a great price: https://www.bikesales.com.au/bikes/details/2011-honda-vfr800fi/sse-ad-5671544/?cr=8&pso=8

    So this one has 29,000kms (abt 18,000 miles) on it and just wanted to know what I should look for on the bike in terms of potential issues, what to check in the service history and what sort of issues might I expect going forward? And also what would be the big service jobs coming up given it's mileage?

    Finally, is the sudden VTEC change still noticable on this model or had Honda sorted it out by then? I know the new ones (2014 on) seem to have fixed this as I've test ridden one for over an hour on deserted country roads (lucky me!) but not sure about the 6th gen bikes.

    Many thanks in advance for any help or advice given.

    Mike
     
  2. OOTV

    OOTV Member

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    Mike,

    Welcome to The World, about the only thing to really look for is little electrical wiring gremlins. Since Honda stopped importing the 6 Gen in 2009 (2002-2009 in the U.S.) I cannot say if the 2011 in OZ has similar concerns but essentially the Stator/RR wiring and the main fuse 30A that is under the seat would be places to look for any issues. Although these issues can have you stranded if you ignore them, if the bike rides and runs OK, these are items that can be replaced/remedied fairly easily before that can happen.

    The typical major service intervals fall every 16k miles, where the valve inspection is called for, so based on the mileage of this one, it would have just passed. You may ask and see if the 16k service items were attended to. That being said, the valve inspection seems to be a hit or miss with many of us VFR owners. Some do the inspection and pay good money to find the valves are all within spec and some pay good money and find a few are out of spec, and then there are some like me, who just don't even worry about the inspection and hope all is well. Considering a used engine is often less than the cost of an inspection, you can see the logic, however illogical it may seem.

    Regarding the VTEC abruptness, again here I cannot comment on the 2011 model but can say even before I had a Power Command V and now a Rapid Bike tuning module on my 09, I never felt like it was too abrupt. Many have this fear that it will kick in while in a corner and somehow cause a crash. I find that if I'm pushing the bike in the canyons, track or wherever I'm having fun, I just keep it in the VTEC RPM range and don't even think about it. Either way, if you do feel it is a big deal a PC or RB can tame it, if it really is an issue for you.

    Hopefully a few of our members from down under will chime in with first hand info.

    Cheers
     
  3. nzmike

    nzmike New Member

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    Thanks for the reply OOTV - I can't pretend I know anything about bike electrics (or any electrics really TBH) so I'm not sure I'd know exactly to what to look for - how would I actually tell if there might be issues in that area? It does look really well maintained (and I do have Roadside Assist) so hopefully it wouldn't be an issue.

    What worries me more is what you said about valve clearances - especially the fact a new engine might cost less than the service check, that's some scary stuff!
    I'll have to ask the owner if the valve clearances have been done but given the cost Honda charge here in Australia for work (even my little 150cc Honda PCX150 scooter costs a fortune to get serviced) I suspect it's probably not been done - and possibly that's why it's up for sale.

    I may yet just buy a new (or dealer demo) 2017/18 7th gen one as they are now heavily discounting them here. It seems it was a very poor selling bike here in Australia - I think the vanilla looks just put a lot of people off, me included if you're talking about the red, but I do like the silver/grey. I seem to remember reading somewhere when the 7th gen first came out that it did not come to the USA at all - did they later bring it in (or did I get that wrong?)
     
  4. OOTV

    OOTV Member

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    The 7 Gen is considered the VFR1200 here in the states so, yes, it did come here. The 2013+ models are considered the 8 Gen here. As far as your valve service concern, as I mentioned how some of us have forgone the valve check, mine is coming up on 80k miles and although I cannot say or know for sure, everything feels fine to me. As you mentioned the service cost, you can see why it could be possible for a used engine to cost less...

    As far as electrics go, there are several post on the forum that cover the Stator/RR issue and many pictures of the connectors, before and after a meltdown, so even if you know nothing of electrics, it is pretty easy to see what needs to be done and perhaps a fellow Oz member could help you with it. I say if you can afford the new model, then why not get it? Although I wouldn’t mind having one, I have too much time and money invested in my 6 Gen to offer it up as a trade in for one.

    If the price of the 2011 is too good to pass up, I say grab it and deal with the little items as preventative maintenance and enjoy the ride. Most of us here have been dealing with this or that on our bikes, as we do with our cars but the fun return with the bike is far greater IMO. It does help that I do my own service work and although capable of doing the valve service, time, work space and the weather here (sunny almost all year round) keeps me from just doing it myself. I’d rather be riding if/when I can.
     
  5. Dav668

    Dav668 New Member

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    Looks like a good deal with a careful owner and loads of accessories. The vtec transition is fine on post-06 bikes...I recently bought a mint '13 and don't mind the switch, even in first.
    Bikes tend to hang around for sale for a while so haggle.
    I'll probably skip the valve check when the time comes (in a few years at this rate)
    Good luck, let us know how you get on.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2018
  6. skimad4x4

    skimad4x4 "Official" VFRWorld Greeter

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    Hi Mike and Welcome to the MadHouse :Welcome:

    The vtec transition from 2006 onwards is fine. Yes still clearly noticeable but certainly not going to see you thrown off the bike. It does mean the bike has Jeckle and Hyde behaviour if needed. In 6th Gear just below vtec range it can be doing 80mph and still barely sipping fuel, if you encounter a queue stuck behind a semi, just drop a couple of gears to get into the vtec revs and when its safe the bike can be past and back on its own side of the road with astonishing speed.

    Weirdly the advert mentioned linked brakes but not ABS.

    As for vtec servicing, mine has now passed 200,000km and is going strong. Despite being checked several times none of the vtec valves were found to be out of spec. The need for adjustment probably depends on how the bike has been used. If it has been a regular track day mule spending most of its time screaming at near red line rpms, then obviously the vtec valves will have been engaged most of the time and will probably need adjustment. If however most of the time your VFR is mostly used for touring with only the occasional visit into vtec range then they seem to last forever without attention. Obviously Honda have specified a service regime which will cover bikes with the more severe use. If the advert can be believed the previous 50 year old owner has only used the bike for touring which greatly reduces the potential for the vtec valves to be hammered and at that price looks a fair price, if it had ABS then it would be a very good buy.

    It is a shame the bike does not have the matching rear top-box with integrated back rest for a pillion. Despite having panniers and top-box I find the top box preferable to the panniers as you can store two full helmets securely inside and with just the top box it will pretty much fit through any gap you can get the mirrors past.

    Whichever option you choose, ride safe and have fun.

    SkiMad
     
  7. nzmike

    nzmike New Member

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    Hey, thanks for the replies everyone - appreciate the feedback.

    So I'm pretty conficted now as it would be nice to get the dark red VFR (my favourite ever VFR colour) with panniers and topbox (no issue for me it doesn't have the backrest as my partner will not go near bikes) but I've also seen a white '16 with just under 6,000km on it for $12k (AUS) which I think I could maybe get for $11,500. So my question is were there any changes to the model after 2016? In other words would it be better to spend the extra $2k or so to get a low km '17 demo (in lovely silver!) for around $14k?

    If I do buy a current gen one, I'd love to hear what you guys (and girls?) recommend for a slip on. That, and probably a Ventura removable rack, will be my first mods. Then the K&N air filter. Not sure after that but open to any recommendations for "must have" mods. When I originally considered getting the new VFR in 2014 I looked at the SC Projects slip-on but that doesn't seem to be listed on their site now so am guessing they've discontinued it.

    One other Q - I need to get a phone mount for it but given the (lovely) one-piece machined bars I am guessing I can only use one that attaches to one of the M bolts, right? If so, what size are the bolts (in mm preferably, inches mean nothing to me) and is the RAM mount kit the way to go? I have an M bolt kit somewhere that I never used on my previous bike (BMW RnineT) so with any luck they'll be the same size.

    Got to admit to getting a bit excited now - I've *always* wanted a VFR so there is a very good chance I could end up buying one this wekeend :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2018
  8. Dav668

    Dav668 New Member

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    8th gen bikes are coming into range for sure but what got me interested was the current pricing for what I always considered a very fancy bike (6th gens). 8th gens are a bit lighter and IMHO a bit more anonymous. I'd walked past a local one assuming it was a CB500 or similar :Bolt::D
     
  9. nzmike

    nzmike New Member

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    So you think that's a pretty good price for the 2011? It does look like a lovely bike - just waiting for the owner to call me back with a view to looking at it tomorrow.
    An obviously there's always a bit of bargaining so I think the price could come down a bit more.

    I do agree the looks of the 8th gen are quite missable/bland - personally I wouldn't buy one in red as I think it looks really boring (sorry to any red owners out there, just my 2c) - but I do think the silver/grey looks lovely. The white (which I may end up with) I will need to see in the flesh before deciding. I just wish Honda could have done a bit more with the body to make it a bit more interesting
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2018
  10. Dav668

    Dav668 New Member

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    The new white ones are the pick of the 8th gen litter for sure :Smile:
     
  11. nzmike

    nzmike New Member

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    Thanks - from photos the silver/grey seems the nicest to me but maybe the white will grab me once I see one. Any thoughts on slip-ons or the other Q's I had?
     
  12. skimad4x4

    skimad4x4 "Official" VFRWorld Greeter

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    If it is affordable and that is all the price difference then a newer 8th Gen has got to be the better choice. Downside is you will always be cleaning a white motorbike whilst Candy Glory Red does great job of hiding a really dirty road dirt likewise the darker silvers.
     
  13. nzmike

    nzmike New Member

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    That's pretty much what I was thinking until last night when I had a long conversation with the seller of the 2011 bike. It sounds like he's taken really good care of it - plus he's had the valve clearances checked, it has bar risers, a 12v outlet and all the luggage so for the price it seems to be a good buy.
    Anyway, will look at that one and a few others today (Saturday) and see what happens.

    With the K&N filter does anyone know if this one will fit both the current model and the 2011 model or do I need to get different ones?
    https://www.sparesbox.com.au/part/k-and-n-motorcycle-air-filter-fits-honda-vfr800f-99-ha-8098
    EDIT: don't worry, a simple google (d'oh!) shows that it should fit all VFR's:
    https://nzairfilter.co.nz/honda-vfr800/ha-8098.html
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2018
  14. Dav668

    Dav668 New Member

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    Apparently K and N is a waste of time...get a pipercross
     
  15. nzmike

    nzmike New Member

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    Well, that was easy - test rode this bike (http://www.sydneycitymotorcycles.com.au/SCM3_UsedDetail2.aspx?ID=1925) at my local dealer and loved it - so got them to take another $500 off and bought it! Can' t pick it up until next weekend unfortunately but good things come to those that wait. :)

    So now I have to scrape some more pennies together and get the bar risers and a slipon.
     
  16. Dav668

    Dav668 New Member

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    Congrats. You definite about the risers? (pipe is a given)
     
  17. nzmike

    nzmike New Member

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    >You definite about the risers?

    Well I thought so but now I'm not sure - is there some issue with them I don't know about? I do find the bars a bit low and I'm (just) the wrong side of 50 so my back ain't what it used to be, plus I see plenty of people who've put them on.... interested to know why you asked.

    I think I'll go for the Arrow slip-on as it looks ace and seems like a reasonable price - would love an Akra but by the time I import one it would just be too expensive . https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Exhaust...Honda-VFR-800-F-VFR800F-2014-14-/142544368387

    I doubt I'll do the filter until the 10K service - I can just buy one and take it with me and ask them to use that and not a new OEM one.

    Have you installed a luggage rack yourself? I was thinking about something like the Ventura (https://www.ventura-bike.com/product/honda/VFR-800FE) as I'd only want it for weekends away or longer tours - and installing the brackets looks like something even I could get right :)
     
  18. skimad4x4

    skimad4x4 "Official" VFRWorld Greeter

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    Congratulations.

    Did the Bike come with Honda panniers or a top box? They make the bike much more versatile when touring. NB on that VFR model the attachment points for the panniers are already fitted to the bike so if you choose OEM luggage your bike will look just like it does in that photo once you detach the panniers.

    The best luggage is OEM Honda gear but they are crazy expensive especially if you have to buy new stuff from a dealership. NB the same panniers are used on the latest VFR1200F and VFR800F models. Hard luggage keeps your stuff secure and dry, unlike stuff carried in fabric luggage attached with bungee cords - which has been known to just disappear during a trip to Baja in Mexico!

    As for K&N - the stock honda air filters are quite cheap and actually does a fine job, but if you want to consider K&N do not expect any real improvement in performance without having the bike retuned. Please do not consider fitting a K&N oil filter - a search on here will show some sorry tales about why K&N oil filters are a big no no. Doubtless a search on here will be able to find the photo of Anne-Marie's VFR oil slick - basically thanks to K&N - which could so easily have killed her.

    Have fun



    SkiMad
     
  19. nzmike

    nzmike New Member

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    Thanks for your thoughts SkiMad.

    Unfortunately it didn't come with any luggage - would really love to have the panniers but they are so expensive I doubt I'll ever get them :-(

    As I said above,, for now at least, I'll probably fit the Ventura pack rack when I go away and use a rollbag I have which is designed for bikes (i.e: it's waterproof and has adjustable velcro straps and clips). I've used this on three different bikes in the last two years with no issues at all.

    I didn't have any plan on replacing the oil filter -- just thought of doing the air filter since so many people seem to think this is a necessary mod.
    But now I've read quite a bit about it and wonder if I need to do this at all - seems most people are split as to whether it really makes any difference.
    My biggest concern is I do not want to have to do a retune which some people say you need with a new filter. From what I understand the engine can run leaner with the increased airflow and that can damage the engine over time - does that sound right? I'm mechanically clueless TBH but I think that's what they were saying.

    Basically, for now I think I'll just fit the Arrow slipon and ride it stock for a month or two then see what I think.... I'm not going to be riding that hard that I need to squeeze every last ounce of power out of it.
     
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