Gen 6 VFR = Poor handling?

Discussion in '6th Generation 2002-2013' started by Rainbow7, Oct 27, 2012.

  1. Rainbow7

    Rainbow7 New Member

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    First of all, this is not just another "What should I do to my suspension" thread.

    My issue is simply this: the more I ride my VFR, the less impressed I am with its handling capabilities. I have tried various permutations of sag/compression settings and have still not found anything that I consider to be even adequate, let alone good. It is really the only major complaint I have about the bike.

    What I want to know is if I am the only one who ended up not enjoying riding their VFR because in stock form it didn't want to go around corners? - I have no faith in it, as it always feels like it is getting ready to high-side me.
    I went for a short ride yesterday with my Dad. We swapped rides half way (he has a 2008 Varadero) and when we got back to my place he said, "I was wondering why you went around that first roundabout so slowly; now I know why! - Your bloody bike doesn't want to tip in!" He was right.

    I love my VFR but quite honestly, the handling is far short of where I would expect it to be. So....am I the only one here who has pretty much concluded that the stock suspension of the VFR makes it almost unrideable?

    I am going to a local race suspension place to have the front and rear shocks completely rebuilt for my weight and riding style. I hope that will solve this issue. If not, I'm selling it and buying a B-King.
     
  2. pacemaker

    pacemaker New Member

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    I've found mine to be pretty good, it's not as flickable as my previous CBR600F3 & you have to put in a bit more effort leaning it (big weight difference). But holds it's line in the corners that would have the CBR moving around (typical "OLD Road" stuff). Since I've had it I've virtually done bugger all to the set up, except for a little more preload at the front (although next service will see me pissing off the fish oil & using a good medium weight oil). I agree that taking it to a good suspension place & having it checked over & rebuilt, as they may pick up on any other problems with the forks/tyres set up. Hope it works out.
     
  3. WetSpot

    WetSpot New Member

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    I'm a heavy bitch rainbow (118kg) and I find it reasonable in stock form... Planning to work the boingers at some point but it can wait for a few other expenses to be dealt with...
     
  4. John451

    John451 Member

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    You should be quicker through the twisties on a stock VFR than you are on a Verado :/

    2 things to look at:


    first how far are your forks dropped through the triple clamps , mine are at about 7 to 8mm and I like their balance of stability and turn in.

    2nd : what tyres are on your Vfr, my current are Road 3s but being a flat profile are slow to initially turn in, so intend to replace them with something more linear.

    The Q2s I had before were quicker and much better in the warm and dry but frightened me in wet cold Alpine conditions so might try Roadsmart 2s or Sportsmarts next.
     
  5. Rainbow7

    Rainbow7 New Member

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    @John451

    The fork - clamp setup is whatever the factory setting is.
    My tyres are Metzeler Z6s, which I have no issues with.

    I recently rode an old VFR750 which had some sort of trick rear shock attached to it and that thing handled amazingly well, but I don't know if it was just that the 750 was simply a better-handling bike or if it was the aftermarket shock that made the difference.
     
  6. 34468 Randy

    34468 Randy Secret Insider

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    Warning..... Warning..... If you sell, you are still stuck with the 6th Gen Militian Patch......
     
  7. mestoo

    mestoo New Member

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    RB7:

    Something is definitely wrong with your bike/setup. While very few would confuse the handling qualities of a 6th gen with a Ducati SS, there are also very few who don't find it a pretty nice real world bike. Similarly, while pretty much any bike will benefit from the attentions of a good bike suspension tuner, the 6th gen isn't so awful as to be unrideable as delivered.

    A few questions:

    How big are you? How much do you weigh?

    Why do you say you have "no issue" with the Metzlers? How many miles and what kind of riding (slab vs. twisties) do you have on them? They may have been a bad choice for the bike from the start or may be getting squared off with wear. The fact that they are a high quality tire that are wonderful on some bikes doesn't necessarily mean that they're the best choice for a sixth gen. (Other folks with Metzler experience: please feel free to chime in.)

    Has the handling been like this from day one or does it seem to be getting worse? That will help isolate if it's initial setup or something degrading with wear/time.

    When you say the fork installation is "whatever the factory setting is" do you mean that you've verified it or are assuming that it's correct and haven't looked at it? Obviously that has a direct impact on turn in. The spec value (from top of the top bridge to the top of the fork tube) is 41 mm, but my dealer sets it at 45 mm unless specifically requested otherwise.

    Best of luck!

    One last question: Do you find the same reluctance to turn in occurs in both directions? Here in the northern hemisphere we find the bikes turn to the right a little bit easier due to the Coriolis force associated with the rotation of the Earth. In the southern hemisphere one would of course expect the bike to turn easier to the left.
     
  8. tinkerinWstuff

    tinkerinWstuff Administrator Staff Member

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    I could say a bunch of stuff but since you've already decided to take it to a tuner, I'll leave it to the professional. Hopefully he will watch you ride a little and then dial it in to your style as opposed to just slapping something together - but you might be good enough at describing the situation that it's not necessary.

    Please let us know what he suggests and how it turns out!
     
  9. VIFFER RIDER

    VIFFER RIDER New Member

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    Eh i dunno, for the weight and shear mass of this bike i think it holds it own. I was able to keep up with 600 class guys up in Angeles Crest so i guess its subjective. I think you need to setup your suspension better and perhaps maybe your body english isnt so good. I used to lean my 6th gen till pegs touch ground all day long and it had excellent handling. flickability isn't as fast as say a std 600 supersport but it wasn't no slouch either, i did set mine up with rear cranked up high for faster transitions though.
     
  10. tinkerinWstuff

    tinkerinWstuff Administrator Staff Member

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    I also have mine high in the rear. Front is fully extended it the clamps. For the rear, I put it on the center stand then placed a .5" piece of plywood under a brand new rear tire. Then I built my shock mount to that height. Probably about an inch of lift over stock to the rear.

    I think toe cutter has his 6gen jacked up in the back at least a half inch higher than my bike.
     
  11. John451

    John451 Member

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    Re the Forks, check out belows UK VFR Forum " Do This right now " link, even 5mm will make a difference to how quick your VFR drops into corners.
    Do this right now! - Honda VFR Club

    Re the tyres, not sure about the Z6 but I do regular trips away with an experienced rider on a Yamaha FZ6S who went last year from Metzler Z4 to Pirelli Angel TAs and his speed increase P2P through the twisties was astounding just with a tyre change. Admit the Z6s are a newer design than Z4s but they are still a 2004 tyre that has been improved in 8 years but I'm unsure of their profile so not sure how quick they naturally turn in.

    When talking profile the Q2s mentioned previously used to feel like I had ball bearings for the speed and linear precision they'd turn in to corners, have had even quicker triangle profiled Michelin Pilot Powers in the past but the current Michelin R3s even when brand new found were immediately much harder work to keep up my Sports bike riding Sports tyre shod mates so will look to something quicker before my next 4 day ride in a few weeks.
     
  12. Keager

    Keager Member

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    My 6th gen is miles ahead of the 900 RR I had (that goofy front wheel) and from what I remember better than the F3 as well. Both were '95. All running stock setups & springs. Well, the RR did get rebuilt, and lowered 8mm in the front, but that was also to help keep the front end down...

    It may not be all suspension, either. Could be in the tires, too. If the tires are shaped with more of a touring style, where they don't drown as much, that could be it as well. Buddy has a ZX7R that had the same situation. It was not lean, not lean, to holy F what I am doing this far over - lean. Change of tires, and all was better.
     
  13. JamieDaugherty

    JamieDaugherty New Member

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    Assuming they are aware of the nuances of the VFR, I think you'll find this makes a really big difference in your bike. You won't regret it!
     
  14. junkins45

    junkins45 New Member

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    i noticed a difference when i changed from pilot powers to diablo rosso 2's so all i can say is go with the easy to fix first....try a new set of tires then adjust your suspension if you want it done professionally. imop
     
  15. John451

    John451 Member

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    How are the Rosso 2's in the wet ?

    Have been thinking of changing my Road 3s to Angel TAs or Roadsmart 2s for a quicker Turn In but maybe the Rosso 2s or Sportsmarts are worth looking at ?
     
  16. dogman

    dogman New Member

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    Tyres, and drop the front 5-6mm through the triples.
    Z6s are dreadful, IMO try a decent sports tyre on the front, I would reccomend a Q2 front and a roadsmart 2 rear if you want a bit more life from the rear.
     
  17. JamieDaugherty

    JamieDaugherty New Member

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    +1

    Good suggestion!
     
  18. junkins45

    junkins45 New Member

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    the rosso's practically turn for me lol one of the better tires i've purchased
     
  19. Lionel Cosgrove

    Lionel Cosgrove New Member

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    before i upgraded my suspension to heavier springs, the ride was sloppy and stressful. since doing so, the bike handles very well, even in super twisty hairpin/decreasing radius type roads. the stock suspension isn't built for people over 200 lbs. so although you dont want to make this a suspension thread....it is a suspension thread!
     
  20. Rainbow7

    Rainbow7 New Member

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    So it would seem!

    I want to order a Maxton shock from the UK but I can't get answers to some simple questions. - I've emailed Richard (at Maxton) asking him exactly which shock he recommends (e.g. should I get just a basic shock or will I be better to get the version with the hydraulic reservoir) and if the main spring is available in a colour other than purple. I still haven't got an answer on those things.
    I have also been to see the local race suspension guy and he says he'll respring and revalve my forks to be a single rate setup. Trying to get this all done before Christmas!
     
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