Good day my fellow VFRs

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by Michiel, Nov 12, 2021.

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Would you recommend the VFR800 as a first bike?

Poll closed Nov 19, 2021.
  1. Yes:

    2 vote(s)
    50.0%
  2. No:

    2 vote(s)
    50.0%
  1. Michiel

    Michiel New Member

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    Good day my fellow VFRs (i.e. Very Fanatic Riders),


    Although, I might be a bit loose with the term “fellow”, since I have not even officially received my license yet, as my ex always used to complain, I can be a bit premature ;)


    On the other hand, what I don’t want to rush is the selection of companion for life or life partner if you will. Before I start the journey I need to know there is mutual trust and excitement. I don’t mind a bit dominance, but I do want to be sure that I will always be top. So I need to know all there is before I make a decision and that is why I am here.


    I hope that you will forgive me for not owning a VFR myself yet, but I thought, were better to look for VFR information than on the largest VFR forum. I have spent many hours looking for the perfect machine and my eye and soul caught the attention of the 6th gen VFR800.


    I have some experience riding the Honda CBF600, which I enjoyed because of the sporty style icw a comfortable seating arrangement. However, I missed a bit of character and excitement. Also the looks of the bike didn’t immediately spark a flam. I am aware of the fact that VFR800 is not a particular light bike and that it is more powerful than the CBF. This together with the VTEC, leads some to advice against selecting the VFR as a beginners bike. However, others argue that it high depends on the attitude of the rider and I consider myself a responsible rider. So first of all I would like to ask you, would you recommend the VFR800 as a first bike?


    Moreover, could you tell me what I should be looking for when testing a potential model? What are common issues with used models? I read that especially the chain adjuster unit is important. When this part is neglected, it could be a costly repair. What else are check points that I can go over to ensure the quality of the machine?


    My apologies for the long message and asking a lot of you, but your advice would be highly appreciated.


    Many thanks in advance.


    Cheers!
     
  2. rhoderage

    rhoderage New Member

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    I started with a Ninja 500, rode it for 5 years or so, then moved on to the VFR800. If you already have experience with a CBF 6, you will be fine. No its not the lightest bike by any stretch, but carries its weight well once moving.

    I wouldn't recommend it to someone who hasn't ridden before (IMO, start with a 250/300/500/650 non-true-sportbike to learn)... but with riding experience under your belt this is a fine first bike.

    Lots of options for the different generations... really depends what you want. I have a 6g (02) which I love, and just bought a non-runner 5g (99) as a winter project. The 6g has VTEC kick, the 5G has gear-driven cams... unlimited info on the different generations here, and you can't really go wrong with anything so I would suggest reading and looking at pics and seeing whats available locally for reasonable prices. Good news is typically the fall / winter is the best time for pricing on used bikes.

    With VFR's, electrical system is something to pay attention to, its a known weak point on many of the generations. If you go with the newest, 8g, these problems are generally believed to have been fixed.

    Check all of the usual suspects on a used bike - chain, tires, lighting, battery, bodywork (if looks are important to you), bar ends / foot pegs / clutch cover and such for signs of tip-over or crash. Would suggest looking at the electrical system as noted above; there are lots of VFR owners who put in the time to fix these issues so its not unrealistic that you could buy a used one which already has a new stator/upgraded RR.

    VFR's should last you a good long time... the engines are very solid... a great bike. As we age, it'll let you go from more-sporty to more-tourey (is that a word?) which is part of the appeal for me... I intend to keep mine until I can't ride any longer or in the grave, whichever is first.

    99
    20210814_121027.jpg

    02
    20200519_122929.jpg
     
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  3. skimad4x4

    skimad4x4 "Official" VFRWorld Greeter

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    Hi Michiel and Welcome to the MadHouse:Welcome:

    I would second everything Rhoderage has said above.

    There is a bike difference between choosing a VFR as your first ever ride and someone who has already put in some miles on a 600.

    As for the choices - there is a lot of factors to weigh up between the various "generations" of VFR. Inevitably budget is probably a factor here - if not go with either a 2012+ 7th Gen or 8th Gen, which may not be cheap but simply going by the lack of pleas for help on here suggests they are reliable workhorses which will last for many years. Sadly the charging system on 6th and 5th Gens has left many riders stranded - so if you choose one be prepared to upgrade the RR with a decent (but not cheap) one from Roadstercycle.com.

    Perhaps weight is the biggest factor to consider - the 800 and 1200 models are heavy beasts - so especially if you are small so anyone under 10 stone then you really need to be alert especially at low speed or when parking up as they can so quickly pass the point of no return and take an unplanned nap. Don't take my word for it just have a look here...

    https://vfrworld.com/threads/you-dropped-it-how-many-time.44298/

    Which is why many owners decide that fitting quality frame sliders is worthwhile. :Cry:

    A secondary issue to be aware of is the vtec valve check 16k inspection frequency and cost as specified by Honda. Inherently if a bike is being used as a regular track day mule with the engine regularly bouncing off the rev limiter then the valve check frequency specified makes good sense. However that may be excessive and indeed some owners have skiiped every other check and yet when the check is eventually done find nothing was out of spec. When I sold my 6th Gen it had done well over 200,000km and despite checks had never required any vtec valve adjustments. What really matters with these bikes is being sure the bike has had regular servicing so oil and filter changes etc.

    Take care ATGATT


    SkiMad
     
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  4. RllwJoe

    RllwJoe Member

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    Hi Michiel, and welcome to VFRW.

    We tend to be a bit bias on this forum toward the VFR models, however many of our members own and ride other makes and models so I think that you will have some fair opionions.

    You have already noted that the VFR is a bit on the heavy side. That is a concern when moving the bike in the carport/ garage or when navigating a parking lot at slow speed or when backing out of a parking spot. Any time that you are moving very slowly and must stay balanced. This is a bigger concern for those who have a short inseam, however, it can catch anyone because of the weight. On the road and at speed it feels much lighter. It will never be as "flick-able" as a CBR or the like because they are approx 100 lbs lighter. But on long rides the VFR is more comfortable in part because of the weight.

    VFR's can be a wonderful first bike. Just take it easy as you get started, drive like no one can see you, and always wear protective gear - ATGATT.
     
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  5. Michiel

    Michiel New Member

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    Thanks a lot Rhoderage for your detailed response.

    I see you have two very good looking machines!


    I am glad that you think the CBR 600 experience is useful for the VFR800. Since I am a bit older (29) and am looking for a cycle that I can use for many years, rather than starting on a bike that might be upgraded after a couple years, I thought the VFR would be perfect.


    I see that there are some potential models in my area, so thank you for your advice on what to look for. This will certainly help when visiting the sellers. Unfortunately, the 8g seems a bit out of my budget, but I also think I would prefer the 6g, perhaps because of its looks and innovative engineering at the time. If the fall/winter discount is good, that would of course be a nice advantage.


    I think your what you explain at the end is most important to me, the sporty/tourey (I think it is a word, who cares if word disagrees) character of the bike and I hope to have the same feeling you have when I decide to purchase my own. Thank you for you advice, I will keep you posted for when I have made a final verdict.
     
  6. Michiel

    Michiel New Member

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    Hi SkiMad,


    Many thanks for your advice and welcoming message. What an honor it is to be welcomed by an official VFRWorld Greeter!


    Indeed you are completely right, there is a slight budget constrained, causing the 7th and 8th Gen to be a bit out of my league. Briefly jumping to your second point regarding weight, I also think that a liter bike might be a bit excessive, would you agree? Your point about the charging system seems a real concern, I have heard this more often (see rhoderage above). Is there a way to do some check, other than inspecting the battery for leakage, damaged cables, and/or rust on connectors?


    Regarding the weight, I completely see your point. This was also my biggest concern, however, I am about 12 stone and about 6 feet (185cm), would this still be an issue you think? Also I don’t have much of a problem to add sliders, no they don’t improve the look, but I guess to do preserve it


    Your point about the valve clearance makes a lot of sense. What I understand from this specific maintenance job is that rarely is an issue (I read more people who don’t do the check than those who do), but when there is a problem with valve clearance it can become a major engine problem, which is probably more expansive than the initial check? This guy below has a great video on how these check are performed, learned a lot from it.




    I can imagen that in the end it all comes down to how well the overall bike has been maintained. I will be sure to ask for the service history of the bike.


    Thanks for taking the time SkiMad.


    Cheers
     
  7. Michiel

    Michiel New Member

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    Hi RllwJoe


    Thank you for your response, this makes a lot of sense. It is good to know that weight is a point to be cautious about. As I mentioned in one of the replies above, I do have an incentive to start on a slightly larger bike, since I would like it to stay with me for a longer time. For that reason prefer to skip the “smaller” bikes, does that make sense to you?


    Also the touring ability of the bike is a massive criterium to me, it seems that the VFR800 would be perfect for that.


    Regarding the protective gear, I upgrade my entire set with enough D30 and other plastics to put the Kardashian to shame.
     
  8. mello dude

    mello dude Member

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    Just throwing it out there......get a season or 2 on a 500/400/300 lighter standard bike first. You have plenty to learn good riding habits before jumping to a VFR.

    More food for thought...when learning to be a pilot, do you start in a Cessna 152, or a Honda Jet?

    With all that said, guys have jumped to the VFR and came out ok..

    My standard saying for newbie riders.....
    NOTE!
    - You start with a bucket of luck and an empty bucket of skill. Your job is to fill up the skills bucket before the luck bucket is used up.

    Best wishes
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2021
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  9. Michiel

    Michiel New Member

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    Hi Mello Dude,

    You make a fair point, it would be much simpler starting on a mid-category bike, that said, I am not sure if the cylinder content is the right measure for it. Also in light of your comparison with the flying lessons, I had my motorcycle lessons either on a 650cc bike or otherwise on a 600cc. Also I guess what you say is true, it depends on the person. I mean, compare it with someone who has been riding a scooter until age 20 and then jumping on a 500cc bike. If you ride the 500cc bike the way you ride a 50cc scooter, I can see that it is going to be risky.


    Still appreciate your input, it is good to think about it.

    I also really like your saying, duly noted!


    have good weekend!
     
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