Impressions of my 2007 VFR after two weeks in...

Discussion in '6th Generation 2002-2013' started by SouthTexasRich, Mar 30, 2012.

  1. SouthTexasRich

    SouthTexasRich New Member

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    All right, I have owned and ridden my VFR daily for about two full weeks. Long enough to form some sort of an opinion. I'm going to post it here, and see what y'all have to say.

    First, some background. My last bike was a 1994 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6 which I owned and rode from 1994 through 2000 and put 47,000 miles on. I have not ridden at all since 2000, so that is a factor. My VFR I bought used with 7500 miles. It is all stock, though it appears that some one may have adjusted the forks because I can see tool marks in the slots. It may be useful to know that I am 69 inches tall and weight 256 lbs.

    So, without further ado, in no particular order:

    Riding position:
    Not as comfortable as I'd hoped. I avoided a true sportbike this time around because I wanted something a little more upright. While the position itself is actually OK, it seems to put pressure on my hands and wrists, which is unpleasant. And traffic is just painful. My Ninja was 12 years ago, but I recall it as more comfortable. But maybe I was just younger and stronger. So, Heli bars are very likely for me.


    Windcreen:
    The windscreen could actually be a little smaller, IMO. If it were lower, more air would hit mid-chest, relieving some pressure on the wrists. Maybe the Heli bars will help here...

    Seat:
    I realize this is probably a personal preference kind of thing, but the seat forces me into the gas tank. It also cuts of circulation in the nether regions! I know this because of the odd feeling I get upon dismounting! Gross but true!

    Motor:
    To hell and back reliable, I have no doubt, but this thing is choppy and chuggy! My carbureted Ninja was smoother, I'm CERTAIN. I thought the fuel injection would be an improvement, but I guess not. At low (parking lot) speed, the sound, feel, and performance is unacceptable. I expect more of Honda. It's better at higher RPMs but there seems to be a dead spot (lull) in the powerband right around 4000-5000 RPM. This kinda sucks because that's where it seems to want to sit at highway speeds. So, when you want to roll on the throttle, it takes a little time to wind up. 5500 RPM and up is fun though.


    VTEC:
    I LOVE IT. It's perfect where it's at, too. It doesn't come in so low that it's always there, but it's right there where you can get to it easily.


    Transmission:
    Kind of clunky, and it seems hard to shift smoothly (because of the clutch, not the tranny). It has improved as I have gotten used to the bike, but I don't remember my Ninja doing that. Again, it could be me, but I'd expect more of Honda.

    Random stuff:

    Is there a helmet lock anywhere? I couldn't find one.

    My right hand gets very tingly and numb every time I ride. I am considering a foam grip cover, heavier bar end weights, and maybe adjusting the forks. Thoughts?

    I admit that I am still getting used to the bike, and plain getting used to just riding again, but that's my impression right now.

    Thanks for reading!


    Rich
     
  2. REEK

    REEK New Member

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    Welcome to the family

    I'm a 2007 VFR owner too. RWB. I came off sport bikes too and now that I'm heading through my 40's, I bought my VFR for a daily commuter too. Turns out its a lot of fun to mess with too!

    Your opinion seems pretty close to my experience.

    A few things: that snatchy feel at low speeds seems signicantly better since I did the Pair/flapper mod. And with my recent cat delete/headers, it's even smoother! Did a bunch of low speed maneuvers and roll on throttle testing today to see and hear any possible difference the headers made. And gotta say, feels smoother and sounds deeper! definitely a more consistent low end to high RPM response.

    As for the helmet lock, I was using the hooks under the seat but removing the seat each time was getting annoying. so I just bought an old Yamaha helmet lock off Ebay and mounted it to where the left passenger pegs used to mount (I took mine off as I don't ride 2 up) to avoid the exhaust heat. Old FZRs used to come with helmet locks and they'll mount with a star drive screw. You have to carry a separate key but not a big deal. They sell after market helmet locks that clamp on but the VFR tubing is just a bit too big in diameter for them to fit easily.

    Anyway, enjoy the ride!
     
  3. pacemaker

    pacemaker New Member

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    After riding the same bike for 13 years, I thought the VFR was pretty similar in its seating position bars & so on. But there was always going to be a difference. A couple of the points I can agree on.
    I got used to the screen & the seat, although for long rides I use my trusty lambs wool seat cover & makes a big difference.
    The motor, well I love it, its the best part of the bike, a total contradiction, V4 smooth with & lumpiness that you can hear & feel. I barely look at the tach.
    I used to get the tingles on my last bike & all the in line 4's I've owned, just the nature of the beast, some bikes are worst than others though, but don't find it a problem as such.
    Give it a couple of months & you will wonder why it took you so long to get one.
     
  4. stewartj239

    stewartj239 Member

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    SouthTexasRich - First of all, congratulations on your purchase and welcome. I agree with just about all of your comments. I bought my 2007 in early March of the same year, so this is the 6th season for me on the same bike. Here are my thoughts.

    Riding Position - I think your size has more to do with this than anything else. This bike is very upright compared to a true sport bike. I've recently added Heli-Bars to mine and they are a great addition. It sounds like they would help you in this area.

    Windscreen - I'm confused on this one. Don't you want to keep the wind off of you? If you go with the Heli-Bars, then I think you'd want a taller one.

    Seat - Agreed. The stock seat sucks. I put a Sargent on mine and it is night and day different.

    Motor - The choppy and chuggy sensation you are experiencing is due to the FI. I experienced the exact same issues. The bike is not rideable at parking lot speeds and just as bad in slow, stop and go traffic. You need to add a Power Commander V to resolve this issue. Once you do, the motor will be perfect. One other thing I did to mine was add 2 teeth to the rear sprocket to close the gears a little bit.

    VTEC - The motor is so good, that I don't think the VTEC is necessary, but it does not bother me. Also, the Power Commander will smooth out the hit which is an issue for some people.

    Transmission - This is the one point you raise that I have not experienced on my bike. To me, my clutch and transmission is butter smooth. I'm not sure what to suggest here other than give it some more time and see what you think. I wonder if the choppy FI might be a contributor to this problem.

    Random Stuff - If you're looking for a place to put things such as a helmet, why not consider the OEM saddlebags. You can still get them for the bike and are fantastic for this type of use.
     
  5. junkins45

    junkins45 New Member

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  6. Rainbow7

    Rainbow7 New Member

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    Riding Position - I have Heli Bars on my '09...but I would still like to be more upright.

    Windscreen - The OEM windscreen blows the air directly at my chin, creating an unholy amount of wind noise. I installed an MRA X-Creen to combat this and it has helped a little.

    Seat - Yeah, the OEM seat is not great. Still, it's better than you'd find on a lot of dedicated sport bikes.

    Motor - I, too, don't like the surging at very low speeds. But the motor is great at any other speed!

    VTEC - I quite like it...but I'd rather it were a supercharger.

    Transmission - I have a recurring issue where I cannot get the bike to go into gear/neutral if I have been coasting (at low speed) with the clutch pulled in. I have to double clutch in order to shift. IDK why this is happening. Other than that, the transmission works great.

    Overall, I am completely happy with my VFR. I traded a Hayabusa for this bike and even though I miss the power of my Busa, I knew that the fit, finish and reliability of the VFR would keep me happy for a long time to come. (It also sounds awesome with my Two Bros. exhaust fitted!) Another bonus is that the cops here never hassle anyone riding a VFR, because they think of it as "an old man's bike". (That makes me laugh because I know some VFR owners who can outride most anyone riding any other bike.)
     
  7. proverbio

    proverbio New Member

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    In last eight years, I’ve owned a Suzuki’s ’00 Burgman (commuter), Yamaha’s ’02 YFZ1 (twisties and track), Honda’s 4th gen ’97 VFR, and now a 6th gen ’03 VFR. After a few mods and upgrades, this bike will stay with me for the next 80K miles.

    Riding Position – It is the most comfortable of all my previous bikes, including the Burgman, a scooter specifically design for commuting. The placement of the cans underneath the seat allowed engineers to play around with the placement of the foot pegs and riding position. There is a noticeable difference between my 4th and 6th gen. The 6th is more comfortable.

    Windscreen – For my height at 5’10’’ the OEM windscreen is perfect. I can cruise comfortably at speeds over 80mph.

    Seat – As stewartj239 said, get a Sargent.

    Motor – As junkins45 said, do the PAIR and Flapper mod. You will see a significant difference. I’ve not done the Power Commander upgrade, but many have and loved it.

    VTEC – Love it!

    Transmission – Same as you here. I haven’t found a reasonable solution.

    Lastly, tweak the suspension. This site gets you started (Honda Sport Bike Motorcycle Suspension Settings - Honda Sport Bike Review - Sport Rider Magazine). Finish with this (Suspension Tuning:  Preload), if you need a short review.
     
  8. Terc

    Terc New Member

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    Riding position:
    The 6th gen VFR really starts out as a heavy SPORTtourer. By pulling rearsets, cat, rear fender, factory exhaust and other small bits you can get the weight down and it's a great sport bike, but I think most of us buy these things because they're great looking and very fun sportTOURING bikes. So standard mods are Heli bars, aftermarket seats (we'll get there in my seat section) and oem or givi bags.

    Windcreen:
    I haven't ever put my factory windscreen on, I can't comment here.

    Seat:
    Yeah, stock is a real ball buster. Go aftermarket (Corbin or Sargent) or send your stock seat to Spencer at Page 1 I'm using a Corbin right now and the bike feels so much better that I'm not sure how I managed the stock seat for as long as I did.
     
  9. ndmeistr

    ndmeistr New Member

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    I only have one thing to add.

    Tingly Hands and Grip: Lossen your grip and bend your arms a little. You are holding on to tight to the bike. Also the tight grip makes your throtlle control jumpy so that may be part of your cllunkiness problem.

    Before buying or changing anything, Learn to relax on thel bike. It's new to you and you haven't been on a bike for over 10 years so it is expected you will be a little tight on the bike. Once you learn to trust what the biked will do, you will see why so many of us enjoy it.
     
  10. MIKECINDE

    MIKECINDE New Member

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    Just wanted to say THANK YOU for this thread and the people that gave their opinions and the links they provided! Thumbs up to all of you!
     
  11. pastorgumby

    pastorgumby New Member

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    Welcome! Congrats! I, too, was not 100% happy with my VFR. I've owned it for 1 1/2 yrs - I got it for a bargain... well, until I found out that I had to change nearly everything: tires, sprockets, chain, fluids, grips, brakes... and added more "TOUR" - MRA touring windshield, OEM bags, & SHAD hard rear bag, Helibars, tank bag, throttle lock, stebel horn. Bling: carbon fiber yoke, led blue back lit dash, and Leo Vince Carbon exhaust.

    Coming from a cruiser/ naked upright bike to a more sportier ride was not so easy - but the power, the One-with-the-bike feel was worth it.

    The 3 suggestions I have for hand numbness are:

    1. Techspec gripsters (snake skins)
    Welcome To The TechSpec Gripster Tank Grips - you can squeeze your thighs more for grip-
    2. Helibars, and
    3. Kuryakyn ISO grips for sport bikes.
    4. Sergeant seat - a lot firmer.

    Good luck and God speed!
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2012
  12. SouthTexasRich

    SouthTexasRich New Member

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    Thanks y'all, for the replies!

    I'm sorry for taking so long to respond but between work and the kids and the wife using the computer, I don't get on here much!

    Now that I have gotten much more comfortable riding, I have really embraced the sportbike side of the VFR! No speeding tickets so far, but just wait!

    The seat has even gotten "better", meaning I guess I'm getting used to it. I may still upgrade though. The hand tingling has gotten better, though it's not ALL gone. I put a foam grip sleeve on today and I hope that resolves it.

    So, that is the good stuff. The bad news is I dropped the bike taking it out of the garage and broke the right side mirror. It also now has a few scratches but I guess we'll call it "character."

    Rich
     
  13. dogman

    dogman New Member

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    Ive had my 07 for 4 years now, and here are my opinions

    Riding Position - The riding position suits me perfectly except I would prefer the bars a bit lower (contrary to most others)

    Windscreen - The OEM screen is a good compromise, except I dont like the stupid vent/gap at the bottom that makes it a bugger to get the bugs out of.


    Seat - Agreed. The stock seat sucks. I put a Sargent on mine and it is night and day different.

    Motor - power commander, pair and flapper mods and motad headers and its fuelling is perfect, but it still needs another 200ccs

    VTEC - VTEc is total crap, an exercise in engineering indulgence that achieves nothing except painfull and expensive valve checks.

    Transmission - I have found that clunky gear changes are very dependent on your choice of oil. It really does make a big difference.

    Combined braking system- I could easily live without it, especially when it comes time to bleed the brakes, but it has merit.

    This VFR is my 3rd vfr, I had a '99, an 02 and then a few other bikes and now this one.
    The VFR is hard to go past if you want a do all bike with acceptable pillion comfort, but it could use another 200ccs.
     
  14. stewartj239

    stewartj239 Member

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    I'm guessing that this is why you've also got a CBR1000. I'd like to hear your thoughts about how these two stack up. My gut tells me that from the sport side of the discussion, the CBR is king in every category.
     
  15. REEK

    REEK New Member

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    Yeah, this character building always hurts a little. The all too familar, slow, driveway drop always hurts alittle and leaves memorable character "lines". But the ones that really hurt are the stupid mistakes like, let say someone, not me of course.... was unloading a 3 foot piece of steel piping from homedepot and turns and takes out a nice chunk of character from the lower fairing panel. Hypothetically of course.

    Anyway, agreed with Dogman the oil you use definitely seems to make a noticeable difference in the VFR and my CBR. Even smooths out the 1st gear engagement clunk.

    The 6th gen seems to take a litte getting used to but once it grabs a hold, you're hooked.
     
  16. Rainbow7

    Rainbow7 New Member

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    Can't disagree with that. I'm going to have to get one of those TTS supercharger kits, in the absence of a big-bore kit being available for the VFR.
     
  17. Alaskan

    Alaskan Member

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    No motorcycle is perfect right off the showroom floor - especially in the EFI department, given the ridiculous emission standards these high-performance machines must meet.

    Your assessment pretty much squares with mine, except I find the ergos are just fine for touring AND for gooning around on the backroads.











    .
     
  18. Elvisuperman

    Elvisuperman New Member

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    Awesome forum, awesome thread; I too just bought a 6th Gen VFR about 2 weeks ago... it's a 2007, the "25th Anniversary Edition". I am loving it but i've been experiencing a lot of the same issues/concerns that have been addressed in this thread. I'm glad to know its not just me. My previous bike was a 91 VFR-750... although they're the same by name, I do find some differences in riding by comparison.
     
  19. stewartj239

    stewartj239 Member

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    Nope, it's not just you. The 6th Gen has been around for 10 years now and it's flaws are well known and luckily easily corrected. Once done, it is a near flawless bike.
     
  20. Brahms

    Brahms New Member

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    "My right hand gets very tingly and numb every time I ride."

    Solution 1: As noted above, tight below, loose above. Hold on with your legs, not your hands.

    Solution 2: Carpal-tunnel surgery. I've had my right hand done, and it never gets tingly on the throttle now. Well, as long as I avoid dragging my footpegs. My left hand is waiting for the money to show up, and it's frequently tingly. And it's not just a Vee-motor thing, either. Age, abuse, age, jaegermeister, age. . .
     
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