What bike is as good as the VFR1200?

Discussion in 'General VFR Discussions' started by jayzonk, Mar 2, 2020.

  1. Norse

    Norse New Member

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    To be honest, I never really liked the 1200. Felt too much like a bike that tried to be something it's not and ended up being mediocre in most aspects. Too heavy and clumsy to be a sport tourer and lacking too many of the things that makes a great tourer. Solid enough bike, but without a real place in the world.

    If you want something with that kind of flavour, my money would be on a BMW K1600GT for the more touring oriented and something like a Kawasaki Concours 14 for the more sporty side.

    If you want to go super cheap, A 1999 (yes, that year only) Hayabusa is actually an amazing sport tourer. Comfortable, reliable and more than powerful enough no matter how fat the wife and luggage you strap to the back is. Only realy negative, is that it's ugly AF.

    If you want to stick with Honda, just get a Blackbird. Honda never really topped that one and it still looks good today.
     
  2. Aran

    Aran New Member

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    He has a VFR1200 though, they come in at about 600lbs

    The FJR1300 is the better bike with about 50lbs more to it
     
  3. Gator

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    More on the tour side than sport but I do like FJR's.
     
  4. OZ VFR

    OZ VFR Member

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    If you’ve got the money, an S1000XR.
    A real weapon that makes a good sport tourer.
     
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  5. Gator

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    They are awesome bikes, I just can't get around the "beak" on the front. lol
     
  6. bk94si

    bk94si Member

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    Angry Bird! :Rofl:
     
  7. jayzonk

    jayzonk New Member

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    It had 12,000 km on it, and it's sold. Sad Face...
     
  8. jayzonk

    jayzonk New Member

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    Yes, I test rode one of these a couple of summers ago. It's actually quite nice to ride, and likely a good replacement. They are really running a lot of horsepower these days (too much, really) - 165hp or something.
    Without saying anything negative (because there really isn't any negatives!), though, it's hard to enjoy anything else once you've had a Honda V4. Smooth power delivery, strong tracking, solid suspension, road comfort...it had it all.
     
  9. jayzonk

    jayzonk New Member

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    It was a bit heavy, but I really didn't feel it was lacking anything. There was some concern from the riding community about the smallish fuel tank, but I never really found it to be an issue, as I was always stopping for a rest way before running low on fuel. The thing that it really had, for me, was just that bare essence of motorcycling - a powerful, smooth engine, good handling, comfortable yet sporty suspension, good wind protection....
     
  10. jayzonk

    jayzonk New Member

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    I am actually interested in trying a Yamaha Tracer 900 GT. It's got an upright seating position, an inline triple (cross-plane crank?) which should be pretty smooth, it's lightweight (500 lbs curb weight, with the side cases), a windscreen, slipper clutch, and quickshifter. Seems to be good value. I ran across a Cycle World article that talked about the Tracer, and it profiled a former motorcycle racer who got back into racing on a Tracer 900 and did extremely well in some club class racing, competing against a field of supersports and superbikes.

    https://www.cycleworld.com/story/bl...world-long-term-tracer-gt-performance-part-2/

    I guess my point is that it's a fairly versatile bike, and from the article, it seems like it's well-equipped with suspension and brakes for the money. For me, it means a more upright position, with less bend in my knee (and more relief!), so it might end up fitting the bill.
     
  11. Norse

    Norse New Member

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    You don't find a pathetically short tank range to be a problem on a bike that was marketed as a long distance tourer???

    The problem with everything else you mentioned, is that the VFR1200 was basically just playing at being those things.
    It powerful, sure. But it never FEELS powerful. Hop on a KTM 1290 and see if you can tell the difference. That bike has less HP, but you feel every one of them.
    The VFR focused on being fast, not on FEELING fast. No one tours at 170mph. And if you try, you will find that the already short tank range will basically drop to zero.

    Handling may be good compared to a GoldWing. The wheelbase is far too long for it to ever be sporty. It's a common trade-off for sport tourers. Longer wheelbase gives it more stability, but shorter wheelbase make it more nimble.

    Even if you put the VFR1200 up against a dinosaur like the old SC24, it looks like the worse deal.
    Think about it.
    The SC24 weights less, has a shorter wheel base, better tank range, at least equal comfort and is almost as fast. Plus it has a prooven enginge that will run forever.
    You could buy a mint SC24, fully upgrade suspension and brakes, get a custom seat and still pay a fraction of the price of a VFR1200. And you would have a sport touring bike that is superior in every way except for the lack of fuel injection.
    Swap the SC24 for a FI Blackbird, in the above experiment, and there would be literally no contest. The VFR1200 would get it's obese arse handed to it 11 time out of 10.
     
  12. Gator

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    I'm still a Tuono fan. V4, beautiful, light weight, extremely nimble. Yeah not good range but I could live with that. And for those that say its to much HP.... Well just twist the handle so much. Power wheelies fully loaded..... Fun.
     
  13. jayzonk

    jayzonk New Member

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    No, the range wasn't a problem at all, unless you planned on crossing the Darien Gap or heading to Alaska. Even then, I suspect you would take a bike more equipped for that type of trip, like an adventure bike with more suspension travel, or even a Honda Goldwing, with its extra amenities, and large tank. For sport touring - ie. weekend trips, or essentially tripping anywhere inside [developed] Canada or the United States, I would not hesitate in the least to use the VFR. I took mine on several trips through Pennsylvania and New York, and the range was never a problem, whatsoever. As I said, you will be ready for a break before you are out of fuel! Sure it's not a fuel sipper like a lower performance engine that you might find with a boxxer or an adventure bike v-twin, but the fuel consumption didn't matter in the least because you always had to stop and stretch anyway. If you're riding for more than four hours without stopping, you either 1) are late for an engagement, or 2) seriously unconcerned with your own health, as you're going to be restricting blood flow to your butt and legs to the point that it's bad for you. There's no problem whatsoever with the VFR's range. Sport touring is sport touring - shorter trips, closer to service stations, with only minor venturing from the amenities of life, yet having fun on a motorcycle. It's frankly the only kind of touring I want to do.
    As for the comment on the VFR being fast, but not feeling fast. I ask you...have you driven one for a considerable amount of miles? They are extremely fast, in just about any situation, with strong acceleration, and it's one of the first traits I noticed about the bike. What I suspect you are talking about, with the KTM 1290, is a snatchy throttle where the inability of the fuel injectors to deliver precise fuel at lower rpm's on lots of new bikes (not just KTM's), especially in single cylinder, and some twin cylinder bikes, leads to an abrupt acceleration when the throttle position moves from closed to open. If this is what you are thinking, I do not consider that feeling fast...rather, it's twitchiness, and it doesn't make for fast riding, and it doesn't make for safe riding either. That twitchiness is not something that the VFR had....rather, it had smooth, but quick "roll on" power. Despite a blip in the ECU in third gear in the 3000-5000 rpm range (which I hardly noticed, and could be fixed), power and acceleration, in terms of real world usability, were the best of any bike I've ever had.
    Not sure why an SC24 came into the equation here. If you're going to try to build a new bike out of an old bike, the possibilities are endless, I guess.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2020
  14. jayzonk

    jayzonk New Member

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    Not much wind protection there. Dealers are fewer and farther in between, and the only person whom I know had one had to have it picked up on a flatbed and returned to the dealership the day he bought it.
    I did ride with someone on an Aprilia RSV4 Mille, though, and he has had zero issues. Loves the bike, and it looks amazing.
     
  15. Gator

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    Yeah you would need to do a few mods to make it a bit more touring. If I remember correctly from looking at them a few years back, the wind screen problem was easily addressed, It was a good set of cases that required a bit of fabrication. I read a bit on their forums about guys touring on them. Seemed like some built a dream sport/tour.
     
  16. Microwavable

    Microwavable New Member

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    I have been feeling out touring bikes for the last couple of years. Test riding everything I can get my hands on.

    My list from top to bottom is

    Triumph tiger 1200 explorers
    Tiger 800
    Mulitrada 2014 plus
    Tuono
    BMW gs1200
    MV Agusta turismo
    Ducati diavel ya is not a touring model but it is exceptionally good.

    I have been lucky enough to have ridden them all.

    Sent from my SM-G935U using Tapatalk
     
  17. jayzonk

    jayzonk New Member

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    I have a BMW R1200GS and I enjoy it for the most part, as it does well at a lot of the things that a previous poster stated were inadequate on the VFR. it has a decent sized fuel tank, great mileage, good wind protection, comfortable (awesome!) seat, it handles very well (far I say as well as the VFR?), the adjustable electronic suspension is fantastic, and it's lighter than the VFR. But all of those things do not necessarily combine to give you the most enjoyable motorcycle. The boxer engine just doesn't excite me. It doesn't sound, feel, or perform high tech at all, despite the fact that it does everything else very well, and that's the one thing that just can't be compensated for one motorcycle - all of those other traits can be, but the engine can't change character by any sort of margin.
    If I was a major motorcycle manufacturer that was lagging in sales, I would seriously consider approaching Honda to have them develop the engine. Not sure they would, but I have loved all of the Honda engines and transmissions I've ever had in bikes.
     
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  18. Microwavable

    Microwavable New Member

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    I love the GS it's just a little too big for my taste

    Sent from my SM-G935U using Tapatalk
     
  19. Norse

    Norse New Member

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    I understand what you are saying, but that doesn't change the fact that the VFR1200 was literally designed and marketed as a cross country touring bike with a bit more sport flavour than a GoldWing. Honda was trying to build a BMW K1200GT.
    This didn't work. They were trying to do something that BMW does extremely well and that Honda doesn't really have any experience with.
    It failed and even Honda accepts that.

    It's not just that the tank range is too short for what the bike was designed to be. It's too short, period.
    It's fine that you only want to ride short distances between breaks and stay near fuel stations. But When I tour solo, I don't do that. If I'm covering 500+ miles in a day, I will ride as far as my tank allows between stops.
    And no, that is not a health risk. If you don't know how to move around in the saddle on long rides, that's on you. Not that it matter on the VFR1200, since you will never get 4+ hours out of that tank, unless you are riding at walking speed.

    I don't think you understand what I mean about speed. It's not about twitchy'ness or anything like that. It's about the overall feeling of connection between your right hand, the rear wheel and the horizon. It's the same thing that made the earlier R1's feel slow and why the old GSXR250R felt so freaking fast.
    If you don't understand this, I don't think I can explain it.

    How did the SC24 come in? Simple.
    I used it as an example of how easy and cheap you can get a bike that will beat the VFR1200 at it's own game. You can literally take that outdated barge and with minimal upgrades, make it a better tourer and a better sport bike than the VFR1200 ever was. And as mentioned, the same is even more true with slightly younger bikes like the Blackbird.
    Those are examples of legendary sport tourers that found the balance between sport and touring without sacrificing either too much. The VFR1200 sacrificed both.

    Here is something for you to think about;
    If your feel so strongly about defending the honour of the VFR1200 (don't deny it), maybe you should just keep that one. You clearly think it's amazing and have an emotional investment in it, so why get something else?
    If I ever felt like that about a bike, you better believe I would hold onto it and ride it until the wheels fell off.
     
  20. Microwavable

    Microwavable New Member

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    The mv was outstanding
    And the multistrada
    Oh I forgot about the BMW k1200 wow 165hp of wahoo

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