What do you get for your money?

RiDE (UK) - - Used Bikes -

Heated grips as stan­dard! Now that may not be as sexy as some of the plethora of elec­tronic giz­mos avail­able from BMW (to name but one com­peti­tor) but when they’re five-stage grips like these, and when they work this well, they’re worth shout­ing about. Two-chan­nel ABS is rea­son­ably smooth in ac­tion — no big lurches un­less you’re de­lib­er­ately pro­vok­ing it by grab­bing a huge hand­ful on wet roads — and the trac­tion-con­trol sys­tem is sim­i­larly un­ob­tru­sive. Honda made a big thing at launch of the op­tional quick­shifter sys­tem, but very few own­ers even men­tioned it, so we’d guess most orig­i­nal buy­ers didn’t bother stump­ing up the ex­tra. That’s about it for gad­gets, ex­cept for Honda’s fancy self-can­celling in­di­ca­tors. These work on front/rear wheel-speed dif­fer­ence rather than a timer but an­noy­ingly, they still of­ten turn them­selves off just when you re­ally don’t want them to…

At a more fun­da­men­tal level, the main frame is un­changed from the pre­vi­ous VFR but a lighter cast-alu­minium sub­frame and all-new sin­gle-sided swingarm saved 7kg over the older bike’s kerb weight. The en­gine’s fun­da­men­tally un­changed but re­vised cam tim­ing and valve over­lap in­creases low and midrange torque. The VTEC sys­tem (which uses two out of the four valves in each cylin­der be­low 7000rpm and then brings the other two into play at higher revs) is me­chan­i­cally un­changed but the con­trol sys­tem has been re­vised for smoother op­er­a­tion.

On a used bike, look for sen­si­ble mod­i­fi­ca­tions — a hug­ger is good, and pan­niers and top­box even bet­ter if you’re plan­ning on any tour­ing. A neatly fit­ted chain oiler is a good sign of a sen­si­ble, car­ing owner too.

Re­strained styling be­lies the VFR800’S ex­cep­tional abil­i­ties

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