What own­ers say…

RiDE (UK) - - Used Bikes -

“I loved the look straight away”

Tony Green Honda VFR800F owner

MOST OF THE own­ers we spoke to were in their 40s or early 50s, with plenty of ex­pe­ri­ence — quite a few IAM and ROSPA grad­u­ates and a cou­ple of ex­am­in­ers too, in­clud­ing Tony Green. Like a lot of own­ers, he has a his­tory of VFR own­er­ship but didn’t much like the pre­vi­ous VTEC ver­sion. “I’ve had around 30 bikes, in­clud­ing a 1996 VFR750 and 1999 VFR800, but when the first VTEC came out I didn’t like the styling or the switch-like VTEC sys­tem. When the 2014 model was first shown, I loved the look straight away — and a test ride con­firmed it as a great road bike.

“This is sev­eral bikes in one. Want sports? Then head down, knee down and take off with power and great fun to thrash into the higher revs. Want to com­mute? Then heated grips built in, de­cent fair­ing, good econ­omy and low run­ning costs. Tour­ing? Don’t use the Honda pan­niers… they are good qual­ity and fit but are wider than a com­bine har­vester. I gen­er­ally used a top­box and/or a holdall-type bag on the rear but great all-day com­fort for get­ting to your des­ti­na­tion and then, lug­gage off and into sports mode around the twisties.”

Alan How’s an­other se­rial VFR owner: “I saw a black VFR750 when on hol­i­day in Cornwall in about 1992 and told my­self I’d have one of those one day. Now I’ve had three, in­clud­ing this 2016 model. It’s very com­fort­able; you can com­mute, tour, carry a pil­lion, do a track­day or just go for a Sun­day blast. I do a long week­end away to Eu­rope on it ev­ery spring — the most I’ve done in one go is 400 miles back from Lux­em­bourg. Some might find the VTEC ‘step’ an­noy­ing — even my 2016 model has a tiny flat spot at 7000rpm, just be­fore the ad­di­tional valves open.”

Anthony Fitzger­ald doesn’t have VFR ex­pe­ri­ence — he’d owned his pre­vi­ous Tri­umph Sprint ST for ten years be­fore trad­ing it in for his 2014 VFR800. “I rode a lot of bikes be­fore mak­ing a de­ci­sion and in the end it came down to the K1300S and the VFR — the Honda won on price. It looks great: slim, com­pact and nicely pro­por­tioned. The paint fin­ish on the fair­ing pan­els is lovely — mine is a metal­lic black. It seems very well put to­gether, Honda liv­ing up to its rep­u­ta­tion for build qual­ity.

“It sounds great: the V-four has real char­ac­ter and a lovely noise, en­hanced on mine by a Mo­tad can. Bang­ing up through the gears on the quick­shifter with the throt­tle wide open cre­ates a mar­vel­lous sound­track. And it rides well: de­cent sus­pen­sion, light and nim­ble in

the cor­ners with great rid­ing er­gonomics — at the sporty end of sport-tour­ing per­haps but still very com­fort­able. 800cc/100bhp might seem lack­ing but it’s more than enough for real-world rid­ing and it’s an en­gag­ing, en­joy­able ride. It’s be­hind in terms of rider aids but less techno-wiz­ardry means less to go wrong.”

John Everett agrees, and sums up the ap­peal of the VFR’S rel­a­tive sim­plic­ity: “Rider modes? I don’t want them. I pre­fer to let my head and heart tell me how to ride in dif­fer­ent con­di­tions. Give me an all-rounder with a 200mile range, heated grips, a cen­tre-stand, comfy seat, a grunty V-four and ABS and trac­tion con­trol just in case…”

Tony Green fell for the VFR800 as soon as he saw it

Anthony Fitzger­ald loves his 2014 bike

Alan How is on his third VFR800

John Everett is happy with the lack of hi-tech elec­tron­ics

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