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Buying advice - 8th gen

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a word on the centerstand that may save you a lot of money:

 

firstly: it is, indeed, an absolute bastard to install on the bike. the engineers could have raised the pipes from the rear bank an inch--there's f*cking space for it even--and the crucial bolt you need would be unblocked. but since someone on the design team was a bit of a jackass, you've gotta drop the whole system right down to the headers. oh well. that's not the important bit.

 

the important bit is that SIXTH GEN CENTERSTANDS ARE THE EXACT SAME KIT but waaay cheaper and more readily available. i got one for about $30 off ebay iirc and aside from the installation it's been great. made tire changing and chain maintenance a breeze. the seller listed it as being for '07, '08, and '09 models but the part number is the exact same as for the 8th gens, so if you're gonna get one, don't be afraid to look at the older ones to save you some frustration in looking for a used 8th gen one. and if you're wavering, i can tell you, it's definitely worth the cost and, if you're installing it yourself, the few hours of profanity it takes to get it on the bike.

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ABS: It's not an option in the UK now, it's a requirement due to our lovely EU friends. Well, I'm 61 now, still riding a bike as a tool to get me to work, not for pleasure.

 

But, it does work. As does Traction Control.

 

I've been riding since the 70's, I've always been of the type that thinks "I don't need ABS, I don't need Traction Control, it's a V4, has it's own built in traction conrol". And back in the day "Ha! Who needs Disc brakes on bikes? Not necessary at all" and "What's the point or Radial tyres on Motorbikes then? Nothing wrong with Crossplies, I've always managed on them..."

 

I've ridden all year long, all weather, all conditions, for years now except for a year off after a Cancer op that pretty much destroyed my core strength (I'm Dukes Stage 3) and I commute from Hayling Island in Hampshire to the centre of London every day pretty much... About 140 miles round trip.

 

So, here's what I had happen to me.

 

Now British roads are pretty dire, a lot of pot holes, banding, gravel on junctions, deisel on roundabouts, the usual rubbish, the A3 is a duel carraigeway that takes you from Portsmouth to the centre of London. Hayling Island is the next island along from Portsea Island.

I was riding to work, off the A27 at my usual circa 70 mph, onto a little roundabout off the west bound A27 Monday am, quite wet, but nothing out of the ordinary, it's traffic light controlled and takes you to the bottom of the A3. 12 degrees on the onboard temp gauge.

The lights were green so I arrived at my usual 30mph ish to discover that sometime over the weekend the council I presume had relaid the suface with SMA and dressed the entry ramp with that high friction stuff. But not bothered to make sure it had stuck and it was all over a very tight right hander, which is part of the U bend that leads you to the A3. So I slowed down a bit more, spied a bit with not too much of the this stuff on the new road surface... (I guess where car wheels are depositing it) and tipped the bike in at which point the marble feeling kicked in, ok, not going too fast but it's wet... Easily manageable, no worse than hitting a wet manhole with Bridgestones on.

As I lifted the bike up and put a bit of throttle on, it started to slide sideways at the rear, the traction control thing flashed and it just straightened up, I was instinctively holding the throttle waiting for the grip to come back, we've all done it? I didn't need to. Would have been as I changed from 2nd to 3rd I guess, new road markings, the "loose" high friction junk, new surface, lots there to provoke a slide. Plus it's dark and raining cats and dogs. Mainly dogs.

Never thought the VFR needed traction control in the past, I've had rear end slides before that have just sorted themselves out as long as you know to not close the throttle, but it definitely kicked in yesterday at 05:00hrs, so I guess maybe it is a good thing? I did stop and check I didn't have a flat tyre though, old habits.

TBH it's the first time I've had any kind of slip with the Dunlop RS3's on. Although I haven't yet tried it on wet leaves...

 

As for ABS: My Vtec has it fitted. I "tested" it when I got the bike new, typical situation, gravel, a T junction, puddles every where, I hit the brakes as hard as I could and it stopped so quickly I almost dropped it as I needed atime to get my feet off the pegs.

 

And I honestly believe that Linked brakes are worth their weight in chicken teeth. Really should have left that on as far as I'm concerned, I get much more fork dive now. The rear is useless, with CBS it was quite easy to stop the bike safely on the foot pedal. Now it does... nothing...

 

In fact on my last Bike MOT, the tester showed me that it was possible to lock the front wheel in the rollers using the rear pedal on the brake rollers. That's a lot of lost ability as far as I'm concerned (ABS wouldn't kick in, roller speed is too low).

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On 10/25/2017 at 12:31 AM, superfunkomatic said:

I appreciate Bent's perspective (always a good contributor). Everyone is entitled to an opinion.

  • Having ridden with ABS and without - I'd take it every time - I make mistakes and it's worth it.:beer: - we're all human and therefore we all make mistakes. Even Marquez/Rossi/Dovi et al make mistakes braking so who are we to think we're better than them?
  • Traction control works on my Africa Twin - great when things get slippery and out of control - I'd say worth it but wouldn't add it if it wasn't on the bike - agree, but then I've not used it in anger and may change my mind if I do.
  • I've had heated grips - I'd say it's a damn sight colder up here and they work fine for me - I'd say worth it but it's tough to justify OEM prices - Koso makes cheaper and equally good grips - on their own they're not enough in proper cold. You needs handguards too, or heated gloves.
  • Centre stand - worth it - maintenance, tire changes - wouldn't go without just to save weight (it's a 500 lb motorcycle) :beer:
  • Haven't had cancelling signals - I'd take them if I could get them - more attention to the road and less to routine tasks - the current Honda ones are dangerous. They occasionally cancel at the right time but usually cancel just when I really want them. 
  • Ridden bikes with thousands of dollars of upgrades to suspension - can't say I've noticed a useable difference for an average touring rider, tracks for sure - I paid $$$ to upgrade the suspension on my VFR1200 and it made a monumental difference. 

 

Loved my VFR - great bike, still one of the most bulletproof bikes out there - great bike to buy and ride for sport, touring and commuting. :beer:

 

Good luck with the bike

 

 

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On 10/24/2017 at 6:31 PM, superfunkomatic said:

I appreciate Bent's perspective (always a good contributor). Everyone is entitled to an opinion.

  • Having ridden with ABS and without - I'd take it every time - I make mistakes and it's worth it.
  • Traction control works on my Africa Twin - great when things get slippery and out of control - I'd say worth it but wouldn't add it if it wasn't on the bike
  • I've had heated grips - I'd say it's a damn sight colder up here and they work fine for me - I'd say worth it but it's tough to justify OEM prices - Koso makes cheaper and equally good grips
  • Centre stand - worth it - maintenance, tire changes - wouldn't go without just to save weight (it's a 500 lb motorcycle)
  • Haven't had cancelling signals - I'd take them if I could get them - more attention to the road and less to routine tasks
  • Ridden bikes with thousands of dollars of upgrades to suspension - can't say I've noticed a useable difference for an average touring rider, tracks for sure

 

Loved my VFR - great bike, still one of the most bulletproof bikes out there - great bike to buy and ride for sport, touring and commuting.

 

Good luck with the bike

 

Your perspective is appreciated as well through the years. SFOmatic.  Different perspectives and people with money just might have something to do with why we have so many choices.  :beer:

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13 hours ago, Sparticus said:

I've been riding since the 70's, I've always been of the type that thinks "I don't need ABS, I don't need Traction Control, it's a V4, has it's own built in traction conrol". And back in the day "Ha! Who needs Disc brakes on bikes? Not necessary at all" and "What's the point or Radial tyres on Motorbikes then? Nothing wrong with Crossplies, I've always managed on them..." [...]

 

Hi Sparticus,

 

I had to look up "Dukes stage 3".  Ugh.  Sorry.  Glad to see you're still with us.  My mother in law just lost a battle and my wife's cousin is putting up a fight.

As much as I whine like a baby pretty much every chance I get about the 8th Gen VFR's TC, I do leave it on when conditions are crappy.  :lobby:

Your roads sound about the same as New York City's.  Less roundabouts, but add dumpster juice.

 

I wouldn't mind an option to be able to disable ABS for the occasional fire road.  I'm surprised by now that I haven't read of some kind of hack to make that happen.

 

I've always thought linked brakes were nifty.... for someone else!  I wear out the rear brake faster than pretty much anyone I know.  I use it a great deal as I'm sifting through slow city traffic.  Keeps the bike steady for the slow maneuvering.  For what it's worth, one of the things that makes me nervous about linked brakes is learning to get comfy with them and then moving to a bike that doesn't have that feature.  Three years later I'm still adjusting to the new horn button location!

 

I am quite impressed by the improvements in braking and handling as time has gone on, even if the bike won't be winning roll-on contests with S1000Rs.  And I have to say that during my 12K service the shop I use here (New York Honda Yamaha) did a superb job with my brake fluids and it almost feels like I have braided lines.

 

Ride safe and be well.

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17 hours ago, Sparticus said:

I notice this thing doesn't have ABS....

https://pgmv8.com.au/video/

 

Not sure if you're trying to make a point about something.  But only 334 HP?  They lied when they claimed it's the most powerful production bike.  The Boss Hoss is 445 HP (and 445 ft-lbs of torque!!!), and you don't have to wring its neck to get it.

 

And only 4.3 gallons of fuel with a 2 litre V-8 will give you the cruising range of a Hardley Sportster.

 

 

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On 26/10/2017 at 10:56 PM, Rectaltronics said:

 

Hi Sparticus,

 

I had to look up "Dukes stage 3".  Ugh.  Sorry.  Glad to see you're still with us.  My mother in law just lost a battle and my wife's cousin is putting up a fight. A lot of people say this, but it's not their fault. Appreciated though, mine turned out to be caused by me being an undiagnosed Coeliac, and my gut turned on itself. So now I don't touch anything with wheat in it, (not even beer) and it seems to be behaving. 4 years ago, so hopefully I'm over it now. It certainly changes your outlook on life.

Our NHS certainly did the trick for me, hate to think how much that would have cost over in your country. I get 5 years of "free" meds as well as monthly supplies of Bread making flour for free as well. 

 

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6 hours ago, Rectaltronics said:

 

Not sure if you're trying to make a point about something.  But only 334 HP?  They lied when they claimed it's the most powerful production bike.  The Boss Hoss is 445 HP (and 445 ft-lbs of torque!!!), and you don't have to wring its neck to get it.

 

And only 4.3 gallons of fuel with a 2 litre V-8 will give you the cruising range of a Hardley Sportster.

I dunno, it doesn't sound very nice either, 8 x 250cc cylinders, seems more of an "We can so we will" excercise to me. Hardly practical and no prices that I could see. Interesting though, a 90 degree V8 in a bike... Not sure they were being particularly thruthfull when they said "production bike" either.

Quote

 

 

 

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49 minutes ago, Sparticus said:

mine turned out to be caused by me being an undiagnosed Coeliac, and my gut turned on itself.

 

Celiac can do funny stuff.  A fellow I met maybe thirty years ago was using crutches and braces - like you'd see on someone suffering from MS maybe - from what looked like really terrible degenerative joint disease.  Doctors were no use at the time.  Eventually he started doing his own research and started down the road of allergies, and discovered a wheat issue causing his autoimmune system to attack his joints.  After changing his diet he got much better!

 

Ya' never know.

 

46 minutes ago, Sparticus said:

I dunno, it doesn't sound very nice either, 8 x 250cc cylinders, seems more of an "We can so we will" excercise to me. Hardly practical and no prices that I could see. Interesting though, a 90 degree V8 in a bike... Not sure they were being particularly thruthfull when they said "production bike" either.

 

I think the money that went into their web site would have been better spent on a video production crew and some post production work.  Totally underwhelming.

 

Oh well.

 

But hey, it doesn't have ABS!  LOL...

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