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adamv

Giving up on Honda / Honda Giving up on us?

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I've been waiting for a couple of years now, hoping that Honda would take a new interest in it's Sports Tourer / VFR range. I'm now told there is a 2019 model (yay) - but it's only available in Japan (sigh)...

 

I'm not sure how much longer I'm willing to stick around. I thoroughly enjoy my VFR, and would love to update it to ensure I continue to have a reliable bike and would like some added safety features, ABS, traction controls, etc would be nice which I don't have on my 09 Gen 6 model, but I'm getting tired of hoping for something that may never come.

 

So I'm considering jumping ship. At this stage the Ninja 1000 seems to be the best option (as much as I hate the name. Interceptor is so much cooler 😉 ) but unlike Honda, Kawasaki seem to have a genuine interest in their sports tourer customers/market and continue to release new models with improvements.

 

I don't mind sticking around if Honda were going to release something again - but from what I can tell, they seem disinterested in us and are chasing other markets such as the Adventure Tourer range, etc.

 

Am I doing the right thing? Am I mad?

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I like the 8th gen VFR but there are some annoying things about it. If big H came out with an update to the 800 with more power, cruise control, and no-vtec I'd probably look hard at getting it.

Its kinda like all of us waiting for them to release a real update to the Fireblade, which will probably never happen. They aren't in the business of catering to cult status bike enthusiasts. Its not like they've come to me and said, "Hey LazyEye, give us a rundown of everything you want out of a SuperBike and a SportsTourer".

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10 hours ago, lazyeye said:

Its kinda like all of us waiting for them to release a real update to the Fireblade, which will probably never happen. 

 

I just read recently that a Fireblade update is coming. A new type of VTEC much more complicated than the 6th/8th gen version.

https://www.cycleworld.com/is-honda-developing-vtec-superbike

 

The pertinent part is on page 3:

 

Quote

Another big clue to an upcoming change comes from the fact that in last October Honda finally gained trademark rights to use the “Fireblade” name in the USA.

 

Me personally, I'm not interested in inline 4's. I have my 7th gen and I am happy with it. But I will still find another 5th gen once the kids are out of the house.

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On 1/29/2019 at 2:44 PM, lazyeye said:

They aren't in the business of catering to cult status bike enthusiasts. Its not like they've come to me and said, "Hey LazyEye, give us a rundown of everything you want out of a SuperBike and a SportsTourer".

 

I don't think it's necessarily a cult thing. Everywhere I go I hear similar desires in a bike that isn't made, effectively a VFR with a combination of:

 

- No VTEC

- A little more HP (Make it a 850/900 if needed)...

- Back to Gear Driven Cams

 

Desires listed normally include a combination of the above - over and over again. Honda isn't just not listening to you - it seems like they're not listening at all.

 

But even though these requests are out there, maybe there is simply too much money to be made in other markets.

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I have no interest in litre bikes. They're awesome...but far too fast and powerful, you can't ever even take one to the redline in 1st without blowing past every speed limit outside of Germany's de-restricted autobahns. That's not to say I'm whiter than white and never ever speed but I'd like to be able to use all the rev range without a risk of jail time. 

 

Equally while 600's are great...they're rather lacking in low down torque. So a 750 is for me the perfect middle ground. Fast enough to get you in serious trouble. Yet enough torque to be easy to ride. 

 

What I want is a modern VFR with the same ethos as the first VFR. 

 

A sports bike that is usable. Light weight, powerful, good handling and brakes (with ABS!) but with a comfortable seat, decently protective fairing and screen. A pillion seat that can be used by more than a 10 year old. Fold out bungee hooks. Suspension that is geared towards actual roads rather than billiard table flat race tracks. 

 

Trackday on Sunday, work on Monday, tour the continent on Tuesday.  

 

It's what made the VFR750F,  CBR600F etc such winners. They were sports bikes that were practical. Not race-reps (although still winners on track) and better on the road for it. 

 

Also, junk VTEC and CBS, it's pointless and annoying. Don't go for stupid power, give it ~110-120PS and as much torque as possible. 

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10 hours ago, adamv said:

 

I don't think it's necessarily a cult thing. Everywhere I go I hear similar desires in a bike that isn't made, effectively a VFR with a combination of:

 

- No VTEC

- A little more HP (Make it a 850/900 if needed)...

- Back to Gear Driven Cams

 

Desires listed normally include a combination of the above - over and over again. Honda isn't just not listening to you - it seems like they're not listening at all.

 

But even though these requests are out there, maybe there is simply too much money to be made in other markets.

 

It's likely that the non-VTEC, gear driven motor wouldn't even pass today's Euro 4 regulations regarding engine noise, exhaust noise and emissions. With a much more stringent Euro 5 around the corner, you can pretty much guarantee that your dreams will never come true.

 

Euro 4 started coming into effect just a couple of years after the 6th gen revamp, which would explain the drastic changes in the first place.

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