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VFR Alternatives / Where to from here?

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I did a 100km ride today on one of my favourite roads with a near new R1200RS.

It had a carbon GPR pipe with no baffle which sounded great, and was running Road 5 tyres. 

It has a more upright riding position to the 5G, with a lot more leg room. 

Serious amount of torque everywhere (except at the top where it runs out of puff), up and down quick shifter, bloody fantastic brakes and very stable on fast corners.

Really good throttle response and a fantastic rear end. 

But I couldn't get over the complete lack of feel from the front end, it was wooden and felt remote. 

My mate who owns it is a California Superbike School coach, and when I mentioned my opinion on the front end he stated that he's lost the front end twice now with no warning at all, he still has his old R1150R with the duolever front end and reckons it's a better bike that he can throw around a lot more (he uses the same tyres on it). 

 

 

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I got myself  low mileage ST1300, to replace my ST1100 and (hangs head) my 5G 800. It has a similar nailed down chassis as the 800 (Nitron shock and Racetech bits up front) that is surprisingly nimble for such a heavy beast, a terrific riding position, ABS brakes with lots of power and torque for Africa. Much more precise handling than the 1100 and much tighter, faster motor with a decent gearbox. Although the cams are chain drive, there's a couple of gear drives for the balancers and alternator so plenty of gear noise to keep me happy. The only bugbears are a shortage of ground clearance when you really get cracking along, and a bit of engine heat. 

IMG_0114.jpg

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Aprilia RSV4. 

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7 hours ago, thepretender said:

A doubt they will put the V4 in the Suppersport but it will go into a streetfigher. That would be cool.

Curious what their streetfighter will look like, or if they'll put it in the Monster! There's always the KTM 1190 RC8, bit of a rare bike from what I hear though.

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7 hours ago, Willmavfr800 said:

My vfr 800 2003 build will be getting a rc8 rear end 👍

AEC38B03-BAA0-4F60-B854-6D00B085D23C.png

Very cool!! What kind of build are you going for?

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MV..................    with their renowned reliabilty...  sure, great choice!

 

 

 

Don't get me wrong, for pure utter sexiness, MV is the place to go.

But tourer??? :goofy:

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5 hours ago, ScottieDucati said:

Can’t believe nobody’s mentioned MV’s Turismo Veloce..

You're trapped in the current market's logic, where they sell anything powerfull as being a sports-tourer. Well, they aren't. Not the BMW S1000XR ? Or the one you mention ? I don't buy this marketing shit. As a sports-tourer, it starts with a sporty seat position. It doesn't stop there. nor is it enough with a powerful engine.

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I could see the MV as a Sports Tourer, you can fit panniers/ saddlebags, it has a fairly upright riding position, reasonably large tank 21.5lt and some decent looking wind protection. I agree the seat looks like it would need some attention though. But as I and others have said 8th gens are still available if you look, and much less expensive than the BMW or the MV. The difference in purchase price would kit you out with OEM panniers with enough left over for some decent touring apparel. 

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VFR8/DucatiST series are very close in terms of rider triangle, power and bag accommodations... with our VFRs being a bit overweight and underpowered in comparison. The MV TV is about the only thing I can find in the 400# / 120HP / Bags and “Sport / Comfort” body positioning.

 

From what I’ve gathered from many friends with F3’s, they are pretty robust once you get them dialed. The biggest complaint had been track performance with electronics, mostly sorted with the Magnelli track ECU kit.

 

It has to be pointed out both the VFR and ST2/3/4 have electrical issues. I’m not sure anyone here is to judge the reliability of current MVs without some more data to draw from.

 

Personally I’d love to try it, it’s lighter, more powerful, looks more comfortable and ISN’T what everyone else is offering these days... a ADV bike for the street.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

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56 minutes ago, ScottieDucati said:

Personally I’d love to try it, it’s lighter, more powerful, looks more comfortable and ISN’T what everyone else is offering these days... a ADV bike for the street.

 

 

Are you saying that there are no ADV street bikes or that Veloce transcends the other offerings?

 

There are plenty of sporty street oriented ADV bikes, Versys, S1000XR, Multistrada, Tracer GT, Tiger 1050 (have to buy used unless you live in Europe).  You can even get the Crossrunner if you live in Europe, Australia.

 

I do think the Veloce is dead sexy.

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17 hours ago, keepon18 said:

Very cool!! What kind of build are you going for?

Going for a naked fighter black frame/ engine orange tank and tail, should be a beauty when she’s done I’ll be making a build blog on here when I work out how 👌🏻

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54 minutes ago, Willmavfr800 said:

Going for a naked fighter black frame/ engine orange tank and tail, should be a beauty when she’s done I’ll be making a build blog on here when I work out how 👌🏻

That's exciting! Looking forward to seeing it!

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I bought a Z125 and haven't touched my VFR since... stupid mini bike is just too much fun to ride.

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So, I made the mistake today of getting a demo ride on a 2018 Tuono V4 1100 RR. I really want it 😶 Dealership also had a used VFR1200 that I sat on and a Motus MST-R, both of which as smaller than I figured.

 

Going home on the VFR felt almost disappointing! This was the fastest bike I've ridden. From my short ride, Tuono ran hotter than the VFR, all the modes/settings on the dash seemed confusing, and I averaged around 30mpg. It even had a lean angle sensor! The throttle is so responsive and it sounds amazing stock. I'd always hit near the speed limit in first before I shifted. And reducing the throttle from there created these beautifully large backfires. You could definitely feel the lighter weight and all that torque on your face. In fact, combine everything together, and I felt as if I was in motorcycle nirvana. 

 

The disappointing fuel range and difficulty to use daily would be worth it imo!

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On 3/25/2019 at 9:56 AM, Sweeper said:

I looked at these last week while in my local dealer. It's very close on mark for what my old body needs. The ergos of my cb500x and the power of the VFR. The build quality looks on par with current Honda offerings but not up to the quality of our VFR's. 

What is it lacking in build quality compared to our VFR's?  Just curious.  They're closed today or I would go see.  

 

PS:  quit being so hard on tires.  Is that an "Alabama thing"?  Just kidding.  😇

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Still not quite sure why you don't want a VFR???

 

Do the sell the Crossrunner Down Under? It's the best 800 VFR I've owned.

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It's been ages since I posted here (yet I lurk from time to time), and I haven't owned a VFR is almost 10 years (though I've owned 3 of them), but saw this post and decided to chime in.

I was super hyped when the VFR1200 was rumored to come, then supremely disappointed when it did...so much so that I never bought one. Instead I moved to a Ducati Multistrada 1200S, which I found to be an infuriating bike to own. When it worked, it was a great bike. WHEN it worked. I had nothing but problems with it.

Then news of the Kawasaki H2SX began to leak. Besides not having a V4 the bike appeared to be a spiritual successor to the VFR made by a company that throws conservative out the window. I've had mine for a year now and love the hell out of it. Yes, it's a pricey bike, but it's literally everything the VFR1200 should and could have been (again, except for a V4). The only thing I wish it has was a little less weight (the supercharger and frame add extra weight), but I have no plans to track this thing so it's not much of a concern. What you get is impressive:
 

  • Single sided swingarm
  • Analog tach/TFT info display
  • Cornering ABS
  • Traction/wheelie control
  • Cruise control
  • Power modes (3 levels)
  • Heated grips (3 levels)
  • 12v socket in dash
  • A 5.5 gallon tank (it will get low 40 mpg if ridden normally)
  • Angle activated cornering lights
  • Launch control
  • Quick shifter
  • Engine braking control
  • Assist and slipper clutch
  • LED lights all around
  • Integrated factory bags, without fugly brackets hanging off it
  • And all the power you would want access to (yet it's perfectly docile if ridden normally). With a reflash, slipon, and filter the 998cc is putting down 218 rwhp, and can get ~40 mpg riding sanely.

Anyway, I wish Honda was less conservative and put out a larger displacement V4 with proper firing order, excellent power/tap on tap if desired, and slathered with tech. But they haven't...and I don't think they ever will.

So yes, I view the H2SX as the successor to the VFR when it comes to high performance sport-touring. I got tired of waiting for Honda...

2019-03-25_18_16_26.jpg

hc2.jpg

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You are right, Kawasaki deserves credit for thinking outside the box

after "test sitting" one at a Kawa day

IMAG8974_1.jpg

 

 

 

 

I got to ride the H2SX. Unfortunately had to follow a lead rider from Kawasaki whoes idea of spirited riding harked back to the LTD450 days.....  😞

But I could feel the potential for sure!

Great bike, but in the end it remains a "stinky i4" as BLS would put it :goofy:

 

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12 hours ago, UFO said:

It's been ages since I posted here (yet I lurk from time to time), and I haven't owned a VFR is almost 10 years (though I've owned 3 of them), but saw this post and decided to chime in.

I was super hyped when the VFR1200 was rumored to come, then supremely disappointed when it did...so much so that I never bought one. Instead I moved to a Ducati Multistrada 1200S, which I found to be an infuriating bike to own. When it worked, it was a great bike. WHEN it worked. I had nothing but problems with it.

Then news of the Kawasaki H2SX began to leak. Besides not having a V4 the bike appeared to be a spiritual successor to the VFR made by a company that throws conservative out the window. I've had mine for a year now and love the hell out of it. Yes, it's a pricey bike, but it's literally everything the VFR1200 should and could have been (again, except for a V4). The only thing I wish it has was a little less weight (the supercharger and frame add extra weight), but I have no plans to track this thing so it's not much of a concern. What you get is impressive:
 

  • Single sided swingarm
  • Analog tach/TFT info display
  • Cornering ABS
  • Traction/wheelie control
  • Cruise control
  • Power modes (3 levels)
  • Heated grips (3 levels)
  • 12v socket in dash
  • A 5.5 gallon tank (it will get low 40 mpg if ridden normally)
  • Angle activated cornering lights
  • Launch control
  • Quick shifter
  • Engine braking control
  • Assist and slipper clutch
  • LED lights all around
  • Integrated factory bags, without fugly brackets hanging off it
  • And all the power you would want access to (yet it's perfectly docile if ridden normally). With a reflash, slipon, and filter the 998cc is putting down 218 rwhp, and can get ~40 mpg riding sanely.

Anyway, I wish Honda was less conservative and put out a larger displacement V4 with proper firing order, excellent power/tap on tap if desired, and slathered with tech. But they haven't...and I don't think they ever will.

So yes, I view the H2SX as the successor to the VFR when it comes to high performance sport-touring. I got tired of waiting for Honda...

 

 

I took Mrs Skids out for lunch on the VFR1200 Sunday. It is an outstanding machine, with the suspension upgraded it corners like my 800 and hits 3-figure speeds with such ease yet is refined, composed and easy to ride. I truly don't understand what you expected out of the VFR1200, other than what we got (except for the ridiculous and unwarranted bad press at the launch).

 

The Kawa is a different bike completely, and costs a sh1t-load more too so I can't see a valid comparison.

 

But I'm really glad you like it, it is a stunning piece of engineering.

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12 hours ago, UFO said:

Then news of the Kawasaki H2SX began to leak. Besides not having a V4 the bike appeared to be a spiritual successor to the VFR made by a company that throws conservative out the window. I've had mine for a year now and love the hell out of it. Yes, it's a pricey bike, but it's literally everything the VFR1200 should and could have been (again, except for a V4).


So yes, I view the H2SX as the successor to the VFR when it comes to high performance sport-touring. I got tired of waiting for Honda...

 

hc2.jpg

This looks like such a great bike and don't forget if you're short on funds you can still get a Ninja 1000 and save about $6k.  While not the bleeding edge of the H2 it is still a bike that puts out 140 hp, comfy ergos, sophisticated electronics and the same sweet luggage system.

 

image.png.3b001b38e292a632e262b412c000c5f6.png

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Is it just me, or would others be a lot more amenable to an inline 4 if they'd just use make more crossplane I4s? The first thing I fell in love with on the VFR was the sound. I mean, the R1 sounds great... I just don't want to have to spend any time sitting on one! 

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Ninja 1000 really is the modern equivalent albeit an I4. It blows the VFR8 out of the water in terms of power, handling and brakes. I still love my 5th gen tho.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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1 hour ago, Skids said:

I truly don't understand what you expected out of the VFR1200

 

 

My intent in the reply above was not to bash the VFR1200, but offer an answer to the original question asked. I made no real comments about the 1200 other than it disappointed me. But I'll outline what disappointed me since you sort of asked...

  1. They changed the V4 firing order. (subjective, but this really killed the deal for me. I even considered buying an MT-10 instead of the H2SX purely for the crossplane firing order alone)
  2. Price when weighed against features. I mean, for the price you had to pay, the features on the bike are very spartan.
  3. Styling (subjective, but it leaves me cold)
  4. Fuel tank size coupled with fuel mileage
  5. Hardbag integration (subjective, do not like the look of the bags on the bike)
  6. ECU restrictions in 1st and 2nd gear (can be fixed, but shouldn't have to be fixed)

I have no doubt it's a good bike (all bikes are these days), but the VFR1200 wasn't what I wanted or expected, so I wasn't interested. People like, want, need, and expect different things.

Anyway, I'm not begrudging people who love their VFR1200s, only offering up opinions on a bike that, IMO, is a worthy VFR replacement in what it was designed to do. That being said, sport-touring bikes like this have become a niche market anyway. Adventure bikes (that will mostly never see a gravel driveway, let alone an off road environment) have been all the rage for a decade now. 😂

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