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makeyugoslaviagreatagain

Making the VFR Better for 2up Touring

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Hey y'all

 

So I got my VFR 3 years ago a bit as a mistake. I was trading up a lower cc "learner" bike after I had toured over 20k kms in one year and was thinking of doing something really crazy, like a 600cc rr or something. I was completely sold by the resemblance to the panigale, torque, and most of all, price that a local dealer had on a leftover 2014 so went with that instead...

 

three years later and im at 40k kms with the bike. Last year I didn't ride nearly as much as I liked too because of work/government issues, but i'm usually commuting and touring on my bike whenever possible. My first full year of ownership included a trip for eastern canada to western canada down to mexico and back home, this year I went down to Key West from Quebec and back up...i've got plenty of trips on the horizon. This is all to say that I ride a lot, especially for camping trips, through all sorts of weather and terrain (gravel highway like the translabrador, etc.)

 

Some things are lacking for this bike as a real "tourer." I've done some modifications so far to help: i've carried over old mods that made my smaller bike more bearable, like the Alaskan Leather sheepskin seat, and the "cramp buster." IMO theres still a lot of room for improvement. Going up from Florida to Canada in two days got me thinking how I can improve this bike and how I can make it better for me and my significant other. All these trips i've done have been alone and have been somewhat rough, I can only imagine how much worse it would be with a passenger on the back. As such i've done some research and come up with this 

 

1) New Seat. I'm thinking of ordering the corbin seat without the back rest. This any good? Worth the money? Think of my passenger too! The Alaskan leather sheepskin thing I have is better than nothing but I actually want to not have a pain in my ass for a week cause I decided to iron butt it back from a trip

 

2) European Top Case. I am already loaded enough just me, I would certainly need a top case if I bring my SO on a trip. They're from Western Canada I can see us doing that sort of cross country trip. The Euro case interests me because of the backrest and bigger capacity. Would it hold camping gear reasonably? I'm thinking my small tent, two thermarests, and two sleeping bags...my partner and I can each take a side bag for our own stuff in that case. What is the consensus on the reliability/usability of this thing? I don't want to pay the premium for nothing...is the backrest helpful at all either? And where is a reliable place to order it from? Can I just get key cylinder thing done at any locksmith? The dealer did this for my OEM panniers...

 

3) Chain oiler. I will never buy another chain driven bike. Its just too much to bother with on long journeys imo especially if you're doing a lot of miles per day. I thought I was dilligent on cleaning and lubing but apparantly not...my last trip killed the chain at 11k kms.

 

Thinking of getting the tutoro or whatever because 1) seems easiest to install and 2) price. Send your recomendations if not...

 

4) Bigger wind screen. I think the stock one is ok for me, it kind of hits me in the face sometimes? I'm 5'7, I wonder if I can improve on that...I also worry about the passenger. I hear mixed things about after market windscreens. Better to just leave it?

 

Thank you for getting this far in the wall of texts. Would appreciate it if y'all have any other tips/suggestions etc on making this bike more sutable for big two up touring. No, I am not going to trade up any time soon, I can barely afford all this as is and will have to make due with the bike I currently have. I've grown to love it enough though that I hope to one day post with my "high mileage" stories in these sorts of forums. If it helps, I am 5'7, my partner is 5'6, and together we might be around 320 lbs.

 

 

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1 hour ago, makeyugoslaviagreatagain said:

Hey y'all

 

So I got my VFR 3 years ago a bit as a mistake. I was trading up a lower cc "learner" bike after I had toured over 20k kms in one year and was thinking of doing something really crazy, like a 600cc rr or something. I was completely sold by the resemblance to the panigale, torque, and most of all, price that a local dealer had on a leftover 2014 so went with that instead...

 

three years later and im at 40k kms with the bike. Last year I didn't ride nearly as much as I liked too because of work/government issues, but i'm usually commuting and touring on my bike whenever possible. My first full year of ownership included a trip for eastern canada to western canada down to mexico and back home, this year I went down to Key West from Quebec and back up...i've got plenty of trips on the horizon. This is all to say that I ride a lot, especially for camping trips, through all sorts of weather and terrain (gravel highway like the translabrador, etc.)

 

Some things are lacking for this bike as a real "tourer." I've done some modifications so far to help: i've carried over old mods that made my smaller bike more bearable, like the Alaskan Leather sheepskin seat, and the "cramp buster." IMO theres still a lot of room for improvement. Going up from Florida to Canada in two days got me thinking how I can improve this bike and how I can make it better for me and my significant other. All these trips i've done have been alone and have been somewhat rough, I can only imagine how much worse it would be with a passenger on the back. As such i've done some research and come up with this 

 

1) New Seat. I'm thinking of ordering the corbin seat without the back rest. This any good? Worth the money? Think of my passenger too! The Alaskan leather sheepskin thing I have is better than nothing but I actually want to not have a pain in my ass for a week cause I decided to iron butt it back from a trip

 

2) European Top Case. I am already loaded enough just me, I would certainly need a top case if I bring my SO on a trip. They're from Western Canada I can see us doing that sort of cross country trip. The Euro case interests me because of the backrest and bigger capacity. Would it hold camping gear reasonably? I'm thinking my small tent, two thermarests, and two sleeping bags...my partner and I can each take a side bag for our own stuff in that case. What is the consensus on the reliability/usability of this thing? I don't want to pay the premium for nothing...is the backrest helpful at all either? And where is a reliable place to order it from? Can I just get key cylinder thing done at any locksmith? The dealer did this for my OEM panniers...

 

3) Chain oiler. I will never buy another chain driven bike. Its just too much to bother with on long journeys imo especially if you're doing a lot of miles per day. I thought I was dilligent on cleaning and lubing but apparantly not...my last trip killed the chain at 11k kms.

 

Thinking of getting the tutoro or whatever because 1) seems easiest to install and 2) price. Send your recomendations if not...

 

4) Bigger wind screen. I think the stock one is ok for me, it kind of hits me in the face sometimes? I'm 5'7, I wonder if I can improve on that...I also worry about the passenger. I hear mixed things about after market windscreens. Better to just leave it?

 

Thank you for getting this far in the wall of texts. Would appreciate it if y'all have any other tips/suggestions etc on making this bike more sutable for big two up touring. No, I am not going to trade up any time soon, I can barely afford all this as is and will have to make due with the bike I currently have. I've grown to love it enough though that I hope to one day post with my "high mileage" stories in these sorts of forums. If it helps, I am 5'7, my partner is 5'6, and together we might be around 320 lbs.

 

 

I can't speak to riding 2 up... My passenger pegs have been removed and I have no intention of reinstalling them. Maybe teach her to ride? 😉

 

I can speak to the chain oiler. I bought the Cameleon Oiler Plus and I'm definitely very happy with it. In my experience, it works well enough that you might just reconsider your low opinion of chain drives. Install was simple, capacity is good... Basically, chain maintenance is something I only worry about when I wash the bike.

 

There are some maintenance OCD types that object to chain oilers, saying that performing chain lubrication gives you an opportunity to notice developing maintenance issues that you otherwise might not (fair point to some degree, but I think the benefits outweigh the negatives). There are also others who swear up and down that a good X ring chain needs essentially no maintenance and that chain lubricant is just a placebo... draw your own conclusions there, I have drawn mine.

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I rode from maine to San Diego, CA and back with my wife on my 6G all but hitting the 4 corners of the US.   Seperate trips with her about 2 years apart. 

Then did the trip on the VFR with a co-worker on his own bike a few years later.  Both trips amazing.  

 

The backrest on the corbin was just for show,  bike pitches passenger forward (i'm assuming the 8g does this as well as I've never seen a passenger seat that doesn't).  The corbin or the sargent is a matter of user.  Try them both if possible before buying.

 

Same goes for windscreen.  I'm same size as a friend and he loves my givi he borrowed on this 6g.   I feel as if i get less wind when i stand up on the pegs rather than sit down.  So two people relatively same height, total difference experience with the same windscreen.

 

My recommendation would be the same for the case pad,  if you'r pitched forward its just for show.  

 

We used a rug keeper, to keep my passenger from drifting forward during braking and seemed to make the experience 100x better for her on the back.   Very cheap,  completely removable and worked very, very well.

 

yes, typically you can key the top case to side bags, not sure if you can with the ignition key.

 

I bought a rack for my topcase and mounted the tent on it.  then mounted the sleeping bags on the top of the side panners in water proof bags.  I'm going to ask about that locally. (great idea)

 

A few websites sell lights for the topcase.  I'd recommend on of these as the idea of high up light makes sense to me.    Easy install, my Givi one worked great for a while.

 

we used the side bags for our clothes and the top case for the sleeping pads, spare regulator, rain gear etc.  Couldn't have done the trip without it with the passenger.  

 

 

 

Also,  ended up with heated gear (vests) and splitter off the battery.    I'd strongly recommend this for a passenger or rider depending on how much and where touring takes you.   I won't be without heated grips if i was planning on riding north or up to any mountain passes. 

 

We used chatterboxes rider to passenger (not to talk to each other much,  Mostly used to listen to audio books or music).  Worth the price.  That was a few years back i'm sure there are many updates since.

 

I installed heli-bars to reduce wrist strain.  this might be why the givi doesn't work as well for me.

 

I think the 8G has cruise?  I bought a throttle lock, used it twice.  I'd be careful with a cramp buster.  I had a bad experience with one and now my bike has some scratches down the side.

 

and the #1 recommendation I have and I believe my wife would agree is top quality comfortable riding gear.  Make sure she's wearing dedicated riding pants, boots,  a quality jacket and quality well fitting helmets.   (rain gear is a must as well).   Its amazing how much more riding you can do in a day when you're in the correct gear.

 

Carry a tire puncture kit and if possible a compact compressor.   Also recommend spare fuses, hopefully the 8G don't suffer the same as the 6G in the electrical department.

 

I'd ask about spring rates in the shock and forks as well.  Might be worth the money to have the springs set for your weights. 

 

Other than that have fun.  

 

 

https://www.powerlet.com/learningCenter/calculating-eec

 

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I have 45ltr boxes on both my VFRs, both of them have the backpad which my wife seems to be happy with. It is removable so I'm sure you could buy one and retro-fit. The 45ltr box that came with my 1200, brand new, uses the ignition key. The 2nd-hand one I fitted to my VFR800X has a separate key as I chose not to go down that route as I'm not sure how easy/cheap it is for 2nd-hand bikes/boxes.

 

The main issue with piling up kit on the boxes (you can get racks that secure to the lid to strap things to) is the weight. The racks are quite limited in the max weight they are recommended to carry and whilst I'm sure many of us routinely overload the rack, at some point it is likely to fail. It happened to me many years ago and my topbox and the contents were left strewn all over the highway when the arms on the carrier snapped (not an OEM carrier).

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4 hours ago, Skids said:

.... The 45ltr box that came with my 1200, brand new, uses the ignition key. The 2nd-hand one I fitted to my VFR800X has a separate key as I chose not to go down that route as I'm not sure how easy/cheap it is for 2nd-hand bikes/boxes.

...

I don't know if I understand correctly what you mean, but for 23€ per lock, you can buy the needed material to adapt your lock to your ignition key. And if you're a little lucky, your second hand topcase could maybe contain that 23€- set : if you still have the complete set, you can adapt that lock to your ignition key.

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I'm like Marvelicious, I don't do two-up either but I'm a huge fan of chain oilers, Scottoiler on my previous two VFRs and a Tutoro Automatic on the '14 (no cutting vacuum pipes). Original chain and sprockets going strong at 38,500 miles. Reservoir under the seat cowl, delivery pipe along chainguard and onto sprocket. I have pics if you want.

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