Jump to content
VFROZ

BIKES THAT ARE NOT VFR's RIDE REPORT

Recommended Posts

My 5G is getting old.

The new 8G is not much of an update from the 6G (disappointingly).

So I thought I would start a new topic regarding ride tests on other bikes.

It doesn't need to be just sport tourers, any modern road bike will do.

I'm lucky that I have a lot of friends that I've been riding with for many years and trust as great riders, so we often do long trips and swap bikes.

I even sometimes take their bikes on solo rides when they are not riding to get a different perspective (nothing beats great mates).

I will add my experiences and hope some of you do as well so that other riders can get some information on how the other half live.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2013 Triumph 675  Street Triple R

What a hoot of a bike.

107HP, 51ft-lb of torque and 189kg/416lb wet.

The steering is super precise, I still don't know how this bike turns, you just look at the corner exit and the bike is already heading there.

The suspension is first class, even with my 5G updated suspension it can't come close to how good this bike is.

Nothing upsets it, heavy throttle, ripples mid corner, braking, off camber, the bike just holds a line like it's on rails and does so without being harsh.

Braking is also spectacular, stoppies are a breeze (not that I intentionally tried).

That motor is full of character, the offbeat sound of that triple and the induction noise when you open the throttle with purpose is seriously addictive.

It really gives the 5G sound a run for its money.

It has great torque from 3500rpm onwards, and will easily out accelerate the 5G (and I'm running 2 extra teeth on the rear), specially on overtakes with not much room.

Hit 7000rpm and the bike becomes a different beast, it just howls but starts to run out of puff as it nears the 13,000rpm red line.

It is also super smooth with a very slick gearbox.

The whole package is very tight and the quality of parts and finish is up there with Honda.

The sitting position is much more upright, the seat to peg placement is like the VFR, but because you sit up it feels a lot less cramped.

As expected, it has no wind protection, so long trips get a bit tiring. But the upside is a much quieter helmet as it has no turbulance.

I normally only wear a tee shirt under my leathers here all year round without a problem, but on this day on the STR I felt the cold (it's mid winter here and it was 19°C)

The strange thing was that I got a sore left arm on a 200km ride, not sure why but I would need to change or adjust the very wide bars if I was to own one.

The bar end mirrors are only there to pass inspection as they were absolutely useless.

It was running Rosso III's and you could not make a tyre that suits this bike better (I also use them on my 5G so I know very well how they behave).

It was a great day and I had some serious fun, I'm seriously considering the new 765R as an option to replace my 5G, but I've never owned a bike without a fairing which holds me back.

 

 

IMG_6014.jpg

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2018 BMW R1200RS

125HP, 92ft-lb of torque and 236kg/520lb wet.

I really had great expectations for this bike, and really wanted to like it.

The motor is fantastic, huge amount of grunt everywhere. There is no need to work the gearbox with this bike, and there is no point revving it out as it has much more in the middle than at the end of the rev range.

Suspension and brakes are first class, There is an excellent connection between the right wrist and what is happening with the rear wheel.

At no time did I think the shaft drive made this bike worse, quite the opposite, it gave a solid direct feel of what the rear wheel was doing without any slop or free play.

As a matter of fact, I haven't come across another bike that has such a direct connection, feel and control with the rear end.

The front end however is completely different.

This bike has no connection or feed back from the front wheel. So much so that I lost the front end on a hard right hander without any warning.

It scared the crap out of me.

The bike was wearing Road 5's that were only a couple of thousand km old.

I ride feeling what the front wheel is doing, and the set up on my 5G has greatly improved this from stock so I had trouble riding the RS with any confidence.

I mentioned this to the owner (he's a California Superbike School coach) and he stated that he hates it for the same reason and loses the front end regularly.

He has it for sale and went back to his loved 2011 R1200R.

Quality of parts and finish are first rate as would be expected at this price range.

Riding position is more upright than the VFR and much more comfortable.

I really wanted to like this bike, but was left dissapointed, shame really as it's a great looking bike.

 

 

2015-10-14-12.12.30.jpg

 

This is just a web picture but it's exactly the same bike I rode bags and all.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2016 BMW S1000RR

199 HP, 83.3 ft-lb of torque, and 450 lbs wet

(As reported on a different thread) This is my first liter bike which I bought after a convoluted journey after mild dis-satisfaction with my 6gen VFR. In short, my disappointment with the 6gen was that it was mildly overweight. But I wanted Honda to solve this issue, not take mine apart, replace, remove, or alter parts from the existing bike. But in summary, the 6gen was 'ponderous' in the twisties, but otherwise executed everything else I expect of a motorcycle.

About the RR, in 2009 BWM finally acknowledged that Superbike racing dominance requires an in-line 4 and created the most advanced 999cc inline-4 engine at the time (its 199 hp is more than my 2nd new CAR, a 1992 Mitsu Eclipse AWD at 197hp). Surrounding that engine, was a bike with all the technologies, traction control, ABS, 3 riding modes, and clutchless quick shifter. And of course, top of the line braking and suspension components. And in 2016, a perfect storm of trade-in value, BMW discounts, and a motivated dealer with a red white and blue RR on its floor made me an owner.

The RR always feels planted, even over bumpy asphalt. My trade-in CBR600RR never inspired confidence, and I relied on previous experience, as in, "I didn't slide out at this lean angle before, should be good now." First gear in the RR is only for breaking friction, gear up as soon as your reaction time allows, the bike pulls harder in 2nd than 1st. The top end far exceeds any speed limit on legal highways. I can blip the throttle, and pass cars between 95 and 100. Its fortunate that Colorado interstates have 75mph speed limits.

One issue is that my 30" inseam has me standing on tip-toe with standard footwear. I can tolerate some stopping with my current hiking boots. I have resorted to thick heel motorcycle boots (SIDI Adventure 2s) for when I anticipate traffic, which with Colorado's aging infrastructure is often. But I could barely fit the Adventure 2s under the shift lever. Adjusting the shift lever height is mildly complex. In short, quick-disconnect the wires to the quick-shifter (or shift-assist), wrench the shift rod nuts loose, spin rod & quick-shifter around to desired shift lever position, wrench rod nuts tight, re-connect quick-shifter.

Other than the 30" inseam (or shorter) issue, the ergonomics on the RR is the same as the CBR, i.e. slightly more weight on your wrists, but easily tolerable for even long trips. Even riding my old 6gen on a long ride, I'd sit up a bit, one hand on the throttle. The Premium package (which almost makes the bike an HP4 model) has cruise control, a motorcycle option I've always been leery of, can be a great fatigue reducer when used in the appropriate situations: low/no traffic, long stretch of highway, especially for the sit-up maneuver. Premium also has heated grips, and until I had them, thought they're for whiny HD riders (wink). Not any more, I can wear summer (thin) gloves in winter, stay comfortable, and keep a good feel for the road through the grips.

Its not the perfect bike, especially for those of shorter stature, but its a competent machine for a much wider range of uses than just track days or acquiring speeding tickets. Don't dismiss it out of hand because of its super-sport design when considering a VFR alternative.

IMG_1778.JPG

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The S1000rr was going to be my next post, but since yours covers everything I was going to say I'll leave it alone.

It is a missile on wheels!!!

I have 29" inseam and have the same trouble.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My other bike is a '14 cbr1k and it is more than enough in performance and handling and also reasonably comfortable, I guess, but it is just missing some character.

I have had my name down on a list for a month for test rides with local dealers of bmw s1000rr (delayed with manufacturing supply issues?) & aprilia rsv4 1100f (delay for who knows why).

 

anyhow when I get a test ride I'll report back unless the big H gets it shit together with THE RVF😉

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've always heard that, even though the BMW is very refined and fill of features, they have reliably problems. A BMW car over 50k miles is a maintenance mess, I don't know what the number is for bikes but I'm betting a lot lower.

I like the vfr but I do a lot of 2 up on it and I'd like it in a 1200. I hate the riding position of the st but the position of the CBR is a back breaker. The vfr is a great middle ground.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My only bike these days is a 2014 Ducati Monster 1200.

They say weight is around 460 with full fluids, 8x Ft Lbs, and 13x HP.

My 29" inseam gets both feet flat on the ground.

It rips off the line and roll on acceleration is instant and eeehah rapid! If you are anywhere near legal speeds.

It handles great, a sweet dance partner in the twisties.

It is red, it is rolling art work. It is beautiful.

 

It gets low 40's gas mileage ripping back roads. But, it needs premium.

Service intervals are much longer than older models and the newer ones are more reliable. 18,000 miles between valve adjustments.

New drive belts every 5 years.

The header pipe wants to roast my right leg. This is mainly an issue at a long stop light.

It has traction control and ABS. The front brake is good, the back is somewhere between useless and wooden. typical Italian, and like the 2 Tuonos I had before.

Who needs a back brake anyway?

 

You need to use a firm boot and shift like you mean it to avoid false neutrals. Apparently this is typical Ducati. This mostly went away by the 10,000 mile mark. Every bike I ever owned got a false neutral now and then. The TFT dash is not readable when the sub shines directly on it. I think this affects any bike that has one of these, not just Ducati. A Speedymoto rear axle slider also acts as spools, so you can use your usual rear stand. You just won't be removing the wheel with it.

 

Imho the stock pipes sounds really good and not too quiet. This is good since a full Termignoni system is $2500 or more. It is naked, but the wind does not bother me until well into arrest me and impound my bike forever speeds. So,it does not bother me.

 

I had my VFR for almost 19 years and over 80,000 miles and it was a great bike. I wished for less weight and more power. I got it in spades. Bought my Duc in November 2017 with under 2,500 miles and a new rear tire. Out the door including 9.5% tax was a little over $11,000. So the price is not as bad as you may think when you hear the name Ducati.

 

TLDR. I love love love this thing! The good is really good, and the down side is minimal.😁

1V6x4H.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

100_4680.JPG

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I traded in my 5G and my ST1100 and bought an ST1300 as a replacement for both. Aside from the weight which can be an issue at a standstill, it has a lovely balance and is fast and steady on the open road. Front brakes are surprisingly fierce and of course the bike has ABS plus an adjustable screen, and a really good riding position. I've got an adjustable Nitron shock plus a Racetech equipped front end, and the 1300 can really hustle on bumpy roads, running out of ground clearance can be an issue when pressing on; that is a consequnce of the low-set footpegs that give my ageing knees an easier time of it. . The engine is all you could wish for in a big lazy V4, very smooth, torquey but also free revving, and with a 29L tank I can easily cover 450km in a sitting. 

 

I also have a VTR1000F when I want to ride like more of a hooligan.

 

I test rode both the Yamaha Niken and also the Tracer 900. Nice bikes but just did not grab me, the Tracer seat felt like it belonged on a bicycle, handling was nice, power good but the wind off the screen was hideous. The Niken was impressive (loved the cruise control) but did not shout "buy me!", felt a bit ponderous at low speed but impressively stable after that. Not sure that I really liked the 3-cylinder engine either (but I have tried and liked the Triumph 675) but many years of V4's may have coloured my judgement.

 

 

IMG_0253.JPG

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice two wheeled car Terry 🙂

I must admit to being spoiled with the 5G song.

I find most IL4's lacking in character.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2009 FZ1. I bought it highly modded with R1 forks Ohlins internals, Penski shock, Hyperpro steering damper, Rizoma bars, Driven rear sets, power commander 5 with quick shifter, Ivans fuel cut eliminator, airbox modded and secondary butterflys removed, full Yoshimura CF exhaust and dyno tuned by Gary Dean racing and various other goodies. Hard to review this as an FZ1 as I test rode a completely stock 2nd gen FZ1 which felt underpowered, heavy handling and absolutely flat suspension and steering wise compared to mine. Compared to my 5th gen VFR also highly modded, this feels like a big boys bike. Seating position is about perfect for sport riding or sport touring however fuel milage on my modded version is around 30mpg if I am lucky. This bike has had it's share of electrical gremlins which I chalk up to all the electronic modifications aimed at more power and the 90k miles of service it has seen. With regular maintenance these bikes are very reliable. Mechanic was surprised at what good condition the motor was in for a + 90k mile motor.  Like the VFR this bike is no one night stand. Think long term riding mate.  It's a great all around bike that wears many hats just like the VFR. 

0fcd4cad.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've gone the other way.  My run-around bike, and trackday bike is a Yamaha XSR700.  it's small...reminds me of a Standard version of my old SV650 in my profile pic...but looks cooler IMO.  I have a trackday setup for the bike too...much better than the VFR...over 100lb lighter..made my own CF fairing...needs tweaked.

 

20180408_171422.jpg

20190512_135708.jpg

20180722_173504.jpg

20180717_103728.jpg

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The MT07 has been a great success here in Oz and rightly so.

They look like a fun bike with plenty of poke.

I agree the fairing needs tweaking, but bloody good effort on your part. Well done.

A bit more info on how the bike performs would be ideal.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For some reason I thought the XSR700 was supposed to be a distant relation to the old XS750 I had.

But that was a 1977 model with 3 cylinders, what was I thinking?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, VFROZ said:

Nice two wheeled car Terry 🙂

I must admit to being spoiled with the 5G song.

I find most IL4's lacking in character.

Just a little harsh, I feel!

 

ST1300's aren't short of gear drive noise, as they include a gear drive (that is the same layout as the 5G cam drive) for the alternator, as well as two gear driven balancer shafts. I do miss the 180 degree firing order of the VFR, the 1300 uses a 360 degree crank, which I tell myself is the same as an RC30....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, VFROZ said:

The MT07 has been a great success here in Oz and rightly so.

They look like a fun bike with plenty of poke.

I agree the fairing needs tweaking, but bloody good effort on your part. Well done.

A bit more info on how the bike performs would be ideal.

 

If I was just doing trackdays I'd just buy someone's twins race/trackday SV650. Handles similarly. I've added a Nitron rear twin clicker, Matris cartridges up front, aftermarket rearsets and woodcraft type handle bars. With the lower bars it sits very similar to my 2000 VFR.  Torque is abundant for a small motor...and the light weight doesn't hurt.

 

It is so much less ponderous than the VFR at slow speeds...It is my around town bike...love hearing up and heading out.  

 

Matt

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2018 BMW S1000XR

160HP, 83ft-lb of torque, 218kg/502lb wet.

This bike is really tall, I had a lot of trouble with this as I could not reach the ground.

We swapped bikes on a country ride in the middle of nowhere, me thinking it wouldn't be a problem as I would not need to stop.

30 minutes in we hit road works and they had ripped up the road with a grader and had built a massive crown on the middle of the lane.

I went: "F#*K, what do I do now?"

I had to stand on the left peg and jump off when I stopped, Taking off was the same, left leg on peg, take off, swing right leg back onto seat.

My mates all laughed at me. No one offered any help or swap bikes. Bastards.

What a weapon, the motor is fantastic, brakes and suspension are first class.

Up and down quick shifter, active electronic suspension, and cornering ABS and traction control.

For something so big, you can really throw it about.

Brakes are frighteningly powerful, and its cornering ability is amazing.

The sound of that motor (my mate runs no muffler) and the backfires during gear changes are something to behold.

The motor is very buzzy, so much so that I found it really annoying. You can feel it through the tank and seat.

Stting position is very upright, handlebars are so wide that you have huge amounts of control.

Flipping it left right is a breeze.

I'm sure this bike is fine if you're over 7'6".

IMG_3894.JPG

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you VFROZ for posting this.

 

Two years ago I traded my 2010 7th gen for a 2017 Multistrada, and tried to explain it here on VFRD in a post called Talking to Myself. I'll get my thoughts together and do a comparison on your thread. But I'm happy with my decision so far, about 13,500 miles in. A few hours ago, Klamath River mouth, northern CA:

 

 

 

IMG_4960.jpg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Multistrada looks like a good touring bike. I think the seat is on the high side?

I was enamored of Monsters for a long time, so stuck with deciding which Monster.

Torque is good, yeah!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just turned over 10K on my 2016 Multistrada 1200 S. 160hp, 100-ft-lb torque claimed, at about 525 lb dry. rwhp probably 135. But with a button click you can dial that back to 100hp. It's a computer on wheels; traction control, wheelie control, abs, electronic suspension front and rear, angle sensors. The four available riding modes can all be customized by changing any of the settings and saving it to your own custom configuration. The 1200 changes are done through the bar controls, the 1260 that came out in 2018 also lets you change and save set ups through an app. It's got so much torque it's a blast to ride and in the right gear/rpm will get you to triple digits like now, if you avoid the small flat spot in the middle of the rev range. And it's got real electronic cruise control, cornering lights, gear indicator, and on and on.

 

At idle with stock exhaust I think it sounds a little like a Briggs and Stratton lawnmower, but when the throttle cracks open it's got a roar that's intoxicating. I plan to pay the Termignoni tax and put a proper exhaust on eventually.

 

It is a tall bike and carries that weight higher than a VFR. For me, not growing up on dirt bikes, the position and spread out bars were a change but I've gotten used to it after lopping an inch off each side of the bar. It tours with ease, the wife enjoys it immensely, the bags look good on it, and the bike looks good with them off. I get a solid 40 mpg every single tank.

 

But it wouldn't be Italian without a few little things. The right front fork seal is on it's second leak, the fuel gauge is on it's way out, both common problems. My (used) bike came with a 5 year all expenses paid warranty, so it hasn't cost me anything except a couple trips to the dealer. The heated grips were useless, replaced with a $40 Symtec kit.

 

The biggest complaint is wind buffeting at the shoulder and helmet, which equates to noise, another common complaint, I'm on my 3rd screen with some screen offsets that's helped a lot.

 

It's really grown on me and I can see having it long term. The 2018 1260 had some improvements but not enough for me to switch. However, apparently Ducati is set to announce a V4 Multistrada in October, probably due out late next year along with the V4 streetfighter they've already previewed. Rumor is the V4 Multi will get some form of active radar and be well over 170hp.

 

Given all that, my '99 VFR is just as good of a bike, probably because it fits me like an old pair of leather shoes that just get more comfortable with age.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, vfrcapn said:

Given all that, my '99 VFR is just as good of a bike, probably because it fits me like an old pair of leather shoes that just get more comfortable with age.

And that’s the crux of it. 

I think it’s more of old slippers than leather shoes though. 

After so many kilometers on my 5G, I just know what it will do. I no longer have to think about it, it just comes natural. 

In my last Phillip Island trip I badly lost my front end, as it locked up and went full lock to the right on a very fast right hander, I was too eager with braking into the corner. 

I never panicked, just went off the brake and accelerated, the bike just recovered and it kept going around the corner. 

Nothing like feeling as one with your machine. 

But im also a realist, bikes are just so much better now. 

Theres a reason why Multistradas have taken out Pikes Peak so many times. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/27/2019 at 9:26 PM, VFROZ said:

My 5G is getting old.

The new 8G is not much of an update from the 6G (disappointingly).

So I thought I would start a new topic regarding ride tests on other bikes.

It doesn't need to be just sport tourers, any modern road bike will do.

I'm lucky that I have a lot of friends that I've been riding with for many years and trust as great riders, so we often do long trips and swap bikes.

I even sometimes take their bikes on solo rides when they are not riding to get a different perspective (nothing beats great mates).

I will add my experiences and hope some of you do as well so that other riders can get some information on how the other half live.

 

Respect your opinion but mine is that the 8th gen Standard (less the junk that is useless on the Deluxe except ABS). has very significant changes.  It's still a VFR (duh) but, by far is the best one yet after owning a 1999, 2006, and not the standard 2014.  The '14 with a slip on (much better very low rpm torque improvement), is the best VFR in twisties due to a significantly more useable torque/power band.  The electrical system doesn't have the legendary "will leave you stranded in the middle of nowhere" problems.  LED lighting is significantly better and it does everything well with a compromise.  If one doesn't like the compromises then buy about 6 bikes necessary to not have compromises   Just deal with 6 bike's compromises, lol.

 

Only bike owned I'll review is a long gone 2006 R1200RT.  Totally reliable sport / touring labeled boxer.  The bike had loads of torque and was slightly quicker than a VFR.  It would actually handle twisties on par with a VFR (they are what they are) but the riding position was designed to be uncomfortable for anyone with less than a 32" inseam, which is me.  The only reason I extricated it from my stable was due to horrible riding comfort.  The shaft drive has no disadvantages IMO, throttle response was good, and suspension was very good and comfortable.  Could not get over the height of the bike and seating discomfort.  It was made to be an all day distance bike, which it is, just not with me on it.      

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you're going old, here is a 1977 XS750, same color as the one I had. Before I painted it red.

Triple disc brakes, self cancelling turn signals, and 3 into 2 exhaust.

It was my second bike and coming off a Honda CL360 acceleration was fierce.

I think it was one of the faster bikes of it's day.

You can see the spindly right side up fork, shaft drive, and the way old school dual shocks. Tires are far better now too.

Had a kick starter plus electric button. They call it a 750, and the engine cases were stamped 747CC.

So, I have kick started a 747! 😄

 

Problems. Second gear quit working and only made an evil grinding sound. A friend reworked the trans for me, replaced shift drum, dogs, and a couple gears iirc.

With a bank of 3 carbs, and 3 sets of breaker points and condensors on a plate that you rotated to set the overall timing, tuning it was beyond my skill level.

Yeah, remember breaker points? LOL.

 

Probably could have used a better seat and other mods. I never liked the low pipe. But I could barely afford the used bike and keep it running. Forget mods.

Had it a couple years and sold it due to a job transfer from IL to SoCal. Hope the sailor at Great Lakes that bought it in 1987 liked it as much as I did. 😁

 

77 yamaha xs 750.jpg.bmp

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Getting back to the R1200RS, I had a longish test ride back to back with an R1200R. Really wanted to love the RS but it simply did not handle as well as the R. Before the ride I was almost certain the RS would be a future bike for me but now considering the R kitted out for touring. Also had seat time on S1000XR, seat height was okay for me, thought the bike was near perfect just a bit too expensive for my budget. It’s one of those bikes that make me feel like I’m a better rider than I actually am. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Privacy Policy.