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Hi all, my first post here.

 

I just bought a VFR1200FD from a friend, 2015 model, low mileage. 10 years ago I had a VFR750 from 89 or 90, it was a joy to ride, but not too long. I find the 1200 much more comfortable on long rides and the fear of its height/weight was unfounded.

The beautiful stock exhaust has been replaced with a BOS one, I think I will try to get the stock one back. The clacking sounds at low speeds and slippery seat and everything else - this was expected and they don't even seem that bad (to me).

 

But on to my main issue: I find the bike really heavy to steer at high speeds. Basically above 80 kph it's requires struggling, weight-lifting to get it to lean. It may have been 10 years since I rode a big bike, but I still know how to counter-steer. One-finger this is not! The only thing I found that helps is accelerating a bit. Perhaps this raises the frontend a bit making it lighter to steer. No idea, not a race driver, but I don't want to accelerate before I know how the turn ends.

The bike is in tip-top shape, serviced at Honda, I doubt foul play. I will check the tire pressures, but I don't expect anything funny there. The front suspension seems to be at stock settings, the guy before me didn't even touch it.

Anything else I can check? Is this normal?

 

EDIT: 2nd big issue, but I think it's kind of normal. After the first ride (200km) my right hand went numb, it's still tingling. My older VFR had a lot more vibrations but I didn't have this sensation even after longer rides. No idea if this can be improved.

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For 2nd issue check if leaver heights are OK for You. They should be adjusted form your height

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I checked the pressure, it was ok on both tires, but the front tire is worn out almost to the markers.

I adjusted the angle of the brake lever, seems like the wrist is more relaxed now.

I still have a feeling it steers very heavy, but I've gotten slightly used to it - and built up more muscle in the process. Did an 8h riding course over the weekend, I was the only one struggling to flick the bike at high speeds (obstacle avoidance).

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A bald front tyre is going to give heavy steering 

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Compare the tires' profile to new ones.  If the crown is worn down, it will make it less willing to lean.  Sounds like time for new ones if they're down to the wear bars. I would see how it responds with new tires before drawing any conclusions.

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I just replaced the tyres on my ST1300; visibly I thought they didn't look bad, but I cannot believe how much easier the bike steers with the new tyres fitted, took me a fw km to trust that the bike was not just falling over on it's side, which was another way of saying I was unconciously holding it down in turns on the old tyres. 

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16 hours ago, Terry said:

I just replaced the tyres on my ST1300; visibly I thought they didn't look bad, but I cannot believe how much easier the bike steers with the new tyres fitted, took me a fw km to trust that the bike was not just falling over on it's side, which was another way of saying I was unconciously holding it down in turns on the old tyres. 

I recently replaced my worn and squared off rear tire with a new one.  I'm used to the bike feeling much nimbler with a new front tire, but it turns so much better with just a new rear tire, too.  The front will need to be replaced pretty soon, and I'm sure the bike will handle almost like new when I do.  It's been a long time (or maybe never) since I had two new tires at the same time.

One bit of advice about the OP's new-to-him VFR1200:  Most people don't want to run tires more than 5-6 years old, as the rubber starts to harden, or in some cases even dry rot and crack.  It sounds like your VFR was very well-maintained, but if those are the original tires, you might think about replacing them both even if there is some tread life left in them.

As a side note, when I'm window shopping used bikes and find nice 5-10 year old bikes with low mileage, if I'm kind of serious about a particular bike, I ask the seller if the tires are original.  Tires have date codes, so even if the seller doesn't know if or when the tires were replaced, you can look it up if you can get the codes from the tires' sidewalls.  If the tires are 5-6 years old, I have to factor in the cost of replacing the tires with the buying decision.  I may ask for a discount on the bike's selling price because I'll have to replace the tires, but regardless, I'm going to replace them.

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Thanks for the advice!

 

I bought the bike off a friend, I have all the invoices for everything he did, most of the stuff was done at the dealership. The tires are not more than 2 years old, I think. But a hot straight highway will chew through new rubber like crazy. Not sure why the front is so worn out compared to the rear, he said he checked pressure before and after each trip and there was no discernible difference.

The biggest issue right now is finding a service that will change motorcycle tires, most of the small shops around the area are closed. I'm pretty new to this place so there are a lot of connections that I need to set up (service shops, MOT, doctors, riders, etc.).

 

The front tire looks the worst, I might try just changing that one first, if I manage to find a shop that can manage everything - in my neighbourhood I haven't seen anyone refilling washing liquid, much less taking wheels off.

 

Stupid question: I see Conti Attack (1) for sale but I think the model is several years old, they are now at their 4th generation. Would that mean that the tires have an old production date? Or do they produce them in parallel? Asking this because there is a Continental subsidiary near me that can provide a complete solution and their prices are fair.

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Metzeller Roadtec 1's or Michellin PR5's. :beer:

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You want Pirelli Angel GT2 A-spec tires, for that bike. The A-spec are a heavier duty carcass and compound designed for heavier sport-touring bikes, like the VFR12. This tire will much better support the weight during cornering and provide much better wear characteristics than the common tires most have suggested/will suggest. You want to replace them together. Just mounting a new set of these tires, properly inflated, will transform your bike. 

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11 hours ago, brainwashed said:

Thanks for the advice!

 

I bought the bike off a friend, I have all the invoices for everything he did, most of the stuff was done at the dealership. The tires are not more than 2 years old, I think. But a hot straight highway will chew through new rubber like crazy. Not sure why the front is so worn out compared to the rear, he said he checked pressure before and after each trip and there was no discernible difference.

The biggest issue right now is finding a service that will change motorcycle tires, most of the small shops around the area are closed. I'm pretty new to this place so there are a lot of connections that I need to set up (service shops, MOT, doctors, riders, etc.).

 

The front tire looks the worst, I might try just changing that one first, if I manage to find a shop that can manage everything - in my neighbourhood I haven't seen anyone refilling washing liquid, much less taking wheels off.

 

Stupid question: I see Conti Attack (1) for sale but I think the model is several years old, they are now at their 4th generation. Would that mean that the tires have an old production date? Or do they produce them in parallel? Asking this because there is a Continental subsidiary near me that can provide a complete solution and their prices are fair.

Best not to mix brands if you're swapping out a front.  Better to replace both at the same time too, though I eat fronts faster and have on occasion replaced the front with same make because the rear was still near new.

 

I can vouch that both Micheln PR's and Dunlop Roadsmarts work very well with the 1200.  Great steering, grip, brake stability and mileage.  Might give the Angel GT a try next as I spooned a set on the Gen4 and love them so far.

 

I have never felt the 1200 was hard to steer, except when new...the OEM tires were crap.  It's a heavy bike, but remarkably nimble for its heft.  Try a new set of tires recommended by other 1200 owners and you should be ok.

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10 hours ago, ducnut said:

You want Pirelli Angel GT2 A-spec tires, for that bike. The A-spec are a heavier duty carcass and compound designed for heavier sport-touring bikes, like the VFR12. This tire will much better support the weight during cornering and provide much better wear characteristics than the common tires most have suggested/will suggest. You want to replace them together. Just mounting a new set of these tires, properly inflated, will transform your bike. 

Never had an issue myself.

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7 hours ago, Skids said:

Never had an issue myself.


You don’t know about something unless you try it. 

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If you can't find a motorcycle shop able to change the tires, you could try calling around to automotive tire shops.  There are at least a couple in my area which can handle mounting motorcycle tires.  It's not ideal, but if you're in a pinch it might be your only option.

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3 hours ago, ducnut said:


You don’t know about something unless you try it. 

Sorry, I think you misunderstand; I have tried non-heavyweight tyres on my 1200 with absolutely no noticeable detrimental effect. The set currently on the bike are not HW (nor were any of the previous sets), the wear is as uniform as I've had on all my 800's and they stick pretty much like glue.

 

I'm not sure what experience you had for you to make the statement you did, but it would be interesting to read it.

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All I’m saying is to try a set of them, instead of doubting them with “Never had an issue myself.”. It’s not that hard to understand, is it?

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Thank you all again for the replies.

 

I managed to find a tire shop that can deliver the rubber and mount it within a week. I took your recommandations into account but could not find matching pairs of the recommended brands. For example, I could find Angel ST for the front but only GT for the back.

 

In the end went with Continental Sport Attack 2, the shop (which is also an official reseller) assured me that all tires are not older than 1 year. Not sure what happens to the older ones though.

As it was a safety issue for me, I just went with the option that provided the least amount of hassle - go into the shop, make the order, make an appointment for next week to have them changed, done.

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I've had the Conti Road Attacks and Sport Attacks and always liked them both.  Good tires IMO, decent tread life, and usually on the cheaper end of the spectrum.  I hope the Sport Attacks work great for you!

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I think now the bike has Road Attack 2 on it and they are certainly not bad tires!

During the training course it was raining heavily and I was able to brake from 50-60kph (35-40mph?) within 2 bike lengths without taking any risks. They braked like it was dry - obviously in a straight line.

 

The funny thing happened - today I was riding a bit more and I decided to try and flick the bike at ~80, which previously took considerable effort - it took my entire body to do it (hand, chest, shoulders, core, knees). Now I could flick it only with the palm of my hands, almost without effort. I believe the previous owner did not deviate too much from the middle line and this ruined the tires. Sure, you can go ape (Bubba) on them and reform them with something abrasive, while they are spinning on the central stand, but I'm too old and well-off to do that. My younger myself however...

 

On a different note, took my GF for the first time on a ride with this bike and she's (slightly) complaining that she's too far behind me and always slides forward even under light braking. Any tips for passengers? I would guess knee bracing would work, but she says it's not so easy on this bike.

Edited by brainwashed
grammar

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New tires are great.

OEM seat isn't.  You'll need to go custom to make it comfortable for a passenger.

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