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2014 VFR 800 - My first impressions


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3 minutes ago, Bluehawk said:

Are you with me it's not a new feature or are you referring to the pipe method not being a new feature? haha.

See my reply to Grum on this, just posted...

Haha. Pipe method is most definitely the most effective and speedy method of permanently lowering your tail light illumination........to zero, not recommended though.

 

You can certainly alter your instrument panel back lighting in 5 stages. This is much more fun than using the pipe method on your nice instrument display, and keeps the whole panel useable, a simple press of appropriate buttons is all thats required.:wacko:

:laughing6-hehe::fing02:

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Seeing as this thread is called '2014 VFR 800 - My first impressions' here's my first impressions on my first proper ride on my new white 2015, since the rain eased off!

I only did a quick ride but in comparison to the 6th, i must say first, it is more suited to my shape, it fits me [or i fit it] perfectly like a glove!

On the 6th i'm always fidgeting, trying to get my trousers to settle. I notice the seat texture is different too along with different shape, obviously.

Next, it is more smoother in vibration and power delivery.

Akro exhaust was too noisy for me, but i'll pop the baffle back inside to quiet it down - but i read here recently someone said it wont make much difference!

Handling very good, comparable to the 6th [hard to tell on the main roads i went on- a short ride].

Brakes were a surprise [they're the Toki ones, with ABS, not Nissin ABS, and they're not linked]. I don't think they were as good. Took far too long and too much ground was covered, before coming to a stop.

Luckily had a spare aftermarket topbox in half grey/silver. Had never been used, and looks good,  I will add summer, and take colour-photos soon...

In short, had 2 quick rides and much prefer the 8gen, to my 6th gen. i can tell im going to like it a lot when i get out more!

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Been riding my 2014  for about four months now.  It's a good bike - a very good bike.   I'm not certain it will ever be great for me, but I picked it up with 1100 miles on it for a price I couldn't refuse.    I've put around 3K miles on it so far and here's what I've learned:

 

- The exhaust note was too quiet.  Non existent.  Pathetic.  So I put a Delkevic on it.  Now it's too loud, but it's glorious.  At some point I'll put the spud back in to tame it, but for now I'm enjoying pissing of suburbia.  Don't like it?   How 'bout you tame that neurotic clown show of a  $1000 "what-the-f*ck-a-doodle" at 2;00 AM.  Then we'll talk....

- It's heavy.  The heaviest bike I've owned.  At times it feels ponderous.   I know it's not a GSX-R or R1 - bikes I am more than a little familiar with - but I had a '95 VFR and I don't remember it being nearly as cumbersome as this one at low speeds or shuffling around in the garage.   I get the same sensation as I get after I've had a few too many drinks at my age- ready to fall over at the slightest provocation. I had two Triumph Sprint ST's along the way - those were more manageable as well.   Borderline fugly, but fun/easy to ride and manageable.   Triples are kewl.  

- VTEC is.... there.  I could take it or leave it.   The sound is nice.  I just don't see the need.   

- Replaced the original tires - which were turds (hey.. they were old OEM...).   Replaced them them with Dunlop Roadsmart 3's.   They seem nice - I'm not going to get anywhere near the advertised milage out of them.  At this rate I'm thinking I might get 5K miles or so.  If that holds, it's a marked improvement over the 1500-1800 I got on my sport tires, but then those bikes had considerably more horsepower, and I rode considerably more idiotic.    

- Suspension is "meh".  Once I figured out that Honda set the bike up at the factory to run on glass roads piloted by small, fit people, the adjustments were obvious.   

- It's gorgeous - no two ways about it.   Not as drop-dead-sexy as my 2004 R1 but then, you know what they say about hot, fast women - they cost a lot and at some point get you into trouble.  The VFR is classy, and far, far more attractive than my Triumphs.  It's a "MILF":  beautiful but mature and refined.     

 

Like I said, it's a very good bike.    A nice bike to re-enter riding, except for the weight.   At the moment I still prefer my Triumph Sprint ST's, ( I had two...) mostly because the were 80-90 lbs. lighter and I had the suspensions on both redone with Racetech components by a friend of mine.   They had more power, too, with just enough or torque to make me lazy (ie: "do I really FEEL like shifting?".   I'd prefer my last R1 as well, but that's not fair and I couldn't ride one of those now more than an hour or so without a break and a couple of Advil- completely different mission.   The mind is willing but the body isn't so able these days.   

 

I need to put more miles on it before I render ultimate judgement.  I threw my leg over a Supersport S and that might be a bike I could really get along with - at least for a while.  Lighter, with just enough comfort to get me through a 250-350 mile day in the mountains.   Then again - not sure how I'd get along with useless mirrors and Italian reliability, not to mention the fuel capacity.  Neat bike, though.  We shall see.  If my right knee gets much worse I may well end up in a cheap sports car for my thrills.   That would likely cost me a wife... which is essentially an equitable trade at this point, all things considered.       

 

It's frustrating though - a 998cc V4 without the VTEC trickery, shave off 50-60 lbs., and Honda could have had a bike for the ages.  The penultimate Sports Tourer.   The gold standard by which all other "quasi-practical" motorcycles would have been measured against.   An epic icon.   The VFR goes out in style - an uncontested champion.  As it stands... it's a very good motorcycle.   

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1 hour ago, thestumper said:

  

 

It's frustrating though - a 998cc V4 without the VTEC trickery, shave off 50-60 lbs., and Honda could have had a bike for the ages.  The penultimate Sports Tourer.   The gold standard by which all other "quasi-practical" motorcycles would have been measured against.   An epic icon.  

 

In 2010 when the 1200 was introduced, this was debated endlessly in the forum(s).  Why didn't Honda . . .  what could have been.  Many voices wanted a refined iteration of the 6th gen with with a liter displacement and sleek styling.  Had Honda done that, many of us with now 10 to 20 year old VFRs would have traded for the new one - me included.  But the 1200 wasn't my style.  A great bike - but the size, styling and shaft drive just weren't for me.  And I didn't need 1200cc (and didn't care for the 76deg formula) - 1000cc with a 90 deg block would have done it.  Basically a liter 8th gen.  To keep the VFR formula alive, after 4 years Honda reached in to the 6th gen parts bin and gave us the 8th gen - definitely more refined but it did not materially break any new ground and was not significantly different enough for many of us to reach in to our wallet.  And I didn't.  I like wrenching and modding out my 6th gen, and vs purchasing an 8th has occupied my off season time.   But hats off to Honda for making the 8th gen the best ever - some manufacturer's models just get new paint schemes and a mild makeover every year before simply disappearing.  Honda put a lot of effort in to it now enjoyed by owners and went out on top.  Unfortunately now that there are no new VFR models to endlessly dissect and debate, traffic on this forum has faded - many faces have simply moved on to something newer or lost interest in their 20 year old bike.  Keeping those bikes going seems to now be a high percentage of the new threads on the forum.  There are a few of us that will likely hang out here until we either can no longer ride or the forum has finally had its run.  In the end I personally think the VFR is one of the most under-recognized ("is that a Ducati??") and underappreciated bikes of all time.  A brilliant design - probably the best formula of all 'round bikes ever made or that ever will be.  Nothing lasts forever and the VFR was no exception.  Despite temptations for something else, I've kept riding my 6th gen and don't have any end in sight.  Honda is making zero new product that interests me (with the possible exception of the Africa Twin), so when the time comes for me to give it up, I'll likely trade for something with 4 wheels - maybe an S2000.  Regardless, my 24 years with a VFR in the garage has been a great run. 

 

 

 

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Agreed with everything Cogswell said.

 

I intend to keep my 02 for as many decades as I can.  As much as I'm excited to get my new-to-me 99 in running condition this winter, I'm already considering NEXT winter's project to be swapping the 99 engine into the 02 body.

 

I enjoy the bike, and my time is almost a 50/50 split of riding vs wrenching/cleaning/farkling... which means I don't ride enough these days but I have every reason to keep it and continue to enjoy it for a long time to come.  And its long paid for which helps lol.

 

I would buy a white 8g if I found a good deal - I think they look the most modern of the VFR's, and clearly those who have them enjoy them.  I continue to be surprised and impressed that many 6g riders who upgrade to 8g find it a better overall bike, thats a HUGE win for Honda on what seemed almost to be an afterthought ('oh wtf, we have a parts bin, lets cobble together a new 800').  I think the 5g looks very dated in the front and tail.  The 6g in white/black colour scheme still looks modern to me, though it is a little porky with the side rads and flared tail for the underseat exhaust.  Mine turns 20 in December this year.

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- Suspension is "meh".  Once I figured out that Honda set the bike up at the factory to run on glass roads piloted by small, fit people, the adjustments were obvious

 

really enjoying the reviews in this thread and reassured that my own thoughts about the 8 gen reflect many other owner's views. It is a heavy beast and still not got completely used to that; it weighs as much on its own as my old GSXR 750 with me in it. 

 

I was intrigued by the stomper's comment on suspension as I'm still fiddling; what changes did you make from stock?  Mind you some of my problems might be due to the Bridge stone BT023s I've got on - stiffest abd most uncomfortable tyre I've even known. Going back to Michelin as soon as these are toast

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2 hours ago, Presson said:

- Suspension is "meh".  Once I figured out that Honda set the bike up at the factory to run on glass roads piloted by small, fit people, the adjustments were obvious

 

really enjoying the reviews in this thread and reassured that my own thoughts about the 8 gen reflect many other owner's views. It is a heavy beast and still not got completely used to that; it weighs as much on its own as my old GSXR 750 with me in it. 

 

I was intrigued by the stomper's comment on suspension as I'm still fiddling; what changes did you make from stock?  Mind you some of my problems might be due to the Bridge stone BT023s I've got on - stiffest and most uncomfortable tyre I've even known. Going back to Michelin as soon as these are toast

I didn't do much - who ever owned it before me had the rebound and preload  ratcheted all the way to firm.   I dialed preload up to two clicks from full-hard (third notch on the shock) and rebound two turns out from full-hard.  Not much else I can adjust being that I bought the "bargain basement" model.  At least every bump isn't amplified up my spine now.   I'm thinking about having the front sorted, but I need to make sure the bike is a keeper.  Need more miles to determine that.    

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The VFR comes sprung for a 160lb rider, or something like that.  A couple hundred dollars in springs and you find out what you are missing.

 

Highly recommend Hyperpro progressives, especially in the front.  They make a spring for the OEM rear shock too so its a relatively affordable option vs buying a whole coilover.  

 

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For anyone hunting a 8th gen....There is a white 14 on FBMarketplace in Birmingham, AL. $5200 with 9800miles. Somebody buy it so I will not be tempted anymore.

 

I do not know anything about the owner or the bike. I just thought it was a really good deal.

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5 hours ago, Sweeper said:

For anyone hunting a 8th gen....There is a white 14 on FBMarketplace in Birmingham, AL. $5200 with 9800miles. Somebody buy it so I will not be tempted anymore.

 

I do not know anything about the owner or the bike. I just thought it was a really good deal.

 

I don't see a centerstand, so guessing that it's a standard.  It's very clean - someone should snap it up. 

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