Best bike ever for me, and I'm just buying another

by BrianL
(Hampshire, UK)

The VFR 800 FiY was my 'return to biking bike'. I bought it brand new in 2001 and had put 12,000 faultless miles behind me by the end of 2003 when an uninsured blonde driving while using a mobile phone came straight through the back of me because she wasn't looking where she was going. Her car and my bike were both written off, but I was lucky to escape with barely a bruise.

Not realising just how good the VFR was, I tried an FJR1300 next. It was much more powerful, but not exactly razor sharp. The finish was nothing like Honda's and despite my best efforts it got ratty very quickly. Next was a brand-new 2008 BMW K1200GT, and I honestly believe that this bike was actually a better sports tourer than the VFR. In theory. Costing the thick end of £16,000 it should have been a joy, with all the power, all the toys, and very sharp handling courtesy of the electronically controlled suspension. In practise it was pathetically unreliable and had recall after recall. Now it's old BMW isn't interested in supporting it any more, and their idea of a replacement is a six-cylinder K1600GT which to me is just a lardy BMW tourer with a better engine than the mid-20th century boxer.

Just before Christmas 2017 I put a deposit on a new VFR 800F. I reckon this bike will take me back nearly twenty years, to the bike I would probably still have but for the accident. I'm glad to have missed out the ill-conceived original VTEC with its under seat exhausts, which seemed to be intended solely to see off a non-existent threat from the Aprilia Futura.

Of course, the bike that should have been perfect for me was the VFR 1200, if only they'd realised its need for a decent-sized fuel tank. I never just "go out for a ride". If I'm using my motorcycle I'm almost always going somewhere long distance. I want to know that I can comfortably do 200 miles before getting serious about refuelling. On the VFR 1200 I reckon I'd be thinking about my next fuelling stop not long after setting off, and that's no good to me.

Bring on the VFR 800, again!

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Apr 05, 2021
VFR 800F Update
by: BrianL

The VFR 800F turned out to be my idea of a perfect bike. Plenty quick enough for me as I'm not a racer on the road, although it did come with a quickshifter and an Akrapovich can. With the addition of a Givi screen and a satnav it's fine for distance work. Best of all, it just seems "sorted" in terms of ergonomics and general refinement. These days I have to do regular short trips in traffic so I've bought a PCX 125. I can thus keep the VFR for "proper" rides. I'm now 70, so I expect this VFR to last until I hang up my helmet.

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