Forever Fifth Gen

by Greg
(Victoria, Canada)

The brother of an old girlfriend is a very deep pocketed bike fiend, who at any point in time owns about half a dozen of them. A few years ago at a party I asked him "If you could only own one bike, what would it be?" He didn't even bat an eyelash before answering "a Honda VFR - does a good job of everything you could ever ask of a bike."

Having previously owned a Honda (a 4-cylinder 550) I was more than familiar with their build quality and reliability. So when my youngest child finally left home, I decided to get back into riding and went in search of a Viffer. My research quickly revealed that most people admire the '98-'01 Fifth Gens the most. Found a silver 2001 example with 7,000 original miles on it. It had originally been purchased by a Navy man, who after not seeing much riding time over the first few years, gave it to his son. The son, soon being a new father, had, like me, decided to forego riding while having parenting responsibilities. Both men had seen to regular fluid changes and maintenance, so when I bought it in 2016 it was like new. Threw some new Pirelli Angel GT's on it, and have been thrilled. Every once in a while engineers simply get it right, and the Fifth Gens belong in the Motorcycle Hall of Fame, in my opinion. Enough mass to provide comfort and stability on the highway without feeling bulky. Great riding position (I added Heli bars). Precise handling and more than sufficient acceleration, passing power and speed. The only improvement they might have made was better wind protection, but from what I've read that's easily achievable with an after-market touring screen.

My only remaining move will be to add said screen and some GIVI bags, because I hear the roads of North-Central California calling.

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