1998 Honda VFR800FI


The original world's best all-rounder, and still a contender


Regulator rectifier stopped working at 20,000 miles.

Rear damper rebuild at 34,000 miles.

Head bearings replaced at 34,000.

Clutch started slipping at 38,000 miles.

Fork seals replaced at 40,000 miles.

Replacement chain at 43,000 miles (this was the original chain).

General Comments:

I have owned this motorbike for eight and a half years. In that time I have used it for commuting, weekend rides, touring, track days and taking part in a number of slow riding skills days (probably a contributory factor to the clutch problem).

The bike has a good, strong, predictable power delivery, which is ideal for road use, and only at fast tracks (E.G.. Snetterton) is left wanting along the straights.

On road handling is generally excellent, rarely feeling disturbed by the poor road conditions encountered around this part of the UK. It is very sensitive to a squared off rear tyre, which can result in a tendency to wander and give a bit of a wiggle when crossing (raised) white lines at an narrow angle, for example. On track days it's perfectly capable of maintaining pace towards the front of the intermediate group.

The addition of a Scottoiler, heated grips and a double bubble screen has made this into a first class mile-munching tourer, with a usable tank range of around 180 miles between fill-ups when cruising at 80mph, leaving plenty in reserve to hunt a fuel-station. On longer days, 500+ miles, the saddle starts feeling a little uncomfortable after a couple of hours, which coincides nicely with a refuel stop - maybe it could do with being sculpted better for my shape.

I'm told that pillion accommodation is adequate. The addition of a pillion does not appear to unduly upset the bike's performance or handling. However, the headlights tend to dazzle oncoming travel when a pillion is on board - easier access to the rear preload might help alleviate this.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th December, 2010

2007 Honda VFR800FI


Excellent one up touring, not so good two up with normal sized adults


Nothing, headlights were a little high, dealer re-adjusted at no cost.

General Comments:

Over the moon with this motorcycle, one up touring its ace, one up about town ace. I find it a little heavy when two up, especially with all the Honda panniers. Power when two up at 70mph is ample but not impressive.

The max load of the bike is not enough in my opinion. I don't know what other bikes are, but two sensible sized adults, and all the panniers puts the weight over the top. I would have liked another 30 kg.

I think this bike would make an amazing one up tourer. With two up, stretch to the Blackbird (or maybe me and my missus need to lose weight!!!).

The linked brakes and ABS are fine, and have not compromised my riding at all.

My bum started to ache after 100 miles; 10 minutes breaks after 100 miles sorts it out, or buy an aftermarket seat.

Even with two up, got 170 miles to a tank.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st April, 2008

1999 Honda VFR800FI


A terrific all round bike


Voltage regulator failed, replaced under warranty.

Filler cap lock would sometimes stick, but may have been due to contaminated fuel.

General Comments:

Can be ridden in a relaxed and gentle manner or like a sports bike. Suspension and handling are fine for road use, although maybe not as sharp as a pure sports bike when pushed hard.

It's comfortable, providing you're travelling at illegal speeds, when the wind pressure takes some of the weight off your arms and back.

Only sold it because as I get older, the pain in my back, knees and wrists when riding it became too much. Replaced by a more comfortable Honda XL1000 Varadero (Europe only model)

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th October, 2006

2001 Honda VFR800FI


The best money can buy


Brilliant bike, the regulator/rectifier has to be replaced at 16000m.

General Comments:

This is rated as the best bike in the world by the press, and you have to agree. It's not the best at anything compared with all other bikes, it just manages to combine everything into a great package - making it the master of all trades. Handling, comfort, brakes and reliability are superb. Get the pre V-tech model like mine, this bike still has a soul!!!

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th March, 2005

20th Aug 2005, 18:30

I have 98 VFR800FI and I’ll never sell this bike, it has the best engine ever made by Honda.

The only handicap is the rectifier (in 65 000 km I have already replaced it 3 times).

25th Jan 2007, 00:01

I have 1998 VFR800FI and find it to be one of the best out of 50 motorcycles I have owned in 48 years of riding.

I replaced the rectifier with a heavy duty model, even though I never had a problem with the stock one, just to be on the safe side.

I think the '98 and '99 VFRs are the best because they have the gear-driven cams, no V-TEC, and a 180 degree crank.

These models sound like a small block V8 with a supercharger.

Fit and finish is typically Honda, i.e., beautiful.

These are very reliable and good for many years of enjoyment.

They deserve a thumbs up!