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).
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