2008 Honda VFR800 from New Zealand
Jack of all trades, understated elegance
Nothing mechanical whatsoever, so far so good!
Tends to wear out rear tyres easily.
When riding this bike you are definitely aware it is quite heavy. The handling is still very good for its weight.
The engine power output would be considered reasonably modest by today's standards for its size, but the engine feels quite torquey and will rev out quite cheerfully.
This revision of the model is supposed to have a smoother transition of the VTEC system, but on the odd occasion under hard acceleration there can be a noticeable flat spot.
The addition of a centre stand as well as a side stand makes servicing a breeze.
The mediocre factory seat and slightly too sporty riding position does make long distance touring somewhat tiresome, but a small spend on some easy to fit extras can turn it into a great tourer.
The headlights are fantastic; better than many cars.
The bike is fuel injected, which makes a world of difference compared to my older past bikes, but I find that it lacks smoothness when powering on from overrun, to the point where going around roundabouts can be a bit of a pain. Excessive use of the clutch at very low speed manoeuvring is necessary compared to a carburetted bike.
For instant turn-key reliability it is perfect. When considering the fact that the basic design of this model dates from 2002, it still looks very modern and contemporary as long as you don't look at the instrument cluster.
The linked braking can be both a blessing and a nuisance depending on how you ride. If you plan on going quick, you will really start wishing you had a slipper clutch.
The unusual V4 engine, single sided swingarm and twin underseat tailpipes give it a bit of an exotic air, and people like to see what it is all about.
The styling is deliberately understated and looks elegant when parked amongst the latest batch of highly stickered road racer bikes.
Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 2nd June, 2016