This is the closest bike Honda has with a soul. They make very reliable, well made, but exceedingly bland motorcycles (anyone seen the new colours on the Fireblade???, it looks like my grandad's Toyota Camry)
The VTR has many faults, but these simply add to the charm.
The stock suspension seems to be made out of old bed springs and pudding. But a $500NZ (190 pounds) fixes that up.
The stock cans sound like an asthmatic swimming in snot. But a good set of aftermarket cans $1000NZ, and she will sing like a baratone.
Unfortunately the stock brakes are just plain crap. But braided lines help and the engine braking is sensational... it's a matter of riding style I guess.
So for a second hand bike with under 10,000km on the clock for under $8000.00NZ; spend another $2000NZ on go-fast bits, and you will have a bike that will punch so far above its weight; it can scare the crap out of the odd Japanese IL4. (You should see the look on their face when you take them on the outside, with your rear wheel sliding...)
I had a lovely MATT black model, with italian double-bubble black blade, stainless steel cans, extra heavy bar ends (a must in reducing vibes thru the bars, revised front fork springs (eibach)
I have just sold it and upgraded to an Aprilia RSV, but I still smile whenever I see a hardy sole on a VTR1000 giving it heaps, with the ass of the bike wobbling around like a fat chick on the dance floor.