Most of you will hate me for saying this, but I feel I have to. I bought my '97 RF900R a couple months ago and only paid $400 for it. It had been sitting in a garage for 3 years, needed a rear tire, a battery, had a dent in the fuel tank and needed a carb cleaning/re-jetting.
I now have about $1,700 into the bike including the purchase price, parts (ebay) labor (dealership) and would be hard pressed to find a bike in this shape or quality for anything close to this price.
It had 17,000 miles on it when I got it, and has just under 20,000 now.
The bike is very comfortable and I ride it daily, rain or shine. I get 40-50 miles per gallon, depending on how I ride, and will pull hard up to 90mph. I haven't had a need to go faster, but I feel it had MUCH more speed just waiting to be unleashed.
Most of my friends have GSXR's, Hayabusa's, Ninjas etc... I get a lot of grief over the looks of the bike (fat rear end, looks like a Katana...) but once they ride it, their outlook changes completely.
It's a great bike, and being a 900 with an 1100 bottom end, it should be darn near bullet proof.
A couple months ago, I way underbid on a '97 RF9 at $650 on e-bay, never expecting to win.
I bid on the bike because I've read good things about the RF 900. At 447 lbs dry/135 hp, the specs work for me. I’ve also read about its stock 1/6/12/24hrs records (and still need to figure out how they got 146 RW hp from a stock RF 900).
In my mind the RF 900 is in the same class of sport tourer (I call them muscle sport-tourers) as Hurricane 1000s, ZX 11s, Blackbirds, Busas, and ZX14s, but weighs less than a VFR (I sold mine when I discovered I won the bid on the RF).
The bike was in Baltimore (I live in New Mexico), but I figured at that price I could afford to fly out and ride back. I’ve done that sort of thing before, but only for bikes that were around 600 miles or one day away. The price difference was more than worth it for the adventure!
So I flew out, picked up a bike that had the worst rattle-can job in the universe, wouldn't idle and had a broken rear brake pedal. The tires were OK, but not up to the 2,500 miles I expected to put on them before getting her home.
I rode it a couple of hundred miles to my brother's house that night (front right directional fell off after 50 miles), tightened a few bolts, fixed the idle problem, replaced both tires and rode it another 2,500 miles home in three days.
I've since replaced the chain and sprockets. The bike is still uglier than sin, but it's a great all-rounder! I mean, it's already proven its tour-readiness, it’s great around town and on weekends I go playing in the nearby canyons where I can hang with all the repli-racer gang.
Unlike street-legal race bikes (I’ve owned an R6 and have ridden others), it U-turns with no difficulty on residential streets and has pull-me-outa-trouble torque at any engine speed. In fact it's better around town and in the canyon than the VFR it replaced, and it accelerates almost as strongly as my XX did. You know how it is, the RF is usually the quickest and fastest thing on the road you happen to be on unless there happens to be another muscle sport-tourer, a post 2000 liter repli-racer, any liter bike with a turbo, or an exotic car costing more than $250K on the road with you.
I still have take care of a few minor, mostly cosmetic issues before the bike is perfect, but at less than 9K mi on the odo today, I think I got quite a bike for $650!
Yeah well, bought this RF900 a year ago. I don't get the whining about the weight of this beauty: when you ride it, it feels like a 600 or less. The weight is a benefit: it uses its weight to 'dive' into the corner, but with a precise and 'being in touch' emotion. She's actually pretty slim when you're on her, rather a compact and confident feeling. A very satisfying feeling that is.
It has torque everywhere, anytime. Great all rounder, like mentioned before. Unlike the settings of the springs, the engine flexibility is extremely nice. Under like 5K or 6K rpm, it's a thrustgiving bike. Above that, well... you'll need a 700bhp+ car to get near her.
Guys, ride safe but fast. 'Cause thats what she wants. And when you hold the love for this lady, she'll pay you back! ;)
I just got a 94 RF900 (red 23k miles). It was crashed on its left side, & will need a tank, instrument cluster & main fairing (the one around the headlight.
I paid $500 US for it, & am looking forward getting her on the road.
I am used to 70's-80's liter bikes ie GSX1100E, GS1000 & FJ1100. When I went to move this thing the other day, I first had to move my 82 GSX1100e, which takes a pretty might effort to roll. I then went to move the RF, & nearly pushed it in the garage door & fell on my face.
Felt pretty light to me.
My GSX1100 has big bore kit, hot cams, & flatslides. With 160/60 16 tire on the back, it will spin in 3rd & lift the front end up with no clutch action, BUT the damn thing sucks up gas like it is free, & the intake & exhaust noise are deafening, and yes I wear earplugs.
I am looking forward to a fast, smooth, quiet & fuel efficient summer of riding.
I found someone on Craigslist with RF parts including a spare engine for $450 dropped to $300 & now at best offer. I will be going to see him next week, wish me luck.
RF owner club http://rfownersclub.co.uk/
BTW, I had my 1100 out a few months ago & with my girlfriend on back, raced a 600 Kaw & 600 GSXR from 80mph roll, & completely destroyed them.
These clowns had color coordinated leathers that cost more than either of my bikes. I am 50 & my bike is 29, so needless to say many old guys on old bikes laughed like hell at these posers getting shellacked.
I go to a monthly motorcycle breakfast in Epherata, PA, & in all of 2010, I have the only 80's GSX1100 (GS in USA).
I have never seen a RF there either, so this will be a nice ride to show off also.
Have a great day all!
These rallies have literally thousands of bikes. Last one I was at, a guy had a Yamaha TZR 250. A grey market 250 2 stroke v-twin. You will see something you've never heard of at each event.
I have just purchased a 1997 RF 900. It replaces a Honda 919 Fireblade, of similar vintage. This is a great bike, big backend not withstanding, visually not such a bad looking bike when you look at some of the Triumph Sport tourers, VFR's & even the Blackbird at first glance. Where she shines is the handling, I actually like it more than the Fireblade I had.
I am thinking of turning her into a custom street fighter, as you do not see many of those.
Does anyone know where I can pick up a turbo for an RF 900?
Hi, I have recently bought a 95 Rf 9000r. It is a fun ride, and I would like to upgrade the rear tire to a fatter width. Can anyone suggest some sites for me to check out please?
It's worth the money. I have one, but with a different engine GSXR put into it. If it is in good condition, go for it. The ride is comfortable and and nice on the road. My motorbike came with racing parts; Remus Viper exhaust with a turbo :) But get the bike, it's all worth it.
Hello, I just bought a 94 RF900R with 23000 miles on it, and I'm having a little trouble with 2nd gear. It feels like the chain is skipping, but I tightened it; clutch maybe? It only seems to be in 2nd.
It's my first sport bike. I've been riding enduro and won't give up that freedom, but love the bike so far. TONS OF POWER. Leave a message plz.
For those in the know, the RF is the best kept secret.
Anyone looking for help with this beauty or wanting other reviews of this magnificent bike...
The RF owners club is a font of all knowledge about these bikes http://www.rfownersclub.co.uk
I have a '96 RF900R bought 3 years ago with 8300 miles on the clock for £1700, and at 72 years young(!), I absolutely love it. It's now done 15000 odd miles with, I hope, many more to come with me sat on it!