Written on: 19/04/2012
I've had my VFR800FiY for 3 years and it is easily the best machine I've ever owned. I'm not talking about specific areas, as other machines have been better at some of those, but in general. This is the most complete machine that I've ever come across. The engine is a bullet proof jewel. It has bags of torque, so you can potter along, and 110bhp, so things can easily get a bit exciting, and it sounds superb. It is a sports tourer, not a sports bike, but even so, it's no slouch at accelerating and going fast. The claimed top speed of 150mph is [cough] no myth, so all day legal and naughty cruising speeds are well within its grasp. On runs it'll do 55mpg with a steady hand, but it never becomes ultra thirsty either. A tank range of 200 plus miles is easily possible. I've had 220 mixed miles before. Yes, the bike is quite heavy, and I wouldn't recommend it to a short legged individual or person under say, 5ft 9ins. I'm 6ft and can get both feet flat on the ground, no problem. Therefore the weight is OK.
The standard fairing is superb at keeping the weather off, but I'd invest in a double bubble top to stop buffeting wind for the taller rider. The riding position is quite relaxed considering, and although when I first got the bike I had both arm pump and aching wrists, they went away very quickly indeed. Without luggage the bike handles very stably indeed and is quite quick and scratchy if you let it. I ride out into the countryside and look over hedges, which has necessitated me once standing up on the rests, hands off [as they say, don't try this at home]. The bike runs absolutely straight and true. The brakes are fine. People talk about braided hoses so that you can put the bike on its nose, but they're not really needed. The system is coupled and actually works very well indeed. It just takes a little while to realise that a squeeze of the front lever is also steadying the back wheel a tad too, so you don't have to do it unless you want to.
In terms of build quality, reliability, etc... this is a big Honda, so it doesn't go wrong. The single thing Honda have never been brilliant at, that is, making a cam-chain adjuster, doesn't apply here, as there are gears instead and they are bullet proof and part of the older VFR's character. Thoroughly recommended.