Honda VFR 800 Fi

honda vfr 800 fi

Wonder why the bike has gained so much popularity? Some say that the VFR 800 Fi has all you need for all round motorcycle. Well, look at the facts about production and the tens of thousands units shifted year after year. The design has gone through 15 years of refinement to satisfy you!

Riding Position

Honda definitely nailed it with the VFR 800 Fi, the 5th generation of this bike. The natural position eliminates the need for stretching to reach the handlebars, thereby reducing rider fatigue and enhancing control, especially on longer rides. The seat is perfectly crafted with its shape and density, offering exceptional comfort for both the rider and pillion. Unlike on other bikes like the Black Bird, the foot pegs are ergonomically placed, ensuring comfort for the rider and being sufficiently low for the pillion.

The 21-litre fuel tank is another standout feature for touring enthusiasts. It provides an impressive range, typically allowing you to clock up many miles before needing a pit stop at the next petrol station. This means on a long journey, you're more likely to pause for a well-deserved drink or snack rather than because you're out of fuel, adding to the convenience and enjoyment of your ride.

Is Honda VFR 800 Fi Best Sport Touring Motorcycle Ever Made?

honda vfr 800 fi

This is an object lesson on 'How to Build a Motorcycle' — a very reliable and versatile machine, ready for anything, whether it's commuting, touring, or sport riding. Planning a track day? Not a problem; your face will surely break into a smile. The bike's capabilities will definitely surprise you. In the end, this is a prime example of fine engineering on two wheels.

The V-four engine performs beautifully in the mid-range, but in the low range, it lacks some power compared to other motorcycles with engines larger than 955cc. To achieve similar drive, you'll need to downshift two gears. However, driving the engine 30% harder on a VFR doesn't require an extra 30% effort, thanks to its efficient design.

Above 6500rpm, it feels like you're sitting on a little turbine. The sound is magnificent, and it would be even more so with a louder silencer. Speaking of improvements, adding a higher windscreen would also be a great bonus.

The steering is precise and nimble, while the clutch and gearbox are light and highly responsive. This machine will satisfy both experienced riders and newbies alike, thanks to its exceptional handling. Although the suspension is rather soft, the damping effectively controls it, ensuring an exceptional feel from the tyres.

The finish is superb, which is typical for Honda — very tidy and in perfect working order. It's designed to last forever, with no noticeable difference even after 40,000 miles.

As for the luggage, it can easily accommodate a large top box case and side panniers, as shown in our hard luggage section.

vfr 800 fi best sport touring motorcycle

Main Features, Spec and Considerations

Specs - Main Features
ENGINE 781cc, liquid cooled, DOHC, 16 valves (4-valves/cyl), 90-degree V4
MAX TORQUE 82Nm / 8.36kg-m / 62.5 ft-lb @ 8,750 rpm
POWER 110bhp (81kW) @ 10,500 rpm
FUEL CONSUMPTION 38mpg / 6.19l/100km
FRONT SUSPENSION 41mm telescopic forks, preload only
REAR SUSPENSION Pro-Link monoshock, preload and rebound damping
FRONT BREAKS 2 x 296mm discs, three-piston calipers, CBS
REAR BREAKS 255mm disc, three-piston caliper, CBS
TYRES (FRONT - REAR) 120/70 - 17 - 170/60 - 17
LENGTH 2120mm (83.5 ")
WIDTH 735mm (29")
WHEELBASE 1,440mm (56.7")
SEAT HEIGHT 800mm (31.5")
TANK RANGE 175 miles / 280km
WET WEIGHT 226 kg (498 lb)

VFR800Fi uses Dual Combined Braking System (CBS). Unlike typical motorcycles where the front and rear brakes work separately, in CBS, they work together. When you press the front brake lever, it not only activates the front brakes but also some brake pressure at the back. On the other hand, when you use the rear brake pedal, it controls both the rear brakes and a bit of the front brake. This system, which is more advanced than traditional motorcycle brakes, helps with smoother and more controlled braking especially helpful in wet weather conditions.

The VFR 800 Fi appears to be the perfect example of a balanced bike, ready for anything. Among sport touring motorcycles, it would rank as number one. If you were to weigh the running costs against the benefits, the answer would be clear.

I firmly believe that the VFR 800 Fi had already attained a level of perfection before the introduction of the 6th generation, the VTEC version, a sentiment I share with many enthusiasts. In contrast, the VTEC version, while aesthetically pleasing, appears to tilt more towards sportiness. This shift is evident in its design and performance traits, which seem to prioritize speed and agility over long-distance comfort. Unfortunately, this transition also extended to the seat design. The VTEC's seat, though comfortable for the rider, doesn't offer the same level of comfort for the pillion as seen in the VFR 800 Fi. For a motorcycle that aims to excel in sport touring, maintaining pillion comfort is crucial. In this regard, the VFR 800 Fi holds its ground as a more suitable choice for those who value a balanced sport touring experience and travel with their spouse.

Further to the above the VTEC model suffered from a 'hiccup' during the transition from two to four valve operation, which annoyed many owners. It was only in 2005 that this issue was improved by integrating various electronic gadgets, but this resolution took longer than expected.

honda vfr 800 fi

The Rise and Fall of the Honda VFR1200F

honda vfr 800 fi

The 7th generation of VFR was the VFR1200F, introduced after the discontinuation of the VFR800, debuted alongside the 2014 VFR800F as a more powerful option. Starting production in October 2009 and launched in early 2010, it featured a larger V4 engine, upgraded from 800 to 1200cc, also used in the 2011 VFR1200X Crosstourer. Notably, it was the first motorcycle to introduce a dual-clutch transmission.

Its engine utilized Honda's "Unicam" system for a compact build and lower centre of gravity, enhancing handling and reducing weight. The VFR1200F also introduced electronic throttle control, diverging from traditional mechanical systems. This innovative engine was paired with a transmission offering automatic and manual modes, along with a shaft-drive system and C-ABS braking for improved performance and safety.

Despite its technological advances, the VFR1200F was discontinued in 2017 due to new emission and noise standards. It drew mixed reactions, mainly due to a smaller fuel tank and higher consumption than its predecessor, affecting its range and efficiency.

Does the VFR 800F Surpass Its Predecessor?

honda vfr 800 fi

Lastly, in 2014, Honda launched the new, 8th generation, VFR 800F. The model comes with new instrument panel, traction control, heated grips, ABS, lighter wheels, revised aerodynamic bodywork with LED lighting and the refined VTEC engine. Not surprisingly, this new bike is based on the VFR 800Fi model, which has gained immense popularity and respect over the years. Yet again, Honda's effort to attract customers to the new VFR seems somewhat redundant. The old bike already delivers everything one could ask for from a sport touring motorcycle: superior comfort, reliable performance, and a design that withstands the test of time. The VFR 800Fi's enduring appeal lies in its ability to provide a thrilling yet comfortable ride, catering to both the adrenaline rush of sport riding and the endurance needed for long tours. This makes one wonder if the new VFR 800F, despite its advancements and modern features, can really offer anything significantly different or better than its esteemed predecessor.

The Timeless Value of Honda VFR 800 Fi

Honda VFR 800 Fi, with its distinguished blend of performance and comfort, is not just a motorcycle; it's a potential investment. For enthusiasts and collectors alike, acquiring a clean example of this iconic machine could prove to be a wise decision. The bike, renowned for its reliability and timeless design, is likely to maintain, if not increase, its value over the years, especially if kept in pristine condition. Its status as a classic in the sport-touring segment, combined with its loyal fan base, suggests that demand will remain steady. In an era where motorcycles are increasingly leaning towards high-tech features, the VFR 800 Fi stands out with its raw, unadulterated riding experience. Therefore, holding onto a well-maintained VFR 800 Fi could be more than just an emotional investment; it could also offer financial rewards for those patient enough to see its value appreciate over time.

vfr 800 fi best sport touring motorcycle

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Fun Facts

Did you know the world's longest motorcycle was over 26 meters long. It was presented and measured at Lakhota lake, Jamnagar, Gujarat, India, on 22 January 2014. The bike was more than 4 m (13 ft) longer than the previous record holder's.

To ensure that his super-stretched motorcycle would be able to perform like a conventional motorbike, the constructor rode it along a road for 100 m (328 ft) without putting his feet down.

Tip of the week:

Never grab the front brake; squeeze it!

Grabbing the front brake abruptly can cause the front wheel to lock, as it doesn't allow time for the bike's weight to shift forward.This significantly reduces the front tyre's grip on the road and may result in loss of control, posing a serious risk of an accident.

Did you know?

The aerodynamic drag on a motorcycle can increase by up to 40% just by the rider sitting upright instead of in a tucked position. It's a wind-resistance thing—like trying to walk through a pool vs. gliding through it!

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Having the camping gear with you grants the freedom to decide where and how you want to spend your nights, including the option of choosing a hotel bed if desired. Though it's common to camp every day due to the desire for fresh air and the outdoors when you're prepared.

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Hide and squeak!

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Ready to elevate your skills from basic riding to mastering the road? This guide aims to do just that by uncovering crucial riding techniques that will boost your confidence, safety and enjoyment on the tarmac. But we're not stopping at mere tips and tricks; we're going the extra mile.

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10 Reasons Why You Should Ride a Motorcycle

Riding a motorcycle is like savouring a five-star Michelin meal when you're absolutely famished. It's an experience that not only satisfies an immediate craving but also leaves a lasting impression. Just like that first bite of an extraordinary dish makes you forget the world around you, so does the initial twist of the throttle. Your focus narrows to the sensation of the bike, the road, and the rhythm of your breathing. It's an immediate way to bring mindfulness into your day.

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So next time you feel weighed down by the demands of life, remember that your two-wheeled 'Michelin experience' awaits you. One session on the road can recalibrate your mood quicker than you can say 'Michelin star.' It's the sort of lifelong journey that never disappoints, always offering new flavours for your soul to relish.

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