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2006 Sprint ST vs 2006 Honda VFR. Which One?

25411 Views 42 Replies 30 Participants Last post by  oldtim
Definitey the Sprint. Both are very good Sport Touring bikes, but ever since Honda added variable valves to the VFR (in 2003?), the VFR has suffered from lots of criticism re: throttle response and lumpy power delivery. The Sprint, on the other hand, was significantly updated last year and given a bigger, smoother three cylinder. The only criticisms of the Sprint seem to be engine heat managment (cooks your legs in hot weather) and poor side luggage (something Triumph was going to fix this year - not sure if they did). Plus I think the Sprint is much nicer looking - IMHO.
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Something to consider, customer support and service. I own a Triumph and I love it. However, scheduled maintnance is very expensive, $600, to $1000 a year. Second, I have found that warranty service is worthless. I have had problems with front brakes, fuel tank venting, rear brake mount, and loose steering head bearings. All issues had to be resolved by me because Triumph was not interested. Another issue is parts. It took four months to get replacement bulbs for the instrument cluster. I know four other people who own or have owned Triumphs, similar stories.
I currently have an 05 Viffer, the barcalounger of sport bikes. it's heavy and slow but just about the perfect touring machine for a sport bike enthusiast. I had a sprint rs a couple years ago. It too was a great bike. They do things differently but I think you would be happy with either.

Don't buy into the vtec thing on the viffer, its only mildly annoying and not nearly as bad a hit as say a 98 R1 has. You learn to ride around it and even if you forget its not a big deal at street speeds. The viffer is not a track day bike so if you have double duty in mind go another direction, the viffer is downright scary at high speed on the brakes compared to a real sport bike. i don't know, can't tell if its the linked brakes or what but it was not fun. i wonder how freddie spencer does it. it probably has to do with him being freddie spencer.
What's wrong with the brakes at high speed? What does it do that's scary? Do you have the ABS version?

Also, Honda updated the mapping (EFI? VTEC? dunno...) to improve the power delivery in '06. As I haven't ridden one, I won't comment on whether or not it's better though.

I had a '94 and it did just about everything well. The only thing I'd want to change is make it a little quicker, but then you'd probably loose some of it's stability.
I have owned a Honda VFR (1998) and a Triumph Sprint RS (2002). Warranty service is all about the dealer. I found good dealer shops for both brands and got equally good service for both bikes.
If there is a Triumph dealer close to you I'd get the Sprint.

I've ridden the previous Sprint and the current VFR and the Triumph is more satisfying to me. It's better looking too.

Both have unique motors. The V4 in the VFR sounds cool as does the triple. The VFR ain't the prettiest thing to look at though.

The Ducati ST3 fits nicely in this group if you want to make your choice a little tougher.
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The VFR is due for an update. Previous models were changed every 4 years and the current model is working on year 6.

I like the gear driven, non-vtec models myself.

OTOH, I have a Triumph Daytona now and really dig the triple and the support from my dealer.
Well why would anyone change the Cycle World Motorcycle of the year?

I thought that was the "Cycle World Biggest Ad Account Award".
I agree with Buz on this one. Triumph looks better seems to have better luggage integration. VFRs bags kind of stick out. VFR is ugly up front but has a nice profile but starting to look dated. Of course 800cc V-4s are God's holy engine config. Both have available ABS i think.. If you can wait the new VFR is coming next year.
It will be dubbed a "sled" next year because it will be .02 of a second slower in the 1/4 than xyz bike.
you're question is a good one, but its not the brakes, its being on the brakes. The bike gets all loose under hard braking, and I don't know why. Here's how I would describe it, If I get too excited to over take and try to pass somebody on the brakes in a corner i feel good about, say T4 in Spokane, and I realize too late that while the person is now behind me for the most part, I suddenly have a new set of problems.. how to get it hauled in before throwing it in. So I get really hard on the brakes and the bike moves around a lot. I see the pros do it and I know it doesn't bother them, but i don't love it. The vfr was like that everywhere at relatively slow speeds. i had my suspension guy mess with it and it got better but still... sheesh. it was just way too lively for my tastes. on the vtec, if you read motorcycle consumenr news from last month you will see that on the dyno they use the 05 and 06 had the vtec cut in at exactly the same rpm. weird.
I'm on my third Sprint. Not sure if you're looking new or not. I have an 05 1050 ST. I've put about 4k miles on it, and no problems so far. It was a dealer demo previous to my purchase, to it has another 3.5k miles worth of demo rides on it.

As far as heat goes, it really isn't that bad. I get the impression that it varies from bike to bike, but mine is certainly liveable. Annoying, but not unbearable.

The first gen bags were pretty poor. Mine were replaced for free with the second gen, which seem to be a big step up in quality.

I'm not blown away with the seat on long rides, but I use mine mostly for commuting. It has plenty of power and handles more than adequately for my skill level. I guess looks are subjective, but I've gotten more than a few compliments while stopped in traffic or parked somewhere.

Never ridden a VFR, but the Sprint has been a really great bike for me. If you are looking to buy older, I've owned 2 Sprint RSs, both of which were a blast as well.
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I just bought an '06 Sprint, the new bags are very nice and waterproof(and Triumph gave them for no cost). I live in Texas and heat management seems fine. Just went on a five day tour of the hill country with two FJR1300 Yamahas and I was able to keep up,I think the VFR would have to work a little harder with the 800cc mill .If your set on the Honda I would wait for the new model, otherwise the Triumph is the way to go.
If I had to purchase one, it would be the Honda. But, that would be only if I HAD to...
My favorite is when a bike that's not even available to the general public yet wins some award.
I gotta say, "Sprint!"

Although I prefer the older ('02 through '04) model.
This is a joke right...

...the VFR wins this battle hands down. Check any magazine article over the last say, 20 years!!! Geez.

Check out VFRDiscussion to test the water before buying.

BTW- I've owned Triumphs (see the login name) and Hondas (including a 2002 VFR)
Hmm...I think you meant engineering "faux paw". Or maybe "fois pas". Possibly "fupa"? (ok...faux pas... :) )
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