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Am I crazy or is this not a pay per read story? Anyway, why is Honda still putting out bikes that are just barely at 130 rwhp, and under 70 ft lbs of torque? I know much past 130 is completely unusable on the street, but horsepower sells. These number are barely better than the 929. Did they really improve mid range torque and handling that much? Or is Honda just a year behind still?
 

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Have we uniformly gone crazy? I know it is heresy, but We don't need these bikes, either of them. I would rather have something that is tractable, with a good handful of horsepower (about 100 at the shaft) and enough of an edge to it that it can handle any street, road or highway I need to handle. The 954 and R1 bikes are exercises in excess. All that power strikes me as unusable on any street.



Oh, I guess I just identified myself as a VFR owner. By the way, Honda, if you could just get the VFR's weight down, it would be an even better bike. Until you do, I guess I'm going to keep riding my 1998.
 

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Just curious, how many miles were both bikes showing when they were dynoed? Maybe the Honda will loosen up nicely after a few thousand are on the clock. I'm assuming the Yamaha is your long-term bike with all the break-in mileage already taken care of.
 

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Actually, the Yamaha and the Honda are both relatively low-mile examples. Though we did have a Champion's Edition R1 last year, the one we have currently is a different machine with only a few hundred miles on it -- roughly the same mileage, in fact, as the CBR954 Honda supplied us with.



As always, break-in of the bikes is handles by the manufacturer. Wouldn't truct us to do that and, frankly, we wouldn't either!
 

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...it can handle any street, road or highway I need to handle.

Can someone please explain something to me?

I understand that, in their most common usage, they probably rank right up there as "excercises in excess", but why is the VFR considered by many to be the "ultimate" sport-tourer when there are such excellent bikes as the Blackbird and the Hayabusa (recently added optional hard-bags aside)?

Let's review the specs, shall we?

VFR800FI (2002 from MO.com):

472 pounds dry weight (483 with ABS)

Max Power = 97.8 hp @ 10,700 rpm

Max Torque = 53.5 ft/lbs @ 8,900 rpm

5.8 gallon fuel tank

CBR1100XX (1999 from MO.com):

492 pounds

139.9 hp (measured)

90 ft-lbs (claimed)

6.3 gal tank

GSX1300R (1999 from MO.com):

478 lbs.

152.2 hp @ 9400 rpm (measured)

102 ft-lbs @ 7000 rpm (claimed)

5.5 gallon tank

For nearly the same weight and gas tank size, the latter two vehicles make both more torque and horsepower... (and from experience I can vouch for the comfort of the Hayabusa's riding position and I have heard good things about the Hondas, too). So why aren't they considered to be better sport-tourers?

Disclaimer: I've never ridden either of the Hondas mentioned here so I can't make direct comparisons (though I did have a CBR1000F).

Thanks.

(Of course, this should probably go on some other board about some other bike - like the VFR - but the above message brought out this question that I've been wondering for some time. Your tolerance is appreciated.)
 

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Re: ...it can handle any street, road or highway I need to handle.

Because it's red. No, actually I agree and the CBR and the Hiyasideyou have centerstands too (optional for the Suzuki). The VFR does have alot more legroom than the CBR, but what about also including the ZX-9 (again similar weight, waaay more power and better suspension), or the FZ1 (less weight, better suspension, waaay more power, waaaay cheaper) or, or....
 

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Need this???

You say " I would rather have something that is tractable, with a good handful of horsepower (about 100 at the shaft) and enough of an edge to it that it can handle any street, road or highway I need to handle."

I say that if these new supersports are a bit over the top for you why not get any of the big four standards (Bandit, ZRX, 919, or FZ1), and save 2-3grand, have 20 more horse, weigh 20-30 lbs less, and use the spare change to get a riding suit and a set of bags to tour in comfort?

Oh, I guess I just identified myself as a ZRX Owner! :)

BTW- Not knocking your VFR. I think that they are fine machines. I am just challenging your reasoning.
 

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The dyno trace on the R1 is a mess compared to the smoother 954; any thoughts on why?



The planted front end of the Honda compared to the R1 on low gear acceleration should be expected because of the 10 cm seat movement this year. Given that the lb/hp are about the same, the 954 can accelerate faster because it's limitted by traction while the R1 is limitted by lift-off.



Wonderful bikes, aren't they?
 

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Guys, get real...

So it takes 110 precent focus to make the old gixxer No.1

Maybe, but if you want to ride any of those bikes, you can't give it less then 110 precent.

1+1 = Gixxer is the king...



Nice try Honda, next year make it 955...
 

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Great review. Thank you for the information. Isn't it cool how what just a few years ago would have been considered way over the top is now approaching mundane, e.g. 130 bhp, lurid wheelies w/o dumping the clutch, etc? I remember not incredibly long ago thinking thay my TDM850 ran like a scalded cat! Anyway I am of the school of thought that says go light so my new 954rr is in the mail. Cheers!
 

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Re: the 'Bird & 'Busa...

Good point! MSRPs are reasonably close, too. The VFR is often considered a (Honda) techno showcase, but in fact Honda and Suzuki invested considerable technical expertise in those "absurdly fast motorcycles" (AFM) - anything that can exceed 175 mph is certainly entitled to membership in that club! (No slight intended to the as yet unmentioned Kawasaki ZX12R; it can play at that level, too).

Now, just for the sake of idle speculation... If the '12R, 'Bird, & 'Busa could each lose about 100 pounds (45.5 kg), comparisons to the R1 and its ilk might be an interesting exercise... hmmm..?
 

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Re: ...it can handle any street, road or highway I need to handle.

I agree to a certain extent. I have put about 4000 miles on my year old (to me) '97 cbr1100xx. This past summer I was riding with a friend of mine, he was on his 2001 VFR. Of course we had to trade off to see what good things we could say, and bad things we could think about the other guys bike. The VFR is really a great motorcycle, but I don't think that it's price is justified. In comparison to my XX, the VFR was only slightly more comfortable, but it was way down on power. I stalled the bike the first few times I tried to start from a stop because I expected so much more torque than it could give. I must say that its controls were all smoother, and the suspension felt very soft over bumps yet controlled.

My XX came with a Corbin seat, Heli bars, zero gravity windscreen, and racetech front end, and only 4300 miles for $7500. Compare that to $9500 for the VFR and I really don't think there is any comparison. Different strokes for different folks I suppose.
 

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I think this is Honda being foxey with the Insurance Companies as the new standard for for much higher premiums is 130-133rwHP, just a guess. I'm waiting for a ST1300 anyway as I like to have things with me when I get where I'm going ; after the initial adrenaline of speed wears off, and the dust clouds settle.
 

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No matter how you cut it, 130 + hp at the rear wheel is impressive. How about comparing bikes taken from public sources (dealerships, reader's unmodified rides etc), dynoing them and compare those results to the "prepped" bikes that are supplied to you by the manufacturers? If anything, it would be interesting to see how power outputs compare between CA emmission legal bikes and the rest.
 
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