The El Camino crack about the Concours was kinda harsh. But, calling the Concours a sport tourer, probably just makes it easier to ease old guys down the road toward a Gold Wing (okay, that was harsh too).
Overall the VFR, in any of its past incarnations, is hard to beat. Thought, Id agree with Martin; Honda didnt do it any favors in the looks department. Unless you dont mind a bike that looks like a cross between Darth Vadar and Marvin the Martian, from the front.
After the SV650, the VFR is my favorite bike. And, the only reason it doesnt come in 1st is because its too expensive, to really beat the crap out of it.
No surprise in the results for me. It was cool that they were tested together although, clearly, the SV should have been there too!
The VFR has won more "Bike of the Year" type titles than any other, by far. It is clearly an exceptional bike. It would have been interesting to see how a pre-VTEC 800 would have matched-up with the VTEC version. As I recall nobody thought it was an improvement at the time. I stopped waiting for Honda to bring a 1000cc (or more) version over here years ago...
I have always thought of the "Connie" as a good economy commuter with decent Touring abilities. I understand that the "buzz" is very fixable. If the owners groups get notice of your "slamfest" you'll get an ear-full. From what I've seen they are as blindly, fanatically, loyal to their beloved bike as any other group can be, what's not to like about that?
My '99 VFR800 in stock form put out 99hp at the rear wheel and also took off like a scalded ape from 7,000 rpms. The new VFR800 puts out less than 97. Boy, that Vtec sure sounds worth the extra maintenance costs (queu rollie eyes).
I think that the "Holy MOly Trinity" sounds better than the "MO Holy Trinity".
Doesn't matter which bike wins anyhow. You're gonna pi$$ off as many people each way.
And, to be fair, the Connie's more of a SportTOURER while the VFR is more of a SPORTtourer. I'd take the VFR when I head north through the mountains and the Connie when droning south through the desert on the Interstates. Better own both.
Well I have a Concours and a cruiser (Suzuki 1400 intruder), and came back to motorcycling about 5 years ago with my mates HD Sportster. I am 54yrs young, bike previous to that was a Triumph in 1972.
Thing is about the test, its not exactly a great comparison. For example, hat about the 2-up capabilities? The concours wins that comparison. I dont really want a Gold Wing, and most cruisers that carry well are scarcely "sport"? You may as well compare the Concours with a Harley glide (then you would really p** off folk)
I like having two bikes that are vastly different but are perfomance machines nevertheless. To compare one with the other is possible but not in a side-by-side comparo.
But it was interesting reading as I want to know how the concours relates to other bikes since I dont get to test ride so many. My advice to prospective Concours owners is to a) study the concours.org web site and b) get a test ride -- its the only way you will know if it will work for you.
To me its a classic "real" m/c, looks well (the Interceptor is way poncy to me). It may be the last UJM if thats a fair title, and anything that can cruise at 130 is fast enough for me. Its unique, it has character. The aftermarket is strong for fixing stuff; I found the bars too far out front for my probably shorter that usual arms, but Heli bars fixed that. (cheaper "risers" nearly worked but not quite). The screen is fine for my 5' 11" but a lot of people fit Rifle screens as they are quieter. The seat is fine, and it never occurred to me that it was squishy, so that was odd.
Anyway, I rode my mates Yamaha FZ1(?) 1000cc hooligan bike. Very nice and very fast, but it felt like a bicycle with a UFO turbine hidden away somewhere. My arms were stretched.. but oddly enough it didnt seem to have a lot of character when not in hyperspace - just my 2c - it is still a great bike.
One big negative with the concourse; I found that the concourse was a b**r for the rain grooves on the freeways around LA, its the standard tyres. But a fork brace fixes that pretty much and I am happy enough to wait until the standard tyres wear out and get Avons.
Its a heavy bike, but the weight in that steel tubing should make it a good stable handler and so it is; so I am puzzled by the reported flexibility of the chassis - I notice none.
The comment on the brakes worried me, my bike brakes way better than any bike I have had (except that the front suspension dives too much - thats fixable to some extent) the levers dont come anywhere near to the grips.
Also my Concours is not very buzzy; it was a bit when running in at higher revs, but now its run in -- its smooth! (but the aforesaid yamaha was smoother). So I wonder if your test bike was in good fettle ? Maybe your test bike was too buzzy and needed the counterbalencer adjusting, as I cant believe you are all wimps? And the brakes bled?
The shaft-jacking is not noticable to me, maybe I dont brake, point and squirt around corners so much as you young'uns, but I wonder if you checked the rear suspension which is air adjustable etc (nice feature). If too soft you may get some weird effects particularly if you dont weigh much (I am 200lbs btw)
Advice for anyone new to the bike; be careful doing U-turns - particularly when uphill - keep the speed up. And take time to get used to the weight, it steers lightly when going but that weight is still there. I dont notice it now.
As for 'boring' - no bike is boring, not even an HD softail heritage I once hired (ignoring the nice looks sound and feel of course). Sometimes it takes time to get to know a bike, and to fit it out so it suits you as well.
Anyway; I like these side-by-side reviews of bikes that are not really in the same category - it makes for more interesting reading.
Final moan; the sound of the concours is excellent - thats even aparent on the dyno clips. I dont know the Interceptor of course but the dyno of that bike seemed pretty ordinary. One mans meat is anothers poisen etc etc..
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