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Second on ABS

Doing parking lot braking from about 35 MPH with a friend (always good to practice), I locked the front wheel.

I did the right thing (released the brake, then braked again), leaving a 6 foot streak of black on the asphault and a 2 inch brown streak in my undies.

Let me tell you, there are few things spookier than feeling the bars go ABSOLUTELY dead in yoru hand. A locked front wheel will cause the steering to go totally dead. No stability from the front, no control, have a nice day.

If you are LUCKY, you will release the brake and only add about 6-10 feet of stopping distance which hopefully won't be so much that you smack into the left-turning H2 which has decided to block your path.

If you are unlucky, you just lossed all steering and >1/2 your stability, and you will be tasting asphault in about a second as the front wheel slides under the bike.

In a panic situation, you don't want to have to worry about the gravel, the oil patches, or anything else. You want the bike to just stop. Reverse thrust, fire the retros, throw out the anchor STOP. And the only way to get that is ABS.

Yes, under perfect conditions a good rider can outbreak ABS by about 1%. On bad conditions, the ABS wins. When you include that ABS is designed for when even the good rider doesn't have time to think, there is no question.
 

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However, the R1/GSXR...

Doesn't have factory available luggage.

Isn't designed to be comfortable for one, let alone two.

Doesn't have available ABS, 210 WATTS of high-beams to illuminate your path, etc etc etc.

The VFR is a compromise bike: it's not as agressive as a pure sportsbike and compared on cost/performance with a 1L I4 it will get creamed. But the VFR is not going to get blown over when your mountain road has crosswinds, it won't headshake or gripe when the pavement turns crappy, be a big pain in the wrist, have a passenger griping in pain, etc etc etc.

Also, the comparable bikes to the VFR were all on test: The ST4s, the Sprint ST, and the Futura were all built to target/beat the RC46/VFR800i (1998-2001) VFR as a "do anything" bike, and ALL attacked the biggest weakness of the 1998-2001 VFR, a lack of factory luggage.

MO really should patch things up with Honda, because without Big Red in some of these comparisons, things look weak.
 
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