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VFR/Futura Question

15350 Views 47 Replies 34 Participants Last post by  RedRocket800
I owned a VFR800 for nearly 4 years. Excellent bike, and the accomodations are good for a sport-tourer that emphasizes the sport-side of the spectrum. But after having test-ridden a Futura, I have to give the thumbs up to the Aprilia in the comfort category, especially if you're a big guy. The seat is much bigger and plusher than the VFR's, the windscreen is considerably larger and the handlebars seemed a bit higher. It definitely felt like a more comfy mileage muncher.

As far as reliability goes, my '99 VFR800 was flawless. But many owners of the V-tec version seem to report lots of niggling problems. So I wouldn't recommend buying a new VFR. The Aprilia seems to have a good rep. A visit to an Internet owner's group ought to answer any questions you have there.

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If you can afford it buy the Furtura

If money is a problem, check on the insurance costs for both bikes

I also would avoid the new v-tech VFR

Disreguard all of the above and buy the bike that you really want
Aprilia is much more comfortable for your size. After riding both, I'd go with the Aprilia if I was buying either of these. Most modern motorcycles are quite reliable enough these days. Maybe 25 years ago reliability was a question, but today few machines are bad enough to be considered unreliable today.
Buy the bike you want.

You won't be able to tell which one is more comfy unless you take a 2-3 day trip on each to figure them out. If you just go take a test ride they are each going to seem perfectly comfy, especially if you're coming off a smaller/sportier bike.

I just got an 02 VFR left-over, I'm 6'1" and my previous bike was an SV650. I was always trying to go on trips and I had trouble with my legs getting really stiff on the SV, I have now done a pretty decent trip on the VFR and it has a ton more legroom, no knee problems. It really covers a ton of ground well. Only thing is I'm only 175lbs and in good shape, if you're 240 you might have to get stiffer springs.

The Futura is probably just as good. I love the looks of them both, but didn't really want to spend the extra money, and didn't really want another twin.

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For a high mileage rider, one might check the maintanance schedule as well, since I have a friend who recently told me his Aprilia's dash told him it was time for a service at 8000 miles, and he choked when he found out the local Aprilia dealer wanted $820 for that service. The Honda on the other hand goes 16,000 miles between services at the average service for that bike would probably cost you only $320. Long term savings should be significant. I say buy the VFR, parts are more readily available (if you need them, which you probably wouldn't unless you boo boo and fall down), dealers are everywhere when your on the road anywhere in the USA or Canada, and besides it's a Honda!
I am 6'2", 210 lbs and have put a few miles on a friend’s Futura and am absolutely smitten. If I had the dollars (interpreted as, "if my wife would let me spend the money") I would have a Futura in the garage by the end of the week. I've never been on a VFR though. Maybe I should. Spec-wise it seems more than adequate.

I have nothing against Honda but you get a bit of uniqueness with the Aprilia. All other factors aside . . . buy the Futura because it's not a Honda.

Just to let you know, I was at a racing school a few weeks back and there was a guy there with a Futura. Sort of strange, I know. Although it was slightly modified, it was kicking the crap out of those of us on the school-provided ZX-6R’s. Not in the corners, but coming out of the corners and along the straights. Maybe he was better than everyone else or more comfortable with his bike? Maybe he had bigger balls? But, maybe his bike had bigger balls?!?

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If legroom is important the Aprilia has more than the VFR. Otherwise you can't go wrong with either, but if you want an FJR you might look here:

I owned 3 VFRs and loved them and am currently waiting on an 04 FJR.
I'm 6'1", 185lbs, 32in. inseam, and own a 2001 VFR. I do a short 16 mile round trip commute with my bike and the 20~80 mile weekend ride like you. For me the VFR excels for this sort of use. Very user friendly, comfortable suspension & seat, but can still strafe corners with the best of them. The bike is very reliable; lube the chain, check the tires, change the oil, etc.

I've never toured on my bike, but I can tell you that my rear end starts to get a little uncomfortable and knees a little stiff around 100 miles on the freeway. Maybe it's just me, but the pegs seem too high and/or too far forward. I don't know how to fix that. The seat could be replaced with aftermarket for touring, stock one is fine for everything else.

Bottom line, I would choose the VFR for your short range work, but would have to recommend the Aprilia for that once a year tour.
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Go with the Aprilia!

I was going to buy a Futura, but I couldn't find a dealer in my area (Southeast Missouri). I didn't know how reliable Aprilias would be and BMW had the R1100SBX on sale, so I bought the BMW. I really wanted the Futura. If you have your heart set on an FJ1300 get that, otherwise get the Futura.
I own a '96 VFR (750) and I to got my eyes on a Futura. For me the questions were, as you, reliability (hard to beat in VFR), comfort (22K Km in 1 year in daily 100m commute and weekends), milleage and trading afterward.

The VFR beats the Futura in the $$ aspects (more milleage, more value, more easy to sell/trade). This happened with the 2000/1 model. as for the new model, it seems to me that the touring thingy is a litle forgotten.....

As you might know, aswell, japanese machines and italian machines differ a lot in several ways (feeling, general finishing of the bike, electronics, riding costs, aftermarket and so on).

But, in the end, buying a bike is never a rational thing. That we can do with cars.

What should I say.

Follow your heart (or but or whatever...)
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I'm 6'4" and ride an '01 VFR. Comfort is no problem. I commute, do weekend rides, and just got back from a 4 day 1200 mile road trip. It does all that just fine. The unspoken downside of the VFR is heat. It runs incredibly hot. It also fries regulator/rectifiers. Mine has not failed yet at 22,000 miles, but I am worried about it.

16,000 mile service was about $500 for my viffer, but I hear the new vtec version takes twice as long, and likely costs twice as much. Not small change.

The VFR is a very good bike, but not a perfect bike. It is also much cheaper to buy, insure, and maintain.

Just to muddy the water, but you may want to consider the Triumph Sprint ST. I've got a 32" inseam, and the ergos were tolerable for 1-1/2 to 2 hour stretches (You'll get over 200 mi to the tank). Stock seat is too soft, but Sargents can solve that problem.

I rode a FJR, and IMHO, it is not in the same category as the Futura/VFR/ST. It's a big strong bike, to be sure, but it felt like two of my Sprint.
I currenty own a Futura, a V-Tech VFR, and a '03 FJR 1300. Each bike is very different. The sportest is the VFR and the most luxurious is the FJR, with the Futura right in the middle(big surprise). The Futura is the one that I ride most - doesn't feel heavy like the FJR and is very spacious/comfortable and the luggage is great. The VFR I ride the least, maybe due to the fact I ride my track bikes (F4 and Mille) on the track when I do my sport riding. My Futura has 18K and has had no problems so far.
WOW! Futura/VFR/FJR/F4/Mille (etc?)!

Do you need anyone to help you exercise all those horses? Keep the tires filled, tanks topped off?

Do ya? Huh?

I don't believe this.

You can't go wrong with a VFR.

Or an SV650.

Or a Concours.

(The devil made me do it.)
Lucky SOB, I'd certainly help out with the maintenence too!!!
My understanding is that due to the VTEC system, doing the valves on the new VFR essentially takes twice as long as it would on the older bike.
Don't worry about the reliability of the Futura. I put 23,000 miles on my Mille in the first 8 months or so that I owned it, and was never required to do anything besides change fluids, tires, pads, and chain. While valve check interval is every other service (services every 4700 miles), Mine were still well within spec at the 23,000 mile service, when I checked them off-schedule, because I was starting to feel paranoid about their lack of adjustment.

As for an $800+ service, I've never heard of such a thing. Services are anywhere from 3-6 hours, depending upon your dealer. THe fork oil and seals need changing at the first service, in order to remove any break-in metallic fragments from the oil, which maybe explains the expensive first service that someone mentioned. Either that, or they go to the worst dealer in America.

I can't speak to the VFR, but its reputation is certainly stellar. I think you'll find that you'll need new springs on the Futura. You probably can ride it as is, but you'll get a lot more out of suspension that is set up for you. I weigh 235, and I certainly had to change things around on my Mille. But then, I bought the Mille precisely because the Futura was a bit long and wallowy. I much prefer a taught sport bike, even when travelling cross-country.

Go for the Futura. It is a great bike and you'll love it.

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If you can afford the Aprilia it would be my choice. I'm 6'2-260lbs and the '97 VFR I had was comfortable and a lot of fun to ride, plus I had a D&D can on it, with the gear whine and the can howling it sounded like built small block Chevy. Very hard to keep off the throttle. In stop and go traffic it was a little hard on the elbows but over-all it was OK. I'd get the Futura or a Sprint ST because I prefer European bikes and the Honda is getting to be awfully complex for no real gain in performance. On the plus side 16K valve adjustments are nice, and Honda shops are a dime a dozen.
I have a v-tec 2002 VFR. No probs yet. But if you are 240 and doo any two up riding, I would go for the vtwin Futura. When I ride two-up and go up hills, I have to down shift too far and get the revs too high (vtec range) and just to go up a hill. That is not relaxing. But with any vtwin I have owned, you usually don't even have to downshift.

But I will say my VFR is quality. I have friends who have ridden my bike and have also ridden the futura and the Ducati ST4 and they prefer the stock VFR overall.

Did I just give you and answer or more gray issues? I love all bikes.
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