Go for the 14! The excessive amount of torque will spoil you rotter. Too many people talk about the bad on / off transition of the valvetrain of the VFR and passengers speak badly about the rear plank. There is a lot of room to grow with that 14 - or if you think it's too much - wait for the 1400 Concours!
Get the ZX14 and never look back. Had a souped up '06. Great bike! The VFR is a great bike, but it's gone too far in the wrong direction. The 14 handles nicely, except in the really tight stuff, and everything else is golden: power, comfort, power, handling, power, brakes, power, stability, and power.
VFR is a great choice. However, the Tiumph St has more power, better handling and w/ abs has better breaking. The ZX is a fine ride but you might as well wait for a few months and wait for the Concous 14 to arrive. That way you won't have to pay sportbike rates for the ZX. Just a thought...;-)
You Betcha', show some class and get a Sprint. The VFR is not the same bike as your '94 (or my old '97). Of the two you chose I'd get the ZX-14, my own personal choice beside the Sprint would be the new ZX-14 based Concours. From what I saw of it at the IMS in Seattle it's looking to be a real Dandy.
Another option along the line's you seem to be after and what I would buy after looking at everything else is the new ABS equipped 1250 Bandit. That's getting some very good reviews in the British press and are starting to show up here. My '02 is my second Bandit and for my money you can't beat them for an all-round bike, the 1250 is supposed to be an incremental improvment in all areas of torque, power and handling.
Commuting on a ZX-14 would, to me, be like owning an f-18 without a runway. Get which ever one makes your heart flutter. That freakish VFR motor would keep me off of it though. I'd buy a used, non-vtech motored one.
I own a 2005 VFR. I love it. I have never ridden a zx 14 but i did sit on one. It sat great.
I am not offended by the comments here opposing the Viffer. They are fact for the most part.
Still the VFR is not just a good bike, it's a great bike. It handles well and for what it is, has good suspension. The V4 probably isn't a cure for cancer as it seems to be in some folks thinking, but it does work well.
The motor is a delight. Granted the v-tec is not a blessing, but it's not much of a curse either as it is both not that bad and easy to ride around. The linked brakes I could also do without, but the bike stops really well.
What I like the best about the VFR is how forgiving it is. It's just easy to ride. It's soft without being sloppy. The barcalounger of sport bikes. I can ride it all day and I never once think about the bike, just the ride.
Every bike requires some tradeoff. The VFR combines the best sporty handling, comfort, power, build quality and reliability of the many bikes i've been privileged to own and ride. i loved every one of them.
I don't have much emotion over the VFR, its just the one I ride the most. I don't even wash it. As I got off the thing this morning I realized it was just filthy. And its so ugly I don't care.
p.s. you really can't go wrong with either choice, i'm bettin.
The ZX-14 is a great bike, but the point about commuting is well taken. Have you considered the Bandit 1250? Every review I've read has been very favorable, the ergos are easy, mileage is good, and you get most of the torque starting at 3700 with handling that has been (at leasted according to the reviews) much improved. Oh yeah, and it's cheap.