Honda VFR800 Fi Review 97-01

andrew Bike Reviews, Motorcycles, VFR

A Gentleman's Conveyance

What I also love about the VFR is that I can fit a top box. To be able to fit 50-odd litre container to the back of the bike makes it so much more versatile. I can leave my helmet and gloves when shopping. I can go shopping in the first place. I can take a laptop or bag and write when I’m out and about.

I can go away for the weekend and know that my luggage is dry. I had a top box fitted to my CBR600F2 and I actually liked the way it looked. The same goes here with the VFR. It looks more purposeful with a top box fitted, not just a toy for weekend riding thrills, this bike is someone’s daily conveyance. It is like comparing a businessman with a small carry-on roller bag with the guy who has a rucksack.

After 50,000 miles, the rear shock was a squidgy mess, so to celebrate its half century, I sourced a Nitron Sport shock from eBay with a spring suited to my body weight. It feels much better and I can corner with much more confidence (a combination of more steering head angle, and better damping). The shock has only one damping adjustment nut, which changes both compression and rebound damping at the same time (a simple +/- clickwheel.

At the moment the shock damping is run pretty loose; but it needs to be to match the front forks which are soft to say the least. I’m saving up for a rebuild at the moment. I think I’ll try to give Maxton a go. They will re-spring and re-valve forks for around £400, which seems reasonable. They will need a fresh coat of paint while they’re at it, as they are well and truly corroded. A fork rebuild should help with confidence in the corners. It’s a shame they didn’t make the original Honda VFR suspension with adjustable damping in the forks, I reckon a well sorted VFR will keep up with most things on the road. I’ll keep you posted about that.

If you’re in the market for a VFR800, Don’t forget to check on eBay
There are some really nice low mileage examples, and lots of photos to look through before deciding whether to visit.

Honda VFR800 Fi Review