View Full Version : RST/VFR test
12-27-2002, 05:42 PM
For those of you that are interested I have recently been without the silver RST while it is rebuilt after a prang. The loan bike arrived and guess what? A nice new VFR800 vtec to play with! So after riding this bike for a week or so here's an initial comparison between the two: (bear in mind I love the Futura but have always had Hondas in the past).
Both bikes look similar as you know and its a case of horses for courses on that one. The first thing I noticed when getting on the VFR is how much smaller and lower the bike is. The riding position for me is more sporty than the RST and thats fine as long as you are not facing a 500 mile ride to see your folks. For comfort the RST wins. Starting the motor, you are hit at once by a wonderful noise eminating from the quadruple exhausts. This bike redlines at nearly 12000rpm and I have to say the V4 plant sounds the bollards! The gearchange is effortless and solid and the throttle response is scary! One twist of the grip in neutral sends the needle straight round to the redline. This bike wants you to ride fast! The EFI is well sorted and much smoother than the RST particularly at slow speeds. Then you got the vtec.
It does not work until the motor's up to running temperature which is no bad thing. Apparently the motor uses two of its four valves per cylinder up till 7000rpm then once at those revs in come the other two that gives the bike a big helping of grunt, a bit like being hit up the butt by a car actually! The best bit is the induction noise that comes with it. Outrageous!
The only problem is, to make this bike as quick as the RST you have to keep the revs above 7 grand which is not my style of riding. So the performance is great but might become tiring after a while whereas the big 'ol mille lump dont care that your 're only doing 4000rpm, it will just go with a surge and still reward you with a boost at 6000rpm! The VFR has 020's front and rear and requires much more effort on turn-in.
So the RST's got it on handling. It feels more stable and the wind protection is better than the Honda especially the leg area. (legs got soaked today on the VFR on the same journey that sees me arrive home with dry legs on the RST.)
The VFR' lights will stun a rabbit at 200 yards! Piss all over the Futuras. As do the mirrors.
Pillions get a pretty raw deal on the Honda with a rear seat the size of a cheese and tomato sandwich.
So, The VFR has had the motorcycle press looping the loop for years now and the vtec is no exception. It is ONE of the most versatile and best all rounders money can buy.
But there lies its big problem. Its got a great engine, not a hint of rattle or vibration, super-smooth gearchange, Honda's legendary build quality, looks great, nice and comfy and goes
Quite frankly, I find it a bit clinical after owning the Aprilia so, nice bike but I'll be sticking with the Futura if thats ok. It's got everything I need in a bike plus that little exclusivness that means you aren't passing yourself coming the other way every ten minutes!
PS This is just my opinion. If you are thinking of buying one of these bikes then get a ride on both and make your own mind up. :p
12-27-2002, 09:47 PM
Most of what I've read suggests the VTEC
is much to do about very little, and how
it comes on song is less than seamless.
The American magazines traditionally do
backflips over new VFRs but their recep-
tion of this latest has been lukewarm. I
am happy to say I find the Futura a much
better looking design, simpler and with
more continuity of line. The Honda seems
to me like about fifty-seven people drew
the bike which of course is probably not
12-28-2002, 12:06 PM
I looked at an '02 Interceptor, and darn near bought it immediately when the dealer fired it up. :smokin:
It just didn't have the right color for me :p
Thanks for the nice comparison, though.
'01 FLAME Red, baby...
12-28-2002, 02:06 PM
Ain't heard one of the new ones. Wonder
what the crankshaft pattern is? Honda's
old RC45 race bikes always sounded crap
to my ears, very flat and off-key, as if
the exhaust was broken. My old VFR was a
quiet thing but the gear-driven cams did
provide a charming ruckus. This new bike
did away with the geartrain. One thing I
would suggest Honda do is give it a full
liter displacement. When the VFR was in-
troduced it was the sensible alternative
to the then-dominant 750 supersports. No
one buys 750s anymore. The VFR has pork-
ed out over the years but it still keeps
a smallish motor compared to what folks
REALLY buy. Forget the VTEC gimmick. Put
some cubes in it. Make it 997cc so insu-
rance rates stay reasonable. Make it the
smart choice for those tempted by R1s &
12-29-2002, 05:39 PM
So , let me see if I got this right ;)
First impressions are
VFR - wins on, lights , mirrors , town riding, sound , gear change
RST - wins on handling , comfort , protection , individuality , pillion seat.
VFR also has - V-TEC kick @7K
"velee Iterrwesting glashoppa"
I am intrigued by some of the comparisons, but you`ve been very constructive. The first thing I am thinking is how to improve where we lost . i.e.
Lights - get the uprated bulbs which I saw a link for somewhere
Town work - probably look at the sprockets to drop the tall first gear, what sprocket config is yours ?
Mirrors - difficult one that!!! I MUST be able to see around me, if they don`t do that then a mod will have to be devised
Sound - well I`m an oddball, and the quieter the better :) Looks like the Futura wins on sound for me only ;)
Gear change - Hmmm this implies the Futura`s could be better,I`ll have to judge that for ma`sel
You`re obviously enjoying it tho jon :D :D :D
Thanks for the first report, I`ll look forwars to the rest :rollin: :rollin: :smokin:
Any word on them getting a move on with yours , now that they have the added cost of a hire bike, it should be quicker.
micah apriliaforum com
12-29-2002, 05:52 PM
I have owned three V-4 Hondas...all 750cc. The 1986 bikes were kick a$$...then I bought the 91'...really dissapointed in the powerplant. I have ridden them all and love the sound of the V4 motors...after owning the Mille however the Hondas need nitrous or something.
12-29-2002, 06:13 PM
I agree with the comparison. I also switched from a Honda to the Aprilia. I previously had a Honda Superhawk 996 with Yoshi pipes, jet kit, and K&N (called a Firestorm, I believe, in the U.K.). I much prefer the overall power and handling of the Futura. The Futura, overall, is much more refined than the Honda. Power is eqivalent, handling better, and comfort better in the Futura. I looked at the VFR prior to getting the Futura and felt like the sport/touring package was the best offering available based on my research. :D
12-30-2002, 03:31 PM
I'm glad I've provided food for thought! The VFR is a great bike but could be so much better. Like the idea of giving it some more cubes.
Rab, first gear on the Futura is way too short for me! I like to get off the line and on up the road. I always find I'm changing up to 2nd all too quickly! :cool:
Also the gearbox on the RST I find very stiff especially trying to select neutral when engine running. Maybe this will get better as the miles stack up. (can someone confirm?)
By the way, I forgot to mention the fact that Honda could have gone that extra mile and gone for the bespoke bags thing!;)
Is it just me on the South Coast but the bike was saying 59F.
Must be summer again!! :D
02-18-2003, 04:43 PM
Two months on and I'm still on the VFR.
Repairs have at last started on the RST although its looking unlikely that it will be ready in time for our trip to Speedy's in Belgium next week. <img src=http://www.ezboard.com/intl/aenglish/images/emoticons/ohwell.gif ALT=":\">
I'll have to find a way to lash the throwovers on to the VFR. My wife is a little sceptical over <em>"that back seat"</em> and compared to the Futura's you can kinda see what she means!
There's about as much room as on the back of the VTR FireStorm (Superhawk).
The VFR is, of course, running like a Swiss timepiece but I'm still struggling to love this bike though I'll miss the smoothness and gearbox when the RST comes home! Heavily salted roads have had no effect on any of the components except the brake calipers tend to sieze up and then release with a crack when the bike has been parked for a day or two.
Looking forward to getting the beast back so I can re-compare.
02-18-2003, 05:03 PM
That neutral thing does get easyer. It was almost impossible when i picked mine up now im at the first service and its ok.
Can you enlighten me on the sprocket thing??? How do i adjust it and what will it do to 1st gear. Length the time in it (i.e less revs for your twist??)
02-18-2003, 05:14 PM
Gary, I aint no mechanic so someone else can explain adjustment etc but I had a '95 CBR1000F that would show nearly 70mph at the redline in first and I used to love that especially from the lights! :lol: Maybe its me but the RST falls way short of that figure for my liking. I would imagine it would involve changing the ratio in the gearbox which would be incredibly expensive and time consuming and not worth the hassle. But I'm probably wrong......... :D
02-18-2003, 05:51 PM
<blockquote><strong><em>Quote:</em></strong><hr>But I'm probably wrong......... [/quote]
your right .......... your wrong
:rollin: :rollin: :rollin:
Heh Heh Heh ..... I've got me wicked hat on tonight....:smokin:
I'll be back......:p
02-18-2003, 10:39 PM
was having the same problem with selecting neutral, now much better at 4500 miles.
just fitted braided hoses to the front brakes, no other mods, tempted to fit heated grips, but was not recommended by dealer (advice from Aprilia agent). who else has fitted heated grips and any problems.
02-18-2003, 11:38 PM
I've fitted Kimpex grip heaters with no problems. I put the switch in the left dash and I'm now running everything through a relay. I learned my lesson the hard way after I left the switch on all day at work. Ooops. It was a good test of the battery, though. It took the charge and is still chugging along.
02-19-2003, 02:46 AM
To give yourself more range in 1st gear an easier mod would be to increase overall gearing by switching to a taller i.e. smaller rear sprocket. You would loose some wheelie power/passing power but you would have more range in all gears and your bike would cruise at a lower RPM. You would be looking to "drop a couple of teeth from your stock rear sprocket.
02-19-2003, 06:02 PM
I like that idea Earl. I'm not fussed about the wheelies and even with the taller rear sprocket it'll still pass anything with 4 wheels! :D Might even get a slightly better mpg when cruising.
Where can I get one?
02-19-2003, 06:12 PM
Hmmm.... whit huv we started :rolleyes:
There was a thread recently on this subject, I'll try and look it up.
Sprockets are a readily available part, all good bike shops will have them.
I was intending to go down the way, to make the bike a bit friendlier in town, you wish to go up, probably to 17 teeth, and so at slow speed(say 5 MPH) it may be more of a handful
Anyway, its easy to try, and revert if you don't like it....:p
02-26-2003, 04:35 PM
Well I got the bike back at long last! The dealers done a good job and they also did the first service and remap (Aprilia software).
First impressions on riding it home was quite a clattery engine compared to the silky smooth VFR but wa-hey! Loads more power and beautiful handling not to mention serene comfort! ;) Straight away I felt much more in touch with this motorcycle.
I spoke to the mechanic and asked if he had removed the airbox restrictor to which he seemed offended and stated quite firmly that it was NOT to be removed! There's already been enough debate on this subject so I wont linger.
He said that I'm looking at a good 4000 miles to fully loosen up the engine. Does anyone agree/disagree?
I'm taking the wife to Belgium on Saturday to visit Speedy for the weekend so I will at last get to do a decent trip on the bike.
I'll let you know how it goes - Bye bye VFR!!
02-26-2003, 04:49 PM
Good on ya Jon.
She will loosen up a lot after 4kmls and you'll first notice it when the engine braking isn't quite so abrupt.
Have a nice trip.
Yeah, it'll be a different bike by 4k.... a different one at 10k... and mine's still loosening.
Not just Aprilias are like that. To really enjoy a bike, put some miles on. I'm sure you will. Enjoy!
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