Honda VFR CBS-ABS endurance test
The all-round carefree package
The corners and edges of the VFR are limited to the outside. Sit on it and feel good about it. Completely carefree even after 50,000 kilometers?
It may not be that exciting-
te bike on earth, but one of the best. Everything works smoothly and well.
ling. "The quote from an editor colleague is after a 2000 kilometer long
Tour the first entry in the logbook of the endurance test Honda VFR with ABS. A tailor-made start, which was, however, followed by 48,000 more kilometers, which also revealed some downsides.
This is the first point of criticism
V-Tec system: The engine switches from two to four-valve operation over 7000 revolutions, which is accompanied by a bright screeching. Apart from that because of the unfamiliar
and sometimes rough use of the V-Tec some VFR newbies suspect damage, this aggressive sound urges caution. Within 300 more revolutions, ten Newton meters more are suddenly available, which can quickly embarrass the driver, especially on wet roads. However, if he has adjusted to the performance boost, then the pithy, screaming V4 will put a big grin on his face every time the additional valves are used. Tea well-behaved tourer Dr. Jekyll the viciously hissing athlete Mr. Hyde. The increase in the noise level suggests more power than is actually available.
A second characteristic of the V-Tec-
Systems get to know all those who
don’t be too careful with warming up. If you rev up properly on the autobahn with the engine still cold and the speed no longer drops below 7000 rpm, the VFR runs exclusively as a two-valve engine. Because only when the water temperature reaches 65 degrees do the two other valves switch on above the 7000 mark. A useful protective function against all too ruthless contemporaries. Goal contrary to the predictions of some skeptics from the editorial team, the filigree construction is mechanically largely unaffected by the 50,000 kilometers, as it became clear after dismantling.
While the peculiarities of the V-Tec system only need getting used to, the noticeable advantages turn out to be quite minor. 109 hp are certainly sufficient for a sports tourer, but the decisive factor is the performance characteristics-
ristics. The engine was not able to do this, especially in the serpentines of the Alps
so convince. Somewhat weak torque in the lower speed range and a slight jerk between 5000 and 6000 rpm do not want to fit into the otherwise positive overall picture. In addition, there are load change reactions that spoil the driving pleasure from switchbacks. Actually, the two-valve operation is supposed to
ensure better torque, especially at low speeds. More displacement would certainly have been the more efficient solution here.
And besides, the VFR engine is not a food lover. Consumption of between seven and nine liters was not uncommon in the ups and downs of the Alps. On motorway stretches with a high proportion of full throttle, even more than ten liters per 100 kilometers flowed through the injection nozzles. An experience that many VFR owners confirm. So it is only a small consolation that the VFR is satisfied with the somewhat cheaper regular gasoline.
There are further minus points for the V-Tec system in the 24000 inspection, during which the valve clearance is checked. The complex system means that the maintenance work takes six hours, which increases the price considerably.
But now the positive news: That was it with the downsides. Almost at least, because when dismantling after 50,000 kilometers, a small but expensive damage was revealed. Part of the screw connection of the license plate holder (see photo on page 193) is out of the rear frame-
broke and responsible for the fact that the plastic part, set in great vibrations, sought contact with the rear wheel and was also affected. Small cause, big effect. The damage makes it inevitable to replace the entire rear frame.
There was praise from all sides for the chassis of the Honda VFR and for that
a sport weighing 250 kilograms-
tourer great handling. Whether alone or with a pillion passenger and luggage, the chassis shines with a taut, but very harmonious set-up and offers sufficient reserves even when fully loaded. The simple hydraulic spring base adjustment using a handwheel is very pleasing. Only with an extremely sporty driving style germinates the desire for greater freedom from lean angles and more damping in the spring elements.
The VFR can also prove the qualities of a sports tourer in terms of seating comfort. The wide, comfortable bench and the pleasant knee angles make long tours over several hours quite stressful for the driver and passenger-
survive freely. Point of criticism for the great
Travel are only the poor lashing options for luggage on the pillion seat. Here the not exactly inexpensive, but practical cases from the Honda accessories program are ideal.
The VFR makes it very easy if you want to move forward quickly. No matter,
Whatever terrain the all-rounder is on, the pilot is always in control due to the sporty, yet comfortable seating position
the situation. Should he nevertheless tackle a combination of curves too quickly, the compound brake with anti-lock braking system is on hand. The best ABS is what you can get in the control range
feels the least. And exactly that
masters the Honda ABS perfectly. In conjunction with the CBS composite brake, it regulates very sensitively and at a high level-
frequent and thus gives an extremely secure feeling.
That is practical for many touring riders-
Incidentally, controlled braking with the rear wheel in tight bends also works with the composite brake. The 1000 Euro surcharge for the ABS is definitely a worthwhile investment. On the subject of brakes, it should be noted that several MOTORRAD readers complained about high wear on the rear brake pads, while thesis lasted almost 25,000 kilometers on the test motorcycle and almost 19,000 kilometers in the front. Both have a respectable lifespan.
This also applies to the Bridgestone BT 020 with 6000 kilometers for the rear tire and 12000 kilometers for the front-
the mature. In general, the Bridgestone can shine all along the line. Whether on wet or dry roads, they always pamper you with very good grip and
great handling. However, the Michelin Pilot Road could not convince. They give the VFR tough handling, a high righting moment when braking in curves and poor aiming accuracy.
Apart from the inspections, the VFR was a rare guest in the workshop. The Honda only needed unscheduled help three times. At mileage 35972, a defective steering head bearing was the reason
for a strange self-steering behavior
diagnosed and changed under warranty. 1,700 kilometers later, a broken chain put an end to the drive. Which is not to blame Honda because it was an accessory.
The defective driver of the speedometer drive, which sits on the nut of the chain sprocket, is stranger
Declared the Honda as a wear part and at mileage 42499 on Ga-
rantie exchanged. Otherwise a light bulb had to be replaced once more. Comment in the logbook for the headlight: "Despite the defective light bulb, it still shines better than many
Motorcycles with intact light. "
When dismantling after the end of the long-distance test, there were no major surprises apart from the broken screw connection. Piston and
Cylinders show significant wear due to scoring, but are still within the tolerance limits. In contrast, the dimensions of three outer valve springs of the V-Tec system are no longer in the green area. They have set themselves below the tolerance limit and must be renewed.
The bottom line is that the VFR mastered the 50,000-kilometer marathon with flying colors. It’s a motorcycle for almost everyone
Life situations that shine with high quality and bold styling. Nevertheless, there are some things in the specifications. The desire of the VFR drivers is clearly towards larger displacement and away from the V-Tec system. A 1000 VFR with more torque and ge-
Lower consumption could be the VFR fan-
GMake a community even bigger.
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Honda VFR CBS-ABS endurance test
The all-round carefree package
Cost – Honda VFR ABS
Operating costs over 50,000 kilometers: 15.8 liters of oil at EUR 11.90, EUR 188.02, 6 oil filters, EUR 8.16, EUR 48.96, 3 air filters, EUR 48.52, EUR 145.57, 8 spark plugs, EUR 28.45, EUR 227.60, 2 sets of front brake pads 185.28 euros 2 sets of rear brake pads 96.56 euros 2 chain kits of 191.37 euros 382.74 euros 0.8 liters of brake fluid 8.14 euros 1 H7 bulb 17.95 euros Small parts / seals 20.27 euros Inspections and repairs 1285.55 euros Tires (incl. Assembly, balancing and disposal) 2658.00 euros Fuel 3652.43 euros Total costs 8917.12 euros Acquisition costs 12420.00 euros Loss of value 5464.00 euros Estimated price (dealer sales price) 6956.00 euros Costs per kilometer (without loss of value) 0.18 euros Costs per kilometer (with loss of value) 0, 29 euros
Maintenance and repairs – Honda VFR-ABS
mileage rear tires Bridgestone BT 020 5956 rear tires Bridgestone BT 020 11424 front tires Bridgestone BT 020 11954 chain set 15946 front and rear tires Michelin Pilot Road; Air filter 17572 front brake pads 18841 rear brake pads; Spark plugs and air filter 24492 front and rear tires Pirelli MTR 21/22 24495 front and rear tires Metzeler Sportec M-1 30054 steering head bearings 35972 air filter 36049 front and rear tires Bridgestone BT 020; Front brake pads 36057 Chain set and slide rail 37673 Speedometer drive 42499 Rear tires Bridgestone BT 020 45400 Rear brake pads; Spark plugs 48522
Driving performance – Honda VFR-ABS
Initial / final measurement 3300 km 50,000 km Top speed km / h 243 244 Acceleration 0 ?? 100 km / h sec 3.3 3.4 0 ?? 140 km / h sec 5.8 5.90 ?? 200 km / h sec 13, 3 13.1 Sweater-through 60 – 100 km / h sec 5.1 5.3 100 – 140 km / h sec 6.3 6.2 140 – 180 km / h sec 7.3 6.7 Average consumption over 50,000 kilometers of fuel (Normal) l / 100 km 7.0 liters engine oil l / 1000 km not measurable
Condition – Honda VFR-ABS
Cylinder head: All valves slightly leaking, camshafts, bucket tappets, valves and valve guides are in very good condition. Cylinder: All cylinders show unusual scoring, but only minor wear. Likewise the pistons, which show signs of friction in the area of the top land. Crank drive: The crank drive is in good condition. The main bearing shells show signs of wear, but are still true to size. Power transmission: The clutch and gearbox are in very good condition. Frame: Except for the broken screw connection of the license plate holder, the chassis shows no abnormalities.
Honda takes a position … – Honda VFR-ABS
…On the outer valve springs that are too short The length of the auxiliary spring does not affect the V-Tec function. No noise development was reported. We are not aware of any other boxes. We will send the components to Japan for inspection … to the strong tracks of the crankshaft main bearings The tracks are normal for the mileage. The bearing shells are dimensionally accurate and can be reused without hesitation … to wear marks on the piston skirts and in the area of the top land. The wear marks are normal for the mileage. The compression diagram and the power measurement show no loss of power …. the break in the rear frame in the area of the license plate holder We have no explanation for this. A detailed examination must show whether the damage was caused by external influences or structural factors. We are not aware of similar cases from the market …. to the malfunction of the speedometer at 40,000 kilometers The possible cause is the driver of the speed sensor, which was probably caused by the tear in the Enuma accessory chain … to the worn steering head bearing at 36,000 Replacing the steering head bearing at 36,000 kilometers is unusual. An exact cause can be determined by analyzing the replaced parts …. bad paintwork on cases and swingarm We are not aware of any abnormalities in this area …. average consumption over seven liters Our development goal was to reduce fuel consumption compared to the "old" VFR. This goal has been achieved. The measurements from MOTORRAD confirm a fuel saving of between eight and 15 percent compared to the previous model, depending on the driving style … the high brake pad wear at the rear, which readers criticized We are not aware of any abnormalities. The test copy also shows completely normal wear and tear.
Accessories put to the test – Honda VFR-ABS
The range of accessories for the VFR CBS-ABS is so extensive that everyone can optimize their bike for sport or touring. The Vario touring screen from MRA (phone 07663/93890, www.mra.de) is recommended for greater travel suitability. The adjustable screen is particularly suitable for tall drivers and costs 119.90 euros. The racing screen for 85.90 euros offers only slightly better protection than the series counterpart. Each VFR can be individually designed with the gel bench for 475 euros from BD (phone 02161/12787, www.bd-deutschland.de). These gel cushions are specially adapted to the weight of the driver and thus guarantee the highest possible level of comfort. Special design requests are also no problem. Honda specialist Thurn (Phone 09352/6734, www.Thurn-Motorsport.de) has a whole range in stock for the VFR. While the carbon rear wheel cover for 239 euros only serves the appearance, it also offers smart footrest adapters. For 203 euros you can move your pegs backwards and upwards (sporty) as well as forwards and downwards (relaxed). Sports drivers can raise their rear by around 19 millimeters using an intermediate plate. With an expert opinion, 70 euros are due for this.
Reader’s Experience – Honda VFR-ABS
As motorcyclists of the older generation (my wife got my driver’s license at the age of 50 and I got my driver’s license at 52), we first looked around for a long time to see what kind of moped to buy. Because of our age and the lack of driving experience and experience, we each decided on a VFR with ABS. In the meantime everyone has 10,000 kilometers on the clock and we don’t want to be without our Honda anymore. The hydraulic coupling is problem-free. Clean shifting as the shift lever sits directly on the shift shaft. Safe engagement of all gears, and then these driving characteristics! Directional stability even on bad roads, easy turning and turning. But the icing on the cake for us beginners is the ABS. ABS is of inestimable value, especially for us newbies, who sometimes drive a little inexperienced into corners at the beginning. This can iron out some of the wrong assessments in the curve. Overtaking is a particular pleasure. The inlet and outlet valves, which are activated at 7000 revolutions, provide additional safety and driving pleasure. We can only recommend: If you don’t know what to buy, you should try a VFR CBS-ABS at your Honda dealer. My wife and I wish you as much fun as we have with our VFR.Viktoria and Manfred Okon, SonthofenMy good piece was approved on February 20, 2003 and has now covered 31,000 kilometers. After a few kilometers, oil mist was seen on the engine. The cause was rectified during the inspection. A burr did not allow the surfaces of the chain tensioner and cylinder to lie flat. The Dunlop D 204 used as original equipment is not a good choice. At temperatures around five degrees, the grip on my home routes in the Swabian Alb was okay, but when it got warmer, it started to smear. Then I switched to Bridgestone BT 020. A pair of tires lasts around 5000 kilometers. I changed the brake pads once at the rear and twice at the front. The pads were worn very differently. The chain set was replaced at 28,000 kilometers, and I would like to describe the driving behavior as well-willed and neutral. The main reason to buy the new VFR was the ABS, it exceeded my expectations. With a sporty driving style, the lean angle is not sufficient. On the left is the side stand joint and on the right the manifold. To remedy this, you would have to put the stern higher. A little more displacement wouldn’t be bad. I would never buy a motorcycle without ABS again. Klaus Stenzel, Baden-Baden I have only had the new VFR with V-Tec system and ABS since the end of March and have therefore only driven 3000 kilometers, but I have to say one thing in advance: The machine is simply top class. The workmanship of the VFR is almost perfect, and in terms of driving it leaves little to be desired, apart from the fact that Honda should have given the engine 200 cm3 more instead of the expensive V-Tec (which costs several euros for maintenance Thanks to the injection, the throttle response is very direct and harmonious, which can also be said of the chassis. The ABS controls very well and sensitively, so that you no longer have to worry about emergency braking even on difficult surfaces. You got used to the peculiarities of the dual CBS very quickly. The seating position for the driver and pillion passenger is quite comfortable and is therefore also suitable for longer tours. After an initial 6.5 liters / 100 km, consumption has continuously decreased to a now quite pleasant 5.6 liters / 100 km, but this may well be that of The fully synthetic oil required for the 1000 inspection can be traced back to me. The illumination of the road, especially with high beam, reaches a new dimension in the motorcycles I know about. The only thing I notice a bit negative is the cooling of the engine. The cooling water gets hot very quickly in city traffic and the fan often has to help bring the temperature back under control. In this context I do not understand why Honda does not use two fans (one on each radiator), which dissipate the heat to the outside instead of towards the engine, as is currently the case. Because when the headwind comes up again through brisk driving, it pushes the air outwards again against the fan … Manfred Dankert, Merkenich
Tire recommendation – Honda VFR-ABS
The current touring sports tires that MOTORRAD has ridden on the Honda prove that the development in the tire sector is keeping pace with that of motorcycle manufacturers. Whereby especially motorcycles like a VFR, which are versatile, place high demands on the tires. Just like the machines, they have to be all-rounders. What was considered good grip for a super sports tire not so long ago is standard today? for touring tires. These tires combine handling, mileage and adhesion at a high level and offer the advantage that they build up grip even at low operating temperatures and also have good wet running properties.
All-rounder – Bridgestone BT 020
BRIDGESTONE BT 020 The agile handling and the low set-up torque when braking make the Bridge-stone BT 020 a recommendation for the VFR. In addition to its unproblematic handling, the Bridgestone shines with very good grip on both dry and wet roads. If you come to the limit area anyway, this is announced early and can be checked good-naturedly. Despite its great handling, the Bridgestone keeps the VFR on its track even at top speed. Thus the BT 020 does not have any weak points.
Middle class – Dunlop D 220 ST
DUNLOP D 220 ST The Dunlop D 220 ST presents itself without major weaknesses, but also without major strengths. Handling and grip are satisfactory. There is a righting moment when braking, but it is still within tolerable limits. The Dunlop pairing, which is not exactly comfort-oriented, is not quite convincing in terms of straight-line stability. In the high-speed range, some bumps can cause the Honda VFR to swing gently. Not pleasant, but also no cause for alarm, as it does not intensify.
The stable one – Metzeler ME Z4
METZELER ME Z4 The Metzeler ME Z4 is launched with a structure similar to that of the Pirelli. The driving characteristics are therefore similar. Not quite as handy, but the ME Z4 finds a good compromise with a lower set-up torque when braking. The zero-degree steel belt tire can show its strengths in terms of driving stability. In terms of grip, especially in wet conditions, it is not quite on the level of the Bridgestone, but it shines with a broad and early warning limit.
The Tourer – Michelin Pilot Road
MICHELIN PILOT ROAD The Michelin Pilot Road does not harmonize particularly well with the VFR. The high righting moment when braking makes it difficult to stay on the targeted line. The poor handling is not very helpful either. Tea Pilot Road has good self-damping and prefers to take it easy. On the big tour on vacation, it can display its imperturbable straight-line stability even with a full load and suitcases. However, when the vehicle is accelerated, the steering precision and the grip, especially in wet conditions, leave a lot to be desired.
The Agile – Pirelli MTR 23/24
PIRELLI MTR 23/24 The Pirelli pairing MTR 23/24 comes very close to the Bridgestone. It is even a bit more manageable and can at least put the BT 020 in its place in this discipline. However, the Pirelli have a significantly higher righting moment when braking in corners, and when accelerating the VFR becomes a bit restless. There is no reason to complain about the grip in wet or dry conditions. The driving stability is also without fault. Even bumps in the high-speed range cannot disturb the VFR.
Running tracks – Honda VFR-ABS
Tracks: 50,000 kilometers leave clear tracks on the main bearing shells, but they are within tolerance and do not need to be replaced
In the green – Honda VFR-ABS
In the green area: The clutch hub shows normal wear for the service life. Another 50,000 kilometers could be expected
Bottleneck – Honda VFR-ABS
Bottleneck: Some of the exhaust gaskets protrude up to two millimeters into the exhaust ducts. A hindrance to optimal performance
Baptism of Fire – Honda VFR-ABS
Baptism of fire: Significant pressure marks can be seen on the top land and piston skirt on all pistons. However, no performance losses can be determined
Limit exceeded – Honda VFR-ABS
Limit exceeded: Three of the outer valve springs of the V-Tec system are outside the tolerance limit and must be replaced
Searching for clues – Honda VFR-ABS
Searching for traces: Clear grooves in the cylinders do not bode well. However, it looks worse than it is. All cylinders are still true to size
Precision mechanics – Honda VFR-ABS
Precision mechanics: Despite all prejudices, the shift cup tappets of the V-Tec system are unimpressed by the 50,000 kilometers
Unsightly – Honda VFR ABS
Unpleasant: The torn screw connection of the license flat holder spoils the good overall impression. 374 euros are due for a new rear frame
V-shaped – Honda VFR-ABS
V-shaped: The VFR turns its inside out. Allusions to the V4 engine can be found everywhere. V-shaped nose, headlights, air inlets and outlets up to the two massive, V-shaped rear silencers under the seat with their four tailpipes
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