1999 VFR First Ride?

Discussion in 'New Riders' started by Mphi12, Apr 7, 2015.

  1. Mphi12

    Mphi12 New Member

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    So I've looked over a few of the older posts on this topic and it seems like the biggest reason not to get a VFR as a first bike is because of the chances you have to drop it and it's not worth the expense in that case.

    For the one I found it's a great deal (16k miles and $2.5 which includes extras like saddle bags). It's from a friend who is a mechanic and he bought it from another guy we both know (so basically it's been taken care of really well). A lot of things have been updated in the last year. All in all - it's the cheapest bike I found that meets what I'm looking for (everything else was around $4k).

    The cost of dropping it aside- what are your thoughts on handling an 800cc engine as a first ride? I've heard it's pretty forgiving and it has less horsepower than a lot of other sport bikes out there so overall it seems pretty ideal. I'm not a big person (150 lb) so I'm wondering how well I'll handle it (I have a chance to go test it out soon) - just want to hear from those with experience.

    Anyone else have a VFR as a first ride?

    Also I'd look at putting frame sliders on it if I got one (oggy knobs or some that are no-cut).

    Any thoughts are welcome -thanks!
     
  2. Joey_Dude

    Joey_Dude Member

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  3. Laker

    Laker New Member

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    How old am I? When I started (1980) we bought 400cc bikes and learned how to ride well. I got a 1980 Yamaha RD400 that had 40 HP and it was sooooo F-ing fun. Now the word on the street is get a VFR because it is so massively underpowered at 118 HP and goes about 150 MPH? Holy Shiit! The VFR can be a handfull. In my opinion you should spend a season on something lighter and smaller and become a good rider.
    But whatever you want to do.....
     
  4. jethro911

    jethro911 Member

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    Firstly, welcome to the forum!

    Normally we enjoy giving a new member the gears because they didn't post a pic of their bike right off the but but since you don't have one yet, we can let that slide till later. :eek:range:

    Now on to your question which by the way gets asked a few times a year so it's not a new subject. I guess that before we can really comment it would be great to know what riding experience you have. Did you cut your teeth riding dirt bikes or maybe even do a bit of off road racing? Have you borrowed a friends street bike and logged a few hundred miles or even a few thousand miles on it? Did you take any riding courses,,perhaps an MSF course? :strong:

    Armed with a bit more detail I think we could be of much more assistance.
     
  5. bikehikeflyCO

    bikehikeflyCO New Member

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    My first ride was a 1999 Yamaha V-star650 that I spend 5 years and 20,000 miles on before I decided to upgrade to the VFR. I found the cruiser to be powerful enough to learn the basics of what they taught me at my MSF class on in real life situations, but forgiving enough to not bite too hard when I messed something up. It will all depend on your experience with motorbike and your riding level. Personally, sportbikes scared the shit out of me when I first started riding, but now I am wondering why I waited for so long.

    As Jethro911 said, get out on a friend's sportbike and see how it goes by logging some miles on, then go from there. VFRs are wonderful bike to have, but it is something that I worked up to. Good luck on whatever you decide!
     
  6. Mphi12

    Mphi12 New Member

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    Thanks for all the advice! So far I've only had some experience on a little 50cc scooter (<100 hrs) and I've taken the MSF class. The MSF class was on a Honda CBR (250cc) - that was pretty comfortable/quick to pick up.

    I do have a gut feeling that the wise choice here is to go with something smaller like an introductory sport bike (yamaha FZ6r maybe?) it's just really tough to pass on such a beauty especially when it's the cheap and quality option!

    Do you think that after a few months riding on a 500/600 cc I could move up to the VFR? I'm moving at the end of August so pretty soon I might have to pass on this deal for good but maybe I could buy a smaller bike first and just sell it right before I move so I can buy the VFR if the offer still stands?
     
  7. Pliskin

    Pliskin New Member

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    I buck the trend here of people saying "don't get a big fat VFR for your first bike".

    The only issue I see with a VFR is the weight, but there are people all over this forum who weigh 120-160 and are just fine with these bikes.

    What the real issue is, is common sense. Yea, having 800cc and 100hp +/- can get you into trouble. But if your an idiot (not you, but whoever), it doesn't matter if you have 50hp, 100hp or 150hp. Respecting what the the VFR is capable of (or any other bike for that matter) is the what's most important to me. A crash at 50mph is a crash no matter what bike your on. Yea, I understand that a VFR can get to 50mph way quicker than a scooter. And if anyone doesn't realize that, they shouldn't be on a bike to begin with, IMO.

    The flip side of owning a VFR is that it is a pretty forgiving bike. It handles well in the twisties. It doesn't have crazy power that'll continuously throw the front wheel into the air. Its got linked brakes which could save your ass without you even knowing it did. If you happen to ride on the highway or in the rain, those extra pounds will help keep her planted a little bit better when passing an 18 wheeler.

    Once you understand, accept and remember that the VFR is a heavy girl, if you use your head, you should be fine.

    I say if you like the bike, go for it. But whether its a VFR or a Ninja 250, if you don't use your head, you're toast.
     
  8. bikehikeflyCO

    bikehikeflyCO New Member

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    I am 145 and 5'8" and I do not have an issue with the bike's weight. It is a forgiving bike, but being top heavy it will be easy to drop the bike in a low speed turn (think parking lot) until you have experience under the belt. I would suggest looking into a CBR500 or something along those lines and then step up.

    Have a look here at the Honda CBR and the KTM Duke. They both seem to be pretty decent for starting off. http://www.bestbeginnermotorcycles.com/best-starter-motorcycles-2015

    You don't haopen to be in Colorado by any chance, Mphi12? If you are I might be willing to let you hop on my 2000 VFR.
     
  9. marriedman

    marriedman New Member

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    I am a big proponent of starting with a small bike and moving up from there. Was your first car a Mustang GT or a Ford F-350 XLT? Sure you could learn on those vehicles, but it is a hell of a lot easier to learn in a Fiesta!

    One of the most important things about riding a motorcycle is that you leave your ego in the garage. As soon as you swing your leg over the saddle, you are a unseen object on the road. It is easier on a small bike to stop or swerve or do emergency braking/maneuvers. Notice I said emergency and not panic? Panic means you were not expecting it, emergency implies that it is something you may have prepared for. Practicing for emergency situations gives you muscle memory. That way when the real thing happens, you will have reacted properly before you realized what you should have done.

    All of that being said, if you were a big guy (220lbs+ and over 6 feet tall); I would say that the VFR800 is a decent compromise. It is not underpowered in my opinion, but it is sensible and responsible in the delivery of its power. It handles well and even better after some suspension mods.
     
  10. keensali

    keensali New Member

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    I wanted to post up and say "You're in a heck of a spot", lol. I also promote smaller first bikes to start on. If asked, I advise an enduro. Easy to handle on the street, light to pick up, and usually inexpensive to (200-400cc's) buy. Go play in the dirt, push your limits there. Learn to respect the road. Ride as often as you can, especially in the dirt. It doesn't have to be doing jump etc, but simply friggin around.
    Wise words above though, check your ego each and every time you go out on the street. A LOT of street motorcycle accidents can be avoided with more road/bike respect and a healthy dose of defensive riding. Defensive riding MUST become second nature.
    The bike is a good deal, no arguing that. Tough call man....
     
  11. 12bravo

    12bravo New Member

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    Ditto.

    35 years ago I started on dirt bikes from lawn jobs and paper route money: DS125, XT500, XR500R.....grab a used enduro say an XL650 for the same money, on/off street, cheaper insurance rates, awesome fuel mileage, AND a bike you CAN keep forever.

    Then, think about this; the most famous racers on the planet learned to handle bikes in the dirt. Rossi; XR500s with knobby front tire and a slippery street rear.


    ....and ATGATT....
     
  12. squirrelman

    squirrelman Member

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    I believe a VFR is a bike you graduate to after a previous apprentiship on smaller bikes, dirt or street.
     
  13. vfrcapn

    vfrcapn Member

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    My first street bike, with no previous dirt bike experience, was a little Suzuki 500. I hated the buzziness in the bars and that it would barely hit 75mph. After some research I bought a '99 VFR, that was 100K miles ago. I've been all over the western US, commute rear round, been to track days and have never dropped it. If you're mature enough to ask is the VFR an ok first bike you're probably a mature enough rider to control the right wrist and learn on it. I'd say go for it, I've loved it for the last 14 years.
     
  14. Mohawk

    Mohawk New Member

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    Engine size has NO bearing on crashes, what does is being NEW & Young or New & OLD + no sense. The throttle only works as hard as you choose to twist it.
    If you are sensible & aware of your lack of knowledge, lack of skill, lack of awareness & then ride within that envelope, then your are unlikely to crash. Take your time, build your basic skills with regular riding on your OWN for the first couple of months, regular means every other day as a minimum. Do NOT ride with other bikers, as they often ride faster than you will be comfortable with & may goad you into a crash by trying to keep up. As Clint Eastwood said "A man's got to know his limitations" or as another said, don't confuse your intensions with your abilities !

    After a couple of months getting familiar with the bike & improving your skills, seek out some advanced training. If you have lots of car road knowledge, then seek a race school on a track & learn to improve your skills. if you are new to the road, then seek out a more road biased advanced riding course, then progress to a race school for skills improvement.

    Most of all don't ride like a lunatic & remeber everything out there is harder than you, if you hit them you WILL come off worse, keep that in the back of your mind at all times & ride defensively on the road.

    Enjoy
     
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