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Old 05-12-2013, 02:22 PM   #61
8lives
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Originally Posted by AdventurePoser View Post
I agree...there is no perfect bike, but there are some bikes that are better for beginners than others. The "big picture" is riding safely and enjoyably and hopefully engaging in the sport for many years.
Yes and safely is the real deal,go slow and methodically as you wander,remember no one see's you or cares if you are around them as they drive their funny cages and chat and text on their phones.Be visible and have long miles of smiles,that's what I do.
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Old 05-12-2013, 02:31 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by 8lives View Post
Yes and safely is the real deal,go slow and methodically as you wander,remember no one see's you or cares if you are around them as they drive their funny cages and chat and text on their phones.Be visible and have long miles of smiles,that's what I do.
Excellent advice for all us riders...
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Old 05-13-2013, 05:19 AM   #63
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Originally Posted by AdventurePoser View Post
I think Wheatwhacker makes some valid points, but the VFR is a very benign bike to ride. I believe a new rider with some self control could be very happy on one.

That being said, the VFR riding position is pretty neutral-you would not "be looking at your front wheel all day."

I think the most important things would be to practice, practice, and practice. No passenger until you have a few thousand miles under your belt since a passenger completely changes the riding dynamic.

Finally, the plastic on the Viffer is expensive to replace...much cheaper to drop a V Strom a few times.

Just my $.02
I'm not that concerned about the health of the rider, i'm concerned about the parents of the daughter they raised because some kid needs a 100+ hp bike to cruise around California, a trip that has been done plenty of times on scooters.
As negative as I may sound, if, by giving the right advice I save a life, maybe two, it's all worth it.
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Old 05-13-2013, 07:28 AM   #64
8lives
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Originally Posted by wheatwhacker View Post
I'm not that concerned about the health of the rider, i'm concerned about the parents of the daughter they raised because some kid needs a 100+ hp bike to cruise around California, a trip that has been done plenty of times on scooters.
As negative as I may sound, if, by giving the right advice I save a life, maybe two, it's all worth it.
I agree,people do it all the time on small bikes,it'll be more fun if you can kinda beat the bike if you see a place you want to go that has a questionable road,and no one will want to mess with it parked in front of a place you are checking out if its a bike,well say similar to my KLR.I'll sound negative with you.
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Old 05-13-2013, 08:05 AM   #65
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The flip side of that coin is the danger that comes from riding an under powered bike that can't get out of its own way. Riding 2-up through California, I wouldn't recommend anything less than 50 hp. You can get away with 35-40 riding solo. If you take a look at the dyno graph from a VFR800, it behaves like a docile bike producing 60 hp up to 7000 rpms. Above that a whole new power curve emerges taking it up into the mid 90 hp range.

In reality, if we are trying to protect someone's daughter, we should recommend that nobody ride a bike. They are inherently more dangerous than cars, after all. Since I can't see that happening, I just recommend using a healthy dose of caution.
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Old 05-13-2013, 08:10 AM   #66
8lives
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After having a VFR800 in the family I will agree the bike was very well behaved in all areas,the power was like butter,and it really felt solid,I wish we still had that 1 around it was fun to ride.
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Old 05-13-2013, 12:25 PM   #67
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Originally Posted by High Country Herb View Post
The flip side of that coin is the danger that comes from riding an under powered bike that can't get out of its own way. Riding 2-up through California, I wouldn't recommend anything less than 50 hp. You can get away with 35-40 riding solo. If you take a look at the dyno graph from a VFR800, it behaves like a docile bike producing 60 hp up to 7000 rpms. Above that a whole new power curve emerges taking it up into the mid 90 hp range.

In reality, if we are trying to protect someone's daughter, we should recommend that nobody ride a bike. They are inherently more dangerous than cars, after all. Since I can't see that happening, I just recommend using a healthy dose of caution.
I agree. In the LA area when the freeway isn't stopped its moving at 80-85 mph and I wouldn't even think of riding a bike on these freeways if it couldn't get up above 90 quickly. A 90 hp bike doesn't automatically equal death, sorry guys but people can start on even bigger bikes and become great riders. I have a friend that learned on an R1 and he's a great rider. I know that those are dangerous but I think the best thing is take the MSF course and then decide what you are comfortable with and how much self control you have (truthfully).
I don't think its smart to start on any replica sportbike but middle weights can be great for learning on and the VFR is a fairly tame bike. I understand that a small bike might be good to learn on but at the same time I would never take any bike that topped out at less than 90 mph (uphill, since its not flat here) on these freeways. I know others do but I've had a couple times where getting out of the way saved my life and bike.

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Originally Posted by wheatwhacker View Post
As a rider of upright bikes all my life, I cannot understand why anybody would want to ride a bike hundreds of miles through beautiful countryside where you are looking at the front wheel.
My roomate in SF had a VFR and I would pull it a block to get at my KLR.
As a first bike, really. Would any of you guys let your daughter sit on the back of a VFR with a guy using this as his first bike, really.
This trip, using a sports touring bike instead of a more practical upright bike with a passenger is a receipt for disaster.
Anybody recommending this bike for a tour of California, with some of the most dangerous drivers in the country, on a VFR, with a passenger, being ridden by an inexperienced rider should be held personally responsible for the outcome of this trip.
You asked for advice and I'm giving you the safest advice you will ever get. Buy yourself a Vstrom 650 or similar. A nice safe, comfortable touring bike and bring your girl home to her parents in the condition you picked her up in.
I have ridden lots and I have seen lots and one thing that sticks in my mind is looking in a mirror seeing a guy tumbling along a road after over shooting a corner and having a head on with a volvo. A simple thing, lack of experience and all the classes in the world will not buy this.
As for your argument, most of us weren't telling him to jump on a sportbike (forward leaning) and take the trip. Read our posts again and you'll see we told him to take his time, learn and get comfortable. Put at least a few thousand miles on before even taking a short trip with the girl.

Its cool that you like standards like your KLR but that doesn't mean they are the best or what everyone is looking for. I love cruisers but lots of people on here can't stand them or don't understand the appeal, that's fine with me and I'll eep riding them cause they appeal to me.

Sport tourers by definition are meant for touring, and they are great at it and a lot of fun. My FZ6 is a sport tourer and I've never had a problem enjoying the scenery (one of the best parts of traveling IMO) A VStrom isn't always the answer to everything, Its about the same weight (only 10lbs lighter) and it'll still get you in trouble if you open the throttle all the way (62 hp, 3.8-4 secs 0-60; faster acceleration than most cars) but if you are cautious and focused you can ride it safely...much like the VFR. Caution and self control.

I've driven and ridden in so cal all my life and its actually not the most dangerous, just a lot of people but, overall, they pay more attention to bikes than drivers in other states because California is a motorcycle friendly state, which isn't to say that a rider should act like it's any less dangerous either. And to answer you're question, I wouldn't care what bike a person started on, because it won't necessarily change the answer to the following questions: I'd want to know what experience they have, how long they've been riding (miles or time), if they know what to do in an emergency (cause stuff can happen to the experienced as well) and how responsible they are. The answers to those question would be what I decide on and when its all said and done, if my daughter was over 18 it would be her decision and I'd honor it.


BTW, if anyone on any bike stares at their front wheel while riding they are going to have bigger problems than missing the scenery. Not even a full blown superbike rider would do that.
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Old 05-13-2013, 12:54 PM   #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyinace1 View Post
I agree. In the LA area when the freeway isn't stopped its moving at 80-85 mph and I wouldn't even think of riding a bike on these freeways if it couldn't get up above 90 quickly. A 90 hp bike doesn't automatically equal death, sorry guys but people can start on even bigger bikes and become great riders. I have a friend that learned on an R1 and he's a great rider. I know that those are dangerous but I think the best thing is take the MSF course and then decide what you are comfortable with and how much self control you have (truthfully).
I don't think its smart to start on any replica sportbike but middle weights can be great for learning on and the VFR is a fairly tame bike. I understand that a small bike might be good to learn on but at the same time I would never take any bike that topped out at less than 90 mph (uphill, since its not flat here) on these freeways. I know others do but I've had a couple times where getting out of the way saved my life and bike.



As for your argument, most of us weren't telling him to jump on a sportbike (forward leaning) and take the trip. Read our posts again and you'll see we told him to take his time, learn and get comfortable. Put at least a few thousand miles on before even taking a short trip with the girl.

Its cool that you like standards like your KLR but that doesn't mean they are the best or what everyone is looking for. I love cruisers but lots of people on here can't stand them or don't understand the appeal, that's fine with me and I'll eep riding them cause they appeal to me.

Sport tourers by definition are meant for touring, and they are great at it and a lot of fun. My FZ6 is a sport tourer and I've never had a problem enjoying the scenery (one of the best parts of traveling IMO) A VStrom isn't always the answer to everything, Its about the same weight (only 10lbs lighter) and it'll still get you in trouble if you open the throttle all the way (62 hp, 3.8-4 secs 0-60; faster acceleration than most cars) but if you are cautious and focused you can ride it safely...much like the VFR. Caution and self control.

I've driven and ridden in so cal all my life and its actually not the most dangerous, just a lot of people but, overall, they pay more attention to bikes than drivers in other states because California is a motorcycle friendly state, which isn't to say that a rider should act like it's any less dangerous either. And to answer you're question, I wouldn't care what bike a person started on, because it won't necessarily change the answer to the following questions: I'd want to know what experience they have, how long they've been riding (miles or time), if they know what to do in an emergency (cause stuff can happen to the experienced as well) and how responsible they are. The answers to those question would be what I decide on and when its all said and done, if my daughter was over 18 it would be her decision and I'd honor it.


BTW, if anyone on any bike stares at their front wheel while riding they are going to have bigger problems than missing the scenery. Not even a full blown superbike rider would do that.
I rest my case.
I have had the pleasure of hosting some round the world travelers in my time in San Francisco and here in Ireland, I now even store bikes for travelers who wish to ride Europe with their on locally sourced bikes. None of them had anything resembling a VFR. Honda Transalps and Africa Twins were the euro bike of choice, with DR's, KLR's and Vstroms being the thrifty American choice, by thrifty American I mean the guy who has a modest lifestyle and has saved hard to do a trip of a lifetime.
If these people can ride around the planet on these bikes, why does some kid with no knowledge of bikes other than looking at "sexy" models sitting on one at a bike show or in a magazine, need the power and speed of a a VFR?
He asked for advice, I'm giving my opinion. I'm giving my opinion as a guy who has logged up more miles on different terrain, cultures and countries than most on this forum.
I also spent years on the road trucking and have seen first hand what two kids on powerful bikes get up to at take off time at traffic lights and have had to bury a lot of my friends here in Ireland who were racing around in the 80's on bikes way too fast for their experience.
The guys that survived are the ones that started on Honda 50's and learned the easy way what happens when you brake hard on a sharp corner, what grit can do, what to stay away from on the road, what fresh rain can do to traction, blah blah
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