Frequently Asked Questions about the VFR.
Q: Is the VFR as good as everyone says it is?
A: No, it is actually better. The magazines have to limit their accolades or else other bikes would never sell :)
Q: For how many years in a row has the VFR been named the Best 750cc sport bike by Cycle World?
A: 6 years (the mistaken fools at Motorcyclist added a new category for it, the 750 GT class)
Q: What is the list price on a 1996 VFR750?
A: $8999 (You can get them for less if you haggle, never pay list price)
Q: Should I pay for "freight and setup"?
A: Depends. Years back, manufacturers reimbursed dealers for freight and setup; that hasn't been the case for several years. Some shops will charge less than others, so it pays to shop around.
Q: Should I pay extra for the centerstand and rear cowling?
A: No. These two items are included in 1994+ models.
Q: How do I remove the rear cowling when my toolkit is under the seat?
A: Very carefully (without scratching the plastic) use a key in the long slot on the bolt that holds the cowling on (if you scratch the plastic, don't come crying to me). If you don't tighten the bolts enough, the cowling may fly off. If you tighten them too much, you could crack the plastic.
1997 and newer models come with "plastic screwdriver things" (thanks to Eric Gunnerson for that title) that can be attached to a keychain. You should be able to get these from your local Honda dealer.
Q: Why does the CBR900 have a better storage system?
A: The reviewers needed something to complain about.
Q: Should I pay for.... ?
A: You should pay for whatever you feel is appropriate. Watch out for fees and other such extraneous costs that dealers tack on after you have agreed on a price. Agree on an "out-the-door" price, and don't let him add fees for "covering the expense of test-rides" and such. Don't believe things like "This is the last 98 VFR in the country, and I have a guy coming to look at it this afternoon".
Q: How much should I pay for a 199x VFR750 with y miles?
A: I don't know. Get on the VFR Mailing List and ask there. See what other bikes are selling for around the country, and in local papers. Check out the NADA "Blue Book" price (your local library has this info).
Q: How much is insurance?
A: I don't know. Get on the VFR Mailing List and ask there. See what other riders around the country are paying for insurance. It depends on your driving record, age, and what company you are with.
Q: Do they get stolen often?
A: Yes! Not as often as CBR600's, but all sport bikes are prime targets for thieves. Always use your fork lock (although it can be easily foiled) combined with secondary locks (disk lock, alarm, chain, etc.).
Q: If I forget to remove my disk lock, will I be sorry?
A: Yes. Motorcycling is not for the inattentive or forgetful. You should always do a safety checklist/walkaround every time you are going to get back on.
Q: How much does replacement plastic cost?
A: Too much. It is comparable to other sport bikes, i.e. expensive. Don't use the VFR as a learner bike, and don't let others ride it.
Q: Where can I get plastic cheap?
A: I don't know. Ask on the VFR Mailing List.
Q: What the heck is this VFR Mailing List that you keep referring to?
A: Once you join it, you get an email message every day with posts from around the world, packed with VFR information. You can send email messages to it with questions, requests, comments, etc.
Q: OK, sounds great! How do I join? How much does it cost?
A: It is free. To join, go check out the VF/VFR Mailing List page. There are complete instructions available there, along with information about getting at archives of old list messages.
Q:Are there any other sources of VFR information on the Internet?
A: Yes. The VFR Homepage is located at.... http://www.cs.wisc.edu/~john/vfr/
Q: What if I still have unanswered questions, whom should I annoy?
A: Check out the VFR list archives to see what the folks there may have already said that will answer your question. Otherwise, try subscribing to the list and asking.
Q: How do I change the oil? How do I adjust the suspension? How do I synch the carbs? How do I replace spark plugs? How do I bore it out to a 900?
A: Are you kidding? Don't walk, RUN to your local dealer and order the Honda VFR750 Shop Manual. This will have tons of maintenance info. If you don't have the right tools or experience, pay the money to have it done right. If you still want to do your own maintenance, ask for help on the VFR Mailing List.
Q: What luggage(panniers) should I buy?
A: That depends on your needs. Many companies make luggage for the VFR, ask on the VFR Mailing List.
Q: Should I wear my helmet always?
Q: Are there any VFR Clubs?
A: Yes, there is an International VFR club located in the UK that any nationality may join. Contact Peter Thriscutt (email@example.com) for more info.
Q: What is the total suspension travel on a '94-'96 VFR?
A: The total travel on the front suspension is 5.5" and 5.1" on the rear.
Q: Do VFR's have a problem with front tire cupping (scalloping)?
A: I don't know. Some people have had this problem with 94+ VFR's. In some cases Honda has gone ahead and paid for a new front tire, in others (my case) Honda has not.
Q: What the heck is cupping (scalloping)?
A: Look closely at your front tire, you may see some places where the surface of the tire is not smooth, but is instead kind of wavy. Running your hand down the tire from front fender down to the ground may reveal these undulations. This may affect handling and may cause unwanted vibration. If you are not sure, or have any questions, immediately contact your mechanic and don't ride until you know what is going on.
Q: What are some more things you can tell me about front tires?
A: The 94+ has a lot of weight on the front tire (front end bias). Improper tire inflation and aggressive riding decrease a tire's life. Always ride with tires that are in excellent condition.
Q: I notice a rumble from my VFR with the bike in neutral and the clutch engaged. Is this normal?
A: Most bikes sound different with the clutch in, than with the clutch out (when in neutral). This is probably OK, but if you want to be sure I recommend having your mechanic listen to your bike (he should do it for free).
Q: Sometimes when I put the bike into first gear (from neutral) I hear a loud "clunk" sound from the gearbox. Is this OK?
A: This happens sometimes, and it is probably OK. There is a reason for this, but it escapes me right now. Any mechanics out there want to help me here? Either way, have your mechanic listen to it and see what he says.
Marc Salvisberg (firstname.lastname@example.org) has graciously provided the following info...
RE VFR Clunk going into 1 st gear..
After the bike sits for an extended period, the oil is pressed out from between the steel and fiber clutch plates. Even if you engage the clutch, the plates stay together in a clump until the are broken free - clunk! The clunk gets worse when: the oil is cold or the plates are well broken in and smooth and non porous or using thicker oil
The clunk is decreased by: Engaging the clutch for a period of time BEFORE shifting into first - giving the plates some time to separate on their own and oil being warmer and roughing the surface of the steel plates - scraping the plates not bead blasting (which last for a very short time) and using thinner oil
Q: Can I assume that any sound my VFR makes is OK and should be ignored?
A: No. We are talking about an expensive and complex piece of technology here. I recommend that you ask your mechanic about any and all sounds that concern you. That is how you learn, and it can also help you to identify problems before they get worse.
I have tried to be accurate here. If any of this info is wrong, please let me know.
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