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Old 03-24-2003, 02:42 PM   #11
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I took a long hard look at the VFR800 before I bought my R1100SBX. If Honda had swapped the 800cc V-four for the 1000cc RC51 V-Twin, I would have had to buy it. But they didn't so that bike does not exist, yet. In my search for my ride, I found the R1100SBX and the R1150R. I almost bought the R1150R, but I wanted something sporty. Now after riding the R1100SBX on 650 mile/day trips, I think I should have given the R1150R a longer look. Don't get me wrong, I love my Boxer Cup, but it's more suited to Alpine touring that dealing w/ the interstate and I would say the same for the VFR. You stated that you want to commute, with occaisionally longer rides and occasional fun rides through the twisties. If your going to commute 80%, tour 10% and sport ride 10%, the answer is BMW and if you can afford it get an R1150R w/ABS. For serviceablility, BMW's are hard to beat. I never found lane splitting on BMW's to be a problem and I think you will be amazed at how well they take to the twisties. I would recommend the VFR if sport riding was your primary concern. BTW, I am 6' tall w/32" inseam and ergonomics are important to me too. Good luck and I'll see you on the road.
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Old 03-24-2003, 02:45 PM   #12
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Default Re: VFR800 vs R1100R

The R 1100 R is a nice, upright bike for commuting, of which I've done quite a bit on it. It's also easy to maintain and very reliable. I ride it all year round except when there is snow on the ground. The center of gravity is low and the telelever front end keeps the tire in contact with the ground over some very rough pavement. The nice wide upright handlebars are also good at low speeds. I have very little experience with the VFR, but it does not strike me as quite as comfortable a commuter or as easy to handle at low speeds, though that could be because I am so used to the upright R. I am very satisfied with the BMW.
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Old 03-24-2003, 02:47 PM   #13
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Default Re: VFR800 vs R1100R

There just isn't a bad choice here. As between these two machines, I'm afraid I'd have to go with whatever holds more garage appeal for you. Both interesting, both fast and comfortable and good handling and a whole lot more motorcycle than most of us will ever use, if we're being honest about it. I love VFRs in all of their iterations, but first in my heart are the old R90S airheads of the mid 70s, of which the R is a logical extension. If it were me, I'd probably go with the BMW just because I wouldn't see myself coming quite as frequently. I'd probably be more comfortable on it, too, although the VFR is as good in the ergos department as I believe any sportbike will ever be.

Whichever one you choose, you're going to be happy with it.
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Old 03-24-2003, 03:34 PM   #14
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Default Re: VFR800 vs R1100R

I have a 00 VFR with about 32K miles. I test rode a R1150RT.

The RT handles well.

The RT's transmission is vague when compared to the VFR.

The VFR's motor spools up quickly which I think is a plus YMMV.

Bottom like - they're both great bikes.

It comes down to - do you want a boxer or a V4.


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Old 03-24-2003, 03:54 PM   #15
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Default Re: VFR800 vs R1100R

I owned a '95 R1100R for a couple of years, then sold it to buy an '00 VFR, which I've had for two years now. My first non-BMW. The VFR is the better bike, but I still miss the BMW. VFR has better suspension, more power, less vibration, and smoother airflow at speed (less helmet buffeting). VFR also gets better mileage, and on regular gas - not premium. Being 5'8'', I even found the VFR more comfortable for distances, mostly due to the better suspension (for my light weight) and smoother motor. The BMW handled better, for my taste, and made its speed in a more relaxed manner. Going the same speed on both bikes in the tight stuff, the BMW will feel more relaxed.

I much prefer the BMW switchgear, despite all the magazine complaints, and the BMW paint and finish quality will probably stand up better over time. Both transmissions are fine, but I prefer the feel of the BMW's.

The BMW "surging" really does affect a number of bikes. It affected both the Oilheads that I've owned; and it's every bit as annoying as people say. No surging on the VFR.

I'm glad I made the switch to the VFR, but if I could afford one of the new dual-plug Oilheads - which, presumably, don't surge - then I would gladly go back to BMW.

The lack of luggage on the VFR is an easy fix from GIVI. But it's true that it's not a good bike for passengers. Not much legroom for them, and that's not so easily changed.
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Old 03-24-2003, 04:43 PM   #16
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Default Re: VFR800 vs R1100R

Quick comment on the servicability of both. Yes the shaft drive BMW will be less maintence than the chain drive VFR, and yes, it is easier to work on the BMW, "but" the good news is you won't work on the VFR as much either, and Honda dealers don't charge as much for a full service (which isn't due until 16,000 miles!) than all those BMW dealers, of course assuming that you will be having the dealer due your servicing for you like 90% of most owners. You will have already have done two full services and almost ready for number three when the Honda comes due. Think about it! Ciao.

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Old 03-24-2003, 06:28 PM   #17
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Default Re: VFR800 vs R1100R

The 2002 VFR is a great bike but IMHO any 90-01 VFR is better. They have gear-driven cams and don't have that stupid, useless, POS Hyper-VTEC.

Get a VFR but get an 01 or earlier.
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Old 03-24-2003, 06:53 PM   #18
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Default Re: VFR800 vs R1100R

Both bikes will be reliable, but how much effort and riding are you wanting to put in? For a bike for the long haul that will stand up for years and still be respectable, the BMW is the only choice. A VFR is a wonderful bike, with a motor like a rheostat, but I wouldn't want it for years on end. I have ridden both (well, an r1150R), and settled on the Beemer.
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Old 03-24-2003, 10:48 PM   #19
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Default Re: VFR800 vs R1100R

I can only advise on the R1100R, I have a 99. Regarding lane-splitting, if I can do it in Tokyo, it shouldn't be a problem in the states. It's great for tall riders, I'm 6'2". Get one with ABS and heated grips -- I've found that these options don't add much to the cost in the used market, but make a great bike even better. ABS is a $2K option on a new BMW!

My bike doesn't have a surging problem--or if it does I don't notice it. Boxers vibrate more than Japanese 4s at idle, but not a lot more at speed.

Biggest gripe -- the huge, heavy, ugly exhaust/CAT. Try to find a roadster that has already been fitted with a proper pipe and save yourself $600.
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Old 03-24-2003, 11:17 PM   #20
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Default Re: VFR800 vs R1100R

If comfort and 2-up riding is more important to you than sportsriding and cost of ownership, go for the BMW. The Beemer is definitely more expensive in the long run (say 30%), but your wife will love it. As to the comment on longevity I read: my 1998 VFR has clocked 60.000 miles now and the valves never needed adjustment up to now! It still looks as good as 5 years ago as well.
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