Living with the VFR


I could ride this thing all day and not get tired of it. It’s comfy for my 5’10"/195lb stature. It’s got a great stonkin’ engine. The DCT makes any kind of riding you want to do a joy.

This morning, a guy in a new CBR100RR pulled up next to me, and was checking out the VFR and all I could think was, "you poor bastard…your bike sucks."

Admittedly, he may feel differently.

I’ve been pounding around recently in manual mode, and man, this thing moves when you get the RPMs up over 5k. It pulls like a truck. The Sport mode in auto is nice, and has lots of get up and go, but in manual mode, when you just let it pull to the redline for every gear, it’s scary fast.

In parking lots, the DCT is about 1,000 times better than the FJR’s YCCS tranny. It’s easy to maneuver, though it does require a tad a foot-braking to keep it settled in low-speed maneuvering. It feels way lighter than 600 lbs, even trundling around at a walking pace.

Which I do as little as possible.

I’ve been asked about vibration. Yeah, it’s there in manual mode. It’s more noticeable at higher revs. But, to me, it’s part of the character of the V4, and I like it. And you really have to push it before the vibration becomes anything more than part of the background.

I’m immensely satisfied with the bike.

Author: Dale Franks

Dale Franks is the former host of The Business Day, ”a daily, four-hour business and financial news program on KMNY Radio in Los Angeles. From 2002-2004, he was a contributor on military and international affairs for Currently, he a publisher and editor of the monthly political journal The New Libertarian, as well as an editor of the popular web log, Q and O. Dale served as a military police officer in the United States Air Force from 1984 to 1993, in variety of assignments both in the United States and Europe, where he also was assigned to the staff of the Headquarters of Allied Forces Central Europe. In addition to broadcasting, writing, and speaking on various topics, Dale has also been a long-time technical training instructor on a variety of computer software and technology subjects. Dale has also long been involved with information technology as an accomplished web designer, programmer, and technologist, serving as the corporate knowledge specialist for Microsoft Outlook at SAIC, the nation's largest employee-owned corporation. Additionally, he is the author of a number of software user guides used for classroom training by one of Southern California’'s premier computer training and consulting firms. His book, SLACKERNOMICS: Basic Economics for People Who Find Economics Boring, is available from Barnes & Noble.

2 thoughts on “Living with the VFR”

  1. We bikers find ourselves in that “transition” period…
    New bikes, like new cars, come with electrics that are removed and replaced rather than repaired.
    With cars, we were sort of forced to make that transition because we HAVE to have them, and eventually parts for the old beaters became so difficult to procure it just made sense to buy new. We’ve since discovered the electrical boxes on our “cages” are damned reliable, so old cars are now mostly driven to cruise nights or sit as static displays in museums.
    But old bikes? We seem to be taking a different route with them.
    I own an old Guzzi and had two older BMW’s, and am now searching for another airhead. Essential parts are either available through the dealers or through aftermarket companies filling a known need. (And they are so damned bullet-proof they seldom need anything other than a squirt of grease/oil or a tweak here and there.)
    You’ll still see lots of guys like me riding the old stuff, tinkering with points and carburetor jets, until the something like the fuel economy disparity between old and new makes it worthwhile for us to get our wallets out.

    It’s a neat bike Dale. But at 65 I’m no longer ready to twist the grip so hard as I did on my ’70 Kawasaki two-stroke triple, launching the front wheel toward the clouds.
    Keep us updated on your experience. Maybe you can convince me otherwise.

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