Thanks for looking at my post…
As mentioned a few days back, I’m soon to start a job with an 80mile round trip commute. Mostly motorway but then a few more miles on the lanes.
Need a bike that can handle it, be reliable, comfy, good on fuel and preferably cheap!
The VFR seems to be comfy, reliable, churns out enough current to run heated kit, nice big fairing etc
The Funduro is supposedly great on fuel, gentle on tyres, chain and sprockets, comfortable, simple bike so easy to service, also has a little bit of off-road capability, which will come in useful when I have to ride in the snow or through the scruffy lanes etc
Just wondering what people think about the two bikes - if you’ve had one, had a go on one, used to have one etc…
Claire has the gs650. great bike if only a little down on power. just went on and on and on and on…
I’ve owned… 2 VFR800’s & 2 Funduros.
Funduro - Great mpg, superb riding position, GREAT weather protection, more reliable than the VFR (the VFR suffers from electrical woes), sounds and also feels rather agricultural/car like but that may win you over… it certainly did with me after a 100mile ride home. The funduro isn’t fast. At all. It’ll easily pop one up in 1st gear but 1st gear is very very short indeed. You can still sit comfortably at 80mph and potentially at 90mph too… but 100mph is pushing it’s little diddly engine. Heavy but well balanced. Good thing about this bike is that whilst you CAN rag it, it doesn’t feel right doing it… so chances of getting a speeding ticket are far lower than the VFR.
VFR800 - not as good mpg (seems a bit hit and miss for most), for all it’s strengths on mechanical reliability, it has a very poor electrical system, worse than most normal hondas. Neutral seating position. With full luggage, they are an awesome tourer but no more. Sounds great with aftermarket can. Pretty darn heavy though.
Both are pretty bullet proof. But for winter commuter, I’d pick the F650 over the VFR, for peace of mind and reliability. But try and budget for the 02+ F650 where their mpg was vastly improved over the older strada/funduro model. If you do get the BMW, find one with a tall screen, hand guards, top box & heated grips already fitted. Saves you from spending more money on winter commuting necessities.
Damn… you’ve made me want one again…
Ran an F650GS (2007) for a couple of years. Not good at high speed motorway cruising - the vibrations of the single didn’t help there. Although mine was ex BMW offroad school, which might have had something to do with it! 100 mph flat out, so more than 80 was thrashing it. Fantastically comfortable and economical, and stick a cheap Scorpion can on it and it’ll sound good too! Good handling and fairly tough. Much easier to work on than the VFR, I should think. Watch out for ones that are about to eat their water pumps though…
Thanks for the input guys… Greg is there a bike you haven’t owned?!?
Looks like I would be going towards VFR territory, as most of the journey will be on the M3 or M4, and I don’t like being on the motorway in a machine that isn’t capable at speed.
The way things are looking at present, I’ll be rebuilding my old faithful ninja, and using that for the commute. I may then be able to invest in something, a little cheaper, that would do well in extreme conditions - snow etc… Maybe a car or a quad or something. Can you ride a quad on a motorcycle licence? No that’s a stupid question, quads clearly are a four wheeled vehicle
Yeah, quad bikes need a car license; I looked into those a couple of winters ago
There are a few still out there.
Thanks to this topic, you’ve not cemented the idea of getting another F650 in my mind.
Damn you, I ‘was’ happy with my hornet up until now!
FYI the F650 is fine at 80-90 but it just doesn’t have much more go. It really is a ‘try before you buy’ sort of bike. But make sure it’s an extended test ride as they grow on you over time.
I’ve got Greg’s old VFR, and have the following comments:
MPG - I am a ‘spirited’ rider, and my 110 mile commute seems to cost me about £15.50 at current £1.30/l prices. That’s 40 odd miles of sat at ‘ahem’ at 6.5k revs, and then 15 odd miles hacking through urban London up through Raynes Park, Wimbledon, Tooting up to Clapham then A3 up to borough, then on to Tower Bridge, then back home straight down the A3.
Speed - will really quite easily accomplish licence losing speeds. Push it and you might get some chokey. But that’s the same with any other big bike.
Comfort - I do 55 miles at a time and I’ve never had any real issues. I’m 5’10’’, and about 13.5 stone (86kg).
Handling - so long as I stay off slippy stuff I have never ever had a problem. It brakes fantasically and keeps on track fine, will hold the road well enough to be doing sweeping A road bends (around guildford on the A3) at significant speed without losing track, you can throw it around despite the weight (counter steering violently helps). The only time its twitched is under a bit of hamfisted throttle on a damp road.
The only issue I would raise is that it is very, erm, clinical. I’ve realised that whatever I throw at it, it will handle. It looks like a tiger, but its as tame as a dead cat. I was stopped at the lights at the south end of Wandsworth (turn right to Richmond) the other evening, and I was next to a Focus ST. He was really going for it, I couldn’t really care less and just rode how I usually do. He couldn’t touch me, but I realised how thoroughly unexciting it was. Going for it on a Blackbird or a 600RR is exciting - it gets the blood pumping. Going for it on a VFR achieves almost as much, but you feel like you could be sat upright in an open face helmet with a pipe in your gob.
Buy it because it is a very capable bike. Buy it because it deals very well with traffic. Buy it because you can ride it all day long without killing yourself. But don’t buy one expecting it to be the most exciting thing you’ve ever ridden. I think I got more excitement doing the TLGP on my CG125, seriously.