Honda launched this year a new version of its famous sport GT. Sleek, well equipped, efficient, the Honda VFR 800 F illustrates this family alone and finds himself almost alone to defend certain values. The new VFR is the future?
To answer this question, we opposed it to the Kawasaki Z 1000 SX over 1,300 km.
Housed behind the new Honda VFR 800 F full fairing, I meditate on its legitimacy while dating the Limousine to the capital. It is true that support delivered on the wrists should cross at a pace higher than 130 km/h real that tells me the GPS, but the repressive arsenal plays its deterrent role beautifully.
Again, I’m not the most to be pitied: with my 70 meter, I correspond quite well to the ergonomics of that which is described as the Queen of the sport GT. Bertrand, our photographer’s shock, has well more suffered on board from the top of his 82 meter. The fault of excessive withdrawal of his legs. He feels he is finally better on the Kawasaki Z 1000 SX, Sport GT version of the roadster Z 1000.
The whole issue is there or almost: Honda chose to launch a new VFR for 2014, retaining its fundamental techniques and philosophy while all manufacturers have abandoned the niche. More Triumph Sprint ST or GT, more Ducati ST3 long while at the same time, the pure GT and the big road trails have improved. Under these conditions, the Honda VFR 800 F has still the future?
Honda VFR 800 F
Well finished and quite classical with its modern line, but not too much, which reminds a little Honda VFR 800 Fi, the new Honda VFR 800 F means no doubt remember the good memories of the pool of significant reviews that are nostalgic of the Fi.
Very well finished and using quality materials, it stays true to the VFR philosophy: a motorcycle halfway between sports and road, term a little overused taking into account current. This GT sport definition is found in ergonomics, with a position in support of half handlebars. However, booster seats installed on our loan bike an option to $ 127 improve the daily in the city including, at one feels less need to straighten up.
The legs are bent – not as a pure sports car still – but the Honda retains some finesse in the crotch, with little spread thighs, almost in line with the shoulders. This position naturally invites to a sporting attitude, which is not all rest on a daily basis.
On this point, the Kawasaki Z 1000 SX approximates undeniably the roadster… universe which it is anyway from! If it adopts the half handlebars typical of the sports universe GT, driving position furiously reminds her sister’s blood Z 1000. This more relaxed ergonomics benefits the grip and the lowest allures, under 80 km/h, also when the air pressure not recovering you.
The Honda VFR 800 F and Kawasaki Z 1000 SX
Observer opposed The V4 is assessed in sport use in this comparison; several striking facts have distinguished our two bikes. First, the engine breath of the Kawasaki, all plans and especially its vitality under 5 000 tr/min the contrast is striking when one passes from the VFR to the SX.
More than 261 cm3 difference is the functioning of the VTEC serving the Honda in recovery tests: 80, 90, 110 and 130 km/h, in the fourth and sixth, the VFR stays behind. Another confrontation has also highlighted the relatively hollow nature of the V4 under 6 500 rpm or 5400 RPM before the entry into operation of the 16 valve.
So, regardless of the field of play, to follow a Kawasaki Z 1000 SX boasting a more regular maximum torque, should stay in the right tempo, or restack quickly one or two reports. Fortunately, Honda box much more precise than that of the Kawasaki makes the operation less painful.
However, the singular character of the Honda block has what charm. It allows to wrap at low revs with a typical ROAR but on a sinker buggery, the tachometer needle seems sucked into the red zone in a hysterical Meow! A real delight in the long corréziennes curves. Finally, voluntarily limited to 100 horses, the engine made upon proof of a particularly expressive extension.
Amputee on paper (less bench power…) of 42 horses, Z 1000 SX does not offer an extension also breathtaking. However, its fat torque and its exhaust sound are worth a visit. Four cylinder in-lines Kawasaki is at once sweet, filled and muscular. As few current engines can claim. Certainly, screw the free, observer oppose les Honda VFR 800 F Vs Kawasaki Z 1000 SX
Kawasaki Z 1000 SX: incontestable genes roadster
Another point of divergence, this time to the advantage of the Honda: the rigor of the part-cycle. Although our two bikes are an excellent handling, the Honda remains a cut above.
Kawasaki Z 1000 SX 2014 still suffers from a slight disagreement between front and rear. Generating more unbalance at the rear, it seems angler two-step. A rather unpleasant behaviour, it is difficult to attribute to his rear tire in 190.
Similarly, while riding at improvisation, braking on the corner more stiff branch of the Kawasaki. Over miles on sometimes tricky roads, the Z 1000 SX made stall avoidance faculty offered by its wide handlebar lever. But question chassis, Honda dominates on all the other chapters. Rigid, VFR 800 F takes the angle on an ongoing basis, precisely informing its each achieved degree driver.
More precise steering, it aims much better curve than the Kawasaki entries. Its ground clearance is higher and his ABS – CBS coupling same private – braking proves to be more efficient than the device – which is already excellent in terms of feeling – the Kawasaki. Find the two impressive braking worthy of sports of yesterday!
Honda VFR 800 F and Kawasaki Z 1000 SX
Couple XXL and well calibrated electronic
Our journey in Limousin has enabled us to appreciate the subtlety of the Kawasaki Z 1000 SX electronic audiences. Past yet for the Low mode used to roll in the economy, which limited the ardor of the engine but is ultimately pretty useless.
Traction control, on the other hand, really shines by its efficiency. Roadster GT of Akashi here benefits from the progress made on the ZX – 10R superbike. In mode 3, the traction control is intrusive and clearly tempers accelerations. In mode 2, only the damp patches or gravel plates trigger it. In mode 1, there is noticeable but Z 1000 SX pitched up again to the acceleration and takes a rear wheel without worry.
Honda also has this driving aid, very well calibrated serial, adjustable but be switched off from the tip of the thumb. On the side of ABS, the VFR takes over with triggering more progressive than the Kawasaki system, which generates more bounce in the brake pedal. Fitted as standard on the Honda, ABS is optional on the Kawasaki. One wonders why…
Honda VFR 800 F and Kawasaki Z 1000 SX Suspensions?
Suspensions better damped the Honda follow the kilometers on Board on small roads have allowed us to find the best amortization of the Honda. The VFR800F better absorbs the small cobblestones and holes in the pavement.
His saddle is also shown more comfortable than that of the Kawasaki, which does not allow small templates back on the thickest part. The seat of the Z1000SX first generation was also often pointed the finger in the Maxitest.
On motorway, finally, everything is a question of morphology and large templates seem to be more appreciating the Kawasaki. It’s high and adjustable bubble well deviates air at the level of the headphones, but generates more turbulence than the Honda classic windshield.
The duo also turns the advantage this last, thanks to a wider passenger seat and handholds highest and best comic. Kawasaki has yet worked on this point; the new handles are much more ergonomic than the first generation.
Balance sheet: A single Queen in his Kingdom? Honda VFR 800 F or Kawasaki Z 1000 SX
Sold US$ 1, 7145 with full equipment ABS, traction control, stand Central, adjustable seat and handlebars, Honda VFR 800 F is proposed at a fairly competitive price given its level of manufacturing and its qualities.
Kawasaki Z 1000 SX ABS is available at US$ 1, 8370 and $1, 7555 without ABS: a tariff that does not play in his favor, despite its displacement, its performance, and the overall progress made on this model, which attracted more and more. Nevertheless, his cousin 1000 Versys offers a similar programmed for $1360 less.
Withdrawal in terms of performance, the Honda remains a sacred tool for driving fast and far on all types of courses. Loyal, sum all philosophy VFR, with very high dynamic qualities. Will remain alone in this segment of the GT sport à l’ancienne? Maybe not. In fact, it is rumored that BMW is preparing to prelaunch a ST of a new genus for 2015.