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What should I do

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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been obsessed with getting a 4th gen VFR750 for a few months now although i've never actually sat on one. I'm worried about two things, in this order:

  • Stability at very low speeds. I'm going to have to commute on it, basically a 45 mile round trip split across motorway (tr."highway") and congested city riding. In terms of time, the urban section takes up 2/3 of the time, but only 1/3 distance :(. This is London so most of the roads are all mainly now limited to 20mph. On the GPZ (tr."EX") at these speeds it feels incredibly stable, and I can twist and turn even at low speeds, coming to what feels like a virtual hover sometimes. Probably down to the low seat height and CoG. Can a reasonable rider do that with a VFR? And yes i've seen the Japanese police competition video!
  • Complexity of maintenance. My record on the EX is patchy, but I can generally do routine service items with zero fuss. Looking at the VFR750 though it looks incredibly tight to get access to lots of places. For instance - do you have to do a coolant flush to change the front spark plugs?! I'm all for doing things slowly if it reduces risk, is that possible or do you just need pigmy hands?

It's mainly the first concern, so how does the city handling compare to the trusty EX? Separately, and on a completely different fetish i'm looking at a ZXR750, views welcome.
 

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07 Ducati SS800 '95 Ducati 900SS/SP '19 Honda CBR650R
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ex-Gen 5 VFR800 owner here, bought used with 20k miles. Prior owner did zero maintenance (birds nest found in airbox within 24 hours of taking ownership). I found it perfectly rideable under any conditions, highway or congested/town, though it was an armful at times. AFA servicing, it was slow, complicated but doable. I set valves only 1x during my ownership, accompanied by a FI body "synch" , spark plugs changed to iridiums, rebuilt calipers with new pads, changed tires multiple times. Bike was stone cold reliable. Sold it at 49k miles when downsizing to my CBR650R, my riding habits changing with old age.
 

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yeah ex gen4 750 owner here, I concur with @ducatiman on this although I found the bike pragmatic in heavy traffic and stop/start riding so much so I avoided it as much as possible often taking detours away from the city (no idea how you would do this in London) as for maintenance it's a Honda so needs very little in 5 years I had it only had to work on it a couple of times (25k miles) but when it did need something doing it was a bit of a PITA and took a lot of time to complete.
oh and if you do get one don't drop it that plastic is mega expensive and hard to come by in the UK.
 

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Gen 3 owner here, I missed out on a used gen4 bike one rainy Friday night. I own two gen3s, one of which I have had for almost 30 years. Your dealing with a carburetored bike, it will need a full service if it has not had one by a competent mechanic (no body touches my bikes except me.) I over hauled the fuel rails and replaced fuel rails along with o-rings. Synchronizing carbs is a talent and kind of black science. I can do mine if five minutes now with the assistance of three flash lights and my motorcycle lift in its highest position along with my special 90 degree screwdriver/carb tool. Of course you need some type of manometer. I use a Morgan one.

Spark plugs on the back bank are easy, front you need to remove body work, easy (I have 1/4 d-zus fasteners) don't know about gen4s. The radiator tilts forward and then you can access the plugs. Not a terrible bike to work on, over engineered and definatley tough/bullet proof, just change your oil yearly
Tire Wheel Land vehicle Fuel tank Vehicle
or 2000 miles.

I used to commute on this bike 70 miles round trip, triple digits most of the ride, city commute to Miami, total zoo commuting. I used to ride into NYC, its all good. The EX is a lighter bike and easier to control, but it don't ride like a gen3 or gen4 VFR. I just got a compliment from a random doode in a truck on my commute home yesterday on my Gen3 white bike. Peace you will make the right decision for yourself its just time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks very much guys, that's helpful!

Like @ducatiman the one i'm looking at is a 1994 with only 20k miles on it - which i'm not sure I believe. Even if it's true that doesn't rule out things that have just perished during the intervening 28yrs. I'd be especially cheesed off if it brought an electrical fault with it, I wouldn't know where to start.

I've been watching some videos on the maintenance and what you're saying all rings true in that it'll take a while and probably some specialist tools. Although oddly the idle screw seems to be ridiculously accessible, shame that thinking didn't carry across to the rest of the carbs!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well I succumbed to the weight of peer pressure and bought the 4th gen one (red). I'm not sure why I think the cycle ergo stuff is for other people, but it surprised me with how much sportier the riding position is compared to the EX/GPZ. Low speed seems fine in a straight line, the weight isn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be. The real test will be when I get it into a congested urban environment and try and maneuvre this thing at said low speeds.

The only thing which is clearly wrong at the moment is the throttle is really sticky, in both directions but especially on the return. It forces me to death grip it, and then hinders my control over the steering as a whole. Do you guys have a favoured workshop manual? I've downloaded the honda service manual for all the 90-96 F versions, but I see there's a haynes and clymer one too.
 

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You can take apart the housing and spray some lube in there, you can remove the left side mid and look at the cables that go to the carburetors, they may be mis-adjusted. Its an old bike, lord knows who had their filthy hands in there. Congrads on your new ride. I have ridden mine into NYC and Miami in kinds of traffic that would have made your head spin, no issues. My older 91 had the same rear pads on it for over 60,000 miles at least.

I like the FSM, its a light blue one, I have a haynes one that is nice to look at but in the 20+ years of ownership, I have barely broken it open. Cheers
 

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yeah I'll second all that +1. my problem was down to me not the bike I've short legs so found the 31.5in seat height too tall to get both feet on the ground while stop starting and it's not a light bike if tipped over more than 15degrees, if I found myself stopping on uneven ground it got very interesting at times, I mostly tried to avoid the situation as often as possible even doing detours to keep moving.
interestingly the power delivery was always smooth and progressive so at speeds above 5mph crawling wasn't a problem just stopping, I must have had 50 bikes in my lifetime it's deffo the best one I had, 5miles to 500miles made no difference to it and never a single ache from riding it.
the GPZ on the other hand gives me issues after 30miles and after an allday ride I do a good impression of John Wayne for a few days lol.
it could be a PITA doing some of the maintenance tasks, but it needed very little doing ever, I would say it's the best all round sports tourer Honda ever made. at least the best I've ever ridden (and that's been a few) you have good bike there mate enjoy.
as for manuals I only ever buy the Haynes ones. has all the technical info I ever needed for a bike (or car).
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks very much both! Yeah I think i'll get the Haynes just because I need something physical to work off. Having said that I just clocked that a guy from Ireland has put up quite a few vids of working on a 4th gen (user: 'motorcycle muse'), the vids are really good as it's pretty much in real time.

I can see where you're coming from Yorkie, I've got used to the posture on this very quickly. When I first got the GPZ it took much longer, and by the time i'd got used to the fireblade i'd sold it!

Thanks again!
 

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yeah it's difficult to describe in words but I think the VFR with foot pegs further back and the distance to bars from the seat allowed me to ride with straight back so no strain. the GPZ has pegs forwards so makes the lower back bend more and lean to the bars. this gets tiring very quickly. perhaps body shape matters as some say they can ride the EX all day with no issues.
 
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