All Comparisons – VFR800F, Z1000SX or CBF1000F: Each His Way! – GT sport according to Honda, Kawasaki … and Honda!

VFR800F, Z1000SX or CBF1000F: each his way !

All Comparisons - VFR800F, Z1000SX or CBF1000F: Each His Way! - GT sport according to Honda, Kawasaki ... and Honda!

Two new motorcycles meet the same specifications in 2014: the Honda VFR800F and the Kawasaki Z1000SX, designed to cut the road quickly. Site compared them over more than 1000 km, in the company of a surprise guest: the CBF1000F…

GT sport according to Honda, Kawasaki … and Honda !

Last year, Site had organized a. For the record, the new and reasonable BMW emerged victorious from this confrontation against the good, old and dear Honda..

On the occasion of the release of the new generation of VFR800F, MNC planned this year to organize the second leg, refereed by the 2014 version of the Kawasaki Z1000SX. Unfortunately, a logistical ball – for which we take full responsibility – deprived us of F800GT…

A few hours before the big departure for Franche-Comte (in a small town called Passonfontaine), the new Site comparison takes on the air of a duel, far from being uninteresting however since it opposes the two major novelties in 2014 in the segment Sport GT motorcycle.

A reworked VFR800F

On our left: a motorbike – red! – to the 90 ° V4 of 782 cc, 106 horsepower and 75 Nm, weighing 239 kg with ABS and its 21.5 liters of gasoline. This is of course the new Honda VFR800F that Site had already tested at the beginning of the year (read our).

Unrecognizable, the new "small" VFR – as opposed to the "big" VFR1200F – takes advantage of the migration of the radiators of the liquid cooling system towards the front of the engine to refine its silhouette. The designs of the fairing and the tank are of great purity and the new X-shaped optic is almost hypnotic.

Admittedly clever, the original integration of the luggage racks (offered as an accessory by Honda dealers) is less successful than on the Z1000SX which benefits from more discreet specific passenger handles.

The raw and black plastic bindings widen the rear part a little too much, which in turn remains faithful to the VFR leg. We note in passing the presence of rear (and front) LED lights, while the turn signals must be content with vulgar filament bulbs … Savings of bits of flashing unworthy of the VFR, faith of Site !

Besides the noble V4 VTEC – more expensive to produce and more chi *** to maintain, but so fun to hear running! -, this Honda always uses a double beam aluminum frame whose surfaces are carefully worked: finely brushed or granulated, it is always great art !

The cockpit is also superbly finished, the instrumentation is as clear as it is complete and the controls are ergonomic – no handling worries even with winter gloves – if not aesthetic. We also appreciate that the two levers are adjustable (only one on the Kawa).

On the other hand, the most attentive and / or grumpy bikers will not fail to point the finger on the VFR at the button used to deactivate the – new! – traction control, installed hastily above the left stalk, as well as the steering column overloaded with pipes – even more than that of the SX…

A Z1000SX under control

On our right is the Kawasaki inline 4-cylinder with 1043 cc, 106 hp and 95 Nm (142 hp and 111 Nm in the free world) for 231 kg with optional ABS and full tank (19 liters). .. This Kawasaki Z1000SX, Site was able to ride it last September, a few months before its arrival in Kawasaki dealerships (read our).

The very sporty Kawasaki GT looks like a Ninja: turgid tank, openwork fairing allowing a glimpse of the – big – engine, inverted 43 mm fork (not inverted 41 mm on the VFR, see the technical sheets on the last page) and Kawasaki branded radial calipers that bite into 300mm discs cut "petal style"…

The future Site testers (Titouan, 4 years old and Malo, 2 years old) are not mistaken: they prefer the green motorcycle because it goes faster … and probably also because its severe and penetrating gaze, overcome a very low bubble (but adjustable in three positions, not adjustable on the Honda) naturally requires respect !

The new, impeccably crafted dual pair of exhausts and the eccentric-mounted wheel axle impress the greats. These beautiful parts allow to adroitly eclipse a swingarm and a rim much more basic than the beefy single-spoke and the sublime rim of the VFR … unfortunately hidden by a pot that seems stung from a basic NC750.

Although incorporated into the fairing sides, the Kawa’s prominent turn signals are no less exposed than those of the Honda, housed in the mirrors alongside the daytime running lights. In the event of a fall – or if only by grazing a parking wall as closely as possible (retrospective retracted therefore) – the indicators are likely to clink glasses. Goof !

The "Zed" will also require a little attention – ingenuity or mutual assistance … – when greasing the chain or to tighten it, because it does not have a central stand, even as an accessory. The VFR can therefore show off with its central delivered as standard.

Finally, as "seen" during the press presentation, most of the changes made in 2014 to the Z1000SX are … invisible. The suspensions have been slightly recalibrated and the engine, also refined, benefits from the services of Kawasaki traction control (K-TRC) and two engine mapping modes (Full or Low) configurable on the handlebars..

The CBF1000F, always ready !

To accompany these two new Sport GTs, the people in charge of Honda France managed to find us a CBF1000F (red, but less flashy than the VFR). Admittedly, this bike has practically nothing to do with the F800GT that MNC planned to oppose to the two Japanese, but it does not lack interest !

Present in the catalog for four years (read our), the CBF – last of the name – first of all stands out from its two competitors of the day by its price: displayed at 10,949 euros, the Honda inline 4-cylinder (998 cc , 106 hp, 96 Nm, 245 kg) is currently and officially on sale at 10,290 euros (2012 vintage).

The price of the CBF1000F is significantly lower than those of the VFR800F (12,590 €) and the Z1000SX (12,899 € without ABS, 13,499 € with)! The difference thus easily covers the purchase of the Travel pack (€ 1,474) with which our test model was equipped, including the 45-liter top case and the two 33-liter suitcases..

For a few euros more, it is even possible to afford the Touring pack which adds to the "Travel" the thin heated grips with small control button incorporated … the same as Honda originally fitted on the 2014 VFR800F !

Just as easy to install as those of our SX (and its "Tourer" pack at 800 euros), the "Cebe" suitcases significantly increase its appearance and weight because of the steel frames. The bunch of keys also weighs more, because the ignition key does not open the suitcases or the top case (too bad for MNC, Honda France could not find the key to the top case in time).

Originally, however, the CBF1000F is well stocked: center stand, combined ABS (not combined on the Z1000SX, as well as on the new VFR800F), three saddle heights (two on the VFR, only one on the SX), adjustable screen (less easily than on the Kawa, but still), storage space under the saddle superior to the competitors … And our surprise guest has not finished pampering her user !

Ready? On the way !

Related articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *