All Tests – 2014 VFR800F Test: episode 6, the legend continues! – VFR800F 2014: what’s changing!

VFR800F 2014 test: episode 6, the legend continues !

All Tests - 2014 VFR800F Test: episode 6, the legend continues! - VFR800F 2014: what's changing!

Twelve years after the arrival of the VFR 800 VTEC, here is finally the new generation of the legendary Honda sport-road motorcycle. Lighter, sleeker, better equipped and still as high-tech as ever, this rolling legend holds its place perfectly. ! Test.

VFR800F 2014: what’s changing !

Engine level, the 2014 VFR is given a classic water radiator facing the road instead of the two side elements of the old model. This modification has the merit of considerably refining the bike in its central part..

The VTEC is kept, but reworked to make it smoother. An initiative already followed by Honda in order to combat the "turbo" effect generated by this variable distribution. Remember that with this unique system in motorcycle production, only two valves per cylinder are active under 6500 rpm at acceleration (6200 in the throttle cut-off phase), then all 16 come into action above this regime by means of an electro-hydraulic system.

Finally, the brand’s beloved Dual-CBS – which combines front and rear brakes permanently and in both directions – is replaced by simple uncombined ABS. For once, this is a step backwards, as this device offers driving comfort and additional safety margin, in particular by reducing trim movements..

As on the second version of the and the, the 2014 VFR800F adopts a disconnectable traction control. A welcome "fashionable" accessory on a motorcycle intended to ride in all conditions, including slippery roads.

On the other hand, that Honda persists in not installing it on its sports cars, including the powerful (180 hp) and exclusive (€ 17,999 with ABS) remains a mystery….

The new VFR800F also has a complex automatic turn signal reminder system: a computer evaluates the difference in rotational speed between the two wheels and cuts off the flashing at the right time..

Heated grips adjustable on five levels and an adjustable saddle – with tools – from 789 to 809 mm also appear as standard: two real pluses for comfort. Finally, an optional shifter allowing upshifting on the fly – without cutting the throttle or engaging the clutch – is offered at 199 euros. It is with this accessory that the new VFR presented itself to MNC for this first test.

Sharp and modernized

Stylistically, the evolution is also spectacular! Gone are the lines cut with the billhook of the 2002 model: the VFR 2014 becomes thinner and more aggressive again. The finish however remains – and fortunately – at the same level as before: flawless.

Its "X" front headlight is particularly successful. The bluish light that emanates from it is first to think of a xenon device, but no: it actually comes from a brand new LED lighting, as elegant as it is efficient. With the disappearance of the pots under the saddle, the bike finds a lighter rear, both literally and figuratively. An excellent thing also in terms of mass distribution, favorable to agility.

As on the VFR1200, the indicators are integrated in the mirrors: well seen from the aesthetic point of view, but regrettable from a practical point of view as the cost of a simple hanging can soar. Note that the passenger seat cowl is delivered as standard, as are the covers masking the holes provided to fix the passenger handles..

At the rear, the magnificent single-sided arm – one of its visual signatures – is retained, while radial radial-mount front brake calipers make their appearance on the new non-inverted 43mm fork. The (hydraulic) levers are always adjustable in spacing, while wide grab handles and a center stand complete the practicalities.

And it is fortunate concerning this power station, insofar as the final transmission is done by chain: amateurs of gimbals and its qualities (absence of maintenance and dirt), turn to the heaviest VFR1200 !

On the practical side, the relative smallness of its passenger trunk is a nuisance: it only accommodates a specific "U" lock. At this level, hardly any progress compared to the previous one. We would also have liked to see at least one small storage compartment appear in the fairing, if only to slip in a toll ticket. !

The dashboard retains the principle of the analog tachometer surrounded by two digital windows, but it is getting a good facelift. All digital information is now written in white on a blue background and no longer in black on a green background: it’s prettier and more readable in the sun.

No information is missing, from the engine temperature to that of the air, including the gear engaged or the average consumption. On the other hand, there is no scrolling controls for this information on the handlebars. Only the heat intensity of the heated grips and the disconnection of the traction control is done from the handlebars. Pity…

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