You can't really compare the pricing of a 2014 bike with a 2021 model due to inflation and feature content differences, or a Honda to a Ducati, for that matter. And I don't believe Ducati wouldn't price a V4 Supersport like today's twin, no way. Plus, I wouldn't want the V4 complication and don't need the extra performance on the street.My 2014 Honda VFR V4 base model retail was $10,950. I'm sure Ducati could do a base model for $15k and an S for $17k if they wanted to. If I could buy a 3 year old one for $12k I would keep it forever.
Then again, if Honda can produce a VFR that weighed 440 lbs dry (instead of 498 lbs), I'd be just as happy with that.
I mostly ride on sundays, the typical ride with friends is about 250km, and commuting to office if it’s not raining when I leave from home, longer trips of many days just once a year in summer.
Great balanced and fair review, very helpful for me 🇮🇹I mostly ride on sundays, the typical ride with friends is about 250km, and commuting to office if it’s not raining when I leave from home, longer trips of many days just once a year in summer.
I did all of above with the SS and, honestly, I never had any big issue, just at one point I gave up to the fact that Ducati designed this bike for having super fun in some particular situations, the others are just compromises.
Honda had a different approach, they carried on a project for 30 years pursuing a balance between the sport and touring sides in a way that only Japaneses can do, against all the new trends, and this fits much better my needs.
The possibility to put some stuff under the passenger seat (typically documents and rain equipment), to mount a top box without feeling ridiculous and the easy mount of the side panniers are fundamental features for me since the bike is more on a scooter mode for most of the week.
The project is quite old, yes, despite minor mods in 2014 the frame and the engine are still the 2002 version, but old doesn’t mean bad, and the full led headlight, the quickshift (even if only up), the hydraulic clutch, the ABS and the traction control (even if much more basic than Ducati) still gives you the feeling of a recent premium bike, it lacks many electronic features like riding modes but I don’t care too much.
The weight for example, you notice it in low speed maneuvers and hard braking but I feel the VFR more stable with lateral wind and less sensitive to load, furthermore, it forced me to use more the rear brake, that I was mistakenly overlooking for years, and this improved the ride of the SS as well.
It is a very smooth bike, in town is a plus, you can go fast but it requires a smooth riding style using the body, some people find this boring but I really like it, because the response of the chassis is perfect and I love the V4 sound (I mounted the SC-Project exhaust), so basically it depends on someone skills and habits.
You would be surprised in knowing that on a long trip the VFR is a bit less comfy than the SS, I’m having more load on the wrists because of more distance between seat and handlebars, despite the two bikes have the same length, and even if the general level of vibration is much less (you can actually use the mirrors) there is still an annoying high frequency vibration on the grips.
The torque below the VTec zone is, you all know, not very high, but still enough for me, anyway, every time I get to the SS I’m always surprised from the response of the twin, and I love this feeling, because I never get used to it, like when riding the SS only.
Of course you can get much more if you push it, but I find it quite difficult in the common ride, both for my actual skills and the fear to be heard by the police from kilometers away I feel more discreet with the SS while overtaking a row of cars or trucks without reaching 10000+ rpm.
The way the SS pulls you out of the corners is something that is simply impossible with the VFR, and it was appreciated also by one 1199 Panigale owner friend who tried it, but as I already said, the whole riding experience of the Honda is more wide for me.
And last but not least, it doesn’t heat up that much!
Nowadays the market is mostly for the big crossovers and indeed this bike is no longer a choice for most but every ‘real’ biker respect her.