Tuesday, July 10, 2012

1996 VFR750F

With the FJ down the road being enjoyed by a new caretaker, I turned my attention to finding a suitable ride to slip into the vacancy in my garage. I considered a few potential bikes that I have a thing for. First being a Kawasaki ZX11, I have always had a thing for these cruise missiles and found a low milage ‘96 model that ticked all the boxes that I look for when shopping for a new bike. Unfortunately the owner was out of town for a few days and the two others I checked on didn’t live up to their billing.

Next in line was a 2001 Triumph Sprint ST, this is the bike I really wanted. I love the looks, the sound of that triple, hard bags, it was RED and relative exclusivity in these parts. The owner would not answer his phone or return the messages I left. He finally answered the phone after four days and five calls to tell me that a man from Ohio just rode off on it ten minutes earlier. I almost chucked my phone through the window. My guess he already made a deal with this fellow had to wait a few days until he could make the trip from Ohio. And stayed true to his promise, can’t fault him for that.
There was a nice ‘97 Triumph Daytona in yellow pearl that struck my fancy, but the owner had an unrealistic price on it and we could not reach common ground. This bike is basically the same bike as the ST but with a thinner seat and lower bars. Actually the Speed Triple, Sprint ST, Sprint RS and Daytona are the same bike with bars, seats and body work switched around to appeal to a wide audience. Triumph and Harley have been using this marketing strategy since the beginning of time. It seems to work for them as they have no shortage of devotees.
I found a very clean low milage ‘04 Suzuki 1200 Bandit for good money, but I had already purchased the VFR by the time this gent got around to returning my call. This brings us to my new to me 1996 VFR750F. I almost deleted this ad from my list mainly because he was asking quite a bit more money than I was willing to spend. And I’m pretty much a liter bike guy. I love the extra power they afford especially on the expressway. They have the extra grunt to cruise effortlessly mile after mile. That same power can get you out of and away from some pretty sticky situations. Of course that same power can get you into some pretty sticky situations in a hurry as well.
After reading review after glowing review about the VFR, I decided it might just be the ticket I want to get punched. From what I was reading out there, this bike seemed like it might be some sort of magic carpet. It seems like no one has anything bad to say about this model, so I spent a dime and rang the owner up. He was looking to upgrade “his words” to a new ST1300 and was a motivated seller. I grabbed him by his ankles, turned him upside down and shook him till he saw that selling the bike to me at the price I was looking to pay was the best option for both of us. He had a wad of crisp hundred dollar bills to apply towards his new purchase and I got a great deal on a bike that I found pretty much lives up to the hoopla it was getting on all those web sites I was reading researching this bike. With styling lifted strait from the oval pistoned NR750, it looks just a bit exotic as well.
I have had the bike for a couple days now and can say that I absolutely love it so far. It is light compared to the bikes I am used to riding. It sounds awesome, has more than enough power for the freeway, and is comfortable to boot. It makes the FJ feel like a truck by comparison, there really is no comparison to be honest. This bike blows into the weeds in every category. With the purchase of this bike, it marks twelve years that I have used the same money to purchase six different bikes. The only bike I lost any money on was the 2001 Honda 750 Spirit I bought new. You tend to lose money on new vehicle purchases and is the main reason I don’t purchase too many of them. I have used the proceeds from the sale of that Spirit to buy every bike I have owned since then. The moral of this story boys and girls is, you make all your money on the sale of your bike when you purchase it. Buy well = sell well, it doesn’t always work out this way, but if you do your research and hone your negotiating skills, you will come out on top more often that not.


red said...

Congrats on the new ride! Loved the FJ but variety is the spice of life.

Janet said...

That is one beautiful new lovelie!

Gymi said...

She has my pulse racing.

bayou_boy504 said...

Looks great Mr. Gymi. Congrats!

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