My VTR
I had a Honda VTR1000, or FireStorm in 1997. I ran it on long term test for Motor Cycle News and covered more than 20,000 miles in the year.
It got through plenty of tyres, a couple of chains and lots of cushdrive rubbers!
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This is my wife, Suzanne, with the VTR. It's got a Baglux tankbag on in this shot, but not the Renegade cans I added.
WHY A VTR IS GREAT
Honda's VTR was voted sports bike of the year by MCN when we did a multi-bike shootout in 1997.
It isn't the fastest or most powerful but it is exceptionally user-friendly, it's V-twin engine delivering power that most riders will be able to really enjoy. It drives hard out of corners and can be ridden in the same gear for mile after mile if the fancy takes you.
It tops out at a little over 150mph but can drink fuel 30-35mpg, being typical in road use. It's the fault of its huge gulping carbs! It's fuel tank is very small, too, and you'll be lucky to get 90 miles from it before the orange low-fuel warning light comes on. And there isn't a lot in reserve! I was caught out twice, ending up facing a push to the nearest garage.
Expect around 100bhp at the back wheel in standard trim.
I added two Renegade end cans, made by the Renegade firm based near Brands Hatch, England. They cost a little over 400. It didn't require dynojetting because, like many Honda's it ran pretty rich in the first place.
After the best past of a year in use, and with the addition of the cans, it made around 108bhp at the back wheel. And the cans, though illegally loud, made it sound absolutely gorgeous.
It was fine for two-up touring, too, and comfortable on long distances because the riding position is less than committed.
The VTR is often forgotten among the latest and sharpest sports bikes, but it's worth considering, particularly as its a fair bit cheaper than say an R1.


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