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HONDA VTR1000 FIRESTORM (1997-2005) Review

Published: 24 November 2006

"A brilliant all-rounder with few foibles"

Honda VTR1000F Firestorm motorcycle review - Riding

"A brilliant all-rounder with few foibles"

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

The Honda VTR1000F Firestorm is a brilliant all-rounder with few foibles: you’d be hard pushed not to have a ball on it. Regular refuelling’s a drag but better on post-01 Honda VTR1000F Firestorms, when capacity went from 16 to 19 litres, but it’s still thirsty. The Honda VTR1000F Firestorm has wonderful pull when you open it up in the midrange and sweet handling in town and on the twisties.

Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5

Some Honda VTR1000F Firestorm owners complain of the forks diving too much under heavy braking but, apart from that, it works a treat. Handling is sharp yet forgiving, the brakes do a good enough job, it’s pretty comfortable (somewhere between sporty and relaxed) and the grunt provides huge fun. The Honda VTR1000F Firestorm is very stable at higher speeds yet easy to manoeuvre nearer a standstill, too.

Engine 4 out of 5

The Firestorm's engine is well tried and tested in a number of 1000cc Honda v-twins (such as the SP-2), it thunders out mountains of low to midrange grunt, powering through traffic or around corners. There’s less “up top” than a full-on sportsbike but the Honda VTR1000F Firestorm’s more of an all rounder and the engine does the job beautifully. The fuelling is absolutely seamless, even two decades later.

Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5

Great but not perfect. The Firestorm is well built and sturdy but problems have been reported with cam chain tensioners, failing water pumps and corroding downpipes. In the main, however, keeping it clean and serviced should ensure years of trouble-free service and most Honda VTR1000F Firestorms are in pretty good nick.

Insurance, running costs & value 5 out of 5

Honda Firestorms are great value and there are plenty of bargains to be found. Perhaps because they were never really regarded as “sexy” - especially compared to the Suzuki Tl1000S - they were largely overlooked, hence some bargain machinery being available. Find a Honda Firestorm for sale.

Insurance group: 14 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 4 out of 5

The Honda VTR1000F Firestorm seat’s a little bit hard, but fairly comfy, whilst the fairing provides some good protection against the elements. The clocks are dominated by a huge, analogue rev counter plus there’s an analogue speedo and digital screen with fuel reserve, clock etc. Extras on the Honda VTR1000F Firestorm included heated grips, luggage and a rear hugger, but compared to modern day bikes they're pretty basic, as you'd expect.

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 1997
Year discontinued 2005
Original price -
Used price £1,800 to £3,500
Warranty term (when new) Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 14 of 17
Annual road tax £88
Annual service cost £100
Performance
Max power 97 bhp
Max torque 64 ft-lb
Top speed 144 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 11.8 secs
Average fuel consumption 35 mpg
Tank range 146 miles
Specification
Engine size 996cc
Engine type 8v V-twin, 6 gears
Frame type Aluminium twin spar
Fuel capacity 19 litres
Seat height 810mm
Bike weight 193kg
Front suspension Preload and rebound
Rear suspension Preload and rebound
Front brake Twin 296mm discs
Rear brake 220mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 180/55 x 17

History & Versions

Model history

1997: Honda VTR1000F Firestorm launched.
1999: Honda VTR1000F Firestorm gets new, silver wheels.
2001: An overhaul increased Honda VTR1000F Firestorm's fuel capacity to 19 litres, raised the bars for a more upright riding position and installed a new HISS security system. There were also minor tweaks with both suspension and carb/ignition settings plus the dash was redesigned and new, smaller indicators installed. Black wheels.
2005: Honda VTR1000F Firestorm discontinued.

Other versions

None.

Owners' Reviews

33 owners have reviewed their HONDA VTR1000 FIRESTORM (1997-2005) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your HONDA VTR1000 FIRESTORM (1997-2005)
Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 4.4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4.4 out of 5
Engine 4.8 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4.5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4.6 out of 5
Equipment 4.0 out of 5
4 out of 5

18 April 2018 by Hivis

Just the character and feel just perfect

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
5 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

Great value, more performance than most would ever need.

14 June 2017 by Pem Brooke

My second Firestorm...I've owned this one for four years...each time I ride it I can't believe how much I like this bike! Can't imagine another that would give you that glorious V twin sound and overall comforrt for the same money. Just great.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
Despite a lot of negatives, I like the handling, ride and brakes. I'm no Marquez, but the bike has never caused me to squirm no matter how hard I push it. Suspension works fine for me, brakes are pin sharp too. Folks complain about the tank range, but I get 3 hours riding out of a tankful, by which time I need a pit stop anyways.
Engine
5 out of 5
V Twin. 1000cc. 100 hp ...need I say more? Pulls like a train from tickover, smooth powerband, bags of grunt. Aftermarket hi level Jardine system makes an awesome sound, both on acceleration and overrun. Love the strong engine braking...rarely need to use the back brake.
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
Only major upgrade that I've done is fit manual Cam Chain Tensioners. I DIY job, but follow the instructions to the letter! Plenty of help on the fourm for this though. Apart from a Reg/Rec replacement the bike has never let me down. Even at 17 years old, the bike looks like a 2 year old. No corrosion, no flaking, paintwork is mint.
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
Just an oil and filter change each year, plus the upgrades, no other work really needed....just start and go!
Equipment
4 out of 5
No fuel guage, but a fuel light is good enough. Rev counter and speedo...what else do you need? I run Pilot tyres and they are good on the bike....no scares so far. I removed the pillion hangers and prefer the look as a single seater.
Buying experience

I bought this bike when I lived in Canada and loved it so much I shipped it back to the UK with me! Paid equivalent of around £2,500. Worth every penny. Bike is mint.

4 out of 5

18 July 2016 by Chik69

Plenty of low down torque but too easily stalled in low gear slow speeds around town.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
Riding on the open road is great but the bike tends to make the ball of the thumbs numb when ridden in town as all the weight is on the wrist, thumbs.
Engine
5 out of 5
Once you get used to the stroke of the engine it's faultless, but it takes a wee while to get to grips with the power outlay, particularly around town.
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
Front end too soft under stress, brakes are excellent and ride position is very comfortable.
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
You have to keep on top of the brake calliper maintenance as it can be costly to replace all those seals and pots.
Equipment
5 out of 5
I find that tyres with a hard centre and a medium side work best for the VTR1000 F, also dyno jetting the carbs and fitting aftermarket cans make a vast improvement to the top end power delivery.
Buying experience

I bought privately for £2000 for my VTR with less than 16000 miles and a full service history, very good value bike and definitely under rated and overlooked.

5 out of 5

27 April 2016 by Billy16

A qualifier for the 5th star - the suspension on both ends has to be re-valved, with stiffer front springs added to get the most out of this bike. Once that is done, this thing really rides and handles well.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
Suspension works well, but you'll never get top performance from the stock set up. Brakes do what they are supposed to and have good feel.
Engine
5 out of 5
Killer torque, sounds fabulous with aftermarket cans!
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
Anyone who has a VTR1000 is always hoping the R&R and the CCT's hang in there...
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
Keep the oil changed and the air filter clean - easy.
Equipment
4 out of 5
V-Twin Hondacati. All the fun with a quarter of the maintenance.
4 out of 5

Bestvlow budget bang available

19 April 2016 by Ron Bed

Best feature: engine! Lot of torque Worst feature: front suspension is too soft and it also affects the braking

Ride Quality & Brakes
3 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
4 out of 5

Brilliant bike

11 February 2016 by Steve

Great bike to ride. Mine is in excellent condition with only 5k on the clock. Love the v-twin power delivery. Plenty of torque. Handles well. Overall a great bike - just a shame about the tank range.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
4 out of 5
Nice power delivery. Plenty quick enough. Standard exhausts don't sound great though in my opinion.
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
No problems with mine.
Value & Running Costs
3 out of 5
Carburettor model, a tank of fuel only lasts about 100-115 miles. Makes me think twice about long journeys.
Equipment
3 out of 5
-
4 out of 5

Good budget buy.

21 October 2015 by Zeypher

This is my first V-Twin having owned most other variants over my twenty nine years of biking it was a box I had to tick. After much deliberation with my myself and my bank manager (no Ducati) I opted for the Firestorm. Unlike the typical Japanese sewing machine like fuel injected in-line four, this engine has character and a bit of soul! The grumble from the Scorpion system at idle is impressive, roll off the the throttle at low revs and it gurgles farts and pops, lovely! I`m not sure what they run like on the standard carb exhaust set up and how the fuelling is but my experience is all good. You can plod along in first gear at tick over in heavy traffic. If you give it a big handful the front will lift and 2nd gear tops out at 85 just under the redline. There is no point in redlining this bike in any gear as it runs out of grunt above 7500rpm. Overtaking is effortless and stress free in any gear just twist and go! Its not a quick turning bike but the handling to me feels neutral and stable and lighter than my FZ6 at lower speeds. Its never going to lead the fast group on the twisties but you can keep up with R1`s and the like as long as the road ahead has a long straight! Easy to service and I`ve had no issues after 4000 miles. Paint is still gleaming at 15 years old. Comfort is good for me especially as I`m a short arse with long arms. I've got a double bubble screen and I`ve done a couple of 500 mile plus trips with no complaints except the numb bum every 150 miles or thereabouts. Easy big bike for someone coming up from a 600 no nasty surprises pulls the same in every gear with no need to chase the surge! Honda quality good all round road bike with character. Great value for money in my humble :)

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
Neutral centralised handling with planted solid cornering. You can get away with a little back brake mid corner and will go lower on its side than you would believe for this type of bike. Lots of grunt for powering out of corners although the back end can squat a bit (standard rear shock) but never felt unsafe. Brakes are good enough most of the time but the front brake is too powerful for the standard front suspension set up. The initial plunge is scary! Once you know its going to happen you try not to brake so hard.
Engine
4 out of 5
Lots of grunt all the time just don't red line
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
Not a single issue over a year and 4000 miles. Paint, forks, swingarm and frame all look like almost new some minor corrosion on adjuster bolts on the swingarm but no where else.
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
Oil filters plugs fluid pads obviously its going to vary.
Equipment
3 out of 5
Poor fuel tank and range no gauge no panniers high exhaust.
5 out of 5

Nearly all pros little cons for the VTR

16 October 2015 by Simon Hardy

I would undoubtedly recommend the VTR to any of my friends seeking a high powered sports ride comfortable enough for the older rider

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
For a sports bike, the riding position doesnt feel as though you are trying to get your ankles behind your neck, as so many do! Although no sissybar fitted as standard and the fact the seat hump (for solo riding) makes it awkward to fit one means your pillion is forever sliding down the seat. Cool if its some bike loving bit of fluff you take for a spin... However not so cool if its the wife and your on a long run to a festival etc...
Engine
5 out of 5
What can I say.... Its a legendary Honda V-Twin and provided any mods are matched and shared equally between tuning, sound and spark delivery it performs at least as well as you would expect it to, under all conditions.
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
Thats self servicing and doesnt include tyre wear, as that would be difficult to in clude on a year in-out basis! Also if I had to have a grouch about running cost it would be only that I don't find it particularly fuel efficient... eg: at 108ppl £18 equates to 100miles.... So not too bad considering you have 1000cc engine under the tank! Just being picky through lack of any major issues to mention lol
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
4 out of 5

Honda VTR Firestorm. honestly recommended

29 September 2015 by Geoff Morgan

After 10 years off 2 wheels (GSXR 750 slingshot was the last bike) I decided I wanted something cheap and cheerful that would not spit me off due to lack of practice. A 17 year old bike... Cheap, Yes.. £1250. Cheerful, smiles all round. The engine is brilliant, I short shift a lot and it just keeps going. 2 up with a 100KG mate over the mountain during the TT was a joy. By myself it was a blast, I was by no means the fastest and certainly no where near the slowest. Diablo cans make it sound wonderful, a blip of the throttle and everyone looks to see what made the BOOM..

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
Front suspension was a bit soft for me so a stiffer spring kit was fitted and forks raised 8MM which made it much better. Rear needed to be softened and also jacked up by 6MM. much better riding position and handling. Too stiff a rear and the rear tyre loses grip when the engine fires you out of a corner... Fun to certain extent.. Tyres get shredded though. . A full set of braided hoses, calliper service and Brembo pads transformed the brakes from adequate to V good.
Engine
4 out of 5
Engine is awesome.. it has grunt to spare and as I short shift it suits my style... That's said it runs out of steam at the top end. Not a problem 99% of the time but at the TT I could keep up with newer bikes in the twisty's and corners but any fast straights I was simply out gunned.. not the bikes fault at all but did leave me feeling deflated.. but it only cost 1/10th of the bikes my mates have so overall I am very very happy..
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
So far totally reliable. I have Manual Cam Chain tensioners ready to fit this winter. Rear hugger has kept most of the muck off the rear shock and linkages but one linkage is within MM of the rear exhaust header pipe and was seized solid. it didn't cost much for new bearings and seals and nothing for the bearings to be pressed out as I have a hydraulic press (they went with a bang). The rear sub frame was slightly corroded where it goes wheel side of the rear plastics, £25 for a spare from Ebay and £10 to have it powder coated has sorted that out. Front fork stanchions where showing their age so were painted when the fork springs were replaced. Starter is in direct firing line of the front wheel so can get damaged, corroded. terminals need cleaning periodically to get the best out of it
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
Less than 100 to service, I do it myself and keep all receipts. A family of mechanics. Fuel economy is no worse than any other bike, the small tank makes it seem worse.
Equipment
4 out of 5
Plenty of aftermarket parts available. Belly Pan gives it a much more sporty look. I have a custom seat that's sculpted and has lettering stitched into it. looks lovely. Rear grab rail is a must for pillions, engine breaking will have them head-butting the rider without. Rear hugger, looks great and keeps things clean. LED rear light replaces the twin bulb OEM, uses less power and does not suffer blown bulbs. Clear lens also looks better than the red OEM one. Top yoke is a rough aluminium cast affair. £10 from EBay for another and polished it, the Honda logo is 'engraved' so it has been filled with the same red paint as the bike, looks much better. Makes the bike looks more expensive. Stainless bolts replace many of the 'blued' and corroded OEM ones. (no anodised bolts for me, looks cheap in my opinion)
Buying experience

Cost £1250. Bought privately, History check came back clear. Its a very clean example with 22k on the clock. It looks almost new after being stripped and various components replaced, Painted or polished.

4 out of 5

A reasonable all rounder,but buy one with upgrades!

21 June 2015 by Achmed The Dead Terrorist

Hmm, maybe just me,but although it's a great day to day bike and i'd been lead to believe it was brilliant, it just wasn't the bike for me. Good mid-range grunt,handling ok,brakes ok, but it didn't endear itself to me,or blow me away. That said,it was functional and did the job with reasonable standard brakes. Mine was immaculate and i mean immaculate...but standard! For me, it needs all the extras to get the best out of it: New pipe,power tweaks,braided lines,but especially decent shock and i'd suggest linear springs! If you're buying,get one with the bits already on.

Ride Quality & Brakes
3 out of 5
Brakes ok,but upgrades won't hurt. Ride ok,but even though it's not an outright racer,it became achy on the wrists and butt after a few miles;Not a bike i'd like to tour on and bar risers might help along with a comfier seat. This may just be me; yes i managed to get it quite low on the bends,but standard, i just could not get it 'dialled in' to my liking,always feeling it wasn't quite right...too jittery on the front. I've no doubt with a decent rear shock,linear springs and set up properly,it would transform the bike, but Honda should have done a better job with the standard set up.
Engine
4 out of 5
Good grunty engine,lifts the front up at will for grin factor :) uses a little oil,but no issues,although i'd heard of a few probs with Reg/rectifier and water pump, but the main thing everyone will warn you about on these,are the dreaded Cam tensioner issues. Don't risk it,fit manual tensioners,or machine the originals...it can be done!
Build Quality & Reliability
3 out of 5
Front forks 'pit' easily. Tank range woeful. Fill up every 100miles to be on the safe side. Needs to be pampered and waxed to avoid it becoming shabby. Only issue,it needed carbs cleaned and balanced.
Value & Running Costs
3 out of 5
Regular fill-ups a pain and not great on juice. Use super unleaded.
Equipment
3 out of 5
Had Avon Storms,which were ok'ish. Wet...take it easy,they snatch away. Same when cold and need warming up. Great in hot weather. Battlax were recommended,but can't comment personally.
Buying experience

Paid a fair price...it was a low-mileage minter. They can be had pretty cheap,so bargains about.

4 out of 5

Storm!

29 June 2014 by Hillar

I guess I liked it when I first saw but fell in love when it heared it running(with Leo Vince Exhausts!).Looks awesome for 1998 year bike, good handling for newbie biker like me. Fairing and windshield(bulk or double bulk) protect you from wind/elements. Riding at rain or heavy wind is no problem also, side radiators keep your legs nice and warm. Powerful but a bit thirsty V-twin with only 16L tank is the only minus I would add.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

The Grunt!

28 February 2014 by CiaranSherry

I bought one of these Honda V-twins five years ago on a bit of a whim, it was yellow with full fairings, and impressed me with the savage low down grunt. All of these years later, it still brings a smile to my face. I put it up for sale two days ago due to the recent acquisition of a twin axle caravan for family holidays, and the small detail of owing the radiant Mrs. Sherry a not insignificant few pounds she lent me towards the cost of same purchase. I jumped it two days hence, as the battery was flattened by the HISS since I last took it out six months ago, and drove it back to town where we live from my farm buildings where it is permanently garaged. Boy, does the VTR1000 bring a smile to your face. It has enormous low down grunt, coupled with fantastic engine braking, and is hugely responsive to all minimal inputs by the rider. I'm sorry to see it go, but wifey is secretly thrilled, because she knows it could be a serious 'widow maker' given the speed it is capable of, and because of course it doesn't have airbags like her Vauxhall Insignia SRI which has greater than 50% more horsepower. :) Some posters have commented on the front end 'diving' under hard braking, but my experience is that intelligent reading of the road ahead nullifies this, in the same sense that a pilot will never fly through airspace his brain hasn't visited previously. The feedback this twin gives is hugely rewarding, in large part due to its responsiveness, and also the soundtrack it gives under both acceleration, and perhaps even more under fuel starvation when slowing down for a bend. The Firestorm is pure 'grunt', and prefers country, to city or town.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
4 out of 5

stormin success

27 February 2014 by harrierk

read these reviews and they all seem pretty spot on. What a superb bike for getting from corner to corner. It goes round corners pretty well but boy does it pull out of them so well and the engine braking and general brakes (same as a fireblade but thicker discs) means entering corners ain't to bad either. The comments re range are very true anything much over 100 miles and I am looking out for a petrol station. The cam chain tensioners are a weak point as is the rectifier (see other reviews) but the grunt of the engine means acceleration and overtaking are world class and comparable with even the latest superbikes. Getting a bit older now but for a true performance bike you would get a awful lot for your money from a firestorm. ps. the hard acceleration can be a bit wearing on rear tyres but modern sports/touring compounds mean that milages are reasonable.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
3 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

100% grin factor

11 May 2013 by draclee

ive always loved big v twins ive had my tl 1000s for 14 years now and at the moment its going through a café racer build. thing is its taking ages to do and I needed another twin. luckily a lad at work had 1998 vtr for sale it was a snap at £1325 I took it for a blatt around the moores and was very happy with its performance. this baby is staying with me. theres more than enough power for road use and it delivers it quickly. for an old bike its still mountains of fun.you can keep your R1s and the like i'm sticking with v twins. :o)

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
5 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

Very Impressed

09 December 2012 by craigyvince

I have been on the lookout for a decent budget priced V Twin for a while and was most impressed with the Firestorm out of all the bikes I tried. The one I settled on is a 2003 model and has a very smooth delivery and I was very taken at how well it handled in traffic and when cornering. I have been previously riding CBR600's and I must say the Firestorm just feels and handles better. I am only a short ass but the bike does not feel large at all, in fact it feels easier than my last CBR600. The only hang ups I can find is that it can be a little thirsty and also it is not fuel injected but the carbs are enormous anyway so these are only minor issues as far as I am concerned. Excellent value for money, would highly recommend.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
4 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
4 out of 5

2nd storm

21 September 2012 by HHornet600

I swapped my first Storm for a cruiser as I am quite a shorty, but found myself wanting another, so once I had a Harley sitting in my garage it was time for a second bike for work, I bought a Speed 4 but found that Triumph yet again wanted £600 to service the bike, so I swapped it for my storm, and I'm glad to have another. The Storm isn't perfect, you need to change the Cam chain tensioners ASAP, sometimes the original last years, sometimes not, but when they do go, the pistons meet valves and its an expensive fix, the cure is manual cam chain tensioners, which take a couple of hours and with the instructions from Vtr1000.org you can permnantley fix this potential engine in bin experience. Also the regulator should be changed if it isnt a finned version as Smooth Honda version burn out and leave you stranded by the road. What can i say about this bike, well it handles good, the engine is really nice, and unlike other Honda motorcycles has character, I love the look of the bike and for the money its a lot of bike. My only moan is the storm can be heavy around town in low speed. So if you on a budget and want a big bike then the storms a good contender, just get those cam chain tensioners done or find one already done.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
3 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

Better sport tourer than a VFR!

15 August 2012 by Anonymous

Ive had 3 pre Vtec VFRs, 2 800s and a 750. I bought a 2005 VTR1000 a few months ago and I'm so glad I didn't go another VFR. As great as the VFRs are this VTR is so much more nimble and fun to ride. The noticeably lighter weight, stiffer frame and more grunt make it a much better sport tourer as apposed to the VFR tourer sport. It's comfortable and that V2 engine is a grunt factory. It's a little thirsty around town but it's sounds so good with the staintune pipes on it I don't care. Keep the air filter standard or tuned to suit or suffer a rough engine. Overall a fantastic, fun and capable sport tourer, highly recommended.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
5 out of 5
-
4 out of 5

vtr wat a storm

19 October 2011 by davethebuilder

just got my firestorm from ebay ,sold my bmw r80 rt for £880 a 1986. 56k on the clock and got the storm for £900 , it has a few cracks on the fairing with 25k on the clock a 1997. only been over hart side the motor just keeps pulling , engin breaking is so good you hardley need to use the breaks hard. well worth a trip to ebay.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
4 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

Will make you smile

29 March 2011 by Ovski

Ive only had mine a week so its a very early on review but here goes...ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT!! I picked up a '97 plate in the best colour (Red)and have enjoyed every second on it so far. Coming from an Gixxer 750 the engine is phenomenal, it has so much grunt from idle and sounds lovely even on the original exhausts. Brakes are top notch (although mine has braided hoses fitted) and it doesnt feel anywhere near as heavy as it feels. Girlfriend absolutely loves riding pillion and with the grabrail fitted Ive got loads of room even with her on the back. Its got the lower fairing fitted which makes it a lot more sporty looking. Fuel economy is dire but then maybe I should slow down a touch. In all, great bike for very little money!

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

Absolute bargain

04 December 2010 by Anonymous

I have ridden for 18 years and do highish mileages (12k a year) and everyone said I needed a VFR. Bollocks. I went out and brought a 'Storm from e-bay of all places. Even now equivalent VFRs cost twice the price and have double the mileage. For what? Crapy linked brakes and a dangerous VTEC thing. And they're slower. And heavier. Mine goes like stink and does all you could reasonably expect of any bike. Problems in all year riding? It coughs, it needs cunning to start on a cold morning (use less choke..) and the tank range is truly shit. Plus points? Is there any bike with more character and all day / all year usability? I doubt it. And, at 5'8" I can get on it! ART exhausts are stunning, lower fairing a must. Bar risers work well (add about 2cm but well worth it) Last but not least - starter motor connections corrode. Early CBR600 one fits (I think it is the same) and is £25 on fleabay (£125+ for 'Storm ones). Stiffer fork springs are my next project. What next? A newer one of course. I LOVE THIS BIKE.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
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Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
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Equipment
3 out of 5
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4 out of 5

It's how you use it...

07 January 2010 by xape

It's a very nice on the open road, sticks to the road pretty well, and has very easy to use power, even in the wet. It's a gent and at the same time very fast. In town and heavy traffic I found it hard work, the heavier the traffic the harder the task. It's really not nimble enough for central London traffic as it's got a lot of momentum once it gets going and it just doesn't feel right suddenly nipping in and out of traffic (I used to be a dispatch rider, so I realise a lot of other sane people probably don't do this), but outside zone 1 it's a lot easier to manage as the traffic isn't so dense and there's fewer annoying scooter riders. Personally, I found the extreme riding position would give me pins and needles in my hands after about 20 mins of riding without being able to take my hands off the bars (often the case in London where you jump to the front of the traffic and need to be ready to go as soon as the lights go green). If I stopped a lot more and took my hands off the bars it would be fine. This is something I'd suggest checking before you buy as for me it was a deal breaker when I couldn't feel my fingers!

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
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Engine
4 out of 5
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Build Quality & Reliability
3 out of 5
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Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
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Equipment
3 out of 5
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4 out of 5

Dream V-Twin?

07 October 2009 by benji96m

Had my 2000 Firestorm since the start of this summer, clocked up just shy of 1000 social miles. Having had a SV650S for 4 years previously, the Firestorm doesn't disappoint. The low down grunt is phoenominal, with more than enough to catapult you into next year from between 2 and 6k revs. If I was to mark the Firestorm down on anything, it is obviously not a light sportsbike, so can be a bit heavy going into the corners, but makes up for it pulling out again. Also, the tank on the pre 2001 model is too small for a weekend thrasher, generally returning about 110 miles before cowering out and having to stop for fuel. Long range is a bit better, but with no fuel guage other than a little LED, it can be a bit of a guessing game. Generally a great big V-Twin, comfortable and capable, and great value for money.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
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Engine
5 out of 5
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Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
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Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
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Equipment
3 out of 5
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5 out of 5

boom boom boom

26 May 2009 by leighrichardson

After riding in line fours for 9 years i have finally changed to a honda firestorm v twin and totally love it. Gone are the days you have to rev the tits off the engine to get the best out of it. Just wind the throttle back and short shift through the gears and you will hit treble figure speeds in an instant. I was a bit concerned about the fuelling after reading up but its not what i first thougt! The tank is small but only costs £12.50 to fill up, 13.5 litres and then 2.5 in reserve totalling 16l, not much but after testing for mpg on several swift ride outs the big twin is hitting between 35 and 40 mpg which is no different to most bikes. The fun factor on this honda is second to none and with a set of booming cans it just makes you want to ride it more. Ihave a set of hand made exhausts on but have had to put baffles in as too loud but still sounds the mutts nuts. Handling is good after the rear had a few tweaks and nothing scrapes now, knee down is a doddle even with high set giles rearsets. You can grab a bargain if you look hard and will get alot of bike for your dosh, most owners look after their storms.GREAT BIKE I cant rate this bike enough

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
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Engine
5 out of 5
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Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
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Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
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Equipment
5 out of 5
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5 out of 5

Firestorm

14 February 2008 by Lass

After 15 yrs of riding this is my first Honda, I'm usually a kawasaki girl...but the modern Kawasaki's are too high for my short ass.... I got rid of both my other bikes for this, a Kawasaki GPZ900r & a Ducati m900..... The Vtr's brakes are better than my GPZ's and the bikes aLOT lighter! As for the Monster well anything is an improvement on that, as countless niggles and electrical problems plagued the bike.... Dunno if this review helped you must but thats life....

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
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Engine
5 out of 5
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Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
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Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
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Equipment
5 out of 5
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4 out of 5

Fairly fast, fun and easy to ride

03 February 2008 by k1w1boy

I bought one as my first big bike and absolutely loved it. It was an impulse purchase - no research, no clue. Total lucky break. Idiot proof to ride. Had 40k miles on it and I had to get cam chain tensioners done but after that little or no maintenance necessary. Narrow and good looking - sleek and and turned heads. Put Remus Revolution cans on it, removed the baffles and it sounded like rolling thunder. Twist and GO in any situation. Made a sportsbike newbie like me look very good indeed. Try one - you won't be disappointed. Got pinched. Shopping for a Falco now.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
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Engine
5 out of 5
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Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
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Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
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Equipment
4 out of 5
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4 out of 5

shake your head

31 December 2007 by quacker2

i got this bike in may-its just great fun,reasonably quick,brakes brill,looks good with full bodykit and high level silencers.the only thing bad about is the way it always takes me to fill it up,it should come with a "danger to wallet" sign on the throttle-still, the fun outways the cost.possibly the most enjoyable bike i have owned-only reliability snag i have had was the reg/rectifier went mental whilst a half hour ride from home.other trhan this its been 100% reliable.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
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Engine
4 out of 5
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Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
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Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
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Equipment
4 out of 5
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4 out of 5

The real deal

27 September 2007 by boonser

What can i say, i got my Firestorm in the summer, its my first bike and i love it. The cons first: Had a problem in the rain, i think its fixed now but water was getting into some of the wiring! Not Good, engined died when i was overtaking on the single carriageway. Seat isnt the comfiest and when two up its not very comfy at all. Doesnt like third gear in a thirty too much and slow riding is not its strong point. Gears can be a bit clunky but are ok. Ok Pros: Apart from those minor points (which are only my experience) this bike is fun fun fun. First the sound is brilliant, the V-Twin roar sends the hairs on your back a standing and any passer by to the hospital with fright. The low range pull is exceptional, merely overtaking is the best part however, caution it doesnt take long to hit excessive speed without realising, it is very decieving on speed. The handling is typical Honda, easy and fun, forgiving as well. You can crank it open in 2nd and up and the bike wont lift, well possibly will in 2nd but will in first once hits higher revs. Overall this bike is worth the money by far. I am reluctant to trade in for a bigger bike. The petrol is dumped on but realistically sitting staedy i get 40mpg easily and full tank about 120-130 miles. Reserve light is good as well and dials are nice and big. I would really recommend one of these to anyone they are spectacular. God Bless

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
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Engine
5 out of 5
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Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
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Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
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Equipment
4 out of 5
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4 out of 5

Fantastic road bike

23 March 2007 by Lightning Boy

So many people plump for the Fireblades and other across the frame fours, but I dont think many of them are actually much cop on the road. They're just too extreme. The Firestorm is a great balance of power, torque and handling. Soft enough not to chuck you out of the saddle when you hit a piece of gravel, fast and stable enough for some top grins. Then there's the wheelies... crackin. The tank is too small but with average use the consumption isn't that bad. I've had two and am now onto a Buell Lightning... which I love... but if they made a new VTR with fuel injection and some funky styling, I could be tampeted to grab another. Oh yeah, I marked the reliability down because I did have some issues after 4 years and 40k miles. Overall, very good for the road. If you do a bunch of track days, buy something else, as well.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
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Engine
5 out of 5
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Build Quality & Reliability
3 out of 5
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Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
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Equipment
5 out of 5
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5 out of 5

1000cc of V-Twin thumping bliss!

13 October 2006 by kwack636

I have been lucky enough to have owned some of the most extreme bikes to have ever hit the british roads. From an R1 to a Hayabusa, Blackbird, ZX12r, ZX636r and even a single cylinder CCM supermoto, but I would strongly advise any two wheeled petrol head to spend at least a month on a V-Twin. The firestorm may not have the top end power of an R1, but my god they are still fun! This is the 1st bike I can use ALL of the power on normal roads. Just returned from Magny Course and had no problems both with bike and comfort. Sounds the dogs through any tunnel and lifts the front wheel in 3rd. Love-in-it! Strengths: Grunt, Sound, Confidence Inspiring. Weaknesses: People moan about small tank, but I still got 115 miles to a tank...so cannot think of any weaknesses.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
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Engine
5 out of 5
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Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
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Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
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Equipment
4 out of 5
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3 out of 5

Bought 3 years ago second hand.

02 October 2006 by rooftoiden

Stonking engine. I am in the process of trying to sharpen the handling. At present it is a bit of a raft. Strengths: Grunt. Weaknesses: Tank range.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
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Engine
5 out of 5
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Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
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Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
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Equipment
4 out of 5
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5 out of 5

Loads of fun for little money ...

31 May 2006 by pingu748

Be careful ... once you ride a V twin its hard to ride anything else ... and the Firestorm is well worth riding! Comfort, sound and ability are all strengths, just bear in mind you are on a Jap' V Twin not an Italian one ... not quite the street presence but almost all the fun ... buy one as a 1st twin, enjoy it and move onwards and upwards after a couple of seasons ... make sure you buy a 2001 onwards to get a bigger tank though ... Strengths: Sound / Torque / Rideability / Reliability. Weaknesses: General corrosion on various parts ... keeping it clean helps ...

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
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Engine
5 out of 5
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Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
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Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
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Equipment
4 out of 5
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5 out of 5

Great second hand buy - only 4000 miles. Had mine lowered, carbon cans, lowers & D/ B screen.

26 January 2006 by djsmiff

Came from a zx6r to this bike. I only use it at weekends, but what a great toy! Quick, reliable, easy to ride and cheap to insure. What more do you need for the road?! Strengths: Its a Honda , nuff said. Weaknesses: Thirsty engine and small tank, bad combination.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
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Engine
5 out of 5
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Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
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Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
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Equipment
4 out of 5
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5 out of 5

Bought new in 2003 my superhawk kicks butt.

30 October 2005 by johnny996

My Ducati900ss made me fall in love with twins. My Honda superhawk996 made me fall in love again. I will never go back to a four again. My first love was tempermental, like an exotic mistress, many valve adjustments, weird electrical problems,and the list grows. I vowed never to go back. But the thought of going back to a four killed me! My superhawk is like as trouble-free as an asian wife. I have 17,000 miles on her and she still serves me humbly. Strengths: The best streetable power, a nice torque curve and 100 horse power. Enough growl to set off car alarms and turn heads. Great durability, my bikes been dumped more than a weight watchers' diet plan, and everything's still o.k. Weaknesses: It has an anorexic gas range. Until it overcomes that it can't be the best sport tourer on the market. Really is a shame Honda couldn't see it.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
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Engine
5 out of 5
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Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
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Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
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Equipment
4 out of 5
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