I’ve just returned to London after an amazing trip to Budapest in Hungary. The weather was crispy clean and, despite the lack of snow, still had a bite in the air. I flew there with my girlfriend, Sylvie, to meet some of her family. Her father, Zoltan, is Hungarian but moved to California to study and stayed for longer than anticipated. 30 years later, he has returned to Hungary and it was the first time I’d met him.
For obvious reasons I was a little anxious about meeting him, but my anxiety was out-weighed by the thrill and excitement of travelling to a new country. There’s nothing better than getting to a new place, where everything is slightly different. It keeps you on your toes, it really does. Hungary is known for it’s history as a communist country and much like the rest of Eastern Europe, has recently undergone a rebirth. It’s now a popular tourist destination and I would absolutely recommend it to anyone. It’s continental climate means it is super cold in the winter and stiflingly hot in the summer. Whenever you go, however, you will find the people to be warm, helpful, and in my experience, incredibly hospitable and generous. Very proud of their heritage, they are keen to share their food and drink with you and I was lucky enough to have Zoltan as a host. We drank some of the very best Hungarian wine and Palinka, which is the nation’s favourite tipple. Somewhere between Snapz and Vodka, it’s strong and heart warming.
Zoltan and I got on really well and our mutual passion for motorcycles meant we had an instant connection. We talked about bikes we like and trips we’ve taken. Amazing to hear about his weekend rides around LA, on roads like Mulholland drive and his more recent trips through Hungary. Much like me, he’s into the whole idea of motorcycles, not just going really fast, but the quest for adventure. Man, machine and a world of possibilities.
I explained how I was looking to get a new bike, something with plenty of power, comfortable enough to travel long distances, but also sporty enough to tear up the city streets if I feel like it. Not asking too much at all!
He told me about his bike, a 1998 Honda VFR800, and he had nothing but good things to say about it. Interestingly, the Honda VFR800 houses a V4 powerhouse with some 118 Bhp. Not a typical engine and certainly not the norm from Honda. The original Honda VF, was named, meaning V Four and it’s possibly the perfect Honda Sport Tourer. Lean and sporty but still big enough to ride comfortably for as long as you can afford to fill it up. As with all Hondas, the VFR800 will keep going until the end of the world, or at least 100K miles!
It’s not the first time I’ve been told about the Honda VFR800. I know a guy who rides a brand new Suzuki GSXR but he still insists that his old VFR800 was the best bike he ever had. The closer I look at it, and the more I think about it, the more I’m starting to understand what everybody is so crazy about. It’s not about the bike so much as what it lets you do. The Honda VFR800. For those who are Hungary for more!