VFR1200F-based tourer to go on show later this year
THE NEW VFR1200T tourer will appear at shows later this year, and Visordown has the latest drawings of the VFR1200F-based technology-ladened machine.As well as the semi-auto gearbox that's optional on the VFR1200F, the touring version will gain, in true Honda style, a huge number of world-first gizmos, marking it out as a range-topping technology showpiece. These include a Goldwing-style airbag, as well as the first car-style crumple-zones ever seen on a motorcycle. A lightweight aluminium frame, not unlike the seat subframe on a conventional bike, extends forwards to the very front of the fairing, terminating in the distinctive 'chin' under the headlight.As well as acting as a crumple-zone in head-on crashes, this frame is intended to stop the VFR from tilting forwards in an impact; keeping the bike level so rather than being thrown over the bars, the rider is catapulted forwards into an airbag that bursts from the top of the fuel tank.The bike, which replaces the firms' ST1300 Pan European, was shelved earlier this year due to the effects of the worldwide recession.The VFR-T's technology doesn't stop there. Honda has also developed a new version of the VFR1200F's V4 engine, specifically aimed at the touring version. Where the F uses Honda's “Unicam” cylinder head design, with a single camshaft for each bank operating four valves per cylinder, the T will have double overhead cams. But don't be fooled into thinking that makes the engine more conventional. The DOHC layout is needed so Honda can implement its patented cylinder cut-off technology, which allows the engine management to shut off individual cylinders when their power isn't needed. As soon as the cylinders are disabled, the VFR1200T's valve system de-activates the valves on those cylinders, so they remain closed, turning the cylinder into an air-spring which saps very little power. The system is reckoned to be so efficient at cutting an engine's pumping losses – which normally make an engine inefficient at small throttle openings – that the overall fuel consumption can be as much as 30 percent lower. On the performance-oriented VFR1200F, such economy wasn't needed, but on the touring bike, the extra range it will offer is a valuable selling point, offsetting the additional cost and complexity of the system.An electrically-adjustable windscreen will be standard, as will a centre stand. The push-button, dual-clutch gearbox is expected to be an expensive option, with the latest drawings clearly revealing a conventional clutch lever on the left hand bar of the bike in its basic form.Originally expected to be launched alongside the VFR1200F at last October's Tokyo Motor Show, the VFR1200T now looks likely to appear at this September's Intermot show in Cologne.Any takers?
Posted: 04/06/2010 at 15:17
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