Honda VFR1200F (2010 - present) review

Details
Manufacturer:
Honda
Category:
Sports Tourers
Price:
£ 12000
Overall
4
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Immensely capable sports tourer at the pinnacle of technological progress.
Get used to petrol stations, fuel range is poor for a continent crosser.

A race circuit seemed like a strange place to launch a 265kg bike with a 1545mm wheelbase but the spec sometimes only tells part of the story.

The VFR1200F feels noticeably smaller than a Pan Euro and fractionally bigger than a VFR800. Its pork is brilliantly hidden, though. Even with a dead engine in pit-lane, paddling the bike around with your feet, you’d swear blind it was 40 kilos lighter than it actually is. The fact you can get your feet on the floor helps here. Even as a professional shortarse, I could get both feet flat on the floor because the seat and waist of the bike are incredibly narrow. Think anorexic wasp.

Bulk and weight have been shaved off the engine too. The V4 is a nifty bit of design. Yes, it’s conventional in the sense that it’s a 90 degree, liquid cooled V4 with single overhead cams. From there on in, convention is tipped out of the window.

Some crafty cylinder spacing is responsible for that skinny waist. While the front cylinder head is as wide as you’d expect, the rear is a masterpiece of technical shrinkology. It’s why Honda went the more compact Unicam route. DOHC might have been better for peak, high revving power but the SOHC method worked particularly well in their motocross CRF’s where space, weight and accessible power are key criteria, so why not on the VFR? Also adding to the torque party is the 1237cc displacement. As they say in the US, you can’t beat cubes.

In terms of global sales it means the compact VFR fits a wider range of riders. It also means less chance of those embarrassing falling-in-over-in-petrol-forecourt incidents. And because the heavily sculpted tank swoops around your knees, when you’re on the bike it really does feel like you’re in it – part of it. Our track and road test ride was dry but you wouldn’t doubt the riding position results in better weather protection too.

Read more: http://www.visordown.com/road-tests-first-rides/2010-honda-vfr1200f-world-launch-test/11799.html#ixzz0xcqUkOBm

A race circuit seemed like a strange place to launch a 265kg bike with a 1545mm wheelbase but the spec sometimes only tells part of the story.

The VFR1200F feels noticeably smaller than a Pan Euro and fractionally bigger than a VFR800. Its pork is brilliantly hidden, though. Even with a dead engine in pit-lane, paddling the bike around with your feet, you’d swear blind it was 40 kilos lighter than it actually is. The fact you can get your feet on the floor helps here. Even as a professional shortarse, I could get both feet flat on the floor because the seat and waist of the bike are incredibly narrow. Think anorexic wasp.

Bulk and weight have been shaved off the engine too. The V4 is a nifty bit of design. Yes, it’s conventional in the sense that it’s a 90 degree, liquid cooled V4 with single overhead cams. From there on in, convention is tipped out of the window.

Some crafty cylinder spacing is responsible for that skinny waist. While the front cylinder head is as wide as you’d expect, the rear is a masterpiece of technical shrinkology. It’s why Honda went the more compact Unicam route. DOHC might have been better for peak, high revving power but the SOHC method worked particularly well in their motocross CRF’s where space, weight and accessible power are key criteria, so why not on the VFR? Also adding to the torque party is the 1237cc displacement. As they say in the US, you can’t beat cubes.

In terms of global sales it means the compact VFR fits a wider range of riders. It also means less chance of those embarrassing falling-in-over-in-petrol-forecourt incidents. And because the heavily sculpted tank swoops around your knees, when you’re on the bike it really does feel like you’re in it – part of it. Our track and road test ride was dry but you wouldn’t doubt the riding position results in better weather protection too.

Read more: http://www.visordown.com/road-tests-first-rides/2010-honda-vfr1200f-world-launch-test/11799.html#ixzz0xcqUkOBm

Score Breakdown
Overall
4
Engine
4
Brakes
4
Handling
4
Comfort
4
Build Quality
4
Crash Media Group
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