So, Honda VFR 1200 F – the motorcycle that Honda sports tourer everyone has been waiting for has just been launched. Initial impressions we have gleaned are positive, and what we have to say this – it looks damn different.
From the initial photos of the Honda VFR 1200 F we have seen, at least to my eyes, there is something about it that reminds me of a standard BMW. I think it is got something to do with the faring and petrol tank of the motorcycle. I am not sure if it’s a good thing for a bad thing. Whatever it is, it differently is attractive.
I am not that sure about the silencer, though. It looks quite OK from the back, but side on, it looks like some musical instrument! The sound of the Honda VFR 1200 F is exhilarating, says Honda, but we will have to wait for that. The company calls the sound a distinctive growl which is an off-beat bass-rich sound at low RPMs, but changes to a distinctive V4 growl at speed.
Talking about the fairing of the Honda VFR 1200 F, Honda refers to it as a ‘layer concept aero faring for unrivalled air flow management’. However, we have come across some comments that the slab sided faring is to enable Honda to offer wider variances to their parts manufacturers.
Let’s talk about the engine of the Honda VFR 1200 F now. The motorcycle is powered by a 1237 cc liquid cooled 76°V4 that produces 172 bhp at 10,000 RPM. Maximum torque is 129 NM at 8750 RPM. The Honda VFR 1200 F weighs in at 267 kilograms. Honda has come up with a new engine layout, with their rear cylinders closer together than different cylinders. This reduces the overall size of the engine and brings centre of gravity exactly where they wanted.
At this point, there is no information in the official specifications about the top speed or acceleration figures of the Honda VFR 1200 F. Honda has not released any, and nobody has had a test ride on the VFR 1200 F yet either.
Wheels are 17 inch aluminium wearing 120/70 radial tyres at the front and 190/55 radial tyres at the rear.
The Honda VFR 1200 F will be a available at all Honda dealers in Spring 2010. The motorcycle will initially be available in Candy Prominence Red, Seal Silver Metallic and Pearl Sunbeam White colours. is also a dual clutch automatic transmission version available which features three modes and paddle shifters. What the Manual and automatic transmissions are six-speed. Power is transmitted to the rear wheel through a shaft drive which Honda claims to have seriously improved to avoid any of the normal shaft drive issues.
The price of the Honda VFR 1200 F has not yet been announced. We expect to have a grip on that in the next month or two.
We think that the rear passenger seat might be a complaint for some, but whether it will be as uncomfortable as it looks is something that will be clear only after a test ride. For the time being Honda VFR 1200 F looks like a capable motorcycle that has the potential to be the perfect sports tourer.
Engine Type: 1237cc liquid-cooled 76° V-4
Bore and Stroke: 81mm x 60mm
Compression ratio: 12.0:1
Valves: SOHC; four valves per cylinder
Induction: PGM-FI 44mm throttle bodies
Ignition: Digital electronic
Transmission: 6-speed (VFR1200F) / Six-speed automatic with two modes and manual mode (VFR1200F with Dual Clutch Automatic Transmission)
Final Drive: Shaft
Front: 43mm; 4.7 inches travel
Rear: Pro Arm single-side swingarm with Pro-Link® single gas-charged shock; 5.1 inches travel
Front: Dual 320mm discs, CBS 6-piston calipers with ABS
Rear: Single 276mm disc, CBS two-piston caliper with ABS
Front: 120/70 ZR17 radial
Rear: 190/55 ZR17 radial
Wheelbase: 60.8 inches (1545mm)
Trail: 101.0mm (4.0 inches)
Seat Height: 32.1 inches (815mm)
Fuel Capacity: 4.9 gallons
Color: Candy Red
Curb Weight: 591 lbs (VFR1200F) / 613 lbs (VFR1200F with Dual Clutch Automatic Transmission)*
*Includes all standard equipment, required fluids and full tank of fuel–ready to ride.