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2010 Honda VFR1200F First Ride

Monday, October 26, 2009
How would you feel about getting waxed at a track day but a rider on board a shaft driven  V4-powered touring machine with ABS brakes  heated grips and touring tires  Dont laugh...it could happen. Meet the 2010 Honda VFR1200F.
How would you feel about getting waxed at a track day by a rider onboard a shaft-driven, V4-powered touring machine with ABS brakes, heated grips and touring tires? Don't laugh...it could happen. Meet the 2010 Honda VFR1200F.
Going into the press introduction of the 2010 Honda VFR1200F there were a couple big questions that needed to be answered. First, why is Honda holding the introduction at the Sugo racing facility rather than simply offering us a street ride? And exactly what class does this motorcycle belong in? That brings us to the 3.5-mile-long Sportsland Sugo Circuit, just outside of Murata, Japan, where I hoped that the dozen VFR motorcycles queued up and ready to ride would provide some answers.

There are two versions of the VFR1200F. The standard model features a six-speed transmission while the other utilizes Honda’s Dual Clutch Transmission. The two bikes are identical to the naked eye with the exception that the DCT model has no shift or clutch levers. You might recall we first sampled a version of the DCT technology on the 2009 Honda Rancher ATV so I am familiar with how the system works. Basically the internals are a traditional transmission, but the Dual Clutch queues up two gears simultaneously, one odd and one even, with only one gear actually engaged at any given time so that when a shift is initiated the gear-swap happens almost instantly.

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2010 Honda VFR1200F First Ride
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Powering the new VFR is the latest generation of Honda’s signature V4 engine. This liquid-cooled 1237cc 76-degree V4 uses lessons learned from the V5-powered RC211V MotoGP program. Remember everyone was hoping that this bike would incorporate the V5 back when rumor of its existence first surfaced? At least this design took cues from that layout. The front two cylinders are spread wider than the rear pair so that the engine can be slim to the rear. This helps keep the bike narrow at the waist and more comfortable for the rider while aiding mass centralization. Inside the V4 the heads incorporate a Unicam valve train that was first used on Honda’s CRF dirt bikes. Using this arrangement helped to keep weight down and reduces the overall size of the engine. Exhaust is evacuated through a quartet of unequal-length headers that come together at the base of a funky-looking right-side muffler which caps off a system designed to sound as good as it performs. I found that it really does sound great, especially at the upper end of the rev range when the engine is at full song.
The 2010 Honda VFR1200F engine is nestled tightly in its twin-spar aluminum frame. Notice how the front cylinder headers wrap around the front in a horizontal plane. Every bit of available space is used.
The 2010 Honda VFR1200F engine is nestled tightly in its twin-spar aluminum frame. Notice how the front cylinder headers wrap around the front in a horizontal plane and  every bit of available space is used.

On the track is where it became obvious that the VFR1200F is a sportbike first, that just happens to be comfortable enough double as a touring machine. Although it’s really too big for track duty it still handles its claimed 613-lb curb weight well, and the slipper clutch makes for calm downshifts when attacking corners. Its OEM-spec Dunlop Roadsmart tires provided plenty of traction considering this is supposed to be a high-mileage sport-touring tire. I’m not going to lie, the bike did slide around a bit but what can you expect? Considering the VFR utilizes a shaft drive, it is important to note that driveline lash was almost non-existent. By incorporating a sliding CV-joint at the far end of the single-sided swingarm with an off-set pivot point, the design allows the shaft to move more freely than some other designs as the suspension travels up and down.

This is the first Honda motorcycle that incorporates throttle by wire technology as well. After watching competitors work the gremlins out of their fly-by-wire technology  Honda has finally brought it to the table as well - 2010 Honda VFR1200F
This is the first Honda motorcycle that incorporates ‘throttle-by-wire’ technology as well. After watching competitors work the gremlins out of their fly-by-wire technology, Honda has finally brought its version to the table.
This chassis as a whole worked brilliantly under the conditions we tested in, so time will tell if it proves to be as adept at long-range touring as it is to sport riding. It all starts with a twin-spar aluminum “diamond-configuration” frame joined to the handsome swingarm with a Pro-link rear shock, adjustable for rebound only, and a 43mm inverted fork with preload adjustability. Rake measures in at 25.5-degrees with 101mm of trail and mates with the long swingarm to provide a ride that is very stable at high speeds yet agile enough to be worthy of being considered a sportbike.

A combined braking system with standard ABS is up to the task of shedding speed and keeping things under control when it comes time to haul this beast to a stop. I’m generally not a big fan of linked brakes, but in this case Honda seems to have gotten the ratio working well. A pair of radial-mount six-piston calipers and massive 320mm rotors do most of the hard work while a dual-piston rear caliper and a single 276mm disc make up the back half of the system. It does lack a level of feel compared to a non-linked system, but still works well under the harsh track conditions at Sugo with its hard, downhill braking zones and ultra-fast Turn 1 that requires the bike to scrub-off speed quickly from over 150 mph. I could feel the ABS working with its soft pulse on the lever indicating that I might have been going in a little too hot on occasion.

The 2010 Honda VFR1200F features radal-mount 6-piston Nissin calipers with 320mm discs. ABS comes standard and the unit also features Hondas latest version of its linked braking system.
The VFR1200F features radial-mount, 6-piston Nissin calipers with 320mm discs. ABS comes standard. The unit also features Honda's latest version of its linked braking system.
Connecting the corners is a lot of fun with that big V4 purring, growling and making serious power across the rev range. No matter where I was on the track and whether I was riding the automatic (in S-mode) or the manual transmission bike, it is an absolute rocket. Now to be fair, there are probably a couple of faster sport-touring bikes available, but the VFR will give them a run for their money. The fly-by wire throttle is very well-sorted and exhibits no hint of hesitation or unwanted abrupt reaction when getting on or off the gas. As the power builds from above four-grand, where Honda claims the engine makes 90% of peak power, the bike starts to move with authority. On the narrow roads outside Sugo the power delivery proved to be equally entertaining, whether I was chugging along with the engine low in the revs or keeping it in the meat of the power for quick bursts of acceleration, there’s always enough to get the bike moving forward quickly when asked. Although power is important for anyone considering buying a VFR1200F, the aspect of this motorcycle that I’m most impressed with is the performance afforded by the Dual Clutch Transmission.

The Automatic version of the 2010 Honda VFR1200F has no clutch lever and no shift lever. This is the most obvious visual difference between the two models.
The Automatic version of the 2010 Honda VFR1200F has no clutch lever and no shift lever. This is the most obvious visual difference between the two models.
When riding the DCT bike it’s clear that the system is dialed in. There are two modes to can select from while on the fly, D-mode for regular or street riding and S-mode for sport riding. In D-mode the bike shifts well-before it starts making real power. Instead, it just chugs along, shifting gears and accelerating in a mellow manner in order to maximum fuel efficiency and minimize strain on the rider. Don’t be misled into thinking the auto clutch is a snoozer. In S-mode the motorcycle is as fun as the standard version. To my surprise the bike shifts in a very intuitive manner, making both up- and downshifts precisely and effectively on the track to the point where I was comfortable letting the bike do the work while I focused on enjoying myself on the winding, twisty Sugo race track. The VFR never initiated an unwanted shift, and yet if you don’t agree with the gear it chooses then simply select a different gear with the paddle shifter. The bike reverts to manual mode as soon as you intervene.

The lines of the VFR1200F are big and bold but this is a motorcycle that we believe is going to be popular among sport touring riders who are looking for something a little different.
The lines of the VFR1200F are big and bold, but this is a motorcycle that we believe is going to be most popular among sport-touring riders who are looking for something a little different.
What the arrival of this technology does for the consumer is to make riding accessible to people who may think a big-bore sport-touring motorcycle like this might be too much for them. The automatic transmission should reduce apprehension among less experienced riders and more intriguing to someone who may not feel they have the skill to make shifts, use the clutch effectively and generally operate a motorcycle of this caliber. It is all about making the riding experience available to more people, because operating a traditional motorcycle is something the more experienced riders among us might take for granted. Of course, the counter argument is whether or not we need inexperienced riders on a bike with this much power. My answer is that while the VFR is a sportbike with a marvelous engine, it does not have the liter-bike acceleration of a CBR1000RR and there are plenty of other bikes already out there that people can buy that will get them in over their heads. On the contrary, Honda is trying to make riding safer. Plus, if consumers embrace the DCT they will find riding around in D-mode will provide a rather mellow riding experience and could possibly make sport-touring more appealing to more people. At least, that’s the plan.
The fit and finish is as tidy with a rich  thick paint that you use as a vanity mirror if the needs arises  a good looking aluminum frame  single-sided shaft-driven swingarm and 7-spoke wheels which wrap up the impressive package that is the VFR1200F.
The fit and finish is tidy with rich, thick paint that you can use as a vanity mirror if the need arises, a good-looking aluminum frame, a single-sided, shaft-driven swingarm and 7-spoke wheels that complete an overall impressive package.

When the sun set on our day of riding and exploring aboard the Honda VFR1200F, we finally had the answers to those important questions. It turns out that the race track was a good location for the release of this motorcycle because it’s a sportbike first and a touring bike second. The VFR features state-of-the-art engine technology and a chassis that is equally ready to handle anything we can put it through on the street. The VFR is simply entertaining to ride and that means it is going to be equally at home in the canyons or gobbling up highway miles. As far as the class of motorcycle it belongs in, well let’s just say the 2010 VFR1200F represents the next evolution of the touring market. It’s fast, fun and offers almost everything a rider could expect from a motorcycle.
2010 Honda VFR1200F First Ride Gallery
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2010 Honda VFR1200F Technical Specs
Sure  you might think the 2010 Honda VFR1200F bodywork is funky  we can all see that. But it turns out there is a method to the madness. Inspired by the Honda MotoGP effort  the layer-concept improves air-flow throughout the bike and gives it the unique appearance.
2010 Honda VFR1200F
Engine: Liquid-cooled 76-degree V4 w/UNICAM
Displacement: 1237cc
Bore x Stroke: 81 x 60mm
Compression: 12:1
Fuel System: PGM-FI w/ 44mm throttle bodies
Final Drive: Shaft drive
Frame: Twin-spar aluminum
Wheelbase: 60.8 in.
Rake: 25.5-degrees
Trail: 101mm
Front suspension: 43mm inverted fork
Rear suspension: Pro-Arm w/Pro-Link shock
Braking System: Honda linked w/ ABS
Front Brakes: Dual 320mm disc w/ 6-piston Radial-mount calipers
Rear Brakes: 276mm disc w/ 2-piston caliper
Front Tire: 120/70 ZR 17
Rear Tire: 190/55 ZR 17
Seat Height: 32 in.
Fuel Capacity: 4.89 gals.
Curb Weight: 589 lbs.
2010 Honda VFR1200F Accessories
The 2010 Honda VFR1200F is a sport bike with touring capibilities so once you add the pannier system it really starts to look like a touring bike. Imagine the surprise when you pass a sportbike on the outside riding two-up
The optional equipment list for the 2010 VFR1200F should improve on its touring capabilities while not intruding much on the sporting side of the equation. The luggage uses mounting points incorporated into the design of the motorcycle and the rest of the pieces are simply intended to enhance the riding experience.

A 29-liter pannier kit consists of two locking, removable saddlebags. Entry uses the ignition key and the bags can be removed easily with a little practice. It requires that you get the base mount in place first then rock them into position before locking them to the bike. It took me two tries before I could figure it out, after that it was quite simple.

A 33-liter top box doubles as a passenger back rest and is even easier to remove than the saddlebags. It does utilize an additional mounting system that bolts to the subframe though. It can hold a full-face helmet easily.

An add-on windscreen lip is adjustable for added wind protection. Why the bike didn’t come equipped with a sport-touring class type adjustable windscreen will not be appealing to some riders, but at least this gives some range of additional protection if you find it necessary.

Heated grips round out the main accessory list. Unlike traditional heated grips, the majority of the heat coils are at the front of the grip so the rider’s fingers, which are exposed to the most wind, get the most heat directed their way. The grip is also significantly thinner than some other heated grips that were on display.

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Comments
krisha -kj  August 3, 2010 10:54 PM
Its a heart stopper!!!
sydney Tony -Thank you Mr Honda and friends  July 20, 2010 12:26 AM
Thank You Mr Honda for this chance to get on something that has a manual gearbox.

I understand the thoughts about inexperienced riders out there getting hold of a 1200 because of the Automatic clutches. Some of us (and there are lots) This bike now allows me to get off a scooter onto a sports tourer for the first time in Many years. I Commute 50km through Sydney on a (dont Laugh) Yamaha Beewee 100 scooter and have a lot of experience with the main potential killers out there, Cars! Everyone overcooks a corner ocasonally, and make mistakes, to have the safety benefits the new VFR1200 comes with it will reduce the likelyhood of an accident in the first place. Yes the power jump will be massive but I have ridden a Mana 850, and I wanted a lot more power than that thing had.

I have no functuning muscles below my knees,everything else is still there but I am paralysed due to an illness. This has made using the gears and back brakes pretty much impossible. I am sure there are enough amputees out there with similar problems as myself that have been waiting a long time for the technology to catch up. I Have nearly killed my scooter and have visited the bike shop, now to tell the wife!

I did look at the CVT in the DN-01 and Aprilia Mana850, but as it is just a belt running through two pulleys, I really would prefer a box full of cogs. The Price is a bit steep but doing the maths, it doesnt seem unreasonable, the tech is not cheep so why would the bike be. Combined braking, ABS, Twin Electronic clutches, twin rail gearbox, single cam, and CV shaft drive. As the years pass, the tech will reduce in price and make its way onto cheeper mounts. Just a change of exhaust will be an added expense which is standard these days down this end of the world to add to the bill.

To the sportsbike riders out there, wait until the next R1 is released then go try one of these type of transmissions for yourself then post some reviews of your own. I am a truck diver and The large Transport operators in Australia only buy Auto Clutch trucks now, they are faster, produce less emmisions/fuel consumption and reduce fatigue on the operator. All good things in a bike!

I Honestly think Honda are leading the charge with this bike and is a bigger market than even they have anticipated. The only criticisms I have is the red paint is too metallic once the sun hits it, and the price, I can see where the money went though. It may not to be of everyones taste or choice but it ticks all the right boxes for me. This is what motorcycling is about, Freedom. Being free to Choose to buy the bike you want to buy and not the one that is someone elses choice, and not judging a person by the bike they ride. Please have a look at one next time you are at a honda dealer, the photos don't do it any justice.

I will have one for christmas under the tree this year. I will need another 6 months to save the extra money I was about to spend at the Aprilia Dealer!
Ed the talking horse -Honda VFR 1200 F  June 14, 2010 11:32 PM
It was good to read some of the feedback on the new Honda VFR 1200F, but have any of you rednecks taken one for a test ride, or is the nearest Honda dealer somewher in Japan.
Free -Soul Rider  April 3, 2010 09:16 PM
When I first saw the VFR1200F back in Oct. 09, I was very disappointed in Honda for delivering something that didn't match MY EXPECTATIONS!! I wanted dual headlights, undertail exhaust, large fuel tank, low weght, and a 1000cc sporty, touring motorcycle, so I lost interest as quick as my dream bike bubble burst. But a couple Saturdays ago while, pulling yet another nail from my back tire, I decided to give the VFR1200F another look. I love my VFR800, it's everything I've wanted in a motorcycle except the power, which I knew would eventually be an issue since my last bike was a FZR1000. Even tho I love the clean look of the full-fairings, living here in the desert of Arizona, made for a hot running motorcycle most of the year.
The more often and closer I look at the new VFR, I must admit, the more I like it. I chalk it up to an aquired taste. I'm hoping the layered fairings and more exposed engine of the VFR1200F makes a world of difference in desert riding. For those of you who complain that it's not as fast as a Busa or ZX14, Who The F*ck Cares!! It wasn't advertised as a competator to them...it was after the BMW1300. Yes, it still falls short in the stats compaired to the Beemer, but the beemer's style is outdated, maintaince costs outragous, it's prone to stalling, and we all know that most BMW riders are stuck up LOL....How does the saying go?? You meet the nicest people on a Honda.
I was a hater....Now I'm a lover. Signed on the dotted line last week for mine. Just waiting for the dealership to get it in any day, and I plan of enjoying the new V4's feel and sound for all it's for!!
DON'T BE A HATER!!!
KNOWLEDGE IS POWER!!!
Oh yeah...About the price...I got mine for a hell of a lot less than the MSRP. Guess it all depends on the dealership and salespeople!!!
Free -Soul Rider  April 3, 2010 09:07 PM
When I first saw the VFR1200F back in Oct. 09, I was very dissapointed in Honda for delivering something that didn't match MY EXPECTATIONS!! I wanted dual headlights, undertail exhaust, large fuel tank, low weght, and a 1000cc sporty, touring motorcycle, so I lost interest as quick as my dream bike bubble burst. But a couple Saturdays ago while, pulling and plugging and nail in my back tire, I decided to give the VFR1200F another look. I love my VFR800, it's everything I've wanted in a motorcycle except the power, which I knew would eventually be an issue since my last bike was a FZR1000. Even though I love the clean look of the full-fairings, living here in the desert of Arizona, made for a hot running motorcycle most of the year.
The styling of the new VFR has grown on me! I'm hoping the layered fairings and more exposed engine of the VFR1200F makes a world of difference in desert riding. For those of you who complain that it's not as fast as a Busa or ZX14, Who The F*ck Cares!! It wasn't advertised as a competator to them...It was after the BMW1300. Yes, it still falls short in the stats compaired to the Beemer, but the beemer's style is outdated, maintaince costs outragous, and we all know that most BMW riders only like other BMW riders....How does the saying go?? You meet the nicest people on a Honda.
I was a hater....Now I'm a lover. Signed on the dotted line last week for mine. Just waiting for the dealership to get it in any day, and I plan of enjoying the new V4's feel and sound for all it's for!!
DON'T BE A HATER!!!
KNOWLEDGE IS POWER!!!
Craig -yuck  February 16, 2010 04:35 AM
Firstly, its fugly, I don't know what Honda were thinking.
Second, I agree with you, where is this bike being pitched in the market? This bike SHOULDHAVE been the new Blackbird in my opinion. I agree the VFR800 was brilliant but underpowered so an increase in CC would have sufficed. There was all this hype surrounding the release of this bike, saying it was going to replace the dated Blackbird, even early impressions (pictures) looked REALLY good. A V4 hyper-tourer with a sporty edge would have been awesome. I think Honda have missed to plot with this one. Perhaps they should re-use this engine in a more sporty version to rival the ZX14 and Hayabusa. I am sure with a few tweaks and mapping, along with a chain final drive and better styling, they could re-take the crown as the most powerful production bike. Come on Honda, all those years of pedigree, you can do MUCH better! I think this bike boxes in the same league are a Kawasaki Concours 14 or an FJ1300, but uglier, less powerful and less comfortable.
wojo -Wrong Direction  January 15, 2010 04:15 AM
At a time when BMW have been reducing the weight of their large capacity bikes, Honda decide to make a BMW competitor with shaft drive that goes in the opposite direction and produce a heavy beast. Motorcycle-usa.com go on about it being a sports machine. C**p - only when it is compared to a Goldwing or an ST1300. Weight always tells, regardless of how much the marketing spin says otherwise. Is this a VFR800 replacement? Heck no! Is it a Blackbird replacement. Possibly, but even then the weight works against it. Smart engine, smart technology but what niche is Honda driving at? Hayabusa and ZX14R will kill it for the high-end sports tourer while they are going to lose the VFR800 market to the Triumph ST and others unless they can pitch a version of the CB1000F as a sports tourer. I have watched a number of videos for this beast. Never did I see it going hard in the corners, albeit the media riding on the Japanese test track started to get into it a bit. Honda have always had a winner with their VFR800. All they had to do was upsize the engine to say 1000cc and give it more grunt. This new beast aint that for sure. If they wanted a Hayabusa competitor then why use shaft drive and drive up the weight? All I can say, is that when they say this is a different machine, then they are correct. Will it sell? Wait and see I guess but I think the price will drop considerably in a couple of years and perhaps the weight too. I also expect to see a real VFR800 replacement come along soon.
Rendell -Put this bike on a diet.  November 27, 2009 06:12 AM
613 pounds!!! Too much weight for me. That's cruiser almost territory.
Azacamis -DCT is not the traditional auto  November 25, 2009 08:01 AM
For those who dish out the DCT, please go read up the difference between automated clutch and clutchless. It is a world of a difference. DCT is automated clutch, or in simple english for those who do not understand, the engaging and disengaging of the clutch is done automatically. How does that make it sissy as compared to when you operate the clutch manually when everything else remains the same? You are still in control. No lost of power etc as compared to the CVT type of automatics in scooters. And DCT is notch better with the dual clutch as compared to the single clutch in FJR. This means there will be no lost of power during gear change. No human can change the gear faster than the DCT therefore manually operated bikes will definitely lose to the DCT in acceleration. So don't dish something without knowing what it is first.
John from London -Dual Clutch vs Manual  November 20, 2009 03:32 AM
Hey guys, Slush box for people who can't ride? Nope, your missing the point. Anybody who thinks that honda has developed this tech for the purpose of attracting people who can not ride conventional bikes are being misled. It is possible that some non riders in marketing may get carried away, but that is not why we are seeing this tech on a 1200cc bike. Manual vs Dual Clutch? I love manual cars and motorcycles as I enjoy the control and feeling of being more in tune with the machine. My perceptions have changed somewhat though after driving a Porsche 911s and a M6 on a private track bot with dual clutch setups. (PDK on a Porsche). These units are not to be confused with traditional automatics. They offer even more control than a manual box if you want to drive on edge yet offer all the advantages of an auto if you need to commute and spend hours in traffic each day. I can honestly say that if I was going to bye one of these cars I would now seriously consider the dual clutch option and almost definitely if I lived in a large city. I should also mention the time I saw a 911 turbo with a manual box drag racing a BMW M6 fitted with a dual clutch on a private track. They where close on speed but what stayed in my mind is how poised the M6 was and how the 911 was in comparison, was all over the place during shifts. And keeping in mind this was in a straight line, you can really see where this technology can help if you are pushing the limits traction wise through a long sweeper. I hate to say this being a motorhead and a fairly fast one at that, I am the biggest problem when it came to changing gears in a performance car. Even with paddle shifts it is so easy to have the car bouncing off the rev governor before you manage to press a button. We are now at a point where technology has made traditional gear boxes a compromise and not the other way round. The VFR1200 dual clutch can tour two up in the holidays, sit in traffic while commuting in the working week, and still handle the twistys in the weekends. Not light enough for you? Hate Autos? Wish it was a CBR? Not the status quo? Well you are in luck as the bikes you are after already exist and are readily available. But if you are in the market for a different bike than those already available which embraces new tech and features top notch build quality then Honda may have built a bike for you. Having choice benefits all of us. Oh, and why am I harping on about cars in a motorcycle forum? Because I haven't actually ridden a dual clutch bike as neither probably, have you.
Youta1@yandex.ru -Russia  November 14, 2009 02:07 PM
In Russia many admirers CBR1100?? waited for occurrence of the new motorcycle capable to compete with GSX1300R and ZZR1400, but in Honda other plans - it is a pity. It is necessary to buy Busa

KM -cbr1100xx  November 11, 2009 07:34 PM
Where is the CBR1100XX Blackbird replacement? we have been waiting for 6 years and you give us this Sh**. i have to say I have been Loyal to Honda for years but I guess it time to say good bye; I have a CBR1000RR that's just to small; come on Busa.
blueorleans -Vs. Aprilia's Mana 850?  November 9, 2009 02:31 PM
How does Honda's VFR1200F compare to Aprilia's Mana 850, other than price (the Mana retails for $10K) and weight (the Mana officially weighs 440 lbs. dry, although it feels heavier to me.) I ride a Mana and absolutely love it, although I'm also delighted -- at last -- to have other options should Aprilia discontinue the model in time. How do the two rides compare and what, in your mind, might justify the Honda's greater expense?
jimbolaya -mass  November 4, 2009 06:51 PM
Handles its 600 lb weight well? Who cares? Words like this are best understood as an apology, or better yet market puffing directly from Honda's mouth. Tripe. Writing about the handling prowess of a 600 lb machine is useless.
Gunther -running costs  November 3, 2009 01:02 AM
Like with the vfr of old, honda has put in some wonderfull technology to reduce fuel consumption. Now if I look at the 800, fuel consumption is actually horrendous, and atop of that the engine has a dip in teh midrange and more mechanical parts that can malfunction. I expect similar problems with this engine, but let's not be hasty.

I may not be grey at the temples yet (probably never will too, since there will be no hair left:P) but I have thought about the sport-touring segment for some time. I like fast riding, but I do a lot of miles and do appreciate some comfort. The thing that kept me from buying a s-t bike was that the handling was just not good enough. Did some testing on a blackbird, zzr1200 and a zx12r, but found them lacking in the fun department. Sure pulling wheelies and going 150+ mph is fun, but only for a few minutes. Right now I ride a zrx which I really like, except for the windprotection on the long hauls.

I wonder when they will just make a sportbike with good ergonomics, bit softer and some touring gadgets... how hard can it be? Not these fat behemoths. Still hope to be proven wrong though.
Gurney -Wha..!! whahappened to my paragraphs??  November 2, 2009 07:11 PM
Holy crap, I put hard returns in there, I swear I did!
Gurney -I'll comment now, read later...Here's my rather wordy thoughts.  November 2, 2009 07:09 PM
Quite simply..I like it. It's not the bike marketed to a fella like myself at this point but I like it and for the intended person it's gonna be a home run. In my view this bike hedges that spot between the sprint ST and the Kawi Concourse..it has somewhat fanned out the array of choices and broadened the choice of specialty knives one might choose from in the persuit of offering a sporty jack of all trades for getting to near and moderate distance A-to-B. One of the concerns I have at the forefront nowadays is the cost of maintenance and upkeep. I own three motorcycles presently that I actually ride and put decent mileage on. Few modern sport/performance motorcycles are mechanically/electronically simple any more and although I'm intrigued by the technology in this bike, what gives me pause is the lack of information as to the potential cost of ownership/operation. The more complex these bikes become, the more inadequate the standard factory warranty is with regards length, I cant imagine having this bike for 5-years and then something mechanically fails with this new fangled transmission. No way I can fix it myself..I'm not mechanically accomplished enough to undertake the task of fixing it myself. Take it to the dealer and I get to grab my own ankles and pray he had the decency to offer a brand name lube to ease the pain. Again, I love that technology is moving forward, but honestly the cost of maintenance and upkeep on a modern 'mosickle is more than a family car...easily, and to manage the costs somewhat I see little that I can likely do on my own with this VFR-1200...but that obviously is a reflection of my inadequate mechanical abilities. I sure wish review would start including (or demanding from manufacturers) more information regarding service and maintenance routines...flesh out those bones, dont just sell the skin. I dont want to sound like I'm bashing it, I'm not...I really do like it and see it in the vein of the BMW K1300 (soo much promise...ahh...they just seem to get glitches) as all the sportbike you could want no matter what your reasoning is if you are a rider that in fact rides on the street. Comfort cannot be poo-pooed like some do. It's inevitable that one day..and that day is here for more than a few; the allure of the repli-racer will diminish somewhat and although we'll still like them a lot, they will in fact not be the right tool any longer. They keep getting lighter and smaller so that only midgets and under 30-demi-gods can truly say "yeah...it fits like a glove and I'm crazy comfy" and "hmm, quite practical IMO". Some of us 'once-heros' are tall or fat or stiff-limbed or graying at the temples or all of the above and just cant reason ourselves into that zx-10r any more, but still love a sporty ride. This seems to keep it sporty and although isnt and doesnt look as hardcore as a RR fits the bill and feels 'perfect' once we are perched atop it. Relaxed enough, grips warm enough, seat comfy enough, haulin modest goodies enough, powerful enough, sounds ruff-enough, no chain to oil enough, ABS safe enough to feel more confident riding in the rain enough, technology ladened enough (if you want..dont have to go auto-tranny if you dont want to), handles every road straight or twisty with aplomb...Yep....Good stuff. Everything about it encourages me not to fill the tank and toss a few capfulls of 'stabil' in come leaf-falling time. Everything about it says.."keep her out, take her for a walk all year round...why not. Toss on the Gerbings and the balaclava and lets sniff the air."...Yep, I can see folks loving what this bike can offer. It's not a weekend warrior type, it strikes me as a sporty daily-driver serious road tool. Comfortable enough for that mon-fri ride to work, even during the groggy days. Lessen the chances of saying.."nah..think I'll take the cage this morning", or going from Philadelphia to Connecticut to visit your sisters family for the weekend, you just might say..."let's ride, I dont need the car". Yeah...I can see where this is good for the guy that feels he needs to migrate away from sport bikes to something that offers the addition of road-worthy utilitarianism. Alas...not for me. I saw it and didnt feel my skin crawl (the visceral "Ooh, this is the one, you gotta get it" vibe I get) but I do see the value in it and commend Honda for putting it out.
CHRIS -HOW A BOUT A F'N MSRP ON THIS THING  November 2, 2009 04:46 PM
AM I THE ONLY PERSON ANNOYED ABOUT NO MSRP YET . PUT THIS DAM BIKE BACK IN THE CLOSET UNTIL YOU GET ME AN MSRP
OTTO -Noise to one is Music to Another  November 2, 2009 02:39 PM
I still think that it seems that on a rainy day, several chaps from Honda decided to get away from their wives and came together and designed this bike. Maybe they should have gone to the brothel first and stayed there till the design was completed! No doubt, from a mechanical/engineering point of view, this design has more merit than one could poke a stick at. However, WHAT IS IT, apart from being another "also ran"? OK, it's not in the Busa/ZX14/K1300, NOR the FJR/1400GTR categories, but somehow has touches of some of those. Try as I might, I cannot feel the XXX FACTOR that makes you reach for your wallet, or something else in your pants which tells you "this baby has to come home with me!" Honda has this idea that motorcycles(and cars for that matter) MUST BE "NICE" and this is what it is! For me and a LOT of motorcyclists, NICE is NOT the reason for riding bikes! If the Rocket 3 can be momentarily thought of as being in a nearby ball-park, then it is OBVIOUS which game is going to be attracting the spectators and interested potential owners. YES! IT's the XXX FACTOR that puts a GRIN on your face.Nice try or nice yawn? ST1300 wanabe or FJR wannabe or K1300 wannabe? Either which way or the other, the response could well be
"SO WHAT"? This bike is the 2 wheel equivalent of the Honda Accord. It's meant for "Nice" People because when you ride/drive a Honda, you meet "NICE" people! But if this bike is MUSIC to YOUR ears, then SING away, as it's YOUR TUNE abeit a "Nice" tune.
Woodman West -Honda  November 2, 2009 01:02 PM
I would ague that instead of building bikes we want, Honda is trying to tell us want we want.
Champore -SRMarzocco  November 2, 2009 11:05 AM
“I think it is a safe bet they're more likely going to pull it off than not. And sure a few of you even, quite clearly have all the answers (just ask you, you'll tell us; oh, wait, we didn't!) with what are obviously far more expansive resources than Honda to "TRULY know what the market needs," but then, you're not building and selling bikes so we'll never really know if you're smarter, will we?! ...in any case, I really don't mean to offend anyone but do hope to call out how it might seem to reasonable and open minded folks how you are coming across, if you care”.

I may not build any bikes but neither do you and therefore; my opinion is no better or worse than yours, it’s just a different view. Most reasonable people understand this. I don’t have any problems with any riders who like this bike, want to own this bike, or think this bike will be a success. I do have a problem when someone tells me my OPINION is wrong and that my opinion is invalid or not of value based on their own personal standards and then turn right around and say their opinion and claim their opinion can not be questioned or challenged. That is unreasonable. Also, the very purpose of this message board is to “share” our thoughts not to have one persons view point and then tell other riders we didn’t ask for your input; my input was asked for by the very existence of this message board.

I don’t have all the answers my talking points are based out of facts, events, and statistics that have taken place and correlate to the motorcycling industry; an industry that I have worked in. This does NOT make me an “expert” but it does put some support behind my opinion.

It isn’t always a safe bet to say Honda will pull it off more likely than not. Case in point. CB599, this bike IS a success in the European market but was NOT in the US, the CBR1100XX was a modest success in other markets but not in the US, the VTX1800 has been largely a failure and obviously eliminated from the model line up, the Super Hawk had a short lived moment of success then sales dropped off, going a little farther back the Hawk GT650 great bike but did not sell well, the Rune and its predecessor Valkyrie, even the current VFR800 is a poor seller.

All or these bikes are excellent bikes and should have sold well and still be in production but did not and are not. Maybe Honda did not do a good enough job with their market research, maybe the competition offered a better alternative, maybe the bike came out at the wrong time, maybe it was priced too high, whatever the reason Honda did not make these models successes and I say Honda because these were good bikes.

My point is even Honda can make mistakes with regards to what the market wants and will actually buy. My opinion is that the new 2010 VFR1200 may…may be one of these bikes that Honda missed the mark on.

By the way, what supports your logic that an automatic trans will lead to safer riding?


Woodman West -Dealers closing like crazy  November 2, 2009 03:30 AM
Lets just hope there are a few dealers left to buy from when this mess is over. Everyone expanded durng the boom, now they are closing like crazy.

The strong should survive, but the market is so diluted, they may not.

Change we can believe in!
SRMarzocco -So much for paragraphs!  November 1, 2009 08:21 PM
Don't know why my first/prior post wiped out my paragraphs/ returns; makes for VERY annoying reading, sorry!
SRMarzocco -Platform or "Modular" Manufacturing is The Key  November 1, 2009 08:08 PM
Okay Gentlemen, After reading some but by no means all of the posts, while naturally largely skipping the little pissing match (geez, guys; what's up with that anyway?!), it seems many of you might find it VERY helpful to learn Honda is apparently on a path of "platform" or modular-like building and packaging/ marketing. ...done well, this can be a VERY good thing for everyone! Put simply, a quick google and read at other sites on the new VFR makes clear Honda is planning on a much-more touring oriented version downstream, than the initial "F" version release tested here. Meanwhile, there may also be a little issue of not "stealing" too much from current ST1300 inventories to ensure a smooth transition specifically in terms of cash flows for Honda and its dealers. It also makes sense to phase such a significantly changed bike from past designs, particularly the "auto-transmission" feature and finally, it is always a very good idea to focus on one version to both build up volumes and better help get kinks out, before bringing out others. Clearly for those who want other features a more touring oriented version would best include, many such features can likely be "customized." For example, I can't imagine it taking too long to find someone building an assortment of add ons or swap outs of various items; seats, bars and more. Ken's observation of Honda also considering those who may otherwise stay away from so much bike until they feel more comfortable with shifting but then, they don't even start because getting a smaller bike just wouldn't feel right so, "let's just skip even doing this..." is a really good point. Honda should be commended for clearly taking some serious time expending significant resources really studying market dynamics, demographics and especially POTENTIALS, before stepping forward with this effort. Sure they can seem to take quite a while doing something but once they do; I think it is a safe bet they're more likely going to pull it off than not. And sure a few of you even, quite clearly have all the answers (just ask you, you'll tell us; oh, wait, we didn't!) with what are obviously far more expansive resources than Honda to "TRULY know what the market needs," but then, you're not building and selling bikes so we'll never really know if you're smarter, will we?! ...in any case, I really don't mean to offend anyone but do hope to call out how it might seem to reasonable and open minded folks how you are coming across, if you care. Now then, one point I will add to Ken's observation about Honda also trying to expand the marketplace here, is that if and as they hopefully pull that off, that ends up better for everyone. Why wouldn't it?! More riders not having to worry as much about what they have to do to make the bike go but who can instead, spend more of their time and attention focusing on the road and threats to their safety going down that road while also having more attention to better enjoy it all...what's not to like here, folks?! As more bikes happen it helps all of us, especially if safe biking improves along with it. As volumes improve pricing pressures ease and we can get more for less. This can include quality, too! Plus much like Europe where there are FAR more motorcycles, drivers in cars and trucks will all see more and more motorcycles around and find themselves better aware and prepared. Insurance rates should also improve, too. Then there's the environment including space to park and technically speaking more road capacity, etc. Honda is making a step here to help us all get there and for that, we should all at least give them kudos for the effort, don't you think?! Ride Safe!
Keithy -VFR1200  November 1, 2009 02:14 PM
All you gladiators with the matching helmets and leathers and stickers on your super bike sooner or later you will have to take your hand off it and if you survive without killing some one else you will buy a VFR1200 if you love motor cycling that is.
Get real boys 100mph in first is boring around town, I have got one for the track. I am going to get me a VFR1200 for going places.
SeanD -Nice  October 30, 2009 07:07 PM
Its called technology. You may think its a sissy option milwaukee Mike but it is progress. A good rider on this bike will beat a bad rider on a cbr.

A sport bike is only as sporty as the sport who is riding it.

I used to race superbike in the NZ nationals till I lost an arm in a road accident. I'm looking forward to seeing if I can configure the bike to my needs and then going oout to reset some perceptions out there. If that makes me a sissy then I'm ok with that.
Guy -Don't care...  October 30, 2009 02:26 PM
I don't care what anyone else thinks... I want one. Nothing has urged me this much to buy since my 2000 Hayabusa.
Flyfisher -I'm the target market  October 30, 2009 11:49 AM
I may be the guy Honda is after. I want a comfortable sport bike.

It's that simple.

I'm 55 and can't stand touring machines or cruisers. I prefer sport bikes because of the performance. However; I'm not dragging knees around corners when riding the street. The street is not the track. Nor can I utilize all of the acceleration in traffic, without being arrested or dying, that a track-oriented liter bike offers.

I want to tackle a good curvy road, but I'd like to have a nice ride getting there. If I choose to be-bop around on a long weekend ride, it would be nice to have a bike that doesn't take the fun out of riding.

I'm a techno-nut and the DTC is intriguing, but I do love shifting on my own. It's just a part of the experience for me. The muffler is ugly but I'm sure Two-Brothers and others are working on that solution. I can get used to the looks, but the K1300S is by far better looking.....but the K13S stalls.

So we'll see what next spring brings. Maybe the banker won't laugh at me as I crawl in on my knees begging for a loan.
Thick like a tuna can -Hutch  October 30, 2009 11:39 AM
"better yet the supreme fit and finish from the Honda paint robots'! Brilliant, I love you man…not that there is anything wrong with that. All kidding aside Hutch, the Yankees need another world championship like Ducati needs another WSBK title. So let’s see how good Ben Spies pitching arm is.

Oh and the Honda, who cares about an OEM muffler that will be replaced by any self respecting v-4 powered bike owner with an after market pipe regardless how ugly or pretty the OEM pipe is.


Thick like a tuna can -Dick Longfellow  October 30, 2009 11:22 AM
Typical response from someone unable to successfully debate: calling the other person names, self proclaimed victory and the inability to comprehend the whole point of our posts and discussion. I will grant you my opinion of this bike only because you have so much desire for it.

The bike (2010 VFR) is a mistake. The bike has too much of what most riders don’t want and too little of what riders do want. The bike has an available DCT but few of the other sport touring amenities that other sport tourers have. The bike will be over priced and therefore overlooked by many riders. What advantages does the non-auto trans 2010VFR have over other similar bikes?...not much…oh wait “it’s a Honda” “has great fit and finish” other than these subjective marketing gimmicks what does the bike (non-auto) offer that other similar bikes offer? There are ST bikes on the market that cost less, weigh less, offer more utility, have more options, have as much or more “character”, have engines and power bands just as good or better. What real benefit will a rider derive from an auto trans. People in cars like them so they can talk on the phone and drink their coffee. Read the responses on this message board; most are not in favor of the auto trans. The VFR800 is a good bike Dick but does not sell well. Why? Because it is not sporty enough for most sport riders and not enough of a sport tourer for most touring riders. This bike is in the middle; a middle that has few buyers and this is not my opinion it is a fact Honda sells very few VFR800 always has and is now giving them away with a $2,700 rebates. Dealers still have 2005-2008 non-current models on their sales floors. This is where the 2010 VFR is going to fall in but cost more and have a DCT that most, not all, riders will not be interested in.

The 2010 VFR has been gives more displacement but also nearly 80 lbs. more weight (2010VFR auto 613 lbs.- 2009 VFR 540 source Honda.com) shaft drive and an auto trans option. What is really nonsensical is on Honda’s web site the bike is put in the sport bike category not the sport touring category but Honda is saying it is a competitive sport tourer.

Dick you like to think you’re a smart guy so why don’t you tell all of us what true measurable advantages this bike has over some of its competition. Why don’t you tell us what this bike does that other similar bikes don’t do or can’t do very well? I guess if I were you this is where I would say something childish like “I know you are but what am I” or “I win”. But I won’t because I was always in control of this discussion and didn’t fall behind and resort to childish tactics. Moreover, we all have opinions so nobody is the “winner” at least that is how I saw this discussion until you exposed your regrettable attitude.
Hutch -So...How about them Yankees?  October 30, 2009 10:57 AM
Seriously guys, what does this have to do with the VFR1200 exactly? Lets focus on the universal praise of the bad-ass muffler, the internationally reknowned automatic clucth feature or better yet th supreme fit and finish from the Honda paint robots!
Dick Mediumfellow -Tuna Breath  October 30, 2009 07:07 AM
Again, what is your opinon on the "bike" more on? I win.
Thick like a tuna can -Dick Longfellow  October 29, 2009 09:41 PM
“Always good to get a rise out of a PS3 guy who can ride video game bikes, but not the real thing” Well Dick, it looks like I got a rise out of you. Your post sounds very defensive and insecure

“Guess you had nothing to say about the bike itself and just trash talk with no merit” Dick, pointing out how ignorant and hypocritical your post was is not talking trash; instead, it’s making an intelligent observation and then sharing that observation with you so you will be enlightened and educated before you make another post where you type before you think. As evidence of your second post this lesson was lost on you. Besides, using your logic wouldn’t it be premature for me to comment on a just released bike.

“I have riden many hondas, road raced a 600rr for a year - sponsered(didnt have to pay, but would own one) dirt bikes, gold wings, 09 cbr 1000 - buddies, cruisers, blah blah blah. Not sure if you guys read the article above, but I guess an experienced expert knows little”. Wow Dick you rode some Hondas and you think this makes you a SELF proclaimed “expert” I have owned more Hondas than you have ridden and other bikes. One year racing the 600RR; guess coming in second to dead last in some club race made you decide to hang up your leathers huh…oh wait hear is where you’ll tell me now your racing a bigger or different bike…well I’ll just nip that BS in the butt right now. (this dick, is trash talk).

“Jeez man, this bike is light years ahead of my 80 gs1000, which was a great bike back when most of the comments here didn't live yet”. Dick, do you really think anyone is impressed that you may have been ridding since the 1980s. I have helmets older than that. Doesn’t matter to me how old or young you are or what age you think I am because your insecurity screams loud and clear. I did not presume or imagine that you are somebody that you aren’t in my post, I only commented on your comments. Seeing as how you are not commenting back on what I had to say but instead trying to assert that I may not be as experienced as you just seems silly. Read your original comment and tell me it isn’t hypocritical. Do you really think anyone who does not like this bike is a HP junkie, non-purist, newbie that plays PS3 and has no opinion or an opinion without any value?

“Obviously many bike of the year nods would classify them as jewels, but what do I know” I guess we know you can’t form an opinion of your own if you need some rag to tell you the bike is great and you should go buy one. Lots of bikes get BOTY awards that doesn’t make them jewels. The VFR800 has had many accolades given to it but Honda can’t give the thing away.

“Also seems most comments come from the youth(presumption of course) who do place power above all”. Now see, there you go again with your hypocrisy. You brag in your first post you have a Busa, ZX-1100 and a BMW K1200 with 20HP in mods, but turn around and say the youth place power above all.


DJZ - Racer1 -Nice  October 29, 2009 07:27 PM
Easy to trash talk online! Fact is head bonk is common for two up spirited riding. As for inexperience, I'll just shrugg that one off since I know most trash talking track riders can't put up the numbers. But if your interested in a pinks ride and live in SoCal, I'm game! Be happy to take your bike out of your imature and inexperienced hands. Have a nice day!
Crash -I'm Old. I'm Fast. I Want One!  October 29, 2009 09:20 AM
Yes, the exhaust is very Japanese (read "ugly"), but I love Honda V4s and I absolutely LOVE a powerful bike with ABS and automatic shifting. Maybe you haven't noticed this, but even the best road racers in the world drop their bikes, usually when entering a curve a bit too hot and locking the front tire. ABS might help with that. Also, have you noticed that motorcycle races are really, really short--at least compared to car races? Maybe that has to do with tires and maybe it has to do with racer's forearms getting so pumped from clutch-clutch-clutching that they can't function any more. I've ridden my FJR-1300AE with sport bike riders who are constantly rubbing their forearms and rolling their shoulders, and this after only a few miles in city traffic. So, I say, bring it on Honda!
benroe -vfr  October 29, 2009 09:05 AM
It looks like honda is stepping right into bmw territory with this bike. This is meant to be the bike between the CBR and ST. Nothing more, nothing less. Will it get enough sales from potential beemer buyers, I don't know. I would still rather have a sprint!!!
Dick Shortfellow -Tuna Breath  October 28, 2009 11:44 PM
Always good to get a rise out of a PS3 guy who can ride video game bikes, but not the real thing. Guess you had nothing to say about the bike itself and just trash talk with no merit. I have riden many hondas, road raced a 600rr for a year - sponsered(didnt have to pay, but would own one) dirt bikes, gold wings, 09 cbr 1000 - buddies, cruisers, blah blah blah. Not sure if you guys read the article above, but I guess an experienced expert knows little. Jeez man, this bike is light years ahead of my 80 gs1000, which was a great bike back when most of the comments here didn't live yet. Obviously many bike of the year nods would classify them as jewels, but what do I know. Also seems most comments come from the youth(presumption of course) who do place power above all. Put Freddie Spencer(old guy comment, I know) on this thing and he will smoke 99 percent of riders and then throw on the bags and have a nice touring ride home. BTW, premature comments are just that, didnt like tequila the first time, but sip a good brand, and then it's all good.
Live to ride people.(Poetic comment here)
don -tourer?  October 28, 2009 09:16 PM
How do you say ridiculous in Japanese? 2010 Honda VFR1200F
Otto -VFR1300F  October 28, 2009 06:12 PM
So many comments, so LITTLE appreciation! From the public, very FEW roses and quite a few brick bats. From Honda, well, for one thing, substantially masking the rear wheel good looks with THAT THING is inexcusable. I would NEVER buy a bike with an AWFUL pipe like that!
Engine-wise, OK. Overall package-wise, nothing really to scream and shout about. Just ANOTHER (Honda) Motorcycle these days, is just another YAWN. This bike, is NOT in the ball-park where Hayabusas, VMAX's, BMW1300GT's or even the GSX1400 PLAY. WHERE is THE X FACTOR that puts cracks a smile on your face?
Otto
Thick like a tuna can -Dick longfellow  October 28, 2009 11:24 AM
“Quite a few opinions on a just released bike. Look, this Honda is going to be terrific in all aspects of riding”. Wow this sounds like another opinion on a just released bike! Guess your opinion has value and is based on something of substance other than just first impressions unlike our premature ignorant opinions.
“Bugs will be worked out, and Honda has always made all around jewels for riders, and I've never owned one”! So then how do you know they are jewels???
“Unless, of course, you are not a purist and just like to put down anything new and without 200hp”. This statement sounds funny coming from someone who has owned a Busa and zx-11 and a BMW with 20hp worth of mods. Your comments are very hypocritical, and foolish, which leave me to believe so is your post name…shorty!

triple fan -aren't our fatality rates high enough?  October 28, 2009 10:56 AM
Lets see. New riders who can't shift, or old riders who are compromised enough that shifting is exhausting, or indifferent riders who don't want to have the connection to the bike that manual transmissions have are not the kind of people you might want riding a 600lb 145 horsepower machine. Frankly speaking, i have been riding since 1986 and cannot wring out all the performance my 96 hp '99 triumph trophy 900 has to offer. I have often said that to prevent who are no longer capable of driving from driving, you should require them to drive a manual transmission car. If you do not have the coordination all you will do is stall it. I like my kids to drive sticks because it forces them to focus on driving and not the radio. The simple fact is that everyone believes themselves to be a better than average driver; this phenomenon is not specific to cars, but crosses over into everything-- including motorcycles. The advent of widespread automatic transmissions in motorcycles (as opposed to the "slickshift" on old triumphs) is going to dumb down a group of operators who are already not trained enough as it is. I predict an upswing of traffic light accidents from people jamming on the throttle.
Ian -Love the idea...  October 28, 2009 07:15 AM
It looks like a technical marvel...I just wish it didn't look like a BMW K1 that got melted.
Tom Rash -DCT  October 28, 2009 05:24 AM
I don't know why some people are so closed minded. Some of us who have ridden all types of motorcycles for many years love automatic transmissions. The automatic clutch seems like a great idea. I'd like to ride one. I suppose people said the same thing when cars first started to come out with automatic transmissions. I've owned everything from the first (1999) Hayabusa to cruisers and 7 Gold Wings, but I also have owned four different Burgman 650s. Overall, for all types of riding, I like the Burgman 650 as much as anything I have owned. I just came back from a 3,000 mile trip in August. I have nearly 30,000 trouble-free miles on the own I currently own.
Dick Longfellow -THIS BIKE!  October 27, 2009 08:32 PM
Quite a few opinions on a just released bike. Look, this Honda is going to be terrific in all aspects of riding. Bugs will be worked out, and Honda has always made all around jewels for riders, and I've never owned one! Have had 2 Busas, ZX-11, 3 touring varieties, and now ride the K1200s with 20hp of mods, and tour regularly. I am quite anxious to ride this machine, and I'm sure all of you toad naysayers could have one in your garage after a tour on it as well. Unless, of course, you are not a purist and just like to put down anything new and without 200hp.
Joey. C -Honda VFR  October 27, 2009 08:02 PM
The more and more I see this bike , the more I like it . It's not the the same cookie cuter bike as it's just different.
RJ -VFR1200  October 27, 2009 05:36 PM
I laugh each time I see harsh words regarding the looks of the VFR because opinions vary so much in this industry. To me, aside from the before mentioned poorly integrated top case, I actually like the looks of the bike. Styling is just enough unique so there's no mistaking the bike from a distance. The lines are very clean and it appears to offer the rider excellent wind protection. The muffler leaves some room for improved underbody styling but no doubt there will be a huge aftermarket segment to pick up the slack in this area. You want to see ugly, check out the BMW S1000RR, now you know that has to be quick because otherwise nobody would want one...
Iowa Farm kid -Honda VFR  October 27, 2009 04:34 PM
Its all been said..but granted the new vfr is certainly a phenomenal piece of work, it sure left the touring division for the sportsbike and got lost somewhere in between...What happened to the maintenance free hydraulic valve system....the plain ordinary handlebar that can be infinately adjusted or swapped out to suit any rider...electronic cruise control, adjustable weather protection...remote front and rear suspension settings while on the move....large gas tank....I guess I am more confused than ever...why didn't honda make a smaller twin cylinder opposed gold wing.....ooops I think I am getting into BMW territory!....
Chris -Dual Clutch downshifts  October 27, 2009 03:23 PM
I want to read about how the automatic transmission downshifts when the throttle is opened. I ride a 2000 and 2005 VFR800. I'm cruising on the freeway at 5000 RPM and suddenly want to accelerate past someone. I have to drop three or four gears to get full power and that takes a couple of seconds. I do it so infrequently that I'm not very good at it. I would love an automatic that just smoothly wound the motor out when I opened the throttle. If I have to shift into "sport mode" first, then it isn't useful. I want it to recognize that I opened the throttle quickly and thus downshift RIGHT NOW. I'm amazed that nobody who rides this bike seems to do this obvious test.
Motoman -VFR1200  October 27, 2009 03:01 PM
Personally, I think Honda may have hit the sweet spot with the VFR1200 for me. The FJR & C14 are both really good bikes but lack character. The V4 engine while not having the character of a twin is defintiely a step in the right direction. Also something with an exhaust note that doesn't sound similar to a Mazda 3 is good to. I have taken the BMW K1300Gt off my list of possibles due to their shrinking dealer network and some reliability questions (reardrives) If I want cruise control on my bike then I think I'm ready for the Gold Wing. I really try not to do my sport touring on roads that are straight enough to utilize a cruise control. I am actually pleased about the lack of electronic geegaws on the VFR. In fact for me the biggest mistake Honda made wit this bike is invseting all the development effort into the DCT. DCT might be good for a Gold Wing but I don't get it for a sport tourer. The styling of the VFR1200 has grown on me though I really am not crazy about the new headlight trend out there. In the fall of 1982 I saw the initial information othe the VF750F Interceptor and immeadiately put a deposit on one though it wouldn't be avaialble until February. I just got off the phone with that same dealer and told him I wanted to do the same thing with the VFR1200. I believe that Honda has taken what was so good about the VFR800 and just pushed in into the direction of more two up sport touring capability. That will be just right for me & my wife!!
Bob -VFR1200  October 27, 2009 02:53 PM
That is one fugly bike.
Champore -Hutch  October 27, 2009 02:46 PM
Hutch thanks for some feedback. “But it makes perfect sense to someone who is feeling the effects of the aging process, that has been aorund for a while and maybe has come to grips with the fact that shifting isn't a necessary part of the riding equation any longer”. I see your point but if the effects of pulling a clutch lever and tapping a gear shifter are an issue with the aging process then what about stuff that really has an effect on the aging process like using the other hand to brake hard and the right foot to brake and the hard acceleration of the 1237cc v-4, turning this 600+ lb bike at parking lot speeds. If the aging process has affected or compromised you’re riding abilities or riding tastes that much then get a silver wing 600 or burgman 650. Sure these rides would not be as capable as the VFR but neither is the aging rider. “If you want to drag race, the manual tranny will always be king”. I think a manual trans has more appeal to just stop light squids.

“I really wish Honda had stuffed the V5 into a sporty frame and unveiled another generation liter-class sportbike that could challenge something like the Aprilia RSV4R that Waheed just rode in Italy”. AMEN!!! “That woould have been awesome and I think it would have been a huge success”. AGREED, my deposit would already be buying a dealer owner’s wife (or mistress) a new piece of jewelry. “But Honda isn't looking at it from that perspective”. As of late it looks like Honda hasn’t looked for sales success in most of its models. “Its the V4 that has been the heart of the VFR series. The goal of the VFR1200F is to offer a sportbike...that is capable of being a touring machine”. I always thought the heart of the VFR series was the R as in race. Honda has other bikes with or had other bikes with v-4s that all had a specific purpose the 2010 VFR’s purpose seems a little odd, to me that is.

‘Lack of gizmos” Funny how Honda can put a state of the art auto trans in a bike call it a sport tourer and justify that the DCT will make riding easier, which that comment of its self makes no sense because I’ve always found riding enjoyable, but can’t seem to include a feature like cruise control; something that would really make riding easier for those long rides headed out to the twisty roads. Sounds like to me Honda doesn’t really know why they put an auto trans in their bike other than of course to say “look what I can do”

“Oh yeah, and according to Honda, they've almost sold out of Fury's”. Hutch quick, we need to call the police because if Honda’s statement is accurate then that means some dealers by me have some unsold stolen Furys posing as new untitled motorcycles. If we act fast enough maybe we can stop one of these dealers that had more than 3 of these stolen sold out models. :)
BMDub -How does it stack up?  October 27, 2009 02:41 PM
"How would you feel about getting waxed at a track day by a rider onboard a shaft-driven, V4-powered touring machine with ABS brakes, heated grips and touring tires? Don't laugh...it could happen." It's been happening for 4 years now (except the V thing) with the BMW K series.
sands -Thanks for the explanation  October 27, 2009 02:03 PM
Hutch, thanks for offering some explanation to the write up....What just came to mind on this transmission is that seems alot like the one that comes on some of the VW's like the GTI which they call DSG...If it's anything like those automatics then there's virtually no hesitation or bucking between shifts...From what I hear they are exceptional transmissions and extremely smooth...
Sands -VFR  October 27, 2009 01:49 PM
Just a little opinion here which another poster made me think of in terms of ease of maintenance...I think that naked CB1200 or CB1300 with a good torquey motor...Just an all around quality, comfortable,fast, no gimmicky motorcycle...Not the "tuned for midrange" bologna which is really code word for "slow" but a solid, torquey and smooth motor in a quality naked chassis, with decent suspension and brakes and comfortable riding position...And finally, just put a good seat on it and make basic maintenance items easily accessable!
Hutch -Love & Hate  October 27, 2009 01:39 PM
Well I just woke up from my journey to Japan and finally gott to sit down and read the responses here. It's clear that everyone has an opiniin on this bike and that's great. I will go through and try to get some answers or thoughts that address a few of the major points you folks have brought up here:

First, Honda didn't give us any drugs or brain wash us at the intro. They did convey that their objective with this bike and many other things they do in their business is to make getting from Point A to Point B easier and more comfortable for more people. That is where items like the Automatic transmission come into play.

Some of you (Me included) question whether or not luring people who cannot shift a bike into showrooms so they can buy a 600lb bike with 150hp. But it makes perfect sense to someone who is feeling the effects of the aging process, that has been aorund for a while and maybe has come to grips with the fact that shifting isn't a necessary part of the riding equation any longer. To some people, shifting is amajor part of it. If you want to drag race, the manual tranny will always be king. If you want to shill out and soak in the scenery then the DCT might be for you.

They did force us to ride this big-ass bike on a bad-ass racetrack but that doenst mena it was dangerous. It proved that this motorcycle, despite the weight, is pretty dang good when hauling ass in the turns. It also proved that this latest version of their Linked Braking system is good too. I said I am not fan of it personally, but this one is ok.

Staying true to teh VFR heritage: I really wish Honda had stuffed the V5 into a sporty frame and unveiled another generation liter-class sportbike that could challenge something like the Aprilia RSV4R that Waheed just rode in Italy. That woould have been awesome and I think it would have been a huge success. But Honda isn't looking at it from that perspective. Its the V4 that has been the heart of the VFR series. The goal of the VFR1200F is to offer a sportbike...that is capable of being a touring machine.

On that note the question of where it belongs vs the C14, FJR or BMW will be answerred in a few months if we can get a comparison togehter again. Remeber I rode the other bikes the week before riding the VFR1200 and its my opinion that the its somewhere between the C14 and FJR. It tough tell without riding them back-to-back that day though. But it is pretty fast.

Regarding the failure of the Yamaha AE on the sales floor. That has to be a concern for Honda. Only time will tell how the public handles the DCT VFR. I think its cool but its the consumers that are the ultimate barometer.

Looks: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I didn't like the pictures but it looks cool in real life. The front end is ugly, I agree. But Honda seems to embrace this look because the CBR1000RR has it, RC51, CBR900 and so on, all have that look. But that layered bodywork looks cool to me and so does the swing arm, wheels and seat. The top case doesnt look well integrated but the sidebags look nice and clean. I think the reasone for them not being integarted at the level of ST1300 for example, is that they wanted the bike to look good without them more than looking good with them. If they were designed into the bike then when they are off it leaves a void in the bodywork and that is ugly too. So they chose to go with it looking clean when off. Muffler...defintely funky but its big and chrome. Isn't chrome cool?

Lack of gizmos. I was bummed that the VFR didnt have a big array of Honda gadgets. It woudl have been a perfect opportunity to square off with BMW for bragging rights here. The only thing missin is the on-the-fly windscreen, heated seat, electronic controlled suspension or perhaps a nice cruise control. But it would have been even more expensive then. I love the gadgets too and it would make it more appealing to the consumers that take that into account. Maybe we will see revisions to the next versions of the VFR - but I dont see ESA on a Honda anytime soon...but I could be worng.

Overall the bike doesn't really have a home-segment, It will be forced into sport touring comparisons and as long as it doesnt get hurt in the gadgets department it shoudl fare well there. If it gets forced into the K1300S arena (We are comparing that to a Busa & ZX-14 right now) then that menas it needs to face off with those bad boys and it is not fast enough to beat a Busa but it is way more comfortable than either of them. So, its just a bike that Honda thought people would like. So far the journalists seem to. The consumers are divided if thiese comments are a good sample of the riding population so we will have to wait and see how they do when they hit the showrooms. It will be interesting to see what the verdict is. But remember that the current VFR-series are in a class of their own and they sell pretty damn well. Oh yeah, and according to Honda, they've almost sold out of Fury's.


RJ -Honda VFR1200 - Not convinced  October 27, 2009 01:35 PM
When you begin to analyze features offered on other bikes and see standard bikes like the Suzuki Bandit or FZ1 offered at a price much less. Then you see the Kawi C14 and all it's features offered at what will most likely be a comparable price to the VFR1200, you will have to want that Honda logo and auto transmission really bad to pay out that kind of money. I think I'm going to hold out to see if the GSX1250FA or Gen III 2011 FZ1 with cross plane crankshaft comes to fruition in the US market, then cost wise how these bikes compare. For the big money though, it may appear that the 2010 Connie (a bike that can actually be bought in the US today) with the addition of traction control just might be the winning formula to an already outstanding platform. This Honda might just be a great bike, but all indications is price point is going to be too high for what little "touring" capabilities are received. Heck, < 5 gal gas tank, no adjustable wind screen, no cruise control, where is the touring aspect of this bike?
sands -VFR1200  October 27, 2009 01:30 PM
This is a bike that looks like Honda is trying to create a niche for what may or may not be there....it appears to be a smoother, less aggressive version of a CBR1000 with a DTC transmission...From the review saying "it does not have the liter-bike acceleration of a CBR1000RR" you can pretty much count that this bike will not compete with a Hayabusa, ZX14, or K1300 category.....Outright HP doesn't equate to great motorcycle...But those bikes have a market for them and folks that want high torque/hp look to that category and sort out the details between them to get what they want...
And from the looks of the riding position it won't compete with a concours, ST1300, or BMW, or FJR for straight touring...

IMHO it would have been better money spent updating the ST1300 with stronger motor and chassis refinements...Keeping the comfort, yet making it a bit more powerful and a bit more nimble.
notoriousbigec -vfr  October 27, 2009 12:59 PM
i like the look and the automatic very scooter like. As long as my left foot and left hand can move, I will always enjoy shifting thru the gears with my front wheel off the ground. Keep your cruiser vtwins--the japanese 4cyclinder delivers the revs and sound i love. Warning to all manufacturers--its ok to dabble in these automatics but continue the develop the bikes for the 5 and 6 speed purists. And please stop covering up these beautiful motors--some of us still like to change our own oil without an $80 bill.
Racer1 -DJZ  October 27, 2009 08:59 AM
If you are getting "head bonk"with your passengers on gear changes that speaks more to your inexperience and technique than anything else - maybe you need training wheels as well as an auto tranny? As to pink slips - anytime - although I will trade your auto transmission VFR for something a little more interesting and exciting the next day.
Scott -VFR1200  October 27, 2009 07:46 AM
Hopefully the technology trickles down to less pricey mid-sized bikes. My aging, arthritic wrists and hands don't deal well with shifting gears on long trips via twisty roads.

Though if I was in the market for a full-sized sport tourer the new VFR would be a must ride before I buy.
Alan -VFR1200  October 27, 2009 06:45 AM
Honda obviously has a lot of technical know how; I think they often
are trying to impress by incorporating every new gizmo they can think of. But in the end, does it really improve the overall motorcycle?
I like the simplicity of a Ducati twin with a trellis frame that makes
for space to work on the bike. And things like high end suspension,
and something that weighs under 500 pounds, much less the 600+ pound
VFR1200. It will probably make a good touring bike, but I really
don't consider any bike over 600 pounds in the "sport" category.
Of course, this is just my opinion; your mileage may very...

Dennis -Auto clutch  October 27, 2009 06:35 AM
- Just what we need......more inexperienced minivan sheeple riding motorcycles. They have beginner touring bikes already....scooters. Linked brakes? There's reasons on a motorcycle you don't want brakes linked.

+ I actually dig where these touring class bikes are heading performance wise. Although I'm jaded and still believe that the best touring machine (solo) is a sportbike.

o Shaft drive will be a plus for few, naught for many.
Ninja -It is actually a scooter  October 27, 2009 05:55 AM
If you ride in Japan (I do) you will see that, unlike say the US or UK most young people are actually riding big scooters (and not Kawa250 or similar dwarf rockets) (Honda is importing the silver wing in the US but they have at least 10 more models in Japan. You can safely assume that in a bike parking in Tokyo you have 5 scoots for 1 motorcycle). (I also bet you a sashimi lunch that all the engineers on the vfr project actually ride scooters) One of the issues is that the scooter image is projecting a very young image and that makes it difficult for middle age (think above 28) people to keep riding them and feeling good (unless they work for honda and are forced to). But since they have ridden all their life (all right 10 years) with automatic boxes they just cannot move from their 600cc or 750cc scooters to liters (or more) bikes (and they also do not want to look stupid and go finally to 250cc bikes). Honda is selling a lot of scoots in Japan is well aware of that dilemma and that is the main impetus behind the dn-01 and and the new VFR including the scootssy autobox. Now look closely at the silver wing and the new vfr, you will see the new baby vfr is not at all ugly, it is just his mum was a scoot.
DJZ -VFR  October 27, 2009 04:45 AM
Well... I'll take that sisssy auto trans. Anyone who wants to talk crap can meet me at the track with there pink slip and we will see who the sissy is. Fact is this bike was designed for a group of riders that want 80 - 90% of liter bike perfromance but with added comfort of real world ergonomics. The auto brings more to the table than just easy riding, it provides comfort for the driver and the passanger (no more head bonk) when riding spirited two up. Sure the styling is a bit odd but if you step back and stare a while you will get it. In my opinion it breaks the mold and is a bold step for Honda. Just what I'm looking for!
rstephens -vfr  October 27, 2009 03:53 AM
Based on what I've read I'd seriously consider buying one.It would come down to how it rides and how it's priced.As far as the auto-shift some people will probably like it IF it works as well as it's supposed to.I would be open to at least giving it a try before passing judgement,and yes I DO KNOW HOW to shift gears.As far as comparing it to the FJR AE,could be the reason they didn't sell very well is because it doesn't work very well. Just like the Connie,Fjr,ST and some of the Beemers I don't believe you'll see herds of people in line to buy one but there will probably be a strong "niche" market,especially with anyone that has V-4 experience.As far as it not being sporty enough or not a touring bike,anyone that rides a sport/tourer and is honest will admit that they are in reality they are neither,but a compromise.But it is what some riders like and like a lot.If you don't like sport/touring bikes,no one will ever build one you do like.Just the same as I don't like crusiers,nothing wrong with them,I've owned several,it's just not what I like. I'm waiting to see what they come out with as far as options or other versions.
Gunther -Safety?  October 27, 2009 03:35 AM
Seriously, the journalists writing this article must have been on some good honda dope. Making a 1200cc 270kg bike accesible for inexperienced riders is the biggest crap I've heard so far.
People who would buy this bike are riders that do a lot of miles, have a lot of experience and are able to ride a motorcycle without messing about with the gearbox. (not to mention to have a complete lack of taste, this thing fell off the fugly tree and hit every branch on the way down)

Do love the new technology, even the automatic transmission might sell well for people doing a lot of commuting or have wrist aches/hand injuries.

Not a bike for me, and somewhat of a disappointment to the current crowd that owns and loves vfr's from what I see.

Now has anyone looked at that engine and thought "how the hell can you do any maintenance on that without taking it out of the frame?"
Michael -VFR 1200F  October 27, 2009 02:38 AM
This bike is ugly as sin, it could be the most advanced, the best handling, the fastest, the most comfortable touring bike ever but I will never buy such an ugly thing. Honda has lost its design flair .
Sachin -Hipsabad & Champore  October 27, 2009 01:10 AM
Alright, keep it going!! :)
Guenther -Tourer  October 27, 2009 12:48 AM
Where is the "Tourer" in that VFR. There is not enough room for the second person. Sport ok, but not a sport tourer.
Nick -keep cribbing!  October 26, 2009 10:58 PM
You all can keep cribbing about this bike being sissy, dual clutch auto tranny etc. etc.. but the fact is that it is smashing, Honda has built it & it will sell! There was a lot of cribbing about the CBR1000RR when it was launched 2 yrs back but it has blown the competition away in every aspect.. Why should Honda really care if some nuts think zx10r is faster n meaner or gixxer is wilder or R1 looks better.. so whatever is discussed in VFR forums with a handful or riders is insignificant to manufacturer like Honda! If it won't sell in US, it will in Europe and other parts of the world.. thats why we don't get brilliant bikes like CB1000r & MT-01 in US.. because we think like bullies!
nutty -inexperienced riders?  October 26, 2009 10:03 PM
are you all mad? "more people" riders who can't manage to change gears have no business even looking at bikes like this. why didn't honda get a bunch of people who had just passed their test to live with this thing on the road for a week? a 600lb bike with massive power, released to bike journos on a racetrack and that rider safety argument look absurd. it would make for a great test...inexperienced riders wouldn't be able to even pick the bike up from a fall. honda going all out to further inexperienced rider confidence levels. what's new for the next vfr, cup holders?
Champore -hipsabad  October 26, 2009 09:42 PM
“The FJR AE was not universally liked by the motorpress” Agreed, but instead of just dumping the model Yamaha could have smoothed out its rough edges but chose not to. Most likely because they still have non-current models sitting on the sales floor.
“I don't think new riders will be purchasing VFR1200s; and moreover, experienced riders can shift in their sleep.” BINGO!

“well who says that things are more enjoyable when they are easier? Seems like the reverse to me. I ride to feel the experience not to be insulated from it. The latter is what sometimes appears to be Honda's ultimate goal. DN-01 ?!?! How did that come to fruition”? Black Jack!! (And let us not forget the Rune)

‘Now, from the reports so far - remembering that journalists are notorious shills for the latest thing - the VFR design has some advantages over the FJR's” Wise point hipsabad, the VFR has had the advantage of learning from some of Yamaha’s small mistakes with the FJR; kind of like what they did with the RC51 learning from some of Suzuki’s small mistakes with the TL1000R. Either way neither Honda model was setting the direction of the future they were merely improving on past models from their competitors.

I currently own a Honda, along with other makes, but personally think Honda has lost its way. Is it me or does it seem that the Gold Wing would benefit from the DCT more so than the VFR? Or maybe an updated 2010 ST1300 with a DCT would make more sense and if one is on the way then what is the point of the 2010VFR?

I would like it best if Honda put their collective engineering talent towards stuff that would really sell bikes and make customers happy like: doubling, tripling or just eliminating valve adjustment maintenance intervals (for the models that have them), build a reasonably affordable GP replica with a v-5 of course, a street fighter with a set of b@((z, and a CBR250 that screams to 19K+ rpms. I know, I know…the CBR250 won’t sell because it wouldn’t cost too much less to build a CBR250 than it would a CBR600 and people would just spend the extra $1200 dollars and get the 600. But I don’t care this is my wish list and I would buy the CBR250…and so would some of you guys too.
johnny -no vfr  October 26, 2009 08:57 PM
i agree with jim beggins. this is not a vfr it is way too heavy, has too many gizmos, and too expensive to boot. i could do without all the techno wizardy and instead have a higher quality fork and shock and call it a day. styling is okay but it just looks too heavy.
Xandersam -VFR1200F  October 26, 2009 07:47 PM
I like it. If you don't who freekin cares? :-)
Jim Beggin -This is not a VFR  October 26, 2009 07:46 PM
Good Job Honda, you have taken one of the best sport bikes ever built and slowly ruined it. I have owned 4 VFR'S and this piece of crap is not a VFR. Shaft drive, Automatic, 600 lbs, you have got to be kidding me! I have been a Honda fanatic for thirty years, and you just might have lost one of your biggest fans. It's hard to believe the same company that made the RC45 made this ugly pile of s---. I am sure Honda won't read this forum as they haven't listened to any of the VFR forums out there yet.
hipsabad -champore  October 26, 2009 07:40 PM
I agree with everything in your last post - almost. The FJR AE was not universally liked by the motorpress. They complained about the slow speed control of the bike, saying the bike would jerk during U-turns, starting on slopes or uneven surfaces. It was also claimed that the AE model shifted more slowly than when done manually. Now, from the reports so far - remembering that journalists are notorious shills for the latest thing - the VFR design has some advantages over the FJR's. It's possible that Honda succeeded in bettering their currently superior racing rival Yamaha when designing their automatic. My response is: who cares? I don't think new riders will be purchasing VFR1200s; and moreover, experienced riders can shift in their sleep. What you state about Sachin's double standard is true. And when Sachin says “When things are made to make things easier for people and make something more enjoyable, then you cannot write it off” well who says that things are more enjoyable when they are easier? Seems like the reverse to me. I ride to feel the experience not to be insulated from it. The latter is what sometimes appears to be Honda's ultimate goal. DN-01 ?!?! How did that come to fruition? As to the bikes looks, well that's always relative. If BMW's any competition in that regard, their track record would indicate that just about any design will be less ugly or downright bizarre than most of theirs. Regardless, all the manufacturers make ridiculously-styled bikes, or worse, they take universally acclaimed designs and dump them after four years in the name of 'innovation'. Ducati was the least offensive but now they've gone that way too. One thing I know from experience is that when you show up somewhere on a so-called classic bike, with an elemental form, people of all stripes love 'em.
KTM RN -VFR  October 26, 2009 06:06 PM
Can you say "FUGLY"? What Happened Honda? Time to get back to the VFR Roots.It looks like an uglier version of that Turd Kawasaki Versys...
cls -Stubborn Honda.  October 26, 2009 05:29 PM
That's just not gonna' do it; Honda, or not. They have, and continue to, "hang their hat" on their name/reputation. At this stage, w/o actually providing the goods, a comparative amount of tangible goods, is not going to work. Shame,really. 'Cause they still have the engineering ability, refinement, fit and finish, and detail to beat all others. I used to be a diehard Honda guy...About 10 years ago.
edpix -UGLY!  October 26, 2009 05:04 PM
No matter how good of a bike this VFR1200F is I would never own a bike that UGLY! Seriously, I can't believe how poor the styling is and it will cost Honda a lot of sales because of it. I am glad Honda enlarged and revamped the V4 but I was hoping for something much nicer looking and a lot lighter. Maybe in a couple of years when it gets restyled it will look as good as it functions.
Bruce -VFR1200F-Potentially a great machine  October 26, 2009 04:21 PM
I owned a cBR1100XX. Except for the extreme riding position, I absolutely loved it. I sold it and bought a CBR929. This proved to be a mistake as it was useful over a much narrower group of ride types. If the new 1200VFR is as good as the CBR1100XX but with greater touring potential and more upright ergos, it could make many riders very happy. RIDE magazine from Britain reports that a couple '96 CBR100XXs have gone one MILLION miles each. That speaks of Honda's engineering.
Champore -Clarification  October 26, 2009 03:32 PM
“Suzuki did with the GSXR1300 (this class originated with Kawasaki ZX-1100)”. I am referring to big modern sport bikes that were trying to snatch the top speed bragging rights. I know other big sport bikes such as the FJs, GSXR1100, FZR1000 and etc. existed before Kawasaki’s 1990 release of the ZX-1100.
Champore -Sachin  October 26, 2009 03:24 PM
“Honda will always set the direction for the future of motorcycling, like it or not. It is one of those companies”. Well not really. Honda made a Hondamatic in the 1970s and it did not set the direction for the future of motorcycling. Honda’s CBR 1100XX did not set the future for big sport bikes; Suzuki did with the GSXR1300 (this class originated with Kawasaki ZX-1100). Honda did not set the future with heavy-weight metric cruisers, Kawasaki did with the original Vulcan 1500 followed by Yamaha’s Roadstar 1600. Sure Honda years later eventually came out with the VTX1800 but now that model’s future is history. And these are just a few examples that came to the top of my head. Currently Honda has 3 or 4 models it can hang it’s hat on : Gold Wing- nothing Japanese touches it, CBR600- although Honda did not set the direction of this class (Kawasaki did) it has run with it the farthest and has had the most success both in sales and racing in the past 15 +yrs. (except recent yrs Suzuki GSXR600 has out sold Honda in the US), Shadow 750- they simply sell just about every one they build and don’t know why because there are better choices, and Small Scooters- the other big four don’t come close.

“So stop cribbing or running judgments whether the dual clutch transmission from Honda will sell or not, IT WILL, you'll see”. So…our judgments and opinions should stop but YOURS are okay. Great taste less filling neither are right or wrong it’s just their opinion. Your saying it will sell, some of us are saying it won’t sell. Why should we stop cribbing or running our judgments but you can cast yours?

I brought up a very solid piece of proof to support my judgment with referencing the FJR AE; it is a fact the bike did not sell and therefore is now being discontinued. The model with the manual trans is not being let go. People had a choice with either auto or not with the FJR just like they do with the 2010VFR but the auto trans is history with the FJR.

The comparison of the auto trans and ABS is not valid because enough people DID want ABS but they wanted it to work right and have a better feel and Honda did a very good job with it along with other manufactures like BMW. But the fact is ABS equipped bikes still come with or without the ABS because not every one wants or likes the ABS, otherwise it would only be available with ABS just like my car. Everything that has been written about the 2010VFR’s DCT says it works well and the FJR AE also worked well but that did not make a difference in sales numbers for the FJR. People weren’t avoiding auto trans on bikes because they did not work well enough or have good feel but instead because they did not want one to begin with. I’m not saying no one wants a VFR DCT just saying not enough will want it to be profitable, otherwise Yamaha would still have it in their line up.

My opinion is Honda went in this direction because they didn’t want to be shown up by Yamaha since the projects take years to develop, Honda would not know until it is almost too late that the concept of an auto trans may not sell well.

“When things are made to make things easier for people and make something more enjoyable, then you cannot write it off”. Does the DCT make the VFR more enjoyable? And by who’s or what standards?
john -VFR1200F  October 26, 2009 03:15 PM
While I agree the FJR was dropped because of less than stellar sales, I love the paddle shifter on a touring bike. Until you ride one, it's pretty hard to rationalize I would agree. The K1300 crushes this bike unfortunately I think IF BMW can pull it's head out of it's a** and fix the stalling issues
Sachin -Honda is going in the right direction  October 26, 2009 02:22 PM
Honda will always set the direction for the future of motorcycling, like it or not. It is one of those companies. Yamaha dropped the auto transmission on their FJR, because nobody was buying them? May be!! But it doesn't mean that Honda will/should not go for it. Remember the time when almost everyone used to say that it is almost impossible to make ABS acceptably effective or likeable on motorcycles? Look what Honda have done with their ABS, even the most hardcore and professional riders cannot deny it's usability and how fantastic it is. Buy it or not, Honda made it and it is selling!! So stop cribbing or running judgments whether the dual clutch transmission from Honda will sell or not, IT WILL, you'll see. People will realize its usability. Moreover, it is an option not mandatory, so we can choose not to go for it! When things are made to make things easier for people and make something more enjoyable, then you cannot write it off. Again, just like how Honda have changed the perception of ABS in motorcycles, the same will happen with dual clutch too. And question will always be there -- why didn't Honda do this/that etc. Hey, what the heck!!! There would be questions anyway!! This is a part of the future of motorcycling, and Honda is making way for it. Milwaukee, aaah, what can I say here? I think I should learn to ignore him!! Sissy transmission?? None can change the opinion of people like you who think that riding an "ironed vibrator" makes you a man!!
BMW Buyer -VFR  October 26, 2009 02:18 PM
Who designed the muffler? Not real good looking and its not a touring bike. It has a sport bike riding position....... No windscreen, cruise control, ESA, electric adjustable windscreen, side cases and a top case that doesn't look like an afterthought - need I say more. It has an ugly headlight and muffler. Never make it with the sport touring crowd. I'll keep my BMW R1200RT. Its miles ahead of this bike.
Steve781 -I'm buying  October 26, 2009 01:57 PM
I'll buy one. It is time to retire my 01 VFR. This is exactly what I am looking for, maybe even with the DCT. My old viffer has Givi hard bags, electric heated grips, 56k miles (all mine) and a smattering of battle damage. Now that I'm old enough to pay cash for such a machine I also have carpal tunnel bad enough that the auto tranny looks good. My nearest twisties are 50 miles away, and the serious twisties are 250 miles away. This is the ticket to get there, have fun, and ride it hope again. Thank you Honda, but what took you so long?
PzR -"Just another crotch rocket?"  October 26, 2009 12:54 PM
I think Milwaukee Mike is a little misinformed. A plastic fairing does not a "crotch rocket" make! But so what if the new VFR looks like a "crotch rocket!" (I actually thought that term went away back in the 80's!?) If it happens a little plastic offers a little wind protection, looks (somewhat) sporty, the bike runs well and offers comfortable ergos, call it whatever you like! The point is, regardless of classification, the VFR1200 will not be one of those bikes that gets "fire saled" two years from now. No, it's not gonna hang with CBR1000RR's in the twisties and probably won't hang with Busa's and ZX14's at Bonneville either, but if everything I've been reading on the VFR is true, it's gonna make one damn nice sport-tourer! As a CBR1000RR owner and one that did 500 miles on it yesterday, I personally believe the VFR could be the perfect platform for my style of riding! Having ridden 3 boring hours of stupor-slab, just to get to the twisties, I had a lot of time to think about ergos! Yesterday's ride had VFR written all over it and as I think about it, a lot of my rides do! I think I need a third motorcycle and the VFR might just be it!!! :-)
Jay Mack -VFR1200F  October 26, 2009 12:49 PM
I think the line of people rushing to spend $18,000 on a motorcycle is a lot shorter than it used to be, even if the motorcycle has 'Harley Davidson' on the tank. Fabulous new and very lightly used bikes are available for less than $10,000. It is going to be a tough sell.




Champore -VFR/CBR1100XX  October 26, 2009 12:06 PM
Granted this bike is very different from the CBR1100XX, but would a XX with shaft drive and factory accessory bags minus the DTC which Honda may only sell 3 or 4 of a year pretty much do the same thing? Honda could have saved a lot of developmental costs especially if it does not sell well. The 1100XX did not sell well in the US because here if it is a big sport bike it HAS to have the most or second most amount of power (for most not all customers); therefore, it had no draw to most customers. The wise customers new what potential this bike had as a grand-sport type of bike. This 2010VFR may fall into the same gap. Unfortunately, this gap was small and unprofitable.

Why would someone buy this bike over the 2010 Kawasaki C14? The C14 has loads of high-tech stuff, comes with bags and probably as much or more power. And if people wanted an auto trans then why has Yamaha dropped the FJR1300AE for 2010…because nobody was buying them.

Honda should have just made the ST1300 a little sportier and put a V-5 in the 2010VFR and brought this bike back to its roots.

Desmolicious -The real competitor  October 26, 2009 10:54 AM
Let's be honest here, the real competition for this bike is BMW's K1300S. The ZX14 and Busa are chain drive and make too much powah..

So, it'll be intersting to see how it shapes up against the Beemer. It already seems to be heavier and maybe a little less powah-ful, but the proof will be in the on the road experience.
milwaukee mike -honda vfr  October 26, 2009 10:46 AM
Hard to classify? Are your editors blind?
It's just another crotch rocket, but with a sissy option of an automatic transmission. And adding hard bags and a goofy trunk isn't going to make it a touring bike either.
ZJust another model that will sit on the dealer showrooms for a long time then Honda will dump them at firesale prices in two years.
Ask any honda sales person about how well the DN-01, Furby, and even the VTXC's are selling.