Starting with a blank sheet of paper and highlighted by a V-4 engine and optional dual-clutch automatic transmission, Big Red calls this machine a future look into for their two-wheeled brand. Can you say: V-4 powered CBR sportbike? Who knows, but it sure makes my glands salivate. For now, here’s a look at the details on the 2010 VFR.
According to Honda, the idea was to create “a futuristic sport motorcycle for the sheer joy of riding, custom tailored for experienced hands who ride hard, ride long, ride far and ride often.” With a “MotoGP derived” V-4 engine at the heart of this mega-mileage sportbike, it features “a unique cylinder layout with rear two cylinders located innermost on the crankshaft and front cylinders located outboard.” This is said to narrow the rider interface aboard the VFR1200F.
Honda says styling comes from “GP technology a with layer-concept aero fairing for unrivaled air management.”
The 76-degree liquid-cooled V-4 engine is designed to be as light and compact as possible, measuring 1237cc by virtue of an 81mm x 60mm bore and stroke. Compression ratio is 12.0:1, while it has a single overhead Unicam valvetrain setup with four valves per cylinder. The crankshaft is what Honda calls a “Symmetrically Coupled Phase-shift unit, using a 28-degree crankpin offset to eliminate primary engine vibration.” In other words, no counterbalancer is needed. Delivering fuel to the engine is “Throttle By Wire” technology that is mated to four 44mm throttle bodies, each with a single 12-hole injector spraying fuel.
Spent gasses exit via an asymmetrical-length exhaust system between the front and rear cylinders, said to “boost power production and enhance power feel.” Transmission is either a standard 6-speed unit with back-torque limiting clutch on the base model, or Honda’s all-new automated-manual dual-clutch setup. (For full Auto Clutch details go here.) Final drive comes in the form of shaft drive for this model, most likely to keep maintenance to a minimum.
Suspension is handled via a 43mm inverted cartridge fork up front with adjustable spring preload and 4.7 inches of travel. Out back is Honda’s Pro Arm single-sided swingarm suspended via single gas-charged shock with remote spring preload adjuster, rebound damping adjustability and 5.1 inches of travel.
A view from the cockpit of the all-new Honda V-4. The gauges and controls are all very clean and very precise. Very Honda.
Exhaust gasses exit via a futuristic looking muffler, matching some of the bike’s other cutting-edge styling features.
The most noticeable difference on the new VFR is styling, which Honda says comes from GP technology “with a layer-concept aero fairing for unrivaled air management.” We’re guessing this means the goal is to be both slippery through the air and comfortable behind the screen. The ergonomic package is also totally new, designed to aid in a more comfortable rider interface while remaining sporting. The new hand and foot controls are “smoother and more precise tactile feel to enhance the riding experience,” while new seat construction “permits a higher level of seat shaping and forming details,” says Honda’s PR men.
The VFR will come standard with saddlebag mounts on both versions. Claimed ready-to-ride weight is 591 lbs for the standard VFR1200F, while the dual-clutch is only slightly heavier at 613 lbs. Price has yet to be announced, but it will be available in Spring 2010.