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Blogsky and Hutch

2010 VFR1200F First Ride Blog

Friday, October 23, 2009
2010 Honda VFR1200F
Ken takes a ride on the Honda VFR1200F in the land of the rising sun.
We just finished riding the 2010 VFR1200F around the Sugo race track in Japan and we can say without a doubt this motorcycle is going to blow your mind. It’s fast, fun and easy to ride. Whether you’re using the traditional manual transmission and clutch configuration or the cool dual clutch feature, this VFR is the ticket. Its fast enough you’ll be getting tickets too, if you’re not careful. The automatic transmission shifts seamlessly and the power delivery from the V4 is entertaining to say the least. With great mid-range punch and a signature howl emanating out o f the peculiar looking exhaust, the VFR is simply a blast to ride fast.

The fit and finish is as tidy as you would expect from Honda 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. There’s already a variety of accessories available including the panniers, heated grips, touring windscreen and the all-important hugger fender for added protection against splashing mud or road debris.

2010 Honda VFR1200F2010 Honda VFR1200F
Is it a Sportbike? Touring bike? Or that hyper-sport touring bike you've been looking for?
Be sure to read our 2010 VFR1200F First Ride to find out!
As you can tell, I like this bike. But is it a sport-touring motorcycle or something else? I tend to believe this beast is on the edge of the hyper-sport touring class. Not quite a Hayabusa or ZX-14 but more sporting than the traditional Sport Touring motorcycles than the Honda ST1300 is in. Most likely this bike is destined to redefine the sport touring class if it doesn’t generate a class of its own.

Stay tuned for the full report, followed by a video review of our action-packed press introduction from Sugo. 
Post Tags: Honda vfr1200f, motorcycle review, first ride, bike test, sugo, japan
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Comments
BOBBY -VFR1200F April 10, 2010 02:28 PM
FARKUS, YOU ARE CORRECT IN YOUR KNOWLEDGE AND OBSERVATION, I THINK A FEW YEARS AGO, HONDA FELT SUPERIOR TO THE OTHER JAPANESE BIKE MAKERS, WHEN THE HAD A NICE STABLE OF UNIQUE BIKES OVER A WIDE RANGE OF RIDER SPECIFIC MODELS, AND HAD NO QUALMS ABOUT CHARGING MORE MONEY FOR THEIR BIKES, JUST LIKE HARLEY, AND BMW...BUT THEN THE OTHER MANUFACTURERS TIRED OF BEING NUMBER TWO AND THREE, CAME OUT WITH SOME BIKES WITH POWER!! THEN IT SEEMED LIKE HONDA GOT COMPLACENT, AND MAINTAINED A LACKLUSTER HO HUM MOTOR FOR YEARS, PUTTING THEMSELVES OUT OF THE NUMBER ONE SPOT, WITH THEIR EYE CANDY BIKES WITH NO BALLS.....REMEMBER THE CBR1100XXX BLACKBIRD? IT WAS DOWNHILL AFTER THAT...THIS IS HONDA TRYING TO REGAIN THEIR SPOT.....IT IS A NICE TRY, BUT IT WOULD HAVE BEEN NICER WITH A 1300CC, IF YOUR GOING TO MAKE AN IMPRESSION, IE:HAYABUSA,ZX14,KT1300, THEN YOU MUST RAISE THE ANDRENALIN FACTOR....I WILL ADMIT ON ALL LEVELS THAT THIS VRF1200F IS A BEAUTIFUL BIKE, AND THE PAINT JOB DOES HAVE A QUALITY LUSTER TO IT, UNLIKE SOME OTHERS, BUT IT COULD ALSO BE THE COLOR USED, IT IS A GORGEOUS RED!! THE DUAL CLUTCH IS A NEW ERA IN MOTORCYCLES, LIKE THE ABS, UNTIL YOU ACTUALLY TRY THIS "DCT", DONT MAKE NEGATIVE COMMENTS, JUST YET....IT IS AN AMAZING FEELING, THAT WILL KEEP YOU SMILING UNTIL YOUR MANDIBLE ACHES!! IT IS THE "NEW SMOOTH"
Derick Trammell -Touring Range March 24, 2010 06:22 PM
If this is suppose to be a touring bike it better get great fuel economy. (50 - 55 mpg+) The 4.8 gal tank would lead me to belive its going to fall short of the 200 mile range that is expected of a touring bike. I currently ride a FZ6 with a 5.2 gal tank and I frequently wish I had another .5 gal in it, and I ride 200+ on it all the time before pulling over to fill up. The Concourse 14 has a 5.8 gal tank, the ST1300 7+ gal, and the FJR 6.6 gal. I'm looking really hard at the Kawasaki Concourse 14 as my FZ6 replacement (curse Yamaya for disontinuing the bike for the FZ8), the 25% improvement in fuel economy in ECO mode, and bigger tank, maybe the one factor that will sell me to buy the Kawasaki.
TG -Farcuss February 25, 2010 03:34 PM
Farcuss hit the nail on the head. Sound logic and good points. That said, I see this as I see most over-engineered, over-priced Honda motorcycles. Sorry, but for $15,999 for the non dual clutch, it's out of Honda's price range. Look at the track record of bikes (and scooters) that sell amazingly well once used, but dealers can't give away new. The PC800, Big Ruckus, VFR800 (pre and post VTEC), ST1300, now the NT700V and VFR1200. All bikes that have cult-like followers, but none willing to pay the price for a new one.
Alvin Long -2010 VFR1200F October 28, 2009 07:22 AM
I have been driving a 1984 V65 Sabre for a long time waiting, now I can trade for a improved version of what I have

Thanks Honda a lot of us waited a long time for this.
Farcuss -Randy October 25, 2009 08:45 PM
Why Randy??? Did my sound logic hit a nerve or something or did you just realize you've been falling for this marketing crap all this time?
Ryan -Not shabby... October 25, 2009 04:50 AM
I like that Honda is stepping up with certain Euro makers. I'm a big fan of the K1300S and it's nice to see something else in the same ball park. Not a fan of the automatic option but I can see where it would be benificial. Like to see a base price...
Randy -Farcuss October 24, 2009 01:26 PM
Wow Farcuss. I really do wish you would just shut up. Really...
Ken Hutchison -Re: Chris - vfr1200f October 23, 2009 04:44 PM
I wish we could. But we are testing pre-production bikes in Japan right now so we won't be able to test them in the US for a few months still. In the meantime we just completed the latest sport touring test with those bikes plus the Sprint ST so I hope that will keep you entertained for a while. I can say it will shake things up a bit in 2010 though.
Ken Hutchison -Re: Icon Suit October 23, 2009 04:37 PM
Its a special suit Icon made for a handful of journalists. It is so light and comfy that I wear it around like a tuxedo. In fact I am wearing it now I like it so much.
Chris -vfr1200f October 23, 2009 03:00 PM
Hutch, please tell me that immediately after your "full report" you'll snare either the zx-14 or hayabusa AND either the k1300gt or concourse 14 for the ultimate open class, supersport touring shootout. Can't wait to see how the new Honda stacks up! Thanks.
Desmolicious -BMW K1300s? October 23, 2009 12:48 PM
"Most likely this bike is destined to redefine the sport touring class if it doesn’t generate a class of its own."

You mean the class the BMW K1300S is in?

Farcuss -Get'n old October 23, 2009 12:34 PM
“The fit and finish is as tidy as you would expect from Honda” Or from any of the other major manufacturers. I sold Hondas and yes they are a good bike but please the “typical Hinda fit and finish” comment was old 10 yrs. ago. ALL of the major players have good fit and finish otherwise they would not be in business. The switch gear on ALL the Japanese bikes are identical and the plastics come out of the same types of molds using the same compounds and same goes for the paint. There isn’t a special Honda tree out there where Honda picks its special parts and materials from. Global manufacturing means there are a few major materials suppliers (plastic, steel, aluminum etc.) who provide the materials that are built to a particular spec for or by the OEM. The processes used to transform these materials into usable parts are very similar if not identical from one manufacturer to another. They all have high quality standards otherwise again they would not be in business.

I’ve owned most all brands and nobody can quantitatively show or prove the fit and finish difference from say a Honda VTX1300 and a Kawasaki Vulcan 1600 because there is none. What ever Honda wants to do to their bikes to improve their fit&finish so can the other major OEMs. Just like when one OEM puts a slipper clutch in their sport bikes the following year everyone else does too.

Keeping up with the competition does not just mean the amount of HP the bike makes or the price. Its smart marketing by Honda to drum the “superior fit and finish” message. It’s smart because it isn’t as discernible as say the HP power measured or the weight or price of the bike. This way if a particular Honda model does not stack up too well against its competition in a certain category on paper; they can fall back on the well although the Honda maybe a little more pricier and not come with said equipment or has more weight and less power output than its rivals, it does have “better fit and finish”. For what ever that is worth. We have all seen this tactic used in comparison articles or reviews. Sometimes the line “this make has more character” than the others. Again, how do you measure “character”? This line is usually saved for bikes from Moto Guzzi, Ducati, and sometimes Harley because Honda’s niche is fit&finish and of course “typical Honda refinement”. Usually the line used for Harley is “the bike just feels and looks cooler”, what ever that amounts to.
Marcus Allen -Icon Suit October 23, 2009 11:38 AM
Wow that Icon racing suit looks awesome! Where did you get it Hutch?