Honda VFR1200F Review & Ratings
- 17 February 2018
- Author: Nikolas Perseputto
STICKING TRUE to the VFR’sheritage as a showcase for new technology, Honda became the first motorcycle manufacturer to use dual-clutch technology (DCT) when they launched the all-new VFR1200Fin 2010. The electronically controlled transmission allowed riders to pilotthenew VFR in fully automatic or semi-automatic mode via paddles on the switchgear.Itwas also available in a six-speed manualversion, both models using shaft final drive.Honda’s flagship also packed full ride-by-wirethrottle C-ABS and Unicam single overheadcamshaft actuating the slim-line V4’s valve train. Those who took one for a test ride were blown away by how rapid it was. That1237cc V4 produces 152bhp and is just as happy cruising around on its low-rpm torqueasitis screaming through the rev range. With its lustrous paint, space-age styling and gorgeous cast aluminium components, this was a machine that looked and feltworth every penny of its £13,599 launch price.For the 2013 model year Honda tweakedtheVFR, the updated bike benefiting from traction control, a larger fuel tank and a torqueboosting fuel map.
As standard the VFR’s riding position is set more on the sporty side with the rider hunched over the tank. However, Honda do offer a lower seat, bar risers and a taller screen as optional extras, all of which help make the VFR more comfortable for extended touring. The extras list also includes heated grips, centrestand and hard luggage.
Rear preload adjuster
As a touring machine Honda very wisely saw fit to grace the VFR1200 with an easily accessible preload adjuster knob. However, on bikes where there is seldom a pillion or heavy luggage, the remote knob has been known to seize through lack of use. To circumvent this give that knob a little twist every now and then and it’s sure to keep moving freely.
Such is Honda’s pride in the reliability of the VFR1200, it is the only bike in the range to be offered with a three-year, unlimited mileage warranty (all other new Hondas are offered with a two-year warranty). There’s genuinely very little that goes wrong with VFRs.
DCT uses two electronically actuated clutches, one for odd numbered gears, the other for even. The system pre-engages the next gear before releasing the first, so delivering beautifully smooth shifts. Use it in fully automatic mode, choosing between the economical Drive mode, or the higher revving Sport mode, or use the plus and minus paddles on the switchgear to select the ratios yourself. Its smoothness makes it ideal for touring with pillions, without clashing helmets.
Second generation model
For 2013 Honda tweaked the VFR. It looks like the first generation model but there are a number of key improvements including switchable (on/off) traction control, increased midrange torque and a less slippery seat. Fuelling was also refined, as was the shaft drive system. Fuel capacity was increased from 18.5 to 19 litres, not enough to significantly increase range – one of the VFRs only real weaknesses.