Honda VFR1200F / VFR 1200 F / VFR1200
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Posts: 12
posted January 31, 2010 12:57 PM        
VFR1200 test

Some key points translated from MOTORRAD's top test.

Home Motorräder Tests Einzeltests Top-Test: Honda VFR 1200F
17.12.2009 Von: Thomas SchmiederErschienen in: 01/2010

Honda VFR 1200F

The new VFR1200F is cekebrated throughout Europe as a Christmans gift. Has the waiting for the new model been worth while?

162000 people have decided to buy a VFR since its introdction back in 1986.

The new design looks great ( ) and the fairing works well, leading cooling wind to the rear cylinders and taking it away from the gently bent legs of the rider. The shiny paint is excellent. The seating position is typical Honda; sporty and collected, the rider sits in the bike. The fairing protects well even at speed, keeping turbulence to a minimum. For shorter riders, the handlebars are straight arms away, while reaching the ground is still easy. Even the passenger doesn't have to bend the legs dramatically, although the hand grips are placed too far to the rear.

The engine produce 165 honest PS and 0-100 takes 3 seconds flat. The engine sounds a bit like a car during start-up, and the clutch is loud. Nothing spectacular as you take off until you hit a significant dip in the torque curve at 3000rpm. A dip that you find ourself in annoyingly often, like doing 50 kph in 3rd. At really low rpm, throttle response is a bit delayed, the engine seems a bit lame. Not until 4000rpm does the engine come to life. and climbs above 100Nm. And 1500 rpm later, a shudder goes though the bike. Depending on load and gear, the valves in the front exhaust system are opened. Harsher vibrations are accompanied by lovely V4 noise at this point.

During cornering can this abrupt increase in power be a bit too much, espeically in the lower 2 gears. In fact, the power curve is more aggressive in the lower gears than in 5th, which was used for the dyno run. Traction control would be good, but isn't an option. Hence a rider needs to pay unusally amounts of attention to which gear is used.

In tight corners you will be aware of the reactions from the shaft drive as you go on and off the throttle. As you close the throttle, the engine braking is abrupt and excessive. And below 60kph, you can feel a bit of slop in the drive train. So in slow going, going slow and smooth is the way to ride.

The new VFR is at home on wide, fast, open roads that winds smoothly. On these roads, you forget the shaft and the high weight and enjoy a wonderful sportbike. The BT021 "N"s require too much power to change direction, whereas the Dunlop Roadsmart "K" improves handling noticeably. If you try to brake mid-corner, the bike will quickly stand up thanks to the wide 190 rear tyre. On the 'stones, you also have to always push the bike down in corners even during steady state riding because it doesn't really want to turn. The Roadsmarts are far more neutral.

The front brakes are excellent, fantastic to modulate. But in order to get maximum force, you also need to use the rear brake. Unfortunately, the linked rear brake (with the front) makes it impossible to use rear brake only.

On good roads, the chassis is examplary, but on bumpy sections the suspenders are too soft to cope with full on attack mode and the rear and can start to pogo a little.

Fuel consumption is too high with 5.9 l/100km on country roads, limiting the range to 313 km from the 18.5 litre tank, the smallest in the Viffer history. Service is only due every 12000km and the cost is astonishingly low.

Top speed is limited to 250 kph, despite the bike having power to hit 270. Will it hurt sales?

Liquid cooled 76 degree V4, OHC, 4-valve, shim valve adjustment, wet sump, 570W, 12Ah, hydraulic slipper clutch, 6 speeds, shaft, Bore x stroke 81,0 x 60,0 mm
Volume 1237 cm3
Comp 12,0:1
Claimed 127,0 kW (173 PS) bei 10000/min - 129 Nm bei 8750/min

43mm USD
Alu frame and swingarm
320mm discs front
276mm disc rear
ABS, part integral
3.50 x 17; 6.00 x 17
120/70 ZR 17; 190/55 ZR 17

Wheelbase 1545 mm, Rake 64,5 Grad, Trail 101 mm, Wheel travel f/r 120/130 mm, max weight 463 kg, wet weight 268 kg, Tank 18,5 Liter.

Maintenance and oil change every 12,000 km

Easily and quickly adjusted rear preload
Excellent paint
Whole exhaust system stainless

Little information from the instruments.
Horn and indicator switches has changed positions.
Difficult to check front air pressure.
Muffler must come off to remove rear wheel, centre stand optional extra.
Points can be seen here

The new VFR is a good motorcycle, but nothing more. Not enough equipment and the power curve is annoying. Too much vibrations in the midrange, clutch demands too much effort, gear box is excellent.

Handling isn't nearly as good as that of the 800. Suspension compliance is great and cornering clearance good.

For daily use, the VFR is indifferent. The handlebars are a bit too low, luggage can only be sensibly brought along if you buy the optional hard luggage, there isn't much standard equipment.The fuel tank is too small, as is the load capacity. The good its are build quality, shaft drive and wind protection.

Brakes are brilliant in power and modulation, the ABS great. Just don't use them mid-corner.

No other current bike has such low maintenance cost. The bike still isn't cheap to run due to high fuel and insurance cost.

Score: 693 out of 1000 points.
Price/performance ratio (1 is best) : 2.3

The VFR1200F gives a lot of motorcycle for the money (14900 Euro).

Performance data can be found here

Main competitors can be seen here

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