At the Tokyo motorcle show in October 2009 Honda finally unveiled the long-awaited VFR1200. Its 1243cc engine is a 76-degree V-Four with a number of unusual features. The rear cylinders are positioned side-by-side while the front pair of cylinders are more widely spaced. The the UNICAM single overhead camshaft cylinder head design has been taken from the motocross models. Apparently utilises a single cam which directly actuates the intake valves while a separate lobe drives a forked roller rocker arm to open the exhaust valves. This design allows for extremely compact cylinder heads and less parasitic losses.
A sealed crankcase and a sump separated from the crankcase, and aeed valve is employed to release the pressures of combustion and ventilate them to the sump. Offset crank pins are phased to reduce vibration and the firing order is also different from most V-Four engines. Cylinders 1 and 3 have previously been at the front with 2 and 4 as the rearward pair. For the VFR1200F Honda engineers have put cylinders 1 and 4 at the front. The combined effect is like a paired set of parallel twins that share a common crank. Instead of trying to match exhaust header length Honda have tuned the front cylinders, with their longer exhaust headers, to provide ample bottom-end torque while the rear pair, with much shorter headers, add top-end punch.
On Honda's first road-going bike with fly-by-wire throttle control the 44mm throttle bodies are controlled by servo motors controlled by the ECU, while at the other end the shaft drive features an offset prop shaft & CV joint that compensates for rear suspension movement.
Itís been a long time coming, but the new Honda VFR1200F is fast enough to keep Super Blackbird owners happy and makes the VFR800 look as old as the hills.This indicates the semi-auto box will be an optional extra, just as ABS was in the 1990s. More in the MCN report. To get an idea of its size an MCN staffer with more time on his hands than I'd expect, overlaid the VFR1200 on the VTEC VFR's profile. THe result, a small jpeg, is here. To my eye there's not much in it.
The 1137cc V4 motor is a real peach of a powerplant combining lovely smooth running with a wheelbarrow full of torque yet will still scream around to 10,500rpm and a soft rev limiter.
Later versions will have the Dual Clutch Transmission available at extra cost.
"Revolutionary" is a buzzword that is thrown around far too frequently, but I have to say that after riding Honda's brand-new 2010 VFR1200F around the Sugo Circuit outside of Sendai, Japan, as well as on public roads nearby, this bike truly defines that expression.Read the rest of their comprehensive report.
This VFR is neither a sports bike nor a tourer. It wasn't until I had had an hour of varied conditions that I felt confident enough to properly open her up.Meanwhile, USA magazine Motorcyclist strapped one to a dyno. 142.1 American horses @ 10,000 rpm and 81.4 ft-lb of torque at 8,750 (I calculate this as 110 Nm, which is a lot!).
She corners like a dream. My pillion only complained at twice the speed limit so Europe will be a doddle.
donít believe the bad reviews. Take one out for a two hour-plus test ride. You wonít regret it, and you may just fall in love.
More video - Youtube user zeocen from New Zealand says during a 4 minute video from a test ride:
Everything I said about this bike being boring is f***ing wrong. This is, oh my god, this is awesome! It feels like a 600, I'm not kidding. Man, I cannot believe how light this feels.Plenty more observations during the ride here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBbLigiT6qg. He walks around the bike during a second video, 6 minutes long: www.youtube.com/watch?v=tC1lahuYEp8.
The paint is remarkable. Where does the money go? The paint.
Even taking off is buttery smooth.
Another Kiwi has posted photos and impressions of his new silver VFR1200 on the vfrworld.com forum. See his comprehensive post here.
160 bhp (127 kW) @ 10,000
129Nm (95 ft/lb) @ 8,750
Pearl Sunbeam White
Candy Prominence Red