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Rented a Honda VFR1200F


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#1 Stephen

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 12:03 PM

It's a commuter sport bike with fairly good ergos... period. It's a fun ride for riders under 5'10" tall. I really liked the V4 sound when I got on the throttle. Otherwise, it's pretty quiet (stock exhaust). The stupid Dunlop Road Smart tires limited just how much throttle I could give it. Anyway, the bad things are:

1) Very stiff throttle spring(s). I forgot to bring my Throttle Rocker.
2) Throttle was like a switch. On/off. It definitely needs a PC & a new throttle cam.
3) Itty bitty gas tank.
4) Funny gearing. This baby likes the RPM's.
5) Removing the seat is a real pain. But I suppose once you get used to it, it's OK.
6) EXTREMELY tight clutch lever. Had to use all 4 fingers to pull it.

I really like the windscreen. The air seems to go over my shoulders, but I'm used to sport bike windscreens.


Brakes were very good. I one-fingered most of the time (same as my ZX-14).

It REALLY likes the 3500-4000 rpm range. Gobs of power. And again, I really enjoyed the V-4 sound.

To wit: This is not a sport-touring motorcycle. No way. Ever.




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#2 scubatech

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 12:24 PM

I really like the looks of that bike. I wish they would have brought out the touring version first. I am not sure how the sales numbers are on it with this economy. They may never bring out the touring model if sales are slower than expected.

#3 azitlies

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 12:50 PM

My understanding is the ergo's are pretty much like the previous VFR's. Some people will use it to tour, but not many. The VFR has always been more on the SPORT part of the ST equation.

I don't believe there will be a touring version of this bike. This bike comes with the automatic or a normal clutch. Those are the only 2 versions planned. You may be referring to the (possible) ST1300 replacement that would probably be based on the basics of this bike... motor, parts of the frame, maybe tires and wheels etc. It's rumored to possibly have a front air bag too :unsure:

just clarifying for those that may not know.

Forgot to add! Really like the looks of that bike too... wish I was still in shape to ride one. Have had 2 vfr's, just couldn't ride around much in that position anymore...

Edited by azitlies, 18 October 2011 - 12:52 PM.


#4 Stephen

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 01:01 PM

IMHO, I can never see this bike as any kind of tourer. The gas tank is too small. I was stopping for gas quite often. It also uses Hi-test gas. Not a problem in Texas (about $3.20 a gallon) but in the PacNW it would be ($4.10+ a gallon).


We cruised around the rural Dallas/Ft. Worth area at about 60mph, but I did do a little run to 142 mph. NICE!!!! I hardly had to tuck in.


It's a great bike for people with 30-32 inseam. Feet on the ground completely.





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#5 Fred W

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 01:36 PM

Nice. Bet that was a blast.

If the new V4 is anything like the old ones, running at 3500-4000 rpm is way too low. My 5th gen ('98) likes to cruise somewhere around 5-6k rpm and the real fun starts somewhere north of that. It's a completely different experience compared to the big 1200-1300 cc engines with gobs of torque down low. With the added torque of +400cc's you can be a little lazier shifting.

A lot of ST riders will do mostly day trips all year and and then only occasionally make a week long excursion (probably towards better sporting roads).
That's the real and original definition of Sport Touring. Touring on an (almost) sport bike.

The FJR is really much too heavy to qualify as a true Sport Tourer. I know that a lot of you old farts don't want to admit it, but the FJR is really a Touring bike that you can Sport around on, not the other way around. Not that it matters all that much. Because fun is where you find it.

I still think that the VFR12 looks like a whole bunch of fun. But I'll never buy one. It's (also) way too heavy for true SPORTtouring, but that's what you get when you ask for shaft drive and big displacement engine. And that is what Honda heard. To be perfectly honest, I don't know what was wrong with the old VFR formula. Or the old Blackbird. Lighter, higher evving (sporty?) Those were great bikes. I've never needed more HP on the little 800cc VFR. >100hp with lower weight means you get some great giddy up.

Edit - And you didn't mention it, but that exhaust thing would have to go. What an abomination. You'd think Kawasaki designed it or something... :huh:

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#6 azitlies

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 01:50 PM

My local stealership has one on the floor... been there for quite a while... price is 11,499 + Fees (whatever the heck that amounts to!).

Even with the seat that comes standard it's good for shorter inseams... it's so narrow in the front of the seat. There is an optional shorter seat also. Looks like the one you rented Stephen might have the lower seat? hard to tell.

Think the msrp is 16,500. And the factory hard bags are 1500! Pretty pricey.

#7 Spud

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 01:57 PM

What I don't get is why they'd make their least expensive, smallest sport bike look almost exactly like their top of the line most expensive sport bike... I saw these two side-by-side on the showroom floor and from a distance you can't tell one from the other...

As for sales, I'm guessing they're doing very poorly based on the discounted price tags I've seen on a few already, 2010's that haven't sold yet.

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#8 allrider

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 03:18 PM

I spoke to a salesman today about the auto transmission model in the showroom that they couldn't sell this summer. He loves the way it rides and it is the smoothest shifting bike in auto with the dual clutches, period. He said it just doesn't make sense to buyers in any particular segment. Price is too high, it;s not quite a sportbike (in the eyes of the testosterone poison victims that buy those these days). It doesn't make a good sport tourer, not comfortable enough like an FJR or ST1300.

He said he sold 20 Triumph Tigers and only 2 Tenere's, no VFR.
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#9 Bungie

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 03:31 PM

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My god that's a good lookin' bike! :D

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#10 Stephen

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 06:01 PM

There were 13K miles on this particular bike. One thing I forgot to add: The drive shaft backlash (or whatever it's called). Really jerky. Not like the Feejer at all. Could be just maintenance, though. And yes, it was heavy. It seems like Honda likes things heavy i.e. ST1300.

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#11 BobbyBlue

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 10:32 PM

Thanks for sharing Stephen...I had a vfr750 back in the day and that v4 howl is intoxicating ! But hot and heavy i got already...that little 250 looks like a riot though...too bad it aint a 2-stroke...i love the smell of castor bean in the morning...Surf This Charlie !!!






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#12 Pepperell

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Posted 19 October 2011 - 04:24 AM

That 1200 looked good till I got to about the footpeg then all hell broke loose. The rear half is just butt fugly. :P
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#13 JR'SFJR

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Posted 19 October 2011 - 04:37 AM

A year ago, I rode one up the south side of Stelvio Pass in Italy. It was a handful in the tight switchback turns with the heavy throttle and driveline backlash. Everyone in the group had the same opinion. It's a nice looking bike that accelerates hard, but not sure where it fits.

#14 winewhisperer

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Posted 19 October 2011 - 05:43 PM

Funny that I came upon this topic, because I just bought a brand spankin new 2010 last Saturday. I own a 2006 FJR, and my
baby was lonely sitting in the garage by herself. My impressions after three rides and nearly 400 miles: much sportier
riding position with lower and more forward placed hand-grips. I found the throttle by wire to be much lighter than my FJR, but then I have the stiff '06. Power, power, and more power, absolutly no contest here between the VFR and the FJR since the VFR has as much horsepower at the rear-wheel has the FJR has at the crank (145+). Handling is superb, very stable, yet
very quick to turn in and holds its line with very little adjustments needed. Suspension is firmer and bumps are a bit more
harsh, however smooth surfaces are quite pleasant and the miles pile up quite easily. Great looks (imho), fantastic fit and
finish (best paint I have ever seen on a stock motorcycle)and a motorcycle that just begs to be ridden hard and fast. One thing I do agree on, this bike is not a sport-tourer or an all-out sport bike, it is my gentleman's express! By the way, my
cost staight out of the crate, $10,999 I kid you not.

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#15 Stephen

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Posted 19 October 2011 - 07:33 PM

It did have good ergos, at least for me. The throttle, clutch & drive shaft definitely needs to be reworked. Different exhaust, a PC & sticky tires would also be nice. At least on the one that I rode.

But I'm used to my ZX-14. Anything less is easy to find faults.

The paint was very nice.... sparkly dark red.

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#16 JR'SFJR

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Posted 20 October 2011 - 04:25 AM

More comment on riding one up Stelvio pass on the VFR. Several of us switched bikes. I was riding a BMW800ST belt drive, which was quick and a delightful mountain bike. Also rode BMW800GS-chain, R121200RT-driveshaft, k1300r-driveshaft, and a Honda CBF1000-chain. Last trip over, I rode a K1200GT. All did well in the technical tight switchbacks, although I still don't care for RT's. On the VFR, we found it helped drive line lash to use a little trailing brake through the complete turn till acceleration with the tricky throttle. Otherwise, it was just fine.

#17 Stephen

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Posted 20 October 2011 - 08:17 AM

More comment on riding one up Stelvio pass on the VFR............ On the VFR, we found it helped drive line lash to use a little trailing brake through the complete turn till acceleration with the tricky throttle. Otherwise, it was just fine.


Yep, that's what I had to do, too. Or I'd finger-tip the front brake, then turn it in. It was an ABS model. by the way.






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