In 2012, the large VFR benefited from a series of technical improvements. Starting with the engine and its vigor. The torque curve is significantly reinforced, mainly between 2,000 and 4,000 rpm. The PGM-FI injection has been revised to improve efficiency while the tank gains a capacity of half a liter (it now cubs 19 L).
Fan of technology, and powered by big horses – 173 is more than a lot … – the 1200 VFR let itself be charmed by the traction control. The pilot will therefore be under the benevolence of Honda’s TCS (Traction Control System), which is based on the slightest loss of grip to calm this big sport-GT. By comparing the rotational speed of the wheels, the TCS reduces the engine power in order to avoid the bowl. It would be a tribute to damage it as its wait has made a generation of bikers fantasize..
The robotic gearbox of the VFR DCT was also refined in 2012. In D mode (fully automatic), the electronic control unit adapts gear changes to the pilot’s behavior. The system takes into account several parameters to automatically choose between two maps, one for normal conditions, which minimizes gear changes for smoothness, the other for heavy loads, which changes gears more directly for promote acceleration and engine braking.
Whether automatic modes D or S are chosen, the second generation of the Honda double clutch also allows manual intervention: at any time, the pilot can use the controls ‘+’ or ‘-‘ MT mode to select the desired gear. After which, if no other action is recorded, the system takes over and continues to operate in automatic mode.
How many years have we been waiting for this new VFR? Four? Ten? Does it matter now…. When the new VFR was revealed it was the discovery of much more than an evolution of this very famous motorcycle. This model shook up many established references. A new engine, a new frame, a new design, a new way of thinking about the sport-GT, a new generation of machines.
Look, contemplate, be amazed at this style. We had to strike hard with this new VFR. And a large displacement engine was not enough for Honda. The biggest motorcycle manufacturer in the world has worked more than rightly for its technological spearhead. The result is a machine unlike anything seen before. No excessive aggressiveness or sultry lines but some cultural styling effects – the 1200 VFR dictates its own codes, its own design, unlike any other. Her dress masters function and style, with a little something surreal and general amazement. First of all, there is this lighthouse, taking up the identity of the V4 concept presented at Intermot 2008. A very singular kind of false X, foreshadowing remarkable lighting. The mirrors with integrated turn signals have a touch of “mother-of-pearl”, directly derived from the latest CBR 1000 RR…. and referring us to the distant CBR 1100 XX. That it also replaces in passing; and it’s no coincidence that Senseï Kishi, the father of the 1100 Blackbird, participated in the development of this new VFR.
These fairing panels intrigue you, don’t you!?! It is no longer the full fairing as it was until today. Over the past few years, especially on sports cars, the surface has been shrinking and purifying. On the VFR 1200 F, the shoe clearly separated from the rest of the trim. The bike is now dressed in a deep coat, a multi-layered fairing. Cavities created between the headlight and the sidewalls help channel airflow and improve stability at high speeds. Two additional panels grafted behind the main panels add style and allow hot air to escape outside the pilot’s knees. The shoulders of the motorcycle join in gentle curves the sides of the tank, the central part of which is of a different color. One way to think about the full fairing as you can see it on some BMWs. This tailored dress would almost make us forget one of its major roles: protection. And there it seems that the mission is very successful. The pilot should be more than happy with the shelter. A pilot who will not be where to give head at first, because between the V4, its power, discover the new controls (more ergonomic, redesigned in the drawing, with a reversal of the position of the horn and the indicators), and revel in the new dashboard…. Oh, nothing revolutionary in the info (speed, gear engaged, engine and exterior temperature, clock, fuel level and consumption), but the style is particularly successful. 2 digital windows enclosing the needle tachometer – beautiful, functional, elegant !
Now, the ones you are all waiting for. ENGINE. Tired of hearing for years that the VFR 800 lacks torque (it’s always compared to machines in its segment but far more generously powered), Honda has gone to great lengths in creating a new V4. But it has nothing to do with the identity of its predecessors anymore. Gone are the days when VFRs were equipped with a 90 ° V4 Superbike from the fabulous competition RVFs. This time, it’s an entirely new block, dedicated for this VFR, with a new angle of 76 °, a displacement of 1237 cm3, and colossal power worthy of a hypersport. The VFR 1200 F develops 173 horsepower. A value that leaves us speechless. For the torque, it is more than 13 mkg at 8,750 rpm – 80% is available from 3,000 rpm. From sport-GT, the VFR has almost become hypersport-GT. It will only be its weight of 267 kg (about 10 more than the 800 V-tec) all wet to remind us of its claims. And that’s not all: this engine has been designed with a great concern for integration. . Thus, the rear cylinders are placed side by side but very close while the front cylinders are more clearly spaced. This design makes it possible to obtain a thin and compact shape which fits ideally between the pilot’s legs while participating in the centralization of the masses.
On the transmission side, Honda has also been very strong and innovative. The VFR 1200 is fitted with an automatic dual-clutch gearbox. Inspired by what is done in the automobile, this technology combines the advantage of eliminating the jerks usually present on classic automobile transmissions, with a significant drop in consumption. On the technical side, the gearbox is in fact made up of two half-boxes (and therefore two clutches) which each manage different ratios: one for even gears, the other for odd gears. Thus, when a report is in operation, the directly lower and upper reports are already engaged in the other half-box. When changing gear, the two clutches only have to work in reverse. The gears are already pre-engaged, the gear change is therefore done quickly, without jerks or loss of speed. All with consumption advertised as equal or even better than for a conventional gearbox..
The electronic control will offer two automatic modes: normal or sport. For purists, it will be possible to switch to manual mode.
The video below shows the different uses of the automatic double clutch transmission (which should probably be extended to other models of the brand).
The safety chapter, dear to Honda, has obviously received as much attention. For the first time on a sporty roadster, the clutch is limited slip, as on the pure pistardes. This device prevents the rear wheel from locking up when downshifting forcefully. ABS is fitted as standard, aided by combined front-rear braking, and the 320mm rotors are bitten by radial 6-piston calipers. The chassis is also designed to withstand all the constraints of the sport. At the origin of the inverted 43 mm fork is anchored a large double beam aluminum frame; the kind you’d see in an SBK machine as well. The swingarm, which is a big part of the VFR identity, is completely new, now with a gimbal. Even if this is not an innovation (BM has been doing it for a long time), it is a big step forward for this sport-GT, which is equipped with this element long claimed by VFR owners. At the ends of the machine, the rims with thin sticks are simply superb.
This VFR 1200 F wants to mark its time, perhaps more than the VFR 750 did. Technologically, Honda has done very well. And 24 years later, the most famous sport-GT wants to recreate what it once initiated: a new way of riding.
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VFR 1200 F DCT 2015
Model marketed in
280 km / h
The technical aspect
2016 Honda VFR 1200 F DCT
- Tank: 19 liters
- Width: 886 mm
- Height: 1,222 mm
- Wheelbase: 1,545 mm
- Weight in running order: 267 kg
- Train before
- Cardan transmission
- Rear axle
(81 x 60 mm)
at 10,000 rpm
at 8,750 rpm