All Duels – Honda VFR1200F Vs Kawasaki 1400GTR: Seven League Boots – Speed, But Not Rush!

Honda VFR1200F Vs Kawasaki 1400GTR: The Seven League Boots

All Duels - Honda VFR1200F Vs Kawasaki 1400GTR: Seven League Boots - Speed, But Not Rush!

Between sport and travel, the new VFR1200F and 1400GTR have a lot to offer. Site therefore compared the eagerly awaited new Honda and the latest Kawasaki development over 1000 km. Which one wins this game of a thousand terminals ? Comparative test.

Speed, but not rush !

Although Honda classifies its new VFR in its range of sports motorcycles, the "racing" claims of the 1200 are all the same less than those of the 800 which, it, is in the range of road … go figure !

In short, we are not going to lie to each other: if our two road cars are capable of spinning very quickly on small roads, they are not for all that sports! Indeed, their weight and engine inertia quickly remind you to order. In any case, these two machines prioritize efficiency above all to the detriment of pure sensations. This is especially true of their mechanics.

Efficient? Yes ! Demonstrative? Ok…

Our two four cylinders undoubtedly suffer from a muffled sound and their French clamping which makes them a bit bland at low revs and frankly extinct in the towers..

However, we will give a clear advantage to the VFR whose V-shaped architecture of its engine gives it more niac. The V4 shows a real character which the GTR – and the VFR 800 Vtec – cannot claim and above all offers a lot more torque..

The thrust of the Honda engine is consistent from the lowest revs, then frankly manly and sympathetic between 4,500 and 6,500 rpm before choking, forcing.

For its part, the 4-cylinder in-line Kawa ‘surprises with its frankly timid recovery at low revs for a 1,400 cc! The 12.3 mkg announced from 4,500 rpm seem quite sanitized by a variable program distribution, yet proudly claimed by the manufacturer.

The same is also true for the KTRC traction control which undoubtedly finds its reason for being in full power but which, in this French version, is used very little..

Easy to take

Despite their weight, our two coaches are doing well on small roads. Although the position of its pilot lends itself more to attack, the VFR does not really take advantage of its sportier definition than the GTR.

The Kawa ‘is really easy to swing from corner to corner. Its magical front end manages to make people forget the 300 kg of the machine that is manhandled without a second thought. Suddenly, we find ourselves whipping the debonair 1,400 cc block, as if it were a 600, in all serenity.

Indeed, we know that traction control and ABS are there to make up for excess optimism. The braking and its configurable K-ACT front / rear coupling system (to give more or less importance to the rear brake) are also very efficient and offer an excellent feeling.

It is always funny and surprising to follow the GTR during a little arsouille and to see this huge butt, still exaggerated by the two suitcases, waving from one turn to the other…

Heavy VFR

It’s curious how the twenty or so kilos that the VFR 1200 weighs more than the VFR 800 seems to make fifty! Indeed, the brilliant homogeneity of the 800 – which made this rather heavy motorcycle a real ballerina – is broken.

Not that this 1200 is dangerous or clumsy, but it is simply less fun and less playful. The track rides allowed by the 800 now seem quite irrelevant. The VFR 1200 can go at a very good pace on small roads but it will bear less guesswork and improvisation.

Besides the weight of the machine, the inertia of the engine is also a factor. The latter is paradoxically more sensitive than on the GTR. If you let yourself be surprised by a corner that closes, you can however count on the excellence of Honda braking which allows you to get out of many situations. ABS is triggered late and always wisely.

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