All Tests – VFR 1200F Test … with an F as effective! – Devilishly efficient on the road

VFR 1200F test … with an F as effective !

All Tests - VFR 1200F Test ... with an F as effective! - Devilishly efficient on the road

Among the 2010 novelties, the VFR 1200 is one of the most anticipated … While waiting for the automatic DCT version next summer, Site has tried the classic manual version. So, is the new VFR 1200 still the ideal bike? ? Test !

Devilishly efficient on the road

The grip of the new VFR 1200F is obvious: the levers previously adjusted, the clutch and the front brake are perfectly balanced. The gearbox is excellent and you can quickly have fun up – or even down – gears without resorting to the left lever: a real DCT ahead of time ?!

The "Ride by Wire" electronic throttle management system is completely transparent and the V4 responds instantly and precisely to the demands of the right grip: Honda was not lying. Mirrors, on the other hand, offer good vision and would be perfect if they did not vibrate during acceleration phases..

It is certain, in terms of approval, the latest VFR worthily represents Honda and all of its models! It is even more pleasant to take than the 800 "thanks" to the absence of the controversial VTEC system….

The "On-Off" effect of the small VFR is therefore completely absent and the revving is carried out in one go: "the VTEC was too aggressive", recognizes Yosuke Hasegawa"and anyway, he would not have brought much to the 1200". On the contrary, according to the Japanese official, the adoption of VTEC would have made the engine heavier, bulkier and more expensive….

The 1200 cc V4, pride of Hasegawa

To offer the new VFR sports performance, it was therefore sufficient to increase the displacement: "20 years ago an 800 cc was enough, but not today", points out to us the person in charge of the VFR project. Wouldn’t a 1000 cc, lighter and" limited "to 150 ch (against 172 for the 1200 cc) not have been enough?"I don’t think so, because VFR customers want a motorcycle that can ride hard regardless of the load, our engine allows it"he replies.

With Honda for 12 years, Yosuke Kasegawa joined the manufacturer as a test pilot. A racing driver in his spare time – he rode on FZR and GSX-R – this atypical Japanese who has a construction engineer training has worked on … roller coasters !

Why dwell on such information? Simply to understand the genesis and the final temperament of the new V4: smooth at low revs, torquey at mid revs and expressive high in the revs !

Thus, the VFR 1200F is undoubtedly the Honda which offers the most sensations! Of course, we would have liked even more convincing times under 4500 rpm and not having to climb 2000 revs higher to get out of turns like Dani Pedrosa, Jonathan Rea or … the friend who tries to drop you by whipping his frame, whatever it is.

Nevertheless, the Japanese 4-cylinder works perfectly and very strongly! On the other hand, contrary to what was announced, the cardan transmission does not yet behave quite like a chain. When the gas is cut in particular, we feel some tremors, but the lack of maintenance is well worth this slight inconvenience. !

Finally, we would have especially appreciated that the "haunting sound"touted by Honda is a little more present: when we see what the European manufacturers are able to approve, we say to ourselves that their Japanese counterparts have room and that they could well release a few more decibels without polluting the sound environment…

Once launched, even at low speed, the VFR enjoys good handling and makes you forget its heavy weight. To accelerate the pace on small roads, you naturally have to get more involved than in a Supersport, but fatigue is not noticeable..

For big hearts

In the beautiful Andalusian curves, the VFR 1200F is a treat to take. With their settings "leaving the factory", the suspensions offer an excellent compromise and it will be necessary to spit in the gloves to initiate some movements of pumps with acceleration..

Likewise, locking the fork when entering the brakes on the angle will not handicap the vast majority of future “Vehèferistes”. Even large junctions and road imperfections are absorbed smoothly, allowing a very good pace to be maintained regardless of the condition of the road.

Braking, meanwhile, is simply irreproachable! The bite is present without being exaggerated, the power is remarkable and easily dosed and the ABS – "this is not the electronic model of CBRs", specifies Honda – watch the grain: on the Spanish coating, it gave the impression of intervening a little early … proof that the rain of the day before had carried its share of dirt on the road !

On the motorway, to maintain a legal 130 km / h, we stall the VFR in 6th at 4,500 rpm. As a reminder, it is at this precise speed that the engine begins to express itself … No problem therefore to overtake other vehicles. !

On track – and on track only, of course -, in theory, we should be able to reach 290 km / h near the red zone located at 10,000 rpm. In France – and in France only, of course – the engine will be electronically limited to 100 horsepower. "Logically, the behavior of the engine should not be denatured below this value.", forecasts Sebastien Pernel … To be checked !

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