Top test Honda VFR 1200F


Top test Honda VFR 1200F

Top test Honda VFR 1200F

Top test Honda VFR 1200F

Top test Honda VFR 1200F

Top test Honda VFR 1200F

12th photos

Top test Honda VFR 1200F

Top brakes: radially screwed six-piston stoppers, ABS and integral actuation.

Top test Honda VFR 1200F

Builds compact and very narrow: the two rear cylinders sit between the two front ones.

Top test Honda VFR 1200F

The preload of the lever-operated shock absorber can be adjusted to the load in no time using a practical handwheel.

Top test Honda VFR 1200F

Safe: LEDs in the mirrors increase visibility.

Top test Honda VFR 1200F
Drawing: archive

Tight 76 degree cylinder angles make the 1200 shorter and higher than the 90 ° -V4 of the 800.

Top test Honda VFR 1200F

Checking the tire pressure at the front is difficult, depending on the tester, because of the large brake discs and the non-cranked valve.

Top test Honda VFR 1200F

Humpback whale: The 18.5 liter steel tank (black) is flanked by red plastic panels.

Top test Honda VFR 1200F

Horn and turn signal switches have swapped their usual positions, so the driver, who has been conditioned for years, first honks his horn when turning.

Top test Honda VFR 1200F

Infotainment: dominant rev counter and gear indicator, but no consumption indicator.

Top test Honda VFR 1200F
Drawing: fact

Head work: The cylinder banks each carry an overhead camshaft with roller rocker arms and bucket tappets.

Top test Honda VFR 1200F

Passable place: The triangular pillion seat is tightly padded and is rather narrow for wide rear parts.

Top test Honda VFR 1200F

One sign: the first cardan on a VFR. Easy to care for and cleverly designed even without torque support. The continuous swing axis above the cardan tunnel brings stability, a constant velocity joint ensures length compensation.

Top test Honda VFR 1200 F

Long awaited: the Honda VFR 1200 F

The Honda VFR has gathered many thousands of fans around it. And now all of Europe is celebrating the new 1200 as an early Christmas present. So it was worth the wait?

The French bikers who met the MOTORRAD test team on the trip in the neighboring country were visibly impressed. When they saw the new VFR 1200 F they made a quick turn around and followed the MOTORRAD people to the next parking lot. "La nouvelle VFR!" They were amazed and beamed. V4, this construction principle has a lot of fans. Almost 162,000 customers in Europe alone have bought a Honda VFR since 1986, because each series has always mastered the balancing act between sport and touring.

Until 2002, Honda had fundamentally revised the VFR series every four years. But in 2006, instead of the expected successor to the 800, there was only one careful modification to the V-Tec system. No wonder that Werner Koch expressed the wish in his model report (MOTORRAD 23/2006): "…a VFR with the full liter displacement."

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Top test Honda VFR 1200F

Top test Honda VFR 1200 F
Long awaited: the Honda VFR 1200 F

Top test Honda VFR 1200F


Driving report Honda VFR 1200 F (2010)

Test drive with dual clutch transmission

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As soon as the VFR shows up somewhere, you might think it’s an alien, because it gets so much attention.

Fits: the typical Honda feeling during the seat test. In a sporty way, you sit very much in the motorcycle. With short people, the arms are quite straight. But both feet can safely reach the ground. The waist became narrow because the rear cylinders are between the two front ones.

A fulfillment: the super smooth paint. It inspires both to touch and look at. You can be clearly reflected in it. Really classy, ​​this impression. It’s just a shame that nothing of the V4 concept can be seen. Unlike the 800, there are no V-shaped details, neither front nor rear cylinder banks are visible. And the aluminum frame, which has now been black instead of glossy, looks dreary. The VFR face is characterized by the X-shaped headlight with wide low beam above and narrow high beam below.

It is possible: the knee angle is moderate at the front and rear, but the handles for the pillion passenger are far back.

LED position lights in the "Turn signal mirrors" should make the silhouette easier to see, the speed easier to assess from a distance. With a real 165 hp, the front can rush towards you. In three point zero seconds from zero to a hundred. Oh la la.

Soundcheck, listen to the V4. The four-cylinder comes to life quietly, tumbles like a car. The sound is subtle around the bottom. Engage first gear of the impeccable gearbox and let the hydraulically operated anti-hopping clutch grind loudly while stationary. AU Revoir! Initially, the V4 is unspectacular. At 3000 rpm it suddenly falls into a deep torque hole. In which you find yourself surprisingly often. Around 50 km / h in third gear. At the very bottom, in the low partial load range, the throttle response is minimally delayed, more sluggish than direct and greedy. The V4 is still holding back. In the lower rev range, there is some pressure missing for an engine of this caliber. Only at 4000 rpm does the V4 suddenly wake up and the torque jump over 100 Newton meters. At around 5500 tours, there is a jolt through the motorcycle. Computer-controlled, depending on gear and load, a servomotor opens the flap in front of the upper of the two exhaust outlets from this speed. Accompanied by now coarse vibrations and wonderfully grumbling V4 growls.

In an inclined position, this sudden use of power in the middle of the engine speed can easily be too much of a good thing, especially in first and second gear. There the brutal thrust is stronger than the full-load curve measured in fifth gear suggests. A traction control could defuse the unpredictable power development: first moderate, then excessive. But such help is not even an extra. So you have to think a lot about the right gear on the 1200er. After all, the cockpit shows it digitally.

The Massif des Maures on the Côte dAzur knows no straight lines. Every curve signifies a bow to the grandiose landscape. In tight bends, load change reactions are noticeable on this first VFR with cardan in the single-sided swing arm. When the electronically controlled throttle valve closes, the engine braking torque has a drastic effect. And up to 60 km / h, there is some play in the drive train when changing the gas. So drive gently and gently, enjoy freshly peeled cork oaks, breathe the scent of the pine and eucalyptus trees.

The area of ​​the VFR are wide, fast, easily visible arches. Then you want to shout for joy, completely forgets the cardan on this perfectly balanced sports motorcycle. Brisk waving is required with Bridgestone BT 021 tires "N" slightly higher force wall. With the Dunlop Roadsmart raised for comparison "K" the VFR can be folded down faster, folds down more easily. When braking in an inclined position, the VFR, rolling on fat 190 rear tires, stands up abruptly. The same applies to bumps in curves. Sloping slack. At least with BT 021 "N". They require constant counter-pressure when cornering. Neutral is different. In Germany, the VFR will receive both types of tires. So better to order the Roadsmart.

Duck down? is not necessary on the country road. The wide, rear-flow window protects the fuselage effectively and without turbulence.

The radially screwed six-piston calipers at the front can be dosed with great sensitivity. This is a top brake up to the ABS control range. But because the foot pedal alone actuates two brake pistons at the front left, there is only full braking force with hand and foot. Furthermore, the composite braking system never allows rear braking alone. Disruptive when turning or with small adaptive braking in curves. The chassis is perfectly matched to reasonably level asphalt. The comfort-oriented suspension strut sometimes reaches its limits only on a bad surface or with an overly sporty driving style, the rear bobbing on bumps in curves.

High fuel consumption of 5.9 liters on the country road results in a range of 313 kilometers. The hunched steel tank holds just 18.5 liters, the smallest volume in almost 25 years of VFR history. So make at least 40 fuel stops between the long 12000 maintenance intervals. The inspection costs are sensationally low. But the VFR sends another signal: Unlike double Xs & Co. seals the VFR gently, very gently, like luxury sedans at a real 250 km / h. Then the electronically controlled throttle valves simply close a little, as if by magic. Otherwise the top performance would be good for 270 km / h. A bold, overdue step in view of the speed limit of 130 almost everywhere in Europe?

Technical specifications

Setup tips for driving on the country road.

Water-cooled four-cylinder four-stroke 76-degree V-engine, one overhead, chain-driven camshaft, four valves per cylinder, fork joint and bucket tappets, wet sump lubrication, injection Ø 44 mm, regulated catalytic converter, alternator 570 W, battery 12 V / 12 Ah, Hydraulically operated multi-disc oil bath clutch, (anti-hopping), six-speed gearbox, cardan shaft, secondary gear ratio 2,699.
Bore x stroke 81.0 x 60.0 mm
Cubic capacity 1237 cm3
Compression ratio 12.0: 1
Rated capacity: 127.0 kW (173 hp) at 10,000 rpm
Max. Torque: 129 Nm at 8750 rpm

landing gear:
Bridge frame made of aluminum, upside-down fork, Ø 43 mm, adjustable spring base and rebound damping, single-sided swing arm made of aluminum, central spring strut with lever system, adjustable spring base and rebound damping, double disc brake at the front, Ø 320 mm, six-piston fixed caliper, disc brake at the rear, Ø 276 mm, Double-piston floating caliper, partially integral brake system with ABS.
Cast aluminum wheels 3.50 x 17; 6.00 x 17
Tires 120/70 ZR 17; 190/55 ZR 17
Bridgestone BT 021 tires tested "N"

mass and weight:
Wheelbase 1545 mm, steering head angle 64.5 degrees, caster 101 mm, spring travel f / r 120/130 mm, permissible total weight 463 kg, tank capacity 18.5 liters.

Service data:
Service intervals 12,000 km
Oil and filter change every 12,000 km / 4.0 l
Engine oil SAE 10 W30
Idle speed 1150 ± 100 / min
Air pressure front / rear solo (with pillion passenger) 2.5 / 2.9 (2.5 / 2.9) bar

guarantee three years
Colours Red, silver, white
price 14,900 euros
Additional costs around 170 euros

Technology news

Drawing: fact

Head work: The cylinder banks each carry an overhead camshaft with roller rocker arms and bucket tappets.

The cylinder angle of the 1237 cm3 V4 engine is an unconventional 76 degrees like the current MotoGP racing machines from Honda. The reason: compact design as well as optimal arrangement and shape of inlet channels and injection system. The throttle valves, one for each cylinder, are not operated directly by the throttle grip, but electronically by servomotors (“ride by wire”). Instead of two lateral water coolers as in the still available VFR 800, there is a huge, curved cooler in front of the engine.

The Unicam four-valve cylinder heads
Derived from CRF four-stroke crossers, they have only one camshaft. They reduce the construction volume, as well as the narrow cylinder angle. The inlet valves operate bucket tappets, the outlet valves forked, low-friction roller rocker arms. The valve clearance is checked every 24,000 kilometers, on the exhaust side using adjusting screws and on the inlet side using shims. Oil change: every 12,000 kilometers. The V4 manages without a balancer shaft. This is made possible by the clever crankshaft crank pin offset of 28 degrees between the front and rear cylinders.


There are many innovations in the VFR, some positive but also some unpleasant.


  • The preload of the lever-operated shock absorber can be adjusted to the load in no time using a practical handwheel.
  • Excellent paint quality, a new painting process smooths the surface.
  • Exhaust manifold made entirely of stainless steel.


  • The cockpit is rather sparsely equipped, despite the gear and outside temperature display. The on-board computer reports neither fuel consumption nor remaining range or tire pressure.
  • Horn and turn signal switches have swapped their usual positions, so the driver, who has been conditioned for years, first honks his horn when turning.
  • Checking the tire air pressure at the front is difficult, depending on the test device, due to the large brake discs and the non-cranked valve.
  • To remove the rear wheel, the silencer has to be removed despite the single-sided swing arm; unfortunately, a useful main stand costs extra.


The foot pedal controls both rear brake pistons and two of the front left brake caliper. Only the simultaneous actuation of the handbrake and footbrake brings top deceleration in the ABS control range.


Top speed(Factory information) 250 km / h

0-100 km / h 3.0 sec
0-140 km / h 4.7 sec
0-200 km / h 8.9 sec

60-100 km / h 4.5 sec
100-140 km / h 3.8 sec
140-180 km / h 4.1 sec

Speedometer deviation
Effective (display 50/100) 47/94 km / h

Tachometer deviation
Display red area 10800 rpm
Effective 10600 rpm

Drawing: archive

The performance curve below 4000 rpm is not very brawny:

An annoying, deep torque hole lurks at 3000 tours. Therefore, the third or fourth gear of the sporty, narrowly stepped transmission with a long first gear is more suitable for brisk country road driving. Felt more clearly when driving than when cornering: the rapid increase in torque at 5500 rpm.

Drawing: archive


Country road 5.9 l / 100 km
Theor. Range road 314 km
Fuel type Super Plus

mass and weight
L / W / H 2280/920/1210 mm
Seat height 800 mm
Handlebar height 950 mm
Turning circle 6900 mm
Weight with a full tank 268 kg
Payload 195 kg
Wheel load distribution f / r 51/49%

Drawing: archive

Driving dynamics:

Handling course I (fast slalom)

Lap time 19.7 sec
Reference Triumph Street Triple 19.5 sec

Vmax at the measuring point 111.9 km / h
Reference Triumph Street Triple 127.7 km / h

From the neutral position, the 268 kilogram VFR 1200 F tilts easily from one inclined position to the other. The Honda with Bridgestone BT 021 “N” tires does not drive completely neutral on larger lean angles and stands up noticeably when braking in an inclined position. The high performance from 5500 rpm requires sensitivity when accelerating out of slow corners, otherwise the rear wheel will break out.

Braking distance from 100 km / h

Braking distance 40.6 m (at 37.0 m still remaining speed: 29.8 km / h)

Reference BMW K 1200 R Sport 37.0 m

Control comfort at the highest level. The Honda ABS guides the wheels along the locking limit with short, extremely fine control intervals. Because of the combination braking system, the braking distances are hardly any better when using the front brake alone than when stepping on the foot pedal alone.

Conclusion & Video

The 1200 offers a lot of motorcycle for the money. The “net” price of 14,900 euros including standard ABS is okay. Even if the list of surcharges for accessories is long.


The long-awaited VFR has become a good motorcycle, a very good one in fact. However, it is not an excellent one. The multi-level performance characteristic is rather a hindrance, the equipment sparse. The 1200er shines with many technological delicacies. There is also a three-year guarantee and 12000 maintenance intervals. So all expectations are met?

The scoring

Drawing: archive

Evaluation of the engine.

Mountain and valley: The engine characteristics are unbalanced, and the propulsion is only appropriate beyond the 4000 mark. Below 3000 rpm, atypical for this displacement class, there is listlessness. From 5500 rpm the fireworks rise, the VFR accelerates rapidly. The cardan drive is only noticeable when accelerating to accelerate in the lower gears. Just like more violent vibrations from medium speeds and the long-term high manual clutch force. Top: the transmission.

Drawing: archive

Evaluation of the chassis.

The playful handling the 800, which is only 15 kilograms heavier, is completely absent. The steering precision should also be better – even with Dunlop Roadsmart instead of Bridgestone BT 021. Sporty chassis design is proof of the high degree of lean angle and straight-line stability. And all of this with a high level of comfort! The soft shock absorber with rather lax damping reaches its limits only on bad routes or with a high load.

Drawing: archive

Evaluation for everyday life

The big hit? In everyday life, the new Honda flagship is rather mediocre. The driver has to stretch far to the handlebars, unfortunately there are no ergonomic adjustment options. Overall, the equipment is only mediocre, and it is difficult to take luggage without the extra suitcases. For a motorcycle of this caliber, the tank and range should be larger, and the payload should also be greater. Cardan, wind protection and workmanship set highlights.

Drawing: archive

Assessment of security.

Good effect, top dosage: When it comes to the delay chapter, the VFR shines. It’s great how sensitively the brakes, which come with good ABS as standard, can be operated. But please do not incline: Then the 1200 will stand up on its Bridgestone tires. Tendency to hit the handlebars? Unavailable.

Drawing: archive

Evaluation of the costs.

It couldn’t be better! 12000 service intervals give the VFR the lowest inspection costs of any current motorcycle. Great: three-year guarantee. On the other hand, maintenance is expensive and consumption is high.

Overall rating:

693 out of 1000 possible points

Price-performance rating 2.3 (top rating 1.0)

The 1200 offers a lot of motorcycle for the money. The “net” price of 14,900 euros including standard ABS is okay. Even if the list of surcharges for accessories is long.

The VFR generations


What ancestors were there for the new VFR.

30 years ago, in 1979, Honda returned to GP racing after a long break with the first V4 racer, the NR 500. Since then, the world’s largest manufacturer has cultivated this construction principle in both racing and series production like no other manufacturer. Honda’s V4 milestones are called VF 750 S / F, VF 500 F, VFR 750 R (RC 30), RVF 400, NR 750, RVF 750 R (RC 45), VFR 750 F, VFR (800), RC 212V and – with longitudinal crankshaft – Pan European. Particularly popular: the VFR types with around 750 cm3 displacement.

The construction principle specified the RC 24. The "Sportsman in pinstripes" came in 1986 with an aluminum bridge frame, 90 degree cylinder angle, 100 hp, six-speed gearbox and complex, precise camshaft drive via gears. The real all-rounder combined sportiness and touring suitability. From 1990 onwards, the RC 36 triggered a real V4 boom, as a sport touring bike suitable for everyday use with a single-sided swing arm and 36,000 valve clearance intervals. The only one baptized VFR "800s" RC 46 shone in 1998 with technology of the 21st century. The variable valve control V-Tec of the second generation RC 46 could hardly make up for the displacement deficit compared to the competition from 2002. On the other hand, brilliant: the chassis of the 800 series still available in 2010.


VFR 750 F (RC 24) from 1986 to 1989.

It created the new market segment for sports tourers, with an aluminum bridge frame and 100 hp.

748 cm3, 100 hp at 10500 rpm, 70.5 Nm at 9000 rpm, 230 kg, price: 12,243 marks (1986) to 14,300 marks (1989), sales in Europe: 24,607, of which 4,820 in Germany.


Honda VFR 750 F (RC 36) from 1990 to 1993.

The first VFR with a single-sided swing arm crossed genes from the legendary RC 30 with the well-proven RC 24.

748 cm3, 100 hp at 10000 rpm, 73 Nm at 9500 rpm, 244 kg, price: 15,570 marks (1990) to 16445 marks (1993), sales in Europe: 36,358, of which 7,736 in Germany.


Honda VFR 750 F (RC 36/2) from 1994 to 1997.

Inspired by the 100,000 mark NR 750, the second generation RC 36 presented Finesse.

748 cm3, 98 hp at 10,000 rpm, 73 Nm at 8000 rpm, 243 kg, price: 18,890 marks constant from 1994 to 1997, sales in Europe: 27,238, of which 7,495 in Germany.


Honda VFR (RC 46) from 1998 to 2001.

Completely new, stronger and enlarged V4 with G-Kat in the now more touristic overall package.

782 cm3, 106 hp at 10500 rpm, 79 Nm at 8500 rpm, 237 kg, price: 19685 Mark (1998) to 21640 Mark (2001), sales in Europe: 36234, of which 7158 in Germany.


Honda VFR V-Tec (RC 46/2) since 2002.

Angular design for new technology: ABS option and switch from two to four valve operation (V-Tec).

782 cm3, 106 hp at 10500 rpm, 77 Nm at 8500 rpm, 252 kg, price: 11240 euros (2002) to 12340 euros (2009), sales in Europe so far: 37420, of which 6704 in Germany.


BMW K 1300 S.

Four-cylinder in-line engine, 1293 cm3, 175 hp, 140 Nm, six-speed gearbox, cardan shaft, weight 258 kg, Vmax 285 km / h, consumption 5.3 liters.

Price: from 15,950 euros


Kawasaki ZZR 1400

Four-cylinder in-line engine; 1352 cm3, 193 hp, 154 Nm, six-speed gearbox, chain, weight 260 kg, Vmax 298 km / h, consumption 6.3 liters

Price: 14295 euros


Triumph Sprint ST

Three-cylinder in-line engine, 1050 cm3, 127 hp, 105 Nm, six-speed gearbox, chain, weight 263 kg, Vmax 259 km / h, consumption 4.7 liters

Price: 12,740 euros (including ABS)

Honda VFR 1200 F – The queen of the Spourttourer in price comparison

Used Honda VFR 1200 F in Germany

The Honda VFR was one of the first sport touring bikes. With the new edition in the form of the Honda VFR 1200 F, nothing stands in the way of sporty tours with both old and new values. For all those who do not have a Honda VFR1200F at home, but would like to change it, I’m worth a look at the used motorcycle exchange: Used Honda VFR 1200 F in Germany

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