VFR fans had a little ray of sunshine recently when Honda Motors announced some significant updates to its flagship VFR1200F for 2012. The improvements add traction control, increase range and comfort, improve engine driveability and make the optional dual-clutch transmission work even better.
According to Honda, improvements result in better throttle response and increased efficiency. Although the engine’s claimed peak power figures for the European model are unchanged for 2012 (American Honda usually doesn’t release power numbers with its specs), torque output is boosted in the 2000-4000 rpm range. Also, the motorcycle’s PGM fuel-injection has been revised to increase efficiency–combine that with a tiny 0.1 gallon increase in tank capacity, and riders could see an extra thousand feet or more per tank, significant if you’re pushing a 613-pound (claimed curb weight of the 2011 dual-clutch-equipped VFR1200F) sportbike that has run out of gas.
The motor’s improvements don’t stop there. The optional dual-clutch transmission’s software now “intelligently optimizes shift points relative to the rider’s throttle inputs for more user-friendly operation.” More specifically, according to the Euro-market PR material, in the high-efficiency ‘D’ mode (of three rider-selectable modes), the system can detect if the rider is carrying a passenger or other heavy loads and optimize shifting for better acceleration and increased engine braking. Also, the Honda Traction Control System (TCS) makes its debut on the VFR. The system can be switched on and off, and Honda promises it will help “the rear wheel put power down to the ground effectively and efficiently by automatically limiting wheelspin.”
Further improvements include a new seat, instruments and an eye-catching new color choice. The seating gets new stitching and an improved covering material for better grip. The instruments are re-done to add a real-time fuel-consumption meter, average mpg and range remaining as well as TCS and ABS status lights. And thanks to the miracle of the Internet, the tasty Candy Blue paint is shown to you in living color–the only color the 2012 VFR1200F is available in, dual-clutch version or not.
Pricing and availability of the revised VFR is still to be announced, so check back with Honda’s website for more information.