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MD First Look: 2012 Honda VFR 1200F

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.

94 Comments

  1. Frank Nespeca says:

    Hi Guys,
    Have been reading the comments with interest.
    I currently own a VFR 1200DCT which has covered about 10000km (6000Miles)to date,and I LOVE it. I agree that its looks don’t appeal to everybody, but it definitely shapes up better in the flesh than in most photographs. Previous rides included :
    Moto Guzzi850 Le Mans3.
    1981 Honda CBX 1000 (still got this one)
    2000 Honda 929 Fireblade
    I tend to hang on to my rides for a long time and I can honestly say that none of the above bikes was a dissappointment.
    The VFR is easily the most complete bike that I have owned to date, and I’m sure that other manufacturers have a model to suit everybodys needs.
    The reason I chose Honda is that as a manufacturer,it generaly does a good job even if it sometimes turns into one of their Glorious Failures(See CBX 1000etc). I think that Honda is first and foemost an ENGINEERING company and loves to try out its ideas in the public arena.

  2. Tim says:

    I like the look, not the price. The Concours is a better bike and less expensive. Now if I could find one under $9,000, like the guy mentioned above, now that would be a whole other story.

  3. sean says:

    Personally the VFR has grown on me. Sure it’s not perfect but I’m sure it would make a great sport tourer. I consider it a luxury sports bike for the street. It’s main competition being the BMW K1300s.Many are complaining about the weight but from all accounts the bike handles great. Testers are comparing it more to the CBR 1000rr than Gold Wing.

    I think the reason sales have been slow in the US are two fold: 1) The looks are controversial, which is never a good thing and 2)It’s pricey

    Report this comment

  4. Morris Bethoven says:

    78 comments on this thread so far and only 1 person posting actually owns this VFR. I guess it’s kind of a slow mover over here in the USA.

    Report this comment

    • Pep says:

      Count me in as one to buy the 2012. I like the color and the TC.

      Report this comment

    • Solomoto says:

      For someone who claims to despise Honda and the VFR1200 as much as you do, you spend a disproportionate amount of time posting in this thread.

      I’m not a psychologist but I’ll play one in this thread: You want one so bad that you mask your desire with fear and loathing to hide the truth. The truth is, you probably can’t afford it, LOL!

      I’ve slow played my hand in this thread so I’ll call your bluff: I bought the first VFR1200-DCT west of the Mississippi 17 months and over 18,000 miles ago. This is my third VFR generation I’ve owned and I still own my 98 VFR800 purchased new. You have no clue how utterly competent the DCT is. It’s engineering excellence has raised the bar for the entire industry. Europeans get it, it has done well across the pond. Americans like yourself don’t because if it doesn’t look like a cruiser or something easily categorized, you can’t understand it. Your loss. Now move along.

      Report this comment

      • Mike says:

        Ofcourse the VFR1200 is utterly competent in your view………you bought the first one west of Mississippi.

        The point is the second one sold was 18 months later at a dealers year end clearance sale in New Mexico…… and for all the reasons stated here in most of the other posts.

        Lack of Sales…..get it yet?

        The fact that you have not stated one item, one thing, one small detail you dont like about your VFR1200 goes directly to your lack of credibilty. You bought it, so by definition it is the greatest.

        Your demeaning others here is the exact same type of arrogance Honda has shown with the entire VFR1200 program. You deserve Honda……Honda deserves you……perfect pairing….that I do understand.

        Why dont you get with it and put up a VFR1200 forum……..that way the first and only VFR1200 buyer East of the Mississippi and you can post to each other every day and leave the rest of us out of it.

        Report this comment

      • Morris Bethoven says:

        Solomoto – I actually began disliking the VFR lineup when the tacked on V-TEC. I do have an axe to grind with HONDA as they totally messed up a simple recipe. I really do love the gear-driven VFR’s as they had a great sound and distinct personality. Haven’t been impressed by the last two VFR models offered and will probably scout around for a pre V-TEC VFR as it’s a machine that I can really relate to. I’m glad that you’re one of the few that can actually come to terms with the price/value relationship and put down the money and actually ride the thing.
        BTW: I can afford to ride any bike produced but still don’t like to be taken advantage of by companies that don’t offer reasonable value for what they offer. I guess I’m just like 99% of the posters in this thread.

        Report this comment

    • Mike says:

      You/Morris Bethoven are right….it is not selling….nothing changes that nomatter how much all the rest of us are demeaned by Solomoto. This is a person that knows everything…..bought the first VFR1200 sold west of the Mississippi you know!

      The VFR1200 is yet another Honda in a long line of bikes that did not sell when new that the few will be seeking out decades from now to ride and/or restore and show off at vintage meets. DN-01, Pacific Coast, GB500, 650 Hawk, RC-51, VFR 800…….on and on and on.

      Price and specs are two reasons the VFR1200 is not selling as noted by most here.

      However, what bike market category does it fit? Obviously most potential buyers are confused at best and this is a sure path to low sales. Does it compete with the new Lambretta V4, Concours 14…..Sport bikes, Tour bikes, Sport/Tour bikes….any BMW?

      Honda has so lost its way…..and yes I owned plenty of Hondas.

      Report this comment

  5. Pep says:

    I am sensing that this motorcycle is more for the Europeans and that this just isn’t for the American market.

    Why do I think that? The European markets have the full range of colors and this model was discontinued in the U.S. for a year.

    I was asking the dealers in the US if it was possible to get a European color. Aside from ordering body parts from Europe, they said no.

    I am a heavy, weight lifting ZX11 owner that doesn’t knee drag on the street so the weight doesn’t bother me. Right now I am after Mercedes like engineering refinement and just overall riding pleasure to relax from the stressful work weeks. This fits the bill for me.

    Report this comment

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “I am sensing that this motorcycle is more for the Europeans and that this just isn’t for the American market.”

      i would like to amend your statement to read: ANY motorcycle that requires someone to first “value” and then pay for it…? isn’t for the American market. ironic given the staggering amounts of wealth. a bigger disconnect you will not find.

      Report this comment

  6. curly says:

    You can see by the number of responses on here, a lot of people have an opinion on this bike, and Honda’s disappointing line-up. Having owned a RC30 in the past, I would imagine 99% of VFR owners are disappointed with the replacement. I wanted a 1000 V-4 15 years ago- they are remarkable engines.
    While I haven’t had the opportunity to ride an Aprilia V-4, I’m sure they are incredible, but in my humble opinion, they don’t look that great. I guess you can’t see them when you are riding, but at 15k, it would be nice to have a bike that you enjoyed looking at when it was parked.

    Report this comment

    • Mike says:

      I have ridden all the Honda V4s with the exception of the RC45. I would advise you not to test ride the Aprilia V4s…..you will soon forget all the Honda V4s. The Aprilia V4 motor is amazing and the exhaust note is as wonderful as the Ducati.

      Go see one in person…..it looks better in person than in pix.

      The sport Aprilia V4s are very small….depending on your weight and height it might not be a good fit for you….but go for a test ride to judge all this for yourself. Let us know how it all turns out.

      I headed up a weekly Demo Ride Program at a local dealer which featured the Aprilia V4s and other bikes the dealer sold. Only one rider all year wanted to test ride Honda VFR1200……about all you need to know if you want a Sport bike or like V4s.

      Report this comment

  7. Morris Bethoven says:

    It’s amazing that HONDA doesn’t listen to the riders, the very people who these bikes are targeted at. HONDA now lives in it’s own little bubble, not conversing with or taking advice from the folks that can make or break them. HONDA is the new laughingstock of the motorcycling world, even more laughable than HARLEY (never thought I would say that!) Kind of sad to see HONDA become so inflated with itself, so arrogant, unable to look outside itself when making marketing decisions. Open up your ears HONDA! Dump this bike from your line and build something that makes sense. I don’t think many riders and going to pony up $17,000 because it now has .1 gallons more fuel and traction control (a devise that really only helps most riders when they over-ride their abilities.)

    Report this comment

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “HONDA is the new laughingstock of the motorcycling world”

      not by their yardstick. fwiw, in their world they are the toast of motogp. i guess it’s what they choose to focus on since they aren’t in F1…? i could see them continuing in GP for the technical challenge, but cease production of everything but the goldwing, ATV’s, and lawnmowers just to teach us a lesson about valuing. the balance sheets in tokyo wouldn’t even miss the revenue.

      Report this comment

    • Mickey says:

      re: “It’s amazing that HONDA doesn’t listen to the riders, the very people who these bikes are targeted at.”

      If we could only get a majority of riders to agree on what they really want in a motorcycle…. getting a “concensus” on anything motorcycle is beyond comprehension. I don’t care what Honda built, 50% would be happy and 50% would wonder what Honda was thinking.

      Don’t believe that? Just read the comments on any motorcycle review on MC daily. There has never been a concensus on a single bike that I can recall. One guy loves it, the next guy thinks it’s a pig with lip stick.

      re: ” HONDA is the new laughing stock of the motorcycling world, even more laughable than HARLEY ”

      Really? I’d rather have Honda’s worst model than Harleys best model. I’m confident Honda’s worst would get me where I wanted to go, and then get me back home again. I don’t have that confidence in Harleys best model.

      Report this comment

      • Mike says:

        What people say about a bike does not matter and is always trumped by what they actually buy. The VFR1200 is not selling….that is that.

        This has nothing to do with Harley Davidson ……that btw……..has no problem selling all their bikes……..results yet again.

        It is riders that would rather have a Honda nomatter what that they are counting on buying bikes like the DN-01, VFR1200 and about a third of all the Hondas made in the last 15 years that ended up being sales disappointments.

        Maybe a V5….600………ohhhhhhhhhh so scarrrrry the thought of something reallllly new at Honda, winning all comparison tests and worse yet upsetting Honda attorneys, car buyers and investors with its top sppppppeeeeed!

        Report this comment

      • MGNorge says:

        Mickey makes a good point. If one was to try to balance the responses on just this one site they’d have a hell of a time coming to a consensus. Morris sounds like the broken record that has become the flaming towards Honda and just about anything they build. A bike such as this which has rave reviews in most cases still seems to bring out the nasti-flamers who then launch into all that’s wrong with Honda and how they ignore “everyone”. Amazing!

        I enjoy reading constructive opinions, positive and negative, but these simply get tiring to see.

        Report this comment

        • Mike says:

          MGNorge: If one was to try to balance the responses on just this one site they’d have a hell of a time coming to a consensus.

          >>>>>>

          Most of these negative comments would have not been necessary if Honda had done test marketing with artwork and specs since the replies here would have been the same given this approach. Advantage = go to work fixing the common dislikes…….. before going into production! There are examples of this approach every month/year from other manufacturers.

          Rave reviews by magazines that depend on Honda and all manufacturers advertising do not always sell bikes that have obvious flaws…flaws that have been noted here by many people. Frankly, I have not read many test reports on the VFR1200, but the few I have were not positive and all raves.

          More accurate test reviews are always the second go around after the bike is introducted and then another company introduces a newer competing model. How many times have we seen the better than sliced bread winner from a year ago being thrown under the bus in a comparision review for things the year before were not even mentioned!

          With the VFR1200 I think there has been a basic lack of buyer understanding by many motorcyclists where this bike fit in the market place from the beginning and again if this is true this would have been something caught with test marketing, artwork and specs. I attribute this to arrogance on Hondas part……arrogance without basis based on the lack of sales.

          Wonder how many promotions happened at Honda over the VFR1200 and the DN-01?

          Report this comment

          • Mickey says:

            I think it should be noted that just because something doesn’t sell well does not make it inherently bad, and conversely just because something sells in bunches does not make it inherently good. If that were true all sportbikes would be bad, all cruisers would be good. I’d take a DCT VFR1200 over ANY cruiser ANY day.

            As far as test marketing goes, the BKing was test marketed a ton at all the motorcycle shows and in the magazines. The masses told Suzuki to build it just as it was in prototype. They did, and nobody bought one even though technically it was a superb motorcycle. There are lots of examples of superb motorcycles that never sold for one reason or another. There are also examples of truly horrendous motorcycle that sell by the boatload.

            Since the Honda Cub, Honda has not followed but innovated and led. Some of the innovations were well recieved. Some were not. I was lucky enough to be riding when the CB 750 was introduced in 1969. I thought it would never sell, too big, too heavy, too complicated. My gosh, think about trying to keep 4 carburators and all those valves adjusted. Dizzying. I went to my local Honda dealer for a looksee when the Goldwing was introduced in 1975. I thought it would never sell.too heavy, too wierd,the kickstarter was in the gas tank for petes sake, and the gas tank was not even the gas tank…and three disc brakes, why? when everyone “knew” that discs brakes didn’t stop in the wet, and dual front discs would surely throw you over the bars when applied hard in the dry. Suzuki put a radiator on a bike in 1972. Really a radiator on a motorycles? Why surely they would leak and over heat and leave you stranded. Air cooled motorcycles worked just fine.Fuel injection? Whats wrong with carbs?Sometimes innovations take a while to be accepted, then they become the norm. Most often Honda has been the leader in those innovations.Then again sometimes innovations never are accepted, and sales take a hit. The cost of trying I suppose.I just hope they never quit innovating.

            Report this comment

    • Solomoto says:

      Blah, blah, blah……. blah, blah, blah

      Report this comment

  8. Alain says:

    VFR1200:
    - it’s heavy
    - It’s pricy
    - it has a small range for a sport touring bike
    - some like its look, some don’t

    But I must say, I like mine a lot… That is why there are so many different bikes out there, just pick the one you like.

    Report this comment

  9. nick says:

    what is going on with honda?… these did not sell in 2010, as most dealers still have them, .1 gallon gas tank bigger and traction control, I will give honda credit on the traction control, but to little to late, as usual honda is the last to do it, and you know this price will be somewhere north of 17000, they will be selling these in 2015 with no rebates, as honda’s web site still shows boats and other 2008 and 09′s that are discontinued. st1300 has not been changed for almost 10 years, and is over 18000, no heated grips and seat, no traction control, I seem to remember honda st1100 having tc back in the early 90′s. I really feel bad for all the honda only dealers in the states.

    Report this comment

  10. Mad Max2 says:

    Two thoughts: 1. Demo rides. 2. Where is the rumored ST replacement?

    Report this comment

  11. Pokey says:

    CAN you even push a 631lb DCT bike if it runs out of gas??
    Is there a way to make it free wheeling without a clutch or neutral?
    I have know idea…

    Report this comment

  12. Dave says:

    Need higher bars/grips for more relaxing riding position, a taller windshield, a tail rack to install top luggage, and hard side luggage. So far, I’ll just keep my BMW F800ST.

    Report this comment

  13. Tom Shields says:

    613 pounds. Wow. Over 100 pounds heavier than my 2000 ZX-12R, which I consider to be a pig (a pig that goes like stink and dances nicely, but still a pig) and hate to push around the driveway because of its heft. If I wanted to push around over 600 pounds I’d expect to see some utility – bags, actual passenger accomodations, something.

    This thing wants to look like a sport bike without being one. I guess it’s just following in the footsteps of past VFRs. Some people love ‘em, and it will be the same with this model.

    Report this comment

  14. phb says:

    “VFR fans had a little ray of sunshine” – now that was a punchy start, almost knocked me off my chair! I started to dream about some serious diet. I was 20 when the VFR was at the top of this industry in terms of fit & finish, road & sport compromise, at least by european standards. Remember the 1992 model in dark green, or even the 1994 models? Had a pre-vtec 800 for a few years and had a great time, alone or two-up with the wife. VFR fans have got old but not forgotten. The new bike is a good one, just no VFR to the not so old VFR fans. Great bike, wrong name, bring us back the real VFR.

    • Mike says:

      Aprilia makes the best V4 engine today…..is is amazing.

      Maybe Aprilia might make a bike with this engine that prior VFR owners would like……certainly Honda does not have a clue on how to do this with the VFR1200.

      Report this comment

      • Norm G. says:

        hmmnn, an aprilia V4 Futura. i like it. they know how to build it. but is there a market for it…?

        Report this comment

      • Solomoto says:

        Aprilia is johnny come lately to the V4 parade. Their inexperience showed when their engines went kaboom at a their press intro on the racetrack LOL. How embarrassing is that? To save face, they were forced to replace the entire engine in every bike they sold.

        Yeah, after 30 years of V4 pedigree, Honda has no clue.

        Report this comment

  15. Philip says:

    I test rode one last year. Seating and steering feel like any VFR from the last 15 years. Acceleration is much much better. I didn’t care for the feel from the shaft drive. Fit and finish was fantastic but styling is a little over the top. Poor tank range and high price tag is the real problem here, the bike does not feel heavy when moving. I love Honda, they make a great parts, it’s just how they put them together that frustrates me sometimes.

  16. Bruce says:

    Great looking bike, time to trade in my X11,reliable engeneering

    Report this comment

  17. Jenson says:

    It is so ugly. Honda lost the touch somewhere between Japan and Italy. The Japanese designers would have never made such “fairing made of melt plastic” -monster. So ugly, so much “must not have it” message plastered over it. Rides bad too.

    Report this comment

  18. Bob says:

    . . . and lately the cars suck too.

    Report this comment

  19. Fred M. says:

    That is one seriously ugly, heavy bike. The tank and fairing look like they were left in the oven until they started to melt.

    Then there’s the cheap looking black and silver plastic panels all over the bike. It looks like it was designed by someone who designs engine compartments for Hyundai:

    http://www.distroautos.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/2011-Hyundai-Equus-Engine-590×443.jpg

    The exhaust looks like something that the Whos down in Whoville would be playing at Christmas.

    Honda has completely lost their way in recent years. They’ve got great build quality and instances of really clever engineering, but they need to start looking at the bike as a whole. A weight of over 600lbs. for this bike should have resulted in someone in management demanding that this porker be put on a diet before being offered for sale.

    Report this comment

    • John B says:

      Bit unkind to Hyundai, at least their work is under the hood and built accordingly, not so the VFR… and where’s the tourer version?

      Cheers JB

      Report this comment

      • Fred M. says:

        I’m with you: Hyundai’s under-hood silver and black plastic is fine where they use it. But that same kind of plastic doesn’t belong on the outside of a motorcycle.

        Just what is this motorcycle? Honda lists it as a sport bike, but it’s over 600lbs and over 60 inches in wheelbase. It’s sure not going to keep up with their CBR1000RR, which weighs about 150lbs. less and makes the same, or greater, horsepower. It doesn’t have hard luggage, so I don’t see it being a sport tourer. It’s not got the horsepower to go up against a Hayabusa or ZX14. Anyone?

        Report this comment

        • Solomoto says:

          Are you serious? Since when has Honda said this competes with the CBR1000RR? You obviously have never seen one let alone ridden this bike. Come back when you have some real knowledge about the bike.

          Report this comment

          • Mike says:

            You work for Honda?

            Arrogant, Honda does everything right, expert on everything….and did I mention arrogant.

            They VFR1200 does not compete with any bike on the market today…..clue here……this is just one reason it is not selling.

            Report this comment

        • MGNorge says:

          Go up against? Yes, yes, I know, it’s fun to bench race one bike against another. Maybe a young 20 or 30 something would actually pit these bikes against one another but who in their right mind? They all go faster than the national speed limit in first gear! This bike is a sport tourer with the emphasis on sport rather than tourer. It’s different, it’s bold. Who cares if it goes down the track as quickly as another? Are you going to experience that while on the road?

          Report this comment

          • Mike says:

            MGNorge says: This bike is a sport tourer with the emphasis on sport rather than tourer

            My Reply: Minor issue …. there are some serious issues with the VFR1200 being competitive in performance, equipment, style and all other areas buyers today think are critical in the sport tourer market segment

            Here are a few:

            Kawasaki Councours 14
            Yamaha FJ 1300
            BMW (multiple sport tourer models)

            Report this comment

  20. Morris Bethoven says:

    I get a kick out of reading 1st reviews out of cycle magazines and how they always rave about the newest bikes. Doesn’t matter if the VAST majority of the readers could care less about the “improved” version, the journalist will drool and tell us how we just have to buy this machine as it’s the most wonderful bike they’ve ever ridden. Well, the finest VFR in the world is still collecting dust on the showroom floor, wedged between the DN-01 and the Rune. Nice thing is that you can probably pick one up for well below $10,000 now that nobody wants one.

    Report this comment

  21. mxs says:

    The weights of the new bikes are crazy nowadays. All these gizmos, so bikes now weight a lot more then they used to. No advancements in lighter metals. Very sad. Pls don’t tell me that the bikje doesn’t feel heavy, because it’s the biggest BS phrase I have ever heard …. Lighter bike will always handle better all else being equal.

    Report this comment

    • mudnducs says:

      Agreed!
      What happened to simplicity?
      What happened to being able to maintain the machines yourself?

      I don’ need or want switchable levels of power output.
      I don’t want antilock brakes and a computer telling me how I should handle the motorcycle.

      How about making a valve train that doesn’t take half a day just to get at!

      You want greeeeeeeen?
      With materials available today we should have bikes that require NO maintenance for the first couple years of ownership excpet changing the oil and filters….none.
      We’re sold a bill of goods.

      Report this comment

    • Fred M. says:

      This particular bike is crazy-heavy, but that’s just a comment on this bike.

      My 1984 KZ700 weighed about a hundred pounds more than my 2009 Buell 1125CR and made less than half the horsepower of the Buell.

      There have not been great advancements in metallurgy, but there have been demands from motorcyclists for better handling, stiffer frames, more flex-resistant forks, and massive increases in horsepower. If you want an eye-opening experience, hop off of a modern sport bike onto a 1970s or 1980s sport bike. It’s scary how bad they were.

      All that it takes for a manufacturer to make a lightweight bike is consumer demand. Just look at all of the under-400-pound sport bikes out there. You don’t see 500 pound 600cc class machines because consumers won’t buy them.

      Report this comment

      • Solomoto says:

        This is the most laughable, ignorant comment I’ve read in a long time. You and the average consumer has no idea what to “demand” until it is first given to you by the manufacturer. Bikes (or any other consumer product) are not developed according consumer demand because the consumer is too ignorant to even know what it is they are missing. The iPhone is a good example of a demand created by virtue of its excellence and uniqueness. Bikes are developed thru engineering R & D, competition in the marketplace, and competition on the racetrack. Only when a given innovation is commonplace that the consumer even has a clue about what they were given.

        I’ll give you a few examples of innovations you didn’t even know to ask for:

        Did you ask for disc brakes to replace drum brakes?
        Did you ask for electric starters to replace the kick starter?
        Did you ask for electronic fuel injection to replace carburetors?
        Did you ask for cartridge forks to replace damper rods?
        Did you ask for single shock linkage rear suspension?
        Did you ask for aluminum twin spar chassis to replace steel tubing?
        Did you ask for electronic ignition to replace magneto and points?
        Did you ask for throttle by wire to replace mechanical throttles?
        Did you ask for traction control to minimize wheel spin?
        Did you ask for anti-lock brakes?
        Did you ask for water cooling to replace air cooling?

        Didn’t think so. It is rather unfair to the manufacturers for you to declare how bad bikes were 30 years ago and then claim it is because of consumer “demands” that bikes are so much better today. Get a clue man.

        Report this comment

        • ROXX says:

          Yes, those were things that consumers demanded because they saw them on their favorite racer’s bike and wanted them for their personal bike.
          The consumer is not as ignorant as you prescribe.
          Why do you think that this bike is not selling?
          Because it’s exactly NOT what the average guy wants.

          The manufacturer’s all know that technology is what keeps the ball moving.
          If the consumer didn’t have a desire for these upgrades in technology, then we would all still be riding 70′s style bikes.
          For some, given the choice that’s not a bad thing. but for the general masses it’s what sells.
          Just look at the iPhone as an example.

          On a side note; no need to call someone “ignorant” just because your opinion doesn’t match theirs.

          Report this comment

          • Solomoto says:

            Consumers only demand what they can see, you’re simply making my point. You even reprised my iPhone example.

            And btw, when did I engage in ad hominem by calling someone ignorant? I only stated his comment was ignorant.

            Report this comment

        • Steve D says:

          Well if you go back far enough..say to the mid 60′s to 80′s..
          We did want better brake.
          We did want easier starting bikes
          and smooother running bikes
          and lighter better handling bikes
          and crisper running bikes with less maintenance
          I agree fly by wire sucks..
          Traction control sucks too.. even to a lot of gifted racers
          Again better and safer brake but YMMV on the antilock concept
          And water cooling led to more power which everybody seemed to want.

          Report this comment

  22. Morris Bethoven says:

    Kind of reminds me of a BMW. Is HONDA running out of ideas and trying to hoodwink us by installing 613 pounds of useless crap on a bike to make us think we’re buying a BMW? I have lost all interest in products built by HONDA. I hope my faith in HONDA will be reignited when they come back to earth and start designing bikes that we can relate to.

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    • RedFZ1 says:

      I totally agree. Honda used to be the one everyone else looked up to. No longer the case. Whereas BMW does have a few models I would like to own Honda does not. Both are arrogant and they think thier products are better than the rest and the sticker prices relect that arrogance. BMW will never be one of the “Big Four” and Honda will slip out of the market share they hold as well and both will sit and wonder why.

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  23. Denny says:

    Hey people, this is ‘technology bike’. Honda has no option but to cover this segment win or lose. At the end, they are still in motorcycle bussines right? Personally I am not excited with their last couple of concepts; I think they are heavilly influnced by their Italian subsisdiary, not necessarily in benefitial way. Honda must decide if to stay more Japanese as it once started or not. It’s a tough world to be in and to succeed.

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  24. Eric says:

    I like the idea that Honda is coming up with new bikes, but am scratching my head with this one. I sat on one at the 2011 IMS, and it has the similar ergos to a ZX14. Not bad for a sportbike, but not comfy enough for my crunchy bones. I guess it comes down to price and accessories, as this bike has luggage options, and looks like it can be bought at a serious discount.Oh, I have seen THREE of the legendary DN01 bikes in the past 2 years.. I have, however seen a few of the CBR250′s (the smaller versino of the VFR1200) on the road. Apparently they are gaining acceptance.

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    • dbezerkeley says:

      I did the same comparison at the IMS with VFR and ZX14, disappointed with both on their too-high foot pegs. I have that same “crunchy bones” and its disappointing how much that limits selection.

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  25. Norm G. says:

    holy schnikees, that has got to be the bluest blue in the history of the color blue.

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  26. Steve D says:

    Motorcycles are “supposed” to be simple things that bring pleasure. Honda has a really bad habit of engineering the soul right out of a bike and replacing it with gadgetry and plastic that adds absolutely nothing to the visceral experience of the genre. They really have lost their way somewhat.

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    • Eric says:

      I’m with you man…this bike is over the top, and it’s not really that comfy :-) They should have saved the $$ and imported the CB1300 or the Varadero to the US.. (oops, sorry, that was me whining again :-)

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    • Morris Bethoven says:

      Steve D – You hit the nail right on the head! HONDA tends to think that we want all that techno-junk on our bikes and will shove it down our throats and bump the price up to unfordable levels and then wonder why we’re not buying it. All the VFR crowd asked for was a 1000cc displacement to replace the 800cc version and NO V-Tec! But what does HONDA do? They give us this monstrosity instead. I have yet to see a single new VFR on the highway which is a good indicator at how poorly this bike is selling.

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    • Solomoto says:

      So then if you are consistent with yourself, go and make this same statement about the Ducati Panigale.

      From their press release: “The latest-generation sports ABS system, Ducati Traction Control (DTC), Ducati Electronic Suspension (DES), Ducati Quick-Shift (DQS), Ducati’s new race-derived Engine Brake Control (EBC) and Ride-by-Wire (RbW) are now all programmed into seamless, electronic rider assistance”. And how about this: “Ride-by-Wire engine management and enhanced systems of ABS and traction control, we have controlled the beast within the 1199 Panigale so that the full emotion of this motorcycle can be enjoyed easily and safely”

      What??? Is this bike not the most emasuclated sport bike ever made? Talk about “soul” being engineered right out of the bike. At the price they are asking, not many of these are going to be on the road either. And speaking of plastic, the Panigale has to be one of the ugliest sport bikes ever with completely disrupted and distorted design cues. It looks like a toy transformer. Form follows function? Yeah, no problem but please, don’t call it beautiful like so many fan boys of Ducati.

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    • lynchenstein says:

      I’ve never seen the rulebook for motorcycles, but I’m pretty sure there isn’t one. If there is one, I’d bet it’s unique to each rider. Yours says they must be simple and bring riding pleasure. That sounds great. However for the generations growing up with technology-packed smartphones and wireless everything, could it be their rulebooks reflect their preference for high technology and complexity?

      There is room on the roads and in the marketplace for a spectrum of bikes.

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      • Morris Bethoven says:

        Kids spend so much $$$ on their phones that they surely won’t be able to afford this VFR. The VFR was mostly designed for the more “mature: crowd with lots of disposable income. Maybe the kids can afford this VFR a couple of years from now when the dealer is being killed by the IRS imposed floor tax (which eats up any potential profit) from this bike sitting around collecting dust. Then again, don’t most kids want a 600?

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      • Steve D says:

        Kids don’t many ready made sports cars. They buy Mitsubishi’s and make them their own.

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  27. Steve D says:

    I think honda seriously missed with this bike. Here in North Florida I have a good friend I trust who just purchased one of these locally as a dealer overstock (the dealer simply just couldn’t get the thing to sell) for a grand total of $8500. I didn’t believe him till he actually showed me the paperwork. Even with finance charges over his 4 year note he’ll have $10K into it. It might be hotcakes in some parts of the world but it’s not much around here.

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  28. Josh B. says:

    As others have said — lose 100 pounds, and then we’ll talk.

    Honda HAS lost touch — in both bikes AND cars (just take a look at the CRZ). In fact, in one of my latest car mags (I can’t remember which one, as I get 4 every month) was saying that Honda and Hyundai have switched roles! Honda USED to be the innovator and Hyundai the follower, but things have been swapping sides as of late. So crazy…

    That said… I STILL want that Sprint 800, Triumph… LOL!

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    • TimC says:

      “Honda HAS lost touch” – sadly, since the CRX became the Del Sol….

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      • Morris Bethoven says:

        I had an 87′ CRX, what a great car! The Del Sol replacement was nothing more than a chick car. No wonder it was a flop.

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        • Josh B. says:

          Yeah, my buddy had an ’88 Si. It was — for all intents and purposes — an oversized go-kart (and I mean that in a GOOD way). Such a cool and fun little thing!

          Until it was backed into and pushed 25 feet off a driveway and totaled by our other buddy’s drunk mom’s friend in her massive SUV……

          (PS — I just had an upside-down horseshoe with curled ends for the CAPTCHA… WTF?!?!? LOL!)

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  29. RAD says:

    Mike I think you hit this right on the nail .

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  30. Mike says:

    Yet another Honda motorcycle to add to the long list that never sold, but will be on the “must have” list a decade or two later for the few.

    Has anyone actually seen a VFR1200 on the road since they were introduced?

    Our local dealer got one in when they were first available…..it is still sitting in the shop collecting dust beside a DN-O1.

    Honda has so out of touch …..and so lost their way

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    • MGNorge says:

      This doesn’t come off as a DN-01 to me and I’d actually want to ride one for myself to see if it fit my wants. Still owning a 27 year old Interceptor since new I have a place in my heart for that motor. As I grow older bikes that don’t look or sound like every other bike out there appeal to me greatly. But it is expensive, but few large bikes aren’t, complicated and better not wander too far from a gas station but I’m still attracted to it. My Norge weighs about 50 lbs. less dry but add 6 gallons of gas and they’re not that far apart. I have no trouble at all in handling the Norge. I would expect the VF to be as composed.

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      • Mike says:

        I never said it came off as a DN-01.

        I was making the obvious point that Honda is the best at making bikes that dont sell……DN-01 and VFR1200 being just a few over the last 20 years.

        On the subject of the VFR1200 ……no one including dealers seem to know or understand where this bike fits into the motorcycle market……even prior VFR owners are not standing in line to buy them!

        You like V4s……..better not test ride any of the Aprilia V4s….amazing and my personal view here.

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    • Jack says:

      “Has anyone actually seen a VFR1200 on the road since they were introduced?”

      Thats a negative feature to you…?lol. I like it and don’t care what anyone else thinks…

      • Mike says:

        I stated “Has anyone actually seen a VFR1200 on the road since they were introduced?”

        Jack Reply: Thats a negative feature to you…?lol. I like it and don’t care what anyone else thinks…

        My Reply to you …Jack: When you do not see a bike on the road……its simple Jack……..it is not selling, which was ofcourse my point understood by everyone except you!

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      • Morris Bethoven says:

        If you get an actual “VFR 1200″ sighting on the road it will go viral on YOUTUBE! Not likely to happen, tho.

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        • Mike says:

          The sales manager at our local dealer near Harrisburg, PA got a call from a guy in Cleveland that wanted to buy a VFR1200 based on a confirming this via a demo ride.

          Turns out this potential buyer was the president of his own company and a very qualified buyer, but after a 6 hour ride to get to the shop for the VFR1200 demo ride……the shop owner told him he was not allowing any demo rides on the bike.

          So two years later the VFR1200 is still sitting in the shop.

          There you have it……one guy in Cleveland interested in this VFR1200 in two years.

          How could it get worse……..easy……..Honda mutates the VFR1200 style to other Hondas like the new 250 that millions in America have been waiting for since 1985……you know …spread the marketing and design failure of the VFR1200 to even more bikes

          Dont forget the big promotions and bonus program for all those involved with the VFR1200 design and marketing at Honda!

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          • Morris Bethoven says:

            You can test ride a #20,000 Harley or BMW, no problem. They TRUST you with it! But HONDA is so cheap they won’t even take a chance at letting you try one out. Heck, Kawasaki and Yamaha show up at the Intl. Motorcycle Show to let you demo the bikes. If HONDA really wants to sell bikes then they need to take a different approach to marketing. They won’t even let you test ride their little #3995 CBR250R! Waaay too big of a risk for them to take!

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  31. teklost says:

    looks good. except the muffler. Kinda heavy, if you want to call it a sport bike.

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  32. Wammyeye says:

    Heavy and Slow. I’ll Be Keeping My Butt On My 99 SuperBlackbird.

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    • ROXX says:

      As the owner of a low mileage 99 Blackbird myself, I concour.
      I added some VFR bars and an aftermarket windscreen, lower footpegs for more comfort.
      Then found a used Ohlins rear shock and had the front forks revalved.
      Threw on some cheap soft saddlebags and I’ve got about $4k in a bike that’s faster, handles better, weighs less, and takes me anywhere I want to go in comfort.
      Final straw is I think it even looks better!
      Would I ever consider trading it in for a bike that costs as much as a new Civic??? No!

      Where have you gone Honda???

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    • trent says:

      I loved my 99 Blackbird too, but at 492 lbs dry weight I decided to sell it a year ago. It’s replacement is an 06 zxz10r, which weighs under 400 lbs. Costs a bit more to insure, though.

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  33. GT08 says:

    Still miss 1986 real VFR.
    Still waithing for the oval piston and the NR

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  34. ziggy says:

    Looks great, probably rides great too. But how on earth did they find a way to jam 600+ lbs into this thing???

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  35. Tom R says:

    613 pounds with a smallish fairing, single-sided swingarm, and no saddlebags, trunk, or even a minimalist rack. That is a hefty beast indeed.

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  36. donniedarko says:

    Who has ever spin up the rear on a 600lb sport touring bike?? wth

    I owned one and deluded my self into thinking I could modify it into a RC45 back in the day and I barely got that thing to spin at thunderhill and thats after a near 60 lb diet with the bike.

    Bike sounds cool. Interesting how this bike is always the guinea pig for Honda and its tech

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