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2012 Honda Crossrunner: MD First Ride

 

Powered by the same 782 cc V4 engine found in the European model  VFR 800, with VTEC, the new Honda Crossrunner features an easy-to-use, friendly engine full of torque, with a slight kick at 7000 RPM. The new Crossrunner is totally different from an ergonomic perspective, of course. The rider sits bolt upright, similar to an adventure bike, and generous passenger accommodations are available, as well. This is really a street bike, however, with comfortable ergonomics and the adventure look, without the large front wheel and knobby tires.

With the beautiful blue Mediterranean Sea as our backdrop, we set out to experience the new Honda Crossrunner. As I said, despite its ergonomics and general appearance, this is not really an off-road bike nor an aggressive supermoto.  It is a bike without a category, in effect, but it works. Enough for us.

The Crossrunner is a fun bike with 100 hp, and an easy, comfortable nature driven by the character of a V4. With or without a passenger (who would also be comfortable), the relaxed ergonomics and generous, easy- to-use power made this a surprising press introduction for us. We understand Honda is developing a more dirt oriented version of the Crossrunner, but for now we are happy with the street oriented compromises (you could take the bike on smooth fire roads, but that is about it).

We are immediately reminded of the special feel a V4 engine layout provides to the rider. The engine is cooled with radiators on the sides of the machine, something Honda has done before on several occasions.

Although the engine is derived from the VFR, and is very similar in many respects, with 782 cc, 16 valves, four cams and liquid cooling with VTEC, the engine does feature slight modifications. Changes to the fuel injection and the exhaust, and other minor tweaks, result in the VTEC (in reality, just a switch from two-valves to four-valves per cylinder at 7,000 rpm) working much better, and more seamlessly than in the VFR. The motor provides excellent, usable performance across an extremely broad range, from as low as 1,500 rpm.  Acceleration is not fierce down there, of course, but you could open the throttle in sixth gear at just above idle and the bike would respond with a smooth, linear pull, unlike most other bikes. Power builds smoothly until VTEC kicks in, but it does so in a nonviolent manner that provides an exciting change to the sound pitch together with a welcome surge of power.

The twin-beam aluminum frame is similar to that found on the VFR. The Crossrunner has a very balanced suspension system with 43 mm Showa forks adjustable for compression, rebound and preload, together with a somewhat less adjustable shock mounted on the attractive single-sided swingarm. Braking comes from Honda’s sophisticated Combined ABS system, which works extremely well.

The Pirelli tires developed for the Crossrunner combined good grip and stability at high speeds with a sporty profile that aided easy direction changes on twisty roads.

One of Honda’s goals with the Crossrunner was to provide a versatile bike that targeted a large group of potential customers. The seat height is low, and the passenger seat is at almost the same level as the rider, something passengers will appreciate. The passenger seat is generous in size, comfortable and accompanied by integrated grab handles.

Instrumentation is clear and thorough. Like most modern instrument clusters, it provides a huge amount of information. Only a gear-position indicator is missing. The buttons on the cluster are large enough to operate with gloves on.

Although the Crossrunner is generally comfortable, taller riders will find the footrests too high. Although we didn’t have an opportunity to test fuel consumption, Honda indicates the Crossrunner provides a range of approximately 210 miles from its nearly 6 gallon gas tank.

In addition to the stable handling at high speeds on the Highway, wind protection was good with only slight buffeting at my helmet. At 75 mph, the engine turns a comfortable 5,000 rpm, and very little vibration is evident.

Tackling the twisty roads just inland from the beautiful Mediterranean, although we had to dodge hundreds of bicycle riders, we were able to draw some conclusions about the cornering ability of the Crossrunner.

The relatively wide bars aided direction changes, although you were always aware that this is a relatively heavy motorcycle with a claimed weight of nearly 530 pounds. That torquey motor makes the bike quick between corners, but the Crossrunner is better at tackling sweeping, rather than tight, curves.

The engine impresses us throughout the ride with its strong, smooth powerband accompanied by that distinctive sound and feel of a V4.

The new Honda Crossrunner strikes us as a successful design that will indeed appeal to a large group of riders, providing comfort and practicality combined with a healthy dose of sporty handling and power. We do not know the official price yet, but the bike will become available in Europe in June in a choice of white, red or black color schemes. We don’t know if Honda has plans to bring the Cossrunner to the United States, but with the surge of interest in more upright, comfortable sporty bikes here, we can’t think of a reason Honda would keep it from U.S. riders.

MotorcycleDaily attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.

128 Comments

  1. Opinions vary, fair enough. Then again, some people bought Pontiac Azteks too.

  2. David says:

    This bike has no category? Yes it does, it is the modern version of the UJM or standard. The adventure look gives it the attitude, the upright ergos makes it comfortable, and the VFR engine provides some boost. Great marketing strategy, worked for the Multistrada.

  3. Vijay says:

    I love the looks, but the VTEC seems overkill and is a pain to tune properly. I would probably buy if it didn’t have the VTEC.

    I would buy the CBF1000 tomorrow if they brought it down to the States from Canada.

  4. Uncle Homey says:

    I’m still waiting on Suzuki to make a true dual sport, using the great SV650 engine.

    Steel tube frame, wire spoke rims, decent suspension and a 425 lb curb weight.

    Naked of course.

  5. Eric says:

    It’s a nice bike, but I would likely not buy it. My DL1000 is mo-fugly, and I catch a lot of abuse from my buddies – but it just plain works. Now, if Honda brought the CB1300 state-side… 🙂

  6. Mr. Mike says:

    The engine in this bike is way too complicated for the bike’s designed purpose. Suzuki got it right with their X-Strom line. Honda needs to fire their product planners ASAP.

  7. David says:

    Please Honda bring this bike to the USA!!!!!!! It looks about perfect for a slightly older rider 45, who used to get his knee down, and now wants a fun comfortable sporty all day everyday ride!

  8. MGNorge says:

    Looks are one thing (I happen to think its looks are fine enough) but there seems to be more disgruntlement toward Honda as a whole than just with the reviewed bike. I believe I’ve read that Honda’s sales are doing pretty well, especially on the world scene, so they must be finding a target audience. What it boils down to is if you don’t like what they dish out and everything they’ve brought to market in the past 10 years is junk..DON”T BUY THEM! I don’t understand the whining that goes on here. Some of you guys sound like it’s a personal affront and Honda as a whole should be taken out and shot. GO BUY SOMETHING ELSE!

    • Mach VIII says:

      Well golly gee, why even bother with having a comments section at all?! So then, buy or don’t buy, but whatever you do don’t comment on why you have chosen to do one or the other. Right then.

      A personal affront? No, but surely a big disappointment (to me) from a manufacturer who used to inspire and lead. Oh wait, I was commenting again, wasn’t I? Sorry ’bout that.

  9. jta says:

    Varadero, yes. This thing? No way. It’s disappointing.

  10. anon says:

    Throw a set of hard bags on it, and I can see this thing as a replacement for the Pacific Coast from years ago. That sort of became a cult bike after slow initial sales.

  11. J.T. says:

    Another yawner from Honda- good thing they sell cars, lawnmowers, and generators to keep the money coming in.

  12. Cyclemotorist says:

    I think the Crossrunner would make for a nice ride. But I just don’t see why I would sell my V-Strom to buy one. I bet my Vee gets better mpg, near equal handling, as much comfort, more torque and nearly as strong acceleration.

  13. bo_nos says:

    I like it! A little goofy looking maybe, but there’s a lot of that going around lately and it’s not the worst offender. I think its US success will have much to do with pricing. Under $10,000 and it should be fine, over $10,000 and it can join the unsold VFR1200’s and DN-01’s (which my dealer said stands for Do Not-Order 1) sitting on showroom floors. Honda can use that $10,000 price point for the CB1100 too! ABS?!? I hear a lot of typed in requests for ABS, but aside from BMW’s, I’d like to hear Honda’s and Suzuki’s sales percentages for ABS-vs-nonABS equipped bikes. I wouldn’t pay the premium myself, and I suspect most others won’t either…

  14. Dean says:

    I must admit, i thought the design and styling of it was odd, but looking at how the two different panels flow around each other in some ofthe pictures makes me think this bike may look pretty good in person. Some angles it does look kinda strange and forgettable, but then I bought and love my Vstrom 1000!

    I would ditch the single sided swingarm in hopes that it saves a lot of wieght and complexity. I don’t know why most new bikes are so heavy these days! If it is going to be over 500 pounds, might as well give me a bigger engine! Shave some weight and this bike seems about right!

    And Kudo’s to Honda for avoiding the cheap looking, flimsy clear plastic brake fluid reserviors! Looks better with the black aluminum units, even though it may add a few ounces of weight (I know… Hippocrit!)..

  15. Tom R says:

    The Crossrunner is pretty much another occasional attempt by a Japanese manufacturer to answer the cries of “We need another good STANDARD motorcycle on the market. If someone made it, I would buy one in a heartbeat!” Alas, another batch of motorcycle marketing types have entered the industry, heard this siren song, and have convinced the powers-that-be to produce one. Like almost all others of the past three decades, it will likely suffer a dearth of actual sales and will be gone from the company lineup by 2013.

    Many of us old farts often SAY that we want something that dates to our earliest riding experiences…but we don’t really mean it anymore. Since the end of the era of the true Universal Japanese Motorcycle in the early 1980s, consumers have consistently voted WITH THEIR DOLLARS not for practical all-around bikes, but instead for relatively specialized machines. There have been minor exceptions, and some bikes that are marketed toward a “niche” are actually quite universally competent, such as Adventure-segment models like the BMW GS. The catch is that those who buy them actually do so for other reasons.

    The problem with any motorcycle derived from the SBC (acronym for Standard Bike Concept) is that it is the automotive-equivalent of the minivan. Said vehicle is very practical, useful, and can do a lot of practical and useful things-but has the sex appeal of a cinder block wall. Upon having kids you buy the Grand Caravan while also figuratively surrendering your testicles, at least until the hoard are all in high school. But the gesture is accepted, no expected by spouse and society as you assume your role as Responsible and Involved Parent. You are heartily welcomed into the fold by your fellow gonad-less soccer dad brethren. Many wives and certain specialized cable network shows actually SAY that your uber-practical actions are “sexy”, but anecdotal evidence does not bear this out.

    The Crossrunner is a lot like the minivan. It may be very useful, but you get one based on NEED, not WANT. Few with even a drop of testosterone in their groin would willingly buy one if it weren’t for some pretty significant spousal influence. It just isn’t sexy. Even though some other brands/models are actually incredibly versatile, we riders buy what we buy because of the perceived specialist nature of our bikes. They fit our own specialized identity, or at least what we imagine that to be. The Crossrunner is just too practical, too much of a generalist for its own good.

  16. Mach VIII says:

    Honestly, screw you Honda for trying to repackage the old VFR as a “new” bike (albeit with hideous bodywork), without fixing the issues it suffered from for the last several years. If the old Viffer had weaknesses it was that it was overweight, underpowered, lacked much adjustability in the suspension, and was over-priced, compared to the competition. Anyone considering this model should save themselves several thousands of dollars (as well as avoiding the need to bleach their eyes) and go buy a previous generation VFR and add some Helibars or Convertibars. The only improvement I see here is the added range.

    This bike is emblematic of how Honda has lost it’s way over much of the last decade. There are plenty of other examples that easily come to mind – DN-01, Fury, Rune, 1200 VFR, Dullville, etc.

    • Tom R says:

      “Screw you Honda”? That seems a bit harsh. They have had some questionable products of late (mentioned at the end of your post), but I don’t think that they are guilty of doing anything misleading with this bike. Any prospective buyer can read the product brochure and moto-journo ride reports, and insist on a test ride before deciding for themselves if the package is worth buying.

      It may not be for everyone, but the accompanying article suggests that it is far from hideous. Also, I think that the buyer profile/demographics of a VFR800 rider and a prospective Crossrunner rider are quite different.

      • Mach VIII says:

        I don’t think it’s harsh at all. Far from the guiding light it once was, Honda has been a serious disappointment for several years now. They’re slow to update their models, and when they do, they’re often still rather milquetoast compared to the competition. The VFR itself languished for far too long with no new changes besides “bold new graphics.”

        Misleading? I’m not really suggesting outright dishonesty on their part. But they ARE repackaging an existing (and already outdated) model, and giving it pretend “adventure-bike inspired looks” (I believe that was the phrase they used when it was first introduced months back). Honda doesn’t even seem to have the stones to introduce a proper adventure bike (let alone a modern dual-sport), instead just trying to cheaply put out something that kinda-sorta looks like an adventure bike, albeit with no such actual capabilities. Yaaaay, it’s ugly for no reason.

        Far from hideous??? Opinions vary, fair enough. Then again, some people bought Pontiac Azteks too.

        I don’t think the demographics are THAT different either. If anything, this bike seems to be splitting the VFR800 target, ie. the older portion of that demographic wanting even more upright ergos (and who are likely less concerned with (aware of?) how ugly it might be).

        FWIW, I’m not some dyed in the wool Honda hater either. I own 3 Honda bikes currently and have had more Hondas over the years than any other make.

        • Tom R says:

          You make a lot of valid points. Come to think of it, it has been a very long time since I have felt any desire to even seek out a Honda showroom.

  17. Barry G says:

    Ok, so it’s not the best looking bike out there, however that V-4 engine is great. I would suggest a Crossrunner Touring Edition. . . in addition to hard bags, include: a 12 volt socket for accessories, larger adjustable windscreen, auxillary lights & a larger fuel tank. For now, I’ll hold on to my wee-strom.

  18. blackcayman says:

    I keep looking at it hoping I’ll “get” the design…Nothing. It’s just not attractive to me. I have a friend who rides a DL 1000 and even that bike grows on you. This Honda is also heavier than a Triumph Tiger 1050 or new Ninja 1000… 2 other sensible, comfy-ergo bikes for old guys in their 40s – 50s.

    I think this bike is a FAIL

  19. rojaws says:

    Most people ride bikes to get away from their cages, why would they bring the ‘crossover’ trend to the motorcycle division? My overall impression is that the bike is suffocating in weird shaped plastic, it doesn’t even have the courage to be ugly, it’s bland and neutered looking, not really what I think would attract new riders ‘crossing’ over from the car world. B-King and V-Strom are ugly to some, but they are memorable, I’ve already forgotten what this bike looks like after having just looked at it.

  20. Victor says:

    Looking at the Crossrunner, I’m reminded of a part of Honda’s history. The overall ergonomic package emulates the 1984 Honda Sabre I used to have, which had a 698cc V-four and shaft drive. The most obvious changes are the single-sided swingarm, chain drive, and the addition of bodywork that will provide good wind deflection and polarize opinions based on appearances.

    The V-four Sabre was an excellent machine, very comfortable and capable, and was my favorite ride that I would buy again in a heartbeat.
    It was also horribly unpopular, and a rare sight on the road.

    That’s probably all the summary the new Crossrunner needs to have. Would I buy it? Yes. Will it sell well enough to justify Honda’s decision to bring it here? No.
    History is a cruel teacher.

  21. Chris says:

    I’ll keep my V-strom.

  22. patrick o says:

    Good job Honda! a comfortable VFR with enough engine and fuel range to travel. Just needs hardbags and a blacked out exhaust.

  23. Steven S says:

    Honda really has a bike here that does not stand out, looks like a multistrada copy, it is really sad. I would think greater things would come out of such a fantastic company. probably a good bike but son is my 1985 Magna V65. Come on HOnda, get in front of the curve!

  24. graham says:

    looks like a nice bike. i’m still waiting for the cb1100f.

    • ko0616 says:

      Amen! I think there’s as much of a market here in the US for the new CB1100f as there is for the Crossrunner.

  25. EGS says:

    I like the concept of a mid-displacement ‘standard’ motorcycle and truely enjoy such bikes as the Triumph Tiger, Moto Guzzi Griso and BMW R1200R. Honda had a good idea to repackage the VFR engine but danm, what an ugly bike! It looks like a beach ball was sucked into the airbox and inflated – kind of like a giant guppy. Other than a few technological innovations, I think Honda has really lost their mojo. They either copy other’s style or lay turds (DN-01 anyone?). Are they at risk of becoming the next GM?

  26. Jay says:

    530 lbs. isn’t too heavy. In fact, it’s just right for some stability on the road. It isn’t a race bike, and does not have the built in compromises a race bike has.
    It could use a set of hard luggage, though but, with ounlyu 750 ccs, I doubt it will get any.

    • Hugh says:

      Hard bags and top case (color matched) are available as an option as well as a taller screen and center stand.

  27. uconnapharm says:

    if the price tag is $10,000 ,
    HONDA will sell big numbers of this bike.
    with a price any higher ,
    other companies now offer greater “bang” for your buck.
    *what I like the most about it is ;
    it’s a NON-cruiser that comfortably allows you ,
    to take the wife or gf on somewhat long rides ,
    with no sacrifices.

  28. timbo813 says:

    I think it’s cool. The only thing is it weighs to much. If they could have dropped 50 lbs I would be much more interested. Does it have ABS?

    It could also be a pretty sweet adventure bike if they add a bigger front wheel and protect those plastics from the inevitable drops. Here again, the weight is the biggest problem.

  29. Matt says:

    It looks like an upright, but they forgot to move the foot pegs down. In looking at the pics I kept thinking the rider had his feet on the passenger pegs. We used to do that in the old days to pull a wheelie on gutless dirtbikes..

    That leg origami would get old quick.

    Why this instead of the excellent (but also ugly) Vstrom? same (more?) weight, less power, goofy peg position. Sorry Honda, +1 on the not interested list..

    To part with constructive criticism, here is what I would be interested in. Lose 80lbs, use an updated version of the SuperHawk twin, put the pegs down where they’re supposed to be and make it look nice. In other words, make a Honda Multistrada and sell it for $10k.

    This is like a VFR for big and tall guys with short legs. Weird market niche to target..

  30. Louis says:

    I feel as samr does, as I have not seen a product from Honda in years I was interested in. I think this bike could have me interested as a buyer though. It’s like a VFR, but with upright seating. Since VFR owner love their bikes, I think this one would also find an audience as it’s got the same basic engine, single sided swingarm, and frame. So we will see how it reviews and looks in person. However, I am VERY interested in the CB1100 retro model that is sold in Japan. If that one came to the U.S., I would RUN to my Honda dealer and snatch one up quick!

    See the CB1100 here:http://www.motorcycle-usa.com/PhotoGallerys/xlarge/CB1100-Tokyo-Motor-Show.jpg

  31. fattkaw says:

    I haven’t liked Honda for a long time. Mr.Honda died and so did his company…….

  32. Bonnie limey says:

    YAWN !…and Fugly too….I thought they excused the Rune / Dullville designer years ago…maybe abducted by the Aliens..

  33. samr says:

    for years i was a diehard honda man and for a long time it’s been sad to watch the uninspiring products one after another. so here we go again, another below average, boring effort from the skirts and lawyers that i am convinced control honda.

  34. Martin says:

    When looking for a bike, having a ride is a good idea. I thought I wanted a W650 until I rode one, finding the otherwise excellent engine too wide and heavy to enable good handling, while the low seat, highish pegs and short travel suspension made me cramped and hurt my back on bumps, also threatening to spit me off on rough tight corners.

    I ended up with an old Suzuki Freewind (motorcycle.com did a test…), which has a perfectly relaxed straight up and down riding position with nice semi forward pegs, with a highish (33 inch) seat. It is narrow, light, agile, and grunty enough, though not V4 smooth. I can ride in comfort, relax and enjoy challenging roads without exerting myself, and I can get at least 50 mpg.

    Honda seem to have hired Chris Bangle from BMW to do their styling – it makes you want to start a charity for blind designers. A fat, wide motor is not a good start, too much weight kills the fun and the pegs are too high for comfort. A good effort in a good direction, but please can you get someone with some esthetic sense to draw the bike, and get a slim motor so the rider fits comfortably?

  35. Tom says:

    Every now and then Honda ships out a “weird one” and I like them. This bike follows a long line of weird Hondas like the 650 Hawk, Transalp, Pacific Coast. If I had a steady job and good income I would buy one of these CrossTours.

  36. MarkF says:

    I liked the old VFR800 better. The one with gear driven cams and no VTEC. Guess I shoulda bought one. Haven’t seen a new Honda that appeals to me in years. New Tranalp?

  37. Mickey says:

    After reading some of the posts, I’d like to say this…

    Motorcycle Daily posts these articles and gives us the freedom to respond. The posters here are no different than the posters on any other boards and I’d venture to say many of us post on many of the other boards as well. Link this article to the (pick one) Harley Board, Goldwing board, ST board, FZ board, GSXR board, Concours board, Beemer board, V Strom Board, etc etc..doesn’t matter, you will get the same diverse set of opinions you get here, because we are not all the same even though we have one similar interest…. motorcycles.I for one enjoy reading the differing opinions. Where I used to come to MD once a day, now I come back many times a day to read the different takes on a subject or object.Some I agree with, some I don’t. That’s how it works.

    We all also have differnt likes and dislikes when it comes to style…cruiser, sport, standard, adventure, UJM, naked, dressed, tourer, sport-tourer OR motor type, V4, inline 4, inline triple, V twin, parallel twin, single, inline 6, flat 6…OR drive system, belt, chain , shaft..OR color even red, black, silver, white, green or multi colored..or sound..or any myriad of items that make up a motorcycle. Each difference has it’s strengths and weaknesses as viewed by others. Some of us ride alone, others 2 up, some straf canyons only, some ride just on 2 lane roads and some ride the freeways from coast to coast. This affects how we view certain things about certain motorcycles. And yes some of us are very tall, and some of us are very short. We don’t have to be engineers, or mechanics, or designers to know what we like and having a full working knowledge of how a crankshaft balances is not necessary either. We know what we like, what we don’t care for,and we are allowed..encouraged even, to express our opinions about them.

    If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything? Bull Ship! We all have opinions and at least on this board and in this country we can express them, nice or not, as long as we don’t cross certain boundaries.

    I say if you like something, say so. If you don’t like something, say so. I may not agree with you but I will enjoy reading your opinion on it. Of course all of this is just my opinion, which you may or may not agree with. But again, that’s how it works..

    • kpaul says:

      Well said Mickey I totally agree! 🙂

      • Zombo says:

        I agree , very well stated Mickey . And darn that Spiderman and his lousy interwebs !

    • Burt says:

      I disagree–which you embrace, or so you say. 🙂
      The thing is that it appears to me that too many
      people find it so easy and fun to be negative about
      everything. Negativity takes so little effort and it
      is not fun to read unless done especially well. So I
      would like to leave the negativity to paid journalists
      and have everyone else simply make the effort to be
      MOSTLY positive, maybe toss in a not-so-positive remark
      on the side. But I think it is a positive thing, a positive
      exercise, a feel-good thing to TRY be positive.
      And it is not lost on me that here you are positively touting
      both positive and negative comments and here I am being
      negative about negative comments. If it is any consolation,
      I think I would probably find your negative comments to
      be at least occasionally fun because you appear open-minded.
      Me, I am less open-minded and I don’t even want to read
      my negative comments—so I won’t be proofreading this posting.

      • Mickey says:

        Dr Suess..is that you?

        I did enjoy reading that, even understood it, but I had to read it twice.

        It’s funny but if you go back to the retro article, there was a BUNCH of positive comments. Also on the Ninja 1000 article. Apparently when the manufacturers market bikes that venture out of our pre-concieved comfort range, that the comments do as well.

        Being positive for the sake of being positive, is like rewarding athletes for participating, rather than for winning.

    • MikeD says:

      +1. I find myself coming back too more than once daily just to read all the different opinions, sometimes i don’t even read the article itself…because the opinions grab more my attention (wich is saying a lot since im kinda of “high maintenance” to keep entertained)…lmao.

      And yes, we should all voice our ideas/opinions (be it brilliant or dull ones)…while keeping it civil enough to be able to keep posting here w/o the site “police” having to step in.

  38. Andy Parker says:

    I looked up bland in the dictionary and it said
    ‘see Honda’.

  39. Pistoffguy says:

    Why can’t Honda admit thet were wrong and ditch the “VTEC” the VFR 750 didn’t need it why does the 800? On the plus side it costs a fortune to have the valves adjusted! Which is why you see so many VFR “VTEC” 800s with 16000 miles for sale real cheap.

  40. kpaul says:

    Nice work MD… A naked VFR with better ergos. Hmmmm… Probably Honda wanted to do something with all those spare VFR parts. Still needs a diet, upgraded suspension, better tires and the radiator in the front. Nice but I’ll pass. Would love to see a family of V-4 (90 degree of course) sportbikes (600,800, 1000 cc). 750-800 cc is a great size too. The V-4 provides good performance with a narrow footprint. Don’t see this bike coming to America. 🙂

  41. Mondo Endo says:

    Bland Bland Bland, I know vanilla is the most popular ice cream flavor, I just dont want it for my motorcycle..Is this the same Honda that built the RC30 and 45? The new CBR 250 excites me more than this bike. Honda used to be cutting edge on design and performance with their bikes now they seem to be more involved with the car division and bikes come second…too bad.

  42. Vrooom says:

    3 things strike me about this bike. First is that though I love big adventure tourers like the V-Strom for their all around capabilities, this isn’t one of them. That 17″ wheel will hold you back on the 2 track. Secondly 530 lbs?! That seems really heavy, I’m thinking 460 should have been achievable. Thirdly, despite the comments about the passenger accomodations, that pillion seat looks razor thin. Can’t be comfortable to sit on for long.
    If they come out with an adventure model I may be interested, but weight wise it needs a diet.

  43. ABQ says:

    I am not sure what this bike is to be compared to. It is not a duel purpose. It is not a sportbike. It is not a sport touring…I guess it is a VFR w/ a standard riding position! And, that sounds like a great bike. Now if it only came with bags and a large windshield like my BMW 1150 GS…

  44. Zuki says:

    Nice that the seat was designed to be comfortable for a change, for both rider AND passenger. And if you don’t take a passenger, that section of the seat is wide and flat to accommodate luggage and stuff. Good to have another *comfortable sport-touring bike to choose from. I like it. It looks fun to ride and interesting to look at while taking a rest.

  45. Steve says:

    Motorcycles need to improve their mileage. When automobiles with direct injection approach motorcycle mileage, gas guzzling motorcycles will only be sold to insecure males.

    • ROXX says:

      How about if we drill for more oil and improve supply instead?

      • kpaul says:

        Oh Boy 🙂 Oil is like land they aren’t making any more of it. Known Reserves have peaked already now we are on the way down. China, India, all want more oil but there is less to go around. Be ready for $4.50/gal gas by summer.

        • kpaul says:

          Gas Could Hit $4.50 By Summer: Economist “Gasoline prices in US could climb to $4.50 a gallon by summer, Jan Stuart, a global oil economist for Macquarie, told CNBC Tuesday, driven by demand around the world.” see CNBC.com

      • Tom R says:

        Oh no, don’t get kpaul started.

        Ooops, already did.

      • Donnie says:

        How about we actually improve fuel economy? My ZRX has a 1052cc inline-4 and gets similar fuel economy to a Versys, which has a 649cc parallel twin.

    • MikeD says:

      +1 on the GDI. None of us will complain when we see the same engine gain more HP and better mileage just after changing to GDI plus all the tree huggers will have something less to bitch about.
      I think whats holding the OEMs back is maybe packaging? Not a lot of space for that long injector reaching all the way down to the chamber and then u have the spark plug figthing for the same chunk of real state that wasn’t much to begin with and lets not forget those four poppet valves.
      And since we are here on the more power/innovations theme…how about some REAL variable valve timing on BOTH CAMS…not like that LOUSY half ass job Kawi did on the C14.
      Cost can’t be that bad…is it ? Im just an afficionado so bear with me…lol.

  46. ibking says:

    More of a CROSSDRESSER if your into that kind of thing.

  47. Tom Barber says:

    It is sort of moot for USA riders to even be commenting on this bike, because as far as we are concerned, it does not even exist. Unless and until Honda Powersports (USA) tells us that this model will be sold in the USA, it is kind of silly for us to be voicing our opinions.

    Nevertheless, and notwithstanding that I like this concept for the VFR, I think that it falls short for several reasons:

    1. It is unattractive.
    2. It weighs more than it should.
    3. It still has that VTEC that hardly anyone likes.

    Variable valve timing is not in and of itself a bad thing. But this particular implementation is crude. I have seem many negative reviews of it, even after they changed the transition point after the first model year (or thereabouts). Since no one seems to like it, Honda should either have done away with it or else replaced the two-valve / four-valve scheme with continuously variable control of valve timing.

    The engine is a good practical size for a motorcycle. But when you give up the stronger performance of a larger engine, you expect to get something in return. You expect to see some savings in overall bike mass, but mass reduction doesn’t materialize here, and this leaves you wondering what was the point of the smaller engine. There will still be less heat, but larger engines also give off less heat heat when you practice restraint on the throttle. This bike should not weigh as much as it should.

    Honda has always been my favorite motorcycle brand. And they still are, but I am somewhat disillusioned. Nothing the exception of their hard-core sport bikes, the rest of their bikes just seem to be quite a bit heavier than they should be. They just do not seem to pay enough attention to bike mass. This is especially true when compared to the likes of Ducati.

    Those high footpegs also bug me. Looking at the pictures, it is obvious that they are very, very high. My guess is that this came about through the consideration of safety. They seem to be trying to avoid any possibility that the pegs could cause loss of wheel traction when the bike is leaned way, way over. But the V4 should not be especially wide, and the pegs should not be as high as they are on a wider in-line 4. Yet, they look higher than they are on most bikes with in-line four-cylinder engines. Perhaps the frame in the region of the rider’s seating position is wider than it maybe needs to be.

    Even with these concerns, if Honda brings this bike to the USA it would still be on my short list of bikes that I’m interested in, and I would take a close look at it and maybe try to wrangle a demo ride. There is no such thing as a perfect motorcycle. We focus on the shortcomings because it is just our nature to do that. But that is much to like about this motorcycle, and I certainly hope that Honda Powersports decides to bring it over here.

    • MGNorge says:

      I agree with a lot of what you point out. Whether by nature or not, to complain about this or that as being unacceptable is curious because I venture very few of us have even thrown a leg over one! How many times have I approached a new bike (to me) with preconceived ideas on just what it is only to find out I was being too harsh.

      As the article points out, this bike provides a very good ride with an engine that responds way down low to all the way up. I suspect V-Tech is used more for slow speed running than anything else. You know, this bike may well provide a very satifying ride. And you know, as far as the peg height goes, I’m 6’8″ tall, ALL bikes have high pegs!! 🙂

      Seriously, I’d have to reserve total judgement until I rode one. That’s the way it is for me.

  48. Steve says:

    210 miles on 6 gallons? That’s 35 mpg. Less than a Miata. Almost as much as a Mustang. A motorcycle that burns more gas than a car has something wrong with it.

    • Hugh says:

      The tank is 21.5 l so it’s about 5.5 gal. Range is actually 345 kms so it’s 215 miles. Comes out to 39mpg which sounds about right for a VFR. VFRs are known to be a little thirsty but I don’t think it’s too far off what most bikes get.
      I doubt your Miata or Mustang get that unless you drive at 55mph on a straight road.

    • Brandon says:

      I owned a VFR for 5 years. I averaged 45 mpg riding to work, and 48 on a trip down the east coast. Just my 2 cents. I assume this bike will be the same.

  49. PN says:

    Hey, I LIKE this and will buy one if Honda brings it to the States! Maybe it’s the white and silver (or grey) but I like the color scheme. A comfortable bike you could ride most anywhere–what a concept. I also can’t understand the carping and whining here. I mean, if you want the old Interceptor with cam drive, buy one on eBay. Sheesh.

  50. Pete says:

    As always, MD has the grumpiest, most reactionary, impossible to please posters of any forum on the interwebs. That really is impressive.

    • Hugh says:

      I agree with you. How many VFR owners have added bar risers? Honda has taken the best of the VFR and has made it into a better bike. It’s more comfortable, the VTECH has been sorted out (one of the low points on the last VFR gen), and I think it looks great. I’ll take a red one please.

      • Goose says:

        The VTECH is sorted? Does that mean you don’t have to remove and install the cams three (yes 3) times best case to check the valve clearance? Only Honda’s gigantic ego prevents them from admitting the system is a bust and developing a better one. Honda cars have variable valve timing systems that don’t require this stupidity, why should motorcyclist put up with it?

        Sorry to pile on but this looks like another over priced, ugly Honda failure. Three of my first four bikes were Hondas, I’d be more likely to buy an old Honda to restore then anything in the showroom today. I’m really sad to say that but it is true. Honda san must be rotating at about 10K RPM in his grave.

        Goose

        • Neil says:

          Honda-san rode a Harley all around Japan back in the day. One of his first ideas was the Honda Cub which have sold in the millions. So, yeah he did like simplicity and marketing a bike that appeals to the masses. I had heard that maybe Honda would bring the old vintage CB750 back with a few modern updates. That would be nice. I like the CB1100F myself and have written to both American Honda and the engineers in Japan about it. I have a Harley Nightster and a Suzuki TU250 so simple is good for me. I did ride a ’96 VFR 15k miles in two years but it cost me 5000 dollars to own over that time when you factor in what went out of my wallet during that time. I am 50 years old. I don’t have the savings and I am not a young well paid guy just out of college. CB1100F please.

          • Goose says:

            Neil,

            I think we come from the generation that looked on Honda with awe (a Honda 305 made the Harleys/ Triumphs/ etc. I grew up around look like the antiques they were) what has happened to Honda since he died would make Honda san very sad.

            I seem to be an odd ball for a Boomer, I would have very little interest in a new CB750. I’d have my old CB500-4 (591 CC, Yoshi cam, etc.) back long before I’d buy a new CB750.

            I mostly care how a bike works for me. Right now I’m pretty happy with my Road Glide and XR1200. One makes a pleasant platform for traveling with my wife, the other is a giggle in the twisties, a good commuter, an enjoyable solo touring bike and is actually fun to work on. Both have been reliable, easy to get parts for and, other the rear tires on the ‘Glide, fairly cheap to own.

            If I had the $, something like the little CBR250 or more likely a WR250R Yamaha would be great for commuting and general local riding, I’d love to have one in my garage.

            Goose

        • MikeD says:

          Yeah, they fudged the pooch the minute they went V-TEC and Chain Driven Cams. Just this man’s opinion.

    • denny says:

      Very true, yet there are just very few who have clue of mechanics behind it, leave alone engineering theories. Sad reality of spoiled consumers.

  51. Mike says:

    With all the bodywork changes to make it less sporty and more ‘crossover’ they stayed with the side mounted radiators? On my VFR they only worked if you were moving steady at more than 30mph (preferably 50). When stuck in traffic the fan came in less than 2 traffic lights and then the fan tried to blow the hot air in the opposite direction to the airflow if you started moving. Two trips like this and the oil was cooked and needed changing to get shifting feel back. Was my only complaint with the bike.
    I expect its just a parts bin bike underneath it all.

  52. Gino Pokluda says:

    Glad to see more bikes like this coming out. I have always been a huge fan of the Honda V4. Not sure it will be enough to have me trading my WeeStrom in for one, though.

  53. Neil says:

    If you look at his left foot in the turn, you can see why the footpegs are high. European mountain roads and Cali mountain roads all have sharp switchbacks. My Nightster would drag the pegs for sure! It seems like the VFR with a different top half designed on it. I sat on the BMW naked 800 and it TOO has high pegs, as does the Kawi 650 and several other bikes. Lower legs would mean slower cornering but more comfort. I have to think that the engineers think of these things and just go with the tighter turning ability. That being said, I like the pegs on a Triumph Bonneville which I tested last year. I sat on the other makers adventure bikes and I really cannot say they felt better. The looks are fine to me. Let’s see how it looks in the flesh. I would still like to see the CB1100F here, but I understand that it is not most people’s cup of tea.

  54. Steve D says:

    Nice enough bike but if you’re going to try and ride that thing on any kind of fire road etc than be careful. I imagine that it’s a very expensive body kit.

    • MikeD says:

      Anything more “off-road” than a hard packed gravel road and u’ll be pushing your wallet’s luck.

  55. MGNorge says:

    My, my! Didn’t your mothers tell that if you don’t have anything nice to say, then..?

  56. ben says:

    Interesting bike. I would say it is infinitely more attractive to me than another pile of cruiser junk like the sabre or interstate or shadow or whatever those pigs are called now. Having said that I would preffer the existing years old transalp design to this bike. It is much too heavy too

  57. Mark says:

    After 35 years of Honda’s, they finally lost me. They are not making the product I want to buy and haven’t for 10 years. Look elsewhere to see product people want. Triumph and Kawasaki now top my list for bikes wanted.

  58. Michael Haz says:

    My reaction is “Eh”. Nice bike, but I’d much rather have Honda bring its CBF1000 to the US. The CBF1000 is a terrific bike. Go to http://www.honda.co.uk/motorcycles/naked/#!/cbf1000/ for the UK Honda website for folks who haven’t seen photos of the CBF1000.

  59. motobell says:

    If the Ducati multistrada had this seat height I would buy one. This is idiotic! a VFR is better (I have owned several) if it was lighter more agile than a VFR I can see the benefit..

  60. jimbo says:

    What happened to Suzuki’s promised naked based on the GSXR750?

  61. alex says:

    Honda has done extensive market research. We have listened to the demands of riders and built this bike anyway. The marketing department, although not motorcycle drivers themselves, promises you that $14,995.00 plus tax, tile and transfer fees is a small price to pay for what they believe car..er..motorcycle drivers want in vehicle. Notice the graceful plastic panels that are meant honor modern design ethos as well as confuse onlookers. Only you, the end consumer, will truly know what this is. A motorcycle? You are welcome.

  62. Tom R says:

    The footpegs look a bit high, the seat may be cut kinda low, the profile is a little weird looking, and it is a tad heavy for an 800, but the V-four interceptor engine seems like a good thing. So it hits 1-for-5, or a .200 batting average. If it were a major league baseball player, that would be good for a lower-than-average salary of $700k-800k a year.

    I like to think that we riders hold motorcycles to a higher standard than baseball fans or team owners do their players. This product is an attempt to build a “standard” with some style, without spending a lot on R & D-which is understandable these days. To actually name it “Crossover” is a stretch and a bit lame, as the term is a rip-off from a clearly emerging automotive segment. However, at least Honda is offering something with a seating position that a lot of people have been screaming for.

    • Tom R says:

      OK, my goof, it is actually called the “Crossrunner”, but we know what they are up to.

  63. Hugh says:

    I want one!

  64. Snoopy says:

    Not an attractive bike. Another overpriced HONDA flop.

  65. Craig says:

    The footpeg placement is just plain silly. Must be the stock units off the VFR800.

  66. zimm says:

    What they really need is to bring back an updated VTR1000 superhawk… EFI V-twin, USD forks, radial brakes, VFR single swingarm, ABS, traction control, etc.

    • Mark says:

      Now that’s a COOL idea. I almost bought a Superhawk but decided on the VFR because it had a larger fuel tank, and better ergos for an old guy like me. But the simplicity and lighter weight of the VTR was very tempting….

    • jimbo says:

      IIRC they got about 24 mpg when stressed, which is not so good. Maybe better with FI?

  67. Mark says:

    I’ve got an ’06 VFR. The pegs on my bike were too high for much comfort on a long ride, so I replaced the stock pegs with a set of Buell pegs. I had to grind them down a bit to fit, but they work great and drop the peg height by about 1″. It makes a big difference on an all-day ride.

    I really like my VFR, but it is due for an update. This version seem like pretty much the same bike wrapped in different plastic. I’m hoping a new version of the VFR 1200 engine will show up in a smaller displacement – maybe a 1000 cc UJM that doesn’t weigh any more than the VFR 800. Until that happens, I’ll hang on to my VFR.

  68. Chris says:

    I personally think this bike looks great. The price is obviously important, especially with how good the Ninja 1000 is for 10k, but my wife loves to ride along and (as a contributor to 50% of our income) has a say in what I (we) buy, and this is the first review of anything I’ve seen other than a large touring bike that has had an emphasis on both driver and passenger. Power, comfort, Honda reliability, and passenger accommodations…now let’s make it affordable Honda, and I think it will be a winner!

  69. Steve P says:

    I think you’d be better off buying a used VFR 800, 1998-2001 vintage, put Heli bars or LSL superbike bar conversion, saving yourself thousands and not have to deal with the Vtec . Too bad Honda couldn’t come up with a new, lighter weight bike worthy of being a successor to the VFR 800 instead of giving us rewarmed leftovers.

  70. Randy says:

    Look. We 40-60 year olds are in SERIOUS need of a good UJM. There are tons of us that don’t want crotch rockets OR galaxy class cruisers. With that said, this looked like something that would foot the bill until I saw the knee angle of the rider. The pegs are high and slightly set back. Just who is this marketed for?

  71. CCrider says:

    Honda goes their own way, riders be dammed. They haven’t had a new bike that was popular
    with riders since the ’07 CBR600 (which hasn’t changed in 4 years). Exactly who is this over weight bike aimed at? My last Honda was the ’02 VFR which I rode for 36K miles. When I looked for a replacement, Honda had nothing and still has nothing. Triumph, Kawasaki and Yamaha has brought several new bikes to the US market. Honda has some interesting bikes in Europe but they give us this weird answer (Cross Runner) to a question no one asked.

  72. Mickey says:

    I love Hondas, have had at least 8 of their motorcycles (still have 2) and 9 of their cars/suv’s/vans/trucks (still have 3)but this bike seems overly complex, overly heavy, underpowered and I’m guessing overly expensive…as it seems all Hondas have shared these traits of late.

    It looks like a very nice motorcycle, but if I had to open my wallet for another bike, I’m afraid at this point it would still be to buy the new Ninja 1000, which is lighter, faster, in all likelyhood just as comfortable, costs less and has luggage available that won’t cost an extra $1400.

    • Josh B. says:

      Here here!

      I actually called some dealers, and the problem is — with the Earthquake and nuke plant problems in japan, most aren’t even getting any Ninja Z1000’s in anymore until at least July! And that’s IF they get anymore!

      One place had an all-black one, and looked up the luggage price for me — which the top case and side cases plus the required brackets were $799 MSRP TOTAL (pretty damn good), and he offered them to me for $600 installed. Also, he said he’d sell me the bike for $10,199. So, I could get a brand new Ninja Z1000 with luggage for ~$12k OTD after tax/title/labor/etc. I’m thinking of going for it, even though I wanted a black/red one. Seems to be the closest thing to what I want — a relatively light (503 pounds wet), quick, sporty-handling, comfortable enough for a couple tanks of gas at a time, decent mileage, and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.

      • ROXX says:

        I too really like that new 1000 Ninja.
        Been tempted to trade in my very low mileage CBR1100XX BlackBird for one of those…..

  73. edbob says:

    This seems like the last generation Ducati Multistrada plus 100 pounds. It has similar philosophy (made for comfort and easy handling), similar bodywork, and even the name is a synonym (Italian – Many roads). Not saying they’re copying, but they’re definitely trying to fill in a niche that was left vacant by the new Multi, which is fiercer looking and ridiculous power – not as ‘easy’ or forgiving to drive. Best of luck to them.

  74. Moonbandito says:

    Ho hum. I wish I could say something more positive. Honda has the ability to make whatever it wants to make. The product planners and accounts had a few disagreements. They forgot to invite the riders to the meetings.

  75. Uncle Bob says:

    No thanks. I want the old, gear-driven cam VFR motor at 1000cc, in a leaner, nicely-styled sport-touring bike at 450lbs. with a low pipe(s)so I can mount soft bags and a steel tank. We all know Honda can do it, but for some stupid reason, they won’t. Ahrrrgh!

  76. dan says:

    I don’t understand why so many otherwise ergonomically friendly bikes have the footpegs so high as to reduce the overall comfort.

  77. Pat says:

    Nice bike, just won’t get my money. Seems to me that this bike is in the exact same class as the new Multi Strada, though in an 800 size.

  78. Jeremy in TX says:

    530 lbs is pretty heavy. Very heavy for an 800cc. I wanted to want this bike – and still might – but I was really hoping this would be a good, light-weight alternative to the other “crossovers” hitting the market.

    • Andrew says:

      Well, 530lb is roughly what VFR used to weight as well, and bear in mind that Crossrunner has fewer sporting ambitions than VFR did. Anyway, a bit of weight is not always such a bad thing in road riding conditions.

  79. John says:

    If this were a naked bike, or a new VFR ST, like the new Sprint GT, it might be interesting.

    It’s not.

  80. eddie says:

    this upright seating trend is dangerously close to evolving in to foward foot controls. can someone say Diavel? the only other option would be height adjustable suspension that lowers at stoplights.

  81. Brian says:

    There is the obvious question, how does it compare the bike from where most of the design came from, the VFR? Better for touring? Better for commuting? Worse for canyon running? We don’t know, but these are good guesses!

  82. Philip says:

    Good to see Honda expanding use of the V4 motor. Looks like a good allrounder and for me it has that magic 200 mile per tank range.

  83. ilikefood says:

    It looked like a cool bike, until this: “The seat height is low…” followed by this: “Although the Crossrunner is generally comfortable, taller riders will find the footrests too high.” No, the footrests are not too high, the seat is too low! For tall riders, a low seat height is NOT a good thing. I’m tired of seeing a low seat height trumpeted as a good thing in bike reviews. Humans don’t come in one size. The manufacturer that gives me a seriously adjustable seat (4″+ adjustment range) will most likely get my $.

    • Dave says:

      Isn’t it amazing that moto has always been a “one size fits all” industry? I see this bike as the motorcycle answer to the crossover car market. A little bulkier than a normal car but doesn’t do anything better than it’s conventional counterpart.

      • Pablo says:

        While this bike dosn’t have an adjustable seat height you will probably find that Honda offer an optional taller seat like they do with their current Transalp model.

    • Harvey Mushman says:

      There actually is a moto mfr that makes models for different sized riders, plus offers an extensive array of bars, saddles and peg mount/controls in their accessory catalog so that any given model can be dialed in to suit. I won’t mention the name of that manufacturer here because every time it appears on a discussion board all heck breaks loose.

    • Tim says:

      It’s much easier to adjust seat height UP after the fact than it is to adjust DOWN.