2016 Honda Crosstourer

In Japan, Touring by AugustLeave a Comment

Here’s the first of hopefully many postings from a new contributor – August W! August has sold lots of interesting motorcycles that have been featured on Bike-urious, such as this Suzuki SW-1, Honda Spada, Yamaha SRV250, or Yamaha SDR200:

When you are the worlds largest motorcycle manufacturer you do not launch a new model without considerable time, planning and investment laid out beforehand, especially when it is a flagship model that will be the platform to showcase new technologies.

Honda introduced the V4 concept bike at Intermot in Cologne, Germany in 2008 to mixed reviews. A year later Honda unveiled the production VFR1200F at the Tokyo Motor Show and production began in October 2009.

Having owned, tracked, and maintained a 4th and 6th gen VFR along with a 2010 VFR1200 I think I can say with confidence that many in the VFR community found the sixth generation (2002-2009) polarizing, not just by its looks but the lack of gear driven cams and the complexity of its VTEC valve train that did not sit well with the purists. I still believe the 6th gen VFR is one of the best bikes I have owned and an excellent value on the used market.

The VFR1200F one upped the 6th gen VFR800, almost no one found it physically attractive. The specs were impressive; it had the V4 and the single sided swingarm but it was expensive, the fuel range was abysmal, it was not particularity sporty or touring focused and it was placed on showroom floors in the middle of a brutal global recession.

And they sat on dealers sales floors. Many dealer incentives and Honda Bonus Bucks later they slowly found their way into garages at huge discounts. I owned one for about 6 months as a commuter in Southern California. The engine was phenomenal with great power, it had excellent brakes and decent suspension but I never found a lot of confidence in the handling as I had on earlier VFR’s. It was also the only bike that left me stranded on I-5 after running out of gas – no, it won’t make it another 5 miles when the light flashes.

Now Honda being the manufacturing powerhouse they are I am sure they did a large batch of frames, engines and swingarms along with other associated parts to produce a run of VFR1200F’s for the next few years taking advantage of economies of scale and other corporate efficiencies I probably do not fully understand. I do understand however after the awful sales numbers that Honda most likely having a surplus of engines decided to re-purpose the brilliant V4 into another class of bike helping to recoup the 1200 development costs : enter the VFR1200X.

Maybe this is what the bike should have been from the beginning, because it actually looks good, especially with the wire spoke wheels running tubeless tires, the muted all black color scheme that exudes an urban assault vehicle vibe. One thing is for sure, the engine will not be a let down, the 6 speed manual version and shaft drive is incredibly smooth and it has the typical legendary Honda build quality.

This one looks like a great deal with some nice mods and very nice aftermarket luggage. Find this VFR1200X in Fort Collins, Colorado for $9,000 here on Craigslist.