Honda is recalling certain 2009-2010 ST1300 sport touring motorcycles due to a risk of a brake fluid leakage. According to documents released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the pre-formed hose supplying fluid from the rear brake reservoir to the rear brake master cylinder is routed in a way that puts it at risk […]
Honda VFR1200F – First Impressions
Dual-clutch tranny is simply amazing!
Honda’s new VFR1200F in action at Sugo in Japan.
I’m here at the Sugo Sportsland racetrack in Japan, an odd place for what seems to be a sport-touring machine like the new VFR1200F. But my time at Sugo today was one of the most incredible riding experiences of my career.
First off, lets dispel the notion the VFR is a direct competitor to sports tourers like Yamaha’s FJR1300 or the Honda ST1300. It’s lighter and more nimble, with racier ergonomics. It’s also smaller in the flesh than it appears in photographs. More attractive, too.
Duke was mightily impressed with the VFR’s new dual-clutch transmission.
But what blew me away today is the VFR’s dual-clutch transmission. If you’re thinking it might be something akin to the FJR1300AE’s auto transmission, you’d be badly mistaken. The FJR-AE’s shortcoming is its initial response when pulling away from a stop, as a rider is never sure how the auto clutch will come on. No such issue with the VFR. In comparative terms, the FJR-AE’s transmission/clutch is a carburetor to the VFR’s fuel injection.
More amazing, though, is how well the dual-clutch gearbox works in automatic mode. There are hundreds of ways a racetrack can trip up such a system, and I’m thrilled to report no such issues. Leave it in the Sport setting of the automatic mode, and it is both smooth and cooperative, blipping the throttle on downshifts and upshifting near redline.
Check back with us on Monday for a more comprehensive report!
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