Honda VFR1200F – First Impressions

Dual-clutch tranny is simply amazing!

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Honda’s new VFR1200F in action at Sugo in Japan.

UPDATE: 2010 Honda VFR1200F Review -  First Ride Article

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.

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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.375O7864

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.375O9359

Check back with us on Monday for a more comprehensive report!

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  • http://superbikeblog.blogspot.com Tim Kreitz

    Ever since I saw the ‘spy’ shots of this bike, I wondered what it would look like in street trim. For now, I’ll give the new Viffer the benefit of the doubt until I can see one in person, but I am not at all impressed by the general look of the machine in those photos. In particular, the designs of the forward bodywork and headlight assembly are especially unsightly in my opinion.

  • http://www.jndmj.com Mostafa

    it’s nice

  • chop/stik

    bring back the blackbirdxx!

  • http://EXPLOROER Bill B.

    Looks like Big Red missed the mark again. They didn’t learn from the mistakes they made with this bike over the last years. This is a repeat of the VFR800 with VTEC. Be sure to buy your 2010-11 1200F because this bike will be gone by 2014! Big Red, please hire some of the engineers from BMW so they can show how to make a great Sport Tourer. Don’t rely on Focus Groups to tell you what type bike you should make!