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Phil West  says:

Honda VFR1200F first road test verdict

The long-awaited Honda VFR1200F has been just undergoing its first road test in the hands of MCN Executive Editor Phil West, this is what he has to say: “After riding Honda’s new VFR1200F over 300kms in southern Spain I have to say it’s a good bike – but not a great one. Get all the latest news on the Honda VFR1200F And after all...

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  • Posted 5 years ago (30 November 2009 16:53)

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Aug 07

Posts: 45

ianp5uk says:


A lot of people are saying the obvious. It aint a sports bike but it's too expensive, too small a tank and luggage for a decent sports tourer. Certainly can't cut it as a tourer. Some intertesting technology but they don't seem to know what to do with it. They'd have been better off just developing their existing range with the Pan and the VFR. Fix the Pan handling issue and the odd criticism, improve fuel consumption - doesn't need more power. Produce a VFR1000 for just more of a good thing, keeping the weight down and just a bit more all round - faster, torquier, more range so it really can tour and can replace the Blackbird. They could've even produced a new Blackbird instead. So many options but I suspect they have produced a well built lemon. A definite home goal.

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Dec 09

Posts: 21

MrMidlands says:

Another designed by Committee Honda

Want a sports touring bike with decent luggage, stonking engine, good ergos, a decent tank range and a cool £3000 change in your back pocket ? The Sprint ST awaits. I bet Triumph are rubbing their hands together with glee now the spec and price of this bike are out.

We are in a deep recession and Honda launches an over weight expensive bike to replace a well loved model that none of us seem to want. Nice one. Not just a missed trick but an own goal. Apart from the committed Honda owner being interested with the natural this years upgrade path, I can see Honda dealers really struggling to sell these at full list.

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Aug 02

Posts: 129

stevecase says:

Maybe Honda are cutting costs!

It could be that the original design was to replace the VFR (or Blackbird) and then some bright spark went 'Hey if we replace the Blackbird, VFR & Pan Euro with the same bike it will be cheaper to make to cover a larger audience.

I can see how they would make this assumption as at the moment they have 3 different bikes covering similar areas and they must watch the companies that have one base bike and then spec to make different models and wish they could do the same...funnily enough just like the car manufacturers already do!

Maybe they are covering the Blackbird, VFR, Pan Euro and the Accord?

I'll watch for the group tests as I not about to shell out £11+ K on a bike even if I wanted to!

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Dec 02

Posts: 1

blade918rrv says:

Versatile Flexible Roadbike = VFR1200

Long overdue, not yet in the shops, can it really replace the classic VFR750/800/800VTECH?  Well the short answer to that in my humble opinion is yes.  It may not be a looker but remember the last generation Fireblade? That was blasted for being 'ugly' but opinions soon changed when bikers started to ride it, journo's got over themselves and heaped acolade after acolade on it...... well I'm hoping the same will happen with the new VFR1200.  Yes it has a smaller than expected tank capacity, yes it has shaft drive, yes it takes paniers, yes it weighs 270 odd kgs fully fueled/water/oil etc, yes it's not going to win any beauty contests but... in my opinion having owned ST1100 Pan Europeans for years and take regular trips around the Alps (yes I'm ROBENSON's "matey")  I can't wait to sling my leg over one as it will hopefully fulfill it's dual role admirably.  It's all too easy to knock it without trying it first so I won't until I have.  There has been positive feedback from journo's lucky enough to have ridden it around Sugo in Japan. The shaft drive system in particular has been compared to a chain drive machine in it's delivery - a first for any shaft drive bike. 160-170 bhp may not seem much to supersports and hypersports bike riders but compared to the meagre 100hp from both the ST1100 and VFR800 it's a huge improvement.  In handling terms it aquits itself well and hides it's not too bulky weight successfully.... Honda invented mass centralisation and it seems to have rubbed off on the VFR1200 but only a test ride will prove it either way. It ticks enough of the boxes for me to book a test ride when it's available and I'm so hoping it won't be a dissappointment  but Hondas pricing may well be the sticking point for me and many others.  Honda have certainly scored an own goal if the reports of 12k for the basic version comes true... as for the dual clutch version, those that have ridden it have found it to be simply brilliant but at what price?  Not everyone can afford to throw £15k + on one motorcycle no matter how well built it is and in this time of recession it almost becomes unaffordable.  So come on Honda - price it below 10k and you'll sell thousands, over 12k you're going to have a hard time against the opposition.

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Aug 08

Posts: 12

Haluk says:

What now?

Funny that the VFR1200 got a 5 star rating from MCN under "reviews" Mr. West!

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Aug 02

Posts: 2491

sprag says:

New Honda VFR1200 a let down

der, so what? what did anyone expect? its a sodding Honda ffs.

Now if/when Honda make a decent diesel turbo tourer that does say 70mpg, is comfortable for 200 mile plus rides and doesn't cost the earth then maybe, just maybe I may show some interest.

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Jul 05

Posts: 19

superbiker27 says:


It,s a joke! a tourer with a three gallon tank to replace the Pan European which has 6 gallons available, its a wonder it gets to the end of the road. Where are the fitted panniers and topbox?  There are likely to be a lot of unsatisfied riders with plenty of used ones around after the first six months. Oh well, hey ho, perhaps Honda will have a rethink. Superbiker27.

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Oct 09

Posts: 2

numbbits says:

Well I have hung on waiting for this bike to be made, and my money will be staying put for the moment it aint done nothing for me in the test rides or from what I have seen in the MCN test reports, having owned 2 Blackbirds with better fuel range and better looks, I am seriously waiting for the test on the BMW VS Kawasaki test to see which is top dog, this will definately sway my choice having riden both  already, and both are exellent at doing what there designed for, unlike the 1200vfr

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Apr 10

Posts: 4

db525ok says:

I got one

I bought one of these on the first of March, granted there is a few strange things about it but everything changes eventually .. the exhaust sounds strange  as it has an electronic valve operating it at different rev ranges , but it pulls well and handles well ,if its noise you want this is not the bike for you ,, I have had all sort  of bikes through the years my last two were GSX 1000k6 which is ok if your four feet tall and weight 6 stone , my zx 1200r was well good other than the brakes kept seizing up after a run in the wet ,, it was quick and comfortable , got cheesed off with the brakes two front brake failures when the bike was three months old ,, NOT GOOD when your doing the speed limit :),, there are a lot of negative comments on the vfr , but Im very happy with it ,,, Remember its a sports tourer  with lots of grunt not a balls out racing machine

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