HONDA CROSSTOURER 1200 (2012-on) Review

Published: 29 February 2012

VFR1200-derived adventure bike " isn't necessarily 'better' than a GS; it's different"

HONDA CROSSTOURER 1200  (2012-on)

VFR1200-derived adventure bike " isn't necessarily 'better' than a GS; it's different"

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

The surprise with the Crosstourer is two-fold: first that the 1200 V4 powertrain works so well in an adventure bike package (it already seems so familiar and ‘right’ to me it seems like it’s been around for years) and second that it genuinely brings a new and tempting dimension – namely V4 performance and sophisticated automatic transmission – to the burgeoning ‘adventure bike’ category. In short: this isn’t necessarily ‘better’ than a GS – it’s different to a GS, a ‘super’ adventure bike if you like.

Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5

Handling-wise the Crosstourer scores over the donor VFR1200, too. While the two bikes’ frames are virtually identical and the Crosstourer should suffer by having mushier, longer-travel suspension, larger wheels and compromising dual purpose tyres, in reality it meets its class expectations even better than the VFR.
On M-ways and fast A-roads the Crosstourer is impressively planted, steady and predictable and only when the roads start to get silly-twisty do its shortcomings of slight top-heavyness, needing a real wrench around some turns, a vague-front end not helped by dull Bridgstone Battle Wing tyres, and slightly ‘boingey, basic forks (although being both preload and rebound adjustable, I’m confident they could be improved) become obvious.
But, especially given it’s size and weight and the expectation of the class the Crosstourer does handle well enough.

Engine 5 out of 5

V4 shaftie is essentially the same powertrain as that of the VFR1200F but has been retuned to boost midrange and low down grunt (at the expense of top end) with new cam profiles to give reduced lift, longer inlet tracts  and smaller diameter (by 10mm) exhausts. The result is a stupendously broad spread of sheer, smooth urge yet all flavoured with the charcateristically V4 rumbly drone. The slightest touch of throttle is enough to pull smoothly away and the progress thereafter completely linear and meaty yet enough, at the top end, to remind of true superbikes.

Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5

Honda seems to have learnt the lessons of the ‘under-specced’ VFR1200 and as a result the Crosstourer wants for little. Console is all-new and bristling with features and information: large central digital speedo is flanked by gauges for fuel and engine temp; a bar type tacho goes across top of display plus there’s an odometer, twin trips, fuel consump (both actual and average), gear indicator and clock.
Then there’s the trick-lloking LED indicators (the first on a large capacity Honda); integrated luggage rack and grab rail, hand guards as standard and more. Meanwhile, the paint is gorgeous and deep, the black-anodised alloy rims beautiful and the textured seat class – a true flagship machine.

Insurance, running costs & value 4 out of 5

The Crosstourer is much more than just a VFR with knobblies – it’s a distinctive bike in its own right. It also has pretty much all the right bits in all the right places: slim but meaty proportions, single-sided shaft drive, GS Adventure-style wire wheels, decent looks and BMW-rivalling quality and refinement. All that makes it’s price seem fair in the context of its rivals. No bargain, maybe, but it’s worth its flagship price.

Insurance group: 17 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 4 out of 5

Virtually everywhere you look on the Crosstourer there’s quality, sophistication or pleasing attention to detail. Apart from the DCT which is probably enough in itself to keep the gizmo geeks happy, the Crosstourer also boasts switchable traction control (which works by successively cutting the fuel injection AND closing the throttle butterflies), a slipper clutch plus Honda’s unique and sophisticated Combined ABS (C-ABS) brake system which both spreads braking forces between front and rear wheels and incorporates one of the most sophisticated anti-lock braking systems currently in motorcycling.

Owners' Reviews

11 owners have reviewed their HONDA CROSSTOURER 1200 (2012-on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your HONDA CROSSTOURER 1200 (2012-on)
Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 4.4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4.5 out of 5
Engine 4.9 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4.8 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 4.3 out of 5
5 out of 5

Just an excellent all round and distance bike. An engine that's brilliant to ride.

24 July 2015 by Ken B

Worst feature is weight. Best is the amazing engine and top notch Honda standards. Probably the best bike I've ever owned and I've owned dozens. Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
I would do a world tour on this bike. 300 plus miles a day in comfort with suitable breaks. Laps up the bumpy roads, gearbox (auto) is excellent on manual (extra foot changer fitted) and super lazy on auto. Brakes are excellent. Never faded. On second set of pads changed at 12000 approx. The bikes permanently fitted with panniers and any speed you wish is there. Totally stable in all the miles i've done so far. MPG is much better than the press have said - typically 220 to a tank. Only complaint is a slightly vague front end at low speeds. The more speed the more feel you get. You can outrun GS's on the straight but in the curves the CoG is too high for me to really find out if it can out turn them - my balls ain't big enough to find out!
Engine
5 out of 5
Pulls like a train. Super smooth with a hint of V4 vibe to remind you its there. Tireless and loads of torque and pulls from 500 rpm and just keeps going and going until your license is at risk. It's the engine that's the absolute star of this bike. If you love low torque, low revving power houses its for you.
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
Almost faultless. One fork seal failed (fixed FOC under warranty). One front caliper was dragging (slightly sticky piston possibly due to ingress of dirt). Everything is built like a Swiss watch. Fitted aftermarket Aluminium panniers - better built and better designed than Honda's flimsy offerings. Totally reliable.
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
Owner serviced so just my time. I use top oil, OEM filters and tyres of my choice. It's a little heavy on tyres - in 16000 miles it's on the 4th set. Pirelli's , Conti's and Bridgestones all around 4000 miles - its a torquey heavy bike. Best so far are Dunlop front an Avon rear heading for 6000+ miles.
Equipment
5 out of 5
I'd avoid the Honda luggage and buy top quality aluminium kit (I fitted German kit). Standard screen is surprisingly good. Tyre wear can be poor if you choose soft tyres. but that's the price of shaft drive and weight. If you can afford the bike just buy the tyres or twist the throttle more gently! Avon tyres are proving to be very good on the bike.
5 out of 5

08 June 2015 by Bampy

Best bike I have ever owned tried the KTM 1190, too buzzy, BMW R1200GS, too much hassle to get anywhere, Triumph Tiger Explorer, just a copy of the BMW. Then I stumbled across the Honda CT DCT. What a bike, I don't ever see me riding anything other... Read more than a DCT bike again, it is brilliant. It almost knows what gear you need to be in before you do. Then there's Honda's legendary reliability these engines have done 120k miles with no issues. Ever ridden or heard of a BMW, Ducati, Triumph or KTM doing that I didn't think so.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
A bit thirsty but then again I never got into biking to watch the fuel gauge I just did it for enjoyment
Equipment
5 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

Automatically better?

30 August 2013 by indyturner612

Tried one of these when looking at a dct VFR1200 as I had a manual version for a year. I was so impressed I bought one. I'm getting on a bit now and doing a lot of commuting I was getting bored of changing gear and this works brilliantly. They could... Read more have made this bike for me and I don't miss the gears one bit. I appreciate its not everyones cup of tea but thats another bonus - there arn't many about. Its expensive to buy but a 3 year warranty and a great trade in deal makes it reasonable value. I now find myself enjoying my rides more and the scenery, you see so much more at lower speeds. I am sure I will miss the sharpness and focussed nature of the vfr but for now there is not another bike I would rather have, at any money.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
4 out of 5

10k

16 May 2013 by plumber01

Ive had this for a year now, its a bit heavy, but Im not small so its not an issue, engine fantastic, I was two up with a 14 stone friend, and didnt even notice him.The suspension is far too soft and you need to wind it up to max, and with Michelin... Read more pilot 3 you can ride jsut as fast in the wet, I usually ride on the brisk side, it is stable lent over and I can keep up with super sports bikes fine 95% of the time , and I dont need to stop and stretch every half hour. I have taken it up a gravel road, traction makes it safe but I wouldnt want to chase a KTM in a hurry, its a big cuddly tourer that can shift if you feel like it, just wind up the front suspension first. I dont love it but it does the job well enough, I will probably get the KTM adventure next, but thats for the holigan in me rather than the crosstourer being bad at anything.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
5 out of 5
-
4 out of 5

Great bike

19 April 2013 by Anonymous

2000 miles now in all weathers, I have read all the good points and negative ones about the Crosstourer some of which may have a relevance. I sold my Gs Adventure for this bike and am not unhappy with my choice. Complaints about tank size are... Read more unfounded cos 21 litres ish is reasonable. yes I might miss 33 litres as per GSA but how far are you really going to ride before a break? the crosstourer engine is brilliant like many say tuned perfectly for the task, I rode the doner engine VFR1200 the other day for comparison and crosstourer again gets my vote for comfort acceleration and complete versatility. anywhere I might have taken my GS I would take the crosstourer very little off road probably. Fuel consumption can be quite good 50+ with some restraint but with such an amazing V4 engine I can see why initial reports said it was very thirsty, in my opinion that is unfounded. because the engine is so good it is easy to see why you could use more fuel, it is amazingly smooth very very quick if you want it to be triple figure speeds only a glimmer after 2nd gear I have heard!Oh yes you will use more fuel if you do this? but if you are riding fast on any big bike you will Use more fuel. Ridden fast and through the gears I still obtained over 190 miles to the tank. So to conclude the consumption section it is the right hand that determines, how hard you accelerate how fast you go. crosstourer weight 275kg also criticised but is weighed wet unlike other bikes. compared to GSA the crosstourer is still a heavy bike but the balance thankyou MR Honda is much better especialy when your paddling around. I dont particuarly like the top box and think Honda could have done better here as if extended with material lacks security, panniers are close fitting and good. original screen is abit of a joke I now have a Givi 19cm higher than original, some wind buffetting but then its not an RT or Trophy is it. Givi spotlights are great. My wife says it is more comfortable than than the GSA and easier to get on. If anybody actually reads all this hope it helps you make decison, and there is never any harm in taking different bikes out for a test ride, happy biking.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
4 out of 5

All Year Round

24 November 2012 by Anonymous

I've clocked up 3500 miles with daily use getting to work. Haven't been this confident in the wet since I rode the VFR750. Reckon I've made a wise choice ignoring the BMW biased press and got myself a quality built ride. Only gripe is seat... Read more geometry which would benefit from an extra inch adjacent to the tank, and the traction control has caught me out a few times when I've given it a handful ( learning curve ) . Test ride one it's worth a look : )

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
4 out of 5

You'll want one

24 August 2012 by CaptainSlow

I have just taken a Crosstourer our for a weekend, two up for about 300 miles on a variety of roads from tight single tracks to fast winding A roads. It is just awesome reasr suspension needed to be 4 of full. It just does everything so well You... Read more cant compare this with a BM as they are so very different but having ridden both for us two up with luggage all day comfort there is not much to beat it. It puts a smile on your face everytime which is why we ride - just have to sort out how to fund but it will be mine soon

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
3 out of 5

Confused

21 August 2012 by rugbybiker

Why buy a monster bike which can only manage 131mph when you can buy a usable bike like the Crossrunner for about £5k less which can do 145mph.Or are you just too lazy to amend yor mistakes? Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
3 out of 5
-
Engine
4 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
3 out of 5
-
Equipment
3 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

its great

14 June 2012 by R1KSU

I test rode this bike last week, and have to say its amazing ! My last bike was a FZ1 and I lowered the front sprocket by 2 teeth so it pulled really well, the crosstourer pulled better and accelerated faster I couldnt believe it.It pulls really... Read more well in top 70-100mph in about 4 seconds. It also goes round corners well, the seating position is perfect for me, sit up and beg, the screen stopped some wind as I took it upto an indicated 145 mph without being blown off it.So MCN got it wring when they said 131 mph. The seat is quite high, and it has a very nice exhaust noise, louder than I thought it would be. I would describe it as a wolf in sheeps clothing.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
3 out of 5
-
Equipment
5 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

Just do it

11 June 2012 by sportsboyuk

This is a much better bike than the BMW GS in many different ways try one you will see how good it is, forget the press get the feel of the bike yourself go to DOBLES HONDA CROYDON ASK FOR MIKE GET A DEAL ASAP. Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
Read all 11 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2012
Year discontinued -
New price £12,399
Used price £7,400 to £14,600
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 17 of 17
Annual road tax £59
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 127 bhp
Max torque 92.9 ft-lb
Top speed 131 mph
1/4-mile acceleration -
Average fuel consumption 39 mpg
Tank range 186 miles
Specification
Engine size 1237cc
Engine type Liquid-cooled, 6v DOHC, four stroke, 76º V4, fuel injection, 6 gears
Frame type Cast aluminium twin beam
Fuel capacity 21.5 litres
Seat height 850mm
Bike weight 275kg
Front suspension Preload and rebound
Rear suspension Preload and rebound
Front brake 2 x 310mm discs, four piston calipers, C-ABS
Rear brake 276mm disc with twin piston caliper, C-ABS
Front tyre size 110/80 x 19
Rear tyre size 150/70 x 17

History & Versions

Model history

2012: Model launched

Other versions

None

Photo Gallery

  • HONDA CROSSTOURER 1200  (2012-on)
  • HONDA CROSSTOURER 1200  (2012-on)
  • HONDA CROSSTOURER 1200  (2012-on)
  • HONDA CROSSTOURER 1200  (2012-on)
  • HONDA CROSSTOURER 1200  (2012-on)
  • HONDA CROSSTOURER 1200  (2012-on)
  • HONDA CROSSTOURER 1200  (2012-on)
  • HONDA CROSSTOURER 1200  (2012-on)
  • HONDA CROSSTOURER 1200  (2012-on)
  • HONDA CROSSTOURER 1200  (2012-on)
  • HONDA CROSSTOURER 1200  (2012-on)
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