HONDA VFR1200F (2012-on) Review

Published: 01 June 2012

A good bike; but it's not a great one. And after all the hype that is not good enough

HONDA VFR1200F  (2012-on)

A good bike; but it's not a great one. And after all the hype that is not good enough

  • At a glance
  • 1237cc  -  160 bhp
  • 43 mpg  -  180 miles range
  • Medium seat height (815mm)
  • New: £12,999
    Used: £6,400 to £14,000 See all HONDA VFR1200Fs for sale

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

The VFR1200F remains a good, bordering on great bike. Its quality and finish is peerless; its refinement, ergonomics and ease-of-use impeccable. And the cherry on the top is that unique-sounding and fabulously grunty, flexible and, yes, fast V4. But it's not stunning, hasn't 'moved the game on' like an all-new Honda V4 probably should have done and it does have a few niggly faults. For 2012 the VFR gets updated styling, traction control, more torque, improved comfort and improved fuel range.

Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5

Steering is slow, as you'd expect from a bike weighing 267kg, but it tracks smoothly in the turns and feels stable. The sow seat is comfy and the riding position fairly neutral. You could easily ride for a full day without succumbing to sore wrists or arse.

Engine 5 out of 5

THe V4 engine is the centrepiece of the VFR. It has masses of grunt - more than the previous version and retains the characterful V4 bark from the exhaust. You barely need to take the engine above 4000rpm, but when you do its takes off, howling just like an RC30. The gearbox is among the slickest out there.

Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5

The finish on the VFR1200 is excellent - exactly what you'd expect from Honda. It comes with the usual, solid Honda reliability.

Insurance, running costs & value 2 out of 5

At over £12,000 the VFR1200F is hardly cheap and has been universally criticised. At this price it needs something which sets it quite apart from the rest of the competition, which the Honda lacks. More capable tourers can be had for a similar price.

Equipment 4 out of 5

For 2012 the big VFR gets Honda's Traction Control System, which is reassuring in tricky conditions with the grunty motor. Comes with ABS which gives a bit more confidence on the brakes and is a welcome safety net. For some strange reason Honda decided to switch the indicator toggle and horn round.

Owners' Reviews

3 owners have reviewed their HONDA VFR1200F (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 VFR1200F (2012-on)
Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 4.3 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4.7 out of 5
Engine 4.7 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4.3 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 4.3 out of 5
4 out of 5

I'll be buying another one!

30 July 2015 by Geoff Blackburn

3 years and 35,000 miles and I'm happy to say that this is probably the best bike I've ever owned. Yes, it could do with a little more tank range but who honestly travels for more than 150 miles between stops anyway? Besides, the K1300s has the... Read more same sort of range and this has never been criticised! The first thing to say is that the british bike press have an insistence on placing bikes in categories and true all rounders therefore suffer. This bike is not a tourer. It is not a sports bike. And if you place it in either of these categories it will suffer. However, I have very successfully used it for touring. And it has done pretty well on the track as well. It is also a very good commuter and despite being fairly heavy and long does pretty well in the twisties as well. Fuel economy can vary quite a lot. For commuting and short trips I tend to get around 35mpg whereas touring in Scotland or similar (few junctions and fast roads) I have seen 50mpg. Also the manual recommends using high octane (97-98) fuel and it does need it at Swiss Alp altitudes. 35,000 miles and it has proven to be ultra-reliable, never having a single issue other than wear and tear. Sorry, I lie; the headlight bulb blew at around 25k. As to be expected the suspension started to feel slightly soggy after about 30k and so I had decided to swap it for a new one. But then I changed my mind; I still love riding this bike, it does everything I want and more and why lose lots of money swapping it for the same bike? So instead I threw a grand at it in the way of Maxton suspension front and rear and now it's even better than it was before! The biggest issue this bike has had has been Honda's marketing before it was released. After all the send-up the world was expecting some form of huge evolution in motorcycle design and instead "all" we got was an extremely good motorcycle. I do a lot of miles and I've ridden / owned a lot of bikes and I'm going to keep this for another couple of years after which I'll probably swap it for a new VFR12. Are there better bikes for touring? Yes. Are there better bikes for skinny roads? Yes. Are there better bikes for quick B-road riding? Yes. But how many bikes are there that do it all as well as this one does whilst still remaining very reliable? MCN is correct, it isn't a great bike. It's a superb bike.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
Superb brakes and very good ride quality from the off. After 30k starting to go a little soggy. £1,000 of Maxton suspension and it handles superbly.
Engine
5 out of 5
Awesome, awesome, awesome. Definitely the best bit about this bike. When it comes to overtaking I've developed a little catchphrase ... "There's always room on the VFR!"
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
35k, nothing has gone wrong and it still looks virtually new.
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
£200 at up to 5k a year; more like £300 at the miles I do. A bit expensive to buy, but then again, quality costs!
Equipment
5 out of 5
Very good for what I want. Does it have tyre pressure sensors ... no, but I believe you should check them at least once a week anyway. Does it have "riding modes" ... no, but everyone I know who's bike does, doesn't use them anyway. I've got a perfectly good right hand thank you.
Buying experience

Excellent. Castle Motorcycles; known them a very long time and they always do their best to get me what I want.

5 out of 5

The fog has lifted

24 November 2012 by joebarton

Had a fjr1300 for the last 3 yrs,saw a fvr in carpark and was intrigued,booked a test drive,ordered a blue one and a week later delivered and out riding. Been riding for 40years and this bike is now top of my favourite list,goes where you point... Read more it(drops into corners nicely balanced etc),brakes progressive and ride comfortable short and long distance. As for fuel consumption,ive allways stopped aprox about every 150 miles,in experience driving many times from Plymouth to Dundee in a day(over22yrs) its the best way, The bikes not heavy,you should have tried kwaki 1300,felt like somebody had taken the wheels of the outriggers,the vfr is light,responsive answers all my riding habits(good and bad)without a grumble. I,m enjoying my riding again,after ten years of indeferent bikes Thanks Honda.

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

VFR1200F

21 June 2012 by Speighty

Only had the VFR12 for a few weeks and only covered about 800 miles so far so still early days, but absolutely loving the bike. The riding position is spot on (for me), the high speed stability is fantastic and I love the torque and sound of the... Read more engine. After reading many reviews abut the 'poor tank range' I'm not sure what the fuss is about. Fuel light comes on around 130 miles (depending on grin factor) and then there's still a 4.5 litres left, another 40 miles ? My bike came with the panniers/top box, h/grips and centre stand. If I had a moan, I did suffer numb bum the other day, but that was after a 240 mile day out. So at the moment it really does seem the best compromise bike I've ever owned and falls the sport side of it's sports/tourer tag. For the first time in many many years of biking, I believe this could be a 'keeper' for me.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
4 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
3 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
3 out of 5
-
Equipment
3 out of 5
-
Read all 3 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2012
Year discontinued -
New price £12,999
Used price £6,400 to £14,000
Warranty term Three year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group -
Annual road tax £81
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 160 bhp
Max torque 95 ft-lb
Top speed 155 mph
1/4-mile acceleration -
Average fuel consumption 43 mpg
Tank range 180 miles
Specification
Engine size 1237cc
Engine type 16v V4, six gears
Frame type Aluminium twin spar
Fuel capacity 19 litres
Seat height 815mm
Bike weight 267kg
Front suspension 43mm with preload adjustment
Rear suspension Pro-Link, adjustable preload and rebound
Front brake 320mm twin disc C-ABS
Rear brake 276mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70/17
Rear tyre size 190/55/17

History & Versions

Model history

2010 - model introduced

Other versions

Honda VFR1200F DCT

Photo Gallery

  • HONDA VFR1200F  (2012-on)
  • HONDA VFR1200F  (2012-on)
  • HONDA VFR1200F  (2012-on)
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