Adventure bikes are moving into a new dimension this week - as MCN's first test of the Crosstourer proves. The new Honda brings V4 performance and sophisticated automatic transmission to the class for the first time - as well as sumptuous comfort and classy quality.
And, with other all-new adventure offerings such as Triumph's 1200 Explorer and Aprilia's Caponord just around the corner, it's clear that both BMW's strangle-hold on the class is over and there's now an adventure bike to suit virtually every taste and wallet.
When first shown as a prototype in 2010 it seemed the VFR1200F-based Crosstourer was yet another example of a manufacturer jumping on the popular adventure bike wagon.
The off-road-styled 'monster trailie' remains the only class with growing sales, which has prompted new offerings not just from Honda but also this year from Kawasaki (with its Versys 1000) and with Triumph and Aprilia.
But our first test in the hilly Tarragona region of Catalonia, south-west of Barcelona, proved the new Honda is much more than just a cynical gap-filling exercise. Not only is the VFR1200-derived V4 a class first - and perfect for the role - it brings a new level of touring performance and sophistication to the breed.