HONDA CROSSTOURER 1200 (2012 - 2021) Review
- Great V4 engine
- Long range comfort
- Automatic transmission
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£210|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
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.
- Latest news: Honda VFR models dropped from range
Sadly, the VFR800F, VFR800X Crossrunner and VFR1200X Crosstourer were all dropped from Honda's range with the introduction of Euro5 in 2021.
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
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.
EngineNext up: Reliability
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.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
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.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
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.
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.
|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|
|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|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||39 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£96|
|Annual service cost||£210|
|Used price||£5,000 - £15,000|
17 of 17
How much to insure?
|Warranty term||Two year unlimited mileage|
Top speed & performance
|Max power||127 bhp|
|Max torque||92.9 ft-lb|
|Top speed||131 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||-|
|Tank range||186 miles|
Model history & versions
2012: Model launched
Owners' reviews for the HONDA CROSSTOURER 1200 (2012 - 2021)
23 owners have reviewed their HONDA CROSSTOURER 1200 (2012 - 2021) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.
Summary of owners' reviews
|Ride quality & brakes:|
|Reliability & build quality:|
|Value vs rivals:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£210|
Bought this as a two up grand tourer, auto box makes riding in all conditions smooth and unflustered but it’s still a 1200 v4 so bang it into sport and take off. On one hand it’s heavy but when moving feels solid and secure, and it carries 2 + all your gear no problem.
Great build quality, easy to handle, fantastic engine
Buying experience: Great service from Padgetts of Batley
Annual servicing cost: £160
Spectacular V4 engine, huge torque and almost linear power delivery. Excellent riding position, seat is rather firm. Not overloaded with electronic gimmicks so less to go wrong. It's a very well balanced bike to ride but can feel heavy to move around in the garage.
The brakes are very good and progressive, the standard suspension set up needs some adjustments to fine tune it to a riders preference. It's a very easy bike to ride and I have done 350 miles days with ease.
The engine is phenomenal, however the throttle is a little sensitive at low speed and can feel snatchy. Reducing the play in the cable helps. MPG is better on a long run, 50+mpg, but only 43mpg-ish if just pottering around. It revs cleanly to the red line and gets there very quickly, but it's got so much torque you hardly ever need to even approach it. It will out accelerate most supercars with ease.
It's a Honda, reliability is not an issue. Build and finish are excellent. The Honda luggage is light but easily marked.
I use an independent workshop for servicing, can't comment on Honda pricing. Having spoken to other owners the major service at 32000 miles is £560 if carried out by a main dealer.
It's not got much, which is what I like about it. ABS and traction control work well. The height adjustable screen is easy to use, a centre stand is a useful option. Five stage heated grips are okay but not the hottest. The headlight is the best I have ever experienced on a motorbike and improved further by replacing the standard bulb with a high performance one from Osram or Philips. Engine bars and fog lights are standard on the Highlander but a worthwhile option on the standard bike.
Buying experience: I bought my bike from an independent dealer who were great to deal with. I paid the advertised price of £10,000 in February 2019, it was 16 months old with 3000 miles on the clock. I negotiated a better price on the bike I traded in than was initially offered so I was quite happy.
Annual servicing cost: £150
Engine is brilliant. Handling good Bloody heavy. And top heavy. Good job I'm 6 Foot 7, but still worries me when I stop. I intend to get a custom seat. The original one tips me towards the tank where it's only a few inches wide.
At its best anywhere on a road, but a bit wide in traffic. I've done a couple of hours without too much discomfort.
I've got Givi Luggage on mine. Didn't like the look(or what I heard ),about the Honda stuff. I've put everything on it to bring it up to Highlander Spec.+ Pirelli seem ok.
Buying experience: Dealer used. Paid £6750 3 years ago.
Annual servicing cost: £250
Luggage poor quality and size. Most uncomfortable Honda I have ever owned out 6.
Seat not comfortable on long hauls. Power delivery good. Honda have really good brakes
Superb V4 motor
Top box cracking at corners and Honda refused warranty claim within 4 year warranty despite my suppying dealer saying they were faulty. Not impressed. No more Honda for me.
Took out a service agreement with dealer. Worked well.
See previous comments. Added a hugger and front deflector. Would benefit from cruise control. Trying to compete with BMW GS but has a long way to go to get near it.
Buying experience: Dealer. HUNTS of Manchester. Excellent dealer. Had 3 new bikes off them to date.
Annual servicing cost: £400
Bought from a dealer in 2013, stolen in 2015. (Thieves broke into my house when I was away stole keys & all paperwork....🤬) Best features are the engine/power delivery, build quality, ease of riding, sound & comfort.Worst features are the weight & fuel consumption.
In a word plush! Have never ridden in/driven a Bentley but think of the Crosstourer is a two wheeled equivalent. A very comfortable beast! Toured France for 2 weeks covering +2k miles, with a pillion & fully loaded. It was absolutely brilliant, no issues & could not fault. Suspension & brakes were perfect.
Loved the turbine like, immense smooth power...pretty addictive particularly when the VTEC kicked in. Very conscious that the bike could be a license loser, definitely a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
Oozes quality. Exceptional build quality & reliability. No issues in the 2 yrs of ownership
Quite thirsty, averaging between 35 - 42mpg dependent on riding style.
Sounds dull but the screen/aerodynamics. Have never ridden a bike with such a relatively small screen but is almost a work of genius. I’m tall, v.tall for a m’bike ride, but the combination of front end ‘styling’ & screen creates such a clean air flow (for me) that cruising a high speed was no issue. Coming from a Tiger 955i (admittedly a v.low baseline) it was a breath of fresh air....literally!Standard plastic panniers scratch easily, didn’t think they would be up to the life of touring but were remarkable durable in my experience.
Buying experience: Dealer. 1st Line Motorcycles in North Finchley, London. They were really good, can recommend.
Good but not exceptional. Give me my 2009 Varadero 1000XLV anytime.
I find it the most uncomfortable Honda I have owned out of 6 from new bikes. Seat is rubbish.
Luggage is not the best and cracks on boxes accepted by dealer but not by Honda under warranty.
Buying experience: Hunts if Manchester spot on
Version: Highlander DCT
Annual servicing cost: £200
Needs modifications to fit. I am 5'10" and 90kg. Needed the lower seat option and adjustable foot-pegs to get both feet flat on the ground. It is a heavy bike, top heavy when pushing it around. Needs a good heave to get on the center stand. must take all luggage off to achieve this. I would recommend it to someone in my circumstances; it's definitely not a commuter, the DCT doesn't like dribbling through traffic, shunts a bit in drive but you can always manually select the gears by switches. Drive mode changes gear too early but sport mode is perfect. What really annoys me is that motorcycle publications don't feature it in comparison tests as cheaper option to BMW, Ducatti, KTM, Suzuki, Kawasaki and the like. Or even it's own stablemate the Africa Twin. WHY!
After 12,000 miles the rear brake has only 10% wear. I will get the front pads replaced after this season (if we get one!) and better brake lines to give a little more bite. Front pre-load tweaked up a bit to reduce dive under braking. Highlander pack a must. Very good value.
Smooth and powerful. Pulls like a train.
Only thing which was replaced under warranty was floppy gear selector switch (for DCT) on right handlebar. OE tyres lasted for 8,200 miles.
My son is a Honda UK mechanic so covers that. I only have to purchase consumables.
Continental tyres, Contitrailattack 2 suit it better than OE items. Much better in the rain. I have used it extensively on solo continental trips in complete 500 miles a day comfort. I am 5'10" and 90kg. Needed the lower seat option and adjustable foot-pegs to get both feet flat on the ground. It is a heavy bike, top heavy when pushing it around. Hugger, Fender extender and radiator grill all effective accessories.
Buying experience: Very good value. I bought it with £1,000 dealer discount, a good trade in on my CBR600, on a 3 year PCP 0% deal and paid the balance to keep it.
Annual servicing cost: £160
The bike is a great all rounder. Very user friendly for its size and comfortable on long journeys. Tank distance good. Need to be careful when manoeuvring with engine off as it can be heavy.
I'm not a Valentino on the bike, and didn't buy it for outright speed. The bike is fast when cranked up. However bike is at its best on A roads and pushing along. It is a good all rounder and you can easily ride for 3 hours plus if you have too. Pillion found bike comfortable and roomy, back box makes a big difference.
Engine is smooth and responsive at the same time. Great engine.
Build is typical Honda and reliability is typical Honda. Never had a problem
Need to go to my local Honda dealer who takes advantage of distance to next dealer. Next dealer is £145 and more friendly but a distance away.
Highlander is well equipped. Will change the tyres to Michelin Road Pilots when time comes. Best feature is the seating position.
Version: Highlander DCT
Handling Heavy and uncomfortable seat
I am 70 so probably 150 miles and have not had a pillion passenger on any distance more than a few miles
I have only had the bike for 7 months, so too early to comment
Thirsty on fuel
Tall screen & great handling so
Buying experience: excellent
Version: DCT standard
Annual servicing cost: £200
Simple and ease of riding for all day riding. Need a little investment to the screen to reduce wind resistance on upper body. DCT gearbox great around London commuting but must be careful of accidental lurching forward when gearing is engaged.
Smooth and quick
As all round year rider, cheaper than previous bikes
Got all I need
Buying experience: Had to go to several dealers to get best deal
Version: Highlander DCT
Annual servicing cost: £150
A fantastic tourer
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
A bit thirsty but then again I never got into biking to watch the fuel gauge I just did it for enjoyment
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 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.
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 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.
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 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.
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 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 : )
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 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
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?
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 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.
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.
I had a VFR1200, its a bit small if you have 34inch legs. If you want to go off road dont buy it, Its a leggy tourer, and in that context very good, engine is the best I have ever ridden, it leans over easily enough, has a good tank range, and is as comfortable as an armchair. Very stable at european motorway speeds, better after tightening up suspension. Test ride one, better, taller, smoother than VFR1200