HONDA VFR1200F DCT (2010 - 2016) Review

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Annual servicing cost: £400
Power: 173 bhp
Seat height: Medium (32.1 in / 815 mm)
Weight: High (611 lbs / 277 kg)

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
4 out of 5 (4/5)

The ‘DCT’ bit of Honda’s new VFR1200F stands for ‘Ducal Clutch Transmission’, Honda’s name for it’s all-new, clutchless, semi-automatic transmission system which is so different it warrants a review all its own, and so impressive and revolutionary it heralds the start of an all-new technical era.

Ride quality & brakes

Next up: Engine
4 out of 5 (4/5)

The standard Honda VFR1200F’s handling could be best described as solid, stable and smooth, and the DCT version’s no different despite an extra 10kg. Though a big, heavy machine, the VFR1200F carries its weight low and carves bends predictably – just don’t expect lightweight sportsbike-style flickability.

Engine

Next up: Reliability
4 out of 5 (4/5)

The DCT’s V4 is the same as the standard VFR1200F’s – meaty, flexible, smooth and brisk. What’s new is the revolutionary transmission – two full auto modes and a ‘Tiptronic’-style push-button, clutchless manual option. All work brilliantly, seamlessly and astonishingly smoothly, so much so you’ll wonder why we ever put up with cable clutches and crude gearchange levers. On the downside, it’s a lot to get used to, arguably unnecessary and many actually like the finesse and involvement conventional clutch and gear levers give. 

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value
4 out of 5 (4/5)

No problems here with the new VFR11200F DCT. Paint finish is sublime, quality, as you’d expect from Honda, excellent. To early to pronounce on reliability and the sophisticated electronics on the DCT are a potential minefield, so beware.

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
4 out of 5 (4/5)

Whichever way you slice it, Honda’s new VFR1200F DCT isn’t cheap, but it’s technology is currently unique, works brilliantly and the base bike ain’t bad either. For a ground-breaking, super-effective, flagship superbike, the price seems to be the going rate these days. Find a Honda VFR1200F for sale.

Equipment

4 out of 5 (4/5)

The base VFR1200F is slick enough, but has been criticised for lacking the goodies many rivals boast, such as electric screens and suspension, on-board computers and so-on. The addition of DCT, however, truly sets it apart.

Specs

Engine size 1237cc
Engine type Liquid-cooled, 16v 76º V4, shaft drive
Frame type Aluminium twin spar
Fuel capacity 18.5 litres
Seat height 815mm
Bike weight 277kg
Front suspension 43mm usd forks, preload adjust
Rear suspension Monoshock with preload and rebound damping adjustment
Front brake 2 x 320mm discs, six-piston callipers with C-ABS
Rear brake 276mm disc, two-piston calliper, C-ABS
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 190/55 x 17

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption 42 mpg
Annual road tax £96
Annual service cost £400
New price -
Used price -
Insurance group 17 of 17
How much to insure?
Warranty term Three year unlimited mileage

Top speed & performance

Max power 173 bhp
Max torque 95 ft-lb
Top speed 165 mph
1/4 mile acceleration -
Tank range 140 miles

Model history & versions

Model history

2010: Honda VFR1200F DCT introduced

Other versions

Honda VFR1200F: standard version has conventional gearbox and costs around £1000 less.

Owners' reviews for the HONDA VFR1200F DCT (2010 - 2016)

7 owners have reviewed their HONDA VFR1200F DCT (2010 - 2016) 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 DCT (2010 - 2016)

Summary of owners' reviews

Overall rating: 4.3 out of 5 (4.3/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 4.7 out of 5 (4.7/5)
Engine: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Reliability & build quality: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Value vs rivals: 3.6 out of 5 (3.6/5)
Equipment: 3.9 out of 5 (3.9/5)
Annual servicing cost: £400
5 out of 5 Misunderstood Machine - Now a Cult Bike - Grab While You Can!
14 April 2021 by cowmando

Year: 2010

Annual servicing cost: £400

Build quality is outstanding, as good if not better than anything coming out its competitors. It is a Honda. Enough said. The attention to detail is beyond belief. Recently acquired a 2011 model registered in 2014. 23k KM on it. This was to fill in a regretful sale of a 6th Generation VFR800. Previous owner did wonderful thing in fresh pain-job and matched OEM side and top luggage. Unfortunately they hadn't ridden it enough and some major seals and gaskets had leaked, and sensors had died. But other than that bike was in great shape. Did a refresh added LSL Superbike bars, VARIO footpeg lowering kit (50mm), braided steel hose and aftermarket exhaust and now this bike is an absolute keeper. Ridiculous acceleration, buttery smooth gear shifts, now excellent ergonomics (I'm 1.78m and 95kg - yes I'm a middle aged pudgy dude). Some other reviewer mentioned how this bike has gained cult status, and I totally agree.At the same time, ridiculous braking. Like the best I've ever used (some 10 bikes in 29 years of riding). Not snatchy but confidence inspiring and even better after the installation of HEL braided steel hoses. Have not had ocaision to test the ABS though. But have had a few instances of hard braking. Brakes worked very well each time. Corbin seat sorted out the not so comfortable seat. Down sides.it drinks and likes to drink the good stuff( 98 RON). :'( getting about 15 km to 1 L on average, 17km to 1 L if careful with the wrist. Range isn't an issue because on long trips I normally stop at about 200km (just reaches reserve) to stretch and grab a drink. It is a fairing bike, PITA to work on. Taking off the plastics is about 40 mins the first time and less once you get used to it.1st gen DCT takes some getting used to. Resetting it after oil change seemed to help. Plus side is that throtle control is now better across all my rides.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Amazing stopping power for a heavy bike and a heavy dude. Confidence inspiring. Done 200km 2 up, non-stop, only needed to stop to hit the toilet. And for fuel. Really comfortable once the ergonomics were tweaked.

Engine 5 out of 5

Oddles of power. Smooth power delivery. 2 rider modes. Sports mode is scary. License in the wallet begins to get real hot each time sports mode is engaged. 0-100 kmh in less than 3 seconds (some website said). Personal experience, 0-120 kmh happens in a blink of an eye, faster and scarier in sports mode. 1st gen is snatchy at street speeds but is mitigated with good throttle control. Highway riding is an absolute pleasure. This bike is a mile muncher. Omnonomnomnom...

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

It is a Honda. Don't expect things to die that easily. Miniscule spots of corrosion that ACF 50 dealt with easily. As mentioned in the intro above, some gaskets and seals gave out but likely because bike was not ridden much. Super low mileage for a 6 year old bike when I acquired it. Some of the replacements were hard to come by and took up to 3 weeks to deliver from overseas (Japan/USA - local stockists suck). Suggestion, if you have this bike and can afford it, buy the two seal and gasket kits (A and B) just in case you might need to do a rebuild in 10 plus years or more.

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

Fuel consumption isn't ideal but then again for 140 horses at the rear wheel, I'm not complaining too much. Service intervals are ridiculous. Engine oil and and filter, every 8,000km. Clutch oil filter every 16,000km. Coolant flush every 3 years. Shaft oil every 2 years.

Equipment 5 out of 5

Honda fit and finish. To be expected as this was their flagship sports-tourer.Do either the heli-bars or handlebar conversion. Plus foot-peg lowering. Really transforms the ergos from good to outstanding. If you add the Corbin seat, you might be tempted to fall asleep because the bike is so comforable. Only my XT1200Z is more comfortable but that bike is a flying sofa.

Buying experience: Private sale. Regret not sending bike to my mechanic to spot the leaks but alas I bought it on impulse but on hindshight is alright. Bike is hard to come by.

4 out of 5 VFR1200X DCT
22 January 2021 by Bryan

Version: Crosstourer Highlander

Year: 2016

Would have given it a 5* but too high & heavy.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

I can ride further than on any other bike I have ridden & that includes most competition.

Engine 5 out of 5

Smooth & plenty of torque

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

No problems

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5

Automatic & shaft drive means low maintenance

Buying experience: Honda Dealership £8500

4 out of 5 Comfy sports bike - blisteringly fast
17 March 2020 by Alwyn McMath

Year: 2012

Very capable big sports bike that was sadly underrated at launch and only now seems to have attracted a cult following. The engine is characterful with immense power and the rest of the bike is also highly capable. It’s a comfy sport bike in my opinion. Or a really sporty tourer? In fact the comfort is probably the best of any bike I’ve had, and this is number 26! The fairing is astonishing, fairly discreet but really quiet and takes all the blast off. It makes a joke out of huge touring boats that still manage to leave you buffeted, no matter what screen setting you seem to have. Another great point is the ergos. I’m finding upright bikes kill my lower back. The Big VFR has a lovely position that lets you play at sports bike style riding, without excess weight on the wrists. And my back actually likes the slight stretch. The weight is an issue pushing it around but not So much on the move. Only in that it drinks fuel. I like the DCT but this first iteration is nothing like as refined as my DCT Africa twin. on the move it’s fine but round town is clunky and annoying. Using sport mode helps a bit. Overall I love it.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

The suspension is nicely set up for the road IMO. The forums rage with the usual ‘you gotta upgrade the rear shock’ talk. But compared to other stock bikes I’ve had it’s fine straight outta the box. The brakes are SUPERB. Really powerful and with good feel. As a bike sporty bike it’s happiest on A roads and not our ever declining back roads. Careful on the motorway as it’s barely trying at 100mph and it’s So tempting to go a bit crazy with the speeds. Sitting at 90 is truly effortless and as a big commuter I arrive fresh and entertained.

Engine 5 out of 5

Wow. This is the centrepiece of the bike. Despite being a big 1200, it begs to be thrashed and really goes when you find some room on the road. It never, ever feels stressed, just wants more all the way to the top. One downside is it only sounds good when you are beyond 7k with the taps open, then it really sings. At idle or a car park rev and it’s a bit embarrassing really. A sewing machine! Weird that the little VFR800 sounds so much better. But be patient because when you get it going you’ll think you’re a racer... As for pace, it’s about the same as an S1000XR, which is pretty damn fast. It’s easy to forget it’s 170bhp.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Beautifully put together. I’ve put a few thousand miles on mine now and it’s faultless. I do look after it but it’s a really solid feeling machine.

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

It likes a drink. I tend to get about 130 miles on the trip clock before the petrol gauge starts flickering. it’s famous for only holding 18litres and this is a bit meagre. Also seems to rip through tyres a bit. But it's a big heavy powerful sports bike that loves to be ragged, so you’re gonna pay a price.

Equipment 4 out of 5

I’ve given it a 4 because it has everything I want. This bike suffered at launch because gimmicks and riding modes and all that crap were just coming in and honda hadn’t done that. Now we have Apple car play on the new Africa twin and it has about 13 buttons on the LH switchgear. And people are moaning about that and wishing bikes were simple again. I would FAR rather have a sorted bike with good ergos and a characterful engine than 3 crap riding modes and a tft screen.

Buying experience: Bought from Earnie’s in Huddersfield. Fine.

5 out of 5
01 March 2016 by Steve

Year: 2012

Fantastic Bike, buying second hand offers great value for money. You would be hard pushed to buy a better bike.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 4 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5 VFR1200 FD
07 March 2011 by dicksale

Had my reservations about the Dual Clutch model, went on a reluctant test ride as the manual bike was in for a service. What can I say, I ended up buying the bike, absolutely brilliant has me grinning ear to ear everytime I go on it. My knees are not the best and having the Dual Clutch just makes everything effortless, but still rewarding. It maybe pricey, but look at he price of the Yamaha FJR and its getting really long in the tooth.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 4 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
4 out of 5 New Old Technology
04 June 2010 by GrasstrackForever

Hang on a moment its using technology thats been around for donkey's years in the car world. Don't get me wrong the whole love of a motorcycle is changing gears, blipping on downshifts etc but having ridden both machines I can see the attraction. Having spent over an hour filtering around the M25 I would have loved to have had the dual clutch version instead of manual. The dual clutch bike will certainly have its followers and I can see this becoming more commonplace in the motorcycling world. The tank range is slightly pathetic I can drain it in 90 miles, but I've also heard people achieving 150+.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 3 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
3 out of 5 boys toys
19 May 2010 by KJNASH2001JESS

do we really need this stuff on a road bike, isnt this and shouldnt this be kept on track, isnt it just more electronics that are gonna cost a bomb when it goes tits up,,, surely part of the love and enthusiasm for riding are changing gear when we choose to not when the bike thinks we need to , come on honda, spend time and money on a larger fuel tank for that real touring ability

Ride quality & brakes 3 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 1 out of 5
Equipment 1 out of 5
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