Honda V4: tech details of the VFR1200 revealed

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The VFR1200 is set to take Honda into the next decade by attracting virtually every sort of rider – combining effortless touring ability, race-sharp handling and everyday practicality into a single package.   

Perhaps the biggest surprise is the bike’s clear position in Honda’s range. Far from superseding the Fireblade as an all-out sports tool as many have speculated, the new V4 is clearly set to take the place of the now-defunct Blackbird, offering bags of comfort as well as eyeball-popping performance. A second version will take the place of Honda’s long-lived Pan European, using the same chassis and engine but clothed in full touring bodywork.   

Here’s what we know about the tech behind the Honda V4: 

Honda V4 - shaft drive


Single-sided swingarm incorporates shaft-drive BMW-style for neatness and ease of maintenance. Using a shaft also confirms the new machine is no replacement for the firm’s flagship Fireblade sports bike.


Honda V4 - frame


Substantially engineered conventional beam frame hints at the massive performance to come from the V4 motor. This replaces the futuristic ‘hidden’ frame of the concept bike that first revealed the engine’s ‘V’.


Honda V4 - engine & gearbox

1200cc V4 is narrow enough to easily fit between the rider’s knees and has variable cylinder control. Performance from the all-new unit should be very impressive. The pic also shows a conventional gear lever, quashing any notion of Honda only using its new semi-
automatic system, although this may well be an option.


Honda V4 - bodywork


Swooping styling and the incorporation of ‘V’ motifs carry over from the V4 concept bike revealed in the autumn of 2008. The stubby nose and short side panels echo the manufacturer’s current Fireblade in design.

Ben Purvis

By Ben Purvis