Reviewer Photos & Videos
Brilliant balance between sport bike and touring bike .
I am 55 years old ,185cm tall ,100kg. I ride bikes since I know myself , and this one certainly is the best one i ever had. Original price was a bit high at 26.000$ ( but again so is the quality of this bike ) , but in 2016 I put a 16.700$ on the dealers table , and ride out with a brand new one ( 0km , with on road costs) . I did test ride it 2 years prior to purchase , and first impressions knocked me off . Smooth , well balanced so you don't feel its 267kg wet weight , comfortable , low down torque and endless power supply . I have it for ...3 years now , and unfortunately only 23.000km on the clock , as my work doesn't allow me to play some more....The journalists and original high price killed it , but it is even better buy as a second hand one. As every other bike , this one has a few downsides too....The most frequently mentioned one is that relatively small fuel tank . If you are really disciplined , it will do 330km out of one tank . But if you are going to ride it like my grandma , than don't by this bike , it is not for you.... 280 km is more realistic figure , but if you are getting exited you will be looking for petrol station at 200km. This doesn't bother me , as I prefer to stop and rest after 250-300km . This is not a touring bike, it is a sport touring bike with a heavy accent on sport. It can do touring too. I've done a few times 700-750km days with no problem . Far more comfortable than my previous GSX1400 ( more leg room , better seat ). Slightly forward position is not uncomfortable , and make a lot of sense when going fast. if you don't like it , a set of Helibars will make it properly upright . Factory panniers and top box are expensive , but top quality ( probably not big enough for 2 people on a long trip) , with neat attachment system ( no scaffolding ), they use original ignition key , and do work all the way up to 270km/h, no problems with stability there. Central stand is optional extra . On a bike like this it should really be standard. Factory tyres (first generation of Dunlop Road Smart )are rubbish. With them my traction control was interfering to often , when there was no reason for it. I thought it was the electronics that is not really good ( not the latest generation anyway ), but as soon as I put a set of Pirelli Diablo Rosso III , all the problems disappeared , and bikes handling is even better than it was . I haven't heard anything from the traction control ever since....Unless the front or rear wheel is in the air. Switch off the TC ( simply press the button on the fairing under the left handlebar) , and the Ducati Diavell will stay behind you at the lights , as your front wheel is slowly going up. So will the Fireblade . And that V8 Boss Hoss thing ....As it is a V4 it is very narrow bike so ,filtering is easy. It also has some serious ground clearance around the corners. On the edge of the tyre , it will still not touch the bitumen with the pegs . But if you are pushing it into the corner so hard that your suspension compress a bit , you will grind against the bitumen your central part of the exhaust under the engine on the right hand side ( just in front of the central stand mounting point, under the engine) , or the pivot point of your side stand on the left (where the overflow pipe from the tank is coming out under the engine). But you won't grind of your hero knobs of the pegs. As that is quite unpleasant ( grinding off a solid peace of metal , that has a tendency to lift of the wheels of the ground in the middle of the corner, and also would eventually make a hole in my exhaust...) , I changed the rear shock linkages and raise the rear end for 35mm. That gave me extra clearance , so no more grinding , sharpened up the steering , and even make the steering a bit lighter. It also effectively changed the rear spring ratio ( I didn't replace the spring , but the difference in length of the linkages effectively changed the force that actuate the shock ), so it is now a bit firmer on the back. Just as it should be . Front end was quite good from the factory , never touched it. Fairing...Works fantastic , on high speed extremely stable ( there are some spoiler wings hidden between two fairing layers on the front , on the both sides of the very effective front light), and no hot air blowing on your legs . Or cold .Seriously effective . But boy , is it complicated.... Stripping of the Fairing is a long and painful affair , don't even try if you don't know what are you doing , as you will brake it , guaranteed . Once you do know how to do it , it is OK, but it will take some extra time though . Everybody is saying that the engine is the highlight of the bike....I beg to defer . As god as the engine is , I still think that the best thing on the bike are the brakes . They are ferocious . Twin 320mm disks with 6 piston callipers , are capable of hurting your arms and elbows if you are not paying attention . Yes the front and rear are linked , but you will never feel it unless looking for it. Even then it is barely noticeable . I tried the brakes on some proper sport bikes , but as they are lighter , have a sharper geometry on the front end , and shorter wheelbase , they simply can't transfer the braking power from the disks and callipers to the front wheel tyre in full before the ABS interfere as the tyre is screaming for the grip. More weight on VFR means more downright force , means more friction .Low of physics . Simple. Savage brakes , complemented with a chasy that will allow for trail braking deep into the corner . Stability of that front end is never questioned , and combination of these two saved my bacon a few times...The bike is deceptively fast , often you are not aware of the speed that you are doing , and it is easy to misjudge the speed on the corner approach. Squeeze those brakes gently , and it will help the turn in. Squeeze them relatively hard while leaning into the corner , and they will wash out the speed , with the bike showing the tendency of getting upright....but it will stay on the corse as the speed is washed off , and its front end is completely unfazed with all that . Impressive stuff. 267kg on the paper looks heavy , but once rolling that weight disappears , and bike is extremely happy to do some spirited cornering. As a matter of the fact , it took me a while to get used to it and apply less input on the bars and bike in general , as I was unexpectedly a few times heading for the inside kerb , and had to correct my cornering lines. It is far more agile then the numbers would suggest . Fast long sweepers are just so effortless . Changing of the direction , or couple of tight S bends are all done easy. No wrestling here. Original exhaust was so quiet that it was difficult do hear the engine and do the gear downshifts. Fully opened aftermarket Bodis exhaust with double cans is mounted , together with the K& N air filter and Power Comander. Now properly noisy emitting that wonderful V4 growl , with extra 15 horse powers on the rear wheel( 160 ) .Shaft drive is a bonus regarding the maintenance , but is also a brilliantly "invisible" or non intruding. You would not notice the difference between this one or any other chain driven bike. Pillion is rewarded with big ,wide ,comfortable seat , and enough leg space ,but the seat is a bit slippery , so the missus is sometimes struggling to stay on board. Triboseat rubbery net on the rear seat , and top box with back rest sorted out that problem.... It is a gentleman express , comfortable , agile , deceptively fast , refined , smooth , extremely well finished and above anything , RELIABLE . There are better bikes out there. Better sport bikes, better touring bikes, naked ones ...etc. It is not the best one in any category. But it does so many things , so well , that it is over all , very hard to beat it. It does work for me , and many of my friends that tried it. Does not necessary mean it will work for you.....But it is well worth a try.
Purchased in September 2016.
Honda's VFR1200 DCT for Class, Reliability and Value .
I am 62 years of age, approx 5ft 6inchs in height and around 76 kilo's. Have been riding bikes since i was 17 years of age . So i am a short and getting a bit old around the edges . I have owned maybe 10 bikes over the years . Eg . Rocket 3, CBR 1100 Blackbird, CBR1000F and so on . This Honda VFR1200 DCT i bought approx 6months ago is by far the best Bike i have owned .
It had 48000 ks on the clock when i purchased it , very good condition for $6500 , with a top box and Panniers. This bike new in Australia back in 2010 would have cost me $25...
Great price big bang sports tourer
This is a amazing bike as other riders have said in these reviews, but my take on it is it's fantastic value second hand. It may not have cruise control or electronic suspension or mass sales figures but what it does have is a rock solid quality Honda engineering , when I first looked at this bike when they came out the price was breath taking in Australia around $26000 way out of my budget but now second hand you will get change out of $10000 for a good example. handling is superb
Power is nice finish is wow, done well and it is a rare beast...
Purchased in March 2019 for $4,500.00.
The reviewer stated that an incentive was offered for this review
mile munching thoroughbred.
Negative press reviews done it for the VFR 1200, after owning the bike for 3 years i can say its flawless on the open road, so stable and refined even at high speeds, the finish is sublime, i recently replaced the tyres with metzeler road tech 01, improved an almost perfect bike, almost as it is heavy, but briliantly balanced, iam 5ft 6 and 140 lb and manage no bother, couldnt think of a better bike, ive done 10,000 miles on mine, with no issue, my friends VFR 1200 has over 60,000 miles and hasnt missed a beat, you have to own a VFR 1200 to appreciate them. test rides dont do it justice.
Yes, the press killed this bike and it has not sold well. It has taken me 6 years of research to finally take the plunge. Bought a 2010 model with top box, panniers and only 6000 km for $10K in 2016 and it still had the original tyres on it. Yes the VFR1200 suffers from timing retardation in 1st and 2nd gears, this means you can’t get full acceleration no matter how hard you twist the throttle. Honda has engineered it so when the ecu is told via the gear positioning sensor that the bike is in 1st or 2nd gear, the ecu will restrict the engine ou...tput for safety sake. This causes the bike to be notchy and under powered. I bought a Bazzaz Z Bomb from the states which fools the ecu into believing that the bike is in 3rd gear when it is actually in 1st or 2nd and you have access to full horsepower which makes a significant difference, now it hammers. It’s not a Hayabusa or Fireblade beater in the horsepower stakes, I’ve had both, but in the right hands it can surprise a few people. My bike is dragging the side stand and gear lever through the corners and is solid as a rock. The fuel tank is small, I get about 250 km from the tank and the fuel light is blinking, on fill up is still has another 1 to 1.5 litres left and that’s OK by me. Everything else is fantastic and if you ride it hard it wil eat tyres. It’s a great bike, they’re cheap second hand and if you install a Bazazz Z-Bomb, $80 delivered from the U.S, you will have a capable sports tourer that can make you smile. It’s not an old man’s tourer by any stretch of the imagination.
Best Bike I've Ever Owned - In 53 Years Of Riding.
I was lucky enough to pick up a black 2013 VFR1200f in 2016 with only 1500 miles on it. (the odometer now reads over 12,000) Yes, it was a bit pricy ($12,000) but there won't be many more chances for me to do this sort of thing - I've been riding for 53 years, and you have to be thrifty on Social Security. At first I wondered what might be wrong with the bike, since the owner sold it so soon. Well, I've discovered - there's NOTHING wrong with this bike. This is the best bike I've ever owned, and I've owned a few. The previous owner had ...already installed the Heli bars, and the carbon fiber bits, and a raw-sounding Two Brothers carbon fiber muffler. The TB muffler was quickly replaced by a Delkevic, which sounds great - and I can get out of the neighborhood without everybody knowing about it. I don't drag my knees, so a Corban seat was next, and I softened the suspension a couple notches. The Michelin PR4's were next, and what a difference they made! Total confidence in the curves! Honda and I have a disagreement about color schemes - even in black I felt like I was in a carnival, so the swingarm and inner fairing are now flat black. The bike looks SO bad. With the (expensive, optional) center stand and flat black case sliders (for insurance and great looks) I'm about done. You wonder, how can something this beautiful be so fast! The marvel of an engine lets you lead a happy life between 2500 and 4000 rpms, (90% of the 90 ft-lbs of torque is available at 4000 r's) and 5,000 to 10,000 r's is a whole other universe completely, with the engine pulling harder and harder right to redline. Pure joy. The problem is that the touring crowd puts it down for being so small (585 lbs) and the sporty crowd puts it down for being so big. I guess it's kind of like me, defying categories and the status quo. I think this is the new UJM - the universal Japanese Motorcycle. Kudos, Honda ! I feel like a kid again. June 6th 2018 Update: Two years, 25,000 miles, and still on the honeymoon. You can't help but notice that everyone who reviews the VFR1200f gives it five-stars. The bike earns them. But in my (so far) two years and 25,000 miles, I have yet to see another VFR1200 on the road - That makes it kind of exclusive, I guess. I like that. No, it's not the fastest bike around. It's not a Hayabusa (thank God - what an ugly bike) or a Duck or that nasty BMW, but it's got nothing to be ashamed of: Torque in any gear is fabulous. Power is incredible from three grand to redline. The brakes are marvelous. Nothing else is as pretty. Nothing else sounds like it. And it'll go faster, lean farther and stop quicker than you'll ever need to. Except for a couple of nails in my tires, it's needed only scheduled maintenance - changes of liquids, inspection of brakes, etc. It's been about perfect. I guess I could complain about the capacity of the fuel tank, but still, gas mileage is the same as my Hyundai. Can't knock that. I will never sell this bike
Had the VFR1200F now for 3 years and have put on an additional 80000k's on it since I bought it second hand. This is the best performance, shaft driven, production bike in the world as far as I know. Ok, I know, the K1300 is competition but it felt good saying it. Ultra reliable. The low centre of gravity makes it solid on the highway but very flickable in the twisties, period. Have more confidence riding it than my CBR1000RR. Shaftdrive is an absolute gem and build quality is unsurpassed. Then there is the loads of linear torque on tap whenever you want. The press killed the bike when it came out in 2010 because it's neither a sports bike nor a regular tourer in their opinions. For everyday use it fits my need exactly.
Refined Finish Competence and Dynamics
The choice was easy once it was seen in the flesh as fit and finish is superb. The list of credentials as a Honda tech tour de force is unmistakable from total mechanical quietness smoothness and fierce performance to appease the most critical of riders with fearsome braking and chassis and handling dynamics to rival some sports bikes (of which I have owned) effortlessly within its three hundred kilometre tank range which is accompanied by excellent ergonomics. I am in my late sixties having owned over twenty six bikes in the last forty and this one will not be my last Honda.
One Very Well Sorted Bike
Just love it so far. Very nimble even with the weight. Very stable on rough back roads at speed even on gravel roads. Front forks could do with high speed compression adjustment. (Saving for that). Far better than BMW. Honda panniers too small, Hepco Becker good. Fitted
Front mudguard extension. Hellibars. Radiator guard. Bazbomb. Heated grips. Center stand. Hepco Becker flash top box and panniers. Aux power outlet. Not a beginners bike. But lovely to ride on good or poor roads out of town or in city. It is just a lovely thing .
In a word - outstanding.
I purchased a new VFR1200F (the manual transmission version) from my local Honda Dealer three months ago and even after such a short time of ownership, I can say without hesitation that this bike is, outstanding. Motorcycles have been my preferred mode of transportation for over thirty-five years now and in that time I have had the experience of owning and using fifteen bikes of different brands and categories. From a personal standpoint, I have to say that the VFR1200F is exceptional and far superior to any of those bikes. This motorcycle is a...joy to ride with a very light hydraulic clutch and quality switch gear. The six speed manual transmission has a smooth and positive feel when changing gears, even though it is coupled to a shaft drive which I have found to be flawless, with negligible backlash and absolutely no jacking effect at all. Other noteworthy aspects of the bike are the paintwork, finish and ergonomics which IMHO are second to none. On the road the bike feels solid and well planted in all types of weather conditions with excellent handling, very effective brakes and good quality suspension. Now for the most impressive component of this bike which is of course, that V4 engine. The motor is a gem. It produces phenomenal torque and power from very low in the rev range all the way through to the red line. This bike is deceptively powerful and very fast, and while it would not quite match the acceleration times of motorcycles like Suzuki’s Hayabusa and the litre sport bikes etc, it would not be very far behind any of them at all, which is quite an achievement considering that this bike also excels as a comfortable and competent sport tourer unlike the aforementioned missiles. An example of this is was when I recently did a 680 kilometre ride and arrived at my destination without the associated aches and pains I always suffered when riding my previous mount. For me, this bike is as close to perfect as it gets; it is powerful, comfortable, very capable and impeccably finished. What more could I possibly want? The quality, reliability,refinement and ease of operation that is so very typical of Honda. The only gripe I have is that for a bike with the design brief of having the capability of touring, a centrestand should be fiitted as standard equipment and not an optional extra.
The BEST All-Round Sportbike!!
Bought a new 2010 in summer 2011 on a dealer special. Previous bike was the VFR 800, which I loved. Well, guess what? I love the new VFR 1200 even more! The first thing I noticed about the 1200 was its solid feel on the road - it really absorbed the bumps well while maintaining strong handling. When I got on the highway, I opened the throttle up and felt the tremendous amount of torque, an immense improvement over the 800. This spring, I finally had time to take her on a longer ride - three days to New York State and Pennsylvania. The rid...ing was mainly single lane highway, with Interstate highways to and from those areas. The bike performed well in both areas - we rode around lots of curves, both tight and sweeping, and I felt very confident on the bike, even when the pavement got a little snakey and rough. It is a bigger bike, yet it could handle any of the curves as well as the smaller, lighter bike of my riding companion. On the interstates, it was a dream. There is no vibration through the bars, and very little rider fatigue overall, except my butt, which is prone to fatigue on any machine. As for the looks, I personally love it. Photos don't do it justice. You have to go see it to see the beauty in it. Its a much more sophisticated looking machine than a repli-racer, which suits me well, since I'm 41 now, and I don't feel like playing road racer hero anyway. The single-sided swingarm gives the rear an exceptional look, and much evolved from that of the previous generation 800. From the back, the tire/fender combination looks totally aggressive. You can see the quality in the paint as well - the best I have ever had on a bike. Even the side panniers were painted to perfection. I don't have any complaints at all. The ride is superb, the quality of build is superb, and the look of the bike is superb. It'll be in my stable forever! Excellent torque. Excellent road handling. Soaks up bumps so well that you don't even flinch. Excellent build quality and paint. I really doubt there is a higher quality bike out there! I'm seriously struggling to think of something. Perhaps a softer seat? I've never found an adequate seat on any bike, so it's hard to fault the bike!
Questions & Answers
I have Pirelli P4 tyres that need changing. I have no complaints with them but is there anything better that I should try based on your experience?
Hi Neil .
I am not a tyre expert but Pirelli tyres are one of the best . If you have no complaints with those tyres i would stick with them .
Safe and Happy Riding.. Russ
Oldbiker33, mentioned that he purchased the manual transmission version of the VFR1200f. Is the bike still sold with a conventional manual transmission?
The manual is the same as most other bikes. The DCT is the different one.
ProductReview.com.au has affiliate partnerships. These do not influence our content moderation policies in any way, though ProductReview.com.au may earn commissions for products/services purchased via affiliate links.