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 output 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 riding 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!