At the heart of the VFR1200F rests a light and compact 1237cc liquid-cooled 76-degree V-4 engine that draws directly from Honda's V-4
RC212V MotoGP technology. Mass centralization plays a key role throughout this design, and as a result the VFR1200F incorporates a
unique cylinder layout placing the rear two cylinders inboard in the center of the crankshaft, while the front cylinders are located
outboard. Such a configuration narrows the rear cylinder head substantially as well as the entire rear section of the engine, right at
the key rider/motorcycle interface--the seating area. Because the engine boasts remarkably slim dimensions, especially at the rear
cylinders--overall, it's more compact than the engine from the 781cc Interceptor--the entire chassis and seating area of this 1237cc
machine features a distinctly narrowed profile. These pronounced, wasp-waisted ergonomics allow the rider to sit down in the bike
rather than feeling perched atop the machine, and as another benefit the rider has a shorter reach down to the ground when bringing the
bike to a stop.
The VFR1200F engine also incorporates a special high-strength Symmetrically Coupled Phase-shift Crankshaft that features a 28-degree
crankpin offset that works in concert with the 76-degree Vee angle to essentially negate primary engine vibration for smooth running.
And because the powerplant now has perfect primary balance, the need for a balance shaft is eliminated, which allows for a more compact
engine and also yields a weight savings of nearly 3 pounds. To accentuate the V-4 feel of the VFR1200F, a unique ignition sequence of
104 degrees–256 degrees–104 degrees–256 degrees between cylinder firings highlights the distinctive VFR beat. Another design element
that adds to the VFR1200F's distinctive feel can be found in the exhaust system: note that the head pipes for the two front cylinders
carry a substantially longer length than the headers for the rear cylinders, a Honda first. This asymmetrical pipe length alters the
tuning of the exhaust pulses to create a unique power delivery, an intriguing blend of V-4 torque and aggressive in-line rush. And make
no mistake: the VFR1200F delivers Honda's famous V-4 power in spades, as more than 90 percent of peak engine torque kicks in at a mere
4000 rpm, giving this machine incredible roll-on acceleration in every gear.
A great deal of credit for the VFR1200F's compact engine size and prodigious power output must go to the Unicam valvetrain, a Honda-
exclusive system that first debuted on the championship-winning CRF450R motocross machine. A single overhead camshaft directly actuates
two intake valves per cylinder while integrating roller rocker arms with screw-type adjusters to actuate two exhaust valves per
cylinder. This Unicam technology saves weight and space over a comparable dual-overhead-camshaft design while still maintaining a five
-digit redline of 10,200 rpm. As another benefit, this Unicam setup allows for a very flat combustion chamber for a quicker, more
Another concept carried over from MotoGP design and first offered to the public with Honda's CRF® motocross line is the application
of a sealed crankcase system that maintains a mild negative pressure to minimize mechanical pumping or "windage" losses. This system
also provides the advantages of a dry sump design (decreased oil churning losses) without the separate oil tank. A scavenging pump
pulls oil and gasses out of the crank chamber, and this reduction in atmospheric pressure reduces resistance as the reciprocating
engine elements--crankshaft, pistons and connecting rods--move. Net result: extra power, enhanced throttle response and improved fuel
efficiency. The VFR1200F also incorporates a new, more sophisticated constant oil-pressure monitoring system that has the ability to
read a range of variations in oil pressure within a safe operating zone, not just report the presence of minimal oil pressure or no
The new VFR1200F sports another first for Honda among its numerous technical credentials; the use of a Throttle By Wire (TBW) system.
With the throttle valve layout in the Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI) system now freed from the restrictions imposed by a
mechanically linked/actuated throttle-grip system, the VFR1200F's TBW setup can be made more compact and lighter than conventional
cable-operated systems. In addition, this setup incorporates an Electronic Control Unit (ECU) to process information from rider
throttle control input, engine speed via a crankshaft position sensor, manifold absolute pressure, gear position, vehicle speed, engine
coolant and intake air temperatures, and throttle position help the TBW system to return an even more accurate throttle response in a
manner that is more sensitive to rider inputs--large or small--compared to a mechanically linked system, yet with fuel delivery that is
smoother and more precise than would be otherwise possible.
The end benefit for the rider is an unprecedented level of control and feel through the throttle, a true next-generation, more direct
level of connectivity with the machine that heightens the riding experience. In addition, the VFR1200F's TBW system eliminates the need
for the Idle Air Control Valve used in other Honda PGM-FI systems to deliver a consistent idle; TBW simply delivers more sensitive and
accurate fuel metering response to rider input compared to mechanically linked PGM-F1 systems regardless of riding conditions. From
where the rider sits, TBW works virtually invisibly to improve engine responsiveness and operation, provide a more linear and well-
connected throttle feeling, and also improve fuel efficiency.
As befitting of a super-sophisticated sport machine, the VFR1200F can be had with a standard six-speed manual gearbox or with the
option of an impressively new piece of technology for motorcycles, Honda's Dual Clutch Transmission, the world's first fully automatic
motorcycle dual clutch transmission for large-displacement sport bikes. This new transmission offers riders the enjoyment of full sport
riding capabilities along with easy and seamless operation, while also delivering fuel efficiency equal to or better than a
conventional manual transmission. To respond to rider demands throughout a broad range of conditions and situations, the transmission
offers three operating modes: two full-auto modes (D-mode for regular operation and S-mode for sporty riding), and a six-speed gear-
select mode for full rider control via a paddle-shifter-type setup that delivers the same shifting response as a manual transmission.
For more details, see the attached technical description of this innovative Honda Dual Clutch Transmission.
In keeping with its serious sporting abilities, the conventional manual-shift VFR1200F comes equipped with a slipper clutch mechanism.
This system acts like other Honda slipper clutch systems to moderate the effect of deceleration torque (or "back torque") on the rear
wheel during aggressive corner entries with heavy engine braking, thereby allowing engine braking to slow the bike without causing the
rear tire to chatter. It's an elegantly simple way to lend the assistance of a slipper clutch to sport riders with a minimum of weight
Along with the VFR1200F's substantial sporting prowess come additional high-tech features that create a riding experience laden with
many sophisticated touches. Case in point: the VFR1200F incorporates four dampers within the engine and drivetrain to smooth power
delivery: a clutch damper, final damper, cam damper and tornado damper all work in concert to create smooth power delivery without
losing that connected feel between throttle and contact patch.