Due to the cancellation of the Cologne and Paris shows as a result of the economic crisis, American Honda officially unveiled the much-anticipated VFR1200F sport-tourer at its Torrance headquarters prior to its official introduction at the Tokyo Motor Show in late October. Although we've already discussed much of the bike's features in the previous issue, some new interesting new details were revealed.
The VFR1200F is powered by...
The VFR1200F is powered by an all-new 1237cc, 76-degree V-four engine, with the rear cylinders located inboard of the front cylinders on the crankshaft in order to reduce engine width (and thus, bike width between the rider's knees). The crankpin phasing is offset by 28 degrees to cancel out primary vibration. Throttle bodies use ride-by-wire electronic control, a first for Honda.
The VFR's seat utilizes a...
The VFR's seat utilizes a special hydro-forming technique on the foam that allows more complex shapes, as well as permitting the foam and seat cover to be fused together.
Honda Pro Arm single-sided...
Honda Pro Arm single-sided swingarm is integrated with a shaft drive system using an offset pivot point and sliding CV joint to reduce shaft jacking effect on the rear suspension.
The new VFR1200F is powered by a 1237cc, 76-degree V-four, with (as we stated in the last issue) the two rear cylinders located on the inner portion of the crankshaft and the two front cylinders framing them on each side-this narrows the middle of the bike between the rider's knees. Because of the unusual cylinder layout, the crankpin phasing is offset by 28 degrees in order to eliminate primary engine vibration in conjunction with the 76-degree Vee angle. Bore and stroke is a fairly oversquare 81 x 60mm setup. Assymetrical exhaust header lengths work with the cylinder phasing to help tune power characteristics, with an expected emphasis on low-end and midrange power production. The 44mm throttle bodies are controlled by a ride-by-wire engine management system, a first for Honda.
Borrowing technology from its motocross/off-road brethren, the VFR1200F engine uses the same Unicam setup for the top end valve actuation. Instead of two camshafts separately operating the intake and exhaust valves, the Unicam system uses a single overhead camshaft that drives both sets of valves via rocker arms. This allows the cylinder heads to be significantly smaller. There will be no evolution of the VTEC valve actuation system on the VFR (for this model year, at least).
In order to keep the engine...
In order to keep the engine heat off the rider's legs, Honda went with a "layer concept" fairing that uses an outer layer to feed the radiator exhaust heat outward instead of directly back on the rider. Six-piston Nissin calipers and 320mm discs handle braking responsibilities. Note the header pipes just in front of and below the engine-the different phasing required different length pipes to help tune the engine power characteristics.
As we revealed back in the previous issue, the VFR will be available in a version with the Dual Clutch automatic six-speed transmission as an option. By using a pair of clutches (one operating 1st, 3rd, and 5th gear, with the other operating 2nd, 4th, and 6th gear), the next gear can be already "pre-engaged", allowing no cut-off in power and seamless gearshifts. There will be a fully automatic mode (with two sub-modes, one for economy and the other for sport), and a semi-automatic mode that allows the rider to shift via paddles on the left handlebar. The manual shift version of the VFR will come equipped with a slipper clutch to ease downshifts. A hardcore supersport the VFR is not; the Dual Clutch transmission adds 22 pounds to an already heavy bike, with that version scaling in at 613 pounds full of fuel ready to ride.
The suspension consists of a 43mm inverted cartridge fork with spring preload and rebound damping adjustability, sporting 4.7 inches of travel, with the rear suspension handled by a single rear shock featuring remote spring preload adjustment along with rebound damping adjustability and 5.1 inches of travel. The Honda Pro Arm(r) single-sided swingarm is integrated with the shaft drive system utilizing an "offset pivot point and sliding constant-velocity joint for a new level of shaft-drive performance and control", according to Honda. The company's linked braking system (labeled the "Combined Braking System" or "CBS") with ABS will be standard on the VFR.
Price for the standard transmission VFR1200F has been set at $15,999; no price is yet available for the DCT model.