Yes, you’ve surely seen the stuff circulating in Europe about some official Honda photos of the much-speculated V5-powered replacement for the VFR coming in 2010, but these are actual shots of what is surely the U.S. version prototype undergoing field testing. Needless to say, the Honda personnel weren’t too happy about the bike being spotted, and they hurriedly covered it and rolled it up into a waiting box truck.
The new bike is said to be a sport-touring mount powered by a V4 engine with displacement around 1200cc. It is claimed to have variable cylinder technology, allowing it to “turn off” two cylinders (presumably the rear bank) while cruising in order to save fuel. European publications are claiming that the engine will have power “approaching 200 horsepower”, but considering Honda’s corporate philosophy and the intended market, we seriously doubt it.
Obvious in the photos is the shaft drive/single-sided swingarm combination, along with what looks to be a 6.00-inch-wide rear wheel. The bodywork looks to have a slightly unorthodox headlight up front, with the fairing having a stepped channel running up the side presumably to help with radiator heat evacuation and keep engine heat off the rider. The exhaust canister also has some unique styling, with dual exits coming out of the cone-shaped muffler. The aluminum perimeter frame obviously looks pretty beefy as well.
We’ll be posting more information as it becomes available. Stay tuned.