2010 Honda VFR1200: official photos leaked

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Here’s all the leaked shots of the 2010 Honda VFR1200, initially obtained by MCN. Since there’s been a lot of speculation about this bike and these shots are fairly low-res (click to enlarge them), we understand that many of you are skeptical, but check out the 2010 Honda VFR1200 spy photos for definitive proof that this exists. Expect Honda to officially launch the bike this fall, with sales following early in 2010.
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MCN goes on to report that the new VFR uses Honda’s Variable Cylinder
Management system, which can shut down the fuel supply to some of the
cylinders under low engine load conditions, such as cruising at a
steady speed on the highway. We’ve used that technology in cars like
the 2009 Honda Pilot and there found it to be virtually
undetectable in action, but have saw real improvements in fuel economy. It’s thought that the VFR system will shut down the rear
bank of cylinders, effectively turning it into a 600cc parallel-twin to
save fuel.

Speaking in 2007, Honda President Takeo Fukui said such an engine could improve fuel efficiency in a motorcycle by 30%.

That’s not to say that this isn’t a performance bike, just that it
offers the best of bother worlds; fuel economy and performance. MCN,
which has seen leaked specifications, says to expect close to 200bhp,
making this a rival for bikes like the Suzuki Hayabusa, but here with
shaft drive and a fairly upright riding position.

MCN via Two Wheels Blog

  • MTGR

    Who designs these things anymore? Even Yamaha, who had approached Italian levels of beauty, turned the R1 into an ugly blunt mess. Heck, even the new Monster has an over-proportioned tank and it is Italian! MVs and the 916 (and all those that copied it, including the 1098/1198)were all claimed to have been inspired by the female form. Have these new-gen designers ever seen a naked woman? Other than strippers who went too far with breast enhancement? There is a natural symmetry and proportion and it should be followed. Unless you are going for the square-edged origami look, I guess, but other that a couple KTMs I have never seen that work successfully on bikes either.

    • Steven Westhuizen

      Couldn’t agree more – I would buy a fireBLADE RR but for the BLUNT nose. Same goes for this profoundly disappointing VFR. What is it with Honda these days – i have no doubt that it is going to be an excellent piece of machinery but ignore aesthetics at your peril Honda!!Anyway, why prime us all with that incredibly sharp concept bike and then produce this back of a bus?

    • The Phantom

      Actually, the 916 was inspired by the Honda NR (which was first shown as a prototype in 1989 and went into production largely unchanged in 1992).

  • Tomahawk

    I think this bike looks exactly like it should. Not too fat, not too sporty. Not too conventional while not too futuristic. It has some unique elements too, like the front fairing in one piece with the fuel tank cover. I also find the headlight shape very original, I don’t know why the majority complains about it. It’s pretty agressive and original at the same time (at least it’s not dumb looking). The intakes for the ram-air, again, original detail.
    The only thing that bothers me is that from certain angles, the front end looks a bit too wide. Looks like a knights’ helmet.
    Overall i find the new design very modern and unique ,worthy of the name Honda. (at least Honda did not copy like BMW did with it’s last S 1000RR)

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      Those intakes are seriously cool. I like the front-on view of the bike the best. The one-piece tank cover/side fairing looks cool, but man I wouldn’t want to drop it.

      • Tomahawk

        True :). It must cost a fortune to replace and with all those angles, probably hard to repair too. Oh boy, I can’t wait to see the full tech details.

  • Tomahawk

    One more thing: ok that final exhaust might be a bit odd, but let’s be honest, what’s the first thing most of the bikers change when they get a new bike? Specially on a V4? So let’s just leave that as a minor detail. Cheers!

  • MTGR

    Two points Tomahawk. First, with advancing legislation and integrated engine management systems, replacing exhausts is becoming more difficult and expensive. If the reputed alternating cylinder firing is present it may be even more-so. And this on a machine that is likely to be very expensive already. Just because people are willing to change something does not make it okay to design it ugly from the start. And you could argue that if standard exhaust designs were not so ugly, many would leave them be as is anyway. Second, sometimes design elements are unique on a new model because no one dared put something that ugly into production before. Beauty is always in the eye of the beholder but to me the whole thing is bulbous and out of proportion with no flowing lines and hap-hazard shapes that seem to have no practical purpose or explanation.

  • Kerry

    I don’t get it. Honda builds an absolute stunner of a bike with the CBR1000. Beautiful, fast, minimalist – everything you want in a speed machine.

    Then they design this. Fairing is not bad but that tank/seat/tail has to go. Looks like a jacked up Gurney Gator from the handlebars back. Plus here is a great opportunity to show of the V-4 and there is a lot of slabsided thick plastic garbage. Whoever designed it should do the honorable thing and stop desigining motorcycles…..forever.

  • deckard

    Honda = Lame

    This guy designed the NR750? When was he castrated?

  • Mitch

    It’s hard to see, but there is line where the tank and side fairings meet – they are not one contiguous piece.

    I think it’s exciting the way designers are exploring new shapes. Sometimes it doesn’t pan out (DN-01) but I think it works here. I’m also waiting for some real paint and better pictures to surface. I also hated the new 1000RR, but then it came around on me in a big way.

  • Dan

    NR750 was not the name of the bike, it was just called the NR.

    I like it, I’d love to see them make a sporty, lower capacity version. I’d consider buying this bike.

  • hjworton

    Remember when the Ducati 999 first surfaced ? Everyone hated it. The feeling these days is that it was ahead of its time and it has not really dated. You may or may not agree with that. The point is that when something quite different comes out – in terms of motorcycles at least – most people are up in arms. Motorcyclists are quite conservative when it comes to buying bikes – there is a lot of resistance to change. At the moment all we have seen are a few spy shots/blurry pics of the bike. When it is revealed for real we will get a proper chance to tell what it is all about. Personally, I do think it surprising that it resembles a BMW, but the idea of a 1200cc V4 is exciting. Give ‘em a chance.

  • Tomahawk

    I really don’t get it, where do you see any detail that resembles BMW?? I mean, beside the shaft, any other design detail, because I really can’t see any!

    • http://cohobot.blogspot.com/ coho

      There is no specific design detail that looks like it was lifted off a BMW.

      Doesn’t change the fact that the first thing that came to my mind when I saw these pictures was K1200GT.

      • Tomahawk

        So i guess that makes it a smart design, doesn’t it? To be able to place a certain product into a specific market segment, without copying any competitor. Brilliant!

  • http://ridethetorquecurve.blogspot.com hoyt

    pictures rarely do a bike justice (pro or con)

    Glad to see the 999 getting credit. Not everyone hated it, although the stock exhaust was disliked the most

  • http://matthewabate.wordpress.com Matthew

    I think I like this design, but I’ll reserve judgement until the high res images are out. My main issue is that I want a smaller sport touring bike. I’m not into all these huge capacities coming out lately.

    • Tomahawk

      Maybe this is the SuperVFR and right after it’s launch, Honda will come up with a MiniVFR :D

  • drjohndee

    Looks fine to me. It’s in the same bracket as the Hayabusa, ZZR1400, K1300S and the current Honda Blackbird and none of those bikes is particularly sylph-like or elegant-looking. Hyperbikes need big tanks, big fairings and big seats.

    The exhaust is ugly but it’s getting harder and harder to make em look neat.

    To my eyes Honda have never designed the prettiest bikes compared with Yamaha and Kawasaki (leaving the Italians out of it — that wouldn’t be fair!). Most of their best designs have a certain chunky functionality about them.

    And to Dan, Matthew etc, I think they’ll definitely make a smaller-capacity version if this is a success (maybe even if it’s not). I can’t see them abandoning a market segment they’ve spent so long nurturing with the VFR and essentially handing it to BMW.

  • http://sr500project.blogspot.com/ anders

    It looks very sculptural, so I am sure its going to look very interesting in real life. I think the front view is cool. Unique character, but with hertiage from the ‘stubby-nosed’ VFR800 and the latest CBR1000. Honda deserve credit for trying to create something unique. I like it!

  • area_educator

    I think it looks fine.

    Being shaft-drive, what does this bike mean for the future of the ST/Pan?

  • http://twitter.com/greatistheworld will

    I think the design itself is fine, it just looks like the fat aunt of the V4 concept. And I disagree that sport tourers have to be somewhat obese– the Triumph Sprint looks nice and knifelike.

    To clarify, HFL staff, is this supposed to be the final product of the V4 concept, or is this a new language for V4 bikes…? Because the concept was made to be a lithe and taut as possible. This hardly translates the same spirit.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      The final product. You’ll see it in showrooms Q1 2010.

    • drjohndee

      ‘I disagree that sport tourers have to be somewhat obese– the Triumph Sprint looks nice and knifelike.’

      http://www.triumph.co.uk/uk/2009%20Triumph%20Sprint%20ST_9372.aspx

      Well, I don’t think it looks any more ‘knifelike’ than the Honda [b]in photographs[/b] although it is a great-looking bike — we should probably all wait to see this (or any) bike in person before making judgements about its appearance. Many 3D designs, surprisingly, don’t work properly in 2D

  • kawalaser

    I just don’t understand why they decided to ruin the clean lines of that SSSA rear wheel with a gigantic muffler.

    Am I the only one who thinks they should’ve kept twin undertail exhaust?

  • http://setthemfree.tumblr.com Sasha Pave

    I’m down with the design minus the muffler.

    I can see that Honda is certainly targeting an older BMW demographic with this beast. I hope it has all the bells and whistles required to compete. I’d like to see stuff like electronically adjustable suspension, tire pressure monitoring, keyless ignition, and adjustable ergos. One can dream :)

  • MTGR

    True, some designs work better in person, like the new Monsters and the 999. But you can’t argue that 99.9% of Duck fans find the 1098/1198 better looking than the 999 both in person and in photos. So that is not really an excuse, is it? Good designs should be able to cross-over mediums. Personally, I still don’t like the CBR1000, in person or photos, either. Again, just being different is not the same thing as being fresh, new, or desireable. For example, I do like the Moto Guzzi Griso, which is definitely different and when released was not even my type of bike. So it is possible. If you like this Honda-MW, great, go pay a fortune for it and stop trying to defend it.

  • Redneck

    Let’s get things straight here: anyone who doesn’t like this bike, is a retard! Ok? :))

    • david

      its a crackin bike ,, I just bought one :-)

  • MTGR

    Ahh, rednecks -”your opinion is wrong and mine is right or I will resort to personal insults” – gotta love em!

  • vic

    the curent vfr looks more modern..but then again..this is much more purposeful..this is meant to be a sporty-tourer..not a sportsbike..there is less design freedom .remember this is a concept bike..i like the fact that it has a continuous line from the tank to the fairings but not very practical..dammit that vfr owner was right..bastard

  • roboftheyukon

    And to think I was putting off buying a new sports tourer waiting for…this? In typical Honda fashion, I’m sure it will be a very competent machine, but I’m glad I didn’t wait and instead have been loving my FJR…

    • Tomahawk

      Your FJR is ancient technology next to this wonderful new Honda. :D

      • roboftheyukon

        He, he, I knew I was setting myself up for this type of comment. Before the FJR, I had…gasp…a cruiser. What really matters is that we’re out there on whatever bike we have, enjoying the ride… Everyone is different so it’s good we have so many different bikes too, eh?

        • roboftheyukon

          Oh, and in the spirit of a good ribbing…looks like Honda has copied Yamaha’s 2009 design for the R1…I mean, just look at that two-layered fairing? But I do think Honda’s toying with us a bit…I don’t think this is the “final product”; I think they have a better looking fairing in the works…this is just a marketing “shot across the bow” to test the waters and gauge public reaction.

        • Tomahawk

          “What really matters is that we’re out there on whatever bike we have, enjoying the ride…” I was just a bit mean there but seriously, that’s all that matters.

  • Oscar

    Wow, it’s about time! How long have VFR and Blackbird replacement rumors been rolling around the internet?

    I’d love to own one, but I’m sure it’ll be out of my league.

  • Ken

    The Blackbird is bland while the Busa and ZZR are eyesores. Can’t recall anyone having a jostle over the ST4 either. Fortune cookie exhaust aside, this looks like a step in the right direction.

    For reference, a VFR and one of the handsomest of Hondas:

    http://pages.cs.wisc.edu/~john/vfr/specs/91-vfr750f.html

  • http://www.bend.gr odysseas

    Yes it looks like a bmw with genes from a cbr100.
    I guess they said that if bmw decided to fight them at their own game, they would do the same…

    Would be interesting to see a side to side comparison of these photos with the photos of the prototype v4 honda we saw last year to see the evolution of the design from prototype to final product…

  • chad

    I am a ten year VFR rider. For the last 6 years, MCN has published “Spy” photos of the new VFR. One year it was a 1000cc V5, another it was 1200CC. Now it is a shaft drive?

    I hope to see a new VFR as after 7 years of no updates it is badly in need of a new generation.

    Still, I will be believe it when I see it. MCN (in the UK, not the US version) is as bad as the National Iquirer.

    • Tomahawk

      Chad, I understand your frustration but this time is the real deal. 100%

  • Ben

    I’m interested. We’ll have to see, though. At least a 1200 could have marginal justification for the bloated mess the current VFR is. :P

  • geonerd

    I don’t give a flying fleep about this bike. But the fact that they are working on a large displacement V4 is interesting. RVF anyone?

  • http://cynic13th.livejournal.com/ Cynic

    I still think it’s fugly. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but this huge sports tourer wasn’t it. Every other sports tourer I can think of looks better. I like the idea of the gas savings though, hopefully it’s smoother than the vtec stuff that a lot of people hate.

  • Mitch

    Something else I thought of – please give riders two or so extra connectors off the wiring harness for accessories. It adds pennies to the cost, and honestly a lot of customers are going to run GPS, heated grips, phone, etc. through it.

    • Al

      Leave the GPS and Phone at home, no radio or com systems. Don’t you get enough of that crap at work and home, the bike is my place to “Unplug”.

      Quote: Something else I thought of – please give riders two or so extra connectors off the wiring harness for accessories. It adds pennies to the cost, and honestly a lot of customers are going to run GPS, heated grips, phone, etc. through it.

      Mitch | June 26, 2009 2:16 PM | Reply

  • Mike

    Cynic is spot on. I’m also disappointed with the bloat of the new VFR.

    The VFR1200 cannot be called “sports-tourer”! A machine of this size and heft, with shaft drive no less, is a touring bike.

    Did Honda really think that VFR fans wanted an ST1300 with a V4 engine? Did Honda assume that FJR and Hayabusa-lovers would downsize 100cc to get the latest Honda offering? Yippee. Autobahn racers may have another rocket ship to choose from, but I am simply not interested. A lighter, updated 800cc V4 would have been much more practical and exciting for the vast majority of us. Let’s hope Honda introduces a new middleweight VFR. Bring back the 5th gen VFRs!!!

    • http://cohobot.blogspot.com/ coho

      The ST1100/1300 already had/has a V4.

    • http://www.iww.se/v65 Robert_Swe

      Just a short comment to Mike. You said: “The VFR1200 cannot be called “sports-tourer”! A machine of this size and heft, with shaft drive no less, is a touring bike.”

      There is nothing that says that a must have a greasy chain to be called a sport-tourer, look at the BMW HP2 Sport or the Moto Guzzi MGS-01 Corsa… I wouldn’t call those bikes tourers.

      The only reasons for bikes to have chain drive is:
      a. For easy gear change for different tracks, but now are we talking racebikes or race replicas such as the Fireblade.
      b. To keep down the production costs.
      c. To keep up the ownership costs.
      d. ??
      e. ???
      f. ????

      Then again, these pics of the VFR1200 are ugly as hell. I just hope it’s a masked prototype. I guess we’ll see in time. I liked the pics that MCN showed some time ago of a VFR1000 F/GT V5, but it sadly it seems that was just Photoshoped.

      • Mike

        To Robert_Swe:

        the overwhelming reason to go with a chain: WEIGHT.

        If you’re touring, weight doesn’t matter much, so a clean sealed shaft drive is a nice option. If you’re attempting anything requiring high performance, however, then weight is the enemy. No competitive sports bikes can afford the weight of a shaft drive, period.

        and saving $ isn’t a bad thing, either.

  • David

    I Sport Tour and this bike and most all of the current models have forgotten what Sport Touring really is about. I have owned seven VFR’s from the first model through 800 and enjoyed them all. But all the Tech is just not needed. Too expensive to insure, maintain to high mileage, tire costs on and on. The over abundance of tech holds not real value save entertainment. Don’t get me wrong I am impressed with all of it but getting back to the basics is not a bad thing either.

    Example: Look how long the Kawasaki Concours was popular, old tech, cheap price, full of warts. But big fun, cheap maintenance, easy to fix and stone cold reliability. It was the last bastion of pure Sport Touring fun and I enjoyed mine to over 100K.

    How many have ridden a bike over 100K in 12 months or five years or in your life for that matter. We all have our own perspectives, I like to ride more than be entertained by tech.

    Cheers,

    David

  • Tomahawk

    For all you disappointed guys, what on earth were you expecting this bike to look like? Ok, it may have some weird details, it may not be the best looking bike, but definitly looks more than ok. What’s so wrong about it? Have i lost all my senses?

  • Mike

    @ coho: Indeed, the ST1100/ST1300 “Pan-European” does indeed have a V4.

    I mistyped my prior post — i intended to write “…_another_ ST1300…” My point is that customers already have plenty of heavy/large tourers from which to choose, including Honda’s own ST series. Touring riders weren’t demanding a new large V-4 engine. So it is puzzling to see Honda put forth the effort to make a VFR that appears to weigh nearly as much as the ST1300 (>600 pounds), only a bit more aggressive.

    What touring rider wants a 200 HP PanEuropean with a less comfortable riding position and fewer storage options?

    What open-class Honda liter+ superbike fan would expect the VFR to eclipse the performance of a Hayabusa? Would it not require a 1300cc engine with chain drive and aeodynamics that look the part?

    What current/former VFR rider wants a heavier machine? Or a less comfortable machine? Or a more expensive machine? The new VFR appears neither comfortable, nor middleweight, nor attractive – just expensive.

    Let us hope that Honda retains a middleweight (~750cc) V4 sports-touring motorcycle — one that carries on the impressive VFR tradition and design philosophy but which weighs 50 kg less. The idea of a VFR1200 just doesn’t appeal to me at all.

    • david bennet

      I just bought one of these and it does all I want it to do and is comfortable to drive , Im 6’2 and find it hard to use the modern day bike and end up with the cramped hips syndrome but this bike serves me well , I know it might not be everyones taste but dont right it of till you drive it ,, Regards David

  • Mike

    @Tomahawk:

    This is what a VFR should look like:

    http://pages.cs.wisc.edu/~john/vfr/vfr800/

    Moreover , a VFR should have certain special features that few other motorcycles offer:

    - single-sided swingarm rear suspension
    - a riding position comfortable for 6ft tall people – aggressive enough to keep up with sportbikes but comfortable enough to spend all day in the saddle
    - a fuel tank (& fuel economy) that isn’t annoyingly undercapacity
    - durability and reliability that are tops in the industry
    - handling of a sportsbike with luggage options enough for a weekend trip for two.
    - low maintenance requirements
    - a crisp, smooth 6-speed manual transmission
    - a narrow, responsive, oversquare, transverse-mounted V-4 engine with gear-driven camshafts
    - latest engine technology, including electronic fuel injection, composite cylinder sleeves, etc
    - underseat storage & comfortable double seat with solo seat cowl
    - state-of-the-art braking system with ABS as an option
    - full, clean bodywork that is functional, clean, and low-drag.

    etc.

  • jesse

    Whoever Honda have doing their headlights these days needs to be taken out and shot!

    aside from that i was kind of hoping for something a little more nimble, but a replacement blackbird is still a good addition….. but damn…those lights.

    even worse than the CBR1000!

  • cjs675

    Ugly or not, this thing is gonna sell. The market? The VTR800 boys and those old timers still riding to biker rallies on their Blackbirds.

  • alex

    People please remember the formula user friendly..robust, we lost the gear driven cams got that stupid Vtec and now this cylinder displacement as there are no other bikes with this why push it onto my old friend?? ans shaft drive PLEASE!!!!!!!!!

    I say bring back the first VFR800 add 200CC pimp it out and you have a machine for the people!! ME I GAVE UP SOLD MY SAD Vtec LUMP AND WENT TO Triumph… GOOD BYE HONDA IT WAS SWEET
    VFR OWNER 1998 to 2009.

  • Jonny lead

    sharp looking bike ,Its about time they made a bike you can ride for long period of time I have owned the 06 cbr 1000 and the 07 gsxr 1000 fast but way too tiny , those hyper sports where made for short people ,and not practcal for the street And I am sorry but the people complaining what do you want them to make a typical ghetto bike. you know! missing rear fender extended swingarms ect . So far I wouldnt change a thing about this bike!!!

  • david bennet

    All I can say is I just bought one .It looks different Im all for change .. but try and insure it ,, its frightening,, try MCE insurance ,, they were brill, most wouldnt touch it or gave nappy filling quotes ,, I thought I was left with an expensive ornament