MCN claims it found these images in a patent filing and it appears they show the 2010 Honda ST1200 or a similar tourer that shares its V4 engine and shaft drive with the 2010 Honda VFR1200, a bike people are calling “Shamu.” Originally introduced in 2002, the Honda ST1300 Pan European is due for a replacement and Honda has said to expect several models based around its new 1200cc V4 engine. We can’t find the original patent filing, but looking at these images closely, they do appear to be consistent with a patent and many components do closely resemble those on the leaked VFR.
Like the VFR1200, but unlike the Pan Euro, this ST1200 mounts its
all-new V4 transversely in the frame. That’s only one of several key
shared components with the VFR, it also appears that the frame, shaft
drive, gearbox and tail unit are the same or virtually identical to the
sportier bike. Developing both bikes together will have saved Honda a
fortune in R&D costs, it’s a practice made common in the car
industry by Porsche, where it typically doesn’t compromise performance
or model differentiation.
Over the VFR, expect more rake for increased stability at the expense
of turning speed, taller gearing, lower pegs and quite possibly a
detuned engine. It’s a solid guess that hard luggage, as pictured, will
be standard. Remote adjustment for the rear shock is also pictured.
Styling has been partially influenced by the 1999 Honda X-Wing concept,
pictured in the above gallery. That influence is mostly present in the
protruding side panels, which partially mask the headlight, while the
rest appears to come straight off the VFR.
Despite the decrease in engine size, expect performance to increase,
putting the ST1200 on par with bikes like the Kawasaki Concours 14. The
official unveiling should take place this fall, meaning Richard Allen
should stay far away from the ocean.