2010 Honda VFR1200F: Shamu lives!

Galleries -


The 2010 Honda VFR1200F shown here doesn’t have cylinder deactivation or the dual clutch transmission, those are being saved for a higher spec version that’ll premier at the Tokyo Motor Show later this month. What it does have is a 76° 1,237cc V4 developing 172.72bhp at 10,000rpm and 85lb/ft of torque at 8,750rpm. It’s going to need that power becuase it weighs a shocking 267kg/588lbs (wet). Full specs below.

Update: More information, analysis, official info and video below.

It turns out that 588lbs weight is for European-spec bikes and that the US market version, we’re guessing due to those stupid California evaporative emissions canisters, weighs in at 591lbs. More importantly, Honda US is also quoting a weight for the dual clutch-equipped model – 278kg/613lbs. Assuming that option will carry a price premium and no performance benefit over the existing sequential six-speed, we predict poor sales for models so equipped. There’s no word on a price yet.

2010_Honda_VFR1200F_Options.jpgOfficial Honda options will include hard panniers, a top box, centerstand, Sat/Nav, fairing extenders (in front of the handlebars) and a flip-up screen.

We’re guessing that, like us, you’re a bit underwhelmed with the launch of Honda’s new flagship. All the technology we were expecting – the fancy gearbox and cylinder deactivation – appears to be optional and undesirable (increased cost without a clear benefit) and the spec sheet is relatively underwhelming compared to presumably cheaper competitors like the Kawasaki ZX14. That bike is big and comfy, yet makes 187bhp and 113.5lb/ft before ram air kicks in and weighs just 257kg/566lbs (wet). It does lack shaft drive. The BMW K1300S does have shaft drive, but is also lighter (255kg/562lbs) and makes equivalent power (173bhp) and more torque (103lb/ft). That BMW’s optional extras (ESAII electronically adjustable suspension with unprecedented variable spring rate) deliver a clear return for their extra cost.

Honda is really pushing the V4 engine and its motorsports heritage as this bike’s unique selling point, but this is a big sport touring machine, not a race replica. Is the association with GP bikes really going to sell a long distance road bike?

Engine Type: 4 cyl. V-4 at 76 ° 4T LC SOHC 16-valve Unicam
Displacement: 1,237 d.c.
Bore x Stroke: 81.0 x 60.0 mm x 4
Compression ratio: 12 to 1
Max Power: 172.72 hp at 10,000 rpm
Maximum torque: 129 Nm / 8750 rpm
Idling speed 1050 to 1250 rpm
Crankcase capacity 4 liters
Power supply: PGM-FI electronic injection
Clutch: oil, wet
Clutch Operation: Hydraulic control
Gearbox: 6 gears
Final drive: shaft driven single-arm

Chassis Type: Double beam cast aluminum vacuum mold
Geometry direction: 25.5 degrees, 101 mm forward
Swingarm: single-arm aluminum driveshaft
Front Suspension: Inverted telescopic fork 41 mm HMAS cartridge-type with adjustable spring preload without positions, 120 mm
Rear Suspension: Pro-Link HMAS gas shock, adjustable spring preload 25 positions, 120 mm
Wheels: Aluminum 17M / C x MT3.50 and 17M / C x MT6.00
Tires: 120/70 ZR17M / C (58W) and 190/55 ZR17M / C (75W)
Front brake: 2 hydraulic discs 320mm floating, 6-piston radial calipers
Rear brake: 1 hydraulic disc 2 piston caliper 276 mm
Brake System: Combined-ABS

Ignition system: Digital transistorized with electronic advance computerized control
Ignition Timing: 6.4 ° -10.4 ° BTDC (idle speed)
Sparkplug Type: IMR9E-9HES (NGK); VUH27ES (DENSO)
Starting: Electric Motor
Battery capacity: 12 V – 11.6 Ah (YTZ14)
Generator output: 560 W
Lighthouses: 2 x H7 (2x 55 W)
Rear: Double Light 21 / 5 W

Overall length: 2,254 mm
Width: 886
Height: 1,220 mm
Wheelbase: 1,545 mm
Turning radius: 3.2 m
Seat height: 815 mm
Ground Clearance: 125 mm
Curb weight: 267 kg
Maximum load capacity: 463 kg
Fuel tank capacity: 18.5 liters

  • Paul

    Nearly 600 lbs ! And if you think thats shocking’just wait for the price .

  • Jim

    Who cares, a bit of weight makes for a more stable touring machine.

  • DoctorNine

    For comparison, the 2010 Kawasaki Concours weighs in at around 679 lbs, as I recall. So this has more power than the Kawa-tourer, and is about one hundred pounds lighter. Sounds about right to me. I suspect it will be worth a look, for people who like to pull 500 miles a day cross country. This isn’t a repli-racer, but it WILL be fast.

  • Eduardo Di Lascio

    Why do they have do design such an ugly bike?

  • Ben

    Well damn. Mark that off the list.

  • Dave

    OR you could compare it to a ZX14 and it makes less hp and torque but weighs more…

    • http://Http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      Yeah, this is definitely a zx14/k1300s rival, the pan euro replacing ‘T’ will arrive in the spring.

  • CMC

    I like it. Not a fan of the “your mom’s toyota Camry” paint flavor, but in a steel grey or something, it would look very refined and luxe.

  • Alex

    @Tom – I care! I do track days, half-assed wheelies, and long road trips on the same bike, and I only have room for one bike in my garage. I was really hoping this bike would be <450lbs dry. 558lbs wet isn’t terrible though, I think that means it’s somewhere just over 500lbs dry.

    I still don’t understand why a liter bike can weigh 40% less than this bike. I definitely understand some weight here and there (say 70lbs), but I don’t see where the 150lbs goes. I thought this was going to be a comfy sportbike, but it sounds like it’s going to be more tourery. The fact that it has a shaft drive is especially evident of this. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still excited for the 172HP V-4.

  • General Apathy

    Umm red tinted windscreen? WTF?!

  • http://matthewabate.wordpress.com Matthew

    It’s not red. They just didn’t phoshop out the background in that part of the image.

    I think it’s ok. I would look at it if I wanted a Concourse or a K1200RT/R1200GT.

    I don’t see this bike in the same class as the K1300S. That’s more Hayabusa than Concourse, which I see as more like a sporty Goldwing. This is more Goldwing, albeit smaller and less ridiculous.

    No matter what the V4 is going to change things for the next few years. I see it in a spot bike in two years.

  • http://matthewabate.wordpress.com Matthew

    ^sorry about the typos. Sticky keys.

  • carlos serafim

    it look like a BMW argh

    • http://www.motoflash.ro Paul

      “it look like a BMW argh”

      No, it does not.

      • jconli1

        It really, really does. From the side, it is almost the perfect melding of an R1200RT (the layered bodywork and general contours), and a K1300S (especially in the driveline design)

        A ’97 VFR750 just ticked one notch higher on my must-get list.

  • Tim

    Alert the Autobots, we’ve found Megatron!

  • MTGR

    Shamu weighs 150 lbs more than she could because she has 50 lbs of robust-ness engineered in to handle the extra luggage loads and higher mileage of touring and another 100 lbs of unnecassary tecno-crap that Honda stuffed in. Ironically, if Shamu weighed 100 lbs less, she would not need as much power to be fast and therefore need none of the power/traction techno-crap to manufacture and control added hp. Or the techno crap to keep stopping and handling properly either. Technology for the sake of technology and for no other real purpose (except as a marketing tool to get more cubic $ at sale time, of course, and to allow big H to thump their own backs at their tecno-prowess). None of that surprises me, but the fact people still want to buy Shamu, even though she will likely cost more than a top-line Ducati and look this ugly, does surprise me.

  • vic

    only honda could put so much weight on such a compact tourer(it’s just a bit bigger than the cbr1000),what did the make the frame out of,lead?i’ll stick with the old vfr thank you.and just look at all that beautiful chromed metal and plastic.ooh so cheesy

  • itchface

    The weight’s disappointing and the price will surely be shockingingly high, but I’m most blown away by the suspension’s apparent lack of adjustability other than spring preload on each end.

    What a crummy place for Honda to cut production costs.

    I’m amazed at how Honda, year after year, continues to get things just plain wrong.


  • Jeff

    Just FYI: Honda is actually running a V4 in MotoGP now. They switch from the V5 when the displacement dropped from 990cc to 800cc. Just wanted to clarify that.

    I’m disappointed with the weight of this thing, too, but I think I’ll hold judgment until it’s actually ridden and rated. It’s close enough to its true competitor, the K1300S (wet 562 lbs., not 536 lbs. as quoted here), to hang in there with it. At these kind of weights, 30 lbs. isn’t nearly as noticeable as it would be on a 420 lbs. sportbike.

  • nataku83

    Eh, the weight isn’t that surprising. It weighs less than the old V65 Sabre, and comparing weights between a shaft drive and chain drive bike is kind of an apples to oranges comparison. I’m more disappointed by the price I’m expecting and the added tech. I’d be pretty damn scared to ever work on this thing’s fuel injection / emissions equipment. Myabe it’s time to start looking for a nice condition VFR750…

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

    Underwhelming. But again thats the risk Honda is running with such a drawn out unveiling. I like the design, they’re at least trying something new. But whats with the tank in sideview? Looks very tall.

  • Leo

    This resembles the new DN-01. That is a great bike with a super auto transmission. You can criticize the autos until you try pone.

  • Graeme

    I’m sure that I read the 267 kg weight is when the bike is fully fuelled. But I can’t seem to find the reference anywhere now…

    Otherwise Shamu is about the same size as the K1300S (slightly shorter wheelbase, slightly longer overall), has the same power output, but slightly lower torque, and a similar over design.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      That’s the wet weight, so ready to ride. It’s super annoying that different manufacturers quote different kinds of weights, but hopefully we provide some transparency by annotating figures with “(wet)” or “(dry)”.

      • Mike

        Wes, it is very important that manufacturers report both “wet” and “dry” weights. In fact, i would prefer that manufacturers reported the static contact weight of the front and rear wheels as well.

        Why both wet and dry? It verifies the actual fuel capacity of the machine. This helps riders with weight/balance set-up — not only sports riders (who need to minimize weight at all costs) but also for touring riders (who need to balance their machines for stable handling).

        It also assists buyers in evaluating aftermarket fuel systems from companies like Touratech, which manufacture high-volume tanks for ultra-long distance riding.

        Remember, a 5-gallon fuel tank acts as a 30-pound ballast when full.

  • http://greatjoballweek.blogspot.com/ Case

    I guess it’s a matter of taste but I’m not a fan.

    “Pure sportbike. Pure refinement.” Pure bullshit.

    Honda marketing should sit in front that Triumph Rocket III Roadster video on loop for an hour, then try again.

  • ducman

    Judging from the rear-quarter picture, the exhaust looks to exit directly beneath the RS pannier. Perhaps my eyes are deceiving me a little, but won’t it get really hot inside the pannier?

    Might be handy for baking cookies in freeway traffic, but…

  • hidden

    The more I see of this bike the more I look forward to the Motus.

  • Markkit

    I think the styling is close enough to what I expect from a Japanese brand, but it lacks the powerful proportions that I would expect from this kind of bike, proportions like the Nissan GT-R (GT stand for Grand Touring)..The bike was designed in Europe, by a European designer to resonate with that market, but to me its not euro-styling as claimed and I`m not sure it will be a head turner in Paris..Sure it looks like a BMW, but for the most part BMW styling is not elegant as it used to be. A lot of styling clearly went into the bike, maybe that contributed to the weight, lets hope the styling offers the best and easiest use of the bike, from maintenance to storage, to riding comfort.

  • http://www.dainese.com DaineseDan

    Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, the 2010 Honda Rune!

    Yet another example of Honda showing the might of their technological penor just for the sake of technology, not for the sake of a better riding experience. Now, just price it out of the stratosphere and be prepared to have them serving as dust collectors on your sales floors…kinda reminds me of a cerain whale-like concept cruiser from a while back.

  • Deltablues


    But the only ‘triumph’ of engineering I am interested in will be what Triumph brings to the plate with the 2011 Sprint ST……

    “Whenever the mood strikes you.” WTF was that about?

  • wyatt

    why are bikes getting so ugly. i wouldnt like this for free sorry to say. bigger is not better . simple is always the joy found in bikes and one more thing digital instruments add nothing to bikes except unessasary cost. think of todays classics simple easy to repair no freakin electronics to break! in the future i see no new classics because they dont have longevity. mister honda would be throwing up today as well as hiring and firing .

  • Fraser Waters

    Is it just me or does the tail light look like K9?

  • sam

    well i think its uglier than sin, so no doubt it will sell like crazy!

  • Dan

    How could a company that designed the simple beauty of the original Interceptor design this? How many fairing pieces are there? What’s with the giant exhaust can? The lines flow everywhere. Where is there symmetry? The Suzuki B-King looks minimalist by comparison.

  • http://cohobot.blogspot.com/ coho

    Cheese & Rice, what a bunch of fcukin’ whiners.

    It’s lighter than both of it’s closest competitors (FJR/A & Concours14/ABS), has similar dimensions, makes similar power and comes with most of the same kit. WTF is your problem, HFL commentors?

    If you want a sub 450# sportbike you probably should be in the sport bike department instead of the sport-tourer department. Otherwise you’ll end up right back here bitching about your featherweight VFR being twitchy on the Interstate.

    If you want a really cheap bike you probably shouldn’t be buying new unless it’s a Chinese 150.

    If you don’t want electronic hoo-has you probably shouldn’t be looking at the model Honda has used to show off its electronic hoo-has for the last twenty years.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      It’s not intended to compete with either the FJR or the Concours, which have seriously upright riding positions and huge screens and fairings. Those bikes are full on tourers and that segment will be filled by the same engine ST1200 or VFR1200T or whatever they’re going to call it.

      This VFR occupies a similar segment to the old Blackbird in that it competes with the Busa, ZX14 and K1300S.

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

        “This VFR occupies a similar segment to the old Blackbird in that it competes with the Busa, ZX14 and K1300S.” – Wes

        Perhaps the previous VFR was meant to compete with GTs like the ‘busa and the big Ninja, but it seems Honda has decided that this new one is not. This is clearly a medium sized sport tourer.
        I suspect the T model will slot right in between the Connie14 and a ‘Wing as far as size goes, but this is not your father’s VFR.
        We all know Honda can build a really light, fast bike, but they chose to build this one instead.

        I’ve ridden the FJR (far from what I’d call a “full-on tourer” but I can see why one might think so), the ST1300 (a fat, fat cow), the old and new Concours (old: buzzy but quick for its size/ new: bulky and nimble, like a 500# ballerina who can seriously dance), and a couple of older VFRs (more comfortable than a CBR, but I still wouldn’t want to ride one to the Dragon from the west coast) and they’re all more bike than 90% of the American (non-professional) riding population can get full use from.*

        Mostly I was just really cranky yesterday.

        *50% of the time 72% of all statistics are made up on the spot.

  • hjworton

    I still have not experienced one single bike that can be judged by looks or PR bull. I quite like the looks, esp in white but what matters it the ride, of course. Not one word written here will replace 1 minute on the bike. Let us hope that the ride is where this bike will make sense. It is possible.

  • Core

    I like the look of the bike.. the seamless fairing, looks slick, that’s all I like about it though.

  • Steve-O

    It’s so…heavy. What happened to the guys who brought us the Blackbird a couple years back? I don’t need all this electronic crap! Give me a superbike that’s just a little more comfortable and I’ll be satisfied=)

  • Ken

    This bears no relation to VFRs of old. They were bikes that traded off a little performance (but not much) for a whole lot of extra practicality and refinement, hitting the sweet spot for so many riders. It’s a recipe Honda invented, and now only the Triumph ST is still serving it up.

    This is just another autobahn barge, and there are plenty of those already. I’m crestfallen.

  • Matt

    I think Honda are taking a very different path with this bike than with the previous VFR800, which incidentally is what I own. I think the only thing it share with VFRs of old is those three letters to be honest.

    Sure, its going to be technologically impressive (hey its a Honda), but what will this do for the actual ride experience? I see this bike as a very different proposition from current and past VFRs that were true sport-tourers, ie sporty enough to be ridden in a sports bike fashion (that is semi crouched and chucked around!) and tour-y enough to throw on some luggage and put in some big (but not too big) miles.

    This heavy beastie puts me more in mind of a beefed up Blackbird that’s been checking out Goldwings and DN-01s and thinking “Why cant’ I be like those guys?” Personally I don’t see that as a good thing.

    If I had the cash in my pocket now my sports tourer money would be going on a Sprint or K1300S.

    Whether or not you’re a VFR or honda fan, most can see that over the past 10 years that Honda has made some good looking bikes (CBR600RR, CBR954, CB1000R, VFR800) but to me this looks waaay to overstyled. The latest blade is kind of ugly-pretty, but this is just plain fugly.

    I love you Honda, but please give us a bike that’s pretty enough to make you reopen the garage door for another peek.

  • http://www.fatcow-reviewz.com Fatcow Coupon

    I can’t seem to locate your syndication feed, I would love to follow your posts.

  • jr

    i have a new vfr1200, i love it, possibly best bike honda has ever made.. dont notice weight , shaft etc.. amazing..