Honda's new VFR1200F video, making it great for all you '80s fans

Dailies -



Love the sound of a revving V4 engine? You’re in luck. Honda has allotted a whole 4 seconds of their newest advert for you to actually hear the bike being started! Granted, the guy only revs the 2010 Honda VFR1200F to 5,700 RPM while the engine redlines at 10,000 RPM, but that’s what great marketing teases are for, right? The rest of the video is dedicated to ground-breaking action scenes of the bike on breathtaking roads in never-before-seen mountains located deep in the exotic Alps. Then the super cool 40-something rider guy picks up his hot babe at her Chateau and takes her for the ride of her life. Really! And the Enya soundtrack is just like, wow.


  • CBontheMV

    My biggest gripe with most bikes coming out now isn’t with the looks, it’s with the 80′s tech headlights. With HIDs being standard on just about every above average car, why are moto manufacturers still using crummy halogen lights on $15K+ bikes?

    • Ammerlander

      A lot of countries require lens cleaning systems and automatic beam levelling control for vehicles with HID-lighting ( ) which might be a bit harder to realize on a motorcycle as opposed to a car.
      Also you have to wonder if the lighting on a bike is a valid selling point to a lot of people.
      I mean, I often ride in the dark, but I hardly ever see another motorcycle, even on roads were there would be hundreds of bikers per hour on a sunny saturday afternoon.

  • mototom

    Very disappointing video. The guys at the agency promised me they would use an ABBA soundtrack.

  • RT Rider

    Wow what an ugly muffler. The riding position is not set up for a touring bike. I really do not know what kind of bike this is. It surely is not a touring bike and its not a sport bike. Maybe this is another botch like the DN-01.

    • Zeitgeist

      Your name userid kind of outlines why you dont see it ;) Its a Sport Tourer. More like an FJR or Sprint ST. Muffler aside until I see one in the flash I will make my call then if I like it or not. Think of the Aprilia Futura that bike had lots of appeal but years later its looks pretty dated. Honda has in the more recent past deeloped a nicely finished product that ages fairly well this seems to be headed in the same direction. I see the cues from 1000rr and it offers something distinctive which is usually a polarizing attribute at the same time. Ducati Monsters &Triumph Speed Triples were loved or hated when they first came out. Over time though they have found a wider audience as the younger generations come up and as they gain more familarity. Bike designs that are timeless are few and far between, bikes that are easily dated are quite numerous and fade just as fast “Jelly”cane anyone? My suggestion is if you dont like it dont buy it.

  • TeeJay

    I don’t have a Chateau – can I buy at least a VFR?
    Well, of course later, when the first owner paid the “NEW” value.

  • Hobo Mike

    First time I’ve seen the hard bags. Not bad.

    I think this bike will be polarizing (like it hasn’t already been). It’s a fundamental shift away from mechanical simplicity and rider involvement. There will be nothing you can work on with this bike. Maybe that’s a Honda business strategy, or maybe it’s inevitable with changing policies (EPA, CARB, etc.). Whatever, this will be okay for some but for others that will be a major turn off. At least there’s lots of great used bikes out there…

    • Ceolwulf

      I’m a bit puzzled how people keep going on about how complex this machine will be, and impossible to work on at home. Provided you don’t tick the option box for the automatic (and why would you??), this bike is if anything simpler than the previous generation.

      Also I think the styling is beautiful. Maybe I don’t belong here :P

      And yeah the ad is lame. Tragically so.

  • Edu Di Lascio

    Please Honda, Fire the head designer. Fast.

  • nollid51

    Honda really has changed, hasn’t it? This ad almost made me fall asleep. What happened to them designing outerageous bikes like the CBX? This new VFR seems to have a lot of cool tech, but wrapped in a hideous shell that has the excitement level of a camry.

  • kawalaser
  • powermatic

    And later that evening, they enjoyed some sweet, sweet sexual relations.

  • Ken

    I guess if your bike had the world’s most expensive fairing you wouldn’t want to lean it over either.

  • Telekom

    Sucky video. There simply has to be at least one angle that the new VFR looks good from… and the cameraman still hasn’t found it. I’m sure it might be a different story to ride, but it doesn’t come across as very good-looking in this film.

  • AceCafeClipOns

    Fantastic add. What (cheap) perfume for over-40′s-male are they trying to sell?

  • BikerDad

    I’ve seen cruiser commercials with more lean in them. Maybe Honda and/or the ad agency seem to think they should aim this bike at the guys who would buy cruisers if it weren’t for the social categorization that involves. (Probably a factor in Europe.) ‘Cause that’s the impression. Just hop on the bike and go out for a Sunday cruise to pick up the mistress. Burning up the mountain roads? Reducing the chicken strips to a mere memory? nah….

    Maybe they’ll do a tie-in with Old Spice…

  • carlos

    what would it look like if Crispin had done it?

    • Grant Ray

      Better to ask what it would look like if W+K London had done it.

  • James

    Will bikes ever get high res color lcd displays, with simulated analog gauges, and on the fly display options?

  • Case

    That sucked.
    Advertising is not necessarily easy, but here’s some things I think they could have done better:
    1. Eliminate the whole chateau premise. WTF is that? Do people in Europe or the states really aspire to pick up their girlfriend at a chateau?
    2. Eliminate the lame “picking her up for a sexy weekend” premise. Tired and cliche.
    3. Try to communicate a small bit of what it’s actually like to ride a fun motorcycle through beautiful mountains. That includes:
    a) Engine noise
    b) Acceleration
    c) Corner speed
    d) Braking
    4. If you’re trying so hard to sell sex, make the bike look sexy. Show some speed, something dynamic. You don’t have to wheelie to be awesome.

    In summary: f*ck this motorcycle and it’s flappy paddle gearbox.

  • Corey

    So much misplaced hostility – strangely predictable on an anonymous forum. Lighten up. Not the most creative ad, but how many of you will hum the tune when I write “Suzuki Boulevard.” It doesn’t take much. This is Honda’s swipe at a 40-something would-be BMW/FJR buyer, not the next iteration of a marginally faster 1000cc inline four whatever (gag). The back end of the fairing shape clearly evokes the most recent honda CBR without numbly repeating it. The finish is nice, polished, posh but sporty. The ideal owner likes solid colors and is bored with the typical flashy “bag of potato chips” aesthetics of most Japanese sportbikes that appeal to 20 year-olds. This guy drinks wine, not cheap yellow beer. He can still get a loan (or god forbid can still pay for his toys in cash), won’t buy a Harley and he doesn’t need a track day (or to look like he needs a track day) to prove it. And he can still get it up. Tie all of that to the idea of owning a motorcycle, and cliché or otherwise, you’ll sell a bunch of them. I’ll also be willing to bet that this is a fantastic tourer will be Honda reliablility, great build quality and a politely growling engine.

    Nice bike honda – I’ll bet you sell a bunch of them.

  • DoctorNine

    Well, the ad doesn’t do it for me. The only really brilliant part is showing the easy latch system. The rest is a bit overblown. In my opinion, the bike itself is the star, and it doesn’t need any pretty boy or his nubile sidekick to show it off. Give Honda a break though, advertising is not why I buy their product. They bring us some slick stuff, and bless them for that! Anyway, I’m just glad they will be offering it with the manual. And I will give one a test ride. The seating position looks good, and I want to try the new V4 engine management tech. That, even for a fan of classics, has to spark SOME interest. The exhaust canister though… I have some serious misgivings about that huge chrome shield down there.

  • will

    The styling isn’t the problem. The industry’s remarkably consistent bad promo videos are. Showing stock footage of a bike being barely ridden to canned music doesn’t do anything for the bike at all. What was up with that rev? It was like two farts and straight to Getty Images bullshit.


  • Robert


  • Todd

    Corey, you nailed it for me, but forgot one small detail – I can afford to pay the shop to work on my bike. How many people with a BMW M5 or Mercedes CLS 63 AMG actually work on their own car? This bike, I hope, is not for the Mustang/Camaro demographic. I’ll take one, and I will be paying cash.

    • nollid51

      Todd, I hope you realize not all people who work on their bikes have mullets and live in a trailer. There is more to turning a wrench than just saving money. People get alot enjoyment and satisfaction out of working on their motorcycle. How do you think classic bikes stay on the road? Unless of course you are just turning your nose up at the idea, in which case really speaks volumes about this bikes demographic.

      • Todd

        Agreed, but when you get old enough and finally have enough cash, you often just want to ride. At this point in my life I’ll do my wrenching on the old-tech, Lotus 7 replica that I’m building from scratch, and leave the high tech stuff to the dealer. And I want that high tech stuff, dual clutch tranny included!

  • geonerd

    man, you say “80s fans” and i’m expecting copious smoke and a satriani soundtrack. boo.

  • Syke

    We’re excited here at the dealership and can’t wait to see the first one hit the showroom floor. Me? What I’m waiting for now is what Honda will be closing out ST1300′s for about a year from now.

    At which point my beloved ’95 Triumph Trident (three bag Givi setup, 101,842 miles as of this morning) will finally go into semi-retirement.

    Yeah, the ST1300 probably can’t compete with the VFR1200F, but I don’t need compete. I just need a bit of sportiness and a decent modicum of comfort in hauling my ass from Richmond to Daytona Beach in one day.

  • Sasha Pave

    WTF was that? I’ve seen more exciting airline instructional videos.

  • ubexbox

    i think that the bike will accomplish it’s intended goal of appealing to the rider in his early 40′s (like the dude in the video)who has some $$$ and likely owns some nice other toys. Said rider wants something “sporty” enough, but a bike that they can actually ride for more then 100 miles before being fatigued by the bike.

    Seriously, did anyone think it was going to be something other then that? And yes it is a stupid video.

  • Dave

    I kept waiting for the Viagra! logo and that smiling bob guy.

  • Mike

    Great ad … for a Honda ST1300.

    I suspect that there are many, many disappointed VFR750 & VFR800 owners who have been saving up for a new midweight best-in-world real-world sportsbike that can tour than there are current FJR, K1300S, and Connie sport-TOURING riders who are looking for a reason to switch to Honda. For Honda’s sake, I hope i’m wrong, but abandoning the market of midweight SPORT-touring riders in favor of the Chateau-in-Switzerland crowd seems like a big mistake.

    • Syke


      We’ll know more when we finally see the bike in the metal and get to sit on the saddle. Until then, it’s all bloviating speculation. I’m going to credit Honda’s abandoning the VFR750/800 class to the realization that everybody else has already done so (I believe the Sprint ST is up to 1050cc?). The current crowd that rides this kind of bike is aging, and the 600/1000cc class rider hasn’t gotten up to a sport tourer yet, so a slightly bigger bike is going to appeal to that older clientele.

      The other thing to keep in mind is something that I found out a few years ago when I toyed with putting my Trident aside for a VFR or Sprint: It’s a great one-up sport tourer, but putting my wife on the back just doesn’t work for 500 mile days (we’re in our very late 50′s). After living with her ex-husbands Sprint for a weekend, I dropped that idea and started looking at a Trophy 900/1200 instead. And then Triumph abandoned that market completely.

      I’m assuming the 1200 is going to be physically bigger than the 800, but still more svelte than the ST1300. Which is one of the reasons why I’ll be looking at a leftover ST when the time comes – it’s about the only thing out there that’s first generation Hinckley Triumph sized without going into BMW money.

      And we’re way too young for a Gold Wing.

    • Shinigami

      Certainly, you have one of those (disappointed VFR750 & VFR800 owners) here.

      I suppose that having a VFR800 Interceptor and a CBR600RR puts me in the category of someone who is more sport-oriented. I would be glad to trade both for this bike if it has any real sporting prowess- but the ad doesn’t do much to reinforce that image, to be sure. I guess we’ll have to wait for a demo day.

  • Larry Friedman

    I like how the fairing has layers…like an Ogre.

  • Peter

    I’m 50 and put 80K on a 1994 CB1000 and now have 40K on a 2004 CBR1000RR. I read all the responses and then watched the video. I like the bike and the video! My dilemma is do I go the “wine” route and buy one of these or do I go the “yellow beer” route and buy an XR1200? I guess that’s why they call it a mid-life crisis.