Video: Honda’s EICMA bikes explained

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Honda had highs and lows at last weeks EICMA show in Milan. High being the CBR600F, a more practical version of the Hornet that sits somewhere between that and the CBR600RR in the Honda range. Low being the V4 Crosstourer, a “concept” based on Shamu that won’t be going off road even if it looks like it wants to. In the middle somewhere is the VFR800X Crossrunner, a reborn VFR800 apparently equipped with a more comfortable upright seating position and better pillion accommodation. Here, the men responsible for each explain themselves.
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First up is the CBR600F. Based on a bike that’s popular in Europe, but not available here, this is sort of a fully-faired version of a of Honda SV650/ER-6F competitor. But, this being Honda, there’s four cylinders instead of two, actually a version of the RR motor putting out 100bhp. The idea isn’t just practicality, it’s also reduced cost of ownership — insurance, maintenance and, of course, purchase price — which doesn’t necessarily translate well to the job of selling sexy supersport. We think Honda’s done a good job of elevating the Hornet without threatening the RR, but the trick will be convincing buyers that this bike doesn’t have an image problem.

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The VFR800X is growing on us, if only because it uses the exact same engine, frame, swingarm, wheels, brakes and suspension from the VFR800, just with flat bars. Try not to think of this as an uglified sports tourer, but rather a VFR streetfighter and your brain might hurt less.

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As a bonus, here’s what happens when you turn the VFR800X loose with a can of paint.

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Which brings us to the Crosstourer. Like the VFR800X, this borrows all its running gear from a VFR, just in this case the 1200. A lightly blinged production bike, this “concept” hints at something that’s going to be heavy, complex and, if Shamu is anything to go by, extraordinarily expensive. We just don’t see how technologies like a dual-clutch gearbox have a home in adventure tourer, maybe Honda can explain that to us.

  • http://www.facebook.com/beastincarnate Beast Incarnate

    “I believe the V4 engine has so much potential…” That’s what makes the 1200 so disappointing. The VFR800X looks drastically better by proximity alone and I appreciate the honesty in what they’re doing.

  • Pete

    I like the crossrunner, but I don’t understand producing a semi-fairing bike without the wind protection one would need for a long highway blast. I’m sure there will be aftermarket supplies to fulfill this purpose, but it seems anachronistic to have a ‘naked’ bike with the comfort of an adventure and not provide a windscreen, which, next to the seat, is probably the biggest comfort element on a bike.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      They spent something like 120 hours in a wind tunnel during VFR800X development and claim the fairing does the required job.

      • Glenngineer

        I hope it was quality time – ‘adventure’ bikes are by an large awful, aerodynamically.

        This bike is so ugly is must be functional, right?

  • http://twowheelsplus.blogspot.com/ andehans

    Still wish they’de remove some of the layers of plastic/design on the Crossrunner.