2012 Honda Crosstourer: Shamu goes off-road

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Honda UK just announced that last year’s Honda Crosstourer concept will be unveiled in production form at EICMA next month. The “adventure sports tourer” uses the same 1,200cc V4, aluminum beam frame and optional DCT transmission as the VFR1200, adding a more upright riding position, better weather protection and de rigeur tall suspension.

“The Crosstourer offers a high-level fusion of vibrant off-road styling, upright riding position, V engine power and Dual Clutch Transmission that offers more direct power transmission and easy operation,” says project leader Yosuke Hasegawa. “We are convinced that we have successfully brought out new value in what can be termed the true crossover concept.”

It’s refreshing to see Hasegawa tacitly acknowledge that the Crosstourer isn’t really targeted at dirt or adventure riding, but is rather more of a dedicated on-road tourer, just one with a very upright riding position and the excellent vision and command presence it brings.

These images are of last year’s concept, but don’t expect the production version to look much different.

At 591lbs, the VFR1200 platform should be much better suited to its new role as a big tourer than it was a sports tourer. Comfort is a problem on the lower bike, something that should be fixed by the much taller, wider handlebars. Lackluster performance should also be less apparent on something a little less sports-oriented.

This spy photo from German magazine Motorrad, of the production-spec bike, shows a bike that looks nearly identical to the concept, with the addition of USD forks

EICMA is coming up on November 7 and 8, we’ll be providing full coverage, as always.

  • The other Joe

    What’s with the beak?

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler
      • The other Joe

        Maybe if the front end of this looked more like that one, then it wouldn’t be so bad.

    • Adrian

      Angry birds!

    • Danielsohn

      That’s how you know its adventurous.

      • DoctorNine

        Nah. It’s just another pecker, that got fat and overly complicated, but still thinks it can haul ass like it did when it was younger and in shape.

    • NoVeloNoVin

      Squids have beaks. A subliminal attempt to lure a certain kind of overconfident sport bike rider onto a more sensible machine?

  • Mr.Paynter

    Not my style but I do agree it’s nice that one of the big manufacturers owning up to the fact that a lot of the Dual-sports are road bikes with knobblies!

  • Troy R

    Absolutely psyched for this bike. That’s alot of heft though. Of course you can be sure it’s plenty over-built from day-one if it came from Honda.Both a compliment and a criticism.

  • markbvt

    Will be curious to see if Honda brings this to the US, or if it will be off limits to us like the Transalp and Varadero.

    • jason McCrash

      My 1989 Transalp is a true do it all bike. Love it!

  • Thom

    So …… its a ‘ Poseur ‘ Adventure Bike , thats really a Tourer , but not a Sport Tourer , which makes it what ? The Xover of Motorcycling ? How nice ( sarcasm intended )

    In other words its a meaningless marketing Exercise .

    • jeremy

      Can you please capitalize, space and punctuate like a normal human?

  • http://bloodfalcons.blogspot.com motoguru

    this is what they should’ve done in the first place…

    • Adam Eckert

      With a VFR that’s true to the name, to boot. Having had a ’94 750 and about to get a ’98 800, I just can’t accept the VFR1200.

  • Myles

    Any word on fuel capacity? This is exactly what most people are looking for when they buy an “adventure” bike. There’s a bike line a block away from my office, and out of the 25 or so bikes there’s usually 2 gs1200s, between 1-3 gs800s, and a Tiger 800. All with hard bags, all 100% shiny and sparkly and new. I’ve asked two of the guys where they ride offroad, and got the same dodgy answer, “haven’t really done too much trail riding”.

  • Schoukri Thyssen
  • http://www.ninja250blog.com R.Sallee (Ninja 250)

    Strange that they’d release the Crossrunner before this. ‘Cause now I look at this and just think it’s a Crossrunner.

  • jonoabq

    This class of bikes regardless of how they are marketed are fantastic daily drivers in almost all circumstances/weather/road conditions. The biggest drawback they all seem to have is not in their utility but in their mass. If the same weight reduction nit-picking was applied to them as it is applied to a liter class track weapon I’d consider going back to one at some point. It seems as if manufacturers play add-on instead of take-off…and for starters they can get rid of the over engineered shaft drive nonsense. Luggage, heated grips, upright seating position, long(ish) travel fully adjustable suspension, large capacity gas tank, all great stuff…extra 150 lbs., not so much.

    • http://vtbmwmov.org Eben

      The standard R1200GS weighs 475 pounds with an empty tank. That’s not much. About the same or less than similar displacement sport-tourers like the ZX-12R. BMW really put a lot into weight reduction from the R1150GS and, more than six years later, it’s still the lightest bike in its class.

      And the luggage pops right off these things. I’m not sure why you’d complain about a touring bike having luggage, especially removable luggage.

      • David

        I was very surprised by this. 475lbs? I thought it was much heavier than this but the brochure on the website lists it at 203Kg (447lbs) dry. That’s about the same as my wee strom and yet the one time I sat on an R1200GS I couldn’t stand it up.

        Funny how all they needed to do to fix Shamu was rebrand it as a crossover. This really looks like it makes more sense.

        Now please, a true successor to the VFR800. Pretty please.

        • http://rider49er.blogspot.com Mark D

          They already did; its called the Ninja 1000.

          Oh, wait…

  • Glenngineer

    So goddamn ugly. I’d rather see the an ST replacement…better wind protection, luggage.

  • andy727

    I’m in the market for an adventure bike right now. I like to see the BMW competition. I tried the Tiger 800 the other day, very nice.

    For the past 3 years or so, I have been renting GS’s (F650/800/1200/1200ADV) and riding them in different places around the world. My riding ends up probably 50/50 on/off road. I’ve been through some pretty hairy terrain, the GS’s have always done well for me.

    Every time I ride one of these I love them more and more. I have a friends 1200ADV right now and I am riding everywhere around town, it is so comfortable convenient and awesome around town.

    I have a touch decision to make!

    • Thom

      My suggestion

      Go with the BMW GS . 1200 or 1200ADV would be my choices . Or ……. if you have any inclinations towards Classic M/C’s the BMW R100GS is pretty darn hard to beat ( my personal choice )

      Regardless of any criticism or complaints about them ( mainly the price tag ) its the Industry Leader , Choice of M/C Touring companies Worldwide , as well as the M/C of choice for Serious Overlanders ( Adventure Riders unsupported ) for a very good reason.

      Add in tons of After Market goodies , Worldwide service availability and a massive community of BMW GS owners and riders waiting to give a hand /advice , well ……..

      Its still the best there is . At least for now .

      • http://www.ninja250blog.com R.Sallee (Ninja 250)

        What are the main advantages of the 1200 over the 800?

        • muckluck

          the automatic transmission and shaft drive is the only “advantage” as I can see?

        • Myles

          Shaft Drive? I hate chain maintenance.

  • Greg

    It pains me to say this, but that thing may in fact be more awful than the VFR1200….I was a Honda loyalist for a long time but damn, they seem to miss the mark pretty often these days.

  • http://www.tripleclamp.net Sasha Pave

    This makes more sense to me than the sport tourer. More comfort and versatility.