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VFR1200F (2014)

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by 2wheelsagain, Nov 27, 2014.

  1. At the end of September 2014 I settled on a Honda VFR1200F as a replacement/update for my 2007 Suzuki Bandit 1250S.
    Other bikes considered and closely looked at were;
    · Kawasaki Ninja 1000 (2014)
    · Suzuki Hyabusa (runout)
    · Trumpy Sprint GT (2014)
    · Yamaha FJR1300 (2014)
    · Kawasaki 1400GTR (2014)
    · Honda VFR800 (runout)
    So apart from the Ninja and the VFR all these bikes are physically large just like the Bandit and the better part of $20k or more. They all had plusses and minuses and a lot of these are subjective so there’s little point in going through each one.
    So the bike I settled on was the one that ticked the most boxes for reputation, features, suitability, comfort, performance, value and grin factor. That being the Honda VFR1200F.

    4000km later and I know I’ve made the right choice. I knew much earlier than that and the only doubt I had was with 139km on the clock and the coppers were into me for $295 and 3 points! That was on the way home from the dealers but it’s all been great since then.

    This bike goes like stink and stops better than anything else I’ve ridden over the 40yrs I’ve been wobbling about on bikes. It’s the best handling bike I’ve ever had even better than my Ohlins fitted FZ1. It’s got bags of power and torque. Its economical. Has a tank range of 350km+. Has 12,000km between services with shaft drive and a slick gearbox. Brilliant headlight and LED’s rounds out the package. Sure its 270kg and its no supersports but its stable and a calm bike to ride. Honda have done a great job designing the fairings and it takes a fair bit of rain to actually get wet. A claimed 170hp of V4 under the tank that sounds great with a quick and east muffler mod and good sized and well designed panniers make this the long distance tourer I was hoping it to be. I’ve done a 1000km day and another 10hr day covering 650km through the Vic alps and got off wanting to do more. It’s very capable.
    Its looks are “distinctive” and not everyone gets it. I understand that but I don’t mind standing out in this case.

    I guess like all bikes it’s not perfect. I’ll probably get a DB screen. They should come with power sockets. Pillion accommodation is limited. Gear lever too far from peg but all these can be added or fixed cheaply.

    I got a pretty good deal and rode away $16,000 lighter plus trade in with panniers and center stand and discounted 1st service.

    If you’re looking for a large capable tourer I recommend you have a close look at the VFR1200 in either F or D (DC/Auto)
    Happy to answer any questions.
  2. You can gauge Honda's enthusiasm for the bike by the fact that its original price was over $24,000....
  3. I've owned a 2010 VFR for about 3 years now i think and I thoroughly love the bike

    I take it yours has the Traction Control and a few other tweaks being a 2014? I wasn't aware the newer models got imported...

    I've done the GPS sensor mod for more torque and linear acceleration in 1st and 2nd.

    replaced the windshield with a tinted OEM style screen, I've done thousands of kms of touring and found the shield to be good for me but like you said its subjective.

    replaced the stock muffler with a DAM pipe, and removed the servo motor from under the seat.

    I added 12v dc and 2x USB ports to the handle bars, along with a fork stem B size ram-mount ball joint, which can hold various devices phones, GPS unit, navigators etc.

    I also added a power outlet to the Top box, which when removed the cable tucks under the seat.

    As a tall bloke I find the ergonomics perfect but shorter people probably would have a lot of issues with the seat height/width peg location and bars.

    I've tuned the suspension for me, but have no desire to completely rebuild or replace suspension components. I have my settings for a local fang and settings for long tours which only take a few minutes to change.

    The thing that puts the greatest grin on my face is the responses from other riders when I'm stopped after they see me smash it though the bends and disappear into the distance with all the bike in full dresser configuration i.e. with all the luggage attached.

    No doubt the VFR12 is an extremely capable bike and I agree the brakes are best I've ever experienced in this class of bike.
  4. I wonder what the trade-in was? I agree though , I'm a bit stunned at how Honda have caved on price.
  5. I'm not questioning the OP's or Clint's enthusiasm for the bike, but in market terms it has been a monumental failure; there are still 2012 models in Honda's inventory, and they can't shift them even with massive discounts. The hard-core VFR people couldn't stomach it, and it was too expensive for people who were looking for something like a BMW, but a bit cheaper. You can see Honda's response in the re-introduction of the VFR800 when they were initially determined that the gen 6 was the last of the line.....
  6. You can't Blame honda, but rather the Australian branch/importer of honda.

    Australian Honda have been notorious for ridiculous pricing for the Australian market, mind you $24k was the bike with luggage and centre stand options the price for the bike alone was $19,100 IIRC
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. Well there you go. I didn't know that. It would have made a difference to how I viewed the model.
  8. to add some balance as I really only pointed out the positives of the bike.

    while the instrument panel is beautiful to look at it lacks some critical trip computer features and the fuel gauge is no better than a low fuel light with the way it indicates fuel level.

    tank could have been larger by a good 5 litres bringing ti from 18.5to 23.5. I believe honda did this in order to keep the bike well balanced and not top heavy. there is no physical reason why the tank could not have been bigger. the painted trim surrounding the tank are just fairings the tank could have filled this space and been painted 2 tone or simply left black.

    the stock muffler can develop a "clatter sound" due to the servo operated flap developing some slop. but it wasn't an issue for me as the muffler only remained on the bike for the ride home from the dealers

    Disassembly of the fairings is tricky, but once you know how a piece of cake the up side though is that there are no visible fasteners making for a very clean look. (keep some of the push-pin type fastens on hand as they break very easily while being removed there is one on each side that is different to the rest use.

    the exhaust has to be partially removed to remove the back wheel, with the stock muffler this means removing the right side rear fairing, detaching the servo cable, removing the foot peg bolt and then loosening the pipe clamp to tilt the muffler over and remove the wheel, in reality it only takes a few seconds especially if you have replaced the stock muffler with an aftermarket one.

    probably the biggest draw back that some riders biatch about is the fuel map for 1st and 2nd gear. The bikes power is gimped but for good reason this 300+kg beast with a rider will wheel stand off the mark with full torque and with no traction control (on my year model at least) wheel spin is an issue. where the restriction becomes an issue is that the acceleration is not linear, one second you have this tame easily managed pony under you then the bike hits ~4,500rpm and FARKEN LAUNCHES!!!! this can catch riders out especially mid turn, but really isn't an issue as if your riding offensively you shouldn't dip below the ~4,500 rpm mark, and if riding conservative won't catch you out unless you treat the throttle like an on off switch.

    I modded mine purely for MORE POWERRRR!!!! with the down side being the gear indicator not working correctly.

    other than that these are the only real downsides of the bike, typically things like power points and other things are the types of mods I like to make myself to personalise my ride
    • Winner Winner x 1
  9. The ECU and fuel tank was updated in 2012 so mine has the goodies included. I can tell you the TC works well and thankfully I havent tested the ABS. I've removed the flapper cable and plugged the hole.
    In 2010 they would have marched out the door at $24k if they had been more conventional looking I'm sure.
    I'm used to the fuel guage now. It makes sense when you work it out.

    I too love getting off the bike at the other end and waiting for the others to pull in behind me on machines that should be far more capable :LOL:(y)

    Haters will always hate but I couldnt give a shit :headphone:
  10. Absolutely, the other issue is that on a flat 2D picture these bikes lose so much of there beauty that can only be appreciated in real life with a 3 dimensional view, the styling I think was also ahead of their time.

    Sure the price tag didn't help.
  11. Funny, my last bike before the VFR was also a VTR, your not planning on getting an MT09 to by any chance?
    • Like Like x 1
  12. lol mate an MT01 will find its way into my garage one day but the next bike is likely to be a Buell.
  13. MT01 was on my list before the MT09 was released but the MT01 is still something I'll get one day .... We have very similar tastes
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Buell.......mmmmmmmmmmm

    I am a sucker for a V-twin
    • Like Like x 1
  15. Gotta have a V Twin as a weekend toy (while I can afford it)
    It makes the silky smooth V4 an even better tourer :happy:
    • Funny Funny x 1
  16. The shitty small fuel tank, tiny panniers (barely get a full size lid in there) and ridiculous price kept me away.

    Dealers don't stock them anymore because they sell so poorly, and like the blackbird, Honda have had to discount them to move them.

    The difference is the bird is an excellent machine even 18 years after introduction. In the lead up to its announcement it was to be the bird replacement I was hoping for, but when it arrived, it was disappointing.

    I do agree that now the price has had a correction, and there are a few for sale used with almost delivery I'm on them they could make a good bike for the $$ but as a long distance tourer the tank is still too small.
  17. 350km+ not far enough on a tank Tweet? The panniers are average size but the mounting system is brilliant.
    Every bike is a compromise in some way. It's funny that the people who bag them don't ride them ;)
    • Agree Agree x 1
  18. 2wheelsagain2wheelsagain - nice write up in your original post. It's unfortunate that you posted this because now people will realise how good the VFR1200F really is. It's been a hidden gem for a while.

    Honda Australia did a poor job of pricing and marketing this model. I really didn't mind reading about the criticism directed at the VFR1200F, because that eventually drove the price down.

    I've done 30,000km on my VFR1200F in 15months. Like you, I've done a 1000km day and felt good at the end of it. The greatest distance between petrol stations on that trip was 260km. I made it with fuel to spare.

    By the way, I'm only 5' 6" and the ergonomics is fine for me. It handles really well and I don't feel the weight; even in slow traffic.
  19. If it won't do 400+ km on a tank it's no good to me and the puny panniers just wouldn't cut it. I'm on my second blackbird and the only think I wish it had was a shaft drive.

    For the $$ Honda was asking (almost BMW territory) for the VFR, it was sure missing a hell of a lot of goodies.

    Like those who bought the bird near its introduction, you would be pretty pissed off if you did stump up full tilt only to have Honda sell them a couple of years later $7k cheaper.....

    The current price no doubt makes them more attractive.
  20. Sorry mate. The cats out of the bag now. Any issues you can add to make Tweet feel better?

    All the bikes I originally listed had features missing or something I didn't like or the value wasn't there etc. Each of them are good bikes in their own right and probably perform to expectations.

    If the VFR1200 isn't for you move onto something else. That's the beauty of bikes. There's one for everybody. Why bang on about something that turns you away when that feature/s meets someone else's needs? Is it just an ego thing?