This kind of rheostatic power usually flows from brushes and magnets, not valves and pistons. The dip at 5000 rpm is EPA-induced leanness and goes largely unnoticed. The challenge is climbing to that 10,000-rpm power peak without tripping over the rev limiter that arrives all too quickly at 10,500.
Engine type: l-c 76-deg. V-4
Valve train: SOHC, 16v
Bore x stroke: 81.0 x 60.0mm
Fuel system: Keihin EFI
Clutch: Wet, multi-plate slipper
Frame: Aluminum twin-spar
Front suspension: 43mm Showa inverted cartridge fork
Rear suspension: Showa shock with adjustable spring preload and rebound damping
Front brake: Dual Nissin radial-mount six-piston calipers, 320mm discs with ABS/CBS
Rear brake: Nissin two-piston caliper, 267mm disc with ABS/CBS
Front tire: 120/70ZR-17 Dunlop Sportmax Roadsmart
Rear tire: 190/55ZR-17 Dunlop Sportmax Roadsmart
Rake/trail: 25.5º/4.0 in.
Seat height: 32.1 in.
Wheelbase: 60.8 in.
Fuel capacity: 4.9 gal.
Weight: (tank full/empty): 594/565 lbs.
Measured horsepower: 142.1 bhp @ 10,000 rpm
Measured torque: 81.4 lb.-ft. @ 8750 rpm
Corrected 1/4-mile: 10.23 sec. @ 136.82 mph
Top-gear roll-on 60-80 mph: 3.14 sec.
Fuel mileage (high/low/avg.): 42/33/38 mpg
Colors: Candy Red
Warranty: 1 yr., unlimited mi.
Contact: American Honda Motor Corp.
1919 Torrance Blvd.
Torrance, CA 90501
The VFR gives up an inch of legroom to BMW's K1300S, but the best seat in sport-touring is more than 3 inches farther away from the bars. The net result offers admirable long-haul comfort without getting in the way of a good time when you're on the gas through the twisty bits.
Weight: 145 lbs.
Inseam: 31 in.
The biggest problem with the VFR1200F is that Honda insisted on calling it a VFR. Aside from the vestigial V4 engine, there's little linking this to any Interceptor that came before-which is why the VFR faithful feel so alienated by this machine. Get over it. It's not a hard-core sportbike, but the Viffer hasn't been that since the late '80s when the RC30 (and the CBR Hurricanes) picked up the sporting torch. Just pretend the letters V-F-R don't exist and try to appreciate the 1200 for what it is: a fast, comfortable, gorgeously constructed, high-tech grand-tourer. Maybe Honda would have been better off calling it the Sabre. If you don't like the sound of that, we hear there are plenty of brand-new VFR800s in dealerships...
Weight: 228 lbs.
Inseam: 35 in.
As one ride on the new VFR will tell you, middle age is a mixed bag. Those racy duds the 1986 original wore didn't fit anymore, and it's gained a fair bit of weight. But inline CBRs have been the pointy end of Honda's performance spear for years now and nobody is comfortable in a 24-year-old tracksuit anyway.