2012 Honda Crosstourer | Spied!

Leaked Photos Reveal Production Version Of Honda’s Vfr1200f-Based Adventure Bike

By Ben Purvis, Photography by Brenda Priddy & Co.

You’re looking at the Honda that aims to knock BMW’s R1200GS off the top of the international sales charts. Revealed last year as the Crosstourer concept, the production VFR1200X hasn’t changed much. Spy shots show identical overall shape and dimensions, and the final version actually looks better than the original. Uncluttered by the showbike’s saddlebags, crash bars, auxiliary lighting and tall screen—likely options for the production version—Honda’s GS rival is a sleeker proposition. Large expanses of bodywork differentiate it from the more off-road-oriented BMW because this is a road-going tourer with few off-road aspirations, despite the inevitable upright riding position and mandatory front-fender beak.

Let’s get one thing clear: This Honda is aimed at riders looking for the lofty vantage point, roomy seating position, generous wind protection and broad-barred maneuverability of an adventure bike without rolling on skittish knobbies. It’s a two-wheeled Jeep Grand Cherokee—no match for a Wrangler off-road, but more luxurious everywhere else.

Just as the Honda Crossrunner wraps the VFR800 Interceptor’s engine, frame and suspension in adventure-style bodywork, the Crosstourer shares its basic foundation with the VFR1200F. The engine, shaft drive, transmission and aluminum-beam frame are virtually identical. A longer-travel, upside-down fork is fitted with conventional front brake calipers, rather than the radial-mounted calipers found on the sport-tourer. Bars are higher and much wider, while the footpegs sit lower and further forward. Not even giants will feel cramped here. New alloy-rimmed wire wheels—led by the de rigueur 19-inch front for a proper off-road stance—complete the visible technical changes.

Power comes from the VFR’s 1237cc V4 with its compact, MotoGP-derived architecture. The rear cylinders sit closer together than the front pair, putting less motorcycle between the rider’s legs. Expect a bit less muscle than the 172-horse sport-tourer as well; more like the 150-bhp Ducati Multistrada 1200. The downside of using all those VFR components shows up on the scales: A VFR1200F lumbers in at 594 lbs. with a full tank of fuel, and the Crosstourer can’t be much lighter. Add the VFR’s optional dual-clutch transmission and there’s another 41 lbs. Throw in saddlebags, crashbars and some additional lights to emulate the Crosstourer concept, and you’re looking at a 675-lb. motorcycle. Did we mention it’s unlikely to see much dirt?

Pricing should be comparable to a current VFR1200F: $15,999 for the manual-clutch version. That’s a couple grand more than the base BMW R1200GS, but less than the higher-spec $17,250 Adventure. Honda hasn’t said whether the bike will retain the Crosstourer name or simply be called the VFR1200X. While Crosstourer aligns neatly with Crossrunner, Honda sells a utilitarian car called the Crosstour, so don’t be surprised to see it called something different.

By Ben Purvis
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