2010 VFR1200F Interceptor Revealed!

Revamped from the ground up, Honda's new Interceptor may just be the ultimate Sport Tourer.

Spotlights swirling on the ceiling performed their intended purpose perfectly; momentarily distracting journalists as the 2010 VFR1200F was wheeled onto the conference room floor. Announced just days earlier, the meeting at Honda's Torrance, California headquarters would serve to introduce the world to the new Interceptor, the highly anticipated replacement for the VFR800 which was released way back in 2002.

Penned as a sport-tourer for "experienced hands who ride hard, ride long, ride far and ride often", the new Viffer is powered by a 1237cc, 16-valve V-4 which is sure to be a stunner. The previous model's complex DOHC VTEC cylinder heads are gone, replaced by simpler, lighter, more compact Unicam heads similar to those found on the CRF motocross bikes. Smaller in every way, the Unicam valvetrain allows the staggered cylinders to be swung inward to form a narrow 76-degree angle (the VFR800 was a 90-degree V-4) for a more compact engine and better mass centralization. Jammed into the tiny gap between aforementioned cylinders is a quartet of 44-millimeter throttle bodies, controlled by Honda's first-ever use of Throttle-By-Wire technology for optimized throttle response. While power figures weren't divulged, Honda reps suggested that horsepower and torque will be more than ample for the sport riding and touring this rig was designed for.

A single-sided swingarm is par for the course, and the angular, 7-spoke wheels are the best-looking yet. The previous model's chain drive is gone, replaced by a next-generation shaft drive with an offset pivot and sliding CV joint for reduced shaft-jack under acceleration. Staggered header lengths between the front and rear cylinders help spread power, and converge in a single, low-slung trapezoidal muffler, leaving plenty of room on the stubby tail for accessory saddlebags.

Honda's Combined ABS will come standard, and riders will have their choice between a standard transmission and Honda's new Dual Clutch Automatic Transmission, which you can learn more about here.

Honda claims a curb weight of 591 pounds for the standard transmission VFR, which will put the bike on par with its sport-touring competition. Choosing the dual-clutch automatic version will add another 22 pounds to that figure.

Styling is identical to the pre-production spy photos seen earlier this year, with a broad, smooth-skinned fairing, Y-shaped headlight assembly, generously-proportioned seat, and relaxed ergonomics. The bike looks much smaller (and more attractive) in person than it does in photos, and feels downright wonderful when you climb aboard. The foot pegs are set at a leisurely height, and the fork-mounted handlebars are the perfect compromise between 600RR low and Goldwing high.

While we were allowed to ogle the new stead, Honda isn't handing out keys just yet. We expect to get a ride on the VFR1200F within the next month or two, so keep an eye out for our on-road impressions. Based on what we saw at the introduction, we're sure it'll be impressive.