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Thread: VFR1200 DCT Review - Honda Wants You!

  1. #16
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Northern WV
    Thanks for your input and further explanation of the dual clutch transmission. I seems hard to imagine that Honda will keep the ST1300 now that this VFR is out. Yet, as pointed out, the big VFR holds under 5 gallons of gas. The seat to peg seems pretty tight for me.

  2. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by JREINHARDT View Post
    ... an adventure model to follow.
    well, now... *this* could get interesting.


    ps => nice report, thank you for sharing. also, interesting note about the LEOs and the press ride. the press are maniacs on these tests, i've found it better to stay *well* out of their way.
    Go soothingly through the grease mud, as there lurks the skid demon.
    __________________________________________________ ________________________________
    '67 Trail 90 || '86 R80 G/SPD+ || '97 F650ST || '00 1150 GS || '06 HP2e || '07 Xchallenge || '14 Grom

  3. #18
    Yes, the new Multistrada 1200, Concours 1400, and the K1300S are often mentioned when competition for the VFR1200 comes up. (I don't quite get the Concours 1400 and I own one.)


  4. #19
    Registered User mpmarty's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Camas Valley Oregon
    I'm not surprised at all. After all Honda brought us air bags on bikes first. Want to guess/bet when Obama decrees air bags for us all? And how does this computer shifter know I'm approaching my favorite hairpin and need second gear?
    Marty - in the western Oregon mountains.'06RT, (gone '04RT, '86 Venture Royal, '81 Yamaha Virago920, '82Suzuki GS1100GK, '76 Suzuki GT750, Triumph 750 Bonneville, BSA Road Rocket 650, 61" Harley knucklehead)

  5. #20

    I didn't get to ride it hard enough, nor did we hit any good hairpin turns to know for sure. One sure way is to use the paddle shifters and know you are in second. And the other way just has to be tested - Keep it in sport mode, hit the turn and see if it works! The journalists say it does !??


  6. #21
    Curmudgeon Emeritus
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Weimar, CA
    Great report. I don't enjoy clutching now that I have arthritis in my finger joints so I am waiting patiently for BMW to move its DCT technology (which is available in their cars) into the R1200RT. The RT is a better bike for me than the VFR, or any other BMW, so that's where the DCT would have to be. In fact, when it's time to replace my BMW car (with manual), if BMW doesn't have DCT in a 1, 2 or 3 series, I'll have to go with an Audi A3 TDI.

  7. #22
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Wilmington, NC
    Have always been a big fan of the Honda V-4s from the time I owned an 83, 750 Sabre. Chassis was slow handling but it was a very sweet motor for the era and no substantial shaft jacking, unlike the Yamaha shaft drive bikes of the same period.

    But the current VFR1200 is no more my kind of bike than a K1300S would be. (Looked at the VFR1200; didn't find it appealing enough to even want to ride it). My preference has always been for sport tourers with range and and my current runner is an 08 RT. Japan and European countries (except Russia) are dinky places so that tiny gas tank may be fine for them but it doesn't work for me and I want a fully upright riding position when I'm not crawling around in corners.

    So I will be most interested to see what develops in the way of a 1200 TOURER BUT unless Honda gets its "Mercedes pig weight" habit under control it isn't likely to find a home in my garage. If based on the VFR1200, a weight of 700 lbs or so would seem predictable and that's just way too damn heavy, no matter how "light" it feels. Actual lightness is important to fun- heavy stuff can't run corners like similar lighter stuff. If you doubt that, try using a Corvette to chase a Miata through the tightest twisties of your local sportscar track or chase a K1300 in the same places with any of the faster supermotos. As a matter of principle, I won't reward lazy engineers who choose cheap (same as heavy) materials. Honda bikes have basically fallen way off their historic pace of innovation since the old man died, having more of a taste for oddity (eg DN-01, selling an antique low level middleweight as the latest tourer in their US lineup, etc) or copycat conformity (all their cruisers) than real engineering innovation.

    And handling is more important than the extra horsepower- the RTs 105hp/85 lb-ft torque is ample for touring needs. Torque comes mostly from displacement and hp is a function of RPM - most of us don't spin engines at the upper RPM (hp) range much so the torque figure and rpm it peaks at is what usually matters if its not a racebike or racer-wannabee.

    Would be interested to try the DCT where it can be truly exercised. I've tried on track various cars with some sort of modernized shifter and to date have not found any I prefer to a 6 spd for daily driving (no crippling infirmities, yet), though some of the paddle versions work fine in manual mode. But I'm open to trying anything new on a bike. The real issue is going to be how often you have to operate in manual mode to make up for failings in the programming and no matter who did it or how hard they tried, no electronic box can anticipate what is not in its programming. I suspect one might be able to get there IF a bike did it with gyroscope and g sensors included but then one has a very complex system that has many possible failure modes, some of which are probably unsafe, and which also might be excessively heavy.

    Re the VFR 800, the service requirements of the VTEC version don't put it on my list so the non-VTEC 1200 is better. Whether I do my own (usual) or pay someone else, simpler is better and the new 1200 motor has a reasonably simple service regime - assuming the bike is easier to "get into" than a GoldWing and doesn't need plastic fasteners replaced during routine work. (BMW panel fit and attachment hardware work very well). One of the things I really like about the RT is its service simplicity (at least until you have to dig into the tranny or clutch).

    Pricing is an issue. Given the asking prices for the VFR1200 compared to the Concours, it seems likely that Honda will be trying to establish a new high price point for Japanese tourers essentialy matching German prices in what will be, at best, a slowly recovering world economy. That won't fly unless the bike is superior in virtually all respects to BMWs to which it is compared. If it too close in price to the new 6 cyl LT, the VFR1200 tourer will probably be DOA - it could be both heavier and less responsive.

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