New Honda 1200 V4 CrossTourer!!!

Discussion in 'Japanese polycylindered adventure bikes' started by Two Plugs, Nov 2, 2010.

  1. Toto

    Toto Been here awhile

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    Well, ok...you make a good point there, Bross.
    But, for that price, how hard is it to add CC?
    Tigers have it, S10 has it.
    I would sure like it on my V2, but being a bit of a budget bike, I don't expect it.
    Also, folks seem to be willing to pay more for BMW and not so much Honda.
    I just don't see them selling well at that price...but I see what you mean.
  2. MUDHWY

    MUDHWY Look What You've Done

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    This may apply...

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  3. jetsam215

    jetsam215 Adventurer

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    From my perspective, it's the Northern Hemisphere that's on the wrong side of the road and spins the wrong way down the toilet.




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  4. jetsam215

    jetsam215 Adventurer

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    Hahahah, well done. Much more better!!


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  5. cabanza

    cabanza Smooth is Fast

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    This thread needs more pics! Come on, owners! Make us drool!
  6. MrKiwi

    MrKiwi Increasingly Grumpy Super Supporter

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    Pics you want, sure...

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  7. MUDHWY

    MUDHWY Look What You've Done

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    LOVE IT...Kiwi! :clap
  8. jetsam215

    jetsam215 Adventurer

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    Be careful what you ask for....

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]





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  9. fastnlight

    fastnlight Tire Tester

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  10. fastnlight

    fastnlight Tire Tester

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    [​IMG]
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  11. Kingsqueak

    Kingsqueak Wannabe

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    Finally found one to sit on. At 6'5" it fits me very nicely. About on par with a 1200 GS/A.
  12. jetsam215

    jetsam215 Adventurer

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    In my opinion you need more Manliness to lift the CT off the side stand.


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  13. cabanza

    cabanza Smooth is Fast

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    Awesome pics guys! Keep 'em coming!
  14. Visian

    Visian Look out! Supporter

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    [​IMG]

    A 3,000 mile test ride

    Just got home from a tour through California that involved 4 crossings of the Sierra, a couple of volcanoes, Trinity Alps, four National Parks, the entire length of the PCH from Oregon to LA and a whole lot of the coastal ranges and central valley.

    Honda will tell you straight up that this is a street bike, and I am looking to replace my 17 year old R1150GS, which I use for touring and light off-pavement to reach remote camping areas. Been riding GS since the G/S and have always said if Honda sold a bike like the GS I would buy it. Well, this bike is not a GS, instead it's a totally different take on adventure touring that I liked a whole bunch.

    The engine and drivetrain on this bike are purely amazing, with power everywhere, at any time, in any gear. I rode the DCT and feel that I now understand it well. It's really a step forward, the paddle-shift (manual) mode is beyond delicious for WFO acceleration, the Drive mode makes the thing run like a 50cc scooter (6th gear at 37mph) and the Sport mode livens things up quite a bit in terms of engine speed shift points. In either of the modes you can shift manually, which turned out to be my preference in most situations. However, I could ride this bike much more smoothly with a manual clutch and if I buy one, that is what I'll go with.

    Smoothness, imo, is the key to performance riding. I can see how newer riders may not be all that good with the clutch and this bike is very well-mannered when riding within the speed limit. Wick it up and things get not-so-smooth rather quickly. With the DCT 99% of the upshifts are nearly imperceptible, 75% of the downshifts are as good as I could do, but those last 25% were not. And it turns out that I like the bike to be in the gear I want it to be in whether that's the most efficient or not, downshifts into first on slow twisty corners upset the chassis and harshed the buzz.

    Since Honda says the VFR1200X is a street bike, I gave the bike a healthy dose of this:

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    ... and this:

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    Photo by Ken Engelman

    ... but didn't want to pass up the opportunity to try roads that would lead to excellent camping (or lodges) like this:

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    or this....

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    ... but spared it any real abuse. The Bridgestone tires are not my favorite, I didn't feel like lowering the air pressure, the bike is too heavy and the suspension travel and damping are just not there. With its weight, this bike pushes its front wheel in the soft stuff much more easily compared to my oilhead GS. Manageable, but better tires needed.

    The VFR1200X is a major-league drivetrain supported by a farm team suspension. The Rider Magazine comparo this month that the Honda's suspension has 2" less travel front and rear than the Super Ten or Triumph Explorer. Front fork and rear shock feature minimal adjustability and the damping especially is also pretty unsophisticated. Even on the softest settings the bike hits every bump in the road and sends the impact directly to your hands, wrists, arms and shoulders. I'd pay at least $1500 extra for this bike if it had suspension with more travel, high and low-speed damping adjustments on compression and rebound and a plushness that doesn't get overwhelmed by aggressive riding. I could probably live without the more travel.

    Windscreen was excellent, far less buffeting than BMW. Luggage was ok, it had the annoying requirement of using the key to open or close, I'd probably get Jesse boxes. I'd like to try this bike with some Mitas or Michelin tires and would probably go with some Cyclops LED headlight bulb replacements if they were available.

    This bike *begs* for cruise control and, at a minimum, the throttle needs a friction screw (or o-ring type fix) because once the suspension gets to rocking your wrist starts giving the engine incorrect inputs... the throttle is super-precise and sensitive... even moreso than a BMW. You really have to concentrate hard to use the throttle smoothly. During the course of my ride, I did get to test a BMW S1000X with Shift Assist and the Honda with DCT was much nicer.

    Other than that, there's very little I'd change about this bike.

    Last, I think this bike looks *awesome* and so did a whole bunch of other people throughout California... riders and non-riders alike were quite attracted to it.

    So what's the hot setup for improving the suspension on this bike?
  15. jetsam215

    jetsam215 Adventurer

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    Good report, agree with most of it.
    If you put the right tyres / tires on it you can ride it like a dirt bike in open country and it will behave like an XR, however the sheer size and weight prohibits more technical terrain. (Not to say it won't go there)
    Like most Hondas, the suspension is the first place to start modding especially if you intent to start loading it up for long range touring.
    I added a Wilburs in the rear and it fixed everything, revalving the front and / or respringing will help but some more travel certainly would not hurt.




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  16. twinrider

    twinrider Pass the catnip

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    In that case, why not just leave the bike in manual mode all the time? Then it shifts only when you want it to (barring lugging the engine down to unreasonable levels) and the shifts are glass smooth. This eliminates the minuses of DCT that you cited, while leaving the pluses: The throttle stays open while shifting so it's faster, you can change gears while leaned over mid corner because the chassis balance doesn't get upset, no need to constantly work the clutch in stop and go traffic, and it's almost impossible to stall in difficult conditions such as deep sand and gravel where you might fry a manual clutch.
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  17. Visian

    Visian Look out! Supporter

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    That's exactly what I did. However, my bike was not always glass smooth on downshifts, so I kept experimenting with the hybrid sport mode/manual approach and it was often smoother. Depended on the riding conditions. Extreme twisties = manual, sweepers = sport with a manual input every now and then.

    I think the DCT is a great thing, but my preference is still to use a clutch. I'd really like to try the Africa Twin with DCT on some more serious off pavement and off road.
  18. bross

    bross Where we riding to? Supporter

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    Does this current CrossTourer have the same software level as the Africa Twin? It sounds like they have DCT pretty well dialed in on the Africa Twin programming wise so would hope they could simply update the older DCTs.
  19. coast range rider

    coast range rider I'd rather be riding my Stelvio

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    Visian, I'm not familiar with options for a 3000 mile CT test drive in California. Did you perhaps rent this bike? A really, really good friend in California? What's the secret?
    I'd be happy with a 30 mile test drive. Especially to experience the less smooth DCT downshifts. Just in case I score a short test ride, can I get someone's comment on if the poorer downshifts are the same on all 3 levels of sport mode.
  20. MrKiwi

    MrKiwi Increasingly Grumpy Super Supporter

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    a couple of more pics. Same place, a season apart...

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