Why is the Crosstourer a flop?

Discussion in 'Japanese polycylindered adventure bikes' started by Mattbastard, Dec 10, 2019.

  1. OCLandspeeder

    OCLandspeeder Been here awhile

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    While I like Hondas in general, Honda has a habit of releasing models nobody asked for. The VFR1200 in 2010 was one of them. They "sold" those in the USA for a mere 3 years before they dropped it due to lack of sales. The Crosstourer is just a reincarnation of that bike in an ADV form. So it is heavy and thirsty and detuned for torque. The other Honda flop was the VFR800 in 2014. They were still trying to sell 2015 models in 2018! And Honda being Honda, they were not discounting them heavily so the bikes sat and probably still sitting in a few showrooms in the US. Probably one of the worst bikes Honda ever released in memory. Heavy, low powered, expensive.

    Having said that, Honda does hit home runs....AT is one, CBR500x is another one. Goldwing too.
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  2. Jarrett2

    Jarrett2 Been here awhile

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    I had a 2016 AT DCT first, then made the mistake of test riding a used 2016 VFR1200X DCT.

    I bought the VFR with the intention of keeping the AT, but ultimately, I never rode it again. It felt like a snail compared to the power in the VFR. And down dirt roads, they were about the same to me. I don't want to take 500+ lbs on anything more technical than that, I have small bikes for that kind of thing.

    Talking about top heavy, the AT was much more of a top heavy bike than the VFR. The VFR feels more like a big brother to the NC700X than any relation to the AT. And like the NC700X, the VFR carries its weight low and makes the bike feel lighter than it is.

    I've run off and left a number GS's on this bike. The 1250's would probably be a closer match power wise, but I haven't ridden with any. The US model has a limiter at 130 mph and it gets up there just fine. Supposedly, there is a guy that will reflash it to Euro specs and lift that limit, but 130 mph is plenty for me. I actually took it to a track day once and had a blast on it, even with 80/20 tires. I've had it leaned over at 110mph and it felt perfectly fine about it. It really has a lot of sport DNA to it.

    Lately, I've been considering swapping it out for 1290 SAS just to get moar powah, but I dunno. The DCT on this VFR makes it really nice to do long miles on. Time will tell, I guess. It is a dated design at this point, but it also has a lot of good things going for it as well. Coolness points is not one of them.

    Oh, I forgot to mention, you can put cruise control on it for $600. Heated grips were $200, I think. They integrate with the factory dash. Both nice upgrades to the bike. I also lowered the pegs and it fits my 6'1" frame just fine.
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  3. Mattbastard

    Mattbastard Lazy ass

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    I dunno. I read something about the fork internals wearing out prematurely on them. Thoughts?

    I'm also trying to get a bike that can take the Givi V35 series bags and a Maxia top case. Not sure the AT can take those bags, Givi site doesn't show they make a mount for them.
    #43
  4. twinrider

    twinrider Pass the catnip

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    That vid is the first clue to what went wrong and what I noticed right off when I tried one. The VFR800 engine was one of the best sounding around with its 180 crankshaft, lumpy at low revs like a v-twin, then would start screaming as the revs rose. Owned two 800s and loved them. The VFR1200 with its 360-esque crank sounds bland. Huge disappointment to V4 fans who expected this kind of sound with 1200 power.



    Next was the design. Honda built it on a budget by taking the fairing off a VFR1200F and cobbling together a pseudo adv look. The bean counters were happy but not prospective buyers.

    The blasé looks could've been overcome by tech features but Honda left off cruise control and electronic suspension even though its European rivals and the Super 10 both featured them.

    This mistake could have been overcome by a Gen II design but Honda effectively abandoned the bike. If it had evolved the bike the way it did with the Africa Twin, Honda could've made it into a winner.
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  5. wpbarlow

    wpbarlow Long timer Supporter

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    I prefer the 360 degree crank-- Honda's best VFR (RC30) had that setup (as did the VFs). The sound is subjective, though most people seem to prefer the 180 degree- but that might be because they are most used to hearing those V4s with aftermarket pipes. The 360 degree crank (at least the way Honda engineered them) seem to provide a more linear power curve as well.

    There's no "wrong" answers here.

    Well, actually there are-- and Honda seems to have made a lot of them with how the VFRs have evolved: stellar bikes in a vacuum; but less than they could have, and should have, been as Honda's "technology showcase" bike.
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  6. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    Legacy love affair

    https://www.bemoto.uk/blog/why-honda-love-v4

    Probably not very practical in this day and age of global motorcycle models.
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  7. baekdongmul

    baekdongmul Been here awhile

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    Because the 800 was the good one, and it didn't get brung to North America
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  8. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    I'd say Honda figured out at some point or maybe quickly that the AT was going to be their best big ADV package to leverage and they ran with it. There is a reason why there are 2 AT models and the CT was then dropped.

    I'm sure the thinking at Honda is Soichiro might have loved the V4 but it no longer working for us building modern bikes for world transportation needs. Remember Honda is not just Japanese engineers only building bikes in a bubble, kinda like how Suzuki still is, but teams with people from all around the world inputting on what the bike should be.

    And yes your right then the bean counters take over and can often screw things up.
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  9. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    Are you talking about the Crossrunner?
    Pure street bike, but would have sold to the street crowd.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honda_Crossrunner

    Honda NA went with the NC700 instead for that street ADV look.
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  10. baekdongmul

    baekdongmul Been here awhile

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    Yeah, but I didn't think the 1200 was any more an off-roader than the 800
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  11. Hamamelis

    Hamamelis Inmate

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    Sadly I think the V4, as applied in the role of an economical sport-touring or muscle cruiser motor, may have had its heyday in a past decade. Contemporary twins and triples with counterbalancers have the weight and cost advantage, and contemporary I4s have reliability. Not that V4s are bad, but it seems like most of the success of V4s in this decade have been in lightweight, high-horsepower application.

    I could be wrong. It just seems like they were wonder-tech in the '80s and '90s, before fuel injection and better metallurgy eventually led to contemporary motors having higher horsepower and/or torque for cheaper. That fueling and metallurgy has also made V4s great, but at a Ducati or Aprilia superbike price tag.

    edit: I should note the most iconic V4 motors from Honda and Yamaha were engineered and released before I was even born!
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  12. OCLandspeeder

    OCLandspeeder Been here awhile

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    I owned 3 VFR's, the last one was a 2007 VFR800 with VTEC. They were great motorcycles, with beautiful sounds.

    But Honda stopped developing them. As a result, all the other engines improved or got bigger and more powerful, while the Honda V4 languished. In 2014 Honda re-introduced the VFR800 with LESS power and the bike was still too heavy. Meanwhile Kawasaki had the all powerful Ninja 1000, and Yamaha had their wonderful 847cc triple that puts out 15 more hp than the Honda V4! On top of that, Honda likes to charge a premium for their products, which I have to say do look and feel premium, but always seems to be behind on performance.

    I do think Honda has learned from their mistakes. Their current lineup is pretty strong and competitive.
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  13. Hamamelis

    Hamamelis Inmate

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    Oh yeah, I don't doubt for a minute that any Honda V4 is a good mptor - shoot, a mid-model gear-driven VFR is still one of my dream sportbikes if I ever have the garage space.

    I do hope that Ducati and Aprilia do eventually give Honda a bit of a kick in the ass to make the VFR a blockbuster again
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  14. twinrider

    twinrider Pass the catnip

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    That happened in 2002 as well. Everyone loved the 5th gen 800 and at the top of their wishlist was a 1,000 cc cam gear drive V4. But instead Honda decided to show off its tech prowess by giving us something no one asked for: a heavier, lower powered Vtec 800.
    #54
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  15. showkey

    showkey Long timer

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    Own both NC and VFR1200x

    I find the NC700/750x comments comical and come up often on various forums.........just needs 30-50 more HP, better suspension, shaft drive, double disks, spoke wheel tubeless and 100 pound weight reduction. Remembering the NC was $6000 in 2012. The NC and CB500X are budget bikes are in completely different class from the VFR1200x. Build and components Quality are light years apart. The VRF had all those Wanted features except the weight and price !!!!!!!!!!

    I sold a ST1300 for the VFR1200x. The VFR has great power ( over double the NC) , DCT, better suspension( but some want better which is never a surprise) far better than NC , spoked tubeless, great brakes. the VFR was Purchased at huge discount ..........that in my opinion was the BIGGEST problem with the VFR, it was too expensive for the US market.

    Anyway, kept my NC but barely ride it. 16, 000 miles on the VFR use it on road like the ST. VFR has excellent wind protection but not hot like the ST. Use then VFR gravel and fire roads like the NC and will not be selling it any time soon.

    On the NC market.........they can be found used low mileage with accessories and mods for $3000. ST1300 are selling for similar money. That’s another thread but part of the issues with the US market place.
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  16. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    Yeah the VTech killed the 800 for sure.
    Honda applied tech just to apply tech and turded out a great model.

    Cannondale moto is a great example how to apply tech for the sake of applying tech & go bankrupt.
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  17. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    Been addressed on newer years, you can coat forks and fix issue on older years.

    Probably a non issue as most older year owners probably never open their forks & is it really an issue? Or just fussy owners?

    Are you making it one so you can talk yourself out of buying a AT?
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  18. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    For ADV bikes atleast a V4 makes no sense.
    Too much metal and weight vs packaging as a parallel twin.

    There is a reason KTM went balls in with parallel twins for their most agresive ADV vs a V based package!
    #58
  19. Redoubt

    Redoubt The chair is against the wall.

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    I may purchase a VFR a few years from now. I am tired of cleaning the chain, plus I want dct with a single swingarm.

    My advice to you pay off all your debt, max out your TSP which is $19k a year. Then anything left over buy a VFR at $8k left over model when you return.
    #59
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  20. Mattbastard

    Mattbastard Lazy ass

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    I see your point, but IMO it's apples to oranges. I really liked everything else about the NC, I just thought it needed a little more snort.

    Would it kill these bike manufacturers to make a bike that meets a budget as a base model with a 1000cc engine and not bloat it up with fancy doo-dads and electronic whizbangery? Like back in the day when you could get a Nova with a friggin 454!

    Everything else was fine, just a bit more power is all I am asking for.
    #60
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