2009 Tokyo Motor Show: 2010 Honda VFR1200F

Honda unveils its flagship sport-tourer at the Tokyo show.

2009 Tokyo Motor Show: 2010 Honda VFR1200F - Motorcycle Shows

2009 Tokyo Motor Show: 2010 Honda VFR1200F - Motorcycle Shows

The biggest news by far at the 41st Tokyo Motor Show was the unveiling of the 2010 Honda VFR1200F. The Honda display area reverberated with excitement as a packed-in crowd watched company president Takanobu Ito pull the sheet off the all-new sport-tourer.

In an overall down economic climate that saw Kawasaki withdraw from its home show and caused other makers to pull back on new-bike development, the VFR1200F offers a glimmer of hope that technical progress shall continue.

The VFR1200F is quite a departure from the pie-in-the-sky V4 Concept first seen at the 2008 Intermot Show in Cologne, Germany, although certainly the overall vibe of that hubless wonder does survive in the production VFR, if in a somewhat heavier-looking form.

As Honda's flagship sport-tourer, the VFR1200F rolls ahead with some very interesting technical features. Combined ABS was to be expected, the optional electronically controlled dual-clutch transmission less so. While there will be a standard six-speed gearbox available, the dual-clutch auto setup allows several different modes of operation from fully automatic to pushbutton gearchanging, all with expected seamless, uninterrupted power transmission.

The all-new, 1237cc, 76-degree V-Four is unusual because it runs the front two cylinders outboard on the crankshaft with the rear pair set closer together, allowing the bike to be narrower at the rider interface area for improved ergonomics. Offset crankpins eliminate primary engine vibration, while CRF250/450R-derived, four-valve-per-cylinder Unicam heads are lighter and more compact than a twin-cam setup, which Honda says allows the bike to be thinner between the rider's thighs. The PGM-FI fuel system runs 44mm throttle bodies with ride-by-wire, ECU-controlled butterflies for a "tailored" powerband. No official output claims have been made, although rumors point to the 170-horsepower range.

The 2010 Honda VFR1200F may be some of the biggest news of the year. This new bike takes the award-winning Interceptor VFR800 concept into a different, more luxury-oriented market that definitely appears to crowd the ST1300 a bit, especially when fitted with its color-matched saddlebags and top trunk. Stay tuned for Cycle World's first ride on the VFR, scheduled for just a few days after the Tokyo Motor Show unveiling.

2009 Tokyo Motor Show 2010 Honda VFR1200F

2009 Tokyo Motor Show 2010 Honda VFR1200F

2009 Tokyo Motor Show 2010 Honda VFR1200F

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2009 Tokyo Motor Show 2010 Honda VFR1200F

2009 Tokyo Motor Show 2010 Honda VFR1200F

2009 Tokyo Motor Show 2010 Honda VFR1200F

2009 Tokyo Motor Show 2010 Honda VFR1200F

2009 Tokyo Motor Show 2010 Honda VFR1200F

2009 Tokyo Motor Show 2010 Honda VFR1200F

2009 Tokyo Motor Show 2010 Honda VFR1200F

2009 Tokyo Motor Show 2010 Honda VFR1200F

2009 Tokyo Motor Show 2010 Honda VFR1200F

2009 Tokyo Motor Show 2010 Honda VFR1200F