Honda VFR1200F DCT - Long-Term Update

Automatic on the road.

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In just three months' time, we've managed to rack up more than 5000 miles on our long-term Honda VFR1200F DCT. In addition to the bike's use in February's sport-touring comparison, CW staffers Mark Hoyer, John Burns and Andy Leisner, plus _Road & Track_Associate Art Director Bert Swift and former National Editor Mike Monticello, have all taken long rides on the big, powerful, dual-clutch-transmission-equipped V-Four; Monticello even brought along his wife, Julie, for a two-up weekend sport-tour in and around Southern California.

Though a $2500 added expense, the optional color-matched saddlebags and padded top trunk have proven extremely useful for both commuting and traveling. They do, however, make mounting and dismounting challenging for even long-legged passengers. “Climbing onto the bike, I resembled a ballet-school reject attempting to perform a standing split,” said Julie Monticello. “Once I was on board, though, the comfortable seat, backrest, footpeg location and smooth ride made the VFR an awesome touring machine.”

Before Mike and Julie left town, we replaced the well-worn original-equipment Dunlop Sportmax Roadsmart tires with a pair of Sportmax Q2s ($498.43; www.dunlopmotorcycle.com). Overall grip and steering response improved, but the sportier Q2s also appear to be wearing faster than the more touring-oriented Roadsmarts. Time will tell.

Other recent additions to the VFR include an expandable GIVI T480 TANKLOCK tankbag ($149; www.giviusa.com), an iPhone-compatible rLINK Moto Technology System ($499.95; www.rlink.com) and a lightweight Shorai eXtreme-Rate lithium-iron battery ($186.95; www.shoraipower.com).

Three more months and another 5000 miles? Why not?

#### SPECIFICATIONS
Total miles:|6004
Next service:|8000
Maintenance costs (including tires):|$588.43
Repair costs:|$0
Average fuel mileage:|35 mpg
List price (2010):|$17,499