Honda VFR1200F DCT - Long-Term Test Update

Service and, now, a smile.

Honda VFR1200F DCT - Long-Term Test Update

Maintenance-wise, we didn’t have to touch our long-term 2010 Honda VFR1200F DCT for more than 8000 miles. Okay, we changed the tires once—going from the original-equipment Dunlop Sportmax RoadSmarts to crisper-steering and only slightly less-durable SportMax Q2s ($498.43)—and topped up the engine oil once with half a quart. But, as far as any actual wrenching was concerned, that was pretty much it.

Following the initial 600-mile break-in service, Honda calls for an “inspection” at 4K to check the sparkplugs, idle speed, brake-fluid levels, pad wear and clutch action. We managed nearly all of those tasks ourselves without dealer intervention, leaving only plug condition to chance. Hey, we had good spark, thanks, initially, to the factory-issue Yuasa battery and, later, when we tried a lightweight Shorai Xtreme-Rate Lithium-Iron replacement ($186.95).

For the 8000-mile service, however, we took the bike to Huntington Beach Honda in Huntington Beach, California, the next town up the coast from the CW offices in Newport Beach. The actual service (new sparkplugs, engine oil and filter, plus a lengthy list of inspections) set us back $246.50. We brought our own oil (four liters of Bel-Ray EXS 10w40; $18.74 per liter). We also carted along fresh rubber: a set of Michelin's new dual-compound Pilot Road 3s, a 120/70-17 front ($216.95) and a 190/55-17 rear ($300.95), fitment of which totaled $108, including wheel weights and disposal of the old tires.

In addition, the on/off-switch housing for the optional heated handgrips had to be replaced. The housing was damaged by a poorly routed tie-down strap during transport prior to our sport-touring comparison earlier this year (“High Speed, Low Altitude,” February). Unfortunately, the necessary parts weren’t available separately, so total outlay, including $135 in labor charges, was a whopping $484.95. Finally, installation of the rLINK Moto Technology System ($499.95) mentioned in a previous update (“Automatic on the road,” March) was another $180.

With maintenance done and repairs made, it’s time to break out the maps and go for a ride.

Total miles:|8392
Next service:|12,000
Maintenance costs (including tires):|$1535.79
Repair costs:|$484.95
Average fuel mileage:|36 mpg
Price as tested (2010):|$21,153.55