You’ve probably been keeping an eye
on Honda’s countdown like we have.
Well, the countdown’s up and Honda has just introduced the 2010
The bike is designed with the
sport-touring rider in mind, and from what we gather it will not disappoint.
Engineers have applied several
techniques to make the all-new 1,237 cc V-four as compact as possible. The
engine uses an unusual 76-degree V angle, but more importantly, the cylinders
are not evenly spaced like previous V-four designs.
The front cylinders are
splayed wider apart than the narrowly spaced rear cylinders. This allowed
chassis engineers to design a frame that’s narrow in the midsection for an
easier reach to the ground (seat height is 815 mm/32 in.).
This cylinder layout eliminates
left-to-right couple imbalance and combines with a phase-shift crankshaft that
uses a 28-degree throw that reduces primary vibration, thus negating the need
for a power-sapping and weighty counterbalancer.
The engine also uses Honda’s
compact Unicam cylinder heads, derived from the firm’s CRF motocrossers. A
feature Honda claims has never before been used in a road motorcycle (also
derived from CRFs, as well as the RC211V MotoGP bike) is a sealed crankcase
system that reduces pumping losses, while increasing power and improving
throttle response. And that throttle is now controlled electronically, as Honda
has applied fly-by-wire technology to the bike’s EFI system.
Now, here’s a bit about the engine
that sport-touring riders will really get a kick out of: the new V-four claims
170 horsepower, with torque peaking at 95 lb-ft. Of particular interest is
Honda’s claim that 90 percent of that torque is available at just 4,000 rpm
(peak arrives at 8,750 suggesting a very flat torque curve).
The engine is suspended in a
twin-spar, diamond-configuration aluminum frame.
A manual-shift VFR uses a hydraulically
operated slipper clutch to transmit power to a six-speed gearbox. Also
available will be a dual-clutch transmission, with a manual, paddle-shift mode
as well as a fully automatic mode.
Either transmission drives a newly developed
shaft drive system. And in VFR tradition, a single-sided swingarm is retained.
A preload-adjustable 43 mm fork and
a single, linkage-type shock adjustable for rebound damping and preload provide
Brakes are the
almost-Honda-standard combined ABS, with dual front six-piston calipers and a
two-piston rear pot.
Claimed wet weight is a reasonable 267 kg
Want some more sport-touring
fodder? Integrated into the bike are pannier mounts, onto which mount optional
35-litre bags. Also available is a 32-litre top case, as well as a 13-litre
And since we’re discussing
accessories, also available is a three-position add-on windscreen (the stock
screen is retained), a narrower and lower accessory seat, as well as other
The bike will be coming to Canada (likely late ’09 or early 2010) though it’s not confirmed as to whether we’ll be getting both the automatic and manual models. Canadian pricing has not yet
been set, but we’ll let you know as soon as we get the info.
|Liquid-cooled 4-stroke UNICAM 76° V-4|
Power (crank – claimed)
|170 hp at 10,000 rpm|
|95 lb-ft at 8,750 rpm|
|Six speed manual or automatic, shaft drive|
|120/70 ZR17M/C (58W)|
|190/55 ZR17M/C (75W)|
|320 mm dual floating hydraulic disc with two 6-piston calipers, ABS|
|276 mm hydraulic disc with 6-piston caliper, ABS|
Wet weight (claimed)
|Red, Silver Metallic, White|