Tag Archives: Honda

World of Speed Launches Road Race Motorcycles Exhibit

World of Speed Launches Road Race Motorcycles Exhibit
New display celebrates decades of road-racing motorcycles from around the globe

WoSLogo
WoSLogo

WILSONVILLE, Ore. (Feb. 15, 2017) – World of Speed, an educational and interactive motorsports museum, unveiled its new Road Race Motorcycles Exhibit on February 4. Since racing has never been a strictly four-wheeled affair, the exhibit celebrates road-racing bikes along with the stories of their designers and riders.

“If you have a thrill for speed, you’re going to love this exhibit,” said Ron Huegli, curator for World of Speed. “From the early postwar years to modern superbikes, we have some of the finest racing motorcycles from around the world. The exhibit offers an opportunity to learn their backstories and the evolution of these two-wheeled speed machines.”

Motorcycles featured in the exhibit include:

  • Parilla 250
  • Honda CB450 CR
  • Suzuki GSXR 750R Limited
  • Honda RC30
  • Ducati 888 SPO
  • Ducati Desmosedici RR
  • Matchless G80 Honda RC30

About World of Speed
The World of Speed is an educational museum featuring historic racecars, boats, and motorcycles that tell the story of motorsports culture. Through interactive exhibits and hands-on activities, World of Speed offers visitors a behind-the­scenes view of the racing world. It encompasses many aspects of motorsports, including drag racing, road racing, land-speed racing, motorcycle racing, open wheel racing, NASCAR, and hydroplanes. The museum is funded by income from sponsorships, foundations, admissions, corporate and individual memberships, and from events held at the museum. World of Speed is a 501(C)(3) public charity.

For more information, please visit: www.worldofspeed.org

2016 AIMExpo Day 01 Highlights

2016 AIMExpo Day 01 Highlights

AIMExpo 2016 is officially underway from Orlando, Florida’s Orange County Convention Center, highlighted by major global and North American debuts from many of the world’s most renowned manufacturers.

About American International Motorcycle Expo
The American International Motorcycle Expo’s (www.aimexpousa.com) purpose is to serve as the catalyst to bring together industry, press, dealers and consumers in a single arena that creates a grand stage for motorcycling and powersports in the U.S. and North America, and delivers an efficient and energetic market-timed expo platform for B2B and B2C in the greater powersports industry. AIMExpo is the single most important event of its type in the North American market and has international impact within the motorcycling and powersports community. AIMExpo was recently honored in Trade Show Executive Magazine’s Fastest 50, recognizing the fastest growing trade shows in the U.S. AIMExpo is produced by the Motorcycle Industry Council (www.mic.org).

About the Motorcycle Industry Council
The Motorcycle Industry Council exists to preserve, protect and promote motorcycling through government relations, communications and media relations, statistics and research, aftermarket programs, development of data communications standards, activities surrounding technical and regulatory issues, and the American International Motorcycle Expo. As a not-for-profit, national industry association, the MIC seeks to support motorcyclists by representing manufacturers, distributors, dealers and retailers of motorcycles, scooters, ATVs, ROVs, motorcycle/ATV/ROV parts, accessories and related goods and services, and members of allied trades such as insurance, finance and investment companies, media companies and consultants.

The MIC is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., with a government relations office in metropolitan Washington, D.C. First called the MIC in 1970, the organization has been in operation since 1914. Visit the MIC at www.mic.org.

World Debuts and North American Releases Highlight Day 1 at AIMExpo

World Debuts and North American Releases Highlight Day 1 at AIMExpo

Zero
Zero

The 2015 American International Motorcycle Expo (AIMExpo) kicked off on Thursday in Orlando with some significant global and North American debuts of new motorcycles from the industry’s premier manufacturers like Kawasaki, Yamaha, Honda and Zero Motorcycles. AIMExpo continues throughout the weekend and will feature more new model introductions as well as debuts from several of the industry’s latest innovations in gear from the most recognizable brands of protective wear.

Zero Motorcycles Adds Two New Models to All-Electric Lineup for 2016, Announces Gains in Battery Efficiency

Pioneering electric motorcycle manufacturer Zero globally unveiled its complete lineup of 2016 models at AIMExpo on Thursday. Highlighting the introduction was the addition of two new motorcycles – the supermoto-inspired FXS and dual sport DSR – which gives Zero six distinct models for virtually any application. The FXS, based off the FX model, features massive 70 ft-lb of torque and weighs less than 300 pounds, with components tailored to provide exceptional control and responsiveness. The DSR, based off the DS model, is ideal for adventure riders, with 106 lb-ft of torque (56% more than the DS) that is quick on the street and even better off-road with 25% more power than the DS.

Zero’s signature Z-Force powertrain has pushed electric motorcycles technology even further for 2016 as the new Z-Force IPM (interior permanent magnet) motor produces power more efficiently, cools more rapidly, and has higher thermal capability. These advancements mean significantly improved performance and allows for higher sustained top speeds. Power comes from Z-Force power packs with optimized lithium-ion cell technology and the gains in both capacity and efficiency have pushed battery range up to 197 miles in the city and 98 miles on the highway (at 70mph) with the optional Power Tank accessory. Additionally, a new Charge Tank accessory allows for three times faster charging, completely recharging in two to three hours.

Zero has also made purchasing an electric motorcycle more affordable than ever with price reductions on two high performance models – the S ZF9.8 streetfighter and DS ZF9.8 dual sport – with each starting at $10,995.

World Superbike Championship Inspired Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R Makes North American Debut

Kawasaki hosted the North American debut of the 2016 Ninja ZX-10R on Thursday inside their newly redesigned display area at AIMExpo. Inspired by its championship-winning World Superbike counterpart, the new Ninja ZX-10R takes much of what has allowed Kawasaki to win a pair of titles on the track and applied it to the streets, resulting in the most track-focused sportbike ever for the legendary brand. The result is state-of-the-art mechanical design, improved handling, and an all around thrilling riding experience. From top to bottom, the 2016 Ninja ZX-10R boasts a wide array of new design and performance features that are proven winners on the race track.

Yamaha Surprises with Unveiling of DT-07 Flat Track Concept Bike

Yamaha made a surprise announcement on Thursday at AIMExpo with the global unveiling of the DT-07 Flat Track concept bike. The one-off creation was designed and built by Jeff Palhegyi Design in conjunction with Yamaha’s U.S. race shop and takes style cues from the FZ-07 naked bike. Its engine is a special race-tuned FZ-07 twin-cylinder engine, ideal for the low- to mid-range torque needed for flat track racing, outfitted with a Graves Motorsports exhaust system. The bike features one-piece bodywork with the iconic yellow livery commemorating Yamaha’s 60th anniversary.

New Honda CBR500R Headlines Manufacturer’s 2016 CBR Lineup

The stronger-than-ever CBR lineup from Honda was showcased on Thursday at AIMExpo and was highlighted by the global debut of the aggressively restyled 2016 CBR500R. The CBR500R has been a popular model for Honda thanks to its impressive performance for an entry-level bike, drawing from the successful racing DNA of the CBR600RR and the CBR1000RR. The new styling of the CBR500R features a sharper, more aggressive look with improved airflow for enhanced comfort and handling, in addition to a smoother power output that emphasizes low- to mid-range torque. Detailed refinements like LED headlights and taillights, new muffler design, adjustable brake lever, larger fuel tank, and wave ignition comprise an all-around package ideal for everyday use.

Honda’s $184,000 Street Legal MotoGP Bike

Since it was first introduced to the world as a production bike in June, the Honda RC213V-S has had the motorcycle world buzzing. The street legal MotoGP replica is Honda’s ultimate showcase of performance and engineering and boasts a jaw-dropping price tag of $184,000. AIMExpo is just the third time the bike has been displayed in North America and with AIMExpo serving as the industry’s premier powersports trade show, the RC213V-S is being showcased to its largest audience to date. This is the closest performance a road-going bike available to the public has ever been to a MotoGP machine and comes hand built exclusively from a workshop at Honda’s Kumamoto Factory in Japan. It’s hefty price tag comes as a result of a compact 90-degree 999cc V-4 with titanium connecting rods and race-derived features that include an under-seat fuel tank and carbon-fiber-reinforced-plastic fairing, in addition to several parts directly from Honda’s MotoGP bike – swingarm, slipper clutch, magnesium Marchesini wheels, Öhlins forks, adjustable footrests and foot controls, and most of the Brembo brake components. It also features selectable power modes, engine-brake control, and traction control with position detection technology, making it one of the finest built street legal bikes ever.

A maximum of 250 units will be produced globally and the US version of the bike will produce approximately 101 hp in order to pass US regulations.

Honda Releases RC213V-S

RC213V-S is the road-going version of RC213V-S

RCV213VS
RCV213VS

With RC213V, ease of handling is needed to win. Thoroughly-increased mass centralization and heavily-reduced friction losses were two goals in increasing performance levels as high as possible.

For MotoGP bikes, when it comes to manufacturing something so different to a regular production bike, the following points are very important:

Component weight reduction and processing accuracy:

  • High level of technical proficiency during manufacture
  • RC213V-S shares these two factors with RC213V, also adopting the latter’s control technology.

RC213V is customized according to its rider and race course, only being equipped with the parts needed to win. RC213V-S however is for public roads, so Honda had to make some changes and additions to create a roadworthy bike. While RC-213V-S is mostly identical to RC213V, the following modifications had to be made:

  • Pneumatic valves were replaced with coil springs (although the camshaft gear train remains the same). The seamless gearbox was also replaced with a regular road-going one. These parts are more durable for long term use and were adopted from the readily available RCV1000R open category racing bike.

To meet road laws, RC213V-S is equipped with head/taillights, side mirrors, speedometer, muffler with catalytic converter, license plate holder, horn, etc.

RC213V-S gets upgrades for practicality. Tires, brake discs and pads are new, while the bike’s steering ratio is now wider. Extra equipment includes:

  • Honda’s Smart Key, a starter motor and parking stand.
  • Honda also created a sports kit for racing on closed circuits.

With RC213V-S, Honda set out to recreate RC213V’s handling for use on public roads. Honda made sure that each component differs from mass-produced items in their materials, surface treatment and manufacture to improve rigidity and strength while reducing weight – just like RC213V. Each part is also processed by hand and machined to the same specifications as RC213V – the highest possible.

Specifications

RC213V-S
ENGINE
Engine Type Liquid-cooled 4-stroke 4-valve DOHC V-4
Carburation PGM-DSFI electronic fuel injection with φ48mm throttle bodies
Bore x Stroke (mm) 81.0×48.5
Compression Ratio 13
Engine Displacement (cm3) 999
Max. Power Output 75kw[101HP]/8000rpm
Max. Torque 90N・m[66lbf・ft]/8000rpm
WHEELS
Brakes Front φ320 x 5.5 mm dual hydraulic disc (YUTAKA) with 4-piston calipers and m/c (Brembo)
Brakes Rear φ220 x 5 mm hydraulic disc (YUTAKA) with 2-piston caliper (Brembo) amd m/c (Nissin)
Suspension Front Telescopic with gas-charged TTX25 (Öhlins) spring preload ,compression and rebound damping adjustment, 130mm stroke
Suspension Rear Pro-Link with gas-charged TTX36 (Öhlins) spring preload, compression and rebound damping adjustment, 64mm stroke
Tire Front 120/70 ZR17 M/C Bridgestone RS10
Tire Rear 190/55 ZR17 M/C Bridgestone RS10
Wheels Front 7-spoke forged magnesium (Marchesini)
Wheels Rear 7-spoke forged magnesium (Marchesini)
DIMENSIONS AND WEIGHTS
Frame type Diamond
Dry Weight (kg) 172 (380 lb)
Curb Weight (kg) 190 (418 lb)
Caster Angle 24°35′
Dimensions (L×W×H) (mm) 2110x790x1120(81x31x44 in)
Ground Clearance (mm) 120(4.7 in)
Seat Height (mm) 830(32.7 in)
Trail (mm) 105(4.1 in)
Wheelbase (mm) 1465(57.7 in)
TRANSMISSION
Clutch Dry, multiplate with coil spring
Gearbox 6-speed, constant mesh

Price

MSRP: US$ 184,000

*Specifications are reference values. Specifications may change without prior notice.
*SPORTS KIT is not available for sale in USA.
*As this is a special limited vehicle, details such as maintenance schedule and dealerships handling maintenance for supplies of after-sale services are significantly different from ordinary Honda motorcycle models.

Updated CRF Motocrossers Announced for Honda in 2016

HondaLogo
HondaLogo

Updated CRF Motocrossers Announced in 2016 Honda New-Model Announcement

MARKHAM, Ontario–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The 2016 two-wheel model announcement includes Honda’s competition-ready motocross bikes, the CRF450R, CRF250R and CRF150R. “We’re very pleased to announce Honda’s 2016 CRF motocross models” said Derek Verheyen, National Sales Manager, Motorcycle Division.

“The 2015 motocross season is just underway and it has looks to be another great one for Honda Canada already, with Colton Facciotti, the reigning MX1 champion, taking a podium finish in Kamloops aboard the CRF450R and Jeremy Medaglia taking a podium in MX2 aboard the CRF250R, it looks like we are definitely off to a great season.”

CRF450R

The bike that earned six wins in the 2015 AMA Supercross series and finished on the podium at every round takes another step forward for next model year, with updates aimed at improving handling and traction. To enhance stability on the CRF450R, the fork is 5mm longer, while the rear suspension gets a new link and spring, as well as revised shock settings. The diameter of the chain roller has been reduced by 4mm to 34mm.

CRF250R

The bike that took five of the top ten places in the 2015 250 SX East final points standings and has already has a proven racing lineage in Canada, gets even better for the 2016 model year, thanks to a series of changes aimed at increasing top-end horsepower and improving stability. Among the engine updates are increased cam lift, new valve springs (including titanium exhaust-valves), and updates to the cylinder-head porting, piston shape and connecting-rod shape. In addition, the air-intake tube has been changed and the exhaust system gets larger outlet diameters for improved breathing and a new header-pipe resonator for sound reduction. Updates to the fuel-injection mapping have also been incorporated, and the radiators are enlarged for improved cooling. Additionally, the fork length has been extended by 5mm to improve stability, and the chain-roller diameter has been reduced from 38mm to 34mm. Given these improvements and its record of great handling and proven reliability, the CRF250R is sure to remain the go-to choice for privateer motocross racers.

CRF150R/CRF150R EXPERT

Packing high performance and Honda technology into the industry’s only four-stroke mini racer, the CRF150R gives young riders a head start when it comes to motocross racing. Boasting race-tuned Showa front and rear suspension, a Unicam® engine (based on those of the CRF450R and CRF250R), a track-designed chassis and precision braking, this competition-ready machine is available in two versions to suit a wide variety of riders: the CRF150R and the CRF150R Expert, which has larger-diameter wheels, a higher seat and a longer swingarm.

ABOUT HONDA CANADA

Honda Canada Inc. was established in 1969 and is the sole distributor of Honda motorcycles, scooters, ATVs and side-by-sides in Canada. The Honda Canada Motorcycle Division is responsible for sales, marketing, and operational activities for these products through authorized Honda dealers. For more information on Honda Canada powersports products, please visit: motorcycle.honda.ca. (All information subject to change without notice.) Pricing and availability to be announced through honda.ca

Visual Tour of the AMA Races at Mid-Ohio

Please sit back and enjoy the photos taken at the 2013 AMA Races at Mid-Ohio. Once again our hardworking and talented friend, Darin Smith of Mile High Photo Studio, has captured images that are sure to delight your ocular nerves. Please note that excessive drool can damage your keyboard.

2012 Season debrief with Shuhei Nakamoto

2012 Season debrief with Shuhei Nakamoto

Shuhei Nakamoto
Shuhei Nakamoto

This season is over, you’ve completed the first set of tests for next year, and we’re now in the period where tests are not permitted. I’m sure you’ve been asked these questions many times, but let’s start with your overall impression of 2012.

The big thing about 2012 was the switch from 800cc to 1000cc engines. We started getting ready for that from the beginning of the 2011 season. The first time we ran the 2012 prototype was after Round Two in Spain. In the third lap of that test Casey effortlessly outdid his previous personal best on the 800cc in the 2011 Spanish GP. Since we were still keeping the revs down at that point because we hadn’t fixed some durability issues with the engine, this made us very happy indeed – we knew we had put together a bike we could use. After that, Bridgestone changed their rear tire casing to soft, and we modified the new bike to match that. We still hadn’t completed that process when we had to run the RC213V in the test after Valencia, the final GP of 2011. Despite this, Dani made the top test time with a speed that beat his race time in the GP. Both Dani and Casey agreed that the new bike was even better than the 800cc RC212V. But just as we thought all w as safe, the minimum weight rule was changed by 4kg. That was in addition to the increase from 150kg to 153kg when the engine capacity went up from 800cc to 1000cc. We had built our bike to match the old regulations, and then we were hit with this sudden rule change. According to the rules, they have the right to do this, but I really don’t think it is fair to introduce such big changes so suddenly after we had finished testing.

The sudden rule change meant that for the first test of 2012 at Sepang, you were adding weights to various parts of the bike to bring it up to the new 157kg minimum. Adding 4kg like that disturbed the bike’s balance, and this must have made it hard for Casey and Dani.

Yes, and especially so for Dani because he is smaller and lighter than Casey, so he had a very tough time controlling the balance of the bike by shifting his weight. We kept trying adding weights in different places to see what worked, and we had only found a rough solution during the first part of the season. You might think that 4kg isn’t much, but to add 4kg to a racing bike means we have to make very extensive changes, rethinking the whole machine. And then on top of that, Bridgestone brought out a new front tire with a different construction. We complained that the new tire was unusable since it didn’t have sufficient rigidity, but Dorna’s Loris Capirossi insisted that it was a better choice and so we had to fit it. So now both front and rear tires had changed and this bike we had just spent a whole year perfecting had to be rebuilt. With just three months before the season’s first race we decided to remake the bike, and began work on a new frame and swing arm.

Since Bridgestone took over as sole tire supplier, success in MotoGP has come to depend greatly on how well a bike can utilise the performance of the tires. Changing the tire specs mid-season has a radical impact on how you build the bike.

Traditionally, Hondas have not been famous for their cornering – it’s been the horsepower we get from our engines that makes us competitive. But when Bridgestone became sole supplier, the focus shifted greatly to getting all the performance you could out of the tires. In other words, we now need to build the bike to match the tires. How will the bike flex? How will tire performance degrade as the tires wear? So naturally a change in the tires mid-season now requires us to make major modifications. We could continue using the old hard construction front tires in the first part of the season, until Round Five in Catalunya, but from the England GP onward everyone had to switch to the new soft construction front tires. By Round Seven in Holland we had managed to put together a new frame prototype adapted to the new tire, and Dani liked the new bike as soon as he started using it. We tried out the new engine in this new frame at the test after Round Nine in Italy, in effect a practical test of the 2013 prototype. Dani was most impressed and switched to this new machine from Laguna Seca (Round 10). Casey also liked the new engine, but didn’t feel that the new frame changed things much, so he kept using the old frame with the new engine fitted. We introduced the 2013 design mid way through the season in order to improve stability during deceleration through changes to the engine, and to improve cornering with the new chassis. As you can see, in today’s MotoGP, building the bike to match the tires is a key factor.

Building the bike to match the tires. Speaking as a bike manufacturer, tell us what that involves.

I have no real problem with the present system of a single tire manufacturer for MotoGP. When everyone races on the same tires, the tires become purely an engineering matter. On top of that, each rider has his likes and dislikes when it comes to tires. Building bikes to meet different riders’ preferences is a new kind of challenge, and of course we welcome new challenges. From that point of view in fact, I have to say we have learned a lot since Bridgestone became sole supplier. Factory teams have the accumulated experience that lets them take on this kind of challenge, but the CRT teams don’t have that ability. When we had the multiple tire supplier system, it was possible to construct tires to exactly match each bike with each rider, and the tire could compensate for other factors. This meant that we had times when satellite team riders beat the factory riders, but that no longer applies under the sole supplier system – when things are good, they’re good for everyone; when they’re bad, everyone suffers the same. Under such equal conditions, you rarely get surprise results. With a single supplier, the factory teams are always very strong since they can apply their past experience, and this leaves little chance of winning for the non-factory riders and teams. For example, this season the podium was almost monopolised by just three riders: Dani, Casey and Jorge. There was no real chance of any other rider winning a race. This is why, from a personal standpoint, I prefer multiple tire suppliers. It simply makes the races more exciting, and I think it is better for the whole grand prix world.

Casey Stoner retired at the end of this season. Tell us some of the details of that, and what you thought of his racing in his final year.

Casey told us last year that he was thinking to retire at the end of 2012. It was after he won the Australian GP to secure the championship. He still had one more year to run on his contract with us, so he said he would ride for Honda in 2012, but it was quite a shock to hear he wanted to retire. Ever since the season began, he kept saying he wanted to make his decision public. Naturally, we really wanted him to continue with us and repeatedly tried to persuade him to reconsider, but Casey’s mind was made up. It was at Round Four in France that he finally got his way and announced his plans during the Thursday Press Conference. I was OK with that, since I thought it would motivate him to win his final championship and retire in a blaze of glory. Unfortunately it didn’t turn out like that, but he still had a great final season.

I’m sure you must have been disappointed that you couldn’t persuade Casey to change his mind and stay in MotoGP.

Casey is a rider I really love. I couldn’t imagine anything better than racing with him. Casey is fast. Really fast. We were constantly shocked that the bikes we had made could go so fast when Casey was in the saddle. When Casey is confident and relaxed about his riding, there is nobody in MotoGP who can come close. After winning the Australian GP this year for the sixth consecutive time, his comment was just that he would have been even faster if he hadn’t still been suffering from an injured ankle. However fast he rides, he’s still always aiming to go faster. We held a farewell party for him on the Monday night after the Valencia GP. After the party was over, the two of us stayed on, chatting, and I found I couldn’t control my tears. I really felt so sad about him leaving MotoGP. The following day I was asked by a number of Casey’s friends what I said to him that night. When I asked why they wanted to know, they said that Casey, who had never wavered until then in his decision to retire, had said “maybe after all I should keep on racing…” Right from the first day Casey came to ride for Repsol Honda, pretty much every day he came up with something new that astonished us. I don’t know of any other rider that is such fun to work with. I hope he quickly recovers from his injury, and if he ever decides to come back he will find a warm welcome waiting. I told him that’s always on offer.

We heard that Casey himself suggested Marquez as his replacement.

Well, I don’t know if he actually said that or not, but Marc has the same kind of energy as Casey and we have great hopes for him. He has now ridden in four days of tests, one after Valencia and three after Sepang. The weather was poor on all those days and there wasn’t much time at all for him to show us how he can ride, but nevertheless, at Sepang he was putting in 2’01” laps very consistently. That time is pretty much the same as Casey and Dani, but even so Marc was constantly issuing a stream of comments such as “I need to hold the advantage at that corner so as to avoid falling” – comments he would carefully write down afterwards so as to remember them. I wasn’t there at the Malaysia test, but I heard about that from our staff and was very surprised. I’ve never met a rider who acts like that before. Mid way through the 2011 season, I said to Marc “If you move up to MotoGP next year, I’ll have a factory bike ready for you.” He wanted to take the Moto2 championship first, and I told him to go for it. The decision to offer Marc a bike had nothing to do with any sponsor – I myself decided we needed Marc on a Honda, and I’m really looking forward to seeing what he can do. When we first gave him an RC213V at Valencia, he got straight on and told us he already understood how to use the carbon brakes. In Malaysia, with the bike laid over he was opening the throttle exactly right. A very intelligent rider, always thinking about how to make his bike go faster, and there’s definitely something about him that is sure to attract a big fan following. Next year I see him seriously competing with Dani and Jorge, although it won’t be easy to grab a victory away from those two. Nonetheless, I reckon we could see a win by Marc by mid season.

Dani Pedrosa finished this season with seven wins, the most of any rider. What do you think? Is next season the one where he wins the riders’ title?

I think if he doesn’t take the title next year, he probably never will, but if he does then it’s quite possible he’ll go on to be champion several times. Dani used to be known for always winning two races each season, but in 2011, he took four, and then last season he managed seven wins. In the first half of last season, he was having a hard time with the bike as we struggled to fix the balance after the new weight rules, and then the tire change. But once we introduced the new bike, he just kept getting better and better. At the Czech GP he fought a tremendous battle with Jorge, overtaking then being overtaken, until finally Dani crossed the line ahead. I don’t think he has had a race like that since his days in 125cc, so I think that marked a new stage for him. He turned in a superb performance at the final GP in Valencia too, under conditions so bad that the only dry part of the track was on the line itself. He astonished everyone with the sp eeds he was getting there – it really sometimes looked as if the other riders were just standing still. Our new machine has much improved braking and cornering, and getting his hands on such a good bike seems to have filled Dani with fresh confidence. To me, Dani appears to have an extra sense other riders don’t – he can spot the smallest things, things that others never feel. He will quickly become aware of subtle changes, for example when the track surface starts to lose grip. The minus side to this is that it can make his riding over cautious, but this year he overcame that tendency and got it just right. He’s beaten his big rival one on one, ridden through the rain to win at Malaysia, managed to keep his speed high even in wet conditions, which were previously his weak point. There’s no question about it – Dani has progressed to another level and is now a very strong competitor. I’m so confident that he will take the title next year, I can’t really imagine not seeing him on that podium.

2013 will be Stefan Bradl’s second season in MotoGP and Alvaro Bautista’s second since he switched to Honda. What are your impressions of these two riders?

Stefan missed so many chances, including in the final race, for a podium place that I sometimes wondered what he was doing, but overall he has improved just as I was expecting him to. He is an intelligent, educated rider, who uses his brain. Stefan is the only German rider we have in MotoGP. I’d say he is an important rider, not just for Honda, but for MotoGP in general and I hope he keeps on aiming for the top. Next year, Marquez, his old rival in Moto2, will be joining us in MotoGP and I think this will also help Stefan to develop his skills. Alvaro’s results on the other hand, were a bit of a disappointment, to tell the truth. If we include his time with Suzuki, he has much more experience in MotoGP than Stefan, so I thought we would be seeing better results. He was on the podium twice this year, but I want to see him up there much more often next year. He has to get rid of his habit of riding like he’s still in 250cc.

Thank you for taking the time to talk with us. Could you finish by summing up your thoughts on 2012, and tell us your goals for next season?

In general, over the course of this year our bikes got better and our riders got stronger. We had a big setback when the weight rules and tire specs changed right at the start of the season – as I told you earlier, I don’t think that was fair, and I hope it’s never repeated. With such a handicap, taking our already finished bike, rebuilding it completely and then going on to win – I have no complaints about our performance. It’s a pity we didn’t get the riders title, but I feel we achieved something as constructors. Goals for 2013? Of course I’m aiming at the triple title. But in racing, nothing is sure, you never know what will happen. If you lose, you just have to try harder to win, and all we can do is try our very best to make a winning bike. 2013 testing starts from February in Malaysia, and we can’t afford to take any time off before then. Our goal next year is to win all three titles, and forget the disappointment of not getting the triple this year. Next year we’ll again be doing our best to live up to the expectations of our fans, and I’d like to say how grateful I am for everyone’s support this season.

 

2012 Honda Goldwing

http://www2.2wf.com/http://www.2wf.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/Wallpaper_small.jpgPress Release from Honda

Gold Wing – Long acknowledged as the pinnacle of two-up motorcycling, the 2012 Gold Wing¨ continues its remarkable legacy. Its travel-oriented creds include the latest generation of sophisticated electronic amenities, starting with an innovative GPS navigation system with user-friendly programmability for sharing favorite ride routes with friends and other riders, which can be accessed online via computer.

The Gold Wing also now incorporates a built-in MP3/iPod¨ interface for a new SRS CS Autoª technology surround-sound system for a premium listening experience. In addition to its renowned power-laden yet refined drivetrain and delightfully sporty handling, the 2012 Gold Wing also brings upgraded styling, increased luggage capacity, greater protection from wind and weather, revised suspension settings for enhanced ride compliance, and unparalleled comfort for both rider and passenger. In addition, http://www2.2wf.com/http://www.2wf.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/Differences_small.jpgpackages for Navi, ABS and airbag do much to further the Gold Wing’s reputation as the most celebrated touring machine in motorcycle history.

Features/Benefits

New for 2012

– Fresh styling cues produce a more integrated appearance along with a sporting edge, adding to the premium touring visage.

– Redesigned fairing adds extra wind protection, especially to the lower body and leg areas.

– Larger saddlebags add approximately 7 liters of additional storage space, upping total capacity to well over 150 liters including the trunk and fairing pockets.

– Handy central storage pocket added to models without airbag.

http://www2.2wf.com/http://www.2wf.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/New_bags_small.jpg– Revised suspension settings front and rear yield added compliance for a better ride and more comfort.

– Urethane seat material and cover material give added comfort.

– Re-shaped taillight adds a distinctive appearance and aids visibility.

– Wheels are now clear-coated for easier cleaning and a great, long-lasting look.

http://www2.2wf.com/http://www.2wf.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/12_GoldWing_Det06_small.jpg– Updated instrumentation styling lends a high-performance touch.

Next-Generation Honda Satellite Linked Navigation System:
– New, fully integrated navigation system with new, brighter color screen.
– Next-generation receiver gives quicker satellite connection.
– 3-D terrain view, lane assist with junction view and more.
– Complete United States and Canada mapping with points of interest installed.
– Points-of-interest information includes Honda dealers, fuel stations, restaurants, lodging, attractions, transportation, government and emergency information and saved rider’s input with home function.
– Voice prompting through headsets or speakers.
– On-screen text guidance and pop-up menus.
– Easy-to-use handlebar and fairing-mounted controls.
– Navigation available on select Gold Wing models.

Next-Generation Premium Audio System:
– New enhanced system offers direct MP3/i-Pod connectivity plus full device control through handlebar controls.
http://www2.2wf.com/http://www.2wf.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/12_GoldWing_Det05_B_lr_small.jpg– SRS CS Autoª technology surround-sound system brings the latest in sound system technology to the Gold Wing.
– 80-watt-per-channel power amplifier provides clear, crisp sound at all highway speeds.
– Six-element speaker system includes two rear speakers, a pair of front speakers and two tweeters for a rich, full surround sound quality.
– Tuner features auto bass control combined with auto volume control.
– Standard on all Gold Wing models.

Unique Features

XM Radio:
– XM Radio offers 170 channels from coast to coast, including commercial-free music, premier sports, news, talk radio, comedy, childrenÕs and entertainment programming.

http://www2.2wf.com/http://www.2wf.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/12_GoldWing_Det07_small.jpgXM NavTraffic:
– XM NavTraffic is the nationÕs leading real-time traffic information service, combining up-to-the-minute information on accidents and incidents with the ability to re-route riders around trouble spots as displayed on the navigation system screen.

XM NavWeather:
– The XM NavWeather service uses sophisticated Threat Matrixª technology to track nationwide weather information for more than 20 different weather conditions, then scales and customizes this detail to the riderÕs specific location and route. XM NavWeather can alert riders to severe conditions before they ride into them. The service works with the Navigation System to display information via color weather icons or warning signals on the navigation screen, and can give the rider the option to easily re-route around a stormÕs path. The service also provides multi-day forecasts based on weather monitoring stations across the United States.
– XM available on Navi package model only.

http://www2.2wf.com/http://www.2wf.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/12_GoldWing_Act_06_small.jpgCold-Weather Comfort Package:
– Five-position heated grips for cold-weather riding.
– Five-position heated seat/backrest combination with individual rider and passenger controls for optimum comfort.
– Foot-warming system channels engine-heated air over the riderÕs feet and is controlled by a fairing-mounted lever.
– Standard on all Gold Wing models.

Airbag:
– Industry-first fully integrated rider airbag on a motorcycle.
– The airbag module contains the airbag and inflator and is positioned in front of the rider.
– The ECU positioned to the right of the module detects changes in acceleration based on information it receives from the two crash sensors (one positioned on each of the front fork legs), to determine whether or not to inflate the airbag in certain frontal impacts.
– Airbag available only on full-featured version.

– The Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) monitors pressure in both tires while riding. When a significantly underinflated tire pressure is detected, a warning light will display below the tachometer.

– Slow-speed, electric Reverse system is engaged with the simple push of the thumb control on the right handlebar.

http://www2.2wf.com/http://www.2wf.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/12_GoldWing_Det03_small.jpg– Lightweight electronic cruise-control system utilizes a 16-bit ECU-based, motor-actuated throttle mechanism.

– A simple yet ingenious ratcheting windscreen-adjustment system provides six settings over nearly 4.0 inches of travel. Operated manually, the mechanism eliminates the weight and complexity of electric motors.

– Adjustable and closeable windscreen vent routes fresh air to the riderÕs face or chest.

– The Gold Wing trunk provides 60 liters of storage capacity. Two full-face helmets fit easily in the trunk. The saddlebags provide 43-plus liters of storage each, resulting in a total of 146 liters of storage space between trunk and saddlebags.

– Specially designed luggage features a remote-control key lock, permitting pop-open rear trunk operation; remote lock/unlock for the trunk and saddlebags; and horn-actuated bike locator. If remote locking is attempted while a lid is open, the turn signals flash to alert the rider.

– Instrument displays for speedometer, tachometer, coolant temperature and fuel level, plus adjustable backlighting and high-luminescence red pointers. Indicator/warning lights are provided for Reverse, Neutral, Overdrive, oil pressure, fuel injection, high beam, sidestand, cruise on, cruise set, low tire pressure and low fuel. A high-resolution LCD housed in a separate module is visible in all lighting conditions and displays the odometer, A/B tripmeter, ambient temperature, audio modes, CB, rear-suspension setting, trunk/saddlebag-open indicators and clock.

– Motorized headlight-aiming system is operated by a rocker switch and provides 2.5 degrees of adjustment from level.

– Large 6.6-gallon fuel tank houses the PGM-FI fuel pump and provides excellent long-distance cruising range.

– 20-amp YTX maintenance-free battery.

http://www2.2wf.com/http://www.2wf.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/12_GoldWing_Act_08_small.jpg– Transferable three-year, unlimited-mileage warranty; extended coverage available with a Honda Protection Plan.

Engine/Drivetrain

– Powerful, fuel-injected 1832cc six-cylinder engine produces smooth, effortless power.

– Parallel two-valve cylinder-head design utilizes direct shim-under-bucket valve actuation allows the first valve clearance inspection service to be at 32,000 miles.

– Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI).

– Two 40mm-diameter throttle bodies deliver air to six specially designed Keihin 50-psi high-pressure programmed fuel injectors. Fuel is delivered through four nozzle holes in each injector, producing an atomized fuel mixture that is highly combustible for optimum efficiency and power.

http://www2.2wf.com/http://www.2wf.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/colors_small.jpg– The ECU provides two digital 3-D fuel-injection maps for each cylinder, creating ideal fuel mixture and spark advance settings for superb rideability. Unique knock-control sensors monitor ignition advance to improve performance throughout the entire rpm range.

– ECU closed-loop emissions system utilizes two oxygen sensors to constantly deliver a precise air/fuel mixture, while two exhaust catalyzers further reduce emissions of carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides.

– Two side-mounted radiators enhance cooling efficiency and use low-air-pressure areas created by side cowls to draw cooling air through the radiators and beyond the rider at highway speeds.

– Efficient stainless-steel 6-into-2 exhaust system produces a pleasing, aggressive sound.

– Powerful 1300-watt alternator uses a fluid damper system to minimize alternator noise.

– Precise-shifting five-speed transmission includes Overdrive Fifth.

Chassis/Suspension

– Twin-Spar Aluminum Frame.

– Unique Pro Arm¨ Rear Suspension.

– Dual full-floating 296mm front discs with Combined Braking System (CBS) three-piston calipers and a single ventilated 316mm rear disc with one CBS three-piston caliper provide excellent braking power.

http://www2.2wf.com/http://www.2wf.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/12_GoldWing_Det04_Blu_small.jpg– Combined Braking System (CBS) with optional Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS).

– Model equipped with ABS features an electric-motor-driven modulator that provides rapid and precise braking-pressure adjustments, resulting in smooth ABS operation. The system incorporates an integrated ECU, self-diagnostics with an interactive ECU test function and automatic protection against system failure.

– Massive 45mm front fork with revised settings for improved suspension compliance houses a cartridge damper in the right leg with 5.5 inches of travel for a smooth yet superb ride in all road conditions.

– Anti-dive system minimizes front fork dive when braking. The system utilizes brake-fluid pressure generated in the secondary CBS master cylinder mounted on the left fork leg and is activated by input from either the front-brake lever or the rear brake pedal.

– Pro-Link¨ Rear Suspension incorporates a new shock with revised suspension settings for enhanced ride compliance.

– Computer-controlled adjustable hydraulic rear suspension preload is easily set by the rider with push-button controls, and features a two-position memory.

– Cast-aluminum 18 x 3.5-inch front and 16 x 5.0-inch rear wheels are lightweight, strong and clear-coated to ease cleaning. Radial touring tires are specifically engineered for the Gold Wing.

Honda Genuine Accessories
– Audio Accessories: 40-Channel CB Radio Kit, CB Antenna Kit, Deluxe Headsets (for open-face and full-face helmets), Push-to-Talk Switch, Replacement Headset Coil Cord, Replacement Headset Hardware Kit, Replacement Boom Mike Windsock

– Cargo Accessories: Saddlebag/Trunk Liner Set, Deluxe Saddlebag/Trunk Mat Set, Saddlebag Lid Organizer with GL Logo, Trunk Inner Light, Trunk Inner Light Harness, Chrome Trunk Rack, Inner Trunk Pouch, Fairing Pouch with GL Logo, Saddlebag Cooler with Honda Logo, Trunk Net, Coin Holder, Gold Wing OwnerÕs Manual Folio

– Convenience Accessories: Passenger Armrests, Tall Vented Windscreen, 12-Volt DC Accessory Socket Kit, Foglight Kit (LED), Replacement Bulb

– Protection Accessories: Cycle Cover with GL Logo, Half Cover

– Color Match Accessories: Rear Spoiler with Brake Light

http://www2.2wf.com/http://www.2wf.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/12_GoldWing_Act_05_small.jpg-Chrome Appearance Accessories: Front Fender Ornament, GL Icon Fender Ornament, Front Fender Emblem, Front Fender Extension, Front Fender Rail, Front Disc Covers, Chrome Bar Ends, Gold Cylinder Head Cover Emblem Set, Silver Cylinder Head Cover Emblem Set, Passenger Floorboard Lower Covers, Swingarm Pivot Covers with GL Logo, Sidestand, Rear Spoiler Accent, Trunk Handle with GL Logo, License-Plate Frame with GL Logo, Exhaust Tips with GL Logo

WARRANTY: Because weÕre so confident in the quality of each of our Honda Genuine Accessories, weÕre pleased to offer one of the best warranties in the industry. Three-year warranty begins on the day accessories are purchased by the customer.

2012 SPECIFICATIONS

Model: GL1800

Engine Type: 1832cc liquid-cooled horizontally opposed six-cylinder

Bore and Stroke: 74mm x 71mm

Compression ratio: 9.8:1

Valve Train: SOHC; two valves per cylinder

Induction: PGM-FI

Ignition: Computer-controlled digital with 3-D mapping

Transmission: Five-speed including Overdrive, plus electric Reverse

Final Drive: Shaft

Suspension   
Front: 45mm cartridge fork with anti-dive system; 4.8 inches travel
Rear: Pro Arm single-side swingarm with Pro-Link single shock with computer-controlled spring preload adjustment with two memory presets; 4.1 inches travel

Brakes   
Front: Dual full-floating 296mm discs with CBS three-piston calipers; optional ABS
Rear: Single ventilated 316mm disc with CBS three-piston caliper; optional ABS

http://www2.2wf.com/http://www.2wf.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/_m2j7830_small.jpgTires   
Front: 130/70R-18
Rear: 180/60R-16

Wheelbase: 66.5 inches

Rake (Caster angle): 29.15¡

Trail: 109mm (4.3 inches)

Seat Height: 29.1 inches

Fuel Capacity: 6.7 gallons

Colors: Pearl White, Candy Red, Ultra Blue Metallic, Black

Curb Weight*: 904 – 933 pounds, depending on option packages selected

*Includes all standard equipment, required fluids and full tank of fuelÑready to ride.

Meets current CARB and EPA standards.

SRS CS Auto is a trademark of SRS Labs, Inc.
CS Auto technology is incorporated under license from SRS Labs, Inc.

©2011 American Honda Motor Co., Inc. All Rights Reserved.

2010 Honda VFR1200F

 

2010 Honda VFR1200F

Being the youngest of five siblings I was often on the receiving end of hand-me-downs; sometimes clothes, sometimes sporting equipment and thankfully, motorcycles. I have a brother who is seven years my elder and luckily for me he had an interest in motorcycles. Growing up I was always riding a dirt bike one size too big and often getting myself in a little over my head. When my brother’s interest turned from dirt to street the timing could not have been better. Just as I was coming up on my 16th birthday my brother decided it was time to go shopping for a sportbike. To my surprise I was actually somewhat included in the narrowing down process of what bike to purchase.

The two bikes up for contention were a rare 1987 Yamaha FZR750 and a beautiful Italian red 1990 Honda VFR. My brother decided to go with the Yamaha so I never did get my chance to sample the V-4 from Honda, that is . . until now. Twenty years later I finally have that red VFR sitting in my garage.  Well not that exact 1990 Honda VFR of course, but the all new VFR1200F.

Many things have changed since then, both in my life and the life of the VFR. We both have a slightly larger displacement, however the Honda’s has grown much more significantly. In the early VFR’s, 750cc was norm until 1998 when the displacement was upped to 781cc; close enough to label the model VFR800. Not until the current 2010 model did the VFR make the significant jump to 1237cc’s.

Honda has brought to market two versions of the VFR1200F. I would be testing the standard model which features a six-speed transmission while the other model utilizes a new Dual Clutch Transmission which is absent of shift and clutch levers. Oh maybe it’s better for me anyways, I have been told I am kind of old school and would hate to cramp my style with some new DCT technology.

But before you start feeling too sorry for me I should note the VFR I would be riding did come equipped with some special bits. While they would not make me any faster they would surely make my longer journeys much more enjoyable and accommodating. The color-matched saddlebags have a 29-liter storage capacity per saddlebag and the rear trunk has a 33-liter capacity which comes in handy if you are looking to bring along an extra full face helmet. I have trouble putting together an Ikea coffee table by myself so I was pleasantly surprised at the ease in which the luggage can be installed and removed with a quick flick of the ignition key.

Any motorcycle model that starts with the letter “V” is almost always going to be about the motor and with 30 years of V4 technology, this Honda is no different. In this case the star is the 1237cc liquid-cooled 76° V-4. Although it may not be the MotoGP derived V5 powering this VFR, some design
technologies did make their way over to the street V4. The two front  cylinders are spread wider than the rear pair so that the engine can be tapered slimmer at the rear.

Overall it’s more compact than the 781cc engine used in the Interceptor. Honda also looked to their successful CRF motocross machines using Unicam technology to minimize cylinder head size and weight. Crankshaft horsepower is in the 167 HP range at 10,000 RPM and max torque is 95.1 ft-lbs at 8,750 RPM.  90% of that torque is available at just 4000 RPM. Fuel delivery comes via “Throttle By Wire” technology that is matched to four 44mm throttle bodies, each with a single 12-hole injector spraying fuel.

All of these ponies are emitted through the VFR’s compact exhaust system which has been placed towards the front of the bike to aid in mass centralization. The design is fairly funky and unique and in my opinion quite attractive.

 

 

The transmission on this base model VFR was the standard 6-speed unit with back-torque limiting clutch. As I mentioned earlier there is also an automated Dual Clutch Transmission available for the VF1200F which allows push-button “paddle” shifting.

The VFR1200F features a 43mm inverted cartridge fork up front with adjustable spring preload and 4.7 inches of travel. Honda’s beautiful Pro Arm single-sided swingarm handles things out back  via single gas-charged shock with remote spring preload adjuster, rebound damping adjustability and 5.1 inches of travel. Rake measures 25.5-degrees with 101mm of trail.

Hauling the new VFR1200F to a stop is the Combined Braking System (CBS) with ABS. During front brake lever activation, all the right-side caliper pistons are applied, along with four of the pistons on the left side.  When the rear brake is applied, the other two left-side pistons are actuated. Hardware includes dual 320mm discs up front with 6-piston calipers. The rear has a single 276mm disc and a two-piston caliper.

There has been a fair amount of talk about the VFR’s Layered Concept Fairing which fuses the cowl and fairings together. To be honest I didn’t pay much attention to it but I must admit it did appear quite sleek with no visible fasteners. The smooth lines and slippery paint created a clean and aerodynamic finish.

Before leaving on my maiden voyage aboard the VFR1200F I removed the hard luggage to get a better idea of the performance on hand. Even with the luggage removed the Honda still feels hefty, tipping the scales at 591 pounds. Some muscle is required when maneuvering through parking lots and cramped areas, so all of you people who spend your time cruising parking lots, this is not the bike for you. Hopefully most of us make it out of the parking lot where the VFR1200F’s weight is less noticeable. The bike transitioned comfortably through twisty sections and it was easy to find a rhythm on this well balanced machine. I was careful not to get too gung ho on corner entries however as the VFR is a bit of a handful while trying to tighten up a line at speed. The combination of a 60.8-inch wheelbase and some extra pounds is noticeable when trying to bring back the Honda once it gets off line.

Ride quality was excellent at the rear end and freeway expansions were smoothed out nicely, while the front felt like it needed a touch more damping to make things a little plusher when encountering harsh bumps. It’s always going to be a tough task for a motorcycle to perform well at sporting speeds while also being plush enough for touring but the VFR seems to handle it all in stride.

The Honda has a fairly upright position and good wind protection which should make it a nice bike on the long haul, however I found the footpegs to be somewhat tucked back and up which left my legs feeling slightly cramped for a bike where longer rides are certainly part of the norm. Seat height is low while the tank feels high and  bulky, you definitely feel more like you are sitting in the bike than on top of it. Overall the Honda provides a very refined riding experience whether doing some sport riding or just taking it easy on a long cruise.

 

Where the VFR1200F starts to show more of it’s “sportier” side is in the powerplant. Power delivery was quite entertaining with the front end dancing nicely in the air as I grabbed for the next upshift. Yes what an unassuming little motorcycle you are. All wrapped up in your saddlebags and simple understated paint. Deep down you’ve got a little wild child in you that wants to break out, just looking for a tight corner exit followed by some open road where you can let your true, inner self out. Hey if this bike testing thing doesn’t work out, I could always have a go as a motorcycle psychologist. The VFR does not accelerate brutally but it does pack a good punch. I had read much of the VFR’s fantastic sounding motor, but to be honest I did not share this opinion. Seeing as how this was a V4 I was hoping for a more distinctive and noticeable bellow to stir the emotions but to my dismay the VFR sounded somewhat toned-down.

The power is put to the ground via a newly designed shaft drive connected to the VFR’r single-sided swingarm. Honda uses an offset shaft with a vertically expanding pivot and sliding CV joint to minimize any variations in length during the rear wheel’s arc of travel. Driveline lash is non-existant and you rarely notice the shaft drive working out back, which of course, is a good thing. There was no excessive rear end hopping and squatting that you some times get with shaft drive and it actually felt very close to a chain driven motorcycle, minus the driveline lash.

The standard ABS brakes were very non-intrusive, and I was rarely hard enough on the  binders to really feel any pulsating or signs that the ABS was kicking in. The braking hardware provided plenty of stopping power and feel was good at the lever in all situations.

The VFR1200F features a sporty slipper clutch. It was only a few years ago that Honda was not even equipping their purebred CBR series with a slipper clutch so I was a little surprised to see one on this model. Sorry to say I was not riding the VFR quite hard enough to back-er-in and give the slipper a true test but it’s nice to know it’s there if things come to stop in a hurry.  Clutch action felt light at the lever and had overall good feel.

The 6-speed transmission felt good, but not great. There was a definite feel of notchiness between 1st and 2nd gear and I was conscious of being sure-footed to not accidently miss a shift. For a motorcycle otherwise so refined I was slightly disappointed the shifting was not a little more slick.

Cockpit styling is modern, clean and extremely visible in all lighting conditions. The tachometer is positioned dead center and most prominent. Fuel gauge, trip meter, clock, gear indicator, ambient temperature, speedo, it’s all there for your viewing pleasure.

At a starting MSRP of $15,999 the VFR1200F is for the serious enthusiast. Someone who appreciates technology and isn’t afraid to fork out the money for it. I was left a little on the fence regarding my final impressions of the VFR. The Honda’s Curbside appeal does not get my heart pulsating the way the VFR of the early nineties. This is a totally different machine that is much less on the sporting side and much more of an all-arounder.

 

Pros:
Entertaining motor
Typical Honda fit and finish
Good ride in most conditions
Styling (to some people)

Cons:
Footpegs not placed for long-distance touring
Price
No real “edge” to the bike
Styling (to some other people)

Verdict:
There is really very little to fault on the new VFR and Honda’s use of  functional technology has made for a very refined, well performing  motorcycle. It does come at the expense of having to soften the edge however and the Honda is no lightweight. Maybe the new VFR has taught me more about myself than it has the motorcycle. Although I’m not getting any younger I still like a little edge in my motorcycles.

Honda VFR 1200F specifications

Engine Type: 1237cc liquid-cooled 76° V-4

Bore and Stroke: 81mm x 60mm

Compression ratio: 12.0:1

Valves: SOHC; four valves per cylinder

Induction: PGM-FI 44mm throttle bodies

Ignition: Digital electronic

Transmission: 6-speed (VFR1200F) / Six-speed automatic with two modes and
manual mode (VFR1200F with Dual Clutch Automatic Transmission)

Final Drive: Shaft

Suspension

Front: 43mm; 4.7 inches travel

Rear: Pro Arm single-side swingarm with Pro-Link® single gas-charged shock; 5.1
inches travel

Brakes

Front: Dual 320mm discs, CBS 6-piston calipers with ABS

Rear: Single 276mm disc, CBS two-piston caliper with ABS

Tires

Front: 120/70 ZR17 radial

Rear: 190/55 ZR17 radial

Wheelbase: 60.8 inches (1545mm)

Rake: 25-deg

Trail: 101.0mm (4.0 inches)

Seat Height: 32.1 inches (815mm)

Fuel Capacity: 4.9 gallons

Color: Candy Red

Curb Weight: 591 lbs (VFR1200F) / 613 lbs (VFR1200F with Dual Clutch Automatic
Transmission)*

*Includes all standard equipment, required fluids and full tank of fuel–ready
to ride.

 

The 2010 International Motorcycle Show

IMS Greenville New and Improved for 2010

It seems the word got out that the International Motorcycle Show by Cycle World was no longer in Atlanta as attendance was sharply up this year; only the second year it has been held in Greenville, South Carolina.  Vendors, as well as visitors, packed the Carolina First Center despite the downed economy hoping that 2010 would bring improvements to everyone’s bottom line which would allow even more bottoms in the seats of new motorcycles.

Can’t make any of the shows??  Well, thankfully we at 2WF.com did, so sit back and enjoy a sneak peak at some of the new and improved products for 2010:

HONDA

Unless you are a sport bike rider, or hard-core motocross guy, Honda has not given you much to cheer about over the past several years.  Despite their reputation for quality motorcycles, their product line has not offered much new for the buying public; with the exception of new colors and graphics. 

2010 is a bit different as they have both imported their lightweight sport touring bike from Europe: the Honda NT 700 V (known as the Deauville overseas) and have introduced an all-new VFR 1200F.

Honda NT 700 V

Highlights of the NT 700 V

MSRP $9,999 or $10,999 ABS
Reported weight of their new to the USA offering is 562 lbs or 569lbs if you choose the ABS option.  It is shaft driven, has a pass thru saddlebag system, but the trunk shown in pictures is NOT standard equipment.  According to Honda’s representative it is “Proven European technology…and for less than $10,000 you get a Honda sport touring bike.”

Honda VFR1200F 

Highlights of the VFR 1200F

MSRP $15,999 (standard 6 speed Transmission) – No price available for Dual clutch auto transmission.  July 2010 delivery to dealers

Honda reports a weight of 591 lbs, but several attendees that sat on it said “It doesn’t seem that heavy” so it carries its weight well.  It is driven by a V-4 unicam engine with 90% of torque available from 4,000 rpm (no power numbers published).  ABS is standard as is a fly-by-wire throttle and an improved drive shaft to keep it from affecting the suspension

The VFR seemed to have a good amount of leg room, but, sorry touring minded folks, the bar reach was more VFR 800 and less ST 1300.

Kawasaki

For the new model year, Kawasaki attacked the market in two different ways; they improved upon their award winning Concours 14 by addressing some customer concerns and introduced an all-new Z1000 naked bike.

Kawasaki Concours 14

Highlights of the Concours 14

MSRP: $14,599 or $15,295 ABS – The first thing Kawasaki revealed was that they had redesigned the fairing for better heat management based on feedback from existing customers.  They have also introduced traction control for 2010 (KTRC, for short, only available on ABS models) along with standard 3 position heated grips and a taller and wider windshield for their flagship sport-touring rig.

 

 

Kawasaki Z1000


Highlights of the Z1000

MSRP: $10,499 – This bike is all new from the ground up, from its 1,043 cc liquid cooled I-4 engine with fuel injection and 4 into 2 into 1 into 2 exhaust (yes, you read that right!) and 6 speed transmission to its twin spar aluminum frame (reportedly more rigid for better handling). 

The exhaust also sports a butterfly valve to vary backpressure for increased performance, and the brakes are radially mounted with 300mm petal discs up front showing that Kawasaki is serious about being able to stop this 481 pound machine.


Suzuki

Suzuki said, in no uncertain terms that there will be more 2010 street products.  They are delaying the release of 2010 models to help dealers reduce inventory before they put more bikes on the market.  Suzuki North America pointed to new releases world wide as evidence that they are still innovating and evolving, but when the representative was asked if it is known what will come to the USA he stated that there are “no announcements pending.” 

The good news, for off road riders anyway, is that Suzuki has already tilted their hand and shown their 2010 cards.

RMX 450Z

Highlights of the RMX 450Z

MSRP: $8,399 – The 449cc single reportedly is aimed directly at woods racers that want cutting edge technology, or off road riders that want an easy to use, powerful motorcycle to spend their time roosting buddies.  Weight is a claimed 272 lbs, while holding 1.9 gallons of fuel.  The newly designed off-roader boasts electric start (with kicker back-up) and a side stand; both will be welcomed by off road junkies everywhere. 

The big news is that the RMX is a fuel-injected model, and is Green Sticker certified in California.  However, despite its wide ration 5 speed transmission it is not intended to be a street legal bike.

Yamaha

Since the All New R1 of last year debuted, it is understandable that the boys in blue may take a year off of major announcements on the street side of things, but that does not mean they have sent their engineers home for an early vacation. This year Yamaha has designed a backwards off-road single cylinder design. 

YZ 450F


Highlights of the YZ 450F

MSRP: $7,990 to $8,090 – Probably the most different bike at the show, Yamaha states that they have designed this new motocross bike around Fuel Injection.  Look closely at the cutaway pictures, and you’ll notice the exhaust header exits the rear of the cylinder and the air intake is at the front; this is totally backwards from how it has been done for a century or more.

Yamaha claims a cooler, stronger air charge that delivers more balanced power throughout the entire rev range as well as better mass centralization.  The focus here, as it was in their cross-planar crankshaft R1, is not necessarily more power but better power.  Yamaha seems to want better power delivery for its models (reducing wheel spin was mentioned as an objective), and is not simply chasing brochure numbers.

Wet weight is a reported 245 lbs, and it delivers power to the ground via a 5-speed transmission.

Ducati

After the Honda VFR, Ducati may have had the next biggest attraction at the show with their all-new Mutistrada 1200.  Forget the fact that Nicky Hayden’s GP ride was a few feet away, the crowd was typically assembled around the new ‘Strada.

Multistrada 1200

Highlights of the Multistrada 1200

MSRP: $14,995, $16,495 ABS, $19,995 Sport, $19,995 Touring (options can vary price actually paid).

The Multi reportedly weighs in at 417 lbs, with a 5.3 gallon gas tank.  The engine is liquid cooled and produces 150 HP @ 9,250 rpm as well as  87.5 ft/lb torque @ 4,250 rpm.  It boasts a slipper clutch on over run, radially mounted brakes, fully adjustable suspension, and a Single sided swing arm.  The Multistrada 1200 is offered in several different trim levels (all use 150HP engine, but suspension, luggage, electronic gadgets vary by bike actually chosen).

The Sport and the touring use the Ducati Electronic Suspension (DES) that adjusts Ohlins suspension and ABS system on the fly for ever evolving conditions. 


VICTORY

Victory, for 2010, is simply sticking to their “core technology.”  No new gadgetry or all new engineering for this year, but there are two new models that should be able to turn the heads of a few more cruiser fans. 

Victory Cross Roads

Highlights of the Cross Roads and Cross Country

MSRP: Cross Roads $15,999 Cross Country $17,999- No ABS option for either machine.

These bikes share a lot of bits and pieces in common as both are powered by a 1,731 cc (106 ci) V-twin, have 5.8 gallon gas tanks, 6 speed transmissions and belt final drives.  The Cross Roads is 745 lbs and the Cross Country is 765 lbs.

The extra $2,000 for the Cross Country gets you a full fairing (vs. the windshield of the Cross Roads), electronic cruise, radio w/ Ipod hookup, and passenger floorboards.  Both models are equipped with hard rear saddlebags bags

 

 

Star Motorcycles

The Stratoliner Deluxe is another product new to the heavyweight cruiser market using existing parts and chassis designs.  Evolved from the Star Stratoliner, this offers a few more amenities than its sibling to better challenge existing giants in the cruiser business.

Stratoliner Deluxe

Highlights of the Start Stratoliner Deluxe

MSRPS $17,490, No ABS option – The Stratoliner Deluxe comes standard with quick release hard bags, fairing with Hi-Fi speakers, and an Ipod jack (but curiously no radio??).

It is powered by a 1,854 cc (113 ci) V-twin fed by a 4.5 gallon fuel tank, has an aluminum frame, 5-speed transmission and a belt final drive. 

Triumph

Triumph seems to be trying to compete in all sectors of the motorcycling market, and for 2010 they have introduced the Thunderbird 1600 to not only solidify, but to try and expand their own share of the cruising market.

Thunderbird

Highlights of the Thunderbird

MSRP: $12.499 to $13,599 – Triumph has created an all-new liquid cooled 1,597 cc parallel twin power plant mated to a 6-speed transmission for 2010.  It utilizes a belt final drive to put down the claimed 85 HP and 108 ft/lbs of torque.  The Thunderbird holds 5.8 gallons of fuel and is reportedly 746lbs ready to ride.

Bringing all of that bike to a stop is handled by a triple disc brakes squeezed by 4 piston Nissin calipers in the front, and a 2 piston Brembo in the rear with ABS being noted as an option.  Triumph designed this bike with versatility in mind, and will support it with a full accessory catalog so any rider can customize it for luggage, wind protection and, of course, performance.

To read more about this bike check out our full 2010 Triumph Thunderbird bike review

What else can you find??

Custom Bonneville What else can you find at the IMS shows?  Well, these shows are a great place to spend a day for any rider.  You can find anything from Johnny Campbell’s Baja winning machine and road race bikes, to spec built 250cc racers and choppers with bags and fairings to one-off customized motorcycles like the Bonneville you see here.

So if you get the chance to go to one of the IMS shows as they travel around the country, don’t miss the opportunity. Whether you like new bikes or old, custom or stock, sportbikes or cruisers you’ll find a bike that twists your throttle.