Honda’s 1200cc full-size adventure bike is not a brand new model since European customers are able to buy it since 2012. But for the next model year, Honda will update the bike and send it to the American market. The Crosstourer may not be as dirt-friendly as the opposition but the model still can bring some excitement into the segment of the BMW R1200GS, Yamaha XT1200Z Super Ténéré and the Triumph Tiger Explorer.
The VFR1200X Crosstourer, launched in 2012, is Honda’s range-topping adventure sports touring motorcycle. Unfortunately, the bike is a bit heavy and expensive and it’s not as dirt-friendly as the BMW R1200GS for example.
For the 2016 model year, Honda decided to make some changes. First off, the bike’s V4 engin is now Euro4-compliant. The 1,237cc, 16-valve engine is slim and compact, reducing frontal area and aiding mass centralisation. PGM-FI fuel injection employs 44mm throttle bores and fly-by-wire technology for precise throttle control. Peak power of 95kW (126hp) arrives at 7,750rpm, with peak torque of 126Nm at 6,500rpm.
Honda’s DCT dual-clutch transmission is optional. Though many riders hate it, the DCT is becoming more and more popular. According to Honda’s sales numbers, over half of VFR1200X Crosstourer customers now choose the DCT version. Three basic modes of operation are available. MT mode gives full manual control, allowing the rider to shift with the handlebar trigger control buttons. Automatic D mode is ideal for city and highway riding, and achieves optimum fuel efficiency. Automatic S mode is sportier and the ECU lets the engine rev a little higher before shifting up, giving greater performance. It also shifts down sooner when decelerating for extra engine braking. For 2016, within S Mode, there are now three different engine maps to cover a wider range of sporty riding scenarios and preferences. In either D or S mode DCT offers immediate manual intervention if required – the rider simply selects the required gear using the up and down shift triggers. At an appropriate time DCT seamlessly reverts back to automatic mode, depending on throttle angle, vehicle speed and gear position. Further new functionality for 2016 means that the system is able to detect uphill and downhill slopes and adapt its shift pattern schedule accordingly.
The Crosstourer is relaxing to drive. Seat height is 850mm but thanks to the narrow profile it’s an easy motorcycle to straddle, with good ground reach. The diamond aluminium twin-spar frame is a hollow unit that employs quartered construction – this enables very precise control over the all-important weight/rigidity balance of each part of the frame. Rake is set at 28° with trail of 107mm and 1,595mm wheelbase. Kerb weight is 277kg, 287kg for DCT version. For 2016, Honda updates the bike with an adjustable windscreen. The mechanism is simple and user-friendly, allowing the rider to adjust the screen height to any desired level with a single gloved hand.
Spoked wheels are designed to absorb the shocks generated by rough road surfaces and work with the suspension to deliver a comfortable ride quality. Tubeless tyres – 110/80-R19 front and 150/70-R17 rear – balance keen, agile handling with traction.
Combined ABS works between the dual front 310mm discs/three-piston calipers and rear 276mm disc/twin-piston caliper. It delivers balanced braking for more stable deceleration and the extra reassurance of an Antilock Brake System. If either wheel is about to lock up and slide, C-ABS momentarily reduces the hydraulic pressure being applied to the relevant brake and distributes the force optimally between both wheels, ensuring powerful and secure braking in all conditions.
- 5-stage heated grips with indicator, replacing the previous 3-stage design, are now available from Honda Genuine Accessories. A new waterproof rear top box does away with the zip expander and, 60mm deeper, can take a full-face helmet. And an accessory low seat reduces the seat height by 20mm to 830mm.
- Other Honda Genuine Accessories for the Crosstourer include:
- Pannier set. Specially designed and fully integrated 35L (RH) and 39L (LH) square panniers. The left pannier can contain most helmets; the set fits directly to the motorcycle and matches the top box.
- Main stand. Allows more secure parking and also facilitates cleaning and rear wheel maintenance.
- Cowl ornament kit. Tubular anodised aluminium kit developed to emphasise the bike’s rugged appearance. Also serves as a front LED fog lamp stay.
- Front LED fog lamp kit. Pair of LED fog lights which mount on the cowl ornament kit. Combines a very bright beam with minimal power consumption and a long lifetime. Control button integrates nicely in the motorcycle’s fairing.
- Side deflector kit. Set of left and right deflectors that protect the rider and pillion from the elements and reduce turbulence. Made from black polyurethane.
- 12V DC socket kit, positioned under the seat.
- Outdoor cycle cover – protects the bike from the elements.
- Averto Alarm Kit. A compact alarm unit with 118dB siren and back-up battery. Low consumption sleep mode to protect the battery from draining. Features a movement and shock detector with 8 sensitivity modes.
- Tank pad.
The 2016 VFR1200X Crosstourer will be available in three colours:
- Digital Silver Metallic
- Pearl Cosmic Black
- Two-tone red (Special Edition colour) R&G Frame Insert, LHS HONDA VFR1200 / Crosstourer 1200