March 23, 2014On May 31, 2014 I bought my first Honda motorcycle. A new 2012 VFR 1200 with less than 5 miles on it, even after Mac and I took test rides on it. For reasons unknown to me the VFR 1200 does not sell that well here in the USA, so this brand new two year old bike was mine at a great price.
I wasn't looking at the VFR originally, but a friend and R1 rider at the time (now he has a 2014 VFR) suggested I consider it (Thanks Sergey). After some research on my own I decided I should at least sit on a VFR.
I had a Yamaha FJR 1300 for almost 4 years (60,000+ miles) and was considering another one along with the Aprilla Copone and VFR. After sitting on all three, looking at options, features, maintenance, insurance and overall "gut" reaction I decided the VFR was for me. (The price was a big "plus" along with the fact insurance priced it as a two year old bike.)
June 2014 ride to Nocona, TexasThe fit and finish is top of the line. The sleek lines and curves gives the impression the bike is "fast" and the looks are not deceiving. The 1237cc V4 produces smooth consistent power. The stock seat is plenty comfortable for me.
I was not confident with the stock tires, but once I mounted the Michelin Pilot Road 2, and later the PR 3's, confidence in the curves increased greatly.
I ordered the saddlebags for the bike, they do not come stock. The only customization included Zero Gravity windshield, Two Brothers slip-on exhaust, T-Rex Racing sliders and Grip Buddies.
Zero Gravity tinted windshield is about 2 inches taller than stock and works great.The exhaust exchanged reduced the weight approx. 15 lbs and improved the look and sound of the bike (compare 2nd photo and last photo). The Zero Gravity windshield reduced buffeting considerably and added to the eye appeal. The Grip Buddies were added because I like the comfort of the bigger grip and the vibration reducing neoprene.
June 2014 on US129 a.k.a The Tail of the Dragon - photo by Killboy.comI have commuted, ridden back roads with twisties, ridden in Dallas traffic, taken weekend trips and extended trips. The VFR has taken me on the windy roads in the Smokey Mountains, including the Tail of the Dragon, and over many mountain passes of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado and New Mexico. I have ridden a few miles in a day up to 650 miles in a day. I have travel without saddlebags, with saddlebags and even fully loaded for camping. I have put the bike to the test and I have found myself always smiling.
Loaded for camping in ColoradoThis the first bike I have owned with traction control and/or a slipper clutch. I like the both features; however, the first time the traction control engaged was a little surprising and at the same time comforting. I was glad to feel it work so much quicker than I could react. The slipper clutch works great and makes downshifting smooth. The single-side swingarm not only looks sharp it makes changing the tire very convenient. I love that feature!
Enjoy the view from the Pikes Peak Veterans Memorial outside of Cripple Creek, COThe seating position is slightly more aggressive than the FJR which took a little getting use to. I like the lighter weight (589 lbs - wet - although I know that is heavy compared to some bikes) when it comes to backing up or moving around in the garage. The detachable saddlebags are a great feature requiring just unlock the bag and lift the handle - very convenient. I have not added the trunk, but a friend who has it on his VFR is a big fan.
Very easy to remove saddlebagsThe VFR's handling is solid and breeds confidence in the twisties. There is plenty of ground clearance for leaning hard. The levers are adjustable and operate smoothly. Breaking is the best I have had (6 bikes so far).
I love the bike. I can not stop smiling when riding (except when a distracted cager makes a bad move). It is more "sport" than "tourer". MPG for me has been consistently 39.5 with a mixture of city and hwy.
If I were to retire and tour for weeks at a time year round I have to admit I would go back with the FJR due to comfort, storage, fuel economy (40mpg vs 44mpg) and sitting position. But, for now I am loving every mile on the VFR!
Enjoying US 129 a.k.a The Dragon