Power is around the same as before at a healthy 100bhp or so, which is plenty for the road, and the V4 engine remains largely unchanged from the previous V-Tec version, but that’s no bad thing. V-Tec may not bring anything but added servicing complication to the party, but it seems the system is here to stay on the V4.
The new bronze paint on the engine case and cylinder head covers matches the wheels and top yoke and helps to freshen up the look of the bike. It’s a shame Honda has neglected to give the VFR true touring potential by not fitting a shaft drive, though they can probably be forgiven as the V4 engine means the bike is fighting the weight battle from the start and a shaft drive certainly wouldn’t help in that regard. Weight or no weight, it seems an oversight to make a sports tourer in 2014 without a shaft drive. A manufacturer like Honda has the resources to come up with a clever and light, chain-less solution.
From the side, the new VFR looks a bit like the BMW K1300S, the exhaust pipe, generous seat arrangement, single side swinger and multi spoke rear wheel, though arguably this is a look that Honda invented originally and BMW has since copied. The rear indicators are neatly incorporated into the rear light cluster, not as neat as original VFRs, but better than indicators on stalks which always look like an afterthought (I feel for American market customers have to make do with huge bulky indicators and side reflectors to meet their safety rules).
Front indicators are inside the mirrors, along with some smart looking led running lights inside the ends. These give the bike a fresh look out on the road, and definitely help to attract attention, at least until the also become commonplace among bikes.
The instrument cluster is a pleasing place to be; it freshens up the VFR cockpit while keeping things more traditional than some modern machines. A large centrally mounted rev counter dominates, with a large digital speedo and fuel gauge indicator on the left, the clock, external temperature and coolant temperature and gear indicator are on the right. Indicators lights are on the right and left of the cockpit. All in all, everything feels familiar.
The bike has new forks, with preload and compression and rebound damping adjustment, and a brand new pro arm single sided swinging arm, with a pro-link, remote spring preload and stepless rebound damping adjustment.
The bike comes fitted with Dunlop Roadsmart II tyres as standard, and having run these on my GSX-R, I can tell you they work extremely well, and will suit this bike down to the ground.
What else is new? Radial-mount four-piston front brake calipers, The seat height is adjustable by 20mm, and ABS is fitted as standard. A quick shifter is available as a Honda Genuine Accessories bolt-on. Honda’s TCS (Traction Control System), heated grips and a remote preload adjusted have all been added to the VFR’s list of standard equipment.
I am booked in for a test ride, and I’ll report back once I’ve sampled the new sports tourer on the road.
2014 Honda VFR800F the perfect road Bike - Part 1