The VFR1200X Crosstourer, launched in 2012, is Honda’s range-topping adventure sports touring motorcycle. The original design team set out to create a machine that gave the rider a sense of challenge and the facility to explore.
Equipped with a 1,237cc V4 engine, advanced chassis and electronic package – Combined ABS and Traction Control System (TCS) – the Crosstourer firmly planted a flag at the high-performance end of the adventure segment.
As a go-anywhere, do-anything tool it has few peers – but its real difference lies in the addictive power and soundtrack produced by its soulful V4 engine, something unique in this class.
The Honda VFR1200X Crosstourer’s engine continues Honda’s proud heritage with V4 technology, with its uniquely smooth, flexible delivery of impressive power and torque. Offering precise control of this power thanks to its throttle-by-wire system, and an engaging, characterful sound – due partly to carefully-sized chambers in the exhaust – the Crosstourer’s engine is integral to its appeal.
The V4 configuration is slim and compact, reducing frontal area and aiding mass centralisation. It also features a very closely set pair of rear cylinders, making the engine narrower at the back. Further contributing to the 1,237cc, 16-valve engine’s compact dimensions is Honda’s Unicam technology, also used on the CRF range of motocross machines. This SOHC configuration helps reduce the size and weight of the cylinder heads, and optimise combustion chamber shape.
A combination of a 76° angle between the two banks of cylinders and a crankshaft with 28° phasing between the crankpins virtually eliminates vibration. Since there’s no need for a power-sapping balancer shaft the result is higher output and uneven firing intervals give an intimate connection to the engine.
The Honda Selectable Torque Control constantly monitors front and rear wheel speed; when it senses a certain difference in speed between front and rear wheels, engine torque is momentarily reduced by a combination of ignition cut and modulation of the throttle butterflies through the throttle-by-wire system. As the difference in speed between front and rear wheels reduces, the system transitions into modulating only the throttle butterflies. This ensures a seamless, unobtrusive control. The system features 3 modes of operation for the rider to choose depending on road conditions. It can also be switched off.
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.
The Honda VFR1200X Crosstourer has relaxed riding ergonomics. 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.
Pro-Link rear suspension combines excellent traction with refined ride quality. Both the fork and gas-charged shock are adjustable for rebound damping and spring preload, allowing riders to alter characteristics to suit their riding style and intended usage.