Bags of talent
accessories to personalise the bike for long-distance cruising. A set of panniers is $1485, top box $792, heated grips $382 and LED foglights $329.
The V4 engine is the key to the VFR’S effortless long-distance lope. Depending on the road and the mood, sixth gear will do the job if fuel economy is the priority. Drop it down into third gear and the torque surge becomes a tsunami.
Either way, the ride-by-wire throttle response is gel-lube smooth. A traction control system helps avoid moments on the tarmac or dirt.
However, the ABS system cannot be switched off and does not have a separate ‘‘ dirt’’ mode.
The signature Honda headlight design dominates the front end, with the now-obligatory ‘‘ adventure bike’’ duck bill mounted below.
The bike looks slim from any angle— even with the panniers fitted— and you do not feel the 275kg weight until you pick it up off the sidestand on a slope.
The digital dash has a bar tachometer at the top, easyto-read speed, gear position indicator and fuel consumption readout.
The combined ABS links the front and rear brakes to maximise effectiveness. It works a treat on the road but the inability to turn it off earned some scowls.
The launch route took in everything from highway running to C-grade back roads and mountain twisties. Comfort was never an issue with the upright seating position.
A great long-distance ride, it can match any bike on the bitumen and should hold its own on gravel or sandy roads. The big test will be how it handles single-trail enduro tracks.
Versatile: The production VFR has wider appeal than the Crosstourer concept of 2010