For hard-rid­ing thrills

Honda’s 2015 VFR800X Cross­run­ner fo­cuses on per­for­mance and tech­nol­ogy

The Witness - Wheels - - BIKING - — Sup­plied.

HONDA’S premium ad­ven­ture sports tourer has evolved sub­stan­tially for 2015, with a host of up­grades de­signed to de­liver more hard-rid­ing ex­cite­ment.

It fea­tures more mid-range torque and top-end power from its up­graded V4VTEC en­gine, sharper ad­ven­ture styling plus re­fined er­gonomics and longer travel sus­pen­sion, new wheels and brakes. Honda Se­lectable Torque Con­trol (HSTC) sys­tem, ABS, full LED light­ing, five-stage heated grips, self-can­celling in­di­ca­tors and a height-ad­justable seat are all fit­ted as stan­dard.

1. IN­TRO­DUC­TION

The VFR800X Cross­run­ner, which went on sale in 2011, was the first model in Honda’s Cross­over ‘X’ range. It com­bined the VFR800F sports tour­ing plat­form and an up­right, ad­ven­ture-ori­ented rid­ing po­si­tion to cre­ate a multi-pur­pose mo­tor­cy­cle with a soul­ful V4 mo­tor pro­vid­ing power and feel.

The 2015 VFR800X Cross­run­ner, in­cor­po­rat­ing many el­e­ments from the new 2014 VFR800F, pushes the Cross­run­ner con­cept for­ward, with a clear fo­cus on per­for­mance and tech­nol­ogy. Its re­vised en­gine and chas­sis, HSTC, LED lights, re­fined, more up­right rid­ing po­si­tion and sharper styling im­prove both func­tion and form to cre­ate a prac­ti­cal all-pur­pose mo­tor­cy­cle.

Yoichi Inayama, large project leader (LPL) VFR800X Cross­run­ner, said: “For this de­vel­op­ment of the VFR800X Cross­run­ner, we wanted to cre­ate a premium mo­tor­cy­cle with a ready-for-ac­tion feel­ing, for cus­tomers to use with max­i­mum en­joy­ment ev­ery day. The styling de­manded beau­ti­fully func­tional parts, and light pro­por­tions with min­i­mal fair­ings.

“Our new VFR800X Cross­run­ner has ful­filled th­ese goals and fol­lows the VFR tra­di­tion: it has an ar­ray of ad­vanced tech­nolo­gies.

“For us, it gives a crav­ing to ride ev­ery­day and we hope it brings the same fun and good spirit to our cus­tomers.”

2. MODEL OVER­VIEW

Core of the VFR800X Cross­run­ner is its 90° V4-VTEC DOHC 16-valve en­gine. It packs boosted low and mid-range torque for fluid drive, plus im­proved top- end power com­pared to the pre­vi­ous model, and fea­tures a new 4-2-1-1 ex- haust sim­i­lar to the new VFR800F.

In ad­di­tion, the VFR800X Cross­run- ner rider now ben­e­fits from the Honda Se­lectable Torque Con­trol sys­tem (HSTC), sim­i­lar to that fit­ted to its big- brother VFR1200X Cross­tourer. If the sys­tem senses an im­mi­nent loss of rear- wheel trac­tion it re­duces torque to al­low the tyre to grip.

Two lev­els of HSTC are avail­able (plus off) and mode se­lec­tion ap­pears on the LCD in­stru­men­ta­tion.

The evoca­tive alu­minium twin-beam frame fea­tures a re­vised sub­frame while the sin­gle sided alu­minium swingarm — an­other VFR sig­na­ture piece — is stiffer and lighter. Vis­ually iden­ti­cal to the VFR800F, the VFR800X Cross­run­ner’s sus­pen­sion has longer travel, 25 mm in the two-piece tele­scopic forks and 28 mm in the rear shock. ABS is fit­ted as stan­dard and the front 17-inch hol­low­cast alu­minium wheel is fit­ted with dual 310 mm discs, worked by ra­dial-mount four-pis­ton calipers.

The VFR800X Cross­run­ner is a true VFR, a mo­tor­cy­cle de­signed for hardrid­ing fun, but with style, com­fort and prac­ti­cal­ity.

3. KEY FEA­TURES 3.1 STYLING AND EQUIP­MENT

Purely a street-fo­cused ma­chine, and with a strong hint of VFR800F around the ‘X’’ sig­na­ture white light LED head­light, the VFR800X Cross­run­ner’s over­all de­sign fol­lows a theme of tough so­phis­ti­ca­tion.

Seat height can be ad­justed to either 815 mm or 835 mm to help suit a wider range of rid­ers. Com­bined with the com­fort­able seat and foot-peg po­si­tion­ing, the wide new 683 mm han­dle­bars put the rider firmly in con­trol. The VFR800X Cross­run­ner is easy to han­dle in all sit­u­a­tions and quick to re­spond to more ag­gres­sive rider in­put, thanks to the ex­tra lever­age and low yaw in­er­tia.

The VFR800X Cross­run­ner fea­tures Honda’s self-can­celling in­di­ca­tor sys­tem. De­signed to work un­no­ticed by the rider, it com­pares front and rear wheel speed dif­fer­en­tial when turn­ing (via the ABS wheel sen­sors) and cal­cu­lates when to can­cel in­di­ca­tion.

A re­designed LCD dash uses a re­verse dis­play against white LED back­light. The speedome­ter/tachome­ter are lo­cated to­gether. There’s also a gear po­si­tion in­di­ca­tor, fuel con­sump­tion and cruis­ing range in­di­ca­tor, clock, am­bi­ent tem­per­a­ture gauge and twin trip me­ters. An in­di­ca­tor is in­cluded for the five-stage heated grips. The VFR800X Cross­run­ner will be avail­able in three colour op­tions: Candy Ar­ca­dian Red, Matt Gun­pow­der Black Metal­lic and Pearl Glare White.

3.2 CHAS­SIS

Ag­ile han­dling is key to the VFR800X Cross­run­ner’s phi­los­o­phy as it has to clip Alpine apexes as well as ride through city streets. The Cross­run­ner’s sus­pen­sion is sim­i­lar to the 2014 VFR800F but the 43 mm Honda Multi-Ac­tion Sys­tem (HMAS) tele­scopic fork fea­tures an ex­tra 25 mm travel and of­fers step­less spring preload ad­just­ment plus re­bound damp­ing ad­just­ment.

The HMAS gas-charged rear shock operates through Pro-Link and of­fers hy­drauli­cally ad­justed spring preload, 28 mm more travel and raised ground clear­ance to 165 mm.

3.3 EN­GINE

The VFR800X Cross­run­ner’s 782 cc, liq­uid-cooled 16-valve DOHC 90° V4VTEC en­gine serves up im­proved per­for­mance and gen­er­ates more low-to mid-range power and torque. Boosted peak power of 78 kW (106 PS) is de­liv­ered at 10 250 rpm and the in­creased torque out­put through the bot­tom and mid-rpm ranges is im­me­di­ately no­tice­able. Peak torque of 75 Nm is de­liv­ered at 8 500 rpm.

4. SUG­GESTED RE­TAIL PRICE (VAT IN­CLU­SIVE)

The new VFR800X is avail­able at all au­tho­rised Honda wing deal­er­ships coun­try­wide. The pric­ing in­cludes a two-year un­lim­ited mileage war­ranty and oneyear road­side as­sis­tance. Price: VFR800X R141 990.

PHOTO: SUP­PLIED

The 2015 Honda VFR800X Cross­run­ner.

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