Honda VFR1200

RiDE (UK) - - Contents -

Some sports tourers are more rad­i­cal than oth­ers, so if you’re in the mar­ket for some­thing a bit dif­fer­ent then you might want to try the KTM 990 SMT. It com­bines the wild fun of a su­per­moto with prac­ti­cal touches that make it akin to an ad­ven­ture bike — and there­fore ca­pa­ble of big miles. The 999cc V-twin engine may only make 115bhp but you wouldn’t know it from the way the SMT rides. It’s an ab­so­lute hoot if you ride ag­gres­sively but can soon be calmed down with a gen­tle touch and is well-be­haved when you want it to be. KTM’S V-twins are known to have a thirst for oil so keep an eye on the lev­els.

About as far from the 990 SMT as it’s pos­si­ble to be, the Honda VFR1200 is nev­er­the­less an­other supremely good sports tour­ing bike. It wasn’t to ev­ery­one’s taste when it was launched in 2010 — per­haps too much of a de­par­ture from the pre­vi­ous VFR range — but that means sec­ond­hand prices are not sky high and you can pick up a good (and up­dated) 2012 ex­am­ple for as lit­tle as £6000 — less than half the ask­ing price of a new model. For that you get a fast V-four engine, ABS, trac­tion con­trol, supreme build qual­ity and of course, near­bul­let­proof re­li­a­bil­ity.

While the ear­lier ver­sion of the Kawasaki Ver­sys 1000 wasn’t quite sure what it wanted to be, the 2015 model was a more fo­cused sports tourer and a very ca­pa­ble one at that. It’s tall and roomy, has a three-stage trac­tion con­trol sys­tem, slip­per clutch, ABS and an ad­justable screen. The build and fin­ish are su­perb and re­li­a­bil­ity is top notch too. You can pick up a two-year-old ex­am­ple for £7200.

You can pick up an early BMW K1300S for less than £6000, but it’s worth spend­ing a bit more for a good one with de­cent ex­tras. It’s a su­per-so­phis­ti­cated 175bhp sports tourer with elec­tron­i­cally-ad­justable sus­pen­sion and trac­tion con­trol. The 1293cc four-cylin­der engine was hailed as one of the best big en­gines in any mo­tor­cy­cle at the time and it’s still enor­mously impressive now.

Quirky styling and a huge spec make the Honda VFR1200 a good bet 2012 KTM 990 SMT with only 14,238 miles on the clock. £6999. Dealer ad on­n­bikesfor­ likes:

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