All-rounder de­liv­ers goods

NT News - Motoring - - CARS GUIDE - By JIM GREEN

THE Honda VFR800X Cross­run­ner is a phe­nom­e­nal ma­chine that per­fectly blends the flex­i­bil­ity and ex­cit­ing at­ti­tude of a naked per­for­mance ma­chine with the up­right rid­ing po­si­tion and rugged styling of an ad­ven­ture bike.

At the heart of this evoca­tive ma­chine is Honda’s mag­nif­i­cent 800cc V4 VTEC en­gine, renowned for its smooth power de­liv­ery, grunt and glo­ri­ous­sound­ing V4 bur­ble.

For those who came in late, VTEC is a sys­tem de­vel­oped by Honda in which two valves per cylin­der oper­ate un­til you reach 6600rpm, af­ter which the two re­main­ing valves cut in pro­duc­ing more power.

On de­cel­er­a­tion the sys­tem switches back to two valves at 6100rpm.

The re­sult is a Jekyll and Hyde of a mo­tor­cy­cle, smooth and com­pli­ant as you bum­ble around town and an ab­so­lute beast when you give it the berries.

The six-speed gear box is slick and easy to use, just as you would ex­pect.

The Cross­run­ner has been de­signed with com­fort in mind, with its gen­er­ous flat seat set at 816mm from the ground and broad han­dle­bars lo­cated at what can only be de­scribed as the per­fect po­si­tion.

The foot pegs are high and set back slightly, pro­vid­ing both a com­fort­able and sporty po­si­tion.

The cur­va­ceous fuel tank is an am­ple 21.5 litres, from which you can ex­pect a range of more than 300km.

In­stru­men­ta­tion is taken care of with a modern, easyto-read LCD panel that seem­ingly floats in front of the han­dle­bars. The panel pro­vides speedo, bar tacho, clock, twin trip me­ters and coolant tem­per­a­ture.

ABS (anti-lock brak­ing sys­tem) is stan­dard with a com­bined brak­ing sys­tem when the rear brake lever is ap­plied.

This op­er­ates by ac­ti­vat­ing one of the pis­tons in the front right cal­liper when the rear brake is used, giv­ing an added el­e­ment of safety and a re­duc­tion in rear end squat un­der brak­ing.

Front brakes oper­ate as nor­mal when the front brake lever is ap­plied.

The bike is ex­ceed­ingly com­fort­able and easy to ride.

Although there is lit­tle in the way of fair­ings, the shape of the bike pro­vides a sur­pris­ing amount of pro­tec­tion from the wind and other el­e­ments.

The beau­ti­ful bari­tone note of the ex­haust be­stows quite pos­si­bly the best sound from any stan­dard pipe on any bike. And once you wind it up past 6600rpm to­wards its 12,000rpm red­line, the ban­shee wail that is­sues forth is noth­ing short of won­der­ful.

The han­dling is sim­ply sub­lime. Although not to be con­fused with an ad­ven­ture bike, the Cross­run­ner is able to take un­du­la­tions and rougher road sur­faces in its stride.

In fact, it pro­vides a level of sta­bil­ity and grip on the black-top that ad­ven­ture bikes could only dream of.

It is so well planted that in the right hands it will show most sports bikes a clean set of heels.

Whether

com­mut­ing, tour­ing or scratch­ing round some twisties with your mates, this ma­chine is a near-per­fect all-rounder.

Why not treat your­self to a test ride to­day? Honda’s VFR800X Cross­run­ner is avail­able from Cy­clone Mo­tor­cy­cles, Hick­man St, Win­nel­lie. $16,490 ride away.

Not to be con­fused with an ad­ven­ture bike, the Cross­run­ner is able to take un­du­la­tions and rougher road sur­faces in its stride . . . a level of sta­bil­ity and grip on the black-top that ad­ven­ture bikes could only dream of

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