10. Honda VFR1200F, 2010-current

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Like all professionals, we motojournalists have our categories into which things must fit: Sportbike, cruiser, sport-tourer, etc. When a motorcycle doesn’t really slot into one of them, we get confused, frightened, and lash out. Honda has a history of building things that don’t fit the mold. Sometimes they really do lose their way and build things like the DN-01 and NM-4 (which came close to making sense until they filled all its large storage compartments with small storage compartments). The Pacific Coast still gets laughed at; I’d still like to have one.

Anyway, the VFR1200F was too sporty to be a sport-tourer and too toury to be the new VFR1000RR everybody’d been (and still are) pining for – and $15K seemed like a lot of money at the time. Heck, Honda still wants to sell you a new VFR1200F for $15,999 ($17,499 for the DCT version). But you don’t have to look hard to find a lightly broken-in one for around $7K. That’s a price point which makes much more sense for a bike with a creamy-smooth 1237cc, 142-hp-at-the-road, ride-by-wire V-Four with shaft drive, and that could be custom-tailored into a helluva great commuter/sport-tourer/whatever-you-need-it-to-be motorcycle with just a couple of well-chosen upgrades, which the guy you’re taking advantage of may have already done. Beat him up more if he hasn’t had the driveshaft issue fixed yet! Eat the rich!

2010 Honda VFR1200F Review – First Ride

2010 BMW K1300S vs Honda VFR1200F Shootout

2010 Oddball Sport-Touring Shootout: Ducati Multistrada vs Honda VFR1200F vs Kawasaki Z1000

Bonus footage: Orthodontists are practically giving their older VFR800s away these days for <$3k to make room for a new Africa Twin. An all-time great bike.

  • Alexander Pityuk

    The 2010 VFRs are one of the best second-hand offers on the market today. You get tons and tons of awesome bike (sadly, literally too) for a very reasonable price. But god help you if you get to crash one. Those numerous plastic panels with impeccable paintwork from honda cost a fortune!

  • Ted

    “One consolation of living beneath where the rich and powerful do bite and snarl and snap them up, though, is snarfing up delicious morsels as lightly masticated ex-bikes settle gently toward the ocean floor.”
    I was objecting to the bottom feeders lead in, until I read the above quote. If you made that up yourself Mr. Burns you should get an MO literary award, at least a very large bonus. Pure genius. Love it. Thanks

    • john burns

      thanks, Ted, my computer has an “auto-metaphor” function. Or is that a simile? I didn’t invent bottomfeeder when it comes to vehicles, though.

      • Does it make metaphors about autos? Can you get a moto-metaphor function?

        Man, if I had something like that, I’d be as happy as a guy with um, a thing that…made him…really happy.

  • Old MOron

    Sigh, you MOrons are supposed to help me narrow down my list, not expand it.

  • Robs

    As a recent adopter of a well-cared for 2006 R1200GS, I agree with your #3! For $7K, I got a bike with 40K, all records and updates, huge Micatech panniers, crash bars, lighting upgrade, etc. I keep checking Craigs for used parts, and see that 05-10 GS run right around the $6-8K range. Total BMW convert now…will probably own these twins for the rest of what is left of my life =)

    • Emptybee

      I’ve been riding BMWs for 30 years now and have yet to buy a new one. Let someone else take the depreciation hit!

  • Doug

    I guess I’ll throw away my 98 R1………..

  • Born to Ride

    Sorry John, but I’m not gonna give you the XR1200x on this one. I looked, and looked, and looked again for a reasonably priced used XR after seeing them race at Laguna the last time. Not a single one in good shape with low miles for under 9 grand. Dealerships all wanted over 10Gs for prime examples. The absolute cheapest I saw one (a year ago) was for a salvaged “Bill of Sale only” craigslist murder-bait, and it was for the 7 grand you claim to be able to easily obtain one for.

    Otherwise, I agree with pretty much everything else. Also, resent being called a bottom feeder for my bargain seeking tendencies…

  • Archie Dux

    Not disagreeing with any of the choices, even if I might have chosen a few different ones. But none of these are “bottom feeder” bikes, even by the loosest definition.

  • Infadel Macgee

    I’ll still stick to my 97 TL1000S which by the way used to out accelerate my friend’s Triumph 1050 Speed Triple with no trouble , even after he got the arrow exhaust and PC3

  • Craig Hoffman

    Great article! The metric cruisers as a group depreciate like mad. Probably the best pounds for dollar value out there is a Kawasaki Voyager. 900 pounds of lightly masticated used bike for often less than 9 grand. That is only $10 a pound – LOL

    The Honda VFR is a helluva a bike. A friend has one, they sound fantastic with an aftermarket exhaust and respond quite well to the exhaust/Power Commander treatment, with a really nice effortless loads of power everywhere on the tach appeal. The big VFR is a poor man’s Motus. Speaking of Motus, I imagine those will drop in value. Waiting to see on that.

  • major tom

    If those are bottom feeders I guess my tastes are subterranean.Like my 00 Triumph Sprint RS, best steering, torqueiest, most comfortable 50+MPG bike around. And it’s got a centerstand

  • ADB

    “Now, brand new EBR SXs are all over the interwebs asking about $10k.”

  • Cole

    EBR…? Really? What about the Aprilia Tuono RSV4 APRC? It kills the EBR and the Super Duke… all while in rain mode for that matter… put it in track mode? no contest…