HONDA VFR1200X CrossTourer 2015 Touring Motorcycle
HONDA VFR1200X CrossTourer 2015 is a basic model which is mainly designed for urban and light allroad motorcycle touring. Thanks to cross spoked rims, the CrossTourer performs well on gravel & dirt roads with appropriate allroad tyres as long as the offroad difficulty level remains low. Never the less the CrossTourer carries a significant payload with the passenger and luggage as any other big bore touring enduro. The silky smooth V4 engine provides very practical torque and useful touring performance regardless from the payload in question. The whole power train combined with the easy handling makes the HONDA VFR1200X CrossTourer 2015 a very good everyday bike too.
The HONDA VFR1200X CrossTourer 2015 strengths are clearly in urban touring environment due to the average size fuel tank, small windshield, street type foot pegs, soft suspension and low ground clearance. Even the combined ABS system can not be switched off without taking the fuse out which is another detail speaking against long term adventurous allroad touring. The world biggest motorcycle manufacturer has been long present in the adventure touring category and the factory has a lot of experience in desert rallies. Still HONDA has not been able or willing to present any real challenge against the category leader BMW R1200GS 2015. The HONDA VFR1200X CrossTourer 2015 offers very basic ergonomics and level of sophistication with very limited offroad potential.
The basic HONDA VFR1200X CrossTourer 2015 can be factory and dealer equipped with a HIGHLANDER touring package which extends the basic features into more comfortable traveling, better visibility and street credibility from the visual impression point of view. The HIGHLANDER upgrade makes the CrossTourer look very good and impressive, but it is not rugged and hardly any good for adventurous allroad touring. It is simply made according to urban touring requirements with a complimenting design. The HONDA VFR1200X CrossTourer 2015 with the HIGHLANDER upgrade is never the less an interesting option for urban travelers.
HONDA VFR1200X CrossTourer 2015 Features
The HONDA VFR1200X CrossTourer 2015 is ride by wire throttled which makes traction and cruise control possible. The CrossTourer has 3 stage traction control TCS which can be also switched OFF. The TCS monitors the wheels and intervenes when a different in wheel spin is detected. The TCS switch is located on the left side fairing and the CrossTourer rider can switch the TCS quickly off by a simple press of the button. The competition makes this much more complicated and when the CrossTourer rider goes on and offroad frequently, the traction control is not a problem. I am glad that HONDA kept it so simple, but somehow the CrossTourer has no cruise control which should be a standard feature for any touring motorcycle today. I hope this handicap would be cleared in no time at all since the HONDA VFR1200X CrossTourer 2015 is ride by wire equipped.
The HONDA VFR1200X CrossTourer 2015 has a unique V4 engine compared to any other allroad touring enduro. The compact V4 engine delivers a turbine smooth torque which is very practical for touring and everyday biking. Even the sound of the V4 engine is very sophisticated and tells all about how experienced the HONDA really is. For sure the V4 is reliable and fits very well to urban and light allroad touring, but it is also one of the heaviest in the category. The four cylinders with a wide exhaust manifold, a shaft drive and a big radiator simply gather weight, even with a single muffler, but especially with the dual clutch transmission. The high overall weight makes the CrossTourer hardly ideal for adventurous allroad touring or technical offroad maneuvering. On the other hand, the HONDA VFR1200X CrossTourer 2015 handles surprisingly well on gravel due to centralized mass and a wide handlebar. The overall weight is not always that obvious.
The conventional HONDA VFR1200X CrossTourer 2015 fuel tank provides an average size fuel capacity which is enough for urban touring, but hardly sufficient for remote exploring. In addition the fuel mapping offers no low octane fuel settings which is another small detail limiting the CrossTourer potential in allroad touring. Therefore the CrossTourer is one of those touring enduros that suffer slightly from the fuel canisters at the back when riding with a full payload. Slightly because the V4 counter balances everything at the back better than the competition.
The HONDA VFR1200X CrossTourer 2015 ergonomics are quite modest. The standard windscreen is very short for most of us and the adjustments are not up to date. Fortunately the accessory list includes a taller touring windshield. The CrossTourer has a new single piece seat providing more comfort and a better rider access to the ground. Unfortunately the seat is not adjustable and taller riders would have to customize the seat. The CrossTourer is not a tall bike, nor the lowest, but there are also shorter motorcyclists that benefit from the lower accessory seat which is now finally available. The foot pegs are not adjustable nor the handlebar, but still the riding posture fits to a large number of riders. The key HONDA VFR1200X CrossTourer 2015 features are:
- Seat height 850 mm.
- Cross spoked rims
- Tyres 110/80 R19 and rear 150/70 R17
- Engine type V4
- Max performance 129HP / 126Nm. or 92.9ft-lb.
- Alternator 552W
- Shaft driven
- ABS integrated (off without the fuse)
- Traction control TCS (off switchable)
- Onboard Computer
- Electronic immobiliser system HISS
- Weight fueled 276kgs or 608.5lbs.
- Payload 193kgs or 425.5lbs.
- Fuel tank 21,5L, 5.7USgal., 4.7UKgal. (min. 95RON – 89AKI)
HONDA VFR1200X CrossTourer 2015 Instrumentation
The HONDA VFR1200X CrossTourer 2015 instrumentation is modern and adequate, but not the most versatile. Very basic features such as the air temperature and the trip counters are available, but the CrossTourer onboard computer offers limited information on fuel range monitoring which is one of the key features in touring. The fuel range would a basic touring bike feature today, even for an urban GT. The tachometer is digital and in wide horizontal position which is odd, but also completely irrelevant from the torque V4 power delivery point of view. There are 2 control buttons at the left to manage the LCD display and since there are no advanced ABS, TCS or suspension settings to play with, better controls would be anyhow overdoing it. The key features of HONDA VFR1200X CrossTourer 2015 instrumentation are:
- Row of warning lights
- Digital tachometer
- Fuel bars
- Average fuel consumption
- Current fuel consumption
- Gear / DCT program in use
- Trip A & B
- Air temperature
- Coolant temperature bars
The HONDA VFR1200X CrossTourer 2015 cockpit and instrumentation is quite compact and there is hardly any room for additional instruments such as a GPS navigator which would be another small short coming from the touring point of view. I prefer to place the navigator above the instrumentation cluster for better readability. The MIGSEL GPS R Xtourer allows to do so, but since this location is not designed by HONDA, vibrations can be a problem. The second best location would be in the center of the handlebar.
HONDA VFR1200X CrossTourer 2015 DCT
The HONDA VFR1200X CrossTourer 2015 can be equipped optionally with a dual clutch transmission DCT which operates the clutch and the gear box automatically. These are not the first steps in motorcycling, but one of the first and there is a long way to make the DCT technology competitive in the allroad touring category. For the moment, the DCT serves the best in the urban environment and fits to the nature and capabilities of the CrossTourer.
By pre-selecting the next gear and transferring the drive between two clutches at the best possible moment, the DCT is able to provide swift and seamless gearshifts. In either D or S mode the DCT allows immediate manual intervention when required. The rider simply selects the preferred gear using the manual shift buttons. The DCT automatically returns back to normal when parameters are again appropriate. The CrossTourer DCT has two separate clutches, one for uneven gear numbers 1ST, 3RD and 5TH and another clutch for even gear numbers 2ND, 4TH and 6TH.
The HONDA VFR1200X CrossTourer 2015 DCT management is updated. The new software is more efficient and provides better engine braking features on both D and S modes. Also downshifting is more natural and softer than before. The CrossTourer DCT has 3 modes providing flexibility for different riding styles and situations. The manual MT mode allows the rider to shift gears with the left side handlebar trigger control buttons. There are 2 automatic programs. The D mode is ideal for city and highway riding and maintaining better fuel efficiency.
The HONDA VFR1200X CrossTourer 2015 engine control unit monitors several parameters and is able to choose between 2 throttling charts. The first map is for normal riding conditions minimizing the number of gear shifts for the smoothest performance. The smooth and seamless gear shifts are interesting from the riding comfort point of view. Especially when accelerating more efficiently, the passenger would appreciate a single and constant pull to the cruising speed instead of a series of separate pulls on every gear. The second map is better for heavier payload, changing gears more readily, increasing the acceleration and providing stronger engine braking. In the sporty S mode the transmission allows the engine to run a little bit higher before shifting up, providing more performance, but also downshifting sooner when decelerating.
HONDA VFR1200X CrossTourer 2015 Equipment Accessory
The numbers of the HONDA VFR1200X CrossTourer 20154 on the road are quite small and therefore equipment producers offer mostly universal accessories for it. From the HONDA dealer I would get the 145 mm. higher touring windscreen, the crash bars for a set of fog lights and the center stand, but I am not very fond of the HIGHLANDER pannier set or fog lights that come with it. I would rather go with a rugged alternative and higher LED performance lights. For shorter HONDA VFR1200X CrossTourer 2015 riders the factory offers lower seat, but at the moment the hight is not available. Those who plan to do light allroad more than just a little bit, should look for proper skid-plate which would protect the exhaust too. Proper offroad foot pegs would also provide better grip and support compared to the standard pegs. Side stand foot extension would be always good for such a heavy bike.
There are several seat options for HONDA VFR1200X CrossTourer 2015 at the equipment producers. The TOURATECH offers for example 3 different seat heights and 2 surface & foam materials made by the German KAHEDO. The low seat has 30 mm. and the high seat 20 mm. difference to the standard. On top of that, the seat customization is today an option too.
HONDA VFR1200X CrossTourer 2015 HIGHLANDER
HONDA VFR1200X CrossTourer 2015 HIGHLANDER is a factory upgrade package for the basic model. It has been called earlier HONDA VFR1200X CrossTourer SE and RTG accessory package, but for now on it`s called the HIGHLANDER. The upgrade package consists of few comfort and touring equipment accessories. A 145 mm. higher touring windscreen with side deflectors provides much better wind coverage for most us. Grip heaters complete the hand guards in chilly conditions. A full touring luggage set offers enough capacity for two, but they are not robust and hardly designed for adventurous allroad touring. The HIGHLANDER package includes also a center stand which is useful to take the load off the suspension when long term parking or leveling the bike for better loading position. A crash bar is useful for a pair of auxiliary fog lights that come along the package. They look together very good, but the crash bar is not the most robust design. Still it offers adequate protection for the radiator in case of a light drop in the parking lot. Another small protection detail is the HONDA VFR1200X CrossTourer 2015 HIGHLANDER tank pad which is very practical way to keep the zippers and textiles from scratching the paint.
HONDA VFR1200X CrossTourer 2015 Comparison
Compared to the BMW R1200GS 2015, the HONDA VFR1200X CrossTourer 2015 is 38kgs (83.8lbs.) heavier, offers 1,5L more fuel capacity, 4HP and 1Nm. more engine performance, but 28W less alternator performance and 19kgs (41.9lbs.) less payload capacity. The standard GS runs also with low octane fuel, but the CrossTourer has no additional fuel mapping available. From the equipment point of view, the standard CrossTourer offers additionally hand guards and cross spoked rims in stead of cast aluminium wheels, but unfortunately no center stand. The CrossTourer is more traditional touring bike and offers no electronic suspension system like the GS. The GS instrumentation is one of the best and the CrossTourer stays well behind such features.
The GS stability control is much more sophisticated, but as long as the CrossTourer remains on tarmac, the CrossTourer traction control performs well enough. The ABS can be switched off with the GS, but the CrossTourer would require a fuse release. They are both ride by wire throttled, but only the GS offers cruise control. They both have the same standard seat height, but the GS rider seat is on top adjustable. The CrossTourer rider ergonomics are basically fine for a lot of motorcyclists, but taller riders need to install some accessories such as adjustable foot pegs, handle bar raisers and a touring windscreens, perhaps even with a spoiler. Seat tuning would be necessary too. Clearly the BMW R1200GS 2015 is much more advanced and very capable of going also offroad. The HONDA VFR1200X CrossTourer 2015 is much more conventional and a basic touring enduro with a light allroad option.
VS TRIUMPH Tiger 1200 Explorer 2015
Compared to the TRIUMPH Tiger 1200 Explorer 2015, the HONDA VFR1200X CrossTourer 2015 offers 5Nm. more torque and 1,5L more fuel capacity, but it is also 17kgs (37.5lbs.) heavier, offers 29kgs (64lbs.) less payload capacity, 8HP less engine and 398W less alternator performance. They are a lot alike and fit for same kind of urban touring. They are both relative heavy and therefore less ideal for offroad riding. Although the standard CrossTourer has cross spoked rims unlike the Explorer. They both have very sweet engines and top notch torque which fits very well to touring purposes, but the Explorer has additionally a high power alternator and low octane fuel settings unlike the CrossTourer.
They both have ABS, but only the Explorer can switch it off. The Explorer has a compact instrumentation, but still it offers more features and a useful type of tachometer. They are both ride by wire throttled, but only the Explorer has the cruise control. The Explorer has slightly better ergonomics, adjustable rider seat and one of the widest selection of accessory seats. The windscreen is also taller and the adjustment is more practical than what the CrossTourer has. The TRIUMPH Tiger 1200 Explorer 2015 is simply more advanced, versatile and lighter touring enduro. The HONDA VFR1200X CrossTourer 2015 is more simple and traditional.
VS MotoGuzzi STELVIO 1200 NTX 2015
Compared to the MotoGuzzi STELVIO 1200 NTX 2015, the HONDA VFR1200X CrossTourer 2015 is 20kgs (44.1lbs.) lighter, offers 24HP/13Nm. more engine and 2W alternator performance, but it also offers 10,5L (2.8USgal – 2.3UKgal.) less fuel capacity and 6kgs (13.2lbs.) less payload. Some of the weight difference comes from the additional equipment and 7,4kgs (16.3lbs.) from the big STELVIO fuel tank. These bikes are quite in the same weight class with similar tune up level. The STELVIO has a skid plate, crash bars, pair of fog lights and a set of side panniers on top of the CrossTourer standard package. As an advantage, they both have the same size cross spoked rims, but on the other hand neither has low octane fuel settings which limits their allroad touring potential. Although the STELVIO has an extensive fuel range and a better counter balance with a full touring load.
These allroad touring motorcycles are more similar than different. They both represent the heavy end and the old school of allroad touring motorcycles today. The traditional ABS and traction control systems are quite similar, but the STELVIO allows to switch both of the systems OFF too. The CrossTourer needs a little bit fuse box handling. The STELVIO ergonomics are clearly better due to larger wind cover and adjustable rider seat, but still additional adjustments would be good for both of the bikes. The MotoGuzzi STELVIO 1200 NTX 2015 offers proper touring features, comfort and higher level of standard equipment. The HONDA VFR1200X CrossTourer 2015 is not as comfortable touring bike without some tune up, but nevertheless it clears the same trips and offers on top very enjoyable V4 thrust.
VS YAMAHA XT1200Z SuperTenere 2015
Compared to the YAMAHA XT1200Z SuperTenere 2015, the HONDA VFR1200X CrossTourer 2015 is 19kgs (41.9lbs.) heavier, offers 20kgs (44.1lbs.) less payload capacity, 1,5L (0.4USgal./ 0.33UKgal.) less fuel capacity and 48W less alternator performance, but 17HP and 9Nm. more engine performance. The SuperTenere has better ergonomics due to the rider seat adjustments and a better wind coverage. The CrossTourer single piece seat is not adjustable and limits the basic ergonomics, but fortunately there are several accessory seat option on the market. The CrossTourer windscreen can be also placed in 2 positions, but the mechanics are very old school from nature. They are both ride by wire throttled, but only SuperTenere offers a cruise control as an option.
They seem quite similar on paper. They have both shaft drives, similar cross spoked rims, include ABS & traction control systems and onboard computer as standard features. Neither has low octane fuel settings and the fuel tanks are anyhow the average size. They both have very similar instrumentation which meets the basic touring requirements, but the SuperTenere offers on top a GPS navigator support bar which is a nice small detail. The SuperTenere offers additionally electronic suspension system which meet the urban touring requirements better, but the CrossTourer has so far nothing alike. The HONDA VFR1200X CrossTourer 2015 is a basic urban touring enduro and a practical everyday bike with a strong engine. The YAMAHA XT1200Z SuperTenere 2015 is more versatile and agile allroad touring enduro with a bite of an adventure.
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