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ADV BikesHonda Announces VFR1200X Crosstourer Coming to the USA

Honda Announces VFR1200X Crosstourer Coming to the USA

Honda widens its US range of Adventure Bikes with a new model offering.

Published on 10.22.2015

Honda announced today they are adding yet another new Adventure Touring model to their 2016 US lineup. The VFR1200X, known as the Crosstourer in Europe, has been a popular model overseas for several years and is now making its debut in the US.

The VFR1200X receives some important updates for 2016 and will sit alongside the CRF1000L Africa Twin, NC700X and CB500X adventure models. Now Honda has a wide range of models to suit the needs of adventure-touring enthusiasts.

“We’re very excited to offer such a well-rounded offering of adventure-touring models in the US for 2016,” Said Lee Edmunds, Motorcycle Marketing Manager of Communications at American Honda. “The introduction of the VFR1200X to North America follows on the incredible reception of the Africa Twin.


The US will receive the first shipments of the VFR1200X in May of 2016 in the Black Pearl color option. European models will be available in three different color options for 2016 (Digital Silver Metallic, Pearl Cosmic Black, and special edition Two-tone Red). An extensive line of factory accessories will also be offered, including products for storage, rider comfort and customization.

All four Honda Adventure Touring models were shown at the Long Beach International Motorcycle Show November 20-22, 2015. Preliminary pricing for the US VFR1200X was announced by Honda at the show. The Base price is expected to be $15,599 and DCT version $15,999.

Honda VFR1200X Crosstourer
The VFR1200X is well suited for customers who do not want to sacrifice comfort during long days of exploring or two-up riding.

Model Overview

The VFR1200X Crosstourer, launched in 2012, is Honda’s range-topping adventure sports touring motorcycle. The original design team, led by Large Project Leader Yosuke Hasegawa, set out to create a machine that gave the rider a sense of challenge and the facility to explore.

Equipped with a 1,237cc V4 engine, advanced chassis and electronic package – Combined ABS, Traction Control System (TCS) and the optional Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT) gearbox – the Crosstourer plants a flag at the high-performance end of the adventure segment. The addictive soundtrack produced by its soulful V4 engine is something unique in this class.

In 2014 the VFR1200X Crosstourer received improved comfort, evolved its existing technology and applied new touches. With HSTC (Honda’s Selectable Torque Control), the system allows the rider to select three different levels to control engine torque and resultant drive to the rear wheel; the system can also be switched off. Honda’s optional six-speed DCT gearbox received software refinements to deliver an even more intuitive and natural performance, whether on highway or back road.

Honda’s unique new self-cancelling turn signals were also fitted. The seat was modified to improve rider comfort and facilitate easier ground reach and a ‘wave’ design ignition key was set as standard. For 2016, the VFR1200X Crosstourer is now meets stringent EURO4 emission standards, and gets enhanced practicality with a one-hand adjustable touring windscreen, 12V socket and three levels of ‘Sport Mode’ automatic shifting in its DCT version.

Honda VFR1200X Crosstourer


The VFR1200X’s engine continues Honda’s proud heritage with V4 technology, with its uniquely smooth, flexible delivery of impressive power and torque. Offering precise control of this power thanks to its throttle-by-wire system, and an engaging, characterful V4 sound – due partly to carefully-sized chambers in the exhaust – the VFR1200X’s engine is integral to its appeal.

The V4 configuration is slim and compact, reducing frontal area and aiding mass centralization. It also features a very closely set pair of rear cylinders, making the engine narrower at the back. Further contributing to the 1,237cc, 16-valve engine’s compact dimensions is Honda’s Unicam technology, also used on the CRF range of motocross machines. This SOHC configuration helps reduce the size and weight of the cylinder heads, and optimize combustion chamber shape.

PGM-FI fuel injection employs 44mm throttle bores and fly-by-wire technology for precise throttle control. Peak power of 127 HP (95kW) arrives at 7,750 rpm, with peak torque of 92.9 ft-lb (126Nm) at 6,500rpm.

A combination of a 76° angle between the two banks of cylinders and a crankshaft with 28° phasing between the crankpins virtually eliminates vibration. Since there’s no need for a power-sapping balancer shaft the result is higher output, and uneven firing intervals give an intimate connection to the engine.

Digital Dash VFR1200X
The digital dash includes fuel range, fuel consumption, temperature, time and gear position.

The HSTC constantly monitors front and rear wheel speed; when it senses a certain difference in speed between front and rear wheels, engine torque is momentarily reduced by a combination of ignition cut and modulation of the throttle butterflies through the throttle-by-wire system. As the difference in speed between front and rear wheels reduces, the system transitions into modulating only the throttle butterflies. This ensures a seamless, unobtrusive traction control. The system features 3 modes of operation for the rider to choose depending on road conditions. HSTC can also be switched completely off.

Optional DCT (Dual Clutch Transmission)

Honda’s DCT gearbox offers a unique combination of direct riding feel and ease of use. A world first for motorcycles when launched on the VFR1200F in 2010, it delivers consistent, seamless gear changes, and very quickly becomes second nature in use.

The system uses two clutches: one for start-up and 1st, 3rd and 5th gears: the other for 2nd, 4th and 6th, with the mainshaft for each clutch located inside the other for compact packaging. Each clutch is independently controlled by its own electro-hydraulic circuit. When a gear change occurs, the system pre-selects the target gear using the clutch not currently in use. The first clutch is then electronically disengaged as, simultaneously, the second clutch engages.

The result is a consistent, fast and seamless gear change. Furthermore, as the twin clutches transfer drive from one gear to the next with minimal interruption of the drive to the rear wheel, any gear change shock or pitching of the machine is minimized, making the change feel direct as well as smooth. The VFR1200X’s ride-by-wire technology allows the system to electronically “blip” the throttle on downshift for even smoother, faster gear changes.

VFR1200X DCT transmission modes
Three new S Mode (sport mode) levels are offered for the 2016 optional DCT automatic shifting transmission.

With extra benefits such as durability (as the gears cannot be damaged by missing a gear), impossibility of stalling, low stress urban riding, and reduced rider fatigue, over half of VFR1200X customers now choose the DCT version.

Three basic modes of operation are available. MT mode gives full manual control, allowing the rider to shift with the handlebar trigger control buttons. Automatic D mode is ideal for city and highway riding, and achieves optimum fuel efficiency. Automatic S mode is sportier and the ECU lets the engine rev a little higher before shifting up, giving greater performance. It also shifts down sooner when decelerating for extra engine braking. For 2016, within S Mode, there are now three different engine maps to cover a wider range of sporty riding scenarios and preferences.

In either D or S mode DCT offers immediate manual intervention if required – the rider simply selects the required gear using the up and down shift triggers. At an appropriate time DCT seamlessly reverts back to automatic mode, depending on throttle angle, vehicle speed and gear position.

Further new functionality for 2016 means that the system is able to detect uphill and downhill slopes and adapt its shift pattern schedule accordingly.


The VFR1200X Crosstourer has relaxed riding ergonomics. Seat height is 850mm but thanks to the narrow profile it’s an easy motorcycle to straddle, with good ground reach.

The diamond aluminium twin-spar frame is a hollow unit that employs quartered construction – this enables very precise control over the all-important weight/rigidity balance of each part of the frame. Rake is set at 28° with trail of 107mm and 1,595mm wheelbase. Wet weight is 611 lbs. (277kg) for the standard model and 633 lbs. (287kg) for the DCT version.

Designed to excel on varied road surfaces, the front and rear suspension offer generous amounts of controlled, bump-absorbing travel. The 43mm inverted fork offers reassuring control with precise steering and stability, even during hard cornering and heavy braking.

VFR1200X Crosstourer off-road
19- and 17-inch wire-spoked wheels, longer-travel suspension, 7.1 inches of ground clearance and a 43mm inverted fork make the VFR1200X suitable for off-road excursions.

And Pro-Link rear suspension combines excellent traction with refined ride quality. Both the fork and gas-charged shock are adjustable for rebound damping and spring preload, allowing riders to alter characteristics to suit their riding style and intended usage.

For 2016 practicality has been further enhanced, with a one-hand adjustable screen. The mechanism is simple and user-friendly, allowing the rider to adjust the screen height to any desired level with a single gloved hand.

Spoked wheels are designed to absorb the shocks generated by rough road surfaces and work with the suspension to deliver a comfortable ride quality. Tubeless tires – 110/80-R19 front and 150/70-R17 rear – balance keen, agile handling with traction.

VFR1200X cross-spoked rims
The 19-inch front and 17-inch rear cross-spoked wheels run tubeless tires.

Combined ABS works between the dual front 310mm discs/three-piston calipers and rear 276mm disc/twin-piston caliper. It delivers balanced braking for more stable deceleration and the extra reassurance of an Antilock Brake System. If either wheel is about to lock up and slide, C-ABS momentarily reduces the hydraulic pressure being applied to the relevant brake and distributes the force optimally between both wheels, ensuring powerful and secure braking in all conditions.

More information about the 2016 Honda VFR1200X is available on Honda’s website.

Author: Rob Dabney

Rob Dabney started a lifelong obsession with motorcycles at the age of 15 when he purchased his first bike – a 1982 Honda MB5. Through his 20’s and 30’s he competed in off-road desert races, including the Baja 250, 500 and 1000. Eventually, his proclivity for exploration led him to dual sport and adventure riding. Rob’s never-ending quest to discover what’s around the next bend has taken him on Adventures in Latin America, Africa, Europe, Asia, and throughout the American West. As a moto journalist, he enjoys inspiring others to seek adventure across horizons both near and far.

Author: Rob Dabney

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October 22, 2015 6:11 pm

Wonder if it will have cruise control..?

Rob Dabney
Rob Dabney
October 22, 2015 6:46 pm
Reply to  Mark

Hi Mark. The 2015 Euro model did not come with cruise control. No mention yet from Honda about adding cruise control to the 2016 model.

October 26, 2015 6:55 pm

Any news of Heated grips/seat ,cruise option, adjustable seat ( higher) like the KTM 1290 SA ?

November 10, 2015 9:15 am

Needs to come with a long travel hydraulic jack so you can right it after off road tipovers.

ed baker
ed baker
January 14, 2016 6:35 am
Reply to  chromedome3

Keep the jack. Just train the riders that this is not an off road motorcycle. But it sure looks like a great adv tourer. My Stelvio is also over 600 pounds but is a great bike for going the big distances. This may be even better. I loved my three ST1100’s!!!

January 27, 2016 1:42 pm

How is it possible that Honda will offer only a black color option.
Who told Honda this is what we want. I want mine White, Silver or Red, not black.

Jan Jon Munkler
Jan Jon Munkler
February 1, 2016 6:47 pm

Everybody wants one.I want one 2.The 15,999 price for the DCT version is better than the 17 thousand plus price tag for the old VFR1200 with DCT.I hope I can buy a DCT version as my left foot is busted up from arthritis and pain from being broken multiple times.


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