’15 Honda VFR800X
Honda’s premium adventure sports tourer evolves substantially for 2015, with a host of upgrades designed to deliver more hard-riding excitement. It features more mid-range torque and top-end power from its upgraded V4-VTEC engine, sharper adventure styling plus refined ergonomics and longer travel suspension, new wheels and brakes. Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) system, ABS, full LED lighting, 5-stage heated grips, self-cancelling indicators and a height-adjustable seat are all fitted as standard.
The VFR800X Crossrunner, which went on sale in 2011, was the first model in Honda’s Crossover ‘X’ range. It combined the VFR800F sports touring platform and an upright, adventure-oriented riding position to create a multi-purpose motorcycle with a soulful V4 motor providing power and feel, and a chassis that carved out corners or the daily commute in equal measure.
The 2015 VFR800X Crossrunner – incorporating many elements from the new 2014 VFR800F – strongly pushes the Crossrunner concept forward, with a clear focus on performance and technology. Its revised engine and chassis, HSTC, LED lights, refined, more upright riding position and sharper styling improve both function and form to create a practical all-purpose motorcycle with sharp V4 edge for excitement with every ride.
Mr Yoichi Inayama, Large Project Leader (LPL) VFR800X Crossrunner:
“For this development of the VFR800X Crossrunner we wanted to create a premium motorcycle with a ‘ready-for-action’ feeling, for customers to use with maximum enjoyment everyday. The styling demanded beautifully functional parts, and light proportions with minimal fairings. We wanted an upright position giving great visibility and agile handling so the rider can attack any corner with confidence. And refinements to the V4 engine had to deliver responsive and enjoyable power.
Our new VFR800X Crossrunner has fulfilled these goals and follows the VFR tradition: it has an array of advanced technologies including LED headlights, our Honda Selectable Torque Control system and automatic turn signal canceller. For us it gives a craving to ride everyday and we hope it brings the same fun and good spirit to our customers’ lives”
Core of the VFR800X Crossrunner is its 90° V4-VTEC DOHC 16 valve engine . It packs boosted low and mid-range torque for fluid, effortless drive plus improved top-end power compared to the previous model, and features a new 4-2-1-1 exhaust similar to the new VFR800F
In addition the VFR800X Crossrunner rider now benefits from Honda Selectable Torque Control system (HSTC) – similar to that fitted to its big-brother VFR1200X Crosstourer. If the system senses an imminent loss of rear wheel traction it seamlessly reduces torque to allow the tyre to grip. Two levels of HSTC are available (plus off) and mode selection appears within the LCD instrumentation.
The evocative aluminium twin-beam frame features a revised subframe while the single sided aluminium swingarm – another VFR signature piece – is stiffer and lighter. Visually identical to the VFR800F, the VFR800X Crossrunner’s suspension has longer travel; 25mm in the two-piece telescopic forks and 28mm in the rear shock. ABS is fitted as standard and the front 17-inch hollow-cast aluminium wheel is fitted with dual 310mm discs, worked by radial-mount four-piston calipers.
The VFR800X Crossrunner is a true VFR – a motorcycle designed for hard riding fun, but with style, comfort and practicality. Accordingly, the seat is now adjustable, offering two height options, and 5-stage heated grips and Honda’s self-cancelling indicators are both fitted as standard. New, full LED lighting adds a distinct presence and premium finishing touch.
Styling & Equipment
Purely a street-focussed machine, and with a strong hint of VFR800F around the ‘X’’ signature ‘white light’ LED headlight, the VFR800X Crossrunner’s overall design follows a theme of ‘tough sophistication‘ and its minimal style puts the muscular V4 form firmly on display.
Styling takes its adventure sport cues from the VFR1200X Crosstourer, with an efficient screen and fairing and fixed beak-like front cowl above a short front mudguard. There’s plenty of room for a pillion and the rear grab rails and pannier mounts integrate into the tail unit; a sump guard protects the engine underside from debris.
Seat height can be adjusted to either 815mm or 835mm to help suit a wider range of riders. The seat itself features a slimmer frontal area, making ground reach easier and providing greater comfort whilst the upright riding position gives the rider great all-round visibility. Combined with the comfortable seat and footpeg positioning, the wide new 683mm handlebars put the rider firmly in control and ready to attack any corner. The VFR800X Crossrunner is easy to handle in all situations and quick to respond to more aggressive rider input whether carving through twisty mountain roads or riding through the urban jungle thanks to the extra leverage and low yaw inertia.
The VFR800X Crossrunner features Honda’s self-cancelling indicator system. Designed to work unnoticed by the rider, it compares front and rear wheel speed differential when turning (via the ABS wheel sensors) and calculates when to cancel indication when going straight again.
A redesigned LCD dash uses a reverse display against white LED backlight. The speedometer/tachometer are located together; there’s also a gear position indicator, fuel consumption and cruising range indicator, clock, ambient temperature gauge and twin trip meters. An indicator is included for the 5-stage heated grips. A compact ‘wave’ design key – with internal grooving – reduces the chance of breakage and adds to the overall premium quality feel of the bike.
All mechanical parts are finished in Light Silver, while Matt Black is used on the engine covers and wheels highlighting the body colour. The VFR800X Crossrunner will be available in three colour options:
Candy Arcadian Red
Matt Gunpowder Black Metallic
Pearl Glare White
Agile handling is key to the VFR800X Crossrunner’sphilosophy as it has to clip Alpine apexes as well as it rides through busy city streets. The Crossrunner’s suspension is similar to the 2014 VFR800F but the 43mm Honda Multi-Action System (HMAS) telescopic fork features an extra 25mm travel and offers stepless spring preload adjustment plus rebound damping adjustment.
The HMAS gas-charged rear shock operates through Pro-Link and offers hydraulically adjusted spring preload, 28mm more travel and raised ground clearance to 165mm. A newly designed, more torsionally rigid, lighter aluminium single-sided Pro-arm swingarm completes the package with premium style and function.
The fork lowers are designed in two pieces to allow fitment of new radial-mount four-piston brake calipers. Fine Die-Cast (FDC) hollow aluminium wheels employ dual 310mm floating discs up front and a 256mm disc at the rear. The front wheel is a 17M/C x MT3.50, the rear a 17M/C x MT5.50 with 120/70 R17M/C (58V) and 180/55R17M/C (73V) tyres fitted respectively. ABS is standard fitment and helps provide consistent and safe all-weather stopping control.
The diamond triple-box section aluminium twin-spar frame is unchanged but uses a revised, lightweight die-cast aluminium subframe with integrated pannier mounts. Rake is set at 26°30’ with trail of 103mm and 1,475mm wheelbase. Kerb weight is 242kg.
As important as the agile chassis, a willing and responsive powerplant is a major part of the VFR800X Crossrunner’s appeal. And its 782cc, liquid-cooled 16-valve DOHC 90° V4-VTEC engine serves up improved performance and now generates more low-to midrange power and torque. Boosted peak power of 78kW (106PS) is delivered at 10,250rpm and the increased torque output through the bottom and mid-rpm ranges is immediately noticeable. Peak torque of 75Nm is delivered at 8,500rpm.
HYPER VTEC operates only one pair of inlet/exhaust valves per cylinder at low rpm, switching to four as revs rise. The transition from two to four valve operation has been refined for 2015 and combined with the uprated torque the effect is a strong and completely linear power delivery and instant acceleration.
Bore and stroke is 72mm x 48mm, with compression ratio of 11.8:1. The PGM-FI fuel injection – with 36mm throttle bodies – has been remapped to suit the engine’s new performance parameters and fuel economy of 18.8km/l (WMTC mode). The new mass-centralised 4-2-1-1 exhaust has been revised both externally and internally to assist the uprated torque output while retaining a strong rush of power at higher rpm. Shorter exhaust downpipes ensure the catalyser heats rapidly for maximum efficiency.
New dual radiator units are smaller, with increased core density (a design used by the RVF RC45 homologation race special) and are sited at the front of the engine rather than either side as before, making for a slimmer feeling motorcycle that’s easier to manage. The upper radiator and air guide (located on the left of the engine) work together to channel consistent airflow into the large funnel feeding the airbox.
Honda’s Selectable Torque Control system (HSTC) compares front and rear wheel speeds via the non-contact ABS sensors; when the slip ratio of the rear wheel exceeds a pre-set amount the ECU restricts fuel injection and ignition, reducing torque to smoothly maintain grip.
The system is operated from the left handlebar and features 2 modes of operation, plus off. The default setting when the ignition is turned on is mode 2 – the maximum amount of torque reduction. From this start point mode 1 can be selected; it offers less system intervention and the HSTC can be switched off completely if desired. If HSTC intervenes the rider receives an alert from a flashing high-intensity ‘T’ indicator located in the dash.
A quickshifter is available as a Honda Genuine accessory. Operated by a shift switch attached to the gear lever, it plugs directly into the ECU and on detection of an upward gear change momentarily restrains the engine’s fuel injection and ignition, allowing the next gear to slot instantly home. It works seamlessly in everyday riding and touring – reducing fatigue – and offers faster gear changes during sporty, full-throttle upshifts.
A smaller starter motor saves weight and the high-efficiency generator is rare-earth magnet free and provides more than enough electrical power for the heated grips and other accessories.