Honda deflected criticism of the VFR1200F's 18.5 liter fuel tank by claiming the new V4 engine is so fuel efficient it can last 300km on a single fill-up. And that sounds plenty to to getting on with.
But reality has been very different. In 6437 kilometers of obsessively measured fuel figures (by a owner) it averaged 16.58km on a liter, which means running onto the least bar of the digital fuel gauge at around 194 kilometers, and a theoretical range just shy of 258 kilometers. The furthest the owner has ever managed on a full fuel tank is 274 kilometers, and that really felt like pushing it. Still, I want to give Honda's claim a chance.
The simple challenge is to brim the Honda VFR1200F and head up to the north of Thailand at 110 to 115 kilometers a hour in top gear, sitting upright, and wait to see how fair it lasts. It's hardly the world's most exciting test, waiting with astonishing patience for the first of seven bars on the fuel gauge to budge. In the end it takes over an hour and 120 kilometers to disappear, which suggests an enormous range. But the second block lasts just 32 kilometers further, as do each of the rest. Reserve eventually flashes at 282 kilometers – into the unknown now. But the magical 300 kilometers comes and goes with no fanfare, congratulation or prize, and finally a perfect 321 kilometers pings up on the trip meter. While the Honda VFR1200F successfully trundles its way to 322 kilometers in plenty of comfort, the monotony has driven me so loopy I've been whistling a boring melody I picked up at the petrol station for the past 20 minutes.
Finally at the petrol station the Honda VFR1200F takes 16 liters for its 326 kilometers, which means 20,37 kilometers and a pure theoretical range of 377 kilometers. So can you last the claimed 300 kilometers on a single fuel tank? Yes, if you're only doing leisurely straight-line touring. But if you throw in some serious bends and want to take the engine over 4000rpm? I not think so...