There are plenty of reviews out there now but the ABR one is probably worth reading.
Honda Crosstourer Review
There are plenty of reviews out there now but the ABR one is probably worth reading.
Honda Crosstourer Review
Good one Chris
02 RD07a RWB, Powerbronze tall screen, Remus Grand Prix, TT crash bars, TT pannier frame, Zega style panniers, Alpos top box,TT bar risers, TT headlamp guard, Heated grips, mainstand, Heidenau K60s for road and light offroad, TKC80s for the dirty stuff, Scottoiler, Autocomm, TT Zumo mount, Zumo 550 and most of all A BIG GRIN !!! Oh, and a very nice RD04 HRC coloured Marathon Replica
TBH i dont see the height of that zorst being much of an issue for where this bike is ever likely to be taken , at least it dont look like a good year blimp stuck on the bike , its a nicely styled zorst
Despacio. Hay m'as tiempo que vida
So we have Chris to thank for the off-road part of the review. Job well doneHowever, the misfortune of one test rider who binned his Crosstourer in a bush on a tight alpine bend offered the opportunity for a 45-minute play away from the tarmac during the time it took for him to recover and a replacement ride to be found…
It does sound a bit thirsty though at 35mpg.
KTM 990 Adventure
I had an XJ900 which was high 30's low 40's.
This thing should have good pillion comfort and well-designed luggage. If there is a 700/800 version it needs to be subSTANtially lighter and be less susceptible to damage from falling over. But over £11k for a bike that doesn't really do anything outstandingly well is surely just for poseurs?
I've never held it against weekend riders that they don't use their bikes much, but when the manufacturers start put them first by ranking style above substance I can't help being a little disappointed.
Now reduced to a Peugeot estate and a bicycle with a trailer on it.
This from UK Varadero Forum
Bernard Stikfort has just taken one out. He flew down to Barcelona to have a go and reported his findings on Facebook. Here it is. Bear in mind that Bernard is dutch and his English is better than my dutch. He posted a stack of other stuff with the report, pictures, etc.
The first impression
You only have one chance to make a good first impression, they say. That first impression was given, exactly a year ago, on the Milan International Motorcycle Exhibition, where the prototype of the Crosstourer was revealed to the International Public. The first impression was not entirely positive. The bike looked rather ‘small’, and its ‘out of the box’ design made people wonder if someone at the Honda R&D department was suffering from some kind of mental illness.
A first impression can rarely be undone. But sometimes, it can. Standing next to a production model of the Crosstourer, the first thing I noticed that the bike is not that small. Of course, most bikes look tiny beside my 6,8 ft / 2,04 meter. But the Crosstourer certainly does not feel small. This is also due to the design ... it seems as if some parts of the Cross Tourer are deliberately designed 'oversized'. This is not a disadvantage! It seems as if the bike is built for eternity, carved out of a solid block of granite. In that sense, the Crosstourer reminds me to the Buell Ulysses. And that's a compliment to the Honda.
Honda has paid much attention to the design. Honda phrased the bike as "A Sophisticated hard duty". In civilized English an ‘Royal Multipurpose Bike’ might be a good approach. Or: what about a SUM? Sports Utility Bike? With a seat height of 850 cm, the bike is easily accessible to a wide audience. Still, sitting on the bike you don’t have the impression that it is ‘low’. Pleasant surprise: in comparison to the XL700V Transalp it is much easier to get out of the saddle for retaining a standing position on the footpegs. The steeringbar is also higher placed than at the competition. You won’t need raisers on this one.
For that 2nd impression, the Cross Tourer receives a big plus. The unscathed first impressions are repaired.
The first kilometers
After a detailed explanation on the technology behind the Crosstourer (in particular the operation of the 2 nd generation DCT including a feetpedal shift pedal we go. After a smooth city drive and about 30 kilometers on the motorway it is time for a first impression. The wind protection and comfort are definitely good, except that the standard screen - I would say, according to good Honda Traditions - really is bad. The dashboard and controls are instead, decisive when it comes to information and ergonomics. Finally a fuel gauge, finally a gear indicator! The build quality is absolutely superb and the V4 engine does its job with ease and naturalness that I have never experienced on any other large bigtrail bike.
The smooth performace also poses a huge disadvantage ...: the economy meter (set to measure the average fuelconsumption) points out at a staggering 8 liters per 100 km and that, even at highway speeds,is just to much. That is over 1 to 12,5! While the Crosstourer appears to be born to perform as an comfy long distance tourer in comfort, even with 2 up.
We leave the motorway and drive through country roads towards the mountains of Catalonia. On shady slopes there are still remains of snow, on the roads still saltdeposits. The onboard computer measures an outdoor temperature of 10 degrees Celsius that during the day will gradually increase to a comfortable 18 degrees Celsius. The engine continues to work tirelessly until the first tight hairpins appear. The speed experience on the Cross Tourer is a completely different dimension than for example a Transalp, or even a Varadero. The transmission works well with this: During the rapid ascent I discover that I’m only using 2 nd or 3rd gear. Just because I do not get the impression that I "should" upshift. Vibrations are the Cross Tourer strange. The whole transmission gives a very, nice, balanced impression.
The speed perception is therefore at least 20 to 30% lower than on a Varadero for example, compared at similar speed. For your perception you are doing 100 km/h, which turns out to be 120 km/h real speed… Slight turns you 'instinctively' estimate to take at 100 km/h suddenly appear a whole lot tighter. Nevertheless, the Crosstourer does not disguise its weight. In tight corners, it feels as if the weight is controlling the bike. As if the weight, acting as a kind of invisible giant hand is pushing the bike towards an direction you do not want to end up. The Yamaha Super Tenere feels, despite a similar weight, (much) more nimble.
And that 'automatic'?
On the Crosstourer Honda unveiled the 2nd generation of its semi-automatic transmission, the DCT. In addition, finally (since the first generation Pan European ST1100) traction control is returning back – but including an ‘OFF’ switch (which by the way won’t win any design prices with the appereance of an 1980 Honda Civic switch). I was tempted to test one of the bikes, especially for a DCT model with foot pedal. I have deliberately chosen not to do so, therefor I cannot give an objective judgment. The colleague motorcycle journalists in my group, indicated however, that the system really works flawlessly, but at a more sporty riding style on narrow twisty mountainroads in "A" position (fully automatic) just a fraction too slow to respond. According to Honda, makes the VFR1200F-DCT, 30% of European sales. I Can imagine that the system on the Crosstourer is well applicable. But not (yet) if you ever want to use the bike to play nice.
Pros vs. Cons
Comfort, transmission, power delivery, finish, handling, ergonomics: the concept "Crosstourer" is put together very well. With an introduction price of € 16,000,- in my country (The Netherlands) I think the bike is fairly priced towards its direct competitors. But ... every advantage has its disadvantage. Throughout the test (200 km) I did not achieve a fuelconsumption under 8 liters / 100km (1 to 12.5). Of course, we have been riding a little sportier as normal. And I was continuous riding 2 gears too low. But that does not justify an absurd fuelconsumption of 8 liters. Honda has the NC700X to show that it is able to develop an engine which combines good usability, with outstanding economics. With my injection Varadero I would achieve for the same route, same riding style, with ease, a consumption of 5 to 6 liters per 100 km. In an age where only liter of Euro 95 is priced just under € 2, -, a missed opportunity. That the V4 was generous on aspects on fuel consumption, we already knew of the VFR1200F which after 200 km begins to scream for a fueltap. Then there is that weight thing. The engine is despite the good weight distribution, just heavy. It will have a good straight¬ line stability on motorways though…
For example, the Yamaha Super Tenere with 276 kg is also heavy, but nevertheless feels like it is a featherweight. Even a 283 kg Honda Varadero feels 'different' in a positive way.
Fortunately (in comparison with the VFR1200F), the Crosstourers exhaustmuffler not only a beautiful part, but the muffler is designed so that the powerful sound of the V4 is experienced by our eardrums in full advantage. Does the exhaustsound of a VFR1200F reminds you to a BMUU Boxer who is ashamed of his origins, the sound of the Crosstourer makes it a symphony. What a sound! Fabulous. You're crazy if you're on a Crosstourer with an aftermarked muffler.
A pro (with remark) are the panniers Honda offers. Robust. Fortunately no longer Givi, but Honda original. The remark refers to the topcase...: This can increase from 32 to 39 liters by a zipper with a flexible sort of waterproof foil. You leave the bike behind on a abandoned parking lot, evil villain comes along, zipper open, knife in the foil, and topcase damaged and empty. Even if you have left nothing of value in the topcase, it remains a very fragile construction for people who have something less good in mind for your legal property than yourself. A kind of open invitation. Pity, because this is the first road Honda with really beautiful, usable, reliable panniers.
A Provisional final conclusion?
Very honest .. Despite the 'cons' I would choose the Crosstourer in favor to the BMUU R1200GS. The Honda just looks really good, it really is an headturner especially in the color 'Red Prommised Red’. Top ergonomics, the finish is superb, the transmission is so much better, vibrations are totally alien to the Honda, brakes are really TOP (I would like an delay on the rear brake though!) and most likely, the Honda will not fail or brake down. The protection of the fairing (like on the Varadero) is the best a allroad currently can offer (apart from the standard screen, go for the 145mm higher touring screen!). We have to wait and see what the new Triumph Tiger Adventure will offer. According to a Swedish journalist who rode an preproduction model, the Triumph is the best motorcycle in its class…
Scheduled for 2013 are also a new 1200 KTM Adventure and the new liquid-cooled BMUU R1200GS. You can bet that BMUU will do everything in order to maintain its leading position.
The question remains whether the Cross Tourer is the spiritual replacement for the XL1000V Varadero. I doubt. The engine is really that much (to much) alienated from the Varadero V2. It is really based up on other dimensions. I recall the press information shared by Honda itself: The bike is developed at the interface of 'all / onroad "and" sport / tour'; for which I personally compare it with a Pan European more than the "spiritual successor” of the Varadero. The Varadero has almost nothing in common with the Cross Tourer. Absolutely nothing. The last (current) model (last update: 2007) of the Varadero is however fully matured and on the whole, even in comparison with the Cross Tourer, not so bad. OK, he has no shaftdrive. But with lower fuel economy and also more than € 3,000, - cheaper… and offers the same comfort (even 2 up). The Varadero is probably the most underrated bigtrailbike and that is completely unjustified.
For those who think differently ... the Varadero is still available until September 2012. The last of the Mohicans ...
Thanks to Honda Europe for enabling this test report.
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Tastes differ, I suppose. That luggage may be a lot of things, but "really beautiful"? Surely not.
Michel -- '92 R100GS PD -- Our Lady of Blessed Acceleration, don't fail me now!