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2011 Honda Interceptor VFR1200F Dual Clutch Auto

Updated on March 20, 2011

A quarter century ago, Honda experimented on automatic transmissions with its 400 vertical twin and 750 transverse four models. Although those trannies were more than competent, the motorcycling public of the age was not quite ready for the dismissal of clutches and gears, and these valiant pioneering bikes just faded away into the motorcycle history books.

The 2011 Honda Interceptor VFR1200F Dual Clutch Automatic Transmission may be a mouthful, but it's truly the only way to describe this new Honda revolution. Take an already striking VFR1200F with its remarkable 1237cc liquid-cooled 76 degree Vee Four engine and add on a Dual Clutch Automatic Transmission with both manual and automatic mode with two D/S modes and paddle-style shifters. What you have is a total game changer in the class of sporting high performance street motorcycles.

The Interceptor VFR1200F Dual Clutch Auto is unlike any automatic transmission motorcycle which came before it, as it is essentially not an automatic at all but the shifting system which Formula One cars use. The Interceptor VFR1200F Dual Clutch Auto has no shift lever or clutch lever. In their place the bike features forefinger and thumb levers located on the left side switch gear which allow the rider to paddle shift manually, or just get lazy and select fully automatic mode which lets the bike shift itself. A 32-bit ECM continually surveys the crank speed; the front and rear wheel speed; and the throttle position so that it can decide in microseconds when up and down shifts are necessitated.

This revolutionary system utilizes the VFR1200F's conventional six-speed transmission but equips it with two fully independent clutches which are able to engage and disengage with precise timing. Working in unison with the pinpoint rev matching provided by the all-electronic, throttle-by-wire system the system allows for immediate and effectively imperceptible shifts both up and down, even when at extreme lean angles.

Although this system's drawback is that it adds 22 pounds to the 591 pound standard VFR1200F, the advantages in every situation from mild road riding to ten tenths racing are incalculable. Imagine heading into a tight off camber turn, executing two downshifts, hitting the apex and upshifting twice not only without actually doing anything except using the brakes and throttle, but literally not even feeling the shifts at all!

The prodigious, galvanizing, staggering Interceptor VFR1200F Dual Clutch Auto is so overshadowed by its astounding transmission system that you might be excused for not even noticing that the plain vanilla Interceptor VFR1200F is an impressive ride in its own right. But after one ride on the 2011 Honda Interceptor VFR1200F Dual Clutch Automatic Transmission you'll be too busy picking your jaw up off the floor to notice.

2011 Honda Interceptor VFR1200F Dual Clutch Auto At A Glance

Base MSRP:
Engine Displacement: 1,237 cc
Engine Type: liquid-cooled 76° V-4
Bore & Stroke: 81mm x 60mm
Induction Type: PGM-FI
Ignition Type: Digital transistorized with electronic advance
Compression Ratio: 12.0:1
Valve Train Type: SOHC; four valves per cylinder
Transmission Type: Six-speed (VFR1200F) / Six-speed automatic
Final Drive Type: Shaft
Front Tire: 120/70 ZR17 radial
Rear Tire: 190/55 ZR17 radial
Wheelbase: 60.8 inches (1545mm)
Saddle Height: 32.1 inches (815mm)
Curb Dry Weight: 591 pounds (VFR1200F)
Fuel Capacity (US): 4.9 gallons
* Specs/pix apply to 2010 model, updates as released

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