Apparently fearing unflattering comparisons, Honda UK has effectively banned owners of the VFR800 and other previous VFRs from riding the 2010 Honda VFR1200. MCN, England's largest bike publication, had scheduled a loan of Shamu post media launch in order to get real riders' opinions of the new bike. So far so good, that's standard operating procedure for the paper with Hondas and most other mainstream bikes. But, when Honda got wind of MCN's plans to put VFR owners on the bike and then publish their opinions it balked, ordering the paper not to allow anyone but editorial staff on the heavyweight V4. MCN's response? Take it back then, we don't want it. Respect.
Ignoring the sycophantic domestic press here in the land of the first amendment, European journalists have come over distinctly nonplussed by Honda's new flagship, complaining about everything from its 591lbs weight to the expected price of repair following a low-speed spill to much more serious criticisms like the 160-mile tank range and the uncomfortable seat. Following that coverage, Honda's refusal to allow consumers on to the bike before it reaches showrooms is damning, demonstrating a shocking lack of faith in their own product's ability to weather criticism. Things are not shaping up well for the new VFR.