When the bike launched in 2010, it was flat-out too expensive for what it had to offer. It had a base price of $15,999 without any options. That’s $22,072 in today’s money which is a hefty price for a sport bike. The Honda’s arch-nemesis, the Kawasaki Concours 14 from the era carried a tag of $13,499 ($18,623 in 2023). That’s a huge difference in the sportbike world. Weight was also a small concern as the bike was just plain heavy at 588 pounds.
To tip the scale away from the VFR1200F’s favor, there was a recall affecting 1,825 bikes that concerned the driveshaft (the VFR1200F used a driveshaft instead of a conventional chain). Apparently, the driveshaft’s u-joint could break under load and could possibly cause the rear wheel to seize, according to Motorcycle.com.
All those factors added up to besmirch the otherwise good name of the VFR1200F. It wasn’t an outright failure and a decade-plus of hindsight paints the bike in a better picture than when it first rolled off the line. But there were just better options from the era given the heft of both the bike itself and the price tag. Still, if that doesn’t bother you, there are worse bikes out there if you’re shopping for something a little different than your average used sport bike.