We at Honda set ourselves the target of delivering a mid-class machine that would satisfy the overlapping needs of our customers across the globe by being both easy to ride, new value and exceptionally kind to the environment. The Honda development team evaluated numerous engine types in their quest to deliver a high-quality, easy-to-handle ride with primary emphasis on a low center of gravity and torque in the low- and mid-speed ranges, and opted for a liquid-cooled, in-line, 2-cylinder engine that would also offer a high degree of freedom in body layout. The team then went on to develop a new 700cc engine.
Developed in parallel with the engine was a second-generation dual clutch transmission that has the same level of performance and transmission efficiency as its predecessor but is lightweight, compact and affordable. Thus work proceeded in one main direction: to develop an engine that looks ahead to the next generation and which will be a benchmark for the future.
In 2010, Honda launched a large sports tourer motorcycle, the VFR1200F Dual Clutch Transmission, which came equipped with a Dual Clutch Transmission with automated clutch and shift operation, a world's first for motorcycles. This Dual Clutch Transmission is a lightweight, compact system that can be mounted without requiring major modification to the existing engine layout. It employs electronic control technology to deliver the precise accelerator control required of motorcycles, with a direct feel for naturally smooth starts and gear changes.
Looking ahead to the next generation, Honda has developed a liquid-cooled, in-line 2-cylinder, 700cc OHC engine that is lightweight and compact and delivers lots of torque in the low and middle rpm ranges with a comforting throb. We were aiming at output characteristics that would result in a nimble yet "mature" motorcycle that would have universal appeal while retaining the economic efficiency and easy handling of a medium displacement engine.
Delivering a smooth, high-quality ride with easy handling that will satisfy our customers all over the world, Honda has created a new value, environmentally-responsible engine with forward-looking features such as a more compact, lower-volume fuel tank that provides both ample riding range and greater scope for layout, design and storage innovations.
In terms of environmental performance, the introduction of advanced technologies, such as PGM-FI and a catalyzer placed directly beneath the exhaust ports to boost purification efficiency through precise control of the (stoichiometric) air-fuel ratio during idling, has resulted in significantly reduced levels of CO (carbon monoxide), HC (hydrocarbon) and NOx (nitrogen oxides) in exhaust emissions. The toxicity level of these emissions is in fact half that required by European emission standards (Euro 3), which means that without sacrificing its smooth and powerful output characteristics, the engine delivers a world-class environmental performance.
Key specific technical methods include: