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Monday, December 7, 2009

Fuel Range

I forgot to discuss (in my "shortcomings" post) what is probably the biggest gripe about the VFR1200F... the fuel range.

With an 18.5L tank and a big powerful motor the VFR is "only" expected to go 150-200 miles on a tank of fuel, depending how it's ridden. For riders who will cross large uninhabited areas with no gas stations, this is definitely a deal-breaker. Personally, I'm not expecting to ride across Siberia, or even up the Alaska highway with mine, so I'm sure the range will be adequate. Who knows, I may have to eat my words here in a future post, but I doubt it. I've toured on a CBR1000RR and never came close to running empty.

VFRs since 1998 have had a 22L tank, so why is this one only 18.5L? My guess it that it's mainly in the name of styling. The elegant lines of the tank and fenders would not flow together with the same fluidity with a larger tank. There is a somewhat practical consideration too: the sides of the tank are actually fairings. This is a design I appreciated on my last 2 CBRs.... Rather than having a painted gas tank exposed, it is hidded under plastic covers. On those bikes, which were used mainly at the race track, it allowed for easier repairs after a crash. This design also allows the stylists a more consistent paint finish (paint doesn't adhere to metal the same way it adheres to plastic) and it allows them more creativity in the design. Also, the ugly stamping seams at the bottom of the tank are hidden. Nevertheless, the tank is smaller. The airspace (and foam lining) between the tank cover and the tank is eating in to fuel capacity.

I'm not too worried about it.

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