Production Honda motorcycle in 2011 with the audacious gamble that attempts to transform its amazing VFR 800 in hybrid sports roadster road and trail: the Crossrunner. To better judge the qualities and defects of this crossover on two wheels, we have opposed the Triumph Tiger 800, new representative of the tendency of very typical road trails: a surprising match to a crossroads…
Today, the motorcycle manufactures do not respect anything not even the categories thought to be firmly established for ages. Such geneticists, engineers grind DNA motorcycles, transforming trails into the road and now trails by road. Just like what is practiced by car – with mixtures between minivan, station wagon and 4×4 type 3008 – Honda has chosen to turn his VFR 800 VTEC VFR 800 X Crossrunner, cataloged “trail” on the website of constructer but comparable to a new category: the crossovers.
On the industrial side, it is also an opportunity for Honda to play the card of the platform, since many elements are taken directly from the VFR, starting with the V4 VTEC system and a chassis almost identical. There are even some parts already used on other machines in the range, like a dashboard similar to that of the Hornet or the new taillight CBR1000RR … Short, what is new with the old, with a lunge and a new look by drawing briskly in the house organ bank. Nevertheless, the Crossrunner can not be ignored with his physical for the less daring.
To better understand the qualities of this hybrid, we have chosen to oppose the new Triumph Tiger 800. Triumph of the new trail, which has already demonstrated remarkable qualities in his presentation and our recent confrontations, rides the new wave of road trails. It uses a 3-cylinder engine line 800 cm3 derived from the 675 Street Triple sulphurous, housed in a steel mesh rather rigid running gear rigged seriously focused way, with spooked wheels 19 and 17 inches. The interface is similar to that for its mid-displacement roadster.
Crossrunner reserved for a small
First observation in between the two bikes: the difference in height overall and notably that of the seat. With 816 mm announced, the saddle of Honda Crossrunner is only 6 mm higher than the Triumph (down position) and yet it is more compact, stocky. You climb on board more easily, especially because the party does not impede passenger. Then one notices immediately the handlebars raised enough of Honda and its narrowness compared to that of the Triumph Tiger 800. However, the position of the footrest challenges: we are left with your feet raised and very remote, as a sport. In fact, the legs are folded.
Besides, you feel more relaxed on the Triumph, despite a surprisingly flat handlebar for a trail, close to that of the Street Triple finally. While maneuvering engine off, we see overweight than the Honda, which requires more muscle to be moved. The grip reveals a general equilibrium frankly satisfying both sides: the Honda hides its weight well once underway, while the Triumph appears to be relatively neutral, avoiding the side “rocking horse” typical trails and their travel suspension. If we undoubtedly are dealing with two good urban, the Triumph shows a bit more flexible, turns better, but requires slightly more tender legs.
The horn of the Honda, which is confused with flashing, quickly becomes annoying. Besides this detail, we find the updated VTEC block. To recap, the VTEC system makes eight of the 16 valves inoperative under 6500 r / min. Initiated in 2002, it has evolved in late 2005 to make his trip less brutal. Here we find an engine “two faces”. At very low speeds – under 3500 r / min – 782 cm3 of the V4 is hollow and shows much less alert than the 3-cylinder inline 799 cm3. Fortunately, the excellent transmission of the Honda makes it easy to “knit” the left foot.
The Triumph Tiger 800 is conspicuous by its versatility
In addition, the block of VTEC Honda Crossrunner it anyway shows a rather mellow and tasty low-mid range. It takes about 3000 rev / min in current use and pulls nicely if not catapult you forward. And as usual at Honda, all orders are accurate and super sweet. Our Triumph Tiger test, equipped with a silencer Arrow, floe each stimulus the engine is also flexible and sometimes recalls in its expression, block 955 cm3 of the former Triple without the rough side at each oscillation of the handle.
Here we are on the A10 towards the Auvergne. Let’s be clear: if you carefully follow speed limits, you do not often VTEC will trigger the Crossrunner. At 130 km / h, the V4 runs at about 5500 rev / min (Christian had identified 200 r / min less on this unreadable tachometer when launching press), while the VTEC triggers to 6500 rev / min . Therefore, only riders from Germany – which can cruiser at 150 km / h – are embarrassed by the inadvertent activation of the system. For its part, the Triumph is taking full advantage of its three-cylinder ultra filled, which is particularly noticeable during the confrontations. For now, the Tiger has dominated our entire comparative in terms of times. But back on the A10 to indicate that comfort issue, there is no comparison.
Ergonomics relax, protection of the bubble, the softness of the seat, make the Triumph Tiger 800 kilometers an excellent swallower. It only lacks the hand guards and heated grips for optional remember some BMW motor flat. Vibrations are still some “very low frequency”, which are slightly tingling hands and feet in time: next to nothing eventually. In the realm of long-term comfort, the Honda disappoints, simply. Frankly proper protection but lower than the Tiger, timid times under 4500 r / min, the firm foundation for long: swallow or large national highway without changing gears or moving on the bike, it’s not his glass of sake.
V4 as a Hornet!
After hours of highway and a good night’s rest, we start our journey on the roads of Auvergne, in the direction of the capital of green lentils and lace: The Triumph Tiger 800 is again shown a formidable consistency. It reveals stability, steering precision, agility at least equal to many medium powered roadsters. Pirelli’s Scorpion Trail (like the Honda) very typical way of reasonable size and participate in agility and she is stiff enough to twirl without restraint in the turns. One pilot line on the bike by pushing on the handlebars and all turns fade easily.
Behind the VTEC rumbles forward limit. On board, any “pseudo pilot” who loves the laces will feel compelled to up the tempo, simply because she then reveals his true face: it is a very sporty bike! Certainly, it demands a little time to adapt, particularly because of the VTEC, but once you understand the useful rev range or the dosage of his formidable combined ABS braking, the Honda Crossrunner becomes a sacred tool to devour the collar. In the din of footrest clawing the asphalt, the Triumph Tiger 800 can contain the sportiness of the Honda. Stiff, responsive and fast in the angle changes, the “X under VFR” is also faithful in total control at Honda expensive.
It always feels great security on board driving dynamics: neutral when switching on the corner (we have not found the sensation of falling on the bike felt presentation press angle), shift faster, stability on the angle perfect, excellent traction; breaking ultra powerful … It encourages the attack, where his radical ergonomics leg is no longer a worry. Instead, it calls to step back in the saddle and move on the bike. The engine becomes completely furious over 6500 rev / min, and the outbreak of VTEC is really less brutal than in the past. As a result, traction and safety are not undermined if one crosses the threshold when one is on the corner. The Honda Crossrunner flies like a kind of Hornet V4 engine … and it’s pretty awesome!
Always filled with a triple
The Honda VFR 800 X stands so the Triumph Tiger 800 with superior athletic ability. Remains that English has an excellent cornering stability, an ABS braking performance and frankly – once will not hurt on a motorcycle affordable – well calibrated: the ABS does not fire too fast to back and can halt forward until it stops almost before the system releases the pressure on the pads. Not bad at all. Only to “attack”, the travel suspension (170 mm) interfere slightly with accuracy. The downside is, when we passed the outskirts of the, poorly paved roads highlight the comfort of Triumph while Honda, well damped in the absolute, can not swallow the bumps and holes as Triumph.
Moreover, the new Honda Crossrunner claims more or less the same suspension travels as the VFR 800 (1 mm better on the back for the VFR 800!), Logic requires industrial platform. At the end of a pin, a French sedan hit the diamond jammed our herd. I try to go beyond aboard the Honda, which is taped to the acceleration to 4000 rev / min: I have to down shift one or two reports to forget this car before the next curve. Shame to have to play much of the box on a motorcycle such a displacement … and yet, I was alone on the bike.
Appraisal: A Honda player, sports … and imperfect
For once – and that’s rare enough to point out – the Honda does not shine by its homogeneity. It’s a fact: the Honda Crossrunner is imperfect because of its ergonomics, the unusual nature of its engine, its relative comfort. The new Honda shows that there are limits to the logic of platform. Transform the VFR 800 by changing only the handlebars and the saddle is not enough to move it a Sport GT road to a trail. In use, the Honda Crossrunner pays somewhat in the clan of middleweight roadster, with more versatility though. However, we note the dynamic performance of the first order handling and braking invitation to ride sport. With its easy operation, safety and character with two faces, it responds appropriately to the needs of many users of today: Honda Crossrunner can take you to work every day and you graft a banana under the helmet during getaways weekend on the winding roads … a motorcycle in the zeitgeist finally.
But the price is quite high: € 10 990. Even if one can not expect the Honda to be as cheap a Suzuki Bandit 1250 (8 499 €), devoid of suspensions and a superb aluminum frame or ABS, we would have liked the Honda treats its versatility through superior protection, or cared more practical details (not even an empty pocket plastic trim everywhere, nor gear indicator, theft or space under the seat!). The Honda Crossrunner is primarily a recreational bike / pleasure while the Triumph is ultimately more versatile: city, road, highway, travel, sporting pace, it does almost everything very well, is more apt to go on a weekend in duo and for a lower price (€ 9,590 with ABS). From a purely rational point of view, it may be necessary.
Triumph Tiger 800
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