The second generation of Honda’s VFR800X Crossrunner wasn’t exactly a runaway success. It wasn’t particularly on-trend, offering neither the off-road capable all-rounder abilities of a ‘traditional’ adventure bike which were in vogue at the time, nor the eye-widening performance of a more focused sporty tourer. But it’s a brilliant bike, superbly put together (it’s a Honda…) with a rewardingly capable V4 engine and surprisingly agile handling.
It might not be particularly sexy, but from a riding perspective there’s very little to criticise. Its plush seat and wide bars help make it comfortable enough to spend all day in the saddle; the slightly firm suspension keeps the bike poised and planted even on rough roads; and the 782cc VTEC-equipped engine offers plenty of character and ample power to make swift progress. The only gripe? It’s a big old lump for a middleweight, tipping the scales at 242kg, but if you’re used to adventure bikes, you’ll have no trouble with the Crossrunner.
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The VFR800X is a classic Honda in many ways – and that means it’s going to stand the test of time very well indeed, even when you’re putting big miles on the clock. This is a top buy, though prepare to lay down a bit of cash when the valve clearances do need doing as the VTEC motor, as good as it is, isn’t the easiest to work on.