2009 Honda Interceptor/Interceptor ABS

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We’re all familiar with the rush that supersport motorcycles provide, but also wish we could ride more withought the fatique that comes as standard. Honda’s response to the demands of adrenaline and comfort takes the name Interceptor and concludes in simply the most versatile all around motorcycle powered by a racing-derived V-Four VTEC engine.

 

Introduction

Honda Interceptor/Interceptor ABS

Despite speculations conforming which the new Honda VFR will feature a V5 engine, the 2008 Intermot show in Cologne has to prove the motorcycle press wrong.

Instead of being fully upgraded as a 2009 model year, the bike still features the VTEC V4 engine, the only important addition being the C-ABS system, but only as an option. Also, the White paint scheme now available on the European version and the Black on the North American one further enhance the awesome VFR design and that’s pretty much all that this bike brings new on the scene.

But you should never doubt the performance of a VFR engine. The V4 – VTEC with electronic fuel injection, which distributes power in two different stages by implementing an ingenious valve opening system, is both a great power source and an economical engine depending on the riding preferences of each rider. Maximum horsepower is 108 at 10,500 rpm and torque, 59 ft.lb at 8,750 rpm.

The engine is positioned on a nimble double – beam aluminum frame ensuring that the handling abilities would stay true to the VFR name.

Honda VFR 800 Interceptor History

 

Competition

Honda Interceptor/Interceptor ABS

Most likely Honda hasn’t made that big V5 step yet because other middleweight sport-touring models are only powered by two-cylinder engines and the best example in that concern is the BMW BMW F 800 S. That is simply a naked bike with slightly upgraded looks and wind protection which relies on an 85 hp parallel twin engine, versatile chassis and on comfy ergonomics in order to make a good impression in comparison with the long present Honda model.

Honda Interceptor/Interceptor ABS

We reckon the BMW F 800 S isn’t quite the bike for the job and in this case, the heavy artillery is yet another half-faired model (yes, I know) and it is produced in Japan. The Yamaha Yamaha FZ1 at least features four cylinders if not a full fairing and the displacement positions it far from the middleweight category (998cc). With an engine derived from the YZF-R1 model, there is plenty to expect from the fuel-injected inline four, including to outdo the Interceptor on every straight portion of road that is encountered.

Honda Interceptor/Interceptor ABS

It is hard to get across a bike that was created for this battle and that is mostly because Honda gets its own recipe for an undisputable success. That means sport bike looks and touring velleities unmatched by no manufacturer except one. Triumph! A must to refer to is the 2009 Sprint ST model and one that is, basically, the Brits interpretation of the idea behind the Interceptor. Like you probably already know, the engine behind Sprint ST’s beautiful fairing is a liquid-cooled, DOHC, inline, three-cylinder unit. Triumph compensates the “lack” of one cylinder with a displacement of 1050ccs, making the Interceptor and Sprint ST powerplants comparable even though apparently totally distinct.

Also, terribly similar is the way that these bikes are designed until the very last detail (the single-sided swingarm and MV Agusta-like rear wheel). Still, the Interceptor is more sport than touring while the 127 bhp and 77 ft.lb of torque Sprint ST is more of a mile hauler. Like Honda, Triumph also offers optional ABS, something that also influences the price. MSRP for the standard 2009 Triumph Triumph Sprint ST model is $11,599 and $12,399 for the ABS model. As you will see below, this is very close to Honda’s offering.

Exterior

Honda Interceptor/Interceptor ABS

So if their bike was to be in a class of its own from no matter reasons, at least to look good, Honda people thought. And how well they did as the long time of refining and redesigning conclude in a sharp looking piece of machinery that receives a well deserved place in the Japanese manufacturer’s sport bike lineup.

The front fairing features angular lines and integrated headlights and signal lights in a successful attempt to provide the Interceptor with a more than fair share of modernity. Also, they keep it distinct from the CBR models by implementing a simple side fairing design with only those cooling snips as an aggressive touch and a VFR and implicit Interceptor characteristic. Furthermore, the five-spoke rear wheels bolted on a single-sided swingarm is yet another distinctive note as well as the under seat exhaust built around the right rider side of the bike’s rear wheel.

Overall compact and aggressive, but retaining the sport-touring riding position with a wide, spacious seat and close by footpegs and handlebars, the Interceptor is a successful combination of styles visually, so imagine how it is to actually ride the thing. For the moment we can only stare at the Black, White and Gray color schemes in expectancy of a future test run.

But until then you can check out our last experience on the Interceptor.

Honda Interceptor Test Ride

 

Price

Offering two models for 2009, Honda’s SRP differs as follows: $10,999 for the ABS-free Interceptor and $11,999 for the Interceptor ABS. Although I don’t know how much the simple model will carry on through this transition period, it is nice they offer two alternatives.

Conclusion

Honda seems to have impressed by not doing almost anything to this model, but that’s apparently a method two. What riders would have expected was an even more sport-oriented motorcycle (as long as it beats the Triumph Sprint ST I’m pleased so..), but Honda manages to stay true to the touring side. After all, that’s what the VFR was all about in the first place, a fast and yet very comfortable model.


SPECIFICATIONS

 

Engine and Transmission

Honda Interceptor/Interceptor ABS

Engine Type: 781cc liquid-cooled 90o V-4
Bore and Stroke: 72mm x 48mm
Compression ratio: 11.6:1
Valve Train: VTEC DOHC; four valves per cylinder
Induction: PGM-FI with automatic enricher circuit, 36mm throttle bodies and 12-hole injectors
Ignition: Computer-controlled digital with three-dimensional mapping and electronic advance
Transmission: Close-ratio six-speed
Final Drive: #530 O-ring chain

Chassis and Dimensions

Honda Interceptor/Interceptor ABS

Suspension Front: 43mm HMAS cartridge fork with spring preload adjustability; 4.3 inches travel
Rear: Pro Arm single-side swingarm with Pro-Link single HMAS gas-charged shock with seven-position spring preload and rebound damping adjustability; 4.7 inches travel
Brakes Front: Dual full-floating 296mm discs with LBS three-piston calipers
Rear: Single 256mm disc with LBS three-piston caliper; Optional ABS (VFR800FI ABS)
Tires Front: 120/70ZR-17 radial
Rear: 180/55ZR-17 radial
Wheelbase: 57.4 inches
Rake (Caster angle): 25.3o
Trail: 100mm (3.9 inches)
Seat Height: 31.7 inches
Fuel Capacity: 5.8 gallons, including 0.8-gallon reserve
Curb Weight: 540 pounds (VFR800FI) / 551 pounds (VFR800FI ABS)

Features

 

New for 2009

  • New Black color.
  • Unique Features

  • Revolutionary VTEC combines the power characteristics of both two- and four-valve cylinder-head designs. The engine runs on two valves per cylinder below 6400 rpm, then switches to four valves per cylinder to deliver significantly stronger low-end and mid-range torque while maintaining the Interceptor’s impressive high-rpm power delivery.

  • Unique Pro Arm® Rear Suspension (see Technology Section).

  • Pro-Link® Rear Suspension (see Technology Section).

  • Unique center-up exhaust system incorporates two stainless-steel mufflers tucked beneath the Interceptor’s tail section.

  • Large-diameter 43mm Honda Multi-Action System (HMAS) cartridge front fork provides enhanced handling under all riding conditions (see Technology Section).

  • Linked Braking System (LBS) (see Technology Section).

  • Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) model available (see Technology Section).

  • Four brilliant multireflector headlights employ two centrally positioned H4 low/high beams positioned under two widely spaced H7 high beams for brilliant nighttime illumination.
  • Engine/Drivetrain

  • Compact 781cc DOHC 90-degree V-4 with an oversquare bore and stroke of 72mm x 48mm.

  • Silent-type cam-chain drive eliminates mechanical gear noise. The system features a set of dual tensioners that maintain optimal pressure and lubrication for the camshaft chains, ensuring quiet operation and long life.

  • Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI) (see Technology Section).

  • Iridium-tip spark plugs are ignited by compact high-energy coil-on-plug spark plug caps that produce a strong, high-voltage spark.

  • Interceptor engine serves as a stressed member of the pivotless frame, which features specially designed engine mounting bolts tuned to work in harmony with the damping characteristics of the frame.

  • Aluminum-composite cylinder sleeves are high-pressure-formed from sintered-aluminum powder impregnated with ceramic and graphite. The composite sleeves provide better wear resistance and superior heat dissipation than conventional sleeves.

  • Cast-aluminum pistons feature LUB-Coat solid lubricant to minimize friction between piston and cylinder wall.

  • Auto-enriching system is integrated into PGM-FI module, which optimizes the air/fuel mixture on cold starts and eliminates the need for a manual choke.

  • Solenoid-operated dual air-intake duct design keeps one duct closed during low-speed operation to ensure optimal control of air-intake velocity.

  • Dual side-mounted radiators maximize cooling efficiency using low-air-pressure areas created by side cowls to draw cooling air through the radiators. During low-speed operation, a thermostat-controlled left-side fan pulls cooling air across the radiator into the fairing to keep hot air away from the rider.

  • Rugged 125mm-diameter eight-plate clutch offers light weight and high load capacity.

  • Clutch features an offset outside friction plate for quiet operation when starting from a stop.

  • Exceptionally smooth-shifting six-speed transmission.

  • Three-phase coil-spring damper in the transmission provides for seamless upshifts.
  • Chassis/Suspension

  • Triple-box-section twin-spar aluminum frame features a tuned, pivotless design that isolates the engine-mounted swingarm from the frame and contributes to handling comfort.

  • Unique Pro Arm Rear Suspension (see Technology Section).

  • Pro-Link Rear Suspension (see Technology Section).

  • Linked Braking System (LBS) (see Technology Section).

  • The Interceptor’s 296mm floating front-brake discs feature a lightweight seven-spoke inner rotor design.

  • U-section cast-aluminum wheels are light and reduce unsprung weight.

  • The six-spoke, 3.5-inch-wide front wheel carries a 120/70ZR-17 radial tire. The five-spoke, 5.5-inch rear wheel sports a wide, low-profile 180/55ZR-17 radial tire.
  • Additional Features

  • 5.8-gallon fuel capacity for excellent sport-touring range.

  • The Interceptor’s sleek, aerodynamic bodywork is functional and beautiful.

  • Satin-finish treatment on muffler covers and exhaust heat shield for distinctive styling.

  • Stylish silver finish on clutch and brake master cylinders.

  • Clear turn-signal lenses front and rear provide a high-tech look.

  • Air flowing through the windscreen’s central air vent provides cool air to the rider at low speeds and increases rider comfort at higher speeds.

  • High-tech instrument display includes electronic tachometer and LCD readouts for speedometer, air temperature, coolant temperature, odometer, two tripmeters and clock.

  • ACG output of 497 watts.

  • Detachable seat provides storage for a U-lock and other necessities. (Lock not included.)

  • Removable passenger seat cowl.

  • Adjustable brake and clutch levers.

  • Injection-molded nylon passenger grabrails are comfortable to the touch in cold or hot weather.

  • Folding aerodynamic mirrors.

  • Transferable one-year, unlimited-mileage limited warranty; extended coverage available with a Honda Protection Plan.

  • Purchase of a new, previously unregistered Honda USA- certified unit by an individual retail user in the United States qualifies the owner for a one-year complimentary membership in the Honda Riders Club of America.
  • Honda Genuine Accessories

  • Touring Accessories: Hard Saddlebags, Sport Touring Trunk, Saddlebag Liner Set, Trunk Liner.

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