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  #1  
Old 26-01-2010, 16:14
philwest philwest is offline
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MCN VFR1200F test cancelled

Guys, I've posted this elsewhere on the site, too, but as the invite to our VFR1200F test was originally posted here, we thought everyone should know.

Very regretfully the VFR test involving you guys has been canned. Honda's PR department saw the post on this or our site and insisted, at the 11th hour, that unless we changed our plans and did not use you guys in the test, they would come and get their test bike back. We were gobsmacked. We've never had any problems using members of the public in tests before.

For our part (this all coming to a head Monday lunchtime with departure on the test due first thing Tuesday morning) as: a) getting genuine prospective owner feedback was the whole point of the test and also the logical next stage having already ridden the bike twice ourselves, b) being unwilling to let manufacturers dictate what sort of test we do (especially when we were in no way planning anything inappropriate) and c) having little chance to change our plans anyway, we decided to cancel the test entirely. Honda's man in a van arrived to take the VFR away shortly after.

Honda's argument was that our test would compromise the dealer launch on 13/14th as they had promised that no members of the public would ride the bike before then. There's an element of truth in that, although I'd argue that our test brought no complaints from you guys and would obviously have been a big service to you. I've also never, in 20 years of being a motorcycle journalist, had a manufacturer prohibit a test (especially such a useful, relevant and reasonable one) or demand its test bike back.

Sorry if anyone was mucked about, it certainly wasn't our intention.

Thanks for your help

Phil West

Executive Editor, MCN
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  #2  
Old 26-01-2010, 22:22
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Oh dear!!! Could it be that Honda are getting a little paranoid about the general 'good but not good enough' feedback in the media to date and are seeking to avoid further less than glowing press coverage? Whatever the motive, to do that seems a real shame. Still, I guess I'll go and have a look at one over 13th/14th Feb. I'm trying to reserve judgement on the aesthetics until I see one in 3D. But it's difficult!
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Old 26-01-2010, 23:21
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wtf are honda playing at! they are refusing people from their customer base to in effect do a comparison test, who will probably make up maybe 50-60% of the first round orders of the bike. if they have no faith in their new product against their old existing product, what does that say, it will only help boost the second values of the older models. and anybody who does buy one at full retail, will be staring down barrel of some serious depreciation.
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Old 26-01-2010, 23:35
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Biting The Hand That Feeds You !!!


Black mark for Honda UK on this one I'm afraid ! They've missed a golden opportunity to spread goodwill amongst us . Where do they think that their wages comes from ?

Anyway , I take their point on members of the public riding the bike before launch date but they could have simply had a non-disclosure clause on the people involved to sign on the day . We sign a relevant insurance disclosure on Track Days .
Mr.West , thank you for informing us of this situation . Maybe you would be so kind as to invite us for an assesment at a slightly later date ?

Yours sincerely ,
Rex.
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  #5  
Old 27-01-2010, 07:22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philwest View Post
Guys, I've posted this elsewhere on the site, too, but as the invite to our VFR1200F test was originally posted here, we thought everyone should know.

Very regretfully the VFR test involving you guys has been canned. Honda's PR department saw the post on this or our site and insisted, at the 11th hour, that unless we changed our plans and did not use you guys in the test, they would come and get their test bike back. We were gobsmacked. We've never had any problems using members of the public in tests before.

For our part (this all coming to a head Monday lunchtime with departure on the test due first thing Tuesday morning) as: a) getting genuine prospective owner feedback was the whole point of the test and also the logical next stage having already ridden the bike twice ourselves, b) being unwilling to let manufacturers dictate what sort of test we do (especially when we were in no way planning anything inappropriate) and c) having little chance to change our plans anyway, we decided to cancel the test entirely. Honda's man in a van arrived to take the VFR away shortly after.

Honda's argument was that our test would compromise the dealer launch on 13/14th as they had promised that no members of the public would ride the bike before then. There's an element of truth in that, although I'd argue that our test brought no complaints from you guys and would obviously have been a big service to you. I've also never, in 20 years of being a motorcycle journalist, had a manufacturer prohibit a test (especially such a useful, relevant and reasonable one) or demand its test bike back.

Sorry if anyone was mucked about, it certainly wasn't our intention.

Thanks for your help

Phil West

Executive Editor, MCN
honda biting the hand that feeds indeed...

Maybe this is all about damage limitation?
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  #6  
Old 27-01-2010, 09:18
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Sounds to me that Honda UK are bricking it!
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  #7  
Old 27-01-2010, 09:24
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Hiya Binnsy
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  #8  
Old 27-01-2010, 10:48
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Ha ha, what an absurd farce
What on earth is going on at Honda ? The grand build-up about this bike has universally judged as seriously poor, the video of Dave Hancock explaining how good it is was simply toe-curling to watch and listen to ......- and now they cannot even get it right when it comes to letting the press conduct tests.......

Still, looking on the bright side, it all bodes well for me getting a very cheap one in 3 to 4 years time I hope, after some v serious depreciation (???)
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  #9  
Old 27-01-2010, 10:56
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I 'spose it may be ok at half the price or less! It's going to be VERY interesting to see how many people shell out 12k when, as yet, there hasn't been a single positive write-up.

Maybe it's not as bad as we think But, Honda are fuelling the fires of doubt over the machine by their God-awful pre-launch marketing!
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  #10  
Old 27-01-2010, 11:43
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it all bodes well for me getting a very cheap one in 3 to 4 years time I hope, after some v serious depreciation
Which happened to the Vtec after lots on here said it was crap at the start, when it really wasn't.

Maybe Honda remember.
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  #11  
Old 27-01-2010, 13:20
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Once Bitten Twice Shy !!!


they should have let us ride it !!!
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  #12  
Old 27-01-2010, 13:40
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Which happened to the Vtec after lots on here said it was crap at the start, when it really wasn't.

Maybe Honda remember.
... yeah, but they didn't whip up the launch of the VTec into a completely over the top crescendo and then spectacularly fail to live up to expectations (talking about getting the bike launched here - not its performance...) They have hyped and hyped and hyped.... and now they can't even get it finally launched properly. For a company like Honda this must be totally embarassing (not that they will ever admit it of course...)

The 1200 is meant to herald the start of something really special for the future of modern era road bikes. I don't know if its true or not (suspect not from what nearly all journalists have so far said.....). But here's the real problem - I am just about sick of this bike already.......... and I suspect a lot of other VFR owners feel the same (and that's before we even get to ride it ourselves). Totally mis-managed by one of the best engineering companies in the World.

(anyone ever wondered how you actually "over egg" a cake ????? - Honda just showed you the way it's done......)

Ps, hope this isn't going to go the same way as the also-hyped up DN-01..... I think I saw only one person on the road so far who was daft enough to purchase one at full price. Ouch.

Last edited by Jupiter; 27-01-2010 at 14:10.
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  #13  
Old 27-01-2010, 14:32
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PR mistake/cock-up if there ever was one.

Poor old Honda. They can't even win MOTO GP at the moment.

I hear Yamaha have a new 800 coming soon.
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  #14  
Old 27-01-2010, 15:47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jupiter View Post
The 1200 is meant to herald the start of something really special for the future of modern era road bikes. I don't know if its true or not (suspect not from what nearly all journalists have so far said.....). But here's the real problem - I am just about sick of this bike already.......... and I suspect a lot of other VFR owners feel the same (and that's before we even get to ride it ourselves). Totally mis-managed by one of the best engineering companies in the World.

(anyone ever wondered how you actually "over egg" a cake ????? - Honda just showed you the way it's done......)
I'd love to know what the 'engineering' side of Honda say about this bike. Everything thus far has been Marketing/PR led and that's where I'd say the mis management has stemmed from.

Apparently though it's not harmed orders too much. Honda reckon the first three months allocation is spoken for. But then again, they would say that, wouldn't they...?
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