By Tom Roderick ‘s ever-increasing line of Explorer models is audacious, if not a little bit irrational. But ever the astute brain trust of intrepid motojournos, we rose to the occasion and Sherlock Holmes’d our way to a few rather elementary discoveries.
First of which is that when visually comparing these two bikes – the heaviest ADV bikes on the market – it seems apparent the Explorer would be the better ADV bike and Honda the better road bike. But after having ridden both, we’re of the opinion the Explorer bests the VFR in both categories – by a wide margin in the dirt, and not much less significantly on the pavement.
A major contributing factor to the Explorer’s advantage is its bevy of electronics. These digital whizbangs come at a cost (the XCa comes in $4,800 more than the VFR) but the price difference doesn’t impact the ScoreCard in the Honda’s favor enough to change the outcome. The VFR’s only nod to technology is its combined ABS and switchable TC, but if it’s intended to be more an on-road, rather than an off-road, bike where’s the cruise control?
Not only does the Explorer XCa have cruise control, but also heated hand grips, heated seat, electronically adjustable windscreen, tire-pressure monitoring, electronically adjustable suspension, hill-hold control, and …read more