Collectable: Honda Rune-News & Reviews-Motorcycle Trader

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Honda Zodia

06 Nov 2013 | Only Honda can do like this: produce bikes that cost a of their manufacturing cost in the Do you want to feel REALLY

Words: Ian Falloon

Of all the Japanese makers, Honda has always had resources and initiative when it to testing the boundaries for expensive, models. One of the most astounding was the piston NR750 of 1992 and was the amazing Valkyrie Rune than a decade later.

The grew out of the Honda Japan-designed concept bike, shown at the Tokyo show. The Zodiac was a and the immediate problem was that any no matter how good, always into the accusation of trying to be a But the Zodiac was radically styled striking trailing link and Honda Research America was to create a special custom


Its ace was not to use a but base the bike on the Gold and Valkyrie flat-six. The Rune to be a challenge for engineers who had to make a bike from a styling

Powered by the single overhead 1832cc Gold Wing but with six 32mm throttle instead of two, new cams and a ignition, the Rune produced 118 and an eye-popping 166Nm (123 of torque. This was roughly 50 per more torque than the Honda Fireblade. The Rune had a Wing powerplant with and provided serious performance.

The incorporated a number of distinctive The Zodia concept bike of inspired the unusual trailing front fork, with upper shocks actuated by and links. This gave the of a raked, chopper-style, front while maintaining conventional geometry.

The fork was a mass of forgings, bushes and dampers.

The Pro-Link rear suspension a single-sided swingarm and single absorber, the lay-down shock’s mount contained within the rather than the chassis in a similar to the RC211V MotoGP The wire-spoked wheels (with chrome) were 18 and 17 inches and rear and the triple disc system included the Combined System of the VTX1800. And clever saw the 330mm discs fitted three-piston callipers and a firm two were all that was required to the behemoth.


Even the radiator, harking back to Fords, was designed to complement the but had to please the engineers. The designers a radiator that looked and fitted the space but the engineers that radiator moved 20 per cent of the BTUs they it to handle. The engineers wanted a radiator but, as the shapes and placement were critical, had to create a more efficient with compound curves pleased the designers and meet tough standards for cooling.

That scenario was repeated for every part of the motorcycle. In every case, the designers got way and the engineers came up with to satisfy the vision and Honda’s and functional requirements.

The frame was an beam type and everything was to an impeccable standard. From the wheelbase to the 350kg dry weight, the was a large scale motorcycle. the ride was surprisingly good for a large machine, the Rune’s appeal was its appearance.

Here was a motorcycle with the fit and finish of a production machine. The finish was stunning. There are very few bike builders anywhere in the who can even match – let alone – the quality of the chrome and paintwork on the

It’s amazing that a company like Honda took the Rune past the stage – that it took the (six years) and effort to a limited-production piece of rolling

It’s remarkable that let its designers stray this far out of usual boxes and that the could spread their and fly so perfectly when they unleashed.

Honda Zodia
Honda Zodia

In terms of a production it was in a class of its own. The Rune was a special motorcycle and deserves to be for what it is: a true technical and a great credit to Honda’s ability – not to say their willingness to money on a prestige project.

thanks to John Gee of Antique Cheltenham, Victoria, for the use of the Honda featured. This rare may be for sale. Contact Antique on 0418 340 055.

Five things about the Rune

· The Rune (meaning or “secret” in ancient Anglo-Saxon) was the NRX1800 and grew out of four models overseen by American motorcycle design chief, Manchester.

· The T1 (Valkyrie hotrod) was at the 2000 Cycle World Beach Show, followed by the T2 custom), T3 (street dragster), and T4. The T2 became the basis for the production that appeared for 2004.

· Large Project Leader, Aoki, the Rune was envisaged as an ($US24,490) limited production of rolling art. Production was to be 1200 bikes in total, one for US Honda dealer.

· Each left the American Honda at Marysville, Ohio, costing the a reported $100,000 – and sold for a quarter of that price.

· Although most wouldn’t be far, the Rune was designed for service intervals; 50,000 km for the valve adjustment. A hydraulic chain-driven camshafts and shaft all reduced servicing time.

to know more?

Honda Zodia
Honda Zodia


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