Memorable Motorcycles: Honda Rune — Motorcycle USA

14 Май 2015 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Memorable Motorcycles: Honda Rune — Motorcycle USA отключены
Honda T1

Memorable Motorcycles: Honda

Honda attempted to push the market in a different direction its Rune which sourced Six 1832cc engine from the Wing.

If ever a motorcycle worthy of the epithet “memorable” it is the Honda Rune. In fact, is a strong case for arguing the Rune is about as memorable as ever come. So this is why I, a core sportbike and super fan, find myself just 27 inches from the on a motorcycle which is nearly feet long and weighs in at an 850 lbs plus.

It is with a sense of trepidation that I hook up gear and prepare to let out the clutch to this truly amazing

The Rune is — first, and middle — an American After visiting the Tokyo in 1995, and seeing the Honda Zodiac concept bike, Research America began about where the custom concept could be taken.

The was a V-Twin and the immediate problem was any V-Twin, no matter how good, runs into is the accusation it is trying to be a Harley-Davidson. However, the was radically styled and the trailing forks were particularly

Back in California, the HRA designers did one ace card to play: the truly Flat Six Honda motor powered both the Gold and Valkyrie. No-one, and particularly not had anything like this at their disposal.

Pictured is the T4 concept for the Honda Rune, drag racer that I’m a few folks would love to put the 1/4 mile.

Executive Vice of Honda America, Ray Blank, was a supporter of the, as yet unnamed, cruiser and said: “We wanted to this concept (a motorcycle on the Valkyrie/Gold Wing power once again and take cutting-edge motorcycle into territory, establishing new directions no other manufacturer had ever We wanted to set the bar higher than erecting standards that no one had yet imagined, while also old limitations on what an original manufacturer could mass

Honda America produced Valkyrie-based prototypes to test reaction. These ranged a mild, close relative of the labeled T1 all the way to the hugely aggressive T4. In the middle was T2 — a motorcycle unlike anything seen — or since.

At this it becomes all too easy to fall the abyss which is marketing and hype. The Honda press at the time described the Rune as a “Neo-Retro persona” — and you know that anything this label isn’t to be on sale in the bargain isle of Incredibly, “neo-retro” isn’t a bad

What Honda means is that the is the sort of thing you might see in a movie set in some imaginary parallel universe — Batman with a touch aggression.

Above all else, the was designed to be looked at — and the appearance was transformed into a motorcycle. Ray Blank again: have to remember that greatest strength is its engineering Function, horsepower, performance, — a lot of very measurable

But now here we were, championing the of what was essentially a one-off special, a show bike a whole set of gut-level aesthetic that are impossible to measure.

The proved to be a challenge for the Honda who had to make a functioning from a styling concept.

Rune concept is extremely because it places the highest on style rather than science and engineering, and that challenges during product It is a very emotional product. But a gut feeling is so strong, avid can communicate with one another on a level. We accomplished a lot on this new after hours, at restaurants, motorcycle guys talking to other, scribbling on napkins, our hands around.”

So the Americans had their way: an radical custom motorcycle you could order straight off the floor from your local Honda dealer. The now was to make what would been a truly impressive for a one-off custom bike into a machine which go into series production. was not an easy task.

Back in Masanori Aoki was chosen as Leader. Aoki had come a sportbike background and wasn’t by the technical challenges. Rather, caused the unease was starting the process from what to be the wrong end — especially at where engineering is king.

of beginning with a series of targets, working towards with engineering solutions and finally allowing the stylists to off the job, the appearance of the Rune the process. Did it matter if the Rune had a top of 115 mph, 120 mph or 125 mph? Not in the slightest. Was the weight by 25 lbs going to affect the

Not at all. Appearance, sound and were the holy trinity.

Not the engineering was simple. Although the Wing engine was now a whopping it was still a very mild, unit. Aoki gave the lump a good tweaking new cams, a re-mapped ignition and six fuel injectors all of which in 118 hp and a truly eye-popping 123 lb-ft of — equating to roughly 50% torque than the latest Fireblade.

Now, the Rune had a Wing powerplant with

The trailing link front gives the illusion of the raked front suspension while steering geometry.

Mr. Aoki was keen to bring in sportbike in terms of the chassis. The rear is Honda Pro-link, which is extremely neat and provides an of rising rate in the 3.8 inches of

Following customer demands, retained the trailing link suspension. Previously, this had been used successfully on motocross outfits but the beauty of it the Rune is that it gives the end the impression of being very raked — almost chopper — whilst in actual retaining almost conventional geometry. The fork is a mass of bushes and dampers and must cost a fortune to make.

In practical terms it is probably effective than a conventional front end but there is no argument the visual statement it makes: does clever engineering, and it work, so never forget Milwaukee!

Where Aoki be distracted by styling was in the safety of the Rune. The weight and size of the needs putting into At around 850 lbs ready to roll, the is more than 1/3 of the weight of the Fit four-seat car, and the motorcycle slaughter the automobile in terms of

For example, the Rune will run up to than 120 mph and manage 0-100 in a over 11 seconds. This is no Rider”, cowboy hat wearing but something quite different.

In to stop this behemoth, fitted twin 330mm discs with three-piston The hydraulics are also set up so that a two fingers are all that are required to put the propellers in reverse and bring is a very large, surprisingly motorcycle under control. again, it is clever, but subtle,

Honda went all out offering quality paint and chrome seen on a production motorcycle its Rune.

However, what the bike is its stunning finish. are very few custom bike anywhere in the world who can even let alone surpass, the quality of the and paintwork on the Rune. In terms of a motorcycle, it is in a class of its own.

So brings us to the pre-launch chat. Davies, the General Manager at Honda, is all smiles and encouragement but is no forgetting that this is a motorcycle I am sitting on. There is an conundrum about Runes. they are invariably, in unbelievably condition. No-one buys a to go trail riding or even for down to the shopping Mall.

Second, for the same reason are always low mileage. Together, factors mean that a six old Rune is now worth more its original $26,000 cost.

The downside is that repair are horrendous. Each Rune the American Honda Plant at Ohio, costing the company a $100,000 — and sold for a quarter of that price. has got to get its money back somehow and repairing a Rune is never to be a cheap exercise.

Riding Rune felt more limo than motorcycle.

Honda T1

by a gaggle of Knutsford Honda I make triple-certain that the is completely empty, feed in the — and then watch as the of the bike leaves the parking lot by me, and the rest of the motorcycle, in what like a considerably long afterwards. This is a seriously motorcycle!

Once moving, and thoughts of crashing the bike and to sell my kidneys to pay for the repairs put to the of my mind, it becomes apparent the Rune is rather clever. For a the Flat Six engine is a joy — a gem. Possessing unbelievable combined with silky the motor provides a magic experience.

A glance at the “neo-retro” speedometer reveals that the is reflected in the facts: 70mph is in a blink and 90mph is there at Dull this bike certainly isn’t.

The exhaust is intoxicating. The nearest equivalent is a jet turbine. Stand at an airport fence as a Lear Jet rolls by and you be in the same aural ball as the Rune.

The gearbox and clutch are Honda sweet, the brakes are one could ask for and the shaft drive innocuous. Even the apparently riding position is practical although I can never see the attraction of one’s arms spread out style: perhaps I am not sufficiently inclined.

Handling is what you might from an 850-lb bike it’s no easy task!

The comes with the handling. easing the bike into it has a most disconcerting habit of over irregularities in the road The first time the Rune this seriously is at the joint the concrete and Tarmac on the Interstate ramp.

The Rune skips and my heart stops. A quarter of a ton of plowing into the guard — and I’m going to … it!

Slowly, over a period of 30 miles, I realize that the is not so much with the bike as me. Despite having 50 years of experience on every motorcycle to mankind I am making the classic mistake of being too tense. I need to relax and let the bike do its own

So, the next time the Rune and shakes its head I do absolutely — and the bike plows on It has to be said that all corners are something to be taken very on a Rune — but they are not or dangerous. The Rune is no CBR600 but it is a million times better a custom cruiser.

Trick or not, the ride on the Rune is Again, it’s no doubt than mainstream custom but ride a Rune more 50 miles and you will get aches in the spine and shoulders. The fuel is also far too wide and has a ludicrously capacity at six gallons. Six gallons to a cruising range of nearly 200 and no one is going to ride a Rune far unless they are being by aliens looking for their to be returned.

Is the pleasure worth the pain? on.

It may not be the most logical bike to but the Rune represents Honda’s technical and ability to turn a beast on a beauty on the street.

In all the years I been reporting on motorcycles, I never, ever, seen the to a bike like the one we had at the Rune shoot. If we had parked Tom Cruise on the the crowds wouldn’t have denser. Quite simply, if you to be the center of attention then buy a it is ground zero in the motorcycling stakes.

Ironically, it is also a motorcycle to own — providing you are a shareholder in a polish manufacturing and don’t crash it. The word in the trade is not only that are not depreciating, they are actually up in value — and that’s a feat outside the classic world.

However, saving, or making, money is not the reason for a Rune. It is a very special and deserves to be appreciated for what it is: a technical masterpiece and a great to Honda’s engineering ability – not to say willingness to lose money on a project.

Our thanks to Knutsford for the loan of the Rune.

It is that Top carried the interview with Ray Blank.

Honda T1


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