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Honda Rune Overview
No manufacturer, including Honda, has ever constructed a motorcycle like the Valkyrie Rune. The conceptual forces driving the shape and face of the Rune were pure flights of imagination, a designer's dream come true. Unfettered by budget or engineering restraints, Honda's R&D group was free to push past conventional boundaries, taking the Rune squarely into uncharted territory.
The result is pure mechanical magic. A stylish and strong diamond-shape aluminum frame stretches over a massive 68.9- inch wheelbase, the longest in Honda history. The largest disc brakes fitted to a production Honda motorcycle can be found at both ends-dual 330mm discs up front with a 336mm unit in back-and they are integrated by Honda's Combined Brake System. Then there's the Rune's innovative suspension system, a trailing bottom-link fork in front, and single-shock Unit Pro-Link rear system that first saw action in the MotoGP wars.
This innovative chassis wraps around a muscular 1832cc six-cylinder engine that's been hot-rodded for serious road work, and rigid mounted to help impart a direct mechanical feel, and compliment the Rune's solid handling manners. Throw in an exquisite seamless 6.2-gallon fuel tank, ultra-low seat, a choice between two handlebar options, flush-mounted LED taillights, plus a unique remote steering lock that unlocks automatically when you turn the key on, and you know without a doubt you've got your hands on something special indeed.
Deep roots run true
For all its innovation, however, the roots of the Rune can be traced back to earlier designs and models in the Honda arsenal. In conceptual terms, much of the Rune's spirit was inspired by the Zodia, a stunningly gorgeous concept cruiser first unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show in 1995.
Beyond its sensuous lines, the Zodia also brought a host of forward-thinking engineering concepts into the spotlight, and more than a few of the most prominent elements have now become reality in the Rune. Trailing-link front suspension. Single-side swingarm. Custom styled wheels on prominent display. The Zodia serves as harbinger of all this and more.
The advent of the power cruiser
In 1996, Honda unfurled another stunning flight of fancy, but in this case it was a genuine hands-on production model with a commanding presence: the six-cylinder Valkyrie, the first genuine OEM power cruiser. Boasting a hot-rodded 1520cc engine derived from the legendary GL1500 Gold Wing, the first Valkyrie demolished existing performance standards by churning out more than 100 horsepower and 100 pounds-feet of torque-right off the showroom floor! The Valkyrie's modern-era hot-rod custom styling, confidence- inspiring handling and startling acceleration placed this breakthrough motorcycle into a class of its own.
Art becomes life
The strong response and loyal following inspired by the Valkyrie prodded exploration into new spheres of design, all revolving around the horizontally opposed six-cylinder engine. What kinds of new designs could the most creative minds in the world dream up, given enough latitude? That question was answered in December of 2000, when Honda made its first showing of three new concept bikes, which accompanied an earlier design model.
Dubbed T1, T2, T3, and T4, these ground-breaking pieces of rolling art were put on display during a motorcycle show in Long Beach, California, and the public response was overwhelming. Hordes of motorcycle enthusiasts fell head-over-heels in love with these exquisite forms, but only one emerged as the clear favorite: T2. From this concept, the Rune was born.
The power of dreams
At its inception, Honda established a firm foundation as an engineering-driven company, and that reputation has only continued to grow evermore dominant over the decades. However, Honda is also a company that dreams-as the Honda Dream, one of its earliest models, can ably attest. So it should really be no surprise that excellence of engineering and the wildest extremes of the imagination can actually take form together at Honda, melded into the shape of the new Rune.
The Rune is not only the most powerful cruiser Honda has ever produced, it is also arguably the most extravagant demonstration of styling, engineering and production prowess ever to set two wheels on paved roads. The Rune carries the aura of a one-off custom special, but its stylish form has also been infused with an elegance of engineering that could be created only within the most modern multi-million-dollar production facility on the planet.
Only at Honda can the wildest dreams become reality. And the new Valkyrie Rune will soon herald that message, all across the land.