The 2010 Fury: Honda’s Bold Chopper Entry.
Honda built its brand in North America by marketing a new image for people who rode motorcycles. ‘You meet the nicest people on motorcycles’ became synonymous with Honda during the early years and at the time helped change the social image of what a ‘biker’ was. From there Honda began setting trends with technology that stemmed from its many racing championships and innovative safety advancements which helped cement its reputation for proven performance, safety and industry leading reliability. Now a decade into the new millennium Honda is back at setting social trends with the introducing of the first Japanese-built production Chopper, which will once again re-define what it is to be a ‘Biker’.
The Low and Loud Lifestyle
Choppers are the rawest forms of motorcycles; stripped of all the non essentials, bare-boned and bad-assed is what they’re all about. These bikes are typically filled with all the things that make them inaccessible to the average rider. Crazy rake angles, suicide shifters, massive motors and a modest suspension makes a chopper the sort of bike that few can ride. More often that not, these are the very things that adds to the overwhelming appeal of the chopper.
In the past few years several manufacturers have introduced some pretty wild cruisers. While Yamaha’s Raider, Victory’s Vegas, and Harley’s Rocker are all cool in their own right, none could be even close to being call a chopper. When the rumours first started circulating regarding Honda’s new project, many doubted if a production chopper would even be possible from Honda, known for its famous ‘You meet the nicest people’ and ‘World Racing Champions’ slogans.
Enter the Fury
When the Fury was released to the public, the ‘nice people’ tagline went right out the window. With bold looks and styling as rebellious as we have ever seen from Japan, the Fury made a stunning entrance into the market. The raw styling cues featuring a stretched neck, stripped down motor, bobbed fenders, a beefy rear tire and flowing lines are all present on the Fury.
Starting with the frame, Honda chose a traditional chopper style with a previously unheard of (by production standards) 38 degrees of rake. Attaching to long front forks featuring a very acceptable 102mm (4 inches) of travel and reaching back a whopping 1804mm (71 inches) to the substantial 250 rear tire, Honda has literally stretched the limits for production dimensions.
The long flowing fuel tank that rests atop the Fury’s frame stretches down to the seat where, as with all good choppers, the rider is positioned ‘in’ the bike. The ultra-low seat height adds to a low centre of gravity and stable ride. Suspending the rear is a single shock that’s hidden (softail style) to give a rigid look. Unlike more rigid bikes, the Fury’s shock offers 95mm (3.7 inches) of travel with adjustable spring pre-load and rebound damping, which allows for a much smoother ride.
The chopper’s engine is always the most expensive part of the machine. With the chassis being stripped of everything, the motor has been built and tuned for ultimate performance. The reality with production machines is that costs must be kept in check and Honda was able to do this by using a version of the motor from their VTX1300. Before the somewhat ho-hum numbers from the VTX get you down, the Fury gets its own cylinder heads, cams, exhaust system and fuel injection that will no doubt add a health kick to the Fury’s power plant.
When first looking at Honda’s 2009 model lineup, we saw the Varadero, an interesting Dakar style of bike meant primarily for adventure touring and the all-new Rune with an automatic transmission (still not sure the category of motorcycling this fits into). Although a couple of holes in its lineup were filled, it still seemed to be missing that knockout new model. No one, at least not this reviewer, could have imagined that a modern chopper would fit the bill, but the Fury has arrived with a bang.
Taking the most hardcore of motorcycle styles and producing a package with modern features and drivability has opened the chopper market to the mainstream. We have yet to see what marketing angle Honda will use for the Fury but with Honda’s track record of altering perception, it begs the question ‘Will you meet the nicest people on a chopper?’ Only time will tell, but PRN will be sure to give our readers more on the Fury when the Canadian temperatures warm up enough to report on that chopper feel!