Gone in Canada but not forgotten is the Honda Fury, a true factory custom with show ‘n’ shine lustre.
It was late for the party. Or truth be told, the party was already over although most of us did not know it at the time. Perhaps the trend would be temporary. It wasn’t.
Ten years ago on January 16th, 2009, Honda unveiled the Fury at the New York Motorcycle show. Honda’s valiant swing into the custom world was an inspired design and huge departure from the company’s previous attempt some five years earlier; one that hit the floor with a thud.
The Fury’s precursor was the Gold Wing-derived Rune. Looking back on the Rune now, the fact that it was massive, long and overwrought makes it pretty damn cool. It was excess for the sake of excess and this is a formula that should have worked in the US market. But it didn’t.
The Rune had a lot of things going for it but it wasn’t a V-Twin and it was expensive. The expensive part many could have lived with but the not-V-Twin part made it a non-starter for many and the fact it was a metric bike left it on the shelf for others.
Fortunately, Honda took a more traditional approach to the Fury and the bike turned out beautifully. It was simple, with an airy uncluttered designed that belied the bike’s hefty 300-kg curb weight.
Power was provided by a 1312cc, three-valve per cylinder V-Twin cooled by a carefully hidden radiator. While we hear the claim often, the Fury’s motor truly dominated the bike and was surrounded by abundant white space within the cradle of the softail-style frame and beneath the stretched teardrop tank.
The raked-out front end stretched the wheelbase to less than an inch shy of six feet which turned out to be the longest ever for a Honda motorcycle.
Divergent from most American-style customs of the day, was the clean and convenient shaft drive—not usually considered a negative.
The Fury arrived in two models with similar, and slightly less extreme, styling to flesh out a custom posse, the Sabre and the Stateline.
The Fury is still available as a 2019 model in the US but is no longer a part of Honda’s Canadian lineup where the Cruiser segment now consists of only the two Rebels.
However, looking at the photos on these pages you would be hard pressed to determine which was the 2010 and which the 2019 making a used Fury practically timeless (the blue bike is the 2019). The factory custom hasn’t aged.
We rode the Fury at Daytona during Bike Week of the year they hit showrooms and even at the beach, that hotbed of customization and the desire to stand out, the Fury held its own and raised eyebrows with the small Honda logo which had been moved from the traditional tank location to the small type on the rear fender and beneath the seat.
Today, the relatively few riders who own the Fury likely appreciate what they have—a high quality factory custom at an affordable price. Somewhere down the line those riders will be considered wise for latching on to one of the truly unique Honda motorcycles and a bike that, although late to the party, stands as one of the best corporate interpretations of a design philosophy that dominated motorcycle culture at the beginning of the millennium—before dramatically and quickly fading away.
Undoubtedly a future collectible.
by John Molony Canadian Biker Issue #342
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