Honda Sticks A Long Neck Out
By Steve Lita, photos by Bob Feather
Please don’t tell me you even want to debate this one. Is it a chopper? Is it a cruiser? What is it? Does it belong here? Before I tell you how I feel, let me tell you what I’m talking about. From the moment Honda unleashed the 2010 Fury, debate has raged, not only in the public, but even in the halls and meeting rooms of magazine publishers, like this one. Some folks have even accused Honda for being a day late and dollar short to the chopper-feeding table. Regardless of how you feel about the Fury, here’s what it’s all about.
I say the Fury is about one of the cleanest V-twin powered whatevers to come from Honda. I find it completely tastefully executed. The only nameplates calling out to the masses are the embossed Honda logos on the main engine covers, two Honda badges on the chrome sidecovers. And there is a barely noticeable, slightly larger-than-thumbnail-sized, color-matched Fury moniker decal on the rear fender. So from that aspect it’s a sleeper, and I’m a fan. The color palette is sedate, no screaming yellows or oranges available.
Yes, Honda was aiming for a chopper look (it even created a search category on its web site named so). The raked-out front end, long fork legs, and hardtail look, plus a stretched wheelbase, are classic telltale signs. And that long wheelbase makes the stance; the Fury wheelbase stretches over 71″. The Fury is one of the most radically styled custom motorcycles that Honda has ever produced. And I say this about the company that brought us the Rune and Valkyrie.
The Fury features a hidden, single-shock rear suspension system adjustable for rebound, and preload controlling an aluminum swingarm with shaft drive. A chopper with shaft drive? Can it be? Sure. Why not? When you build a bike this sanitary in lines, the shaft drive will help keep it clean, literally. There’s no chain lube splatter about and no belt tension to check. The shaft final drive is quiet, clean, bulletproof, and has been integrated into the overall design. With two shaft-driven Hondas of my own,I’m a fan.
The Fury has a beauty of an engine. The overall package is clean and chrome, with no unsightly sparkplug wires visible. The V-twin is wellproportioned in the frame, and you get a nice view of the engine thanks to the massive gap from the bottom of the tank and raised frame neck. It’s a strong VTX derived 53-degree 1312cc V-twin with a single-pin crankshaft for a proper V-twin pulse. Except in the Fury package this engine uses EFI as opposed to the VTX cruiser’s traditional carb. The electronic fuel-injection offers crisp throttle response, and the over-under shotgun-exhaust design looks and sounds great.
The question has come up as to why Honda selected the 1300 instead of the 1800cc V. I mean, can you imagine a bike this attractive with a massive motor in it? I was told cooling system packaging and price point were the reasons for the midsized mill. (remember when a 1300 was a big engine?). I have no doubt Honda engineers could figure out how to cool a big engine in a small space budget. Also, I guess if Honda was interested in making an expensive chopper that was not available to the masses at a reasonable price point, the 1800 would have been in. But then again, there are already way too many, way too expensive choppers available out there. So for keeping ego in check, and helping us keep our checkbooks balanced, I salute you Honda.
A fat, 200-series rear tire rides on a trick looking 18″ rim and is matched up front with a slim 21″ hoop. A single 336mm-diameter floating front disc brake shows off that pretty wheel and is aided by a 296mm brake disc in back. The twin-piston caliper up front and single-piston caliper don’t provide sportbike like stopping power, but they get you stopped in decent distance used simultaneously. The front by itself won’t get the job done. An ABS version of the Fury will also be available in any color you like, as long as it’s black.
With big-n-little tires, factory custom looks, plenty of chrome, and just the right stance the Fury beams cool. Typical Honda quality, fit, finish, and 12-month warranty add peace of mind. The Fury’s low 26.7″ seat height, arms stretched in front of you, and foot-forward riding position are pivotal in making the chopper coolness statement. The slim, long, sculptured fuel tank adds icing to that cake. Although for such a long fuel tank it holds only 3.4 gallons. With no fuel gage, you’ll need to watch your mileage. Instrumentation is meager, with only analog speedometer, two tripmeters, and odometer on the low, sleek, handlebar-mounted gauge nacelle.
For all of you out there that make funny icky faces at the thought of riding a chopper, I say…don’t knock it. The Fury is fun to ride and gets stares and thumbs-ups from passersby, or those you are passing. Though not a touring bike, I have no doubt the Fury could go long distances comfortably, efficiently, and looking cooler than your average cruiser every mile of the trip.
For more info about the Honda Fury click here.
List Price $12,999, $13,499 (matte silver), $13,999 (ABS)
Engine Liquid-Cooled V-Twin
Valvetrain SOHC, three valves per cylinder
Bore x Stroke 89.5mm x 104.3mm
Compression Ratio 9.2:1
Fuel System EFI
Mfr Horsepower NA@ rpm (crank)
Mfr Torque Rating NA ft-lbs. @ rpm (crank)
Transmission Five speed
Final Drive Shaft
Overall Length 100.5″
Seat height 26.7″
Fuel Capacity 3.4 gallons
Weight 663 pounds (curb)
Warranty 12 months
2009 Colors Blue, black, silver, dark red, matte silver