Honda VTX1300CX development
The process of designing a new motorcycle always encompasses a huge array of factors and considerations. A profusion of calculations, measurements, specifications and more must be weighed, analyzed, dissected and crunched together to yield the proper result. However, one key factor that cannot be quantified in empirical terms always comes into play: a passion for the machine. And at Honda, our designers and engineers carry a passion for motorcycles to the extreme. So when they get the green light to give full force to such passions, some pretty wild things can happen.
Welcome to the wild side of Honda, where a passion for riding reigns supreme in the stunningly creative 2010 Fury. Here we have a machine packed with radical lines and a head-turning look, a motorcycle destined to become a milestone machine. The Fury is the offspring of people who get excited about creating new motorcycles, enthusiasts who understand what it means to get really involved with a machine. The Fury captures the pure, undiluted chopper essence, a genre of motorcycle that simply feels right, looks right and sounds right when it's done well, rather than a precise formula that's captured with a micrometer and calipers.
Choppers have been a part of the motorcycling scene for decades, but for the most part they've occupied a niche on the farthest edges of the sport. The first such machines were cobbled-up home-builts with a reputation for being crudely wrought and uncomfortable to ride. Since then choppers have evolved into rolling art, with true customs commanding a very high price. That's the beauty of the Fury. Even though it looks like rolling art from the two-wheeled world, it is backed up with the same functionality, fit and finish, quality and reliability built into every Honda.
Tapping into an extensive legacy of experience in building motorcycles of all types, Honda's engineers devised a design and incorporated technological advantages to make the Fury handle, function and ride according to Honda standards. Although stunning and daring in its visuals, the Fury is great fun to ride, with a look, feel and sound that place the rider squarely in the chopper domain. It's a Honda and you can use it like any other Honda, yet it carries attitude and looks to the extreme.
Better yet, this breakthrough motorcycle rests within easy reach of nearly every rider; in terms of affordability the Fury does indeed break new ground. It's a radical concept in a unique package, an affordable combination never before offered to the average motorcycle owner--until today.
The most obvious attraction to the Fury centers on its raked-out chopper styling: high-mount steering head that gives the frame a see-through, open-air look with plenty of breathing room between the tank/upper frame and the front cylinder head; slim and long fuel tank perched up high; ultra-low 26.7-inch seat height; big-time rake; fat 200-series rear tire paired with a slim 21-inch front wheel; a condensed, hard-tail look to the rear end; and a stretched wheelbase. And that long wheelbase is no illusion--the Fury stretches a full 71.2 inches between axles. Perhaps equally important is that a close-up inspection of the Fury reveals remarkably clean lines, a Spartan return to basics plus superior attention to detail that together create the distinct impression of a full-on hand-built custom bike, but at a mere fraction of the cost.
In truth, creation of the Fury posed a considerable challenge. This ground-breaking concept had to strike a delicate balance. The extended chopper look with its stretched wheelbase and exaggerated steering rake combines with the stellar levels of function that are part of every Honda. The design focus began with the high steering head/pronounced steering rake/open look in the front end and then radiated outward from there. With such a visually stunning appearance, the final incarnation of the Fury required a significant amount of communication and cooperation between the styling team in the USA at Honda Research Americas (HRA) and the Honda engineers at HGA in Japan. Original sketches and clay mock-ups were tweaked and refined in innumerable ways, leading to small but elegantly simple feats of engineering wizardry that were performed to achieve the goal.
For example, to maintain the remarkably uncluttered look between the front cylinder and the front downtube/radiator area, the top radiator hose is hidden away beneath the front valve cover--a patented idea that illustrates the extreme efforts expended on maintaining the airy look of the front end. Other examples are the long, slim and voluptuous look of the fuel tank, which had to be adjusted and modified repeatedly along with handlebar shape and size to allow the appropriate amount of steering clearance when the front wheel is turned from stop-to-stop. The design of each separate element shares cascading effects with other interrelated parts, resulting in a fluidity of design.
In similar fashion, the rear end of the bike had to look just right, yet still function like a Honda. The Fury incorporates a visual balance of positive and negative space between the airy front end and the more substantial engine and rear-end section; it may not be instantly apparent to some onlookers, but the design elements have been carefully integrated. The LED taillight was selected specifically because it does not affect the shape of the rear fender, which also lacks visible fender stays--all for the purpose of giving the rear fender a simple, clean and elegant shape.
In addition, there's no need to fret about what appears to be a rigid hard-tail rear end. Those sleek lines actually cloak an ingenious single-shock rear suspension system with an aluminum swingarm, adjustable rebound damping and five-position spring preload adjustment for exemplary riding comfort--definitely far and above the norm for a chopper-style motorcycle. Also, note the remarkably clean lines given to the aluminum swingarm, and the great efforts expended on bestowing smooth lines upon the driveshaft on the left side.
Up front, a stout 45mm fork handles suspension duties quite ably, and the distinctive alloy wheels have a single powerful 336mm-diameter front disc brake complemented by a 296mm brake disc in back.
Fire up the engine and waves of muscular V-twin power, sound and feel--vital elements that constitute the soul of the Fury--flood the senses. There's a fuel-injection system that's new to Honda's proven and muscular 1312cc liquid-cooled 52-degree V-twin with a single-pin crankshaft and dual balancers. A newly designed exhaust system and new camshafts also add to the creation of an engine that's eminently satisfying in the performance department as well as one that delivers the more intangible aesthetic sound and power-pulse sensations Honda engineers wanted. Short version: it's just plain cool to ride and hear this baby rumble.
With a full line of accessories available upon its release, the Fury is also positioned for additional customizing by owners who want to add that personal touch.
The Fury taps directly into the passion for riding; this is a machine built for people who have always longed for a chopper-style motorcycle. And for good reason--it's got to be the ultimate as far as cool factor goes, a bike profile that's instantly known and recognized. But this is also a chopper with a unique difference: you can simply ride it and enjoy, without all of the costs, compromises and headaches typically attached to such machines.
The Fury is a chopper that's also 100 percent Honda, with all the performance and quality that the name implies.