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Posts Tagged ‘Fury’

Honda_LALast week the 50th celebration of American Honda Motor Company went largely unnoticed.

It was fifty years ago in a small storefront in Los Angeles that the company opened its first U.S. based operation selling the step-through Honda 50 and developing the tag line “You meet the nicest people on a Honda.”  It would be 20 years later, but Honda started production of motorcycles in a U.S. based production facility (Marysville, Ohio) in 1979.  Today the company employs over 27K in the U.S. in the design of automobiles, motorcycles, ATV’s, water crafts and power equipment.  They operate ten U.S. manufacturing plants along with 14 R&D facilities.  June also marks fifty years of Honda racing activities.  The 1959 Isle of Man TT was the first entry of a Japanese team.

It’s ironic given that 2009 is an important and historic year for the motor company that it would find it an ideal time to enter the “chopper” segment while at the same time withdraw from the U.S. road racing activities, end motorcycle production at its Marysville plant, cancel the Honda Hoot motorcycle rally and cease production of the ATV’s and watercrafts at the South Carolina manufacturing plant for 3 months.

True times are difficult, but the companies network of U.S. parts suppliers comprises 545 companies in 34 states with annual purchases over $17.5 Billion last year.  The company sold 320K units in North America in the last fiscal year down 133K from the year prior.

Since the day I started trying to convince my mom motorcycles are good and later on being introduced to the CT-70 “Mini Trail” and the hours of riding… I’ve always had a certain level of fondness of Honda and owned my fair share of these high quality motorcycles.

Congrats on 50 years!

Photo courtesy Honda web site.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

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Honda Fury

Honda Fury

No, I’m not talking about the newly released DiCaprio and Winslet movie, but about Honda’s plans to enter the “chopper” motorcycle segment.  At the Cycle World International Motorcycle Show in New York City, which ended yesterday Honda announced their plans with a model called the ‘Fury’.

Rumors have circulated since last summer, but Honda’s NYC announcement of the radically styled custom motorcycle were put to rest as they debut the 2010 model.  The corporate press release on the motorcycle is HERE.  Honda even released the 2010 Fury Development Story HERE.  Exact timing to dealer show rooms or availability was not mentioned in the corporate information, but many believe it will make the channel by end of year.

Choppers have been a part of the motorcycling scene for decades, but for large part they’ve occupied a niche on the edge of the sport. Honda intends to change that, but I’m not sure “reduction” of the motorcycle to its most pure form using some of the latest production technology qualifies as a chopper?!

fury_patentThe Fury’s complete patent filing (click “images” at bottom) high light some the original design concepts.  On the technical details – there is a large gap in the frame above the VTX fuel-injected 1312cc liquid-cooled 52° V-twin, a raked-out front (caster angle: 38.0°) fork and the tiny (3.4 gallons) fuel tank. It sports a single-shock rear suspension, an aluminum swing-arm, a 5-speed transmission with shaft drive and a shot-gun style exhaust.  It has a low seat height, a single 336mm-diameter front disc (ABS version will be available), a 200/50-18 rear tire and 21″ front wheel.  The dry weight is 663 pounds.

These days guerilla-style marketing campaigns are all the rage.  And not one to disappoint, Honda created a viral marketers dream come true for the launch of the ‘Fury’.   Full on in your face Web 2.0 style social media/networking for Honda fan boyz is available at: Facebook; Youtube; Flickr; MySpace; Twitter.  The only thing the marketing guys missed was a pre-launch count-down widget to load up your PC with a bunch of Adware!

Do you believe that during this economic downturn that buying Honda is being anti-American?  Do you think this is revolutionary for Honda or is it the right idea at the wrong time?  Maybe it’s a situation where after you research all similar motorcycles you’ll determine its well engineered, at a bargain price and designed to get better fuel mileage with a minimal repair record?  And one you’ll purchase…

If nothing else kudos to Honda for sparking the is it “custom/chopper vs. production” motorcycle debate.

Photos courtesy of Honda and U.S. Patent Office.

All Rights Reserved (c) Northwest Harley Blog

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