Here are the first pictures and details from Honda’s 2004 line-up. No, it’s not a mis-print, these really are the bikes we’ll be riding in 2004. And they’re amazing.
The line-up includes the frankly stunning Rune – a replacement for the F6C Valkyrie cruiser. Based on the T2 concept bike unveiled in 2001, the Rune features a unique diamond-shaped aluminium frame, plus a fuel-injected 1832cc engine based on the GL1800 power plant.
The limited edition Rune also features a sophisticated suspension system, huge discs – the largest ever mounted on a Honda, chromed cylinder heads and a six-into-two exhaust system.
*Unit Pro-Link rear suspension has been inspired by Honda’s MotoGP bike, the RC211V.
*An 172.25cm (68.9in) wheelbase, the longest in Honda’s lineup.
*Liquid-cooled horizontally-opposed fuel-injected 1832cc six-cylinder engine.
*Six 32mm synchronised throttle bodies deliver air to six specially designed Denso(r) 12-hole programmed fuel injectors, producing an atomized fuel mixture that is highly combustible for optimum efficiency and power.
*Parallel two-valve cylinder head design utilises direct shim-under-bucket valve actuation and requires no 600-mile service. First valve clearance inspection is at 32,000 miles.
*Six-into-two exhaust system
*Dual 330mm front and single rear 336mm disc brakes
If you don’t revel in the overboard style of this glorious motorcycle, then you need to see a doctor, since you’re plainly dead.
On a slightly more prosaic note, the 2004 range will include two versions of the most important off-road bike yet to turn a wheel in competition.
The no-compromise four-stroke CRF250R will be at the forefront of Honda’s attack on the 125cc motocross titles across the globe, alongside the two-stroke CR125R. It will be complemented by the electric-start CRF250X version.