The custom-type cruiser models share the same powertrain platform of a 1312cc, liquid-cooled, SOHC, 3-valve-per-cylinder, single-pin crank, 52-degree V-Twin – the same Twin design found in the wildly successful Fury – which has been a core platform in Honda’s arsenal for some time now.
However, each of the three new VTs received a specific design directive, thereby creating three separate models.
The VT1300 Sabre, with its long, low and unencumbered look accented by a chopper-ish 21-inch front wheel, is what Honda considers the “pro-street” VT. The VT1300 Stateline retains the Sabre’s flowing lines, but it sports a chubbier 17-inch front tire; it’s essentially a stripped version of the VT1300 Interstate that wears a windshield, soft saddlebags and roomy floorboards rather than footpegs, as standard touring equipment.
If you’d asked us before this year’s Long Beach, Calif., stop of the 2010/11 IMS whether custom-type bikes were still a strong part of the cruiser segment, we’d have guessed no, not so much. Honda thinks differently.
Starting with bone-stock models of the already-edgy-for-Honda Fury, joined by a Sabre and Stateline, Honda gave three of its designers from Honda Research & Development Americas located in Southern California, an opportunity to build customs based on where their visions would take each machine.
The designers were given free reign within a limited budget and two stipulations: that each bike remains a full-on runner and stays true to the core of the production vehicle. The designers had a scant three months to accomplish their reimagining of the VTs.
The Furious, based on the Fury, is the chopper; the Switchblade pro-dragger was morphed from the Sabre, and the Slammer is a low-lying bagger born from the Stateline. The concept models debuted at the December 17th, 2010 International Motorcycle in Long Beach, Calif., and will stay on as part of the Honda display for the remainder of the IMS 2011 show dates.
2010 Honda Stateline "Slammer"
Based on a 2010 Stateline, designer Erik Dunshee (Honda R&D Americas) sees the Slammer bagger as an ultra-low interpretation of the genre. The Slammer sports fully adjustable air-ride suspension, NAV/Multimedia, 10-inch subwoofer and 500 watts of music-pumping power. With a full front-end conversion, including a lean 23-inch custom wheel, the designer achieved all this without frame or engine modification.
|What makes the baggerized Statline into the Slammer:|
|* Stock: Frame, swing arm, VT1300cc engine and tank|
|* 23-inch spec designed front wheel|
|* Fully adjustable air-ride front & rear suspension w/6-inch ride height to 2.25 inches lowered|
|* Composite coated narrow-track front rotor with 6-piston caliper|
|* Nav/Multimedia head unit with GPS speed display|
|* Three speakers including a 10-inch subwoofer & 500-watt sound system|
|* Full custom bodywork including a leather drop seat|
|* Two-tone Satin metallic black & pearl black paint|
|* Custom spec crossover twin pipe exhaust|
|* Airbox/cleaner conversion|
2010 Honda Sabre "Switchblade"
Taking the 2010 Sabre as a starting point, designer Edward Birtulescu conceived the Switchblade. Racing-inspired styling cues come from Formula1 and MotoGP according to Honda. The ‘Blade sports full carbon fiber bodywork, an Ohlins front-end, a single-sided swing arm with a 535 chain conversion from the VT1300’s standard shaft final drive and dual Brembo calipers, as indicators of the concept bike’s race bike-influenced design.
|Changes implemented on the Sabre to create the Switchblade:|
|* Stock frame, VT1300cc engine & tank|
|* Three-way fully adjustable sport suspension|
|* Carbon fiber custom bodywork & spec seat|
|* 535 Chain conversion from shaft final drive|
|* Single-sided swing arm conversion|
|* Racing spec calipers & rotors|
|* Carbon fiber 18-inch rear wheel - 21-inch carbon fiber front wheel|
|* Onboard GPS laptimer & data acquisition unit|
|* Oversize billet top and lower “bridge” (triple clamp)|
|* Airbox/cleaner conversion|
2010 Honda Fury "Furious"
Nick Renner remolded a 2010 Fury into the Furious, a design exercise Honda says is a blend of new and old school flavor. Pounding the street with a 23-inch wheel up front and a 20-incher for the rear, the Furious concept strikes a stretched, no-b.s. pose. A 45-degree rake makes for a long looking front joined by a converted hard tail that says simply: chopper. Metal-flake, variegated leafing, and diamond-stitched seat contrast with the five-spoke hoops and Fury tank. An instant neo-classic, says Honda materials.
|From Fury to Furious:|
|* Stock: VT1300cc engine & tank|
|* 23-inch front wheel & 20-inch rear wheel|
|* Exposed shaft drive|
|* Hard tail custom spec frame conversion (37-degree head pipe with a 8-degree fork angle offset)|
|* Custom oversize drag bars|
|* Custom paint|
|* Straight pipe exhaust|
|* Custom diamond stitched leather seat & rear hugger|