The 2004 Honda Valkyrie Rune took the motorcycle industry by storm with revolutionary high performance features and equally impressive style that spoke to every motorcyclist's fantasies of being able to command a presence that cannot be ignored or disrespected. Named after the mythical Norse Goddesses who chose which men were to be sacrificed in battle and which ones were to be offered to Freyja, the Goddess of Love and Beauty, the Honda Valkyrie challenges it's riders to be the best of both the men who bravely go into battle yet know how to gracefully handle the bike's sleek sexy attributes. Thankfully the Valkyrie Rune is no myth.
Perfection takes time and the six years it took to take the Rune from a design concept to a finished product paid off in spades for both Honda and the fortunate owners of this limited-production masterpiece. With an 1832cc engine offering 106 horsepower this is not your daddy's motorcycle reaching a top speed of 123 mph. The five-speed transmission effectively harnesses the full power of the engine, making it possible to go from zero to 60 mph in under four seconds. While the attitude of the bike may be sexy, thrilling, and dangerous the designers pulled this off while making it extremely easy to handle considering the safety of the rider at every stage of the design. The trailing bottom suspension was used to maximize the redirection of the axle load to the two upper shocks at the front of the bike. The rear suspension cleverly aligns the upper shock mount within the swing arm as opposed to placing it in the frame. This is necessary to achieve the surprisingly smooth handling of a bike that weighs 769.6 pounds before filling up the 6.2-gallon tank.
The seat of the motorcycle sits 61 inches from the ground with a large wheelbase of 68.9 inches. Again, this is not a small bike, though the wide fenders, which feature hand-painted pin stripes that tightly hug the five-spoke Dunlop tires, help to create the illusion of a much lower motorcycle. The seat sits low at 27.1 inches with the length of the Rune at a full 100.7 inches, which from a distance disguises the bike's true size and power.
Routine maintenance is an unavoidable reality when owning any vehicle. However, this bike was engineered with reducing the frequency and cost of standard upkeep and servicing in mind. The parallel two-valve cylinder head design cuts down on what is usually a frequent servicing issue for other bikes. The first valve inspection isn't needed until the Rune has seen 32,000 miles of road. The hydraulic clutch and drive shaft are maintenance-free as well. An electronic ignition and chain-driven cam shafts round-out the low-maintenance features on the Valkyrie Rune. With more time on the road and less time in the service garage one can't help but wonder why these features aren't standard on all motorcycles.
Choices of colors for the Honda Rune are Candy Black Cherry, Double Clear-coat Black, and Illusion Blue. All of color choices nicely compliment the extensive amount of chrome and stainless surfaces used throughout the body including the headlight, radiator cover, and both the clutch and brake master cylinders.