Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Honda fury = Jesse James VTX cafe (revisited)


There is something inherently paradoxical about using the words "mass produced", "chopper", and "Honda" to describe the same motorcycle. Nonetheless, the Fury is attempting to make "chopper" a bike for the masses. The crusty biker must be in"fury"ated. Sorry, couldn't resist.

The January 16th unveiling of the "nicest chopper you'll ever meet" is even more ironic, considering the latest trend in the custom scene has been the cafe racer.

Extending the irony even further is the fact that Jesse James built a great-looking cafe racer for Honda using a VTX engine years ago......

As Honda hypes the "scary" Fury video, and is about to unveil their "chopper",take another close look at the Jesse James cafe, which uses essentially the same motor. (you may recall honda gave Jesse a wheelbarrel full of cash and a VTX engine... "build something")

I took these photos at Daytona Bike Week several years ago within Honda's display.

(note: the "Honda" reflection on the tank, coming from the tent logo from above).

Honda invited onlookers to another prototype behind closed doors: a naked sportbike that was openly discussed by the "panel" of invited random people. Instead of getting something along the cafe racer line, the Fury is about to be unleashed...(what is with that video?)

Jesse's bike has a questionable rear suspension & a small petrol tank but don't forget this was a design exercise. Looking beyond the attention-grabbing items, how much would have to be altered to have a road-going bike?:

  • Room for a cantileverd rear shock?

  • A larger tank would not blow the overall Big Twin Cafe concept .

  • The shaft drive could be dealt with in various ways.

  • battery placement?

Free the torquey motor from the stretched "Fury" chassis !

100+ ft/lbs of torque that comes on below 4000 rpm & is put into a performance package (intended for roads with miles of 25 mph suggested curves) sounds great to me.

Imagine if vacuum die-casting was applied to these motors to shed the pounds but retain the durability and power characteristics. Add a minimal chassis and forged wheels.


No comments: