2010 Honda Fury Review

A factory chopper from the most unlikely source.

Photography By Kevin Wing

2010 Honda Fury - Riding Impression

2010 Honda Fury - Riding Impression

Confused? So are we. The planets must be out of alignment or something. But Harley-Davidson now owns an Italian sportbike company (MV Agusta), BMW is building dirtbikes (G450X) and Honda has not only designed but is actually selling a chopper! What is the world coming to?! Honda openly admits, even boasts, that the 2010 Fury is all 'bout image, styling and sound. Honda is still Honda, though, and it simply isn't capable of building a bike that doesn't aim to function at the pinnacle of whatever genre said bike fits into. Its engineers just aren't wired to do anything less.

So even though the Fury looks like a chopper, sounds like a chopper (okay maybe the volume is turned down halfway due to the EPA-legal pipes) and when you sit on it feels every bit a chopper, when you hit the starter button you realize something is really different. The 1312cc, liquid-cooled, fuel-injected 52-degree V-Twin, snaps instantly to life and settles into the well-mannered, pleasant beat we've become familiar with in its VTX-sourced single-pin-crank engine. No backfiring flames from the carb, no rough idle, just a sweet thrum emitting from the stylish, stacked twin pipes.

The first question is why Honda chose the smaller VTX mill over the larger (now discontinued) 1795cc version. Of course, there's a very logical explanation: packaging. The additional cooling capacity necessary to deal with the big engine's heat output would require a much larger (and difficult to cleanly integrate) radiator. Same goes for the increased airbox and exhaust volume required by the big engine. So, to keep the cleanest looks, engineers chose to work with the smaller mill, which we have to say, offers good torque and power.

First thing you notice after plopping yourself into the 26.7-inch-high seat is the riding position. Feet planted firmly on the ground, you reach out to grab the high bars, which allow a slight but comfortable bend at the elbows. The saddle is well contoured and offers good support, while the ergos offer good protection from the wind on the highway (even at 75-80 mph) due to the high steering head, gauge and headlight locations.

Handling, in one regard, is exactly what you would expect; the Fury's 71.2-inch wheelbase is the longest of any Honda to date (even the big, 1800cc flat-Six Rune's was only 68.9). So it isn't exactly nimble, and cornering clearance runs out quickly with the footpegs dragging even around moderate bends in the road. Within this limitation, however, the steering manners are excellent and the Fury offers smooth, linear transitions from side-to-side, without any of the flopping feel that afflicts many raked-out, big-front-wheel bikes. The preload-adjustable shock (knob hidden under right sidecover) and non-adjustable fork provide a good ride and are far less jarring than the average bike with this kind of silhouette.

Styling is clean to the point of being sanitary. A lack of tank badges forces you to search for clues to the bike's maker elsewhere, with just a few small "Honda" logos peppered around other parts of the bike. Exceptions to the otherwise excellent fit-and-finish are the poor-quality welds on the frame, particularly at the steering head, which are made all the more noticeable by how well the wire and cable routing is integrated in that area. So, a clean-looking, nice-riding motorcycle that Honda is betting, at $12,999, will be perceived as a good deal in contrast to the often ridiculous figures charged for a true custom chopper. The standard model should arrive in showrooms this summer as an early-release 2010, with an ABS-equipped model ($13,999, black only) offered in the fall. Who ever thought that Honda would be one to deliver a chopper to the masses?!

2010 Honda Fury

2010 Honda Fury

2010 Honda Fury

2010 Honda Fury

2010 Honda Fury

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2010 Honda Fury

2010 Honda Fury

2010 Honda Fury

2010 Honda Fury

2010 Honda Fury

2010 Honda Fury

2010 Honda Fury

2010 Honda Fury

2010 Honda Fury

2010 Honda Fury

2010 Honda Fury

2010 Honda Fury

2010 Honda Fury

2010 Honda Fury

2010 Honda Fury

2010 Honda Fury

2010 Honda Fury