Gulf Auto Zone

NOTHING UNFINISHED: HONDA Rune 2004

Waleed Ebrahim Kanoo, Head honcho at Kanoo IT, Chairman of Motor City and besides all his official titles, a motorbike enthusiast who can go over the tops only talking about the biggies. He is General Secretary of the Bahrain Riders Club, a body under Bahrain’s Ministry of Youth and Sport and Member of the Harley Owners Group, Bahrain Chapter.

An avid collector of motorcycles, he revealed to the GAZ magazine one of the exceptionals from his collection a Honda Rune. “A very limited edition motorcycle, the Rune is Honda’s offering in the touring sector,” he added.  “My eyes chanced on this while  I was on a journey,” said Waleed Kanoo. He told the Gulf Auto Zone (GAZ)  Magazine that he saw the Rune owned by a rider from the Levant region. “It was love at first sight for me and I got chatting with the owner of the bike I had seen. He told me that the production of this model had stopped way back in 2005. That wasn’t going to stop me from getting my hand to it. So I got to a gentleman that I knew had a large list of collectors. Through him I got hold of this very special beauty,” he said.

“It is so very special to me that I generally hide it away like a very private possession. That is not to say I never ride her. Since coming to me two years ago the Rune has collected about 600 kilometres. It is a very low mileage bike and overall has only done about 966 kilometres.”

Asked about the speciality of the Honda Rune, he said, “The Rune is Honda’s way of say they can create motorbikes that are very futuristic – an iconic style statement.  The Rune is one motorbike that clearly tells you there is nothing to modify. I tried to modify it, but I realised that whatever I wanted to change was already done by the company . Generally people look to changing the chrome, the handlebars, the tank and areas that will show the bike to be a mean machine. But here is a machine that I realised would only leave me feeling at a loss if I ever modified,” he added. It’s a very special and touchy Honda, he said.

“I love to ride it out at the National Day march and such other important parades. Otherwise this is one piece I like to tuck away in my room. Yes I once took it to the biggest event on motorcycles in the Middle East, the Kuwait Riders Bike Show. I was there at the 2017 show. It so happened that I was helping transport the bikes from Bahrain to Kuwait and we realised that there was space for just that one motorbike. At the insistence of a friend I decided to parade my Rune. It was amazing, winning the second place in the Metric Cruiser event. The competition was tough, against bikes that had seen some heavy modification. “

Talking about the event, one could feel the exhilaration of that one event. Going down memory lane, he added, “My Rune was a very sought after. People were asking about the modifications I had made and the youngsters were all very enthusiastic about this motorbike. When I told them no modifications were effected they were surprised, because it is such a fulfilling bike in design.”

For a motorbike that Honda stopped producing, this owner said maintenance was never an issue. “It is less than 1,000 kilometres and so regular maintenance is not yet. I just take care to see that the oils and the liquids are regularly monitored.”

He said he had never encountered any technical snags. However, in the long run, sourcing parts should not be a problem, he added, since the Golf Wing is almost the same, he added. “We have some excellent and talented technicians who will only be too willing and come in handy to help with the changing of parts and other help when needed into the future,” said Waleed.

What did GAZ find about this cruiser: The Rune is an honest bike, says a bike commentator. There isn’t anything on it that’s lifted. All the shapes, all the bits and pieces are Honda’s. But the winning formula for those original parts was pure people’s choice.

The Rune concept is extremely extravagant because it places the highest priorities on style rather than measurable science and engineering, and that created challenges during product planning.

The model was conjured and coaxed by true motorcycle enthusiasts as an offering.

Waleed Kanoo’s Honda Rune 2004

There is hardly a physical flaw to grumble over, and the closest one has come is to criticise the Rune logo on the sleek, seamless tank, which appears to be a stick-on graphic that causes a rise in the thick clearcoat. A Princess and the Pea issue, for sure. The bike is totally integrated like a puzzle, said an official I quote. “Each layer must be absolutely perfect before the next layer is applied.” These bikes are built on a line, but at a speed that lends to a “handcrafted” result. One of the most amazing things about the Rune’s path to production was watching Honda’s “alchemists” at work. The official said, “We had people who could turn our thoughts and feelings into reality.” And indeed, these men seemed to have turned base metals into gold, though not without great effort. Eleven new manufacturing processes were created for Rune production.

The first thing people ask is, “How fast?” Very, in feel, since the torque on the bottom end could uproot a lamppost. The Rune will come out of your hands if you’re not careful when you gas it off idle. The horizontally opposed, fuel-injected 1832cc flat six adopted from the mighty Gold Wing has been tuned for off-the-line muscle at the expense of a potentially long gait, which gives it the illusion of extravagant power. Another  factor in high-end output is the cruiser’s unique exhaust system, which allows only limited volume through its attractively short, stout chambers.

The trailing-link suspension, one of the exotic components carried all the way from the Zodia concept bike, is as stable as any well-damped telescopic fork, and offers more wheel control than many forks on modern cruisers. The futuristic-looking front suspension is one of five key styling elements that place the Rune on its very own planet. (Other favored beauty marks are the headlight, the seamless, stretched tank and gauge combo, and the mufflers, single-sided swingarm and rear fender). The front-end setup, which uses twin pushrods to transfer load through a linkage system, is extremely expensive for Honda to manufacture, there’s hope it will find its way onto other production cruisers. Borrowed from the company’s world-beating racebikes, the exotic, adjustable Unit Pro-link setup in the rear is completely veiled by the Rune’s wraparound rear fender. The shock, which translates compression to the frame via linkage, utilizes the swingarm as the load-bearing cross-member, which is one of the reasons the Rune’s chassis feels so rock-steady in hard, fast cornering. This hovercraft feel is one of the qualities that make the Rune so incredibly comfortable to ride. The braking system was well suited to the Rune’s mass and muscle. Honda uses the coupling system found on the VTX 1800 models, which links one piston of the front caliper’s three to the rear brake pedal. The front lever controls the two remaining front pistons. The Rune sports even larger discs with dual 13-inchers up front and a single 13.2-inch disc for the 180-equipped rear wheel.

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