Dust off your fingerless gloves Ultimate Fighting Championship fans. Put down those throwing stars, mall ninjas. Turn down Limp Bizkit, because Honda’s back with a brand new invention. The Furious, Switchblade and Slammer — all based on the VT1300 — are here to kill your brain like a poisonous mushroom.
Honda says: “Based on a 2010 Stateline, designer Erik Dunshee (Honda R&D Americas) reveals the life of low. Fueled by elegance and power the Slammer sports a fully adjustable air-ride suspension, NAV/Multimedia, 10" subwoofer and 500 watts of power. With a full front end conversion, including a lean 23" custom wheel, the designer achieved all this without frame or engine modification. Low has never looked so good.”
We say: Our favorite of the three. There’s never much wrong with matte black paint, no chrome and clean looks. As an added bonus, we’ve never seen a bike that would keep your hands warmer than this one.*
*Honda slammer not guaranteed to effectually warm your hands after encountering speed bumps, potholes, roadkill, driveways.
Honda says: “Taking the 2010 Sabre, designer Edward Birtulescu (Honda R&D Americas) conceived Switchblade. A racing inspired cruiser that took styling cues from Formula1 and MotoGP. With one look you know that Switchblade is fully committed to precision and performance. Full Carbon fiber dress, racing 3 way adjustable suspension and a single sided swing arm with a 535 chain conversion optimize the single focus of this design, speed. Switchblade has a mass centralized proportion to reinforce this super sport assault.”
We say: Oh, we get it, it’s supposed to look like a streetfighter. The problem is, most streetfighters don’t have a rake angle that will totally spoil handling or a peg-to-seat distance that means only Cotton Hill will be able to ride them. Or 1,300cc engines that only manage 59bhp.
Honda says: “Based on the 2010 Fury, Nick Renner (Honda R&D Americas) introduces "Furious", a bold blend of new and old school flavor. Pounding the street with a 23 inch wheel up front and a 20 on the rear, Furious makes no apologies. 45 degree rake and converted hard tail create a clean, pure statement that is simply chopper. Metal flake, variegated leafing, and diamond stitched seat contrast with the five spoke crushers and Fury tank. Long and low, clean and mean... Furious is an instant Neo-Classic.”
We say: Must. Not. Make. Fun of. Name. This Honda’s really rather cross, no really, it is, because it’s just ridden three miles with no rear suspension and it still isn’t a Harley. Stop laughing, as you can tell, it’s becoming somewhat aggrieved.
Let’s get serious for a second. The strongest criticism we’ve seen leveled against American Honda is that its recent product mix, with the notable exception of the CBR250R, tends to be five to ten years behind the times. These customs, concepts, whatever, do nothing to reverse that criticism. Baggers were big five years ago, hardtails 10 and we’re not sure fake streetfighters with 59bhp were ever cool. Spending huge amounts of money on turning function-free bikes into something even less functional died the same year that being able to buy one of these bikes with a home equity loan did.
Instead of three ridiculous customs intended to show boomers what they could have spent their disposable income on three years ago, why didn’t Honda show new riders what they could achieve with a CBR250R and $1,000?