Starting life as the one-off T2 concept piece in 1998 and designed to reinforce Honda’s position as the dominate force in motorcycle manufacturing, Honda startled the world in 2004 when it took the bike off the motorcycle show revolving pedestal and made a place for the Rune in the showroom. Typically, a key development phase for any new model is the establishment of a price point. In the case of the Rune, Honda Research America’s Project Director Martin Manchester said at the time, “once we got the green light, we were told the price of the Rune would not be a consideration—that’s never happened before! But again, the goal was to come up with an entirely new and higher standard for the entire industry. This was a very rare opportunity for us to actually create a motorcycle at the farthest limits of our imagination. We were truly living out Honda’s corporate slogan, ‘The Power of Dreams.’”
Designed to radiate a neo/retro persona, the Rune bristled with stainless steel, aluminum and chrome. Modern technology was most visibly trumpeted by the fuel-injected flat-six powerplant displacing 1832cc, and supported by trailing bottom-link front suspension and RC211V MotoGP-inspired Unit Pro-Link rear suspension.