Slammer, Switchblade, Furious: overcompensate much, Honda?!

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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 Slammer

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 Switchblade

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 Furious

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?

  • Glenngineer

    Thanks for nothing, honda.

  • http://www.thisblueheaven.com Mark D

    I don’t mind Honda selling big ugly cruisers; hey, milk those Boomers for all they’re worth, if it finances more CBR250Rs, CBR600Fs, or CB1100s.

    But wasting the time of 3 engineers/designers on these? Give me a break.

    • Andy Keech

      if this is what these ‘engineers/designers’ come up with, better to keep them away from the product that people would actually want to buy.

  • DoctorNine

    Sometimes it’s exasperating, being an American, and watching what other people around the world imagine about us, and what we go for. I suspect if they stopped watching our reality TV shows, we would all be a lot better off.

    • stempere

      Being an oustsider in this scenario (a french one non the less) i have to agree, this is not doing any good for your image…
      That beeing said, boomers are the same all around, there’s a lot here riding black and cchrome HD’s in suits while at the same time, the great Voxan brand died painfully…

  • ducatista

    The first one looks like a prop from a B movie. Does it come with a free cape?

  • Ian

    …and still no plans to bring the Varadero to the US.

  • 2ndderivative

    “A racing inspired cruiser that took styling cues from Formula1 and MotoGP.”

    Lollerskates. This is how you make a cruiser look sporty.

  • P.Garvin

    They should call that seat on the Switchblade the “Ladymaker”…take a wrong turn down a bumpy road and it could be curtains for the family jewels.

  • wwalkersd

    Just what a V-Twin bagger needs: a 500 watt stereo with subwoofer to make it even louder.

    • tomwito

      And heavier!

  • tomwito

    Cotton Hill! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    • Jeff

      My thought exactly… Bwa hahahahahaha!!

  • markbvt

    Nice Honda Slightly Miffed.

    This nonsense, while Honda steadfastly refuses to bring the Transalp to North America or build an updated Africa Twin, is just further evidence of how they’ve completely lost the plot.

    Poor Soichiro. He must be exhausted and dizzy from all that spinning around in his grave.

  • ike6116

    Who likes this stuff?

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      Mall Ninjas.

      • ike6116

        hahaha old people walking the mall in their windbreakers…. “mall ninjas” it paints such a delightful picture.

        Im putting that one in the back pocket.

  • http://www.brammofan.com Brammofan

    I don’t know about you, but I suspect that the designers of these three bikes were going, “vrooom vrooom wrooom” as they sat at the drafting table, pencils scribbling.

  • Kerry

    Repsol meets Victory meets Buell Hardtail kits.

  • slowtire

    This is just too wierd. Did Honda invent a “Way Back Machine” or something. Is it possible that the Honda R&D Americas guys are new hires from HD and this was some kind of test to see what they could come up with?

  • matt

    I like the black one, the others… not so much. I just wish they’d all stop trying to make a harley better than harley does and try to make something else interesting. I suppose I just don’t understand the “let’s make crappy copies of every other manufacturer’s best bike” business model.

  • slowestGSXRever

    I admit, I do like the looks of the switchblade. That said, it would probably be pure pain to ride.

    I would like to see people riding them though, can always use something to point and laugh at.

  • moby grape

    It’s all the boomers fault…again. I guess if you reach a certain age, and have some money, you should still buy old shitboxes to be cool.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      Hey, there’s plenty of cool expensive bikes out there. A Ducati Multistrada 1200 S would be a far better choice than some bike that, even in stock form, is going to give you hemorrhoids after 20 miles.

      • moby grape

        I don’t like these bikes either. I am currently looking to buy a Ducati Monster 696. I was referring to yet another gratuitous negative boomer reference.

        • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

          We don’t mean to be negative about boomers, we mean to be negative about myopic corporate thinking that focuses on them and them only.

          Honda has told us that they focus exclusively on boomers, we want them to expand that focus to help bring in new riders from other demographics.

          • slowtire

            I wasn’t offended, there was a joke in that post! Actually, I think you’re right! Honda has to be doing this to try and copy the whole chopper, bagger, pro street thing that has been successful with older farts like me. I guess they see enough dollars still out there to build this stuff and they’re content with scraping up whats left if they can. Money is money, but what a waste of time and talent.

          • ike6116

            I do.

            Damn boomers.

            Signed – Gen Y.

    • slowtire

      Hey Moby, I’m a boomer and have reached a certain age and have some(not much)money.
      I would not by these shitboxes to be cool or uncool. I bought other shitboxes for that.

    • http://www.firstgenerationmotors.blogspot.com Emmet

      fucking baby boomers, they think the world revolves around them. They’re getting too old to ride, and younger generations don’t have money to spend on this shit. What is Honda thinking?

  • Terry

    Wake me up if I’m dreaming – is it 2004 again?

    What was this, some kind of art project for their designers that they forgot to cancel two years ago? Or are they serious about this in some way?

  • Barry

    I’m not a cruiser fan, but at least these are interesting and look somewhat thought out. Names aside, I’d say they’re moving in a pretty decent direction. The switchblade does an agreeable impression of a drag bike, and looks like it might have a decent component or two on it. The furious is clean and simple. And if you’re into “murdered out” things with batwing fairings, I’m pretty sure the slammer looks like something you’d be into. At least they aren’t just oh-so-boring “look at what I can chrome!” rolling-parts-catalogs.

    • Mr.Paynter

      Agreeable-ISH.
      Reign in that rake and put a decent engine in there along with a less EasyRider paint-job and maybe!

  • Joel

    It seems like the general consensus is that Honda shouldn’t be wasting their time doing this (fiddle-farting around, as my mother used to say) -but what if some other small custom builder had done these VT1300 projects? Would the community response be any different?

    • slowtire

      A couple of builders doing that is always interesting and I think a couple already have. I think the point is that a diverse, powerhouse manufacturer like Honda building bikes like this in a fading market is a waste of time. The Fury has been out for two years now, has anyone seen the sales figures? I haven’t seen many here on the east coast. This certainly isn’t the best time for buying toys, but I believe the Fury was supposed to be a cheap alternative to american V-twins.

  • http://greatjoballweek.blogspot.com/ Case

    Honda: Answering a question that no one asked. Again.

    They could have just put the suspension components from the ‘streetfighter’ on the WeeBR. I guess that would have made too much sense.

  • http://www.lloydvintage.com lloydvintage

    Nothing new to see here. They all three look like Victory motorcycles.

    The Cross Country, the Hammer and Kingpin.

    At least those have near 100HP.

  • Myles

    meh. To much bullshit in general in our community. We aren’t talking about purses here, we’re talking about a goddamned machine. “Style” should have nothing to do with motorcycles. I wish bikes were more like tractors.

    This isn’t any worse than the kid who buys a beat to shit mid-70′s CB instead of a cbr600f4i (cheaper, more reliable, better performance). Fashion should never go ahead of fun on two.

    • Marlon

      Gotta disagree mate. I think ‘fashion’ or at least style is a huge part of every motorcycle design. It’s just that some genres of bikes place greater emphasis on it.

  • http://twowheelsplus.blogspot.com/ andehans

    Would make good energy drinks. The Red Bull Slammer, Battery Switchblade and the Furious Monster.

  • http://www.thisblueheaven.com Mark D

    With names like those, methinks Honda has been watching too much “Oz”.

    • slowtire

      How about a new movie, The Slow and Furious.

  • http://www.ninja250blog.com R.Sallee

    I think the Slammer and the Switchblade look hot as hell. The names are a bit embarrassing, mind.

    I’ve never really ridden a cruiser (just a Rebel 250 at MSF) so I don’t intimately know their dynamic inferiority. To me it doesn’t matter, I don’t ride my motorcycle to live on the cutting edge but because it’s the best way to experience places–on two wheels, in the open air, with the freedom to stop and go anywhere. One of these should do that just fine, with the added benefit of looking pretty awesome. There’s phoniness in aping custom looks with a factory bike. But they’re still nice to look at.

  • Kevin

    Did I read this correctly? The first model includes a subwoofer? I’m assuming it’s mounted under the throne (seat) to give the full effect?

  • dux

    The Slammer – now comes with free POG’s!

  • contender

    That 23″ wheel on the slammer makes for better handling in the dirt. Hopefully my tent will fit in the space not consumed by the subwoofer.

  • brutus

    so what would $1000 do to a cbr250?? i would like to hear the direction yall would take on one? naked with flat bars?

    • Corey

      Was there a joke in that statement somewhere?

      • Corey

        Seriously though, for a grand you can take a step toward making the 250 look and possibly even sound like it’s big brothers.

  • Trev

    I smell a future article, “$1k and a CBR250R…. What modifications would you make?!”

    • Ducky

      I’d like to see this!

  • paul

    Gimme a Ural ST anyday, these are just silly.

  • Zane H

    More cutting edge tech from Honda… Soichiro would be so proud! Each a prime example of what they need to fight of the advances of the Europeans in a variety of categories!