Back in 2003, Honda introduced an 1800cc version of its "Valkyrie" series of cruisers, called the "Rune". Not only did it have the newer, bigger motor from the new Gold Wing, it was a wild-looking "factory custom"-type of motorcycle. Lots of chrome, one-off pieces, cool front suspension, and so on.
I bought one, and liked it a lot, although in all honesty it was not in any sense a practical motorcycle. It was powerful, handled great, and looked fantastic, but it had virtually no weather protection and zero storage space, and there weren't any passenger accomodations. So I stopped riding it for the most part, but didn't forget about it. In the back of my mind, I hoped to someday find a way to make the Rune more practical while still keeping its wild looks.
This year, I finally found a way to make it so. One of my favorite aftermarket vendors is Corbin (http://www.corbin.com), a company which made its name crafting excellent replacement seats for motorcycles, and then branched out into other stuff. One of their signature products is their line of "beetle bags" -- hard, lockable saddlebags sculpted to fit with the lines and designs of a number of different motorcycles. I'd purchased several of these before, for a Honda VTR 1000 and a Triumph Rocket III, and found them to be very nice products.
But I have to say these new bags they've made for the Rune have blown me away. First off, they have accomplished something that I thought was not possible -- they've sculpted bags for the Rune which actually complement the Rune's custom lines and actually look like they were part of the original design from Honda. Not only that, but they are extremely capacious. And to top it off, they look SWEET -- both the design and the excellent job Corbin did matching the "illusion blue" original Honda paint..
The photo above is one I took today. The Rune is parked in front of McCuskers in Shelburne Falls, one of my favorite spots to get a cup of coffee. I have to thank my good friend Ed, who keeps all my machines running well, for doing the somewhat complicated but ultimately very "sano" installation of the bags. I installed the windshield kit (not a Corbin product), which was a slightly easier job. (Okay, a lot easier.)
The end product is, in my opinion, not only great looking, but finally a practical bike. I am psyched to be riding it now, even though (sob!) our riding season is drawing to a close as the weather gets colder. -- PL