2008 Honda VTX1300, 2008 Boss Hoss BHC-3 LS2, And More - New Model News

Although most of the Japanese OEMs remained suspiciously quiet this model year, Star and Honda did in fact churn out new models. You'll read about the brand-new Star Raider on page 62 of this issue, but Honda's latest VTX1300 variation qualifies as more accessorization of an existing model than full-bore redesign.

The newest muscular middleweight custom follows in the footsteps of its VTX1800 brother (which also got a touring sibling last year, the VTX1800T) but now delivers full touring trim straight from the factory, with a fullsize windscreen, a backrest for passenger comfort and 24-liter leather saddlebags. Meanwhile, the carryover VTX1300R and C models will feature a restyled 2-into-1 exhaust system with bullet-style mufflers for a classic custom look. The VTX1300R also now gets stylish chrome side covers.

Boon For Your Rune
Speaking of Hondas, one model that may be gone from the lineup but is definitely not forgotten is the one-of-a-kind Rune. The discontinued production custom has never really been accessory-friendly, thanks to oddly angled bodywork and one-off component designs. Now, though, comes a company that offers hard luggage for the monster that doesn't look like a couple of Samsonite briefcases strapped to the back. The custom-designed RunePaks from F1 Motoworks claim to blend in with the style of the Rune, and the shape of the bags is said to provide "incredible strength" as well as be aerodynamic. Available in black cherry, clear-coat black and illusion blue, RunePaks start at $1,450 from

Boss Hoss
But back to fossil-fueled rigs: Boss Hoss has announced the newest addition to its line of V-8-powered bikes and trikes. The BHC-3 LS2 is a 425-horsepower motorcycle with an all-aluminum, third-generation General Motors V-8 LS2 small-block with multiport fuel injection for the highest performance. Boss Hoss will no longer produce its 502 big-block cycles due to 2008 emissions standards.

In The Bag
We had nothing but praise for Star's megatourer when we last rode it; the 1784cc, aluminum-framed Stratoliner is comfort and power personified. But there was one fly in the ointment-no matter how you feel about the standard shield (too tall for us), there's simply no denying that the bags are on the skimpy side.

So it was with great interest that we took delivery of a Corbin-customized Strat-dubbed Project Liner-for a jaunt to Vegas Bike Week. Other than a Patrick Racing air-intake kit, the bike is mechanically stock. What Project Liner does flaunt is a plethora of touring amenities-Corbin's Neo Liner fairing (stuffed with an optional sound system), Corbin Fleetliner hard saddlebags, a chin spoiler and a Corbin Dual Touring saddle.

Some 400 miles later, we will admit that the longtime motorcycle accessory maker has come up with another stylishly functional solution to the full-dresser styling blues (Corbin first debuted its uniquely sculpted saddlebags back in 1996). The firm's R&D; department did an impressive job of melding old-school appeal with the Star's neo art-deco styling, without skimping on aerodynamic design. It's especially true of the saddlebags; they're hard-mounted, but the top-loading Fleetliner bags are scads more stylish, better visually integrated and far more capacious than the stockers-with 45 liters of storage in each (twice the stocker's), I had no problems carting all my Vegas winnings home. Because the Fibertech (a hybrid polyester similar to fiberglass) bags' walls are said to be molded more tightly to the bike's shape, the Liner should offer better load bearing and balance.

The streamlined fairing is an analogue to the batwing units on Milwaukee's machines, and it's an aerodynamically impressive one. The shape starts at the headlight and flows backward. On the road, I found it parted the wind more smoothly, with less turbulence and buffeting than the stock Stratoliner shield. Subtle details like the center rib, chrome trim and brief-smoked windscreen made for a succulent bit of eye-candy.

As for the seat, well, I've never been a fan of Corbin saddles-they're much too firm, and for me, that meant hot spots after an hour of road time. This time at least the supplied leather-paneled Dual Touring saddle was roomy and nicely shaped. I appreciated the Corbin removable backrest system it came with-it locked in place with a single set screw and was fully adjustable, with a wide contact patch for my back.

All these bits are available separately, and Corbin says installation can be done by an average weekend mechanic. Be warned though-Corbin stuff is designed with tight tolerances in mind, and other accessories can often get in the way of proper fit. So ask about your specific model before you open your wallet.

For the whole scoop, contact Corbin at (800) 538-7035 or visit

'08 Honda VTX1300
F1 Motorworks RunePaks
'08 Boss Hoss BHC-3 LS2