The first year was 2004. There are 05's, from my understanding they must be ordered and all come with the chrome wheels only.
How many were built? I think only Honda knows, I've heard all kinds of numbers.
This was suppose to be a limited production bike, we'll see !
I have a 2005 as well. My dealer told me that Honda was originally going to make about one per dealer and I've heard similar rumors elsewhere. He said there are about 1200 dealers. He claimed to have sold 10 Runes in total and didn't believe he would ever see another. If half the dealers sell half as many Runes on average we get 3000 Runes. Let's do better than that...
We can do our own estimate of the numbers of Runes out there, thanks to Marune's VIN list:
We know some serial numbers repeat but they are always from different VIN groups. There are also serial numbers that are one after another so they probably do not skip any numbers, as in 1186, 1187. All of the numbers in each VIN group tend to be small (<2000) rather than spread around. From theses assumptions, I figure each VIN group starts at one and increases serially one by one. If we add up the highest serial number in each group we should have an idea of how many Runes are out there.
VIN Group = highest serial number
0 = 1445
1 = 0248
3 = 0560
4 = 0027
5 = 0101 (skipping 5 digit one at the end)
6 = 0343
J = 0879
K = 0055 (skipping 5 digit one at the end)
U = 0012
Marune's list is primarily 04 models so we are definitely leaving out most of the 05 models. There is no guarantee that the highest serial numbers are recorded. Let's try to account for those...
I pasted Marune's Vin list into Excel and figured out the average and maximum separation between any two serial numbers in each group and added that number to the group's highest serial number
VIN group = highest serial number + average separation, highest serial number + maximum separation
0 = 1480, 1778
1 = 285, 319
3 = 584, 642
4 = 36, 36
5 = 115, 137
6 = 386, 494
J = 933, 1202
K = 64, 73
U = 12, 12
That gives an estimate of 3895 to 4693 Runes made for the 2004 model year. Of course my assumptions could be wrong...
IMHO the "answers" are
When was the Rune built? 2004 Model - Early Production started in April/ May of 2003.... Full Production was in July/ August of 2003.... 2005 Model not a lot of info - looks like they were started in May /June of 2004
How many built? - More than there are customers - about 3500 ? - only Honda knows .... see below for more info.
2005 model? I keep hearing yes and no - YES there are 05 Runes - sorry Tim ......
2006 model? -- Tim ( Revalk) any guess
if they stopped manufacturing why? --- see answer 2 above
I estimated about 3500 04's about a year ago .... the only problem are the "gaps" in the VIN List.
Look at the "J" bikes - the group jumps from 275 to 409 then 732... what happened to the 5 and 6 hundred bikes ???
Only Honda has real full production number .
When people ask "How Many Were Made" ... my answer is " How many have you seen ?" .... usual answer - "Your's is the first"
I agree there is no way to know for sure how many Runes there are. I believe the missing numbers belong to the thousands of Runes owned by riders who haven't submitted VINs to the forum. There are only 213 VINs on one of the lists and there are 388 registered members on this forum. Some of those additional members probably have Runes without posting their VIN. Then there must be thousands of Rune owners that do not use or are not aware of this forum (sorry Tim). It doesn't surprise me at all that there are huge gaps in the serial numbers that you've collected.
I wish there were very few of them, like the rest of you. I just think Honda made more than they suggested by saying "limited production." Why else would they keep the numbers hush-hush unless there were lots more than they wanted people to believe?
I still love it no matter how many there are. I wish more bikes were as well designed and styled.