"Do you really think Honda was afraid to let MO ride it because they would slam it? Get real."
Yes, I do, and I would do the exact same thing in their shoes. The Rune is simply an image bike for Honda, a lot like the NR750 (it even has the same basic model prefix). To the guy that actually buys one, it probably doesn't matter as much how well it actually performs- he'll want to buy it anyway. However, to the average joe who reads the magazine article on it, it does matter. He may not buy one, but the image of this bike can influence his decision on other bikes. If this bike has a bad image, it will reflect more negatively on Honda and the rest of their product line than if they got a bad review on a Shadow 750 or something like that, since the Rune is their big, image leading bike for the cruiser class. Look at how much Honda tarted up the fact that this is a "new" way of doing business, that they can build custom bikes, blah blah blah? They wouldn't waste this kind of effort for a bike they won't sell that many of. It's meant to have a greater impact on the people that don't buy this bike than the ones that do.
Besides, why else would you not let the press ride your bike? Aside from them slamming it, what other negative effect could possibly come out of that situation?