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2014 Honda Valkyrie: MD First Ride

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Is this thing running? I knew I had pushed the starter button, and I heard a low rumble. The tach had sprung to life, but I couldn’t feel much. These Honda flat-six motors are so smooth they always surprise me. This, despite the fact that I tested the Gold Wing F6B in the recent past. Amazing engine, in more ways than one.

But the Honda Valkyrie I was about to test for the first time was much more than just the housing for that wonderful flat-six motor. It represents Honda’s return to the concept that created a cult-like following the first time. Take a big powerful luxury tourer and strip it to the bone. Remove enough weight from an already fast motorcycle and you are left with a much better handling, much quicker motorcycle. The 2014 Valkyrie starts with the Gold Wing chassis and 1832 cc liquid cooled, fuel injected, horizontally opposed six-cylinder engine. It loses more than 150 pounds to arrive at a claimed wet weight of 750 pounds (full tank of gas). Still a big bike, but keep in mind the engine feels like it could pull around your motor home.

The twin-beam aluminum frame that makes the Gold Wing a solid platform for a rider, passenger, luggage and an additional 154 pounds of chassis makes the Valkyrie feel like it was carved from a single piece of billet. The Valkyrie gets a low 28.8 inch seat height, and unique wheel and tire sizes, including a 19-inch front and 17-inch rear. That 19-inch front tire is no skinny piece of rubber, as it is a somewhat unique 130 section unit with more width than most sport bike tires.

It is a good thing that the front tire has a fat contact patch, because the Valkyrie comes with some serious front brakes, including stiff, four-piston calipers gripping twin 310 mm discs. A single-disc resides in back.

The ergonomics get tweaked, with the footpegs 1.3 inches higher and 0.6 inches forward compared to those on the F6B. The handlebar is 1.3 inches forward, 1.5 inches taller and 0.7 inches wider compared to the F6B. The seat is broad and supportive for the rider, and includes a removable passenger seat. Those aluminum passenger grab rails are also removable.

The headlight, tail light and turn signals on the Valkyrie are all LED units.

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This is Honda, and this is the latest member of the Gold Wing family. If you expected it to be refined and well sorted, you would be right on the money. The new Valkyrie is smooth, fast, handles in a balanced manner, and stops quickly. We had a chance to ride the Valkyrie back-to-back with a full-dress Gold Wing, and that missing 154 pounds makes a huge difference, as one might expect.

Although the engines have a similar feel, the response in the Valkyrie is understandably much quicker, and the chassis feels much more controlled. In fact, we found the suspension tuning of the Valkyrie quite firm. Not  harsh, but several notches stiffer feeling than the suspension of the Gold Wing. By comparison, the Valkyrie feels much more confident and sure-footed when ridden quickly, which was surely one of Honda’s goals. The suspension tuning is an excellent compromise, which is a good thing given the fact that it is largely non-adjustable, with the exception of a remotely available spring preload adjuster for the rear shock.

The new Valkyrie provides the perfect platform for testing powerful brakes, with its long wheelbase and extremely low center of gravity. The brakes deliver with excellent power and modulation. I really appreciated the wider contact patch on the 19-inch front wheel, as contrasted with some of the skinny 19-inch front wheels I have sampled on other cruisers. It made a huge difference when braking, and particularly when cornering.

Speaking of cornering, the Valkyrie can achieve some very impressive lean angles before touching down a footpeg feeler. Moreover, it has the chassis and rubber to take advantage of those lean angles. This is a bike that can be hustled quite well through fast sweepers, but don’t expect to flick it side-to-side through tight corners. When you try to do that, you realize that the Valkyrie needs to take its time, a bit, when it comes to changing directions. The bike will start to understeer slightly when you try to mimic a sport bike.

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Nevertheless, for the category of motorcycle the Valkyrie fits into, it handles extremely well. It provides confidence and holds a line well through bumpy turns.

The ergonomics may or may not suit Gold Wing enthusiasts. The pegs are relatively high and forward, providing a more aggressive platform that will be unfamiliar to Gold Wing riders. Nevertheless, it proved a comfortable perch for our 100 miles in the saddle in Southern California yesterday.

Honda went to the trouble to tune the intake and exhaust notes on the Valkyrie to provide a lower rumble at low rpm levels, and a throatier shriek at high rpm levels. As far as we could tell, they achieved their goal, but we would like to ride the bike outside of a tight group of journalists to further assess this. The LCD instrumentation is thorough, and it has 5 levels of adjustable brightness so that it can be tuned to be legible in bright sunlight. A very useful feature.

The Valkyrie is fast. This engine is flexible with a broad spread of thrust. Honda says that the torque peak is down at 4,000 rpm, and that the horsepower peak arrives at 5,500 rpm. In practice, gear selection is far less important on the Valkyrie than it is on many other motorcycles when it comes to corner exit performance. Often two, and sometimes as many as three, gears will do the job well. Vibration is never an issue on this bike, which remains silky smooth at all rpm levels.

The 2014 Valkyrie has aggressive, forward-looking styling. Honda knows that it is pushing the envelope with some of their new styling exercises, and certainly must know that it will leave behind a good deal of the aging demographic that clings to the Gold Wing platform. Nevertheless, Honda needs new riders drawn to that platform, and the radically styled, high performance Valkyrie might turn that trick. We will see.

One thing that is not in question, however, is the polished, refined nature of the Valkyrie. Raw, aggressive acceleration in a package that is possibly the most tested, refined mechanical system in the motorcycle universe. The Valkyrie performs exactly as the Honda faithful expect. If the radical new styling hits home, Honda will have another hit on its hands.

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The 2014 Valkyrie is available in 3 colors (pictured in this article), including Black, Dark Red Metallic and Blue Metallic. An ABS brake system is only available as an option on the Black model. Base price is $17,999 U.S. MSRP, and $18,999 U.S. MSRP for the ABS model. Take a look at Honda’s website for additional details and specifications.

Here is Honda’s summary of the features and benefits, as well as the specifications for the Gold Wing Valkyrie/Gold Wing Valkyrie ABS:

The Valkyrie® name is legendary, and the machine first introduced in 1996 has a hard-core following to this day. Now for 2014, the Gold Wing® Valkyrie takes that unmistakable swagger to a whole new level. It’s a winning formula: Take a legendary machine, strip it down to the essentials to shed pounds, wrap it in minimalist bodywork and power it with an engine that produces ground-shaking torque and an unmistakable six-cylinder howl. The core of this remarkable custom is Honda’s unique 1832cc liquid-cooled horizontally opposed six-cylinder engine that also powers the Gold Wing and Gold Wing F6B. With an awe-inspiring power-to-weight ratio, aluminum twin-spar frame and suspension system tuned for serious riders, the Valkyrie is all about unparalleled performance and style, and it also includes modern touches: LED headlight, taillight and turn signals, multi-function digital LCD instrumentation and available Anti-Lock Braking System. 

Features & Benefits

Engine/Drivetrain

- Powerful, fuel-injected 1832cc engine features a parallel two-valve cylinder head with direct shim-under-bucket valve actuation for extraordinary power and performance along with a smooth, sophisticated engine feel and rugged dependability.

- Torque peak arrives early at only 4000 rpm and peak power hits 1500 revs later for astonishing roll-on performance.

- Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI) incorporates two 40mm throttle bodies and six high-pressure programmed fuel injectors for excellent metering under varying conditions.

- The ECU provides two digital 3-D fuel-injection maps for each cylinder, creating ideal fuel mixture and spark advance settings for superb rideability. Unique knock-control sensors monitor for knock to improve performance.

- ECU closed-loop emissions system utilizes two oxygen sensors to constantly deliver a precise air/fuel mixture, while two exhaust catalyzers further reduce emissions of carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides.

- Slash-cut exhaust tips give the Valkyrie a distinctive visual identity plus a deeper exhaust note.

- Two side-mounted radiators enhance cooling efficiency and use low-air-pressure areas created by side cowls to draw cooling air through the radiators and beyond the rider at highway speeds.

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Chassis/Suspension

- Twin-spar aluminum frame layout parallels the design for sport bikes to deliver handling traits and rider feel and feedback more like a sport bike than a cruiser.

- Low seat height of 28.8 inches, curb weight of 750 pounds and low center of gravity all combine to help give the Valkyrie impressive handling and brilliant all-around performance.

- 19-inch front and 17-inch rear wheels add a touch more cornering clearance to the equation.

- Remote hydraulic shock spring preload adjuster allows for quick and easy suspension tuning.

- For a more sporting nature, the footpegs are 1.3 inches higher and 0.6 of an inch forward compared to those on the F6B. The handlebar is set 1.3 inches forward, 1.5 inches taller and spreads 0.7-inch wider compared to the F6B’s bar.

- Spacious and accommodating two-piece seat with removable passenger seat.

- Stylish tail section incorporates aluminum passenger grabrails that are removable for a streamlined look.

- LED headlight, taillight and turn signals contribute to a distinctive appearance.

- Fat 1-inch handlebar lends a custom look.

- Multi-function digital LCD instrumentation.

- Optional ABS model contributes to consistent braking action under a wide variety of road conditions.

- Electronic self-canceling turn signals monitor speed, distance and time parameters for more accurate functioning (ABS model only).

- Available in Black, Dark Red Metallic and Blue Metallic. ABS model available in Black only.

- Transferable three-year limited warranty; extended coverage available with a Honda Protection Plan.

Honda Genuine Accessories†

Backrest, Wind Deflector, Passenger Floorboards, Rear Carrier, Saddlebags, LED Fog Lights, 12-Volt Accessory Socket, Billet Master Cylinder Cover, Chrome Side Stand, Chrome Side Covers, Chrome Swingarm Pivot, Custom Grips, Boulevard Screen, Tall Windscreen, Leather Touring Bag

† WARRANTY: Because we’re so confident in the quality of each of our Honda Genuine Accessories, we’re pleased to offer one of the best warranties in the industry. Three-year warranty begins on the day accessories are purchased by the customer.

Accessories subject to change.

Specifications

Model: Valkyrie / Valkyrie ABS

Engine Type: 1832cc liquid-cooled horizontally opposed six-cylinder

Bore and Stroke: 74.0mm x 71.0mm

Compression ratio: 9.8:1

Valve Train: SOHC; two valves per cylinder

Induction: PGM-FI

Ignition: Computer-controlled digital with 3-D mapping

Transmission: Five-speed

Final Drive: Shaft

Suspension

Front: 45mm cartridge fork; 4.8 inches travel

Rear: Pro-Arm single-side swingarm with Pro-Link rear single shock with hydraulic spring preload; 4.1 inches travel

Brakes

Front: Dual 310mm front discs

Rear: Single 316mm rear disc

Optional ABS

Tires   

Front: 130/60R-19

Rear: 180/55R-17

Wheelbase: 67.2 inches

Rake (Caster angle): 29° 50’

Trail: 114mm (4.5 inches)

Seat Height: 28.8 inches

Fuel Capacity: 6.1 gallons

Estimated Fuel Economy**: TBD

Colors:

Valkyrie: Black, Dark Red Metallic, Blue Metallic

Valkyrie ABS: Black

Curb Weight*: 750 pounds (Valkyrie) / 754 pounds (Valkyrie ABS)

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*Includes all standard equipment, required fluids and full tank of fuel—ready to ride.

**Miles per gallon values are calculated estimates of fuel consumed during laboratory exhaust emissions tests specified by the EPA, not during on-road riding. Use for comparison purposes only. Your actual mileage will vary depending on how you ride and maintain your vehicle, weather, road conditions, tire pressure, cargo and accessories, rider and passenger weight, and other factors.

Meets current CARB and EPA standards.

©2014 American Honda Motor Co., Inc. All Rights Reserved.

113 Comments

  1. Sam says:

    Finally! I have owned 2 if the original valkyrie and have had nothing to upgrade to. I was considering leaving Honda and getting a rocket3. Now I don’t have to! I’ve been waiting for a new Valk and this one looks Sexy to me!

    • paul says:

      Original Valkyrie owner here as well. I’m with you, love the look of this new road missile. Has an understated and aggressive look all of its own. It will out handle and out power our old valks, for sure.

  2. Cyclemotorist says:

    I have no doubts about the performance of this Valk. It will be one great motorcycle.

    Except for the way it looks. Those side-mount radiators and headlight assembly wreck the whole look for me.

    I might live with the styling anyway, just because it would be such a nice ride otherwise. But, Honda, why? Why do you expect riders to “put up” with undesirable styling?

    Reminds me of Suzuki. They could have sold a boatload of B-Kings but they botched the styling. Who did they imagine would like the exhaust? Little kids? Just imagine, a standard with the Busa engine. Should have been a highly desirable motorcycle. What were they thinking!?

    • tom says:

      The radiators are side-mounted not for the sake of appearance, but for very strong functional reasons. You might not be interested, but if you are, it is briefly discussed a few comments further down in the page. The functional advantages, of placing the front wheel further to the rear, are substantial enough to overwhelm any minor concern over the consequences for styling.

      • Cyclemotorist says:

        I said nothing about the effectiveness of the radiators.

        Motorcycle styling is never a minor concern. At least it isn’t for a majority of buyers.

  3. LifeRider says:

    I can’t understand the “evolution” for covering everything up. Regardless of what science fiction movies do to vehicles, Americans still love to see their engines and frames and suspension components. That said, the original Valkyrie didn’t sell well so I’m not sure where that leaves people like me. There’s got to be a middle ground somewhere between the Pacific Coast and Triumph Bonneville where we get stylish minimalism. Hey, marketing guys! Is it possible?

    • MGNorge says:

      That’s a good question. Back in the day few bikes came equipped with even a windscreen except Harleys. Windjammer fairings and screens became available for a number of the rest. In motorcycle racing it had always been the roadracing bikes trying to reduce wind resistance for greater speed.
      Here are some possible reasons as to why covering up bikes became so common: The mentioned performance aspect, increased weather protection, engine heat control, noise control and some bikes have come through less well finished underneath seemingly because it’s all covered up. That last one decreases manufacturing costs but places it back on in plastic bits.

  4. ellis says:

    People who want an air-cooled poseriffic nostalgia barge may not like the styling. I like it the way it is.

  5. Montana says:

    Repackaging a dozen-year old chassis/drive train might be good business, and I’m sure the bike is beautifully built and finished, but I can’t see the market for it.
    It’s priced above far more functional naked bikes, it’s as heavy as most sport tourers without the weather protection or carrying capacity, it’s not nearly as attractive as a well done cruiser, and it has the character, mileage and handling of a Crosstour.
    Maybe it’ll be a hot close-out item at fire-sale prices.

  6. John says:

    I think all headlights should look like space helmets. Why not.

  7. Gronde says:

    This motorcycle is a B.U.M (Big Ugly Motorcycle)!

  8. Tom says:

    After reading so many comments critical of the aesthetics, I studied the pictures. I don’t get why people don’t like the looks. It looks very clean to me. I especially like the engine (valve) covers. And I like the way that the double radiators are located above the cylinders. That space otherwise isn’t used, and by using that space, it has a more compact appearance than it would have otherwise. The one thing that Jumped out at me that I would have done differently is the forward edges of the radiator covers. They stick forward beyond the forks and make the radiators more conspicuous than they need to be. I would probably have toned that down, rounding it off rather than giving it that pronounced point at the leading edge. But in the greater scheme this is a minor consideration. There is very little about it that is unattractive to me, and to my way of thinking it is an unusually handsome motorcycle. This from someone who did not like the Rune at all. There is a lot of similarity to the Rune but toned down substantially and far more tasteful. I expect this bike will be financially successful.

    • VLJ says:

      If you ever see a direct frontal shot of this thing, you’ll discover that those radiators with their enormous shrouds make the bike look like a pregnant elephant seal.

    • MGNorge says:

      Tom, beauty is in the eye of the beholder as they say. I personally like this bike in the red tone as shown. As you pointed out, those radiators use a space that’s wide open, and perhaps that’s what some don’t care for, but looking at it this bike might be even longer if a radiator was shoehorned in ahead of the engine? Think of the complaints then!
      If Honda had made it too retro some would complain it wasn’t enough avant-garde. If pushing styling limits it offends those that see only what’s come before.
      To my eyes almost all Harleys look same ol’, same ol’ and are almost indistinguishable to the non-Harley faithful. But they sell scads of them to people who want one type of look cooked many different ways. Can’t please them all.

      • Tom says:

        I had the same thoughts about the radiator placement. The front forks are cruiser-esque, and between that and the fact that the radiator isn’t between the engine and the wheel, the steering head is located unusually far to the rear. This is an advantage for control, because otherwise, to keep the reach from being too long, the rider has to sort of swing the handlebars from side to side rather than rotate them about the steering head. This is a decided advantage for handling. Additionally, the wheel base is shorter than it would be otherwise, which makes for quicker steering. It is thus very apparent that the placement of the dual radiators was a functional, pragmatic choice, and that styling had little or nothing to do with it. The criticism often levied against modern bikes is that function is forced to take a back seat to some designer’s vision, but not here. This bike is too heavy for my personal preferences, but if you were to line up a bunch of similar bikes and let me choose which one I want to ride, I would probably choose this bike and I would probably enjoy the ride quite a lot.

  9. Tom says:

    There are lots of bikes that are much heavier and that have ergonomics similar but more exaggerated. And as concerns aesthetics, to my eye it has a very clean look and is pleasing to look at. It is very easy for me to understand why this bike will appeal to a lot bikers who like big, heavy bikes, notwithstanding that it isn’t my kind of bike. In fact, I like the clean look so much that it makes me wish that I liked this kind of bike. It probably has a lower center of gravity than most any other bike this heavy, and as such it ought to have quicker handling than most any other bike this heavy, owing to the fact that a motorcycle behaves essentially as an inverted pendulum.

  10. JR says:

    By the overall size, cost and weight of this motorcycle I think this “bike” really wants to be a Honda Civic, but obviously isn’t because the first time it rains you will get wet.

  11. Ed Chambers says:

    Apparently Honda doesn’t get that buyers of cruisers like traditional styling.This is why the original Valkerie sold and this probably won’t.I think the younger buyers Honda would like to attract can’t afford this bike and the older ones will just think it’s ugly.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      I think this competes with bikes like the Rocket III, VRod, Vmax, Diavel, Guzzi California, etc. – non-traditional cruisers in other words. Not everyone wants a bike that looks and performs like it was made in the 1950’s.

      • jake says:

        Yes, but even more don’t want a bike which says – mess with me and I’ll call the cops and charge you with assault, or that says I’ll call my lawyer and sue you after you give me 2 black eyes. How many in the power cruiser category want to be seen on a bike which looks as if it was tailored made for the Richie Cunninghams of the world, with styling befitting a Buick or an Oldsmobile? The “You meet the nicest people on the Honda” line might work for small displacement bikes and scooters but it runs sort of flat in the power cruiser, I’m a bad ass category of bikes and among their fans.

        I’m sure the Valk is by far the best bike in its category, but how many Americans want a bike which shouts to everyone that you are a nice guy, someone so nice and so much like a weenie that even on a power cruiser you can’t help but be a goodie two shoes?

        • mickey says:

          people who are more concerned with how a bike performs than what other people think of them?

          • jake says:

            But do those kinds of people actually exist or are they just theoretical, hypothetical people made up in your gray haired mind?

            And even should there be such an odd ball anti-human in existence, I think even you, whether you like or not, have to admit that there are far, far more of me, the shallow, image conscious type, out there in this world, esp. in the motorcycle world, than there are of this hypothetical straw man you like to speak of.

            And I think I speak for the rest of this board when I say the above.

          • mickey says:

            I don’t know Jake I ride one overweight, under accessorized, bike people say looks like a scooter (Honda ST 1300) and another over weight, underpowered bike that looks like it’s 40 years old (Honda CB 1100) so it’s no stretch for me to think their might be a few others like me out there

          • paul246 says:

            Mickey, you’re absolutely correct. Weiners who worry so much about what other people think of them couldn’t handle owning a bike such as this. To me, that is the essence of this bike, its badass in its own way and aimed at people who are secure in themselves.

        • Jeremy in TX says:

          All of the power cruiser guys I know are successful, nice guys and have no interest in putting off a “bad-boy” vibe. So from analysis, I’d say Honda did well with the formula. It’s not my cup of tea, but neither are any of the other power cruisers, either, which means I can’t really say how attractive a package the Valkyrie is in relation to its competition.

          • Blackcayman says:

            what a concept….

            Motorcyclists who simply enjoy piloting various kinds of “motorcycles” for the sheer enjoyment of it.

            What if half of them weren’t a bunch of jackasses?

  12. mickey says:

    to me this bike clearly competes in the power cruiser market with the Diavel, Moto Guzzi 1400, V Max, V Rod and to me this bike is superior in all respects to those.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      You must be a Honda guy. :-)

    • Blackcayman says:

      “superior in all respects to those”…

      Surely you jest

      • mickey says:

        Not at all., I would easily choose this over any of the other bikes I mentioned ..2 are Italian.. high initial cost, no dealer network, expensive to repair, questionable reliability, one is a Harley.. good dealer network although they hardly claim the Vrod as a Harley, high initial cost, expensive to repair…and it will surely be more comfortable, handle better, be more reliable and have a better dealer network than the Yamaha. I could care less about “character”, for me it’s a non factor. I appreciate fit and finish, reliability, smoothness and the ability to transport me anywhere I want to go any time without drama. How could a bike built on the GL 1800 platform not deliver that in spades? As far as looks, that is personal opinion and not a measurable item, but I prefer the looks of this as well.

  13. JR says:

    Having owned a 750+ pound Harley years ago, I can add that big bulky heavy, expensive motorcycles tend to get old after awhile and lose a lot of the fun factor in owning a motorcycle. I have since found the fun to be in the less expensive, low maintenance, 400+ pound low revving, high torque 100+ horsepower class of street machines. But sadly, production of those machines ended in 2009 and nothing has been available like them ever since. Namely the Buell XB Lightning machines.

  14. carl says:

    If Honda was going to make this bike why didn’t they put the rad out front like the original wing. That would have made this such a better looking bike. That’s really my only beef.

    • Cyclemotorist says:

      I completely agree. Most cruiser fans want a certain style. This just doesn’t deliver like the original Valk.

      • paul246 says:

        Yes, the new Valkyrie doesn’t deliver the chromed out “clown bike look” like the original Valkyrie.

  15. John says:

    Boost Queen.

  16. Ted in Chi says:

    I’m sure the mechanicals are a jewel, but the bodywork, especially those tank panels… ugh.

    A classic engine, playing second fiddle to plastic. Honda, you know better.

    I’d rather have a Rune. If you’re gonna go Judge Dredd, go all the way!

  17. Frank says:

    I like the bike…but if equipped as shown, it makes the Diavel look like a more desirable alternative.

    • Brad in NorCal says:

      Accessories aside, first off, unshroud that engine by moving those b*tt ugly side units and relocate to the front. That and with, hopefully, some nice leather saddlebags, windscreen……

  18. Jay says:

    I think I’d prefer the Triumph Rocket III. More engine, better looking, comes with amenities.

    I like the F6B, but I don’t think this one looks so good or makes so much sense. Where are you going without wind protection and bags?

  19. Tony says:

    Why did I read these inane comments?

    • Tom says:

      I ask myself the same question a lot. It’s one thing to comment on a motorcycle, but there is a line that people cross too often, when they say in effect that any motorcycle that isn’t the type that they personally like is garbage.

    • Skif says:

      Inane comments breed inane replies. Oh, except for these right here.

  20. Michael H says:

    It is remarkable that Honda introduced this power train in 2001, and it continues essentially unchanged since that time. Same displacement, same power, same transmission and shaft. The whole thing is a bulletproof as any engine, motorcycle or automobile, can be.

    Equally as remarkable is that the frame and related components were also introduced back then, and likewise remain essentially unchanged.

    While overdue for a general cleaning up of all the electronic buttons and controls, there is no reason to believe that this power train and frame can’t remain competitive in its Valk, GW and F8 configurations for another decade.

    That is a truly remarkable achievement. Say what you will about external design, Honda got the guts of this bike and its siblings exactly right.

  21. hector says:

    i think it’s beautiful but its too big by a factor of 2 and no wind protection so near useless

    • Tom says:

      Useless? That might be going too far.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      Most of the bikes I have owned have had little to no wind protection. And I have been everywhere on them and done things with them that most riders wouldn’t even consider. The lack of wind protection may make it “near useless”… to a sissy.

  22. Roberto says:

    I love it. Now if I can only convince myself to buy something that big and heavy. Looks like the perfect seating/riding position and like another commentator, I would like some light saddle bags and a backrest for the ole lady.

  23. carl says:

    If you want bags get a F6!

  24. Tom Shields says:

    I’m not in the market for this type of bike, but I think it’s attractive and will fill nicely the vacancy left by the previous Valkyrie.

    As I recall, the previous Valk had a version that came equipped with a full-sized windscreen and hard side bags…. I think it was called the Tourer?.. and an Interstate model that added a rear bag, turning the Valk into a useful touring bike. I wonder if Honda will offer the same variations on this new model.

    • Tom Shields says:

      Replying to my own post, I see that the accessories include bags, a rear carrier, backrest, and passenger floorboards. So you could accesorize it into a capable tourer.

  25. Buckwheat says:

    It’s either a Goldwing that can’t tour, or a less attractive competitor to Guzzi’s California. Either way, doesn’t seem like a recipe for success.

  26. Norm G. says:

    definitely like that dark red metallic, but then again I liked it on the CBR1000 special back in ’08. btw, what’s with the matching black fork legs on the blue, but having silver on the red and the black…? i’ll excuse it if these are just pre-production kit.

    re: “ABS model available in Black only.”

    however (comma) this is something I can’t excuse. ok Honda, why…? why the F$#%K would a PAINT COLOR be a determiner of whether or not a bike gets ABS…? if a customer is bothering to shop the $20,000 price point, he or she’s going to want ABS…!!! and when they don’t get it, ya know what happens…? they walk right out the dealership and make a bee-line for BMW and all the other Europeans marques who are MORE than happy to sort that option for them.

    seriously, who is signing off on goofy sh@#t like this…? wait, i don’t wanna know. it doesn’t matter. whoever they are…? FIRE THEM IMMEDIATELY, that or have them reassigned. either way i want them manning a radar tower in Alaska by the end of the day, just mail them their clothes. if I had to guess…? it’d prolly be the same person who said, hey let’s create a CBR EVO and give it ABS in Europe, but then BLOCK the states from having it with ABS. WTF…? never mind the fact that all other varieties of CBR can be had with the technology.

    Honda, asinine crap like this is how you KILL… YOUR… DEALERS… smarten up.

    • Hot Dog says:

      I wish you’d quit beating around the bush and just say what you’re thinking. Ok, you’re right, although my riding partner’s colorblind but he just bought a DL so he’s out of the buying pool.

    • xlayn says:

      waiting for the other version of Norm G, the one who tries to bring reason to the CAPS writters.
      on my side the only reason I can think about for the ABS to come in the main color and not the others is that they have to send the machine to other place to get the paint treatment and the ABS components means a different procedure therefore more expensive.
      so it’s done just for the machines Honda paint on the main factory.

    • relic says:

      The engineers should be frog marched to Daytona Beach. OK do you see what the people want?
      BTW NO oddball tire sizes!

    • VLJ says:

      “Seriously, who is signing off on goofy sh@#t like this…?”

      The same group of morons that decided it was a good idea to give Europe and the U.S. different motors (with the U.S. of course receiving the ultra-wheezy version) for Honda’s latest silly-looking cruiser/scooter/bidet hybrid contraption.

    • Joe Bogusheimer says:

      Some of the potential audience for this bike, which presumably would trend older than average, might not want ABS on their bike? Hard to imagine, though – even Harleys come with ABS these days, even though ABS is something that can’t be repaired with two adjustable wrenches, an assortment of hammers, and a case of beer.

  27. adventure seeker says:

    Just give me an old Gold Wing and I’ll chop the frame and dump the fairing to get a comfortable motorcycle that runs fast. I can’t sit-up straight very long like the test rider. I will not buy this one.

  28. Krisd says:

    Im sorry but photoshop and a lot of polish can only do so much- these things really look FUGLY! They may be mechanically brilliant, but thats not why people buy cruisers…..

    • xlayn says:

      truth were said, people calling the machine ugly buy it because how the machine looks and how they look on the machine, posers arise!

  29. Sean says:

    I don’t do cruisers, not yet at least but I think it’s smart for Honda to go a different direction with the styling, they already have plenty of “traditional” looking cruisers in their line up along with the chopper looking fury. Additionally harley and every other manufacturer had endless cruiser models do we really need another one??? Seriously think about it how many do we need? Kudos to Honda for being different. Will it sell, I’m not sure but at least for now consumers have another option.

  30. Larry says:

    Can I get bags for it? Silly question to some, I suppose…I can hear some of you saying “then just buy a Gold Wing”…I’m not talking to you guys. Everyone else…I would like to do a back road overnighter on this bike. There used to be a touring version of the old Valkyrie. Otherwise, I love this thing!

    • Dirck Edge says:

      Honda lists saddlebags as an available accessory in the press release at the end of the article above.

      • cmc1891 says:

        Dirck, did you get to see the saddle bags? Are they lockable and waterproof? Soft bags, hard bags with leather covering, or painted hard bags? Do they remove from the bike with tools or tool-less? And once the bags are off, is there any scaffolding behind?

        Great pictures and great article. I’ll echo prior comments that I like the nice side shots of you riding straight ahead to get an idea of ergonomics. I’d also like to see one of you stopped with your feet down, and maybe a head on and rear shot. The bike makers always release these side, front, rear shots of the bike alone, but its much nicer to see those shots with a person on them to give size perspective.

        As for the bike, I love the forward styling. My only nitpicks are at that price it should have: cruise control, gear indicator, traction control, abs standard on ever color. Honda likely has the most sophisticated traction control and braking system in the world from their motogp effort, and all we get are 2-3 street bikes with on/off traction control and a few more with simple abs as a $1000 option tied to specific colors or packages? Why participate in motogp if you are not going to trickle those features down to your consumer products?

  31. paul246 says:

    Wow. I love the “look forward – not backward” emphasis of this bike design. Finally a power cruiser that doesn’t look like just another big ass V-twinkie. I’m approaching 60 years of age so I know I’m not in the intended market zone, but I will certainly consider this new Valkyrie.

  32. Cory says:

    I was really hoping that the new “Valkyrie” would have been closer to this teaser concept.
    http://img.tintuc.vietgiaitri.com/2013/11/16/honda-gold-wing-co-the-xuat-hien-phien-ban-moi-742709.jpg

  33. goose says:

    I guess I shouldn’t be surprised at the negative comments, it has a unique look. I can’t see owning one (I like to see the bits and pieces, not bodywork) but I think it is pretty attractive, other than the headlight, especially in the dark red. If I had room for 10 bikes one of them might be a Valk.

    I do find the praise for the 1500 Valkyrie styling funny, the styling of that bike was pretty much a Harley rip off with a little hot rod thrown in. I’m pleased to see Honda at least try something original.

    To each his (or her) own,

    Goose

  34. VLJ says:

    Assuredly a wonderful bike but, once again, another functionally solid Honda let down by its blind-as-a-bat styling team.

    Guys, take a gander at the original Valkyrie. That bike made a statement, and it wasn’t, “I wanna be a Transformer!” Simply swap those side-mounted radiators and the elephantine fairings for a single unit in the front, as with the original Valk and even the new VFR, and ditch that silly-looking orb of a headlight in favor of something more befitting a large cruiser. Basically, just slim down the frontal aspect; which, in the process, will only further highlight the mechanical appeal of that large flat-six motor.

    Done. That’s all it needs. Great bike, with massive visual presence.

    • jake says:

      All Honda had to do to make this bike sell like hotcakes and for a premium was to just do nothing at all. See the 1970’s version of the Goldwing, the GL1100 I think. Well, I think it looks cool as hell and I know alot of others agree with me. Just a slightly modernized version of it, with most of its retro cool and styling cues retained would sell like nobodies business.

      I’m sure Honda is aware of this opportunity. Honda just does not want to meet the demand. The suckers just don’t care and instead gives us Optimus Prime with a Mickey Mouse hat on two wheels. And I’m sure it is just a terrific motorcycle and, functionally, with nothing else quite like it on the marketplace. Cudos for that, but dammit, I want my bikes to look cool and bad ass too. I want them to have a slight aggressiveness and intimidation factor to them, which says for all to know – you mess with this bad boy, then be prepared to get beat up.

      Sorry, but no matter how the good the bike maybe, my oversensitive ego just could not stomach riding around on a bike which looks like it was designed for the goodie-two-shoes, momma’s boys of the world.

  35. ABQ says:

    I explained to my mother that these bikes had engines bigger than the one in her Honda Fit, and got worse gas milage. She didn’t see the point of it all. Neither do I mom.

  36. MGNorge says:

    I’m a big guy and in my prime stood 6’8″ tall. I’ve ridden all sorts of bikes and I remember when two of my old buddies came over to the house on Valkies. I hadn’t ridden one to that point but immediately found myself at home. They had that buttoned down, finely tuned and detailed nature about them that made me feel instantly at home. Power was strong, smooth and progressive with brakes to match. An excellent machine for a longer trip enabling the rider to be as fresh as he can be at the end. But also a bike good for running down to the corner. No fuss, no muss. Whatever they weighed those pounds melted away as in “who cares?” because they were a thoroughly enjoyable ride. I would expect this new model to be more of the same.

  37. John says:

    Doesn’t look at all like a Boost King to me. Not at all.

  38. powermad says:

    What a strange world when you can have an article about the demise of Terblanche, designer of some of the worlds most beautiful motorcycles then an article about one that is technically advanced but hit every darn limb on the ugly tree as it fell down.

    • VLJ says:

      Tamburini, Terblanche…tomato, tomahto….

    • goose says:

      Just curious, what do you think is advanced about this bike? I’m sure it is wonderfully refined but I don’t see anything that hasn’t been on the market for years.

      As for Terblanche/ Tamburini, you are really lucky to not make that mistake on a Ducati site, they might find you and apply a coat of tar and feathers. At least you didn’t insult Dr. T, that might lead to death threats. ;-)

      Goose

      • powermad says:

        Good point. I guess its just plain ugly.
        As for the other, even saying Ter@@@@@ should be cause for stringing him up.

  39. MG3 says:

    Well sorry, I just can’t help commenting on these new bikes. They are gorgeous, technically overwhelming, fast, comfortable, impressive all around. But what they aren’t is Motorcycles! They are two-wheeled cars, without a roof. And they also aren’t – light, easy/fun to drive around a curved road, easy/inexpensive to maintain, easy/inexpensive to get out of the garage, easy/inexpensive to repair. That’s it then – they aren’t EASY, period. It’s all too much. I mean, 750 lbs? Seriously? Who buys these things? I almost never see bikes like this on the road, and I travel all over Long Island every year. Other than a touring boat like the Wing for cross-country work (if you must), what’s the point of a bike this big? Ah Posers, always over-compensating for the wrong reasons!

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      You never see bikes like this on the road? They don’t have cruisers on Long Island?

    • Tom R says:

      750 pounds is “too big” for a motorcycle. Seriously? Most Harleys weigh more than this, and a lot of people buy those.

    • goose says:

      I think your local Honda salesman would be very happy to show you something in CB500 family. Small, light, cheap and no doubt lots of fun.

      We live in fantastic times, without leaving you Honda dealer you can get small scooters, small bikes, a bit bigger bikes and scooters, big bikes, really big bikes and huge bikes. Street racers, standards (sorry, naked bikes), cruisers, dual sports, touring bikes and more. I can’t see any reason to complain about lack of choice. If you don’t like this bike there are plenty of other options.

      Goose

  40. Daven says:

    Dirck: “somewhat unique”? Is the tire size unique, or not unique?

    Thanks!

    • Dirck Edge says:

      I am not personally aware of a 130/60 by 19″, other than on this bike. If anyone is aware of another bike running this size front tire, I would like to know.

      • clasqm says:

        That alone would stop me buying this bike. Good luck finding replacement tires for it five years down the line.

  41. Don S. says:

    A lot of guys’ wives I know are going to be partially sitting on those grab handles – not conducive to keeping that bike very long!

    • goose says:

      Very good point. The Goldwing types say “If mama ain’t happy ain’t nobody happy”. A lot of middle aged woman would not be happy in that space. Maybe a thicker seat? It needs a better seat and a back rest for the passenger anyway.

      Goose

      • Blackcayman says:

        Gents,

        This bike is obviously just for the rider. If keeping mama happy is the goal, this won’t be the bike.

        Also as a naked bruiser (the official classification), this isn’t for the all-day touring crowd.

        • goose says:

          Probably right, it may be a Goldwing underneath but it is a different class of bike on the outside. It still seems like it will be an older man’s bike, it would be nice if mama could come along without bruising her a**.

          When I brought my Guzzi V11 Sport home my wife took one look and said “have fun” as she turned to walk back into the house. I suspect it will be the same with this one.

          Goose

  42. Tom says:

    I don’t know why but this bike had me google ROADDOG – William “Wild Bill” Gelbke’s bike. I guess I wanted to make the Honda Valkyrie look small and practical.

  43. Andrew1500 says:

    This looks like a cross between the Rune and a Gold Wing. I had the old Valkyrie and thought it was a great bike albeit they are pretty large.

    I think they flopped with keeping the side radiators on this bike. They should have located them out of view like the old Valk.

  44. So much for the upward trend in low displacement bikes! I love this engine and it makes sense for this demograhic of bikes. I am curious what the MPG is. And why does Honda continue to put ABS as only available on the “volume seller” color of the line? That’s one of my reasons for NOT getting the red NC700X. Make ABS available on ALL colors Honda!

    All the best,
    Aaron Lephart

    smartcar451.com

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “I love this engine and it makes sense for this demographic of bikes.”

      and yet somehow anti-lock DOESN’T make sense for this demographic or this price point.

      re: “why does Honda continue to put ABS as only available on the “volume seller” color of the line?”

      better question, why would you do that on kit costing almost $20 GRAND…!?!?

      re: “Make ABS available on ALL colors Honda!”

      no, we can’t have things too good. when we see things that might be too good, we deliberately put into play bizarre, random decisions that not only erode corporate fortunes…? but ensures we erode the fortunes of anybody we hold signed contracts with.

  45. xlayn says:

    Love the bike….
    Hey Dirck, I would love to swap job with you, you do some dirty computer coding and I take the lovely machines on a ride…..

  46. Bob says:

    This is a great concept on a solid platform. I just wish that they had paid some top-notch designers to make something really special out of it.

  47. Buzz says:

    The front is similar to the lobster claw look of the old Buell.

    • jake says:

      More like the head of Optimus Prime with should pads, or big mickey mouse ears to me. Yeah, the overly good boy headlight stylistic cue just ruins the whole bike for a bad boy wannabe like me. I just don’t want to feel like a good boy, the one who eats all his veggies, when I’m riding a bike. I wanna feel like someone who smokes 3 packs a day and likes it, even though he knows its bad for him and will likely kill him before his time. Yeah, but so what, I’m a bad boy riding an bike and I’m loving it.

      They needed the head of bay boy Megatron on it to make it work, but once again, Honda wimps out and chooses to market its bike to the sweater wearing Richie Cunningham’s of of the world, rather than the leather jacket wearing Fonz’s.

      Shame on you, Honda.

      • Daytona James says:

        I know we all define ourselves a wee bit by the bikes we’re riding but that notches stereotyping up to triple platinum. If we evaluate bikes by such superficial criteria, we could miss out of some spectacular machinery. Not saying the Valkyrie pushes my buttons… few Hondas do, but I bet if Dirck had included a shot of the Gold’s Gym version Goldwing in a twelve-o’clock wheelie, it would appear a bit more ‘baddass’. I’ve ridden with a very competent rider through some moderate (smooth) twisties on one of the older Valks and I have to admit… won’t discount that bike with a good rider on board. I almost laughed til’ I cried that he could keep up with a bunch of wicked-up sportbikes. /start.legal.fineprint/ Under closed circuit conditions. Kids don’t try this at home. Always wear an approved safety helmet. /end.legal.fineprint/

        • jake says:

          On the one hand you say evaluating bikes by such superficial criteria is bad and we shouldn’t do it and then in the next few words you basically do what you said we shouldn’t do, LOL. The only reason why Hondas don’t push people’s buttons is cause just about all Honda’s are styled lame, generic, and boring. It has nothing to do with the mechanics themselves.

          Heck, if we were all blind as bats and could only judge by the quality of the ride, hell, just about everyone would probably be on a Honda.

          We all can’t be like Dirck who gets ride every known bike for free. So we judge with what we can, and that’s how that baby looks. Besides, we bikers are a superficial, shallow, immature, look at me bunch. We even ride without helmets, risking life and limb (remember these are grown men who should know better we are talking about), just to look cool and have people we don’t know and will probably never see again notice and envy us.

          So superficiality standards and superficial this or that is just right up our alley.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      It’s not quite THAT bad.