It’s Back! The 2014 Honda Valkyrie

Nov 20, 2013 View Comments by

It's Back! The 2014 Honda ValkyrieTen years ago, Honda left the power cruiser segment when it put to rest the remarkably engineered yet funky second generation Valkyrie, the Rune. Many considered that a wise choice. Seemingly designed as an exercise in craftsmanship, the idea was spot on, the price, however, not so much. Give the Gold Wing a golden diet, strip off the touring weight and plastic, keep the roar and power of the larger engine… bring the styling back down to earth and Honda’s back in the game with the return of the Valkyrie! “Today a motorcycling icon returns in an all-new form,” said Powersports Press Manager Bill Savino.

Given the same stylized look of Honda’s horizontal design principles, they return to the mega-cruiser fight with a more modern, yet “less futuristic” package. Again carrying the same 1,832cc Gold Wing transplant it received in 2003, the Valkyrie takes a fresh step into the future with its 2014 release.

Honda isn’t quite ready to let the automatic transmission technologies seen in other current models (like the CTX700) into the pavement pounding 2014 Valkyrie. Not yet anyway. But the Evo6 Concept they showed at the Tokyo Motor Show in 2007, with its “Human-Friendly Transmission,” isn’t too far from here now!

Under the light of a full moon, Honda North America engineer Tony Defranze rolled the new Valkyrie across the roof of the Petersen’s Auto Museum in Los Angeles, CA, to the waiting motorcycle press. Prowling with the familiar Gold Wing whirr but with a beefier exhaust note, the new Valkyrie slipped into the room with a presence less “Neo-Retro” than the first Rune and much more likeable. With slash cut exhaust tips, a traditionally forked front end, and that friendly Honda look it’s more “present day” than modern. Press relations manager Jon Seidel is simply “excited to have it back!”

First thing we notice is that it’s not only a long bike (with a wheelbase of 67.2-inches) but also a wide bike. In fact, most major dimensions are the same as the GL1800 and F6B, although the subframe differs along with the saddle arrangement. Even without all the Gold Wing luggage and bodywork, the flat six and side-mounted radiators make this a wide machine. It is great for rider wind protection though. And with a low 28.8-inch saddle height, it’s not an uncomfortable bike, not in the showroom anyway. Removable passenger grab rails and pillion pad make this brawler a solo street cruiser as well.

The Valkyrie weighs only 750 pounds ready to ride, which is 154 pounds lighter than the Gold Wing.

A sportbike-like aluminum twin-spar frame (same as the other members of the Gold Wing family tree) carries all that goodness onto a pair of relatively narrow tires; even the CTX1300 has a larger rear tire. A nonadjustable 45 mm cartridge fork carries the front with a travel rate yet to be announced while the rear Pro Arm single-sided swingarm has a remotely adjustable Pro-Link single shock. The 10-spoke cast aluminum wheels carry a 130/60 19-inch tire up front while the rear is a svelte 180/55 17-inch. A pair of 310mm rotors are clamped by dual four-piston calipers up front, in the rear a single 316mm rotor works with a three-piston caliper to get the job done. An ABS version will also be available.

At a time when Honda continues to release new units aimed at the incoming rider class with economical, easy, and fun to ride motorcycles, it’s nice to see them bring back an icon for the seasoned veterans too… I can’t wait to ride it!

Fifteen Honda Genuine Accessories will be made for the Valkyrie; most important to us would be the windscreen and luggage options of course. Accessories include: a 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, and leather touring bag.

MSRP has yet to be determined, but the Valkyrie will be on sale in Spring 2014.

MINI SPECS – 2014 Honda Valkyrie

Engine: 1,832cc horizontally opposed 6-cylinder

Cooling: liquid

Transmission: 5-speed w/ shaft drive

Front Suspension: 45mm cartridge fork

Rear Suspension: Pro-Arm single sided swingarm with Pro-link rear shock w/ hydraulic spring preload

Brakes Front/Rear: dual 310mm discs w/ 4-piston calipers / single 316mm disc w/ 3-piston caliper

Seat Height: 28.8in

Fuel Capacity: 6.1gal

Dry Weight: 750lbs/ 754lbs w/ ABS

Colors: Black, Dark Red Metallic, Blue Metallic

Text by Alfonse Palaima



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