Even though Honda has made a splash in the entry-level market with bikes like the 125cc Grom, that doesn’t mean that it has forgotten the high-performance rider. So after a 10-year absence Honda is back in the muscle-cruiser market with the return of the Valkyrie.
And based on its specs, it appears Honda was serious about the “muscle” classification as it’s taken the same engine that powers the Gold Wing and Gold Wing F6B – the 1832cc liquid-cooled horizontally opposed six-cylinder engine – and stripped it down its essentials to give it a curb weight of 750 pounds. That’s 154 pounds less than the Gold Wing.
So same horsepower. And less weight. Hello horsepower to weight ratio. The engine also boasts torque that peaks at 4000 rpm and has Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI) that uses two 40mm throttle bodies and six high-pressure programmed fuel injectors.
The engine configuration – combined with where it’s mounted in the Valkyrie’s aluminum twin-spar frame - makes for a low center of gravity. That, combined with a low seat height of 28.8 inches, is designed to add great handling in addition to performance.
Suspension wise the new Honda has a Pro-Link rear single shock with adjustable pre load and a non-adjustable 45mm fork up front. That and its sportbike inspired Pro-Arm single-sided swingarm are aimed at sportier riding. Its aluminum wheels are fitted with Dunlop’s 130/60 series 19-inch tire up front and the180/55 series17-inch tire at the rear.
To match its performance, the Valkyrie gets more stopping power than its Gold Wing sisters with its 310mm cross-drilled rotors (14mm larger in diameter) and Nissin four-piston calipers. The rear gets an even larger 316mm disc/caliper combo. Another difference from the Gold Wing is that the Valkyrie gets an independent front and rear braking system as opposed to the linked-brake system found on the Wing. Although not standard, ABS is available as an option.
Styling wise the Valkyrie has fat one-inch handlebars lending itself to a more custom look. It also includes modern touches with its LED headlight, taillight, turn signals and its multi-function digital LCD dash. And if you’re not sure whether or not you want it to bring a friend or ride alone rider, it has a removable passenger seat and aluminum passenger grabrails.
The 2014 Valkyries are expected to arrive in the spring and will be available in three color options: Black, Dark Red Metallic, and Blue Metallic. Although MSRP has yet to be determined, it's likely to be in the $17,000 range.
2014 HONDA VALKYRIE SPECIFICATIONS
Engine Type: 1832cc liquid-cooled horizontally opposed six-cylinder
Bore and Stroke: 74mm x 71mm
Compression ratio: 9.8:1
Valve Train: SOHC; two valves per cylinder
Ignition: Computer-controlled digital with 3-D mapping
Final Drive: Shaft
Front: 45mm cartridge fork; TBD inches travel
Rear: Pro-Arm single side swingarm with Pro-Link rear single shock with hydraulic spring preload; TBD inches travel
Front: Dual 310mm front discs
Rear: Single 316mm rear disc
Wheelbase: 67.2 inches
Rake (Caster angle): 29° 50’
Trial: 114mm (4.5 inches)
Seat Height: 28.8 inches
Fuel Capacity: 6.1 gallons
Estimated Fuel Economy**: TBD
Colors: Black, Dark Red Metallic, Blue Metallic
Curb Weight*: 750 pounds (Valkyrie) / 754 pounds (Valkyrie ABS)
*Includes all standard equipment, required fluids and full tank of fuel—ready to ride.