2014 Honda Valkyrie Revealed

Evans Brasfield
by Evans Brasfield

Performance Cruiser Fans Rejoice

What motorcycle has a flat-Six engine and causes power junkies to salivate and then beg whenever its name is mentioned? What performance cruiser has been out of Honda’s lineup for 10 years? What motorcycle, when mentioned in conversation, almost always ends up with someone recounting the broad sliding behemoth on a dry lake bed that set the standard for an exciting motorcycle advertisement for many years?

By this point, the faithful are well aware the moment is at hand: The almighty Honda Valkyrie returns to the streets of a grateful nation! Okay, maybe that was laying it on a bit thick, but any time Honda upgraded the Gold Wing – and particularly when the F6B was announced – a question was posed by expectant fans. Is this the year when we finally have the answer and a chance to buy another Valkyrie.

The Beast is ready to roar.

Today, Honda ended all of the questioning. The 2014 Valkyrie has been more than updated. It’s been reworked from the ground up. Gone are the retro cues that make the old, beloved, Valkyrie look as dated as the open collars on the polyester shirts of the disco era. Instead, Honda’s designers clearly wanted to make the new Valkyrie look like a modern tarmac-consuming beast.

The LED headlight is both futuristic and effective at casting illumination.

While the style may be futuristic, the equation Honda used to create the new Valkyrie is the same as with the original. Starting with the Gold Wing, they stripped the chassis down to the bare essentials then grafted on a low, 28.8 in. seat height. Next, layer on only the most necessary components to achieve the muscular style and performance associated with the name. Oh, and update it by blacking out as much of the hardware as possible.

The angular LED headlight has a new flash-to-pass feature. The turn signals and brake lights are all LEDs, as well. The bodywork is minimal, consisting of fenders and covers for the side-mounted radiators, engine lowers, and side panels. The instrumentation is minimalist yet totally modern. The pillion and grab rails are removable, and covers will hide the mounting holes.

The Gold Wing’s fuel-injected 1832cc engine is known for its torque delivery. The shortened dual exhausts are designed to deliver a deeper exhaust note, while the airbox has additional intake holes to allow the rider to hear more of the resonant, throaty intake growl.

With higher pegs than the F6B, the Valkyrie should have even better cornering clearance.

Add 10-spoke cast aluminum 19-inch front and 17-inch rear wheels and ladle on 130/60-19 and 180/55-17 radial tires, respectively. Make sure the brakes match the rubber by making them dual 310mm front discs with four-piston calipers and a single 316mm rear disc with a three-piston caliper. Give the customer a non-linked ABS option.

By lessening the mass of the Gold Wing, the Valkyrie will be able to do more with the power with which it was graced. The new Valkyrie weighs in at 750 lb. ready to ride. That’s 154 lb. less than the Wing! That’s the same as an instant horsepower bump.

Just sitting on the Valkyrie and lifting it off its side stand reveals not only the reduction in weight, but also the lowering of the CG. Speaking of low, the seat’s measured height is pretty low, but the width of the chassis may make the perceived seat height feel slightly higher than 28.8 inches listed.

Riders who have been fortunate enough to ride the old school Valk will feel instantly at home with only the slightly higher pegs giving a hint at a changed riding position. The upper body and arms fall into a slightly forward bend which will help handle the acceleration that the engine is sure to generate.

Cruise missile: The 2014 Honda Valkyrie is a bike that the faithful have been requesting for ten years.

Honda says that the Valkyrie will be available in the spring of 2014 in black, dark red metallic, and blue metallic. Price has not been set, but it will surely retail for less than the $19,999 F6B.

Evans Brasfield
Evans Brasfield

Like most of the best happenings in his life, Evans stumbled into his motojournalism career. While on his way to a planned life in academia, he applied for a job at a motorcycle magazine, thinking he’d get the opportunity to write some freelance articles. Instead, he was offered a full-time job in which he discovered he could actually get paid to ride other people’s motorcycles – and he’s never looked back. Over the 25 years he’s been in the motorcycle industry, Evans has written two books, 101 Sportbike Performance Projects and How to Modify Your Metric Cruiser, and has ridden just about every production motorcycle manufactured. Evans has a deep love of motorcycles and believes they are a force for good in the world.

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3 of 39 comments
  • Doug Runia Doug Runia on Jan 01, 2014

    I own an "old" Valkyrie" and have been waiting for Honda to reintroduce it. I have to say I'm disappointed. Still to much plastic. You have a beast of an engine. Show it off!

  • SiouxCity Stanley SiouxCity Stanley on Mar 03, 2014

    I bought a new 98 Valkyrie. I rode it for about 12 yrs. It was like 850 lbs and my being a shorty at 5'2" and having replaced my light late wife with a heavier gal made it tougher than ever...so when I reached 75 yrs of age I sold it . I will miss it for the rest of my days same as I will my late wife who ate, slept and breathed motorcycling-and read MCN, AMA & Cycle World cover to cover each month (I just looked at the pictures). I now have a DN01, my old 46 Indian and my old '49 Cushman. Good combo for a little old 76 yr old, huh? Oh yes, I LOVE the new Valk!

    • John3347 John3347 on Mar 29, 2014

      You have a '49 Cushman. I love them. What I would really love to be able to afford would be a Mustang (the junior motorcycle). I had one back in the day. Sold it when I joined the army in 1959. I don't much like the styling of the new Valkyrie.