LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Honda has responded to years of consumer requests by reviving a respected motorcycle icon put out to pasture over 10 years ago. And unlike the classically-styled forebear, this machine is bang-up-to-date in terms of styling, features and performance.
Unveiled to the press corps at the Petersen Auto Museum in downtown Los Angeles, Honda took the wraps off its latest futuristic cruiser: the 2014 Valkyrie.
Compared to the original Valkyrie introduced in 1996, this new machine cuts a much more modern silhouette and features up to the minute styling cues such as LED headlights and lighting, a blacked-out full LCD instrument panel and optional ABS.
Of course, the star of the show is the 1832cc fuel injected flat-six lifted from the Gold Wing and F6B models, but in the Valkyrie, the torque-y engine only has to propel 750 lbs., over 150 lbs.lighter than the Gold Wing. Acceleration is claimed to be stunning, as is the ease with which the machine performs rolling burnouts thanks to peak torque coming in at only 4,000 rpm. Braking components are lifted straight from Honda’s supersport machinery, and the tall 19-inch front wheel is matched by a sportbike-sized 180/55-17 out back, mounted to a single-sided swingarm.
Combined with an aluminum frame, the low CoG of the flat-six should provide for reasonably lightweight handling and plenty of rider confidence, which is also aided by the low 28.8-inch seat height. The “pods” on either side of the machine housing the side-mounted radiators also serve as wind protection elements for the rider. The rear seat and grab rails can be removed and replaced with included blanking plates for a sleek solo rider style. Finally, like the Gold Wing, a range of accessories will be available at launch to improve both the style and function of the new Valkyrie.
The Valkyrie will join the Gold Wing and F6B to help cement the flat-six family of machines as Honda’s flagship models, each offering a smooth, refined and high-tech take on the touring, bagger and muscle cruiser segments. As with the other machines, the Valkyrie will also feature Honda’s three-year warranty as standard. The bike is will arrive on U.S. shores in the first quarter of 2014, with pricing yet to be confirmed, but Honda representatives expect the Valkyrie to retail around $17,000 with the ABS version commanding a small premium.