The 2018 Honda Valkyrie came to my attention in the showroom recently so here’s my review! The Valkyrie has been around for in this form for over 10 years but it is sold in so small numbers that I’ve never seen one in real life until now.
The Honda Valkyrie is the top range cruiser style motorcycle from the company. Fittingly it is based on the Honda Goldwing’s frame and engine. The Valkyrie’s traditional Cruiser classification is debatable as the Valkyrie does’t look or is specified like a traditional Cruiser in the vein of Harley Davidson’s. The Honda Valkyrie is a best prefixed with the category of modern style cruiser or even Japanese style cruiser.
The market for cruiser motorcycles in 2018 are on a general decline, just like the 600cc super sports motorcycle class. It’s arguably caused by ageing demographic, those who bought them where sold on the image in movies and mostly the noise. There is also the element of the anti-motorcycling lobby group however they are likewise literally dropping off too. Anyway in the end this group has only made motorcycling all the more desirable especially to accountants and actuaries.
In terms of looks the Honda Valkyrie is a good looking motorcycle and different to any other especially in size! However it’s only good up to 4/5 as the last 1/5 the rear end is typlically underdone or best described as awkward. The rear end oddness for Cruiser style motorcycles is not unusual and not just Honda models but all manufacturers except for Harley Davidson for some reason. However and at a guess the rear end is designed to accommodate the obligatory panniers!
The blacked out frame and wheels appeal to a younger buyer and certainly more European audience as they don’t particularly and generally like chrome. That said you can go for the Honda Valkyrie Rune variant which is equipped with all the chrome – if you can find one.
Tn terms of technology, specifications and performance the Honda Valkyrie is best described a cut down Goldwing which means spritely performance and all the pros and cons of the engine. The low maintenance single sided swing arm with a shaft drive means low maintenance and I always wonder why they don’t show off this feature more often. I think they look great! The digital instruments also indicate that the Valkyrie is targeted at a younger buying group.
The engine is worth a mention as it is the only 6 cylinder that is arranged in a horizontally, meaning a Flat 6 cylinder engine and is unique in the motorcycle world. The Valkyrie’s engine makes the same amount of power as a regular 1.8 SOHC engine but weights over 1000kgs less than the normal car you’d find with this engine capacity. This means that this bike is fast, not supers sports fast but fast enough! The technology and development for this engine is easily superior that the flat 2 cylinder engine in BMWs. The Goldwing’s engine is known for it’s longevity and reliability and with less weight the Valkyrie will arguably last longer than the owner.
The Honda Valkyrie is definitely a decent, almost cool motorcycle and an evolution of the traditional Cruiser class motorcycle in terms of looks and power. I can only imagine riding a bike with 170Nm of torque under 4000rpm, even cars can’t do that! I liken it to Thor’s hammer and thankfully doesn’t sound like it’s name sake the Valkyrie which is probably a good thing.
The Honda Valkyrie is priced around the $22,000 AUD which is quite expensive but when you consider the your average 1000cc super sports motorcycle have reached the same price point and that this is a 6 cylinder motorcycle and unlikely that you’ll ever see on on the road it is easily justifiable purchase.
|Honda Valkyrie Key Specifications|
|Engine:||Flat 6 cylinder 12V SOHC (EFI)|
|Power/Torque:||88Kw @ 5500RPM 170 Nm @ 4000RPM|
|Gearbox:||5 speed – Shaft drive|
|Kerb Weight:||341Kg Approx|
|Performance:||0-100kph NA seconds Approx
Max Speed NA Kph Approx
|Fuel Economy:||23.2 litre fuel tank|
|Seat height:||734 mm|
|Dimensions:||L2473 x W942 x H1154|
|Recommended Retail Price:||$ 21,990 (2018)|