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2014 Honda Gold Wing Valkyrie Review

7-20-2014

by Pascal Bastien , moto123.com

The Honda Gold Wing Valkyrie, which makes a comeback in 2014, is based on the Gold Wing F6B and powered by a flat-six engine. A wide and low-slung body combines with black chrome and matte black accents for a striking look from every angle.

Codenamed F6C, the Valkyrie spearheads the new cruiser range at Honda. You may recall the stripped-down Gold Wing spinoff from 1996-2003; well, the new generation discards the retro looks of its ancestor in favour of a modern, clean design that puts the focus on the two big cylinder heads.


Intoxicating sounds and thrills
Weighing 70 kg less than the standard Gold Wing, the 2014 Honda Gold Wing Valkyrie provides fun, lively acceleration and passing power, thanks in large part to a reprogrammed ECU that improves throttle response and output at higher revs. It's strong and relentless, yet flexible enough to pick up major speed without having to shift gears -- just twist the throttle and bang! The Porsche 911-like sounds make it even sweeter.

The transmission, identical to the Gold Wing's, also deserves praise for its sharp and creamy shifts that enhance the bike's surprisingly easygoing nature. Unlike the two other F6 models, which have a single radiator mounted up front, the 2014 Honda Gold Wing Valkyrie has one on each side. They're protected by massive cowls that help define its futuristic style. Clearly, Batman would love to own a two-wheeler like this one.

The larger-than-life Gold Wing, which has proven fairly dynamic on the road, shares its chassis with the new, lighter Valkyrie. While the former can be reluctant to change directions at times, the latter is both solid and nimble in corners, even at higher speeds.

2014 Honda Valkyrie engine
the 2014 Honda Gold Wing Valkyrie provides fun, lively acceleration and passing power, thanks in large part to a reprogrammed ECU that improves throttle response and output at higher revs. (Photo: France Ouellet)

A comfortable tourer
The greatest thing about the 2014 Honda Gold Wing Valkyrie is that performance does not come at the expense of comfort. On the highway, you don't even think about the engine because there's no unpleasant noise or vibration to disrupt your peace of mind and body. On the other hand, the lack of a windshield creates a lot of pressure on the head and shoulders.

Ultimately, the Valkyrie is a machine designed for laid-back riding with a few stops along the way. You can drop all the way to 1,000 rpm without the engine bucking, and re-accelerate up to 90 km/h with a simple flick of the wrist. How soothing and exciting!

2014 Honda Valkyrie 3/4 view
The greatest thing about the 2014 Honda Gold Wing Valkyrie is that performance does not come at the expense of comfort. (Photo: France Ouellet)

Bottom line

Those who've always wanted to taste the pure performance blend of the 1,832cc flat-6 engine will be delighted by the smooth and very comfortable 2014 Honda Gold Wing Valkyrie, which produces dragster-like acceleration and exotic sound effects from one of the largest-displacement engines in the industry. It's perfect for today's riders who wish to experience unique thrills at the helm of a uniquely styled cruiser.

Pros
  • Power, sounds, and thrills
  • Superb big-bike styling
  • Comfortable seat
  • Honda quality

Cons
  • No protection against the elements