2014 Honda Valkyrie | FIRST LOOK

The Gold Wing Goes Naked

By Marc Cook, Photography by Honda

Honda's into full spinoff mode for 2014, whipping out what's now the third model hung from the Gold Wing's impressive and long-lived bones. Joining the touring machine and the custom bagger called the F6B  is a reborn Valkyrie. Like the original, which debuted way back in 1996, the new Valky bases off the Gold Wing, picking up the existing SOHC, 12-valve opposed-six-cylinder engine trussed into an aluminum twin-spar frame. This time, though, the styling isn't American Retro—it's more like Gold Wing meets Transformers.

As though Honda didn't quite finish the job with the F6B, the new Valky strips the Gold Wing almost to the core, replacing the main fairing with a tidy headlight nacelle supporting LED bulbs and an all-electronic instrument display. Large flank-like fairings disguise the side-mounted radiators. Whatever the Valkyrie might look like in photos, it has serious presence in person; this is a large machine.

The chassis, closer in spec to the F6B's than the Gold Wing's, rides on 19-inch front and 17-inch rear tires. Modern four-piston calipers grace the front end, and while ABS will be an option, the Valkyrie's brakes are not linked, as they are on the Gold Wing.

While the smooth flat six, still with a five-speed transmission and shaft final drive, is unchanged from Gold Wing duty, the whole Valkyrie is 92 pounds lighter than the F6B and a massive 154 pounds lighter than the trimmest Gold Wing. Honda, rightly, says power to weight is the name of the game here, suggesting the new Valky should be a hoot to ride.

Honda has not yet set a firm MSRP, though company reps expect it to be around $17,000 for the base model. We're speculating that it'll be closer to $18,500 for the ABS version. Look for a spring release.

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