Ride of the Valkyrie

Honda’s naked Gold Wing is a head-turner

Motorcycle News (UK) - - BUYING & SELLING -

Iron­i­cally, the orig­i­nal Gold Wing was sup­posed to be a flat six, but Honda bot­tled out and made it a flat four, only tack­ing on the ad­di­tional cylin­ders in 1988.

The Valkyrie – or F6C – is a rare sight in Bri­tain. Es­sen­tially, it’s a naked Wing: the flat-six en­gine is housed in a cruis­er­type chas­sis, with a gor­geous cur­va­ceous fuel tank, fat seat, pull­back bars, chrome and the rest.

The 1500 Wing is an im­pos­ing sight, but the Valkyrie lets ev­ery­one see that fab­u­lous en­gine, which is oth­er­wise hid­den by the acres of Wing body­work. It shouldn’t work as a cruiser, but Honda did the job prop­erly, and it does.

We first got the Valkyrie in late 1996, and it’s al­ways been a slow seller. It has al­ways been markedly cheaper in the US, es­pe­cially on those rare oc­ca­sions when the dol­lar has been weak, and, as with Gold Wings, a fair few bikes have been pri­vately im­ported from the US and Canada.

Partly due to its rar­ity, and partly due to its be­ing treated these days as a cult bike, it’s no­tice­ably more ex­pen­sive used than a Wing of equiv­a­lent age and mileage.

You can get a re­ally nice used Wing for £4500, but you’ll need an­other grand for a Valkyrie. Odd that a stripped-down bike can be pricier than the ful­ly­dressed orig­i­nal.

Cruis­ers are stag­ing a mi­nor come­back these days, and what sets the Valkyrie apart from most of the com­pe­ti­tion is that it doesn’t try to look like a Har­ley. It’s unique. For that rea­son, we reckon it’s go­ing to ap­pre­ci­ate.

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