Ride of the Valkyrie
Honda’s naked Gold Wing is a head-turner
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.