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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I am 41 years old and my wife and I have decided to start riding after wanting to do it for years but just recently are in a position where that is viable.

We ended up getting her a 2021 Rebel 1100 DCT, which is a great bike, but simply uncomfortably small for me. I bought a couple not running older bikes and got them running and flipped them right after deciding they were simply not big or powerful enough for the freeways in South Texas and I didn't want to get run over.

I ended up deciding on a 2014 Valk with 36k miles. I could have got one with less miles for the same price, but mine came with ABS, Corbin bags, a Honda windshield, and a few other accessories, and I figured 36k miles on a Goldwing drivetrain really should not make that much difference one way or another.

Maybe it is just because I am new, or because I am a really big guy, I do weigh about 360lbs, but the Valk just doesn't feel huge or scary or insanely powerful like so many people say. Sure, it is torquey on the low end, but being a long term Honda car fan I would gladly trade off a lot of low end torque for top end power. I mean sure it is a cool stunt to start it in 5th gear with no gas input, or just drive around town in 3rd without having to shift, but those things are really not that useful in a practical way the VAST majority of the time.

Trading off torque on the low end for more power on the top end with the current gearing would make it less twitchy on the low end, and would make a lot more sense for how deep the gearing is. I have an old mid to late 90s 1.8L 180hp Acura Integra engine in my garage that would scream to its 8k redline, and man I cant help but think a powerband like that in this bike would be amazing.

Don't get me wrong, it is a great bike, and I do really love it, I cant think of a better bike for a huge guy that wants something a bit sportier than a Goldwing, but still very comfortable. I even think the stock seat is far more comfortable than people give it credit for as I have already done a couple 500 mile rides on it with no issues, which I feel is pretty good for a newbie.

But I do think people tend to oversell the whole "its insanely huge, and insanely powerful!" bit with this bike.
 

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But I do think people tend to oversell the whole "its insanely huge, and insanely powerful!" bit with this bike.
The forum is a safe place for us to love, exaggerate, brag, embellish, hype, stretch the truth and dream about our wonderfully unique beasts. Please don't burst our bubble.
 

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i recently purchased a ‘14 Valkyrie w/o a test ride- i was pretty sure i was gonna love the bike and i do thankfully. i read a bunch about it and i really wanted one for awhile. overall i have no complaints about this bike, it isnt perfect but no bike is.

i agree w you that the bike is very manageable and approachable, even for less than expert riders. ive read about the weight, the size, the power etc…but soon as i threw a leg over it and rode it, i was pleasantly surprised how easy and enjoyable the Beast is to ride. i think the low end torque and the way the engine makes power is PERFECT for what i want. ive had a few sportbikes w high revving high hp engines and they were great for what they are, but i love the instant, no nonsense, no drama, ride and refinement of the Valkyrie (not to mention the fuel range)

there is a bike that describes what you are after- its the 1700cc V-Max. 200hp and pulls crazy hard to redline. 9 sec 1/4 miles are realistic. they will leave the Valkyrie for dead in any kind of drag race. i think its a badass bike, i just like the looks and overall personality of the Valk much better.
 

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I am 41 years old and my wife and I have decided to start riding after wanting to do it for years but just recently are in a position where that is viable.

We ended up getting her a 2021 Rebel 1100 DCT, which is a great bike, but simply uncomfortably small for me. I bought a couple not running older bikes and got them running and flipped them right after deciding they were simply not big or powerful enough for the freeways in South Texas and I didn't want to get run over.

I ended up deciding on a 2014 Valk with 36k miles. I could have got one with less miles for the same price, but mine came with ABS, Corbin bags, a Honda windshield, and a few other accessories, and I figured 36k miles on a Goldwing drivetrain really should not make that much difference one way or another.

Maybe it is just because I am new, or because I am a really big guy, I do weigh about 360lbs, but the Valk just doesn't feel huge or scary or insanely powerful like so many people say. Sure, it is torquey on the low end, but being a long term Honda car fan I would gladly trade off a lot of low end torque for top end power. I mean sure it is a cool stunt to start it in 5th gear with no gas input, or just drive around town in 3rd without having to shift, but those things are really not that useful in a practical way the VAST majority of the time.

Trading off torque on the low end for more power on the top end with the current gearing would make it less twitchy on the low end, and would make a lot more sense for how deep the gearing is. I have an old mid to late 90s 1.8L 180hp Acura Integra engine in my garage that would scream to its 8k redline, and man I cant help but think a powerband like that in this bike would be amazing.

Don't get me wrong, it is a great bike, and I do really love it, I cant think of a better bike for a huge guy that wants something a bit sportier than a Goldwing, but still very comfortable. I even think the stock seat is far more comfortable than people give it credit for as I have already done a couple 500 mile rides on it with no issues, which I feel is pretty good for a newbie.

But I do think people tend to oversell the whole "its insanely huge, and insanely powerful!" bit with this bike.
Welcome to the forum! Congratulations on your choice of a fantastic bike and your purchase of same. Please post some photos when you get a chance, and be sure to contribute in the thread elsewhere about serial numbers. It should give you years of riding enjoyment, being a Honda.

You say the bike isn't incredibly powerful. But you also say you're a new rider, so I question what you're comparing it to - a car? The Valk is one of THE most powerful bikes on the market. It may be geared differently, and certainly has competition in the 0-60 range, but if you are looking for a muscle cruiser, there are very few stock machines that will whip this bike. As I always say, it is a wolf in sheep's clothing and it belies the monster lurking within. It will pull away from almost any other bike or car on the road. What more does one need? Do you frequently find it necessary to go from 60-100 mph instantly? What do you need more top end power for? You'll spend 99% of your time at the lower half of the spectrum.

Here's an article that highlights what I'm talking about:


You'll note that the Valkyrie is #5 on the list. And it's beaten out by the likes of the V-Max, which is not only hard to come by but really a different kind of motorcycle. The Ducati Diavel? Good luck with service and reliability, not to mention cost. Triumph Rocket? Ride one and let me know how you like the center of gravity, not to mention service and reliability. The HD Live Wire? Don't even go there. Keep in mind, this article was written FIVE YEARS after the last Valkyrie was built, and it's STILL #5 on the list! No other bike on the list looks as good, has this bike's power, nor has Honda's reliability, and as relatively few quirks and low cost as this bike. I really don't know what else to say if you're looking for something even more powerful. 0-60 in 3.4 seconds is pretty damn fast in my book. And it'll cruise 80 mph with ease all day.

You were lucky to find one with ABS. They're relatively rare. And I believe that model comes with a few extra features like self-canceling signals.

I would suggest determining when its last fluid change was, and make sure everything is current. A few bucks invested now will save you a lot of heartache down the road. And go synthetic on your oil.

Enjoy your Valk!

Richmonder
 

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Welcome to the forum, Joel! I wonder if, in answer Richmonder's question about what you were comparing it to as a new rider, you were simply comparing your new experience to your expectations based on what you'd read. I don't know about all the others, but I went from a big Harley dresser to the Valkyrie and thus compared my new experience with the Valk to my past experiences with the HD, although I'd had many other bikes before. The HD V-twin experience, which has been so desired and marketable over the past many decades, did not provide the same experience as my new 6-cylinder boxer Valkyrie engine. Both torque and HP were significantly greater and felt like it. I've told the story about trying to warn a cager that looked like he/she was going to pull out in front of me with a quick twist of the throttle to make enough noise that they heard me. Fine on the Harley, not a good idea with the Valkyrie, especially with only your right hand on the bars. Instant torquey acceleration almost made me lose it. I use the horn now, 🤓 , which is the loudest stock horn of any bike I've owned. Most of the alternatives that Richmonder listed above are also bikes I'd considered. None of them looked (or are) as comfortable as our Valks. You just have to list and prioritize what's really important to you in a motorcycle and then "settle" for the one that has the most to offer you. I think you settled well. Ride safe!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
I think the low end torque and the way the engine makes power is PERFECT for what i want. ive had a few sportbikes w high revving high hp engines and they were great for what they are, but i love the instant, no nonsense, no drama, ride and refinement of the Valkyrie (not to mention the fuel range)

there is a bike that describes what you are after- its the 1700cc V-Max. 200hp and pulls crazy hard to redline. 9 sec 1/4 miles are realistic. they will leave the Valkyrie for dead in any kind of drag race. i think its a badass bike, i just like the looks and overall personality of the Valk much better.
Dont get me wrong here, I am not saying it would be good to give up all the low end torque by any means, I am just saying Honda could have given us a bit more cam and compression and that valve overlap might have cost 10% down low to gain a whole lot more up top, and that would have been very nice.

I know it is not a fair comparison or anything, but this is a dyno of the stock 1.8L mid 90s Acura engine I was talking about, and something like this would have been incredible in this bike.

Rectangle Slope Font Plot Parallel


Keep in mind as I said this was a stock 1.8L engine from a mid 90s integra that got around 30 MPG and would last easily last 300K+ miles.

You say the bike isn't incredibly powerful. But you also say you're a new rider, so I question what you're comparing it to - a car? The Valk is one of THE most powerful bikes on the market.
I wasnt saying it is weak or anything, the bikes I bought and flipped were a 98 1100 Shadow and a 97? Magna 750. The Valk is obviously a way better bike than either of these for someone my size. And while the Magna was pretty on par speed wise, it wasn't there comfort wise or stability wise when cruising at high speeds.

But I am saying it isn't uncontrollably powerful or anything, like many reviews seem to imply, and I for one would certainly enjoy a bit more top end.

It may be geared differently, and certainly has competition in the 0-60 range, but if you are looking for a muscle cruiser, there are very few stock machines that will whip this bike.
I mean I am not racing it or anything, but it is a bike with a 6k redline that I have driven for hundreds of miles at 4k in top gear and has a first gear so low most users don't even bother with it, and a 3rd gear low enough that you can comfortably drive around in city without shifting. That tells me something could have been adjusted differently there. I get that they just recycled a Goldwing transmission, and they assume people will be pulling trailers and stuff, and I doubt Honda engineers were accounting for freeway speeds that are seen in the rural areas of South Texas, so I don't really blame them for this, but I do think it could be better.

I already have a Henry's final drive sitting next to my desk as I type this, so I will see how much that helps.

As I always say, it is a wolf in sheep's clothing and it belies the monster lurking within. It will pull away from almost any other bike or car on the road. What more does one need? Do you frequently find it necessary to go from 60-100 mph instantly? What do you need more top end power for? You'll spend 99% of your time at the lower half of the spectrum.
I live in rural South Texas, any road I take that goes anywhere more than 10 miles from my house has a speed limit of 70-75MPH, and most people are doing a whole lot more than that. My wife makes the 2.5 hour trip into Houston every few weeks to get her nails done with her mom and sets her cruise control at 95MPH as soon as she hits the freeway until she is right outside Houston. She drives a dead stock 2014 Ford Edge and is not the fastest person on the road by ANY means. She passes cops all the time doing that and they don't even look at her funny because they are looking for serious violators.

So no, not 60-100mph instantly, more like I need to be able to go from a cruising speed of 90-95MPH and if someone decides to change lanes into me without looking I need to option to jump ahead a car length or so ASAP so I don't get run off the road.

I made the drive 500 mile drive to Oklahoma city several weeks back and I would say I was doing 90-95MPH for probably 80-90% of the drive, and a lot of that was on 1 lane each direction highways where a single slow driver would slow down 20+ cars. Having the ability to accelerate faster to get by stuff like that more quickly would have been a nice advantage. At one point in that ride I hit 118MPH on one of those 2 lane highways passing a group of cars stuck behind a farm truck, and while that top speed was plenty, it would have been a nicer, safer maneuver if I could have got to that speed faster.

Here's an article that highlights what I'm talking about:


You'll note that the Valkyrie is #5 on the list. And it's beaten out by the likes of the V-Max, which is not only hard to come by but really a different kind of motorcycle. The Ducati Diavel? Good luck with service and reliability, not to mention cost. Triumph Rocket? Ride one and let me know how you like the center of gravity, not to mention service and reliability. The HD Live Wire? Don't even go there. Keep in mind, this article was written FIVE YEARS after the last Valkyrie was built, and it's STILL #5 on the list! No other bike on the list looks as good, has this bike's power, nor has Honda's reliability, and as relatively few quirks and low cost as this bike. I really don't know what else to say if you're looking for something even more powerful. 0-60 in 3.4 seconds is pretty damn fast in my book.
Dont get me wrong here, I wouldn't want any of those other bikes, you are absolutely right about them being a different type of bike, and the Honda being more reliable. I am a big fan of Honda reliability.

And it'll cruise 80 mph with ease all day.
Lol, if it could only cruise up to 80 mph I would not own one, or I would be run over on the freeway trying to drive it.


You were lucky to find one with ABS. They're relatively rare. And I believe that model comes with a few extra features like self-canceling signals.

I would suggest determining when its last fluid change was, and make sure everything is current. A few bucks invested now will save you a lot of heartache down the road. And go synthetic on your oil.
I dont know if I would say "lucky" I spent weeks on and off searching for one with ABS and then negotiated heavily over the phone, then paid a premium to have it delivered to me from Arizona to Texas, and have had to deal with several issues it had when it arrived. As a sidenote, I would HIGHLY encourage anyone here not to do any business with RideNow Powersports in Chandler Arizona.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Riding a bike on a freeway, much less at 80mph, is not in my realm of fun. 50mph on rural 2 lane and slight smell of a dairy farm is my cup of tea.
Lol, I get that but the speed they do on two lane highways around here is MUCH closer to 90 on average than 50, so you would get your ass run over in VERY short order. That is the exactly the reason why the $750 1998 1100 Shadow Spirit I got first lasted until my first trip out on the highway and I went "Nope, this is so slow it is going to get me run over, I need something that can actually keep up with traffic."

When I said my trip for Oklahoma City was mostly spent doing 90-95MPH, keep in mind I drove 3 and half hours before I saw an actual freeway, before that it was just 1 lane each way highways with a passing lane every few miles, and I was just keeping up with the flow of traffic and passing the occasional slow moving vehicle just like nearly everyone else around me.
 

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I am 41 years old and my wife and I have decided to start riding after wanting to do it for years but just recently are in a position where that is viable.

We ended up getting her a 2021 Rebel 1100 DCT, which is a great bike, but simply uncomfortably small for me. I bought a couple not running older bikes and got them running and flipped them right after deciding they were simply not big or powerful enough for the freeways in South Texas and I didn't want to get run over.

I ended up deciding on a 2014 Valk with 36k miles. I could have got one with less miles for the same price, but mine came with ABS, Corbin bags, a Honda windshield, and a few other accessories, and I figured 36k miles on a Goldwing drivetrain really should not make that much difference one way or another.

Maybe it is just because I am new, or because I am a really big guy, I do weigh about 360lbs, but the Valk just doesn't feel huge or scary or insanely powerful like so many people say. Sure, it is torquey on the low end, but being a long term Honda car fan I would gladly trade off a lot of low end torque for top end power. I mean sure it is a cool stunt to start it in 5th gear with no gas input, or just drive around town in 3rd without having to shift, but those things are really not that useful in a practical way the VAST majority of the time.

Trading off torque on the low end for more power on the top end with the current gearing would make it less twitchy on the low end, and would make a lot more sense for how deep the gearing is. I have an old mid to late 90s 1.8L 180hp Acura Integra engine in my garage that would scream to its 8k redline, and man I cant help but think a powerband like that in this bike would be amazing.

Don't get me wrong, it is a great bike, and I do really love it, I cant think of a better bike for a huge guy that wants something a bit sportier than a Goldwing, but still very comfortable. I even think the stock seat is far more comfortable than people give it credit for as I have already done a couple 500 mile rides on it with no issues, which I feel is pretty good for a newbie.

But I do think people tend to oversell the whole "its insanely huge, and insanely powerful!" bit with this bike.
Great feedback! These Valkyries are something else. Really fantastic bikes.
 

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one thing that needs to be said is that Honda intended for this bike to be easy to ride. its based on the Goldwing of course, and that bike is made to be smooth, refined, and ‘everyday’ manageable, comfortable, and enjoyable.

i’ve read and watched everything i could on the 2014/2015 Valkyries- never one time did i ever hear somebody say the engine/power are an issue in anyway- its 100% always the strength and the appeal of the bike
 

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Not to talk you off the Valkyrie... BUT if you TRULY need a big POWERFUL power cruiser sized appropriately for a larger fellow you might consider a Rocket III or K1600B both are 140+ Hp bikes that would in fact dust a Valk the newer Rocket has 165HP and 163 FT LBS of torque (mind boggling) with both models though you do potentially sacrifice the reliability that Honda's are notorious for...
 

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Not to talk you off the Valkyrie... BUT if you TRULY need a big POWERFUL power cruiser sized appropriately for a larger fellow you might consider a Rocket III or K1600B both are 140+ Hp bikes that would in fact dust a Valk the newer Rocket has 165HP and 163 FT LBS of torque (mind boggling) with both models though you do potentially sacrifice the reliability that Honda's are notorious for...
Love the look of the rocket and the torque it cranks out but I have read nightmare stories about their reliability. This K1600B looks badass and probably much more reliable, also has impressive stats. K 1600 B
 

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Not to talk you off the Valkyrie... BUT if you TRULY need a big POWERFUL power cruiser sized appropriately for a larger fellow you might consider a Rocket III or K1600B both are 140+ Hp bikes that would in fact dust a Valk the newer Rocket has 165HP and 163 FT LBS of torque (mind boggling) with both models though you do potentially sacrifice the reliability that Honda's are notorious for...
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Welcome to the forum, Joel! I wonder if, in answer Richmonder's question about what you were comparing it to as a new rider, you were simply comparing your new experience to your expectations based on what you'd read.
Mostly cars, I drove several small FWD Honda cars back in my youth that ran mid to high 12s. I think the biggest difference is that those cars I drove were a LOT faster on the top end than the high 11s- low 12s Valkyrie, which I would not have expected before riding motorcycles. If was cruising at 90 on the freeway in one of those cars and downshifted and mashed the gas, you would be hitting 130-145 in VERY short order, whereas on the Valkyrie doing that will feel pretty anemic. I have not tested this, but from the way it feels I would guess my wife's dead stock 2014 Ford Edge is as fast, if not faster, than the Valkyrie from a cruising speed of 90 to 120-130.

To be fair that surprised me with the first bike I flipped also, the 1998 1100cc Shadow Spirit. It had 62hp and plenty tall gearing, 15k miles, new plugs, new plug cables, newly rebuild carb, good compression, good filled tires etc, and my max speed in 5th gear was 90MPH, the VERY fastest I could get it going on flat ground was at the top of 4th and tucking down a bit to hit 95MPH, and it took a while to get there. That was why I flipped it, it was simply too slow to be safe on the freeways near me.

For perspective I also have a 1989 Honda CRX HF, which was also rated at 62hp at the crank from the factory. It has around 250k miles and I have had it for maybe 5 years. Never checked the plugs, never changed the plug cables, never checked the compression, the tires look like they have air, but I dont remember the last time I checked them. On the same freeway I have hit 115MPH in that car, not saying it didnt take a bit to get there, but it did get there.

I always knew that motorcycles had a worse coefficient of drag than cars, but I guess I had assumed the vastly reduced frontal area would make up the difference, but my recent experience tells me that is not the case.

I don't know about all the others, but I went from a big Harley dresser to the Valkyrie and thus compared my new experience with the Valk to my past experiences with the HD, although I'd had many other bikes before. The HD V-twin experience, which has been so desired and marketable over the past many decades, did not provide the same experience as my new 6-cylinder boxer Valkyrie engine. Both torque and HP were significantly greater and felt like it.
I would not get a Harley, especially not a Harley VTwin. I understand they are a legacy thing and I understand why they took the easiest and most simple route for their engine design back in WW2, and I get that when you need to air drop a motorcycle into a foxhole and have any yahoo in there be able to finish slapping it together and ride it out simplicity was far more important than power, gas mileage, or long term durability. I even understand that they keep all their sub optimal engineering because people like the sound and vibration and are willing to spend way to much money on what is otherwise a poorly engineered... accumulation of refuse.

But this isnt WW2 any more, I dont live in a foxhole, and I wouldn't tolerate that at any price, let alone the insane prices they charge.

I've told the story about trying to warn a cager that looked like he/she was going to pull out in front of me with a quick twist of the throttle to make enough noise that they heard me. Fine on the Harley, not a good idea with the Valkyrie, especially with only your right hand on the bars. Instant torquey acceleration almost made me lose it. I use the horn now, 🤓 , which is the loudest stock horn of any bike I've owned. Most of the alternatives that Richmonder listed above are also bikes I'd considered. None of them looked (or are) as comfortable as our Valks. You just have to list and prioritize what's really important to you in a motorcycle and then "settle" for the one that has the most to offer you. I think you settled well. Ride safe!
Yup.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Not to talk you off the Valkyrie... BUT if you TRULY need a big POWERFUL power cruiser sized appropriately for a larger fellow you might consider a Rocket III or K1600B both are 140+ Hp bikes that would in fact dust a Valk the newer Rocket has 165HP and 163 FT LBS of torque (mind boggling) with both models though you do potentially sacrifice the reliability that Honda's are notorious for...
NEED is a really strong statement, but I would certainly like it. I do think Honda missed a solid chance there too.

Picture for a moment the exact same bike with the same gearing if it made say 60% of its current power from idle-2k RPMS, 80% of the current power from 2-3K RPMS, 100% of the current power from 3-4K RPMS, 120% of the current power from 4-5K RPMs, 140% of the current power from 5-6k RPMS and pretty much carried that out to 7.5-8K RPMs. That would put you at somewhere around 170-175 crank HP at the top end. This is obviously a rough example of what I mean.

That bike would be a blast to ride if you wanted to stomp on it, and what would you loose? It would have a bit less power from 1-3k RPMs in first gear, a gear many people don't even use now because it is so twitchy and short. Slightly less power from idle to 2K RPMs would smooth out low speed twitchiness in first gear and the extended RPMS would extend the usability of first gear speed wise. The bike cruises around 3K RPMs at around 65-70MPH in 5th gear, so you would have the same power there, and if you stomped on it on the freeway in 5th it would quickly ramp up in power higher than goes now if you wanted/needed it.

Besides engineering, that cost difference for Honda to make that change would be minimal, Maybe slightly beefier rods and stiffer valve springs, and I honestly think that would have been a bike that stood out better and sold a lot more of.
 

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If anyone looks for speed and HP in a traditional H-D motor, they are missing the point. H-D is about style, sound and feel. I get why people love them as I do as well. H-D can do HP we they feel a need. The new Rev Max motor on the PA is 150HP I'm pretty sure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
If anyone looks for speed and HP in a traditional H-D motor, they are missing the point. H-D is about style, sound and feel. I get why people love them as I do as well. H-D can do HP we they feel a need. The new Rev Max motor on the PA is 150HP I'm pretty sure.
I have heard good things about the new Rex Max motor, which is good for them because otherwise they would have continued loosing their customer base at the same rate those customers are either dying or stopping riding due to old age.

For their older VTwin motor based HDs my opinion is that they sound good idling, look good while not moving, and improve ergonomics by making sure your wallet is flat enough in your back pocket that you don't sit off kilter and throw out your back. But if you want anything beyond that in a motorcycle, it is best to look elsewhere.
 
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