I posted this overview on reddit a few days ago.
I thought I would post a quick review on this new bike. Seems like I may have got it a bit early as I haven't seen any other owner's reviews posted anywhere.
So to get one thing straight right off the bat. I love the original Honda Valkyrie. It is probably one of my favorite bikes of all time. I love everything about it, the style, the engine, the versatility, everything. I was super excited when I heard it would be making a comeback in 2014. Then dread when we finally got to see pictures of the thing. Like a lot of Valkyrie enthusiasts I wasn't pleased. The reveal was in January and to be honest the new Valk fell totally off my radar.
I was going to be purchasing a new bike this year and was looking into some power cruisers. Having previously owned a Kawasaki Meanstreak with a lot of mods I was familiar with the class and looking to ride something new this season. The M109R, night rod, vmax, Rocket III, and the Diavel was the short list of bikes I was considering. I started doing some research on the bikes this year, the changes to each and had planned to head out and take a look at what the dealers in my area had. A strange thing happened I hit my local Honda dealer on the way home from work and they had just received 2 of the new Valkyries and had just finished uncrating them. I wanted to at least see this thing in person.
The styling on the new Valkyrie is really going to be love it or hate it thing. It's not a traditional looking cruiser and a lot of people will immediately write it off simply for that reason alone. I was originally one of those people, the bike really grew on me as I stood there looking it over. It really is a one of a kind cruiser on the market right now. Once I got over the mindset of "it should look exactly like this" is when I really started to fall in love with the bike.
At the heart of the new Valk is the flat 6 engine found in the Goldwing line. The engine is incredibly smooth throughout the entire rev range. I could feel almost no vibrations in the grips anywhere in the 0-80mph range. I have pretty bad carpal tunnel from years of computer use. V-twins really do a number on my hands. They are almost instantly numb even with aftermarket gel grips. Sport bikes are no better, they almost all have a spot somewhere that makes the grips vibrate at some extreme high frequencies. None of that is present with the flat 6. It is probably the first bike I have ever owned where I did not immediately go and change the grips.
The seating position is true to the original Valkyrie, and more closely resembles a Goldwing . You are seated more upright and neutral than other cruisers. The stock seat is excellent, this is an area I almost always change out on other bikes. Usually to a Mustang or Corbin, the stock seat on the Valk feels a lot like a aftermarket seat and not what I was expecting from OEM. The forward controls are a little strange. There is not much room between the engine and the forward controls. Less space than what I am used too but my foot figured it out quickly.
I'm still learning the sweet spot for neutral on the gearbox. This is one of my minor complaints with the bike. You don't get a solid feel when you pop out of gear and into neutral so it is really easy to miss.
The handling is surprisingly light and nimble for a bike this size. I feel like this could be a mix of the low center of gravity and upright riding position.
The stock exhausts are a bit louder than a F6B but nothing too flattering. These engines sound amazing with a slip on or full system and I can't wait for someone to bring an aftermarket exhaust to market.
My final major concern is Honda has no parts and upgrades for this bike at all. I'm not too familiar with how Honda releases a new bike line. The omission of the simple upgrades you see everywhere is strange. Stuff like chrome license plate holders and other chrome bits and covers. The passenger hand grips are designed in a manor that makes me suspect Honda is planning on releasing a bolt on saddle bag set.