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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
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.


http://imgur.com/X5SOSGb


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.
 

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Thanks for posting your overview of it, great read.
What other bikes were you considering before settling on the F6C, if any?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for posting your overview of it, great read.
What other bikes were you considering before settling on the F6C, if any?
Harley vrod, Triumph Rocket III, Suzuki M109R, Yamaha VMAX and the Ducati Diavel were on my short list of bikes.

No one in my city or any surrounding cities seems to be able to get the Rocket III anymore so I had to rule it out. I guess you have to special order the VMAX as I have never seen one on a dealer floor anywhere.

The vrod is a tiny bike, I test drove one and didn't much care for it. I also knew to get any kind of real power out of it you have to drop another 2 grand on a full exhaust, air kit, ECM, and dyno tune. The M109R was similar, I didn't get to test ride one but it was too much like my old power cruiser (Kawasaki Meanstreak). A cool bike but looks just like every other cruiser on the road.
 

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Harley vrod, Triumph Rocket III, Suzuki M109R, Yamaha VMAX and the Ducati Diavel were on my short list of bikes.

No one in my city or any surrounding cities seems to be able to get the Rocket III anymore so I had to rule it out. I guess you have to special order the VMAX as I have never seen one on a dealer floor anywhere.

The vrod is a tiny bike, I test drove one and didn't much care for it. I also knew to get any kind of real power out of it you have to drop another 2 grand on a full exhaust, air kit, ECM, and dyno tune. The M109R was similar, I didn't get to test ride one but it was too much like my old power cruiser (Kawasaki Meanstreak). A cool bike but looks just like every other cruiser on the road.
that is one sweet short list of bikes you have their.
im guessing those are the better of your full list?
 

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I have also been thinking about the Ducati Diavel, but I'm afraid its just too much money. $22,000 for the Diavel just seems a bit gratuitous. The F6C is a bit more affordable to me.

Weird that you couldn't find a VMAX anywhere. That is also another one that I have been looking into.
 

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I'm curious about the air flow. How do you find the lack of windscreen? I assume its punching straight in the chest, but is it manageable or something that definitely needs a screen?

Thanks for the info and share Link! :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I'm curious about the air flow. How do you find the lack of windscreen? I assume its punching straight in the chest, but is it manageable or something that definitely needs a screen?

Thanks for the info and share Link! :D
You are a bit more protected than a cruiser with no windscreen. The radiator pods cut a lot of the wind off your lower body, but like you said you are getting pelted in the chest by the brunt of it.

For me I am used to cruisers with no windscreen and the feeling on the F6C is slightly more comfortable. Highway driving is 100,000 times more comfortable than any V-twin cruiser. The smooth flat 6 engine is a dream on the highway and there are almost no vibrations anywhere on the bike. Every other cruiser I have owned has been like riding an angry paint mixer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I have also been thinking about the Ducati Diavel, but I'm afraid its just too much money. $22,000 for the Diavel just seems a bit gratuitous. The F6C is a bit more affordable to me.

Weird that you couldn't find a VMAX anywhere. That is also another one that I have been looking into.
The VMAX and Diavel are both really cool, however they super unfriendly if you ride with a passenger at all. If you want the most powerful cruiser on the market it is a toss up between the two. The VMAX is slightly faster, but the Diavel has a lot more modern features. The keyless ignition is awesome on the Diavel and a feature I wish every bike had. Also carbon fiber...
 

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You are a bit more protected than a cruiser with no windscreen. The radiator pods cut a lot of the wind off your lower body, but like you said you are getting pelted in the chest by the brunt of it.

For me I am used to cruisers with no windscreen and the feeling on the F6C is slightly more comfortable. Highway driving is 100,000 times more comfortable than any V-twin cruiser. The smooth flat 6 engine is a dream on the highway and there are almost no vibrations anywhere on the bike. Every other cruiser I have owned has been like riding an angry paint mixer.
Beauty, just what I was hoping to hear. Conformity bias? ;)

Another quickie for you regarding the gear box...

Twist the throttle to the stop, and you better be ready to shift immediately in lower gears. Thankfully, the transmission shifts slickly, with each lift of the lever resulting in positive connections between the cogs. Clutchless upshifts shorten the gap between gears and keeps the Fun-O-Meter pegged. In more mundane applications of the throttle, the fuel metering is spot on with nary a hiccup as you roll the throttle on and off through a winding section of road.

With fifth gear being an overdrive, the engine feels like its loafing at highway speeds, and the Flat-Six’s reputation for supernatural smoothness is carried on for another generation of riders to enjoy.
Firstly I'm curious about the cluthless upshifts, I didn't know there was a Quick Shifter... or maybe theres not and hes just slipping? How do you find the gearing off highway, say in and around town?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
Firstly I'm curious about the cluthless upshifts, I didn't know there was a Quick Shifter... or maybe theres not and hes just slipping? How do you find the gearing off highway, say in and around town?
Most motorcycle gearboxes can be shifted up without using the clutch. The smoothest method is to apply a slight amount of preload to the gearbox before you shift. Then you just blip the throttle and firmly shift up. Depending on the gear ratios you can get some very smooth shifting this way. I can report from my own Valkyrie 3-4 and 4-5 is super smooth without using the clutch. Anything that involves 1st, neutral and 2nd gear are all "clunky" for lack of a better term. If you have owned any other Honda you know what to expect. I prefer a more solid feeling around neutral. Maybe when I switch to synthetic it will improve.

To answer the second part of your question. 80mph in 5th gear is less than 3k rpm, very smooth there. I tend to use 5th gear the most since the engine is so well behaved, anything above 45 mph is fine in 5th. In and around town the engine has so much torque you can cruise around easily in 3rd, 4th, or 5th gear. The engine loves 2k-3k rpm (8k redline) and is really forgiving. If you are a city commuter and get stuck in stop and go traffic a lot you will appreciate the radiator side pods. They pull air in and push it out towards the front forks. None of that hot air reaches the rider. I've been on a few air cooled bikes that roast the rider in stop and go traffic. I was pleasantly surprised the first time the radiator fans kicked on.
 

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Thank you for the report! I look forward to the arrival of a Valkyrie at my Honda dealer for a test drive :)
Awesome, have you found out when exactly your dealer will be getting one? I believe they let you ride them through a booking process, did they open up booking as yet?
 

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Most motorcycle gearboxes can be shifted up without using the clutch. The smoothest method is to apply a slight amount of preload to the gearbox before you shift. Then you just blip the throttle and firmly shift up. Depending on the gear ratios you can get some very smooth shifting this way. I can report from my own Valkyrie 3-4 and 4-5 is super smooth without using the clutch. Anything that involves 1st, neutral and 2nd gear are all "clunky" for lack of a better term. If you have owned any other Honda you know what to expect. I prefer a more solid feeling around neutral. Maybe when I switch to synthetic it will improve.

To answer the second part of your question. 80mph in 5th gear is less than 3k rpm, very smooth there. I tend to use 5th gear the most since the engine is so well behaved, anything above 45 mph is fine in 5th. In and around town the engine has so much torque you can cruise around easily in 3rd, 4th, or 5th gear. The engine loves 2k-3k rpm (8k redline) and is really forgiving. If you are a city commuter and get stuck in stop and go traffic a lot you will appreciate the radiator side pods. They pull air in and push it out towards the front forks. None of that hot air reaches the rider. I've been on a few air cooled bikes that roast the rider in stop and go traffic. I was pleasantly surprised the first time the radiator fans kicked on.
Cheers, bud! As I suspected he's essentially slipping it. Really glad to hear the comments about the cool ride. I was prepared to accept roasted calfs as a side affect of owning such a beastly cruiser :D:D Have there been any periods of prolonged stop and go where heat soak gets progressively worse or is it fiar to assume its consistent?

Thanks again man :D
 
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