The Honda Valkyrie

The Valkyrie in Zion Park


Link To Valkyrie Interstate Page (Updated 2/9/01).

I took delivery of a new (BLACK) Valkyrie Interstate on 1/22/99.  It's a birthday present from me to me (charity begins at home).  Watch the Interstate Page for evolving comments about the Valkyrie Interstate and a
comparison of it to the Tourer.


In April, 1997 I purchased a black Honda Valkyrie Tourer.  I have owned a large number of motorcycles, both big and small, and this is without doubt the best motorcycle I have ever owned.  It is smooth, comfortable and awesomely powerful.   I have logged some more than 13,000 miles on this bike and frankly do not understand how anyone could ride one and not buy one.  Is it the perfect motorcycle?   Well, not quite, but it is MUCH closer than any other bike that I have ever owned or ridden.
Addendum on 7/19/98:
Please note below some additions to this original posting.  As I approach 20,000 miles some things have changed. I have much information from others, and I have added a couple of accessories.  One thing remains the same, my conviction that the Honda Valkyrie is the best cruiser on the planet.
Final Addendum on 3/8/99:
This page will remain posted as long as there is continued interest in it but it will not be further revised or amended.  I will now actively maintain the Interstate site.   Currently, this page is being "hit" about 1500 times per month.
Another "Final" Addendum on 1/25/00:
The content of this page had not been modified for a very long time.  Please see the information of the Valkyrie Interstate.

Some observations about the Valkyrie:

Gas MileageTo be blunt, the gas mileage of the Honda Valkyrie is NOT very good.  In fact, even with its very large tank (more than 5 gallons), there are places in the west and southwest where making it between gas stations can cause some anxious moments.  Like any vehicle, your gas mileage will depend on how you drive.   By using restraint (which is not an easy thing to do when all of that power is there for the asking) you can get 35-40 mpg.  On the other hand, if you push the bike to near its limits you can drive the mileage down to about 20-25 mpg.  Hey "Big Red", if  there was some reasonable way to get another gallon or two of gas on board it would be appreciated.   In general, you can go about 140-150 miles before hitting reserve if you drive legal speeds and know how to fill the gas tank (see below).

The Gas Tank.  Splashing gasoline on your freshly polished tank is a heart rending experience.  With the Valkyrie, the gas tank is cleverly designed to encourage if not guarantee that you will do that.   Topping off the fuel tank on a Valkyrie is an art learned only by long experience and a task you can not rush.  The last several tenths of a gallon must be added VERY slowly and with great care.  If you add fuel quickly and stop when the fuel erupts all over your beautiful tank, you will be about a half gallon short of capacity.   Honda needs to do some serious work on the design of the fuel tank!

The Side Stand.  I guess "cruiser cool" requires that the bike lean over very far on the side stand (check out the Harley, for example).  And, that is in some ways good.  I once had a Suzuki (the old water cooled three cylinder two stroke - great bike!) that stood almost straight up on the side stand and it was very unstable.  It once blew over in a level parking lot in a wind storm that was not all that violent.  Well, the Valkyrie is not going to blow over, that is for sure.  Even on level ground, raising the Valkyrie off the side stand is a load.  If you put your bike on the side stand and the ground slopes off to the left you may be in trouble.  It seems to me that the side stand should be modified to raise the bike a few degrees more upright.  Of course the bike has no center stand.  If it did, it would take King Kong to use it.

The Turn Signals (added 719/98)I can't believe I didn't grouse about this when I first posted this page.  First of all, the Valkyrie does not have a turn signal beeper nor self-canceling turn signals.  I presume that the more visceral aura that Honda sought to project with this bike would not allow any sissy stuff like that.   The only clue that the rider has that a turn signal is flashing is a single flashing indicator light mounted in the center-back of the headlight shell.   This indicator light is nearly invisible in bright sunlight.  And, if you are "vertically challenged" (short) like this writer, and hunkered down in the seat for comfortable riding, that dim flasher is hidden behind the handle bar clamp.   At this point I think Honda should put the "visceral aura" considerations aside and recognize that this is a serious safety problem.  A cheap and adequate fix would be a beeper!  By the way, the Valkyrie does NOT have emergency flashers.  I guess a real man could always light his beard on fire to ward off the 18 wheelers after dark.   Come on, Big Red, we are not asking you to make a two-wheeled minivan out of the Valkyrie (you have been there and done that) but this turn signal, emergency flasher thing is a serious safety issue.

Details.

  • Instrument Lighting.  The lighting of the instruments is not adequate for night riding.

  • Fuel Reserve.  There is no gas gauge, no warning light, just a rotary valve that appears to be cheaply constructed and very poorly integrated into the bikes design.    On the positive side of this, the Valkyrie "asks for" reserve more gracefully than any bike I have ever owned.  When you are running out of gas, the throttle response simply becomes increasingly lethargic.  This, as opposed to a Yamaha I once owned, that just quit with no warning at all.

  • Temperature Gauge?  A temperature gauge could have been tucked unobtrusively into the tachometer and should have been.   The temperature is always the best way to keep track of what is going on with a liquid cooled engine.  As it is, when you start your Valkyrie that last indication you have of what is going on in the "engine room" is when the oil light goes out (or, perish the thought, when it comes back on).

  • Trim.  The unfinished brackets on the back of the Hondaline windshield and the cheap and cheesy fake chrome accents on the sides of the radiator are not consistent with the overall quality of the bike.  The windshield brackets are unsightly and the plastic radiator trim was "sand blasted" rough by road dirt in the first several thousand miles of riding.

  • Helmet Lock.  Clearly, the Honda engineers forgot the helmet lock until it was too late.  What they give you is close to useless and I hope they are ashamed of it.  For those of you who do not have a Valkyrie, the so-called helmet lock is a strange rubber strap that you get to by removing the seat.

  • That Damn Reflection.  The gas cap and surrounding trim on the Valkyrie is a huge "mound" of chrome.  It is very attractive in the show room.  Unfortunately, out on the road on a bright sunny day that collection of chrome can create a very annoying reflection on the back of the windshield.  This reflection is EXACTLY in the center of your line of vision.


Some Recommended Valkyrie Web Sites:
                                              (1.)     For those who ride the dragon!
                                              (2.)      the F6RIDER - Check it out!
                                              (3.)     This page is a MUST - The bike a work of art!
                                              (4.)      Honda Motorcycles Home page
                                              (5.)      Some Valkyrie Links
                                              (6.)     
The Valkyrie Owners Association


Minnesota to Utah  (a Valkyrie trip)

Pipestone and Polygamy (a Valkyrie trip)

A Trip to the Valley of the Sun (a Valkyrie Trip)


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3/8/99 [FINAL FOR VALKYRIE CONTENT]

4/29/99, 1/25/00, 3/13/00, 2/9/01 [NOTES]

 

 

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