With the Victory gone I’m truly a Valkyrie rider now. I still have my Magna and ride it to work most days, but the circle of folks I hang around with think of the Magna as the Valkyrie’s little sister. It is a high revving V-4 and, in spirit at least, still fits the Valkyrie family.
The long rides are on the Valkyrie now instead of the Victory. The model year of my Valkyrie is 4 years older than the Victory. Some may wonder that I’d get rid of a newer model bike for an older one. But I wanted a Valkyrie.
The Victory was a beautiful bike. The big 1500 V-twin followed the popular Harley-clone style most manufacturers produce today. A touring bike with more than two cylinders is becoming increasingly hard to find. If you do find one, it will be a Goldwing. The makers of touring bikes are almost exclusively producing push-rod V-twins. The last Valkyrie was made in 2003.
Valkyrie aficionados like myself find ourselves with an increasingly small reserve of bikes. And, ironically enough, a bike that was discontinued for lack of sales is now hot enough of an item that they usually sell for more than the “official’” value. A buyer can still find a used Valkyrie, but forget the blue-book price. And used Valkyries may soon be rare items. I’ve been watching them for about two years, and there are fewer available now than there were a year ago. The people who want Valkyries are starting to feel that it may be “now or never.”
The Valkyrie is an incredible machine, getting more bang per cc than any other cruiser I know. And it does it with a engine designed before 1997 that uses a carburetor. Honda is apparently sinking very little money or time in updating the flat-6 power plant. Its reading of the motorcycle-buying public is that everyone wants a V-twin. They’re just not spending any money on serious development of F-6s or V-4s. And that is sad. One can only wonder what technology would be in a modern Valkyrie. Probably an 1800 cc, flat-6, fuel-injected engine. Maybe even direct injection rather than port injection. I can see something like that producing 180 to 200 hp right out of the factory door.
Hopefully one day the tide will turn, and enough riders will appreciate substance over “style,” to see the end of the Harley-clone era. I can really see it happening. All those squids buzzing around town will eventually get older. At least the ones that don’t kill themselves. And when arthritis and softening bodies drive them to the cruiser market, they’ll go for a Valkyrie over an Ultra-classic every time.
— Guy Wheatley