2015 Honda Gold Wing F6C Valkyrie Review
Ride the Legend…
A great deal of style and bigger deal of engine – two essential components that make a boulevard-shredding power cruiser special. Not only should it be a motorcycle to be seen on, it must have power to revel in. With a design that stops a street of traffic in full flow.
The original – and naked – 1975 GL1000 Gold Wing set the benchmark for the breed, with its horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine and cruising form. And it quickly became the definitive touring motorcycle thanks to a turbine-smooth power delivery and mile-munching ability.
A six-cylinder 1500cc overhaul in 1987 kept the fully dressed Gold Wing on top and in 1996 a stripped-down version, the F6C Valkyrie, took the Wing back to where it all began. The GL1800 replaced the GL1500 in 2000 and the Gold Wing F6C is ready, built very much with a 21st century attitude, design and performance
F6C – ‘Street Muscle Cruiser!’
Based on the GL1800 Gold Wing chassis and engine, the F6C injects a massive dose of adrenaline and attitude into Honda’s custom cruiser range. It’s a whole 70kg lighter than the GL1800 and its 1,832cc fuel-injected six-cylinder powerplant delivers a flood of torque from nowhere with a satisfying, spine-tingling snarl thanks to twin slash-cut exhaust mufflers.
The F6C forms a bridge between the new CTX1300 and the Gold Wing F6B/GL1800 Gold Wing. It’s lighter than its fully loaded touring-focused Gold Wing siblings and provides a riding experience that’s dynamic when required and chilled-out when not. – thanks to well-controlled suspension, dual four-piston caliper front brakes and ergonomic riding position.
And its visual appeal – low, mean and muscular – makes a dramatic statement, the bodywork underpinned by the massive aluminium beam frame’s powerful line and the engine’s twin cylinder banks. The F6C is an impossible machine to ignore.
Some will take one look at the Valkyrie and declare it’s all about style for the outrageous, in-your-face muscular presence. There are those who will say it’s all about performance citing its enormous tire shredding 1832 cc flat six motor. Still others will point to the rigid twin spar aluminum frame and beefy 45 mm inverted forks and decide it’s all about handling. There are even some that will remember that the Valkyrie is part Goldwing and proclaim that its strength lies in the long haul. Well, the Valkyrie is all these things and more – its one hell of a good motorcycle.
2015 is a special year for the Honda Gold Wing, and we’re celebrating with a special 40th Anniversary key.
What do people think of when asked to define America? Leadership. Independence. Freedom. A big country. And relaxed, friendly people. Next to hot dogs and apple pie, is there anything closer to that image than the hot rod? You know the formula: a big engine with tons of torque, the more cylinders the better; a low-slung chassis; and a long stretch of highway or boulevard to let it stretch its legs.
That’s the Honda Valkyrie formula. And it’s what makes this bike unlike anything else on the road. Is it for everyone? Hardly. But then, that’s the whole point of a bike like this, isn’t it?
Bigger, bolder and more outrageous than anything else on the road, the Valkyrie is a power cruiser unlike anything else. We took our biggest engine, put it in a cruiser chassis and turned it loose on the road. The result? Pure American hot rod..
2015 Honda Gold Wing F6C Valkyrie – Key Features
Model updates: Based on the GL1800 Gold Wing platform, Honda’s stripped-down Gold Wing F6C injects a jolt of adrenaline into the power cruiser arena, with that incredible horizontally opposed six-cylinder engine and rock-solid chassis married to commanding style and show stopping presence.In celebration of the Gold Wing’s 40th year of production, the 2015 Gold Wing F6C receives a new colour of Candy Prominence Red and a commemorative key fob to mark this special motorcycling milestone.
The Gold Wing’s opposed six is a motorcycling icon. What happens when you take that great powerhouse and plug it into a cruiser chassis? You get a ride like nothing else on the road.
Cruisers are as American as apple pie, and for good reason: they’re fun and comfortable. When you’re talking about a Honda Valkyrie, everything is even more fun and more comfortable.
The Valkyrie doesn’t look like most other cruisers because it’s not. It’s bigger and more powerful so we gave it a whole new styling treatment, too.
2015 Honda Gold Wing F6C Valkyrie – Features and Benefits
The F6C employs the bare minimum of chassis needed to bolt a rider to its mighty motor. Constructed from lightweight multi-box aluminium sections the twin-spar frame is aided by the engine’s low centre of gravity (it also acts as a stressed member) to create superbly balanced handling at all speeds.
The aluminium subframe lowers the F6C’s tail. Easy ground reach – seat height is just 734mm – and a comfortable, carefully shaped seat that’s just 300mm wide at the critical portion aids rider confidence at standstill.
The 45mm telescopic forks are matched to a Honda Multi-Action System (HMAS) monoshock that can be adjusted manually for spring preload; it works through Pro-Link on the single-sided aluminium swingarm. Spring and damping rates front and rear have been modified to suit the F6C’s weight reduction and urban cruiser intent.
Compared to its siblings, the F6C’s steering geometry is stretched out: rake is set at 29° 50′ with 114mm trail. Overall dimensions are 2,473mm (L) x 942mm (W) x 1,154mm (H) with wheelbase of 1,707mm. Kerb weight is 341kg.
For improved stability in naked form the front/rear weight bias has been adjusted to an effectively even 49.9/50.1, and the engine support beam’s rigidity balance subtly adjusted (made ‘softer’) for improved rider feel through the chassis. Wide, rubber-mounted swept-back handlebars provide leverage and control.
To deliver the required grip levels with neutral handling characteristics an F6C-specific 19-inch cast aluminium front wheel wears a low profile 130/60-R19 tyre, the 17-inch rear a wide 180/55-R17.
The brake system features twin 310mm floating front discs and opposed four-piston calipers, plus a rear 316mm ventilated disc/three piston caliper with 2-channel ABS for safe stopping in slippery conditions.
The F6C’s bold look is chiseled and purposeful. Flowing organically from the solid front quarter it builds on the frame and engine’s strong, burly form and the twin rear mufflers define and underscore the rear quarter. The F6C has a clean and un-cluttered custom look and boasts full LED lighting – headlight, taillight, running lights and indicators – providing great visibility plus unique light signatures. All instrumentation is housed in a stylish dash with ‘negative’ LCD display.
The F6C will be available in the following colour options that will also include the 40th anniversary key fob:
Candy Prominence Red
The goal for the F6C’s engine was to produce a rush of acceleration at a split-second’s notice from a standing start. It also needed to provide epic, unforgettable drive from low rpm in top gear and offer up super-smooth throttle response everywhere in the rev-range.
Honda’s 1,832cc horizontally opposed SOHC 12-valve six-cylinder unit has a real head start in the power delivery department. Fed by PGM-FI controlled fuel-injection with twin 40mm Keihin throttle bodies, it employs an F6C-specific 6.6-litre airbox and panel-type air filter. Bore and stroke is set at 74mm x 71mm, with compression ratio of 9.8:1. It produces 167Nm torque at just 4,000rpm, with peak power output of 85kW @ 5,500rpm.
Location of the radiators proved an interesting challenge, as they could not be front mounted. Side mounting was the natural solution with airflow managed by optimised channeling within the side cowls.
The five-speed gearbox (which employs 5th as very much an overdrive for relaxed cruising) delivers the engine’s torque via shaft drive. The hydraulic clutch lever’s pull ratio has been revised to offer a lighter action – less than 60N load – for stress-free operation.
The exhaust system was developed to get a perfectly balanced exhaust note with dual personality – a throaty growl at low-rpm and high-pitched crescendo at maximum rpm. The left hand muffler has a slightly larger 3.8-litre volume, the right 3.3-litre.
A range of Genuine Honda Accessories will be available, including:
LED fog lamps
Chrome side stand
Chrome side cover
2015 Honda Gold Wing F6C Valkyrie – USA Specifications/Technical Details
US MSRP Price: $ USD
Engine Type 1832cc liquid-cooled horizontally opposed six-cylinder
Bore And Stroke 74.0mm x 71.0mm
Ignition Computer-controlled digital with 3-D mapping
Compression Ratio 9.8:1
Valve Train SOHC; two valves per cylinder
Final Drive Shaft
CHASSIS / SUSPENSION / BRAKES
Front Suspension 45mm cartridge fork with anti-dive system, 4.8 inches travel
Rear Suspension Pro Arm® single-side swingarm with Pro-Link® single shock with remote-controlled spring preload adjustment, 4.1 inches travel
Front Brakes Dual 310mm discs
Rear Brake 316mm rear disc
Front Tire 130/60R-19
Rear Tire 180/55R-17
Trail 114mm (4.5 inches)
Wheelbase 67.1 inches
Seat Height 28.9 inches
Curb Weight 752 pounds (Includes all standard equipment, required fluids and a full tank of fuel-ready to ride)
Fuel Capacity 6 gallons
Miles Per Gallon 41 MPG – Miles per gallon values are calculated estimates of fuel consumed during laboratory exhaust emissions tests specified by the EPA, not during on road riding. Use for comparison purposes only. Your actual mileage will vary depending on how you ride and maintain your vehicle, weather, road conditions, tire pressure, cargo and accessories, rider and passenger weight, and other factors.
Model Id GL1800C
Emissions Meets current California Air Resources Board (CARB) and EPA standards.
Available Colors Candy Red
FACTORY WARRANTY INFORMATION
Three Years Transferable, unlimited-mileage limited warranty; extended coverage available with a Honda Protection Plan.