The Honda Valkyrie, first introduced in 1996, was intended to be the world’s ultimate cruiser, a six-cylinder brute that was bigger, badder, and more powerful than traditional V-twins. Said one Honda VP:
“The [flat-six] motor is traditional to Honda — it’s our DNA and no one else’s. Unless we share it with Porsche, which isn’t so bad.”
The original model used the 1520cc flat-six engine from the Goldwing, outfitted with a new camshaft and six individual carburetors to produce around 95 horsepower and 98 ft-lb of torque at the rear wheel. That kind of torque planted the Valkyrie firmly in muscle bike territory. Says one long-time owner:
“What is most fun is to race Mustangs and fast Camaros. They know they can beat a Harley…they learn real quick that they can’t beat a Valk. The best thing about this bike is the combination of power, smoothness, and size.”
Enter Basan Metalworks, a small shop in Bremerton, Washington, specializing in commissioned bikes and cafe racer parts. We first came into contact with the shop after sighting their ’87 BMW K100 at the 2019 One Moto Show, clad in glorious aluminum bodywork.
For this build, headman Barry Wise admits that, initially, he didn’t love the idea of turning the Valkyrie into a brat. However, after stripping down the stock machine, the ideas began to flow. Efforts were made to slim and streamline the heavyset Valk, including a smaller tank and inset sidecovers, and brass accents all around the build give the bike an industrial, slightly steampunk vibe.
Ultimately, the super-heavyweight Valk dropped a whole lot of weight — over 210 pounds — coming in at just 510 pounds dripping wet. What’s more, a stage 2 jet kit for all six carbs, matched with intake and exhaust upgrades, helped this new cruiserweight hit even harder, putting down 110 horsepower and 116 ft/lb torque on the dyno.
Below, we get the full story on this flat-six bruiser, along with some great shots by Dan Bott (@gnardoggie).
Honda Valkyrie Custom: In the Builder’s Words
We are a small shop in Bremerton, WA, building commissioned bikes and cafe racer parts, and I have been a fabricator/welder for over 25 years.
Started with a stock Valkyrie, which I was on the fence about, as I didn’t like the idea of turning a Valkyrie into a brat. But after removing the stock tins from the bike, including the tank, I started to get some ideas. I slimmed the entire bike down with a smaller tank and inset sidecovers, and raised the rear of the bike up a little over 4″ with the mono shock.
I added brass accents throughout the bike including oil filter cover, fuel cap, viewing gas level tube, eyeglass in the coolant overflow res, and a few other bits. Billetproof Designs made the brass eyeglass on the coolant res, fuel cap, and sight glass on the tank.
I detabbed the frame and welded in a tail hoop, mono shock mounts, and new tabs for all the new tins. The seat and tank are upholstered in Horween leather by Larson Upholstery.
Hand-built Parts and Fab Work:
- Seat pan
- Upper and lower side covers
- Skid plate
- Coolant overflow res
- Tail hoop
- Battery box
- Mono shock mounts
- Passenger grab bar
- Front fender
- Rear mud guard
- Tool roll bracket
- Radiator cover
- All brass accents
- Bridgestone Battle Wing BW502 150/70R17 (Front)
- Bridgestone Exedra Max 200/60R16 (Rear)
- Original forks serviced and upgraded by Race Tech, Gold Valves & Spring Upgrades
- Progressive 428 Monoshock
- 6 LED + Projector Headlight
- Morimoto Front Signals
- 6 LED Tail Light & Signals integrated into rear hoop
- Koso TNT Gauge
- Passive Keyless system by Digital Guard Dawg
- Joker Machine Risers
- Joker Machine Bar End Mirror
- LSL Steel Drag Bars
- Stage 2 Jet Kit for all 6 carbs!
- HiFlo Air Filter
- Custom exhaust headers to collectors with pie cut tips, honeycomb baffles slipped in
Result 110 HP @ 5600rpm & 116 ft/lb torque @ 3500rpm.
Wet weight stock 720 LBS, Current weight 510 LBS.