Honda NRX1800 – Flight of the Valkyrie

A machine created to rule the Earth and electrify the air

Today's guest bike is the Honda NRX 1800, also known as the Rune Valkyrie. In Norse mythology, a valkyrie is a mythical figure who chose those who may die in battle and those who may live. Selecting half of those who die in battle, the valkyries bring their chosen to the afterlife hall of the slain, Valhalla, ruled over by the god Odin.

Honda built an outrageous motorcycle that shares its name with the mythical creatures: the amazing Rune Valkyrie. A factory custom bike, the NRX 1800 impressed with its massive size, luxurious appearance, and Porsche-like flat-six engine.

Honda built the Valkyrie between 1996 and 2003 with a 93 cu-in (1,520 cc), liquid-cooled, horizontally-opposed six-cylinder engine that was sourced from the Honda Gold Wing, along with some changes for an increased power and torque output.

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In 2003, Honda introduced the Rune version. The engine was considerably improved, gaining a displacement of 111.8 cu-in (1,832 cc) as well as bigger power and torque outputs compared to the previous version.

Looking at the Valkyrie Rune from a short distance, the level of detail and finish quality are simply amazing. Certainly, that made the shocking price of $27,000 (with the chromed wheels package) easier to accept. It is surprising that Honda built such an exotic motorcycle because, despite the Hot Wheels hot rod appearance, the Valkyrie was neither a top seller nor a profit maker.

What about the performance of this road warrior? Well, there is no surprise that the Rune is the most powerful street-legal custom motorcycle built by Honda. To make it possible, Honda engineers tuned the Gold Wing engine to fit the power-cruiser/muscle-bike purpose of the Rune. The cylinders are fed via a PGM-FI fuel injection system by six 32-mm throttle bodies with 12-hole injectors, which replace the twin-body system used on the Gold Wing.

New camshafts, a revised 3-D fuel injection, ignition timing mapping, and a new close-ratio gearbox were fitted as well. The high-capacity 6.9-liter airbox teamed up combined with a free-flowing six-into-two exhaust system provided the air and flow to make the engine growl at full throttle. And because of high torque values, a drive shaft was fitted to send power to the rear wheel.

Talking about the rear wheel, the chromed rim is in itself a sparkling work of art and it would be a shame not to have it exposed. Therefore, Honda used a single sided swing-arm to maintain the exotic appearance that engulfs this motorcycle.

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Reaching speeds over 120 mph was not a big task for the potent six-pot engine, but what about stopping? Well, engineers took care of that too: to stop the massive 800+lb beast, they fitted the largest discs available in the factory. On the front end, the Valkyrie Rune features dual 330mm discs, while on the rear there’s a 336mm unit. In addition, the Rune uses Honda's patented Combined Braking System.

The Valkyrie is one of the most powerful cruisers Honda has ever produced, and it is also one of the most extravagant demonstrations of styling, engineering, and uniqueness. It truly is a "love it or hate it" type of bike. Some say it's ugly and bulky, but others are falling in love with its top build quality, muscle bike stance, and massiveness.

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