1998 Honda Valkyrie

The Valkyrie's defining characteristic was its chrome-plated, smooth-as-silk Honda flat-six. See more motorcycle pictures.

The 1998 Honda Valkrie motorcycle trumped other cruisers of the 1990s, not an easy feat when contemporary rivals were steadily growing in displacement and sophistication.

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Japanese manufacturers were rushing rushed to bring out cruiser models in the 1980s. Honda, however, was already in the thick of things with its V-twin Shadows.

But unlike the typical V-twins and occasional V-four engines, the 1998 Honda Valkrie motorcycle was powered by the flat six used in Honda's big Gold Wing tourer. Displacing 1520 cc, it sported individual carbs for each cylinder.

Since it lacked the extensive bodywork of the Gold Wing, the gleaming chrome-plated engine took center stage on this seven-foot-long motorcycle.

Like the Gold Wing, the 1998 Honda Valkrie motorcycle had shaft drive, and its triple disc brakes provided plenty of stopping power.

The six-cylinder engine was much smoother in operation than competing V-twins, and though that feature veered the 1998 Honda Valkrie motorcycle away from traditional cruiser styling, it could outpower anything in its class.

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