This 1998 Valkyrie was born in 2000. Honda simply over produced in 1998. The 98, 99 and 2000 Valkyrie are the same except for the gas tank emblem. The Valkyrie is an impressive bike. The water cooled engine is more like a car engine by design. It is quiet, low maintenance and smooth. The torque delivered to the rear wheel is incredible. I have never given it full throttle in 1st or 2nd gear and don't plan to. The bike is awkward when not moving or in tight places. Once above 5 mph it is as easy to ride as any bike I have been on. Out on the hill country highways it is an absolute dream bike. The gearing is standard but with this much power it could have been geared higher. It will go about 132 mph as is and 142 mph if the air intake and exhaust pipe restrictions are removed. The 6 thirsty carburetors only get about 30 mpg when you drive it hard. I got 42 mph when driving it extremely easy.
The closest comparison in the Harley Davidson class is the Road King. The Road King will always have a sweeter sound. I personally like the quiet sound of the Valkyrie and would not care to compete with a Harley in that area. The weight class is similar. The power torque at low to mid RPMs is similar. I cannot give you an upper rpm torque comparison because the Road King was not my bike and that luxury was not mine to exercise. My conclusion is that both bikes are over powered. However, smaller pistons of a 6 cylinder engine will typically give it more dynamic range and more power in the higher RPMs. The Valkyrie is extremely smooth and powerful on acceleration The Road King has the pulsation of 2 lungs that gives it a feeling of life during acceleration. Both bikes are excellent cruisers with the Road King being a little bit smoother. The Valkyrie is exceptional on highway turns at higher speeds.
In general the Valkyrie is a Honda production line motorcycle that is well designed, powerful, low maintenance and has a good price. You would want to consider the Road King if you want a better sound, a livelier sportier feeling during acceleration or a bike that has more options for customization.
After market options are limited on the Valkyrie. The above Valkyrie has many customizations but I had to fabricate most of them from scratch. There are simply too many to mention at this time.
Jerry on the Valkyrie