Valkyrie speederWhen idly watching some YouTube videos the management of the Whittlecreek and Eaton St Torpid Heritage Railway took a liking to the minimalist east European scooter-based 'speeder' in the foreground:
So, a few weeks later when almost as idly browsing the 'tat' at a car boot, the sight of a somewhat damaged model of a Honda 'Valkyrie' motorbike made a connection. It's mostly cheap and cheerful PVC mouldings, and the radiator and exhaust were missing, along with a few other details. But for £2 it was a snip.
There's no way the management fancy trying to hide a motor and gears within this model so it will be 'static' (well, strictly, push-along). But the idea of a 1500 cc 100 bhp flat-6 liquid-cooled engine with a shaft drive propelling a 'speeder' resonates with the V-8 motor in 'OctaVee'. (Later 'Valkyrie' models had an 1800 cc engine and even more horses.)
The Honda F6C 'Valkyrie' was the 'muscle bike' variant of the 'Gold Wing' made between 1996 and 2003.
The Valkyrie Speeder
In the event it was easier to track down a similar Maistro model in better condition via eBay (for a mere £8 including postage) than to replace all the missing engine parts.
Sadly the replacement has the F6C emblem on the fuel tank, not the Valkyrie logo as the tatty model did. But they are the same Honda model, just slightly different Maistro minatures.
The wheels and rear suspension were removed from the motorcycle, along with the front mudguard. Then Binnie Engineering's diddiest disc wheels were sprayed with aluminium paint before mounting on Binnie axles – the bike's front and rear wheel 'bearings' needed drilling out a smidgin to take them. Some short lengths of polystyrene profile keep the front forks fixed in place.
All-in-all, probably the quickest kitbashing job the Jackdaw Works team have undertaken! And, at about £12 (including the 'false start' tatty model) then one of the cheaper too.
An enthusiast for bizarre speeders asked the entirely sensible question 'How do you turn it around?' So a bottle jack was added under the (assumed) centre of gravity (viz. the crankcase of the engine) made from a stray Hornby 'O' gauge diecast buffer and the lever which originally formed the parking stand of the model. The idea is to line the bottle jack up with a sleeper, extend it so the wheels clear the rails, twizzle the bike around, line up the wheels with the rails, then release the pressure in the bottle jack.
Valkyries in myths
In Old Norse a valkyrja means 'chooser of the slain' – one of a host of female figures who choose those who die in battle and those who live. Presumably the purchasers of Honda's Valkyrie 'muscle bike' were well aware of the significance of this name.
Numerous examples of art have depicted valkyries. And seemingly valkyries are an essential part of every fantasy computer game.
Was this a valkyrie?
Four views of a figurine from Hårby, Funen, Denmark created about AD 800
and presumably worn as a pendant. © Nationalmuseet, Copenhagen.
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