What kind of oil do you recommend?
If you can afford it a full synthetic is the best. Surprisingly, major oil companies do not recommend it for motorcycles. They say that there is a potential for clutch problems and yet they all use it in there racing motorcycles and many of us use it on the street with no problems. It's the highest quality oil you can buy.
Is premium fuel worth the extra money?
There is no advantage in using premium fuel in your Valk if your engine does not need it.
Unfortunately it is not as easy as choosing an octane number to determine what your Valk likes best. The owners manual says 86 octane regular gas (Ha). Engine modifications, engine condition and altitude can effect this octane requirement but its easy to find out what your Valk needs. Out here on the west coast we have three grades of gas 87, 89 and 91. Just drop down one grade from what you are using. If your bike starts hard, stumbles at idle and just doesn't run like she should, you need to stay with what you've been using. But if you notice no difference you do not need premium. Most Valks run fine on mid-grade.
When you travel you will find that some states sell different octanes with different additives than at home. If you can't find the octane you need, always go up.
How will I know when my brakes need replacing?
Remove your brake pads and inspect them and if in doubt, Replace them. The lowest screw on the front brake calipers is actually a plug. Remove it and the screwed in pin inside and the brake pads will fall out. If the pads are thin, l/16 thick or less, cracked or broken replace the pads.
The worst thing you can do is wait too long and score the rotor. If you score the rotor, big money will change hands.
How do I get rid of the squeal sound after installing new brakes?
This is one of the most common and perplexing problem a shop has.
Disk brakes make noise when they are working properly but they sure sound bad. OEM Valk brakes are nice and quiet. Who wants to buy a bike with squeaky brakes? Nice and quiet and soft and usually wear out in 6-10,000 miles. So customers say, "Listen you jerk, don't put on those crappy Honda pads, I want something that will last." OK I say, but they may make a bit more noise.
"I don't care about that, just get to work, you charge by the hour and all you do is B.S."
So I sand the rotors and the new aftermarket pads a little with some 200 grit to help them get used to each other, put them on and you can guarantee he will be back the next day.
"Hey, you Bozo, my bike sounds like a Mack truck."
Happens all the time. As the new pads break in they will get quieter and the rider will get accustomed to the new sound.
Starter button preventive maintenance.
One of my regular maintenance procedures is to shoot some WD-40 in all the switches on the handlebars. This will clean up the salt and water accumulation and greatly increase the life of the switch.
Should I worry about lubing my cables?
I don't think we have many cables to worry about, only throttles and speedo. You can roll the throttle around and shoot some WD or something at the carb and grip ends and you can break the speedo cable at the speedo and put some cable lube in the top end but other than that not much to worry about.
I have a 99 Valkyrie Interstate bought in January 2001. I have noticed what looks like oil coming from near the intake tube bolts on both heads. I removed one of the bolts and there was fluid down in the threaded hole. Is this common? Where is this fluid coming from?
I'd be happy to help with your problem but I need a little clarification.
I am assuming the bolts you refer to are the ones that hold the intake manifolds to the heads. Is the fluid oil, or coolant or a light brown nasty fluid that might be condensate? I ask because there really is no engine oil in the area of your leak so if its engine oil I'd suspect that it is blowing up from some other leak when you ride. If it is green colored it is coolant and there is a large diameter chrome tube that carries coolant on each cylinder head. These do occasionally leak and have a o-ring that can be changed.
If its what we can call condensate, or the liquid that comes from the crankcase breather system, the easiest check is to drain the system by removing the plugged tube under the middle of the bike and see if allot of fluid comes out, normal is about a half a shot glass. This should be done every once in awhile anyway, and if alit comes out then you may have a crack in a hose or holding tank or the air box. This sounds horrible but as long as you keep this tube drained you really don't have to worry about it.
To end on a nicer note it could be as simple as loose spark plugs which are letting the combustion mixture blow up and around the rubbers and collect on the manifolds.
Almost embarrassed to ask as I have owned a ton of bikes and done most of my own spanner work - here it is. How do I get the tank off?
Yes, You should be embarrassed to ask (smile) but you know it seems to be a big problem for alot of the guys and gals. It's not a big deal at all though, getting it back on is the problem if you don't have three hands.
Anybody have trouble with crappy Honda transmissions?
I have had 2 Valks and both have issues b/t 4th and 5th gear. My first Valk would downright pop into a false neutral there, even though the local dealer informed me that this phenomenon was impossible. My second Valk has mild issues going from 2nd to 3rd gear, like the shift lever doesn't return down from the second gear activation toe. Then it's reluctant to go into third.
Every Honda I have ever known has some hole or another in its transmission. What gives?
This is the good news and the bad news answer.
First the bad. Shift problems like yours are usually caused by a weak or broken shift drum stopper spring. This spring makes sure that everything is in its proper place for the next gear and so if its not working properly things can go a little too far and we all know what trouble that can be. This is a shop job. Do not attempt this repair on the sidewalk in front of your apartment.
Now the good news. This spring and the accompanying Rube Goldberg assemblage of levers, pins and springs are located under the transmission cover. Thats right on the front of the engine so its not that big of a job. A good shop will also inspect all the related parts and as soon as you make the last payment you can ride happily away.
Does anyone know where I can get the fiche for the Interstate trunk/trunk frame assembly?? I was working with a buddy to remove the trunk, got drafted to do a "honey do" at Wal-Mart.
When I returned, my buddy had the trunk off, but he can't remember where the screws and bolts go if I want to put the trunk back on!!
I do not know how much you took apart, where the parts are or where your car keys are either but there are a few lessons that we can learn from this experience. You must get your priorities straight.
Whenever your wife asks you to do something that interferes with working on your Valk you must strongly decline. Say something like,
These are just suggestions and you might want to tone it down a bit if she is handy with a pistol.
To get a little more engine sound, I have cut the piggies and drilled out the very rear back plate of my exhaust canister. (I did not drill forward through the center of the individual exhaust tips.) Does the drilling I've done hurt the engine's performance?
Can I continue to drill out that back plate? (It's pretty holey already) Just wondering cause it worked good so far...
If you drill forward through the old piggie holes you will increase the sound a bunch and it will not hurt your performance. This is what I have done to Rosebud and about half the time I'm happy with the sound but sometimes it's a bit loud. A long (6-8") drill about 5/8" diameter does a nice job.
If you love the looks of the stock pipes, as I do, this will make a big difference without changing their appearance.
1998 1500C Valkyrie ...where is the air filter located?
Some guys don't know this. First read the answer to the "fuel tank removal" question found at the top of this page. Do that and there is the air filter!
Then remove the 9 screws holding the top of the housing on and when you lift out the ail filter itself be ready for a real interesting study in air flow dynamics. Someone has taken the time to determine the perfect location for each of those little trumpets inside that air box. It just fascinates me, I could just look at it forever, and have! I'm sick!
Air filter replacement is recommenced every 12,000 miles. But unless you ride in very dusty conditions every 20,000 is OK. If you let it get real dirty though it will effect the way the air flows into this wonderful world of the air box (get off it, Jim) and will hurt performance.
There is a gear noise (loud) when I reach a speed from 70 km to 90km. (1997 Valkyrie 100)
OK, Here goes. If we had any less information in this question it would not be a question at all but there are some gear like noises that are common with Valks and are very alarming to new owners until you get used to them.
My 97, old #11 "Rosebud" has a very audible medium frequency whine in 2nd, 3rd and 4th gear. Very alarming to me when I first got her but after servicing and riding many other Valks I have found that this noise is normal with most of them. After I cut the piggies and drilled out the pipes I don't hear it anymore.
Also you will get a increasingly louder whine from your tires as they wear. Seems that the flatter they get the more rubber contacts the road, I guess, and they make more noise. Just find a road that has patches of asphalt and concrete and you will notice of change in the noise as you pass over the different surfaces. The original equipment Dunlops are noisy tires.
Brake pads and wheel bearing can also make noises and these kind of noises need attention so you must take the old gal to a greasy old mechanic (these new clean kids just won't do) and have her looked at. A very general rule is:
PS. Check under the fenders; there may be a squirrel stuck under there...
I have a motorcycle jack. The only jacking point I see is on the engine.
No problem jacking up your Valk under the engine. It's plenty strong and I don't know how else you could do it.
To remove the wheels you need to go up high so use a strong tie down and tie the bike to the jack so when you are wrestling with the wheels you don' knock the bike off the stand. Rear wheel removal is easy. Just loosen and lift off the brake caliper and remove the nuts on the exhaust hanger, then go forward and loosen but do not remove the nuts holding the exhaust flanges to the engine. You just need to drop the back of the exhausts to clear the rear axle when you remove it. After this is done the wheel will fall off.
The front is straight forward. Remove the speedo cable(if so equipped) and the axle and the wheel falls off.
The book torque values for the back axle nut are 81 lb./ft and the front 67 lb./ft. It's hard to believe what the Honda shop charges for this simple job, easily enough to buy your own jack stand.
How much oil do I put back in after resealing the the shocks?
I must assume that you mean the forks and that's easy. You must be a pretty handy guy to change the seals.
If you did not completely disassemble and clean out all the oil you still probably have a little in there. So on the right side, hold the fork tube vertical and pour fluid into the dampening rod and let it spill over into the fork tube until the level is about 5 7/16 " (the book says 5.3 ") from the top of the tube. Work the damper tube up and down to make sure everything is full and measure with the damper down. On the left side just fill it until this same measurement is about 5 9/16 (book 5.6")
I have a '96 Valk that has developed a bad grating rumble coming from the clutch in between the lever pulled in and release. Any ideas?
After careful contemplation there is only one thing to do. Get it to the shop..
There are a lot of parts that could be the culprit and none of them will fix themselves. Remember we discussed the general rule that says high frequency sounds are "generally" normal but low frequencies need attention. This is the classic case.
Variations of this basic Valk clutch have been around for years so its no problem to fix for any experienced wrench but this is a big labor job and the dealer will kill you. Again, head to the bad part of town and find the greasy old man with his own little bike shop. You will know the right one when you find him as he won't like you and you won't like him. He'll fix it right up and maybe after a few years he may even talk to you.
I want to surprise my husband with a Valk - I can't afford new. What are pitfalls to avoid, how many miles/year is acceptable, what suggestions do you have? Is the Valk as 'bullet proof' as I've heard? Any E-Bay success stories?
All of us who want to own this great machine already do, says Honda, so they will not offer the Valkyrie after this year. That means that there are some super deals right now for what's left on the shelf. A friend just got a brand new standard for $10,500 (July 2003). Also you may want to give a call to a Mr. Lyn Bridgewater at Dallas Honda (800) 747-0648). A couple of months ago they took back from the Police dept. a number of Valks that they had used as Police cruisers, brought them all back to stock and they even come with the factory warranty.
I have a 2000 Valk. Neutral light is always on! Other than that the bike is flawless. I have 15k on bike so far.
Underneath the right side cover is a red connector. You can check at the Green/Red stripe wire for continuity to ground. If you have continuity all the time you have a bad neutral switch.
If you have continuity only in neutral then its working fine and you would not have asked this question. The switch itself is under the transmission cover on the front of the engine. It's kind of a tricky job to replace the switch so if I were you I'd just remove the bulb and not worry about it. As you know, just because the light is on does not mean you are in neutral and just because its not on does not mean you are not in neural(Huh?). What was the question again?
How do you remove a radiator on a Valkyrie interstate?
After you have located it by removing these really cool items, its easy. Drain the coolant, disconnect the fan motor (black connector under the right steering side clover), thermostat wire, remove all the hoses and the top mount bolt, tip the radiator forward a little at the top and slide it towards the left side of the bike and it will come right out.
Be Careful with it as it is easily damaged.
A friend of mine lives in New Zealand and he has asked me to look for a exhaust system for his 1500 V6 Valkyrie. He wants to run Drag pipes. He's looking at Cobra and 2 brothers systems. He does not want it real loud but he wants to bring out the tone and up the performance. I'm looking for a recommendation on were to start?
Tell your Kiwi friend that here in the northern hemisphere drag pipes are loud. Maybe under the Southern Cross they make bikes quieter, who knows, everything is backwards down there anyway.
Any neighbor of a Valkyrie owner will tell you that Valks are VERY loud with straight pipes. Also, without engine mods, performance will suffer. Rejetting, at least, will have to be done but there are some good rejetting kits with good instructions available. If he's stuck on straight pipes I prefer the 2 bro's setup but the big problem most owners face, that they do not like, is that they are chrome single wall construction and will turn that nasty yellow/blue color(color) right away. I much prefer the drilled out piggies trip and if you must change the looks there are some real nice stack extensions available. With this combo you get the quality of the stock pipes and you can adjust the sound and looks to your liking.
Tell your buddie that "you can't have your cake and eat it too." He won't know what that means and I'm really not sure that I do either.
I have put cobra 6 into 6 pipes on my 98 Valk. The dynojet kit was so rich it sooted up the plugs. With the factory needles I still run rich in med range but OK on top. PLEASE HELP.
There may be no more interesting and confusing part of motorcycling than the complex relationship between timing, mixture, vacuum, gasoline and oxygen.
There have been volumes written
on the subject so rather than do another
After you have read and digested all of this info and you feel that you understand it all, you are a genius.
What do you think about Texaco (or any similar brand) extended life, non-silicate, five year antifreeze.
PS. It's red.
I have checked my shop manual and found no reference to or preference to any particular anti freeze and I use whatever good brand is on sale. As for the extended life part I believe that you should change your antifreeze as the book says,every 24,000 miles. I do it once a year regardless of mileage.
I do think the red color would be cool. If you had a leak it would look as though your bike was bleeding...
When it rains hard, my bike dies from lack of fuel. I think my vent tube plugs up with water and will not let the fuel gravity drain to the carburetors. I have to open the gas cap and break the vacuum and then leave it open to keep riding until the rain stops.
I have checked the vent tube and it appears to be clear. Do you think I need to enlarge the connection on the gas tank where the vent tube attaches or replace the tube as it may have a partial blockage or deformity inside it's wall? Have you seen this problem anywhere else?
I think that if I had your bike in my shop, the first thing I would do is pull the tank and replace the tank vent tube. Maybe it is kinked or the heat has caused it to soften. Also I would blow into the tank at the connection of the vent tube to make sure it is clear.
The rain part has me stumped. I keep trying to imagine a scenario where the tube could be located in a place that just gets soaked in the rain and maybe the vacuum draws water up into it. I'd relocate it to see if that made a difference. Your pretty much stuck with the vent size at the tank. This fitting is part of the tank itself and can not be changed.
No, I have never before heard of a rain related vent problem. Please let us know what it turns out to be.
Is the original Honda shop manual worth the extra money or is it safe to purchase one of the cheaper Clymer or Haynes manuals?
If you are just looking for basic information and how to do everyday maintenance the Clymer and Haynes manuals are fine. The Honda shop manual has lots of extra tech info that you must pay for but never use but it really screams "this guy is cool" when its in the bookcase.
Two questions - first, how do you remove the decorative chrome side covers from the radiator?
Second, what is this stuff I am reading about 'piggies'? What are they and if I cut them off, will I get more power? Also what are the advantages of drilling out the pipes and how should this be done?
Just use a nice sharp knife and carefully cut the double back tape between the reflector and the radiator end cover. I use some weather strip adhesive to put it back on.
are those little pipes that almost make it out the back
of the exhaust pipes. There is no performance advantage
in cutting them off just a little more sound. The next
step is to drill through the ends of the piggies into
the muffler chamber itself (see an exhaust question
about this operation) for a bit more sound and if you
want you can drill a few holes around the piggie holes
for even more sound.
question is much more complex. If you have any hot rodding
experience you will notice that the Valkyrie engine
is a hot rod already. This bike in the hands of a good
rider will turn mid 12 second quarter miles which is
no slouch. With almost 100 hp, 100 ft lb. of torque
Good free breathing exhaust and proper jetting to compensate is the best bet for a small increase. For big HP you need a supercharger like the one offered by Magna Charger (www.magnacharger.us) or maybe nitrous oxide. Either would give you a literal "kick in the butt!".
I just bought a used 1998 Valk.
When I engage the clutch traveling above 35 mph there is a noise that sounds like a gear rattling against something. I also hear it to a lesser degree when I decelerate. At highway speeds I can feel it in the right foot peg when I operate the clutch.
We have an answer in the Transmission section under Clutch in this column that addresses these type of problems but I do find your troubles a bit unique.
Generally clutch problems are noticeable with the clutch disengaged (lever pulled in), no I don't think you are stupid, and these noises would occur regardless of speed. This is when all the clutch parts are loose, and if they are worn out, they rattle around and make noise. If the clutch operates properly (which you failed to mention) I would look at wheel bearings and maybe for something simple like just a loose bolt or nut around the exhaust hangers or the chrome exhaust shields.
I just bought my first big bike a 1999 Valkyrie.
I knew I would need to do a little work when I got it. It has 12,000 miles. The brake pads front and rear both need to be replaced. I have done a lot of auto brakes and this does not look to hard.
My question is, I am having trouble with the front brakes heating up now and binding. Will the new pads take care of this or do I have other problems?
Also I will take any pointers on the pads replacement procedure. Thanks.
Change the pads and brake fluid now before you do any damage to the brake disks.
The pads are easy to change. Just remove the black slotted plug on the brake caliper (same front and rear) and unscrew the pin inside this hole and the brake pads will fall out. Take care to clean well and lightly grease (high temp grease) this pin. When the pads compress they slide along this pin and we want that to be smooth.
This could be the problem with your front brakes heating up. With the low miles on this bike I have a feeling its been sitting for a while. Sometimes nonuse can cause the brake calipers to become sticky inside and not release the pressure quickly when you release the brake lever. I would purge out all the old brake fluid from the brakes and while your at it change the clutch fluid too. Jim P.S. Sophie's carries the complete line of Galfer brakes so if you need a price on replacement pads email me..
My 1999 Valkyrie interstate has 40k mi. and I have just had the left rear bearing fail for the second time. The first time was at 20k mi. The rear wheel has not been removed since the bearing was repair the last time. The seal has failed when I noticed the bearing failure but I don't no if the bearing fails first or the seal.
Has any body else had this problem?
The second failure of this same bearing would lead me to believe that something is not right with the wheel itself or the axle is bent. I would remove the back wheel and take it to a good machinist and have all clearances checked and make sure the axle is straight. Take all the pieces and new wheel bearings and seals have him check and install everything and check the wheel run out That's a check to see that the wheel is running true.
I am hearing and feeling a crumbling noise from time to time when returning from a ride to Dewey Sat. It would only do it once in a while when slowing down. I put it up on jack stands in neutral the front and rear wheels spin forward and backward smoothly. The final drive was repacked with grease at tire change by Piper performance 9500 miles ago. Gear oil changed on schedule. Any answers?????????
I kind of feel that this question is a set up...
I do like the way you signed concerned, and you very well should be. I think you've got a bad wheel bearing and it needs to be looked at now.
Just for the record, anytime you have noises that sound like crumbling or cracking you must stop riding. Even in Dewey. It's a tuff town, I know, but its much better than having a major failure and maybe even hurting yourself. Jim
A whistling sound in front of engine when cold, and sometimes a whistling sound coming from clutch handle.
It's really surprising how different our engines sound. Owners ride usually only one Valkyrie and get used to how it sounds. I sure would have liked to know if this is a new sound or something that you have listened to since you have had this bike.
Lets assume it is new. I'd check the timing belt tensioners and the belts for any damage. If you can feel any friction at all in the tensioner, change it and it will quiet down. I have a friend who has had this whistle for over 20,000 miles and it still sounds the same and still drives me nuts.
Usually when a clutch handle whistles or hums its because it does not know the words.
What is your opinion on Air Lake's 6 degree advance trigger wheel?
I'm glad you asked for my opinion.
The technical answer about what a trigger wheel does to your engine is complex but this is my personal experience with them:
A couple of years ago they were very popular and made by a couple of different sources and I installed a few on Valks. I did not notice any difference in performance with the wheel or with out. The owners told me that they had to use premium fuel only or they would get excessive preignition and fuel consumption was either less or more depending on riding style as it always is anyway. So, my personal opinion is, don't fix it if it ain't broke. Jim
I am getting a lot of black soot in my 99 Valk tailpipes. I have 6 into 6 pipes and I don't know if I have been re-jetted. I never have to choke when cold and there is a faint smell of gas when first started. I am not burning oil and the oil is clean. What's up with the soot??
It would have been nice to know how the bike runs but I still think I know what's wrong.
It is normal for the jets to be changed and the pilot screws adjusted when straight pipes are installed and its easy to see if its been done. Take a look at the right rear carb(its the only one you can see very well), look for the pilot screw hole. It's the one you must look straight up to see on the engine side of the carb.
From the factory this hole is plugged with a little brass colored cap so you can't mess with it. If this cap is gone then its been messed with. I'll bet its gone. Get a small screw driver and see how many turns it is from the closed position.
A rough place to start is about 2 1/2 - 2 3/4 turns open. I'll guess yours are better than 3 turns open. You will want to get a pilot screw tool to get at the rest of them. Just slowly turn them down, about a quarter turn at a time until you get to the place you want to be. If this is not what's wrong you will have to remove a carb and see what's been done to it or maybe you could hire a Chimney Sweep to come over when you do an oil change and just add it to your regular maintenance schedule.
A dirty air filter will also do this.
I have a brand New Valkyrie with just over 1000 miles on it and I love it. One little Qwerk though.
From the first drive of the lot an intermittent problem with it popping out of first gear as I slowly accelerate from a stop and then pull in on the clutch. It happens either in a slow turn or moving up a slight incline. It is definitely in first gear and then all of sudden I am in neutral, when I go to let the clutch out again. The neutral light does come on and a press down on the gear shift does put it back into first easily enough.
Unfortunately it is infrequent enough that I can not recreate it for the dealer/mechanic. It occurs once or twice a day/ride. Anyone heard of this before?
You know what I would do if I had a brand new Valk and it was not operating properly? I would take it back to the dealer and politely mention the problem and the fact that it is under warranty. Tell them to ride it back and forth to work a couple days and then fix it.
See our response to "Crappy Honda transmissions" on this web page. When you return for your bike and they say that they can find no problem take off all your clothes and sit on the showroom floor and wait.
They will get right to work and fix it for you. Jim
How do you remove the throttle on a 97 Valk? I am adding a Throttlemeister and don't see where to begin...
Just hold the throttle and screw off the end cap and you have begun. If you need to go further split the throttle housing and remove the cables and you can pull off the whole works.
quitting time so I think I'll head down to the store for
a 6 pack of Throttlemeisters.
Is it possible and practical to put electronic cruise control on my 2000 Valkyrie Interstate.
Practical? I don't think so.
The Goldwings come with an electronic cruise control but after many phone calls I could not find anyone who knew whether it would work on a Valk. The fuel delivery systems are very different and at the price of Honda parts you may as well just get the whole Goldwing.
Everyone also told me that they had heard of a kit but did not know who made it and had never seen one. Sorry, that's all I can offer on this subject.
I have had the front tire replaced on my 2000 Valk Interstate with 10k miles on it, but still having a problem with the bike hopping around 35 mph. I suspected the new Avon Venom tire and had it replaced with a Dunlop, but still having problems like the tire is out of round.
Do you have any suggestions
what the problem might be?
A. This should be any easy yes or no answer to this question but it just ain't that simple. Here in the L.A. area we don't worry too much about scratches, it's bullet holes that we get and they cannot be polished out.
There seems to be many different plastics that are used on windshields, some are very hard and some not so hard and some, like mine, very soft. Polishes are not abrasive enough to remove scratches and a rubbing compound that will cut out the scratches will also leaves small scratches of its own. Also, some shields have a coating on them that you remove when you polish and you can see the edge of it. Anything you try do it on a small area, somewhere where you will not be bugged by what happens. Maybe someone at an auto paint shop would know the secret as I do not. Jim
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