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Dear Jim, I own the dream bike of all the bikes I have ever ridden, a '99 Interstate. The one and only problem I have had with it is the radio system. The darn thing works when it wants to. At one point it stopped working for over a year and just came back on. My dealer said they could not tract the problem down. They thought it might be in the handlebar control box , or the radio itself, and now they maintain it has to be in the display panel in the fairing. Can you give me with some suggestions as to help me fix this problem?

I'm reluctant to answer this because I really don't know what your problem is and I might seem even more stupid as others will see this answer. So what!

In a home shop or as you can see, also in a dealers shop, these high tech electronics are real hard to trouble shoot. If it were me(and I hope you do not live close enough to bring your bike over) I'd look first for a simple problem. Get to all the wiring you can that has to do with power to the radio and look for an intermittent short. Use a multi-meter (cheap at any store) and start from the fuse that controls the radio and check for juice everywhere you can.

As you trace these hot wires to the radio, wiggle them around and that is what we're looking for, a spot where the current is off and on with the wiggles ( I like that). There is not much you, or I, can do after that so lets hope you find something. We have answered another question that has to do with radio problems and what I do when I'm stumped. I think it says something like, "Take the bike to Rap City." Every town has one I think. These guys that work there fix and change 50 radio's a day and a bike's radio is the same as a car.

Don't let the bolts and nuts sticking out of their faces bother you. They are very good at radios and I'll bet they can help...




How does the Valkyrie Interstate brake light work? Is is through a relay? I have no brake lights from the front or rear pedal. The fuse and bulbs are fine (replaced). Fuse was blown, my thoughts are that the relay coil is shorted. Any input appreciated.

If the fuse was blown, some short did it and you must find the short. I have only the shop manual for the Standard and Tourer but I do not believe that the elects are any different on the Interstate. Your dealer or a schematic on line will show you easily where the relay is if it has one. I don't think so.

Anyway the short must be found and all will work again. A useless note about our Valkyries: We are addressing an increasing number of questions about shorts and related electrical problems that come from a bike getting older. We are lucky that the Valk has a pretty straight forward electrical system and all the main pieces are accessible enough but age is getting to some of the older ones.

Remember when you drove into the water filled ditch because you thought is was the parking lot entrance? All the time she set out in the rain and all the beers that have been poured on her? These all contribute to crud building up in all those little pin connectors and plugs and they must be clean to work. Cleaning them and finding electrical problems is just expensive labor. That's usually why your shop will tell you that they have no idea what is wrong and don't have the time to look. They know that they can eventually find the problem but are you going to be a happy customer when your stop light finally works but you get the bill for 6 hours of labor? $450 for fixing my brake light!! It's up to us to keep our Valks clean, washed and maintained.





I'm having what I believe to be a fuel delivery problem with my '97 Valkyrie. Problem: It will run for 5-10 minutes idling or a few miles on the road, then shuts down just as if it were running out of gas. I pulled the tank, valve and strainer. All seem OK. I suspect a tiny leak in the check valve diaphragm, allowing the spring pressure to slowly equalize/overcome the vacuum. That's my best, uneducated guess. Any help, insight or guidance would be appreciated.

All signs point to a tank vent problem. If it were me the first thing I would do is connect a piece of hose to the fuel line, the other end in a bucket. (No Smoking!)

Turn on the fuel and watch to make sure you get a good continuous flow. If you do not, open the gas cap. If there is a difference, raise the back of the tank and the little fuel vent line is under there. Pull it out and replace it with a good piece of hose. Can't think of anything else except I'm thirsty.




I have a 2000 standard Valk with Cobra 6 into 6 exhaust. I've installed new exhaust manifold gaskets and the popping noise was temporarily eliminated. After every oil change if I re-tighten the exhaust flanges the popping noise is substantially reduced, but returns after 1,000 miles or so. Are you aware of any 'better' exhaust gaskets, or sealant that could be used?

I have never had the problem of loosening exhaust nuts like you have. An idea would be to clean all the threads well and apply a good anti-seize compound and tighten as best you can. The stock gaskets are all that I know of. Try using some new gaskets as the old ones are, for sure, squashed flat by now.

The rest of your problem requires some discussion. I do not think your popping is because of loose exhaust nuts. Popping and backfiring is usually caused by a too lean condition. Valks are lean to begin with but this condition is made worse by installing free breathing exhaust systems like yours.

A good thing to try is opening all your pilot screws to 3 turns open. The pilot circuit flows fuel at all engine speeds and will richen things up a bit. You should notice a slight difference. If you do then a good idea would be to install the phase 1 jet kit sold by lots of different outfits. You can do this job yourself if you're handy but if not it will not cost much at a shop.

I think you will find this mod to really make a noticeable difference. I just installed a Dyna ignition and was surprised at
the difference but it costs too much.




I see a need to be jacking up my bike in the future, and have seen motorcycle/ATV jacks. Some of my Internet research has shown a steel frame (usually painted blue) that serves as some kind of adapter between the jack and the engine case.

Any helpful hints on how to raise this 800lb beast without it falling over on top or me?

Since these cheap lifts have come on the market lots of us, me too, have wondered if they are tough enough for the worlds biggest bike. I finally saw one in action and I think I'll stick to my old timer.

They are for sure strong enough to lift a Valk but once they are up you start to get nervous. Oh, the bottom of the Valk motor is nice and flat and you do not need any special adapter to lift one. Anyway every time you touch the bike it moves. I mean up and down, back and forth and all you want to do is get it down. The lift I'm talking about is the one we all see at the auto parts store for as little as $50.00.

I say go to the next one up and get a lift that will make you feel safe enough to do the work you want to do. An important note: Always strap your bike to the lift when working on it and remove the strap before riding.



My 2001 Valkyrie just got back from a dealer service. They rewired the driving lights. I left the bike for a week and now the electrics are totally dead. All fuses are intact. Tried jump leads from a car but no result, not even lights. Any idea what the problem could be??

We don't know what they did to the driving lights, but if all was right before, we must suspect that they did something wrong.

First thing I would do is disconnect the hot wire from the driving lights so this problem area is isolated, and then check to see that the kill switch on the right handlebar is in the on (run) position. I have grown up never using this switch so when the guys want to play a trick on me they turn it off when I'm not looking. Nothing works with this switch off so I check all the fuses and mess around for a while and then the jerk who did this to me will ask me if I checked the switch. I always fall for it. Damn, I hate that!

Next check what I call the "Jesus" fuse. Under the right side cover is a small rectangular box. Inside this box is a strap type fuse. When this is blown nothing works either.

Valkyrie batteries last about 2-3 years. If yours is older than that, replace it.

Improperly wired driving lights can burn out the starter button switch. Nothing can be done to it so replacement may be necessary. Jim.




Between 2000 and 4000 Revs in 4th gear my Valkyrie 2002 (10,000 miles) has started to lose power completely and then come back with a thunk, is this going to be as big a problem as I fear?


Phil, come back with a thunk? What does that mean?

I'm guessing that when the power falls off, the drive line lash (the looseness in all the gears ) goes forward and then when the power comes back on it takes it all up back in the drive direction and "thunk." That would be normal and not something to worry about. Well, maybe worry a little but not too much.

I'm thinking that if you are normally riding up through the gears, that when you get to 4th you run out of gas. Valks do sometimes have a problem with the fuel tank vent hose. If its kinked or full of water or just old and soft (age will do that I'm told) you need to check it out and make sure it is clear. It's that last little one at the back underside of the tank. Also, if this is a new problem you may have picked up some bad or dirty gas or even some water so it may be necessary to pull the fuel shut off valve out of the tank and make sure everything is clear and clean. See, nothing to worry about. I'm not worried. Jim.




Q. Is there any way for me to successfully polish the scratches out of my tourer windshield. I believe it is Lexan.

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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