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I saw an older article once about how to remove the Emission control tubing on my '99 Valk. My friend has a VTX and he says that removing the emission lines will stop the 'popping' from installing
straight pipes... it also makes the bike look a lot cleaner.

My state doesn't have emission testing, so I want to go for it. How do I do it?

The removal of the smog system will not make your engine run any better.

The only real problem with the system is the miles of tubing that need to be checked so that there are no air leaks which can be a pain in the butt. You need to do a bit of adjusting of the carbs to correctly compensate for the addition of straight pipes. There is a good article at that should get you started. Jim





How do I eliminate a spongy feeling in my brakes?

Your problem is rare but not unheard of. Somehow you have gotten an air bubble in the brake fluid.

I would advise a change of fluid anyway so it ain't no big deal. Go to the auto parts store and get some dot 3/4 synthetic brake fluid. Open the top of the brake reservoir and the bleed ports on the brake calipers (the ones with the little rubber caps). Keep the reservoir full and with the lever, pump nice clean fluid into both sides of the system purging out all the old fluid.

Put a little clear hose on each bleed screw so you can see the nice new fluid and not make such a big mess. After that close the bleed ports and pump the lever until you start feeling some pressure, hold that pressure and, one side at a time, loosen the bleed port screw and watch the fluid come out. Close the bleed port screw each time before you release pressure on the brake lever.

Pump pressure, hold , bleed and do it again. When you have done this enough times and see no more air bubbles do the other side the same way.

Always keep the brake reservoir full of fluid and try not to get brake fluid on the paint. This is easy and I'll bet its fixed.

Oh, When you are really good at bleeding you can do the back brake and clutch too.





Fitting a 205/55/16, car tire on the rear wheel of the Valk.

I made the mistake about a year ago to say this to a group of about 100 Valk riders:

"If what I say now keeps only one person from fitting an automobile tire to their Valk, I'll say it. Car tires have no place on motorcycles!"

Man you would have thought I'd just insulted someone's mother. I was almost shouted off the stage by guys who had done this and had not had any problems. I really did not know what to think.

After the meeting was over I was approached by many people in private who told me horror stories about what a car tire had done to them. They said it was just a mater of time until riding on a car tire went bad. Everyone said the same thing in different ways, that the handling was unpredictable and wet weather riding should not be done at all. What I found most interesting was that all agreed with the boys who shouted me off the stage. They were convinced that car tires were cool and safe. When then they found out they were wrong, well they don't like to talk about it.

Metz makes a real motorcycle tire called a ME 880 XXL in size 240/50 VR-16. Now I call that a big motorcycle tire. Jim






Fuel tank on tourer change with bigger interstate tank? How do I do it? And do I need to change the sensor on the bottom of the tank? Can I use the tourer one for this?

OK, so the truth comes out. I do not know everything.

I have not done this swap but do know that it is a very popular idea so I'm sure its almost a bolt on. Your biggest problem will be finding a Interstate tank. At a customers request I looked into the cost of a new one, as used ones are unheard of, and sold for (sit down) $700.00.

That's an awful lot of money for a little more gas.








The radio on my 1999 Interstate operates well, but I am unable to change stations. The radio is locked on a single station with good reception. The TUNE lever does not respond. Can it be repaired/replaced?

Have you ever run into a problem with any of the control levers not responding? What is the fix? I am tired of listening to Oldies.


Actually, Brian your radio is broken yes, but not where you suspect. The off/on is not suppose to work either. It should not be able to be turned off. This was a Honda antitheft option available only on the 99 I.S. on only 2 bikes. Honda tried this idea by leaving a new I.S. in East LA with the key in it and after 1 month it was still there. It was eventually torched so you have the only one left, a valuable collectors bike!

Get the radio to a radio man and get it fixed and what's wrong with oldies anyway? That Bobbie Goldsboro song about the tree, now that's music...




Which wire is which in my rear turn signals? I have bought a set of LEDs to make the turn signals work as run / brake lights. I need to identify run, brake and signal. Thanks.

I don't remember which color is which but if you pull off the top chrome piece that fits between the turn signals you will see the wires and which way they go and what color they are. The trick with this change is that you must fit a 1157 type bulb socket in place of the 1156 that is in there now and then use 1157 type bulbs. You can tap off the license plate light for the running lights and hook up the other wires just the way they are for the signals.

I like this idea and am thinking about doing it too. Jim.





My question for Jim is 2000 standard Valk, right front directional light very rapid. No right front running light. No right rear directional. All other lights are fine.

The right front directional bulb socket shows 'ground' for the ground wire (green) plus the two pins in the bulb socket. Suggestions ??

Yep, The symptoms that you describe are classic for a burnt out bulb.

I'm sure that the first thing you did was change the bulbs. If you are saying that both pins in the front right socket show ground then maybe you have a bad socket. I will tell you now one of the best kept Valkyrie secrets and you must not tell anyone. This light socket actually comes out so you can test it or see if its broken or melted. Gently push the complete socket assembly in (the plastic cup and bulb socket are one piece) and turn it about 10 degrees counterclockwise and out it comes for your inspection.




I have a clanking sound coming from somewhere in the front of my 2000 Valk when I hit bumps in the road.

Dealer cant figure it out and I have checked everything. They took the whole front end down and found nothing. They claim now it is the "floating calipers".

I'd get a big rubber mallet and hit the brake calipers from the bottom, the way they would move if you hit a bump. If you hear this noise then look inside the caliper (got to take it off) and see if the retaining clip type spring is either broken or has fallen out. There is a clip up inside the middle of the caliper that puts a little pressure on the brake pads to keep them from rattling.

It could also be the rubber bushings that insulate the caliper from the mounting pins, but that problem is rare. All the best and I hope this helps.




I'm buying a wrecked 2000 Valkyrie. I need a gas tank and misc. other parts, what years are interchangeable? Are there any problems with this model that I should look out for??

All parts for all Valks are the same except some seat differences and accessories used on Interstates and the Interstate has a larger gas tank but they will all fit. Inspect carefully for any damage to the wheels, front end and frame and good luck. Jim.




When starting my 1998 Valk on cold days or after leaving it parked for a few days it becomes very hard to start. The problem is that you cannot touch the throttle or the choke because it is already getting to much gas (flooding out) for some unknown reason. What would be causing this problem?

Although my bike is a 1998 I purchased it new about 1 1/2 years ago new from a Honda Shop. It has done this from day one.

This is what I would do.

Pull off both sides of the covers over the tops of the carbs (those chrome rails, 3 Philips screws) and make sure that when you are choking that the slider slides and that it pulls out all 6 of the enriching needles.

Also, and this may be your problem, make sure when the choke is off all the needles are closed. As soon as you operate the choke you will see how this operates.

The gas smell you have noticed is most likely not related. Some Valks have this gas smell problem as does mine but it does not effect starting unless you actually have a leak that you can see. Very low mileage could have gummed up the carbs and if a good shot of carb cleaner doesn't help, the only thing you can do is have them cleaned.

I have found a number of Valks that need the pilot screws adjusted. These are the screws that are under the carb on the engine side that you must look straight up to see. You need a pilot screw adjusting tool to do this but I have found many that are in very different states of adjustment. Have your mech close each screw and then open each one to 3 turns. Should take him about 3 minutes and you will be surprised at the result. Hope this helps.





I just bought a really nice 1999 Valkyrie Tourer with 2,500 miles on the odometer. Great motorcycle, but after several hours on the freeway, I find the exhaust to be too loud for my taste. I was looking at the Cobra exhaust tips (tapered) to see if they might reduce the noise level. Do you know of any exhaust tips for the Valk to reduce the noise level some? I don't want to spend the $$ for a whole new exhaust.

Never heard this one before.

You could start up a stock Valk in a church and no one would notice. I can guarantee you that your stock exhausts have been extensively modified if you think they are to loud and there is nothing you can do to bring it back to stock condition short of replacing the pipes.
Lots of owners are replacing the stock pipes and you should be able to find a set easily. Jim.





How do you remove the excessive throttle play on the Valk?

Not hard, provided excessive is not excessive. Hopefully you can take this excess up at the adjuster on the throttle cable at the throttle control on the handlebar (the little chrome barrel on the cable right by your hand). Just loosen the small nut and turn the barrel of the adjuster to make it longer which will help. This might be called the fine adjustment.

If you do not get enough adjustment you can find, but not get to, the course adjustment which is located between the 1st and 2nd carbs on the right side of the bike. There are two barrels with lock nuts and, of course, you need the bottom one. It's a "tank off so you can get at it" job. Do not take up all the free play. Leave about 1/8th of an inch, that way you can be sure that the throttle is closed all the way. Jim.





I have a 97 cruiser with 23,000 miles on it. Installed a trigger wheel, love it, gained 4 mpg. Like to know how you feel about installing lower profile Dunlops off the Goldwing?

I'm assuming you have the ultimate cruiser, the Valkyrie, and that you are asking about the 1800 Gold Wing tires.

The front tire of an 1800 is an 18 so don't use it. The back tire is a 180/60HR-16 and Valks are a 180/70HR-16 and you are correct that it is a bit lower in profile. But the real definition of this number is the ratio between the tire section height and the nominal width. What does this mean? Who knows? ( I got it out of a book.) This tire looks small on a Gold Wing just the same as a bus tire looks small on a bus. But I'll bet that if you go to the bike shop and put the two together you will not see much difference. I don't think you will notice any difference if you mount one on your Valk.






I have a '97 Valkyrie. After sitting for a week or two I can smell fuel. If I cut the fuel off I get a small fuel leak on the ground.

If I leave the fuel on it seems to fill the valves and will ultimately kill the battery trying to start, almost like the bike has flooded. Fuel smells strong when attempting to start. Spoke with service rep at local Honda dealership and her believes the bike needs a carburetor cleaning and tune up. Potential dirt keeping float from opening and closing properly. Do you agree?

This is a tough one as so many different things could be your trouble.

You did not say whether the bike has been sitting for some time but if it has, then a good carb cleanup will sure help. It could also be something as simple as needing a clean air filter. I would imagine that the fuel smell is strong if you have a puddle of fuel under the bike but at least you could look around and see where its coming from and repair that problem.

Many times I've pulled the tank off Valks and found the fuel shut off valve loose at the tank. A little fuel smell seems to be common on earlier Valks and I attribute it to poorly fitting fuel fill caps. All bikes with gravity feed fuel systems should have the fuel turned off when not running.

You are correct that a leaking needle valve could fill the cylinder up with fuel if the shut off valve is on but this is a real disaster and I do not think it is happening to you. And finally, I never agree with dealerships about anything...

Find a good metric bike shop and get it looked at.





I'm interested in improving my nighttime vision by upgrading the H4 bulb to a APC plasma ultra white bulb (55w/60w). I've read mixed reviews i.e., these 'special' bulbs are a waste of money, proving no visible improvement.... or do they substantially improve nighttime vision. What is your opinion?

You know what opinions are like and we all have one but in this case you are right on. Valkyrie's have a poor headlight. We all seem to think, and me included, that high tech can do just about anything but in the case of our headlights it just ain't so. I've not had personal experience with the plasma bulb you refer to but it could only help, but it must be the 55w/60w as the Valk headlight electrical system will not handle the larger wattage bulbs. You've noticed I'm sure, that the headlight goes off when you start the bike. This happens because of the little switch incorporated into the starter switch that turns off the headlight. This switch is just able to do this without problems with the stock wattage bulb. The best fix for this problem is a spot light kit. Add this extra lighting and you just won't believe what you've been missing.





Do you know anything about the cycle innovations fuel injection conversion kit. The photos on their site sure look pretty but it seems like the kit has been "any day now" for some time.

Although I'm not familiar with this unit I did go to their web site and took a look and I must say it is a lovely thing.

Since the invention of the CNC machine it sure is great what people have made. The manifold is a real work of art. As to whether or not it would be an improvement to install it on a Valk is another question. Essentially fuel injection and carburetors do the same thing, only differently. In a fuel injection system the computer takes the place of most of the balls, springs, jets and metering rods in the carbs. This computer, with the aide of a throttle position sensor, tells the injector when and how much fuel to supply the engine. Much simpler, fewer parts and usually a whole lot more reliable. I'm sure that carbs will be a thing of the past in the very near future.

New carbs though are a work of art in themselves. They have matured from the old style squirt guns like the old Linkert to very modern, very efficient, fuel metering devices. Our Valk carbs determine the amount of fuel needed for the engine by the amount of vacuum the engine is producing at a given RPM. It is old fashioned but it works good as evidenced by the way our Valks run, nice and smooth when everything is right. The problem with carbs is a little piece of dirt can mess up the whole thing and they are expensive and time consuming to repair. Also if you want to do any jet changes or mods of any kind it's not easy with six carburetors where as with a fuel injection system all you do is change the chip to change it's mind.

Simplicity is the word here and fuel injection has that in spades. Performance is pretty much the same for properly set up carbs and properly set up fuel injection but the proper set up is easy with fuel injection and that gives it all the advantages.

When this kit is available and installed, we can get the riders view point. This is the way to evaluate it and I'm sure it won't be cheap so I'm going to wait and see. Thanks for bring this set up to my attention. It's been fun.





Do you know of any functional velocity stacks available for the Valk and if so, do they help performance at all, or are they still just for looks??

Yes I do. And I'm thinking about pulling my tank off and having another look. I just love it in there.

Under the air cleaner on our Valks are functional velocity stacks and yes they work great. Those chrome things you see glued on the carb tops of some Valks are just for looks. There are no "add-on" velocity stack readily available.





What is your opinion of the MarkT's Mild2WILD Trombone(tm) glasspacks. I'm very interested in having this mod done to my stock exhaust. But I'm nervous about what impact it will have on my carb tune. Will I have to re-jet, shim, or make adjustments to the carbs? Any information you have about this would be welcomed.

I'm very impressed with these Horse Apple pipes. I've seen only one of their mods installed and it looked good and sounded good too, much like an exotic foreign car. With their mod you retain the advantages of the original dual wall header pipes which will keep them from bluing and it looks like you can adjust to the sound you want by modifying the baffle. I would like some for my "old #11 Rosebud. They say, as all custom pipe guys do, that you need no jetting changes. This may or may not be true depending upon what level of performance you are happy with. But small adjustments to the air/fuel mixture are relatively easy. And after spending the money for new pipes, a good tune up is cheap.

After looking at their web site I think that I would like to meet them. Other than myself I don't know anyone who still has the original Easy Rider sound track.






My '97 Valk sat for nearly a month. Got it started okay, but the low-end throttle response is rough. Crank the throttle and it kicks in and seems to run good. Any help would be appreciated.

For a Valk that's running good sitting only one month, you should not change anything unless you left it out in the rain.

I would drain the carbs and make sure that the choke system is working correctly (see cold starting problem in "ask the mech"). Then I would put a nice fresh tank of gas in with a shot or two of carb cleaner and ride it. If that won't cure it you may have to give her a new set of plugs and a new air filter. Sometimes these older Valks are just like older mechanics.

It's not that they can't run its just that they don't want to.





How to replace a stripped oil drain plug?

A company called Heli-coil ( or the equivalent, makes kits to take care of these problems and that's what you must use. When drilling and tapping, coat the bit and tap with grease to catch the metal shavings and keep it as clean as you can.





My radio on a 1986 Aspencade is very low. Turning buttons does not help. Same volume with the CB and tape player. Please help....

Not being a radio man I really don't know what the problem is but I suspect that your radio is working properly and that you have a speaker problem. Trace down all the wires going to the speakers and I'll bet you find a broken or loose one especially in the back of the radio.

If not, its a trip to Rap City and talk to the boy's with the ear rings and nose bolts. They are good for these problems..






I have a 1999 Valkyrie Interstate Tourer. I would like to put a water temp,oil pressure,and an amp gauge on this bike? Have you seen this done, or have you done it?

This is easy. Our Valks have engines just like a car and any auto parts store will have all the adapters and gauges you want. Hook them up just like the instructions say. Mounting a nice set up and display will be your problem. There should be room inside the fairing someplace for a nice small gauge setup and it should look good.





How do I removed corrosion on the aluminum/alloy parts and refinish, particularly the spacer between the front forks, lower forks and the fluid reservoirs on the handlebars?

For sure the correct way to do this is to remove the parts and have them polished. But for some of us with more time than money you can still do a pretty good job. The easiest places to clean up are the forward looking parts where the coating has dried up and begun flaking off. Carb cleaner or acetone will soften up this coating so you can get it off and then just polish with any good aluminum polish until it shines up nice. Each time you polish it it will look better. The places where the coating is still in good shape are harder to do as the coating is really tough but you can do it. The fork legs are a different matter. They have that lined surface and the only way to clean it up is remove them and have them polished. I'm told by my polisher that they can be done very easily. When I can afford this job we'll see..







My son lost the keys to his Yamaha r6 the dealer say pull the ignition. I look but there are on fasteners or at least there is no way to put a tool in them they look like they would have to be drilled out. The dealer said the numbers are on the switch but didn't know where to look. Any help would be great.

We do not usually do answers on other than Valkyrie's but this question is of interest to all of us.

I had to go to "the man" for this answer as I always keep a few extra keys around so I have one when I lose one. Now I wonder where they are? This answer applies to almost all metric bikes.

The number that you are searching for will not help you. I'm told it is an identifying number but only to the factory where your bike was made and that the key info will not be available to you or anyone else. So removing the switch and finding the number will not help. The man says the only people that will have your key info is the shop that sold the bike new. If you can find them they are supposed to have this info on hand but, says the man, unfortunately some do not.

Rather than the hassle of trying to find this number he (the man) sends all his lost souls to a good locksmith who can make a new key.





I have a brand new valk with only about a hundred miles on it and Ive noticed that when I put it in neutral and release the clutch it makes a slight continual grinding noise. Is this normal?

Grinding noises are never normal but is that really what you have?

Many of us who have graduated to the ultimate cruiser have gone through this initial mystery of unusual noises. Most of us came here after riding other bikes that make so many usual noises that when we finally get a bike that is well engineered and quiet we hear things that we've never heard before. A brand new Valk is very quiet but it is normal to hear the gears going around, the timing belts whinning a little and things like that. But, for sure, not grinding. Find some other Valks and listen. And if your noise is not like theirs I'd take it back and document the dealers response in your owners manual. Time, date and name of the person who said everything is normal. That way you'll have a good reply when the pistons come flying out the sides.







I accidentally filled my tank with diesel fuel and now can't get it to run even after draining the tank and refilling..... Any help would be appreciated...

Some questions come to mind, like how did you get home? That's all I will say about this as I'm sure you've taken you fair share of ribbing.

I'm answering this fast as you need to get right on this. Drain the carbs. remove all 6 of the drain plugs(the brass screws at the bottom of the float bowls that you look right at when you look at the carbs) and drain all of the diesel out. Leave them out and turn on the gas and rock the bike back and forth until you get good clean fuel out of each carb. Maybe you should do this outside.

Plugs back in and start up. It should run, if not, pull the spark plugs and clean them up.

Other than your self esteem you should not have hurt anything.





I have a 2000 Standard Valk. I have a 32" inseam and 36" arm length & find the stock seat good, but would like to lean forward slightly to eliminate sitting upright and 'rounding' my lower back. Are you familiar with any replacement bars that would increase my 'reach' and still work steering a large bike?

Handlebars are available in almost any style, length or pull back you can imagine. It is a choice that you must make for yourself as we all have our comfort zone. Go to your bike shop and have your parts man show you the catalog and you'll find a pretty infinite assortment. If you choose a bar with a big change you must also consider the extra expense of longer cables and hoses. There are some nice risers made by Show Chrome that will bring your stock bar back a bit and I'm pretty sure that you can use the existing cables and hoses.

Try a kidney belt first. On long trips I would not ride without mine. Keeps me sitting up straight and comfortable. Nice leather belts are available at sports shops for weight lifters.





Some times when I start the 2000 Valk a big cloud of blue smoke comes out the exhaust, then clears up and no further smoke.

Blue is definitely oil.

I had an old Wing that used to do that too. Never did find anything wrong but it sure was embarrassing. You did not say whether it was coming out of both pipes or only one. Mine was only smoking on the left side. I checked the oil level (on a Valk up to the middle line on the dipstick) to make sure I had not put in too much oil. I could imagine the oil running into the cylinders when the bike was on the side stand if there was too much oil but that was not my problem. I gave it a compression test and all holes were OK so I sold it. I've seen it a few times and it still smokes when started and runs great afterwards. I've seen Valks and Wings with well over 100,000 miles on them that still run like new and do not smoke but I do suppose that they must wear out sometime.

Let us know what you find out. Maybe its a James Bond edition.






I have a 8-10 pen nail in my rear tire. The tire has 4000 miles on it. The nail is just off center on the tire. Suggestions? Patch? Plug (inside or out)? Replace??

A motorcycle tire company will tell you to replace the tire and in this age of litagation its really the only thing they can say.

However I have found that, as long as the damage is a nice clean hole, a patch on the inside is acceptable. A "plug" is much easier (done from the outside) but will require you to punch an even larger hole in the tire to insert the plug. I've never liked that idea.

I once had a flat and temporarily used a large sheet metal screw to plug the hole. I rode on it so long I forgot it was in there and it wore off flush with the tire and worked fine. I would not recommend you use a sheet metal screw except in an extreme emergency, and for the shortest distance possible. (And go slow!)




I want to change the timing belts. Can you give me advice please? Also, is there any one selling manuals for the Valkyrie?

This job is a bit too involved to give you a rundown of the steps in this column but you are on the right track. This job can be done easily, not in the street outside your apartment, but in a nice well lit and warm garage and you will need only basic tools. Get the Valkyrie shop manual (click here and go to "Manual") and check the replace timing belts chapter. Follow the instructions and you've got it.

After the installation I advise you to pull the spark plugs and turn over the engine by hand and everytime the timing marks come up make sure they line up just as in the instructions. This is very important. Do it maybe 100 times.

Also just for the fun of it, go to the Honda shop and ask them for timing belts. Sit down (you'll want to be sitting down) and ask them, "How much?" Wow! Thats a lot for a couple little belts you'll say and then he'll tell you that's for only one.

Lots of aftermarket shops sell timing belts for our bikes at a lot better price. Go for it.




What is the best way to wire driving lights? Is getting the power from the two connections above the fuse box good?

On our Valk's you must wire driving lights or any other accessories on their own separate circuit. Here at Sophie's we wire our lights using the accessory wiring circuit at the fuse box. That does require a little extra work running the leads up alongside the Honda wiring harness to your accessories but gives your lights their own fused circuit independent of the Honda lighting system. And it will turn on and off with the key just as stock.

You can also tap off the battery in other locations and add a switch and a fuse if you feel you need one. But the most important part of wiring is: Do A Good Job! Nothing worse than riding on a dark rainy night and having your lights go out. It sure wakes you up. Jim. ( Note from Steve Golia: I have one of Jim's light bars on Jade Lady. Very nice. Now I would never ride without it.)






Lower my Valk?

No problem on the rear. Progressive and most other shock makers offer shorter versions of the Valk shocks. You'd need shorter fork tubes for the front and I've never seen any but just as soon as I say there are none someone will find some. Perhaps a custom wheel with a lower profile tire. This kind of mod is expensive and, as we Valk owners already have a ground clearance problem, think twice before you lower it too much.





I have installed a new rear tire on my Valk but find it handling strangely now. Any suggestions?

First and most important, DO NOT ride motorcycles with unusual handling problems, brake or steering problems, wheel and tire trouble or crunching/grinding noises.

If your Valk is handling squirrelly after a rear tire change you need to do this job all over again checking to see first if the tire is mounted correctly and the beads are seated, pressure is correct and if the arrow on the tire that directs rotation is correct. Upon reassembly make sure that the splines are lined up and the the axle nut is torqued to 81 lbs. ft. There really is no way you can misalign a rear tire on a shaft drive motorcycle, so something is not right.

If this doesn't resolve your problem, put it on a trailer and take her to your Honda mechanic.




Is there any way to cange the gearing so that I'm not running 3500 rpm at 70 mph? Or is this a very acceptable rpm to run this moter at? taller tires? different gearing?

You know, I think there is a way to change gearing on a Valkyrie but I'm not sure why you would want to do it. 3500 RPM at 70 MPH is a very nice number.

A lot of new owners I talk to mention this same thing and this is what I think is going on. Many of us have graduated to this ultimate cruiser from other unmamed bikes (Hawgs) where you only get one bang on a twin for each revolution of the engine so at 3500 RPM it sounds nice and slow. On a 6 cylinder engine you get 3 bangs each time around. Also you'll notice that your Valk really does not start making serious Horse Power until you get over 4000 RPM and as we all know that's going fast.

Fast is right where you need all the power you can get and thats why this big bike can go scary fast.





The people say that Honda's HP4M w/moly is the oil to use for the Valkyrie and HP4 non-moly is for the newer GW1800's and VTX's. I read moly could damage the clutch. What do you think?

They said the original HP4 had moly before the non-moly version came out.

What do I think? I just don't know anymore.

I have labored under the impression that friction modifiers such as "moly" anything are bad for clutches just as you. My favorite oil, the I have used forever, has them and I didn't know it. Did not hurt a thing. Thats it! As long as we don't really know, maybe its OK.

I checked with my "Top Dog" mechanic and he says all oils have some sort of mysterious friction modifiers and he just does not worry about it anymore. He says all quality oils are fine. What's a guy to do?






I'm trying to remove the exhaust pipes on my '99 standard prior to changing the rear tire. However, I'm having difficulty in removing the nut on the r/ side, second pipe, left nut. I can wiggle the 10mm socket onto the nut, but the bend in the pipe makes it so that a wrench, extension, or anything else won't attach to the socket. There's not enough room to turn a box or open end wrench. The edges on the nut are already starting to get chewed up from using the open end wrench. Any suggestions? thanks.....?

You're not drinking enough beer.

They sure are tricky and it does not matter how many times you do this job you never remember how it is done but you know that you've done it before and "you can do it"! Get out a nice cold six pac and, if I remember correctly, your 1/4" drive sockets a universal and some extensions, lay down on a towel (a Puerto Villarta beach towel is best) and look up at your problem and start sucking them up. You'll get alot of good ideas and all will be fine.

Remember you do not have to remove these nuts just loosen them up all the way and remove the nuts on the muffler hanger so you can drop down the pipes enough for the tire removal. These nuts get hot and cold all the time and do get stuck on after a while. I always put anti-sieze on the threads and next time the job is a little easier (very little)...






I have a 97 Valkyrie Tourer with 9700 miles which I bought two years ago from the original owner with 3200 miles. This is the second Valkyrie I've owned and will never make the mistake again of selling it.

I have a noise during acceleration from the engine area which sounds kind of like a muddled rattle. I have also had the "buzz bolt" noise which was most prominent around 2800 rpm. For that I've cranked down hard with a 14mm socket on the left side. Initially that solved THAT noise, but it coming back later. The other noise during acceleration happens no matter what gear it's in. When it's in neutral or the clutch in, and I rev the engine, the engine sounds and runs fine. The sound is under load only. It's not the gears or transmission noises, I am familiar with those. Could it still be that spacer tube between the frame members? When I tightened the 14mm and got rid of the loudest and more trebly sound from the buzz bolt, the noise from accelerating still existed. I don't remember this sound coming from my first Valkyrie. Would you have any ideas?

My Valkyrie did overheat to about 230 (dipstick gauge) for about ten minutes once when I was in town and the fan couldn't come on due to the fan wire coming loose from the back of the radiator. Could that have hurt anything? I use Mobil 1, 15-50 weight. By the way, they say tests prove petroleum oils retain 60+ percent viscosity after 1000 miles while full synthetic retains 80+ percent. Your service is a great tool for us. Thank you.

Rattles and vibration sounds are just hard to find. Especially as you say, it won't do it in neutral and must be ridden for it to make the sound.

We do have a few questions in "Ask the Mechanic" that deal with some noises that are common with Valks but yours sounds to me like something loose on your bike. So this is what I'd do if it were in my shop.

Put the bike up on a lift with the wheels off the floor and do a complete detail of the bike. Start from the front and clean and check for tightness all bolts and nuts.

At suspect areas use a soft mallet and give the area a rap and see if you hear anything unusual. I have found the sheet metal around the exhausts can be loose or the covers touching and can make funny noises. Maybe even a loose baffle inside the muffler.

Rotate and check both wheels and pull the brake pads and inspect them for unusual wear or a rock or something not cool stuck in the pads.

I realize that I have not really answered your question but if you do what I say at least you'll have a nice clean bike. One last comment. I've ridden many Valks and they are all different so just the fact that it does not sound like your last one sounded don't mean nuttin'.

As for the oil I do not think that you hurt anything as you did not really seriously overheat. The coolant was still in the bike and doing its job. It just could have used some help from the fan.

Also don't call me a "dip stick". Jim.




'99' interstate, 15,500 miles. Bought used. Noticing a spongy ride from the rear of bike. Tire pressure appears fine.

So many ways to answer this question that I don't know where to start but one thing for sure: Spongy is not a proper motorcycle term.

Squishy is good, gooey is OK, oh, I guess spongy is good too. You never know what may have been changed when you get a used bike. Maybe he had a nice pair of Progressives on there that he took off for his buddy and put his buddies old worn out stock shocks on. I'm sure that you have adjusted up the cam adjustment on the shocks.

Regarless of whether or not the shocks are shot, this will increase the spring pressure and harden up the rear end. I do not know if air shocks were available for the interstate but you may have some so, if you do, then you will need to check to make sure they have not leaked down. Air them up to the recommended pressure. This last idea is a long shot. I've seem motorcyle tires that look fine but are not good. Sometimes(very rarely) the cords can break down inside the tire and give you this mushy ride your are talking about. If your tire is the least bit close to shot, replace it.




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