Join Date: Aug 2014
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Valkyrie shifting: Good. Better than my '12 Gold Wing. Compared to a sports bike it has a longer throw.
I start off in second gear all of the time. It has the same final drive as the Gold Wing and it weighs 150 pounds less, so first gear is for climbing trees I guess. Starting out in second eliminates the shift through neutral. I also hate shifting 10 feet after I start moving and I am halfway through a turn at an intersection. Second gear gives me a lot more flexibility. The Valkyrie clutch can handle this load easily and there is very little clutch slipping needed.
I have missed three shifts in 3,400 miles.
Once at a stop I put it in neutral to adjust a mirror and when I put it back into second when I took off it kicked it back to neutral. If you don't feel the "clunk", the neutral-to-second shift isn't complete.
I have also missed two fourth-to-fifth shifts, due to being lazy on the shifter. It just kicked back to fourth.
When I shift I preload the shifter a few pounds and pull the clutch all the way to the bar. My shifts are almost imperceptible and I constantly work on being smoother. When I downshift I can feel the two clicks per gear that tells me the downshift is complete. Occasionally the second click happens when the clutch is being let out. I think this is okay.
I tend to not shift much. If I am over 30MPH I am in fifth gear. The bike has tons of torque and it isn't going to lug at 30MPH. I don't live in the city though. My riding is all rural roads.
The Valkyrie and 2014 Gold Wing have a better fifth gear (dogs) to fix a longstanding issue with fifth-gear ghost-shifting. More info: http://gl1800riders.com/forums/showt...t-transmission See posts #74 & #90.
I downshift to fourth at 25MPH, third at 20MPH and second at 15MPH. A lot of people want a taller overall gear ratio or a sixth gear but the gearing is fine. They are thinking of old air-cooled vee-twins that don't like to be revved out. To me the Valkyrie engine is like a turbine it is so smooth. Top-gear roll-on power is very nice. I get about 50MPG (mixed riding) on 87 octane ethanol-free fuel.
The gears are cut a bit differently in the Valkyrie transmission so the feel is slightly different. On most of my older bikes I would skip the clutch for upshifts. The Valkyrie will do it, but I use the clutch because it is smoother and (I think) safer for the transmission.
Mobil 1 10W40 (Racing 4T) oil really makes an improvement in shifting feel. I plan to change the oil every 4K miles and the filter every 8K miles. A lot of people use Rotella diesel oil which is fine (I ran it in both of my VTX1800s) but I prefer the Mobil 1 feel. Some people will say they cannot feel a difference but it is very obvious to me and worth the money.