Well guys, today was a monumental day for me. I FINALLY got the bags and luggage rack installed. And let me tell you, it was an ORDEAL for someone with a minimal tool kit and limited mechanical skills.
I had bought the bags from FlatSix on this forum shortly after I bought the bike in June. But I wanted to wait until this beast of a summer wore down and it wasn't ridiculously hot outside to install them. And, I knew the luggage rack would share hardware with them, and didn't want to go all the way and have to redo it. So I bought the Honda OEM rack, much to my chagrin, as I think it does not go well in terms of being chrome on an almost all black bike, nor does its design flow well with the contours. But I knew anything else would be a worse nightmare for me to try to get fabricated and installed.
I got the saddlebags on a couple weeks ago and even that was a nightmare, getting everything to fit properly and get the spacers in where they belong without dropping them down between the fender and the bag. The instructions from Honda indicated that the passenger pegs had to come off to remove the plastic rear panel to expose the hole for the bag attachment. Those pegs are torqued on to the bike so tightly, no human without specialty tools could EVER remove them. I tried with my power screwdriver and it is pretty high torque, but it wouldn't budge them. But then, I watched the video posted by our forum member and noticed he didn't bother to remove them. So, I proceeded and also did not remove them. That cost me an hour and a half of trying to get the pegs off, not to mention almost ruining my back and hands. I was as angry and frustrated as a guy could be!
The left side bag is much more difficult than the right, as you're having to attach the bottom bolt in a very tight place with no room to turn a wrench. Somehow I got it on. I was pretty proud to have gotten both bags on and everything back together by myself. Took me an entire afternoon even with watching the video step by step. I was very, very grateful to our forum member for posting that video as I could not have done it without that.
I left the bolts for the bags hand tight so that when I was ready to install the rack, I could just pull them out and reinsert them. After the day I had doing the bags, I waited a few to do the rack as I knew it wouldn't be easy, again for a guy with limited tools and skills. And after watching the video on installing the rack on Q's Moto Vlog on YouTube, I knew it wasn't going to be easy.
Last week I tried to install it. I spent two entire afternoons trying to get the bolts out and reinstalled with the luggage rack supports in the mix. Honda specified and supplied four thick spacers, one for each bolt, with the rack. But if you tried to install the rack with them in there, the bolts were too short to reach the holes. So, I didn't know what to do. Beyond that, even with the spacers excluded, I could no longer get the bolts and holes aligned once I put the supports in. I wrenched for HOURS trying to get them in. Even had two friends try, and they couldn't. I worked until my thumb and index fingertips were in utter pain from squeezing and pushing those bolts. I gave up and decided to try again another day. And when I tried again, it still wouldn't fit, and I still had the confusion of whether the spacers were to be included.
I finally gave up and called Honda to schedule an appointment. They told me to bring it in this past Thursday and they should be able to get it done by end of day that day. They didn't. Friday afternoon finally came around and I called, and they hadn't even touched it yet. I was a bit miffed, but didn't want to piss them off. You make an appointment and they should honor it. But I didn't buy the bike or the rack from them, so I got put at the back of the line. They called 15 minutes prior to closing today and told me it was done. I paid over the phone and had a friend drop me off, and rode it home. I am unbelievably relieved to finally have this project done. After having had all the parts in my house for months, fretting about what to do about the rack and coloring, and finally all the installation issues, I feel like a huge weight is off my shoulders!
Now, just need to get the drink holder on, and I'm pretty much DONE! Honda told me mine was the first Valkyrie they'd seen in their shop (at least since the service guy had been there for a year and a half).
Here's a pic. Hope it shows correctly.
"There are no motorcycles in a psychiatrist's parking lot."
Honda Z50A (sold)
Kawasaki KS 125 (sold)
Kawasaki KZ 650 (sold)
Honda V45 Magna (sold)
Honda VTX 1300r
Honda VTX 1800r
Honda CTX 1300
Honda F6C Valkyrie
Last edited by Richmonder; 10-24-2020 at 06:41 PM.
Reason: Correction of term