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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello folks-
I am currently strongly considering the Valkyrie along with two other bikes and basically looking for owner's two cents in all the various forums. Little about me... I prefer to not use a car.... I ride unless it is just not possible... I am originally from the Gulf Coast and have ridden in hurricane-force winds rather than drive a car. I use a car about 10% of the year if at all possible. I also do a good bit of cross country trips. Owned several M109Rs, 3 Kawasaki Concours 14s-Currenlty ride one, and Indian Scout, Several Vulcan 1500s, and a few KZ 400s, and couple more small bikes.

Looking at the 2014-15 Valkyrie ABS, 2015-17 Triumph Rocket 3, Moto Guzzi California. In all honesty, none of them are a slam dunk for me... each has it's negatives and it's attractive points. For the Valkyrie, it is the dependability and two up capabilities are the pluses.

Not may fav on looks but not my bottom choice. However, due to the wide variety of riding conditions I do and the fact I try to ride as many days of the week as humanly possible, ABS is NOT an option for me every again. It is a dealbreaker. The Valkyrie only comes in black for the ABS and I really prefer the blue as it has blacked out forks and other components.

Are there any options for deeper pipe sound? Black? Is this a bike you can just forget about valve checks and ride it? The Moto Guzzi has the look I love, ABS, cruise, but 85 hp worries me with two up, and of course dealer service. Rocket is a Triumph which I love and and I do love it's look, but same with dependability. The Honda is strong on dependability and ease of finding service, but a little too modern with non analogue guages, though I like the rest of the look, and ABS is limited.

Just looking for some thoughts from each owner's group so I can get some clarity, as i'm not really sold on anything as of yet. Has anyone painted their 2014? Wondering how much of a job to disassemble and pay to have a black one done in blue?

Thanks again!
William
 

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I've never ridden a Rocket 3, but do see it as an attractive option. My advice would be to arrange to take each one for a nice long ride, not just 15 minutes, and I think you'll like the Valk a lot more, expecting the lower center of gravity to result in far better handling. Another significant pro for the Valk, is how smooth a flat 6 runs, no vibration, which is key to it's reliability, but also to the comfort level, especially on longer rides.
 

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A plus for the digital gauges is it includes a fuel level, 2 trip meters, easily viewed in any light and I have never heard of one failing. You will like the power, but I think the two up riding is not goingg to be the best. I love mine but I ride solo.
 

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Gotta say that I'm partial to the Valk. If you want a fun and dependable long distance bike the Valk is definitely the way to go. That flat six is so smooth and the torque is amazing. Got the 2014 in blue and it is definitely a keeper. Even when I bought a new Goldwing with DCT the Valk is still my favorite. Something about that bike the more you ride it the more you fall in love with it. As for ABS, I could care less if it had it or not as I know how to brake and do it correctly for any situation I might find myself in. The new Wing has it and I am not sure if it is a benefit to me. It's just there and I have to live with it. I'm sure whichever bike you buy you are going to be extremely happy!!!!
 

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The Rocket is a beast for sure. I have ridden it (friends bike) before I got my Valk. It's a jackrabbit in the straights and a pig in the curvy stuff. Cornering clearance is not great on the Rocket. Compared to the Valk anyway. I noticed that difference straight away. The low center of gravity of the Valk you notice immediately when you compare the two. Even just standing still. Factor in the Honda reliability and since you can get it for half price it's really a done deal. Cycles of Jacksonville has at least 2 that I saw last weekend. A red one and the grape one..lol. I didnt ask if they had others.
As far as two up riding goes, the Valk doesnt mind it a bit. Actually rides smoother with extra weight on the back.


Just my 2 cents. Good luck and safe riding with whatever you purchase.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the comments all. Just got a new job out west and looking to probably buy late in the year after I sell the Concours. Don't mind the high center of gravity on the Rocket as that's gonna be similar to the Connie. The reliability of the Honda is the biggest selling point. I can't do valve adjustments on these Connies as its a massive headache so much so the dealers literally tell you they don't want to do it. So, honestly, looking for a bike I can put 100k on and not touch the valves unless is something cheap and its not on a Connie. Just breaking off the ratings is $500 before they even touch anything else.
I do like the Valkyrie a lot... I think it would be a nice riding position.. low like a typical cruiser but more of an upright seating position... and looks comfortable for two. I am 6'5'', 240 but I hear it's not really a cramped feel. I absolutely love that Moto Guzzi California, but it does seem small for 2 even though they have a touring version, and I worry about service, just like the Triumph. Tires on that Rocket worry me as well... big, front and back, and probably $$$ yearly if you ride as much as I do!

ABS is a must for me though... rode ABS bikes daily with no car for past 5 years and then went back to a non ABS M109R.... first long trip 6 hrs in the rain, tired and wanting to get to a hotel, pushing it, got off interstate, over a hill, traffic backed up suddenly, and the bike was down at 60 mph before I knew it. Got use to stopping much faster with the ABS and then going back to non screwed up my distance calculations and totalled bike which was only 2 weeks old. I just find if you don't use a car and ride in bad weather constantly, ABS will eventually save your azz eventually.

I do like the Valkyrie a lot... I think it would be a nice riding position.. low like a typical cruiser but more of an upright seating position... and looks comfortable for two. I am 6'5'', 240 but I hear it's not really a cramped feel.

So, I am kinda leaning to the Valkyrie... ABS, so I will likely want to paint it, black out most of the chrome... do you guys paint everything or replace some with the black versions? Like to know how much of a hassle that is to do the forks, etc. I would need to put a Corbin on it and probably those Torque pipes. So figure in the additional cost on top of the bike cost... Since I am not 100% sold on any one bike, it's probably gonna come down to what deal I find on what bike when winter gets here. Maybe a good thing... that way I am flexible to what deals are around. The ABS Valkyries are scarce on Cycle trader. Just don't see many of those things.

Thanks again... love hearing all the impressions of your Valkyries!
W
 

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You HAVE to test ride that flat-6 - it’s unlike anything else out there. Maybe not quite the punch of the Rocket, but it’s got a character (and growl) all its own. When you lean on it, it howls unlike anything you’ve likely ever heard. It’s a nice 2-wheeled hot rod. :D
 

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Re valve adjustments: my mechanic checked mine the other day as part of a major service and said "go figure... valve clearance adjustment is quick and easy and air filter removal is major surgery!"
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
You HAVE to test ride that flat-6 - it’s unlike anything else out there. Maybe not quite the punch of the Rocket, but it’s got a character (and growl) all its own. When you lean on it, it howls unlike anything you’ve likely ever heard. It’s a nice 2-wheeled hot rod. :D
Thanks! I am in Wyoming for another year before I move back to the South, so not sure I can find one to try out. Will try. Like to ride them all before I choose, but honestly, its all gonna boil down to getting a very good deal on one of them and that's the one I will jump on. I don't like buying from dealers and try to buy from private owners so we shall see.
W
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Re valve adjustments: my mechanic checked mine the other day as part of a major service and said "go figure... valve clearance adjustment is quick and easy and air filter removal is major surgery!"
Thanks! Is the air filter doable for minimally mechanical person? I change my brake pads, do the oil, and pull the wheels off my Concours but that is it. Curious what a major service runs on this bike.
W
 

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Thanks! Is the air filter doable for minimally mechanical person? I change my brake pads, do the oil, and pull the wheels off my Concours but that is it. Curious what a major service runs on this bike.
W
If you can do brakes I think you can change your air filter.
I've haven't done my Valkyrie yet but I did my F6B
I watched a YouTube video and it takes time but your just taking stuff off to get to it and then back on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
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If you can do brakes I think you can change your air filter.
I've haven't done my Valkyrie yet but I did my F6B
I watched a YouTube video and it takes time but your just taking stuff off to get to it and then back on.
Sounds good- Can't be as bad as pulling all the plastic off a Connie
W
 

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Thanks! Is the air filter doable for minimally mechanical person?
Watching him do it I'd say "yes, if you're keen"....disconnect/remove tank seemed to be the main task....but I'm the sort who just puts air in the tyres and rides so others probably better qualified to comment on this. All this stuff however seems besides the point somewhat to me. Ride the thing and you'll buy it.
 

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As tall as you are, you may be a little cramped.

I can only agree with what everybody else has already said other than ---if you know cars---there is a lot more Honda Civic in the DNA of this bike than the motorcycles on your list. Typical oil, brake pads and tire changes on the 26K miles on mine. Very little aftermarket bling if you want to make it your personal style.

If I were to give a simple explanation of the Valkyrie, it would be this. "If a Hayabusa and a Road King shacked up at a Motel 6 during bike week, 9 months later you get the Valkyrie"
 

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Valkyrie is the way to go especially if your going to tour. Honda dealers everywhere, Triumph not so much . I have a black 2014 and I think it’s best used bike for the money .
 

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I love my 2014 Valkyrie. I have set it up for solo riding as my wife prefers to ride on the F6B when riding 2 up. She has had 5 back surgeries and is very comfortable for about 4 hours on the F6B with the Corbin on it. I am just about your height and weight exactly. I had to make some changes on the Valkyrie to get comfortable. I added the Corbin seat and put risers on the handlebars to move them up and back about 2 inches, tall Hondaline windshield, and added a throttle lock. With my long torso and arms I felt like I was leaning too far forward. I made those changes and can ride mine for 10 hours and will be comfortable. I would check out a Goldwing F6B too. The prices are as good as the Valkyries right now and you also get a Stereo system, linked brakes, a much smoother, but just as well balanced ride, a lot more wind and rain protection, added cargo capacity, and way more comfortable for a passenger. Now I will admit that my F6B also has a Corbin seat, handlebar risers, throttle lock, MadStad windshield, and I changed the neck bearings to tapered bearings on both bikes too. I have put 55,000 flawless miles on the F6B alone in the last 5 years. I have lots of friends with flat 6 1800 engines with over 250k miles on them and have not even changed a clutch. I have owned 138 bikes over the last 51 years of bike riding. These bikes are bullet proof. I do agree with the advice that someone gave to drive them all before you buy one. I find that even with my experience it takes about 100 miles before you get pretty comfortable and figure out the pros and cons of a bike. I rented a Valkyrie for 1/2 day before I decided. You soaund like me with a number of different bikes for different uses. The Valkyrie and F6B do it all well. They are quick, (3.3 and 3.4 0-60mph), smooth, dependable and you can ride them like a sport bike, cruiser, or Tourer. Good luck with your search, Lots of great infor and people on this forum as well as the F6B, VRCC, and GWRRA sites.
 

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