Honda Valkyrie F6C Forum banner
21 - 36 of 36 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
127 Posts
Discussion Starter · #21 ·
So avoid gravel if at all possible. If you do end up in gravel scoot your weight back as far as possible, counter lean, and use the rears brakes primarily. Other than possibly going darkside in the rear at a future point, does that pretty much sum it up?
 

·
Registered
2014 Honda Valkyrie GL1800C (Black)
Joined
·
14 Posts
I, like you, just started riding a 2014. Not sure how long you've been riding - but this will ve my 7th season and my 5th bike. This is, however, my first cruiser in a while.

While I agree the bike is not ideal on unpaved roads, I don't think its any better or worse than any other bike of comparable geometry or weight. If anything I am a little more confident on the GL1800C than I would be on a powercruiser with foot forward controls (I like being able to "stand up" on the pegs it I need to manuver it on an uneven or unpaved road surface).

Having just come from tall sport touring bikes, the appeal of the Valkrie for me was the low center of gravity and how well it handles at low speeds, given its size.

That being said; these bikes have a LOT of low end torque. In my first week I've found the throttle to be a little snatchy in first and second. I've taken to skipping second in traffic

I typically install a G2 Throttle Tamer on all my bikes (the bikes with actual throttle cables at least) for just this reason - and I was just researching the correct fit for this model last night.

If I end up finding one, I'll followup with you and provide some feedback on if it improves the ride on unpaved surfaces.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
624 Posts
"That being said; these bikes have a LOT of low end torque. In my first week I've found the throttle to be a little snatchy in first and second. I've taken to skipping second in traffic"

Try starting in second gear, bypassing first gear in situations you'd like to avoid the snatchy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
127 Posts
Discussion Starter · #24 ·
Yea, I SOMETIMES use first for easing into my garage, probably about half the time when I am squeezing between things. Thats the only time I have used first gear since maybe the second time I rode the bike.

Honestly if I am just feeling lazy I drive around town in 3rd and dont even bother to shift.

I installed a Henrys final drive yesterday to make first usable and cruising at 95-100mph on these rural Texas freeways more RPM friendly, but the connecting axle or something must have slipped out of place during the install because it isn't working, so today is going to be taking it back apart to see what happened.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
127 Posts
Discussion Starter · #25 ·
I typically install a G2 Throttle Tamer on all my bikes (the bikes with actual throttle cables at least) for just this reason - and I was just researching the correct fit for this model last night.

If I end up finding one, I'll followup with you and provide some feedback on if it improves the ride on unpaved surfaces.
It isnt actually a snatchy throttle that is bothering me on the gravel. I don't remember if I was in second or third doing less than 10 miles an hour, but just upshift and it is a lot easier.

That being said I do agree that the throttle progression could be better. Right now it turns about 33 degrees and it seems like most everything happens in the first third of that. I would love to see a 25 degree throttle with a nautilus shape instead of a circle that ramps up slower in the beginning and faster later on.

I have to do my air filter at some point in the not too distant future, so I grabbed an older cable operated GL1800 throttle body off ebay for $24 shipped, which looks like it has an identical cable plate, and see if I can do anything about revising it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Thanks for all the great info, I love my new-to-me 2014, but havent been on any serious gravel. Came near yo dumping it trying to restart (after stopping to cue on a gate code) going uphill on loose dirt and gravel. I think it does have something to do with the heavy front end digging? When I hit it, I just hope all those years of dirtbikes help me out! Haha. Love this Valkyrie, though. Love the power, the pep, and the style.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
395 Posts
"That being said; these bikes have a LOT of low end torque. In my first week I've found the throttle to be a little snatchy in first and second. I've taken to skipping second in traffic"

Try starting in second gear, bypassing first gear in situations you'd like to avoid the snatchy.
Ditto! Honda refers to 1st Gear on a Goldwing as a 'walking gear' ! You can smoothly let out the clutch from a dead stop in 2nd gear without stalling.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
395 Posts
For what it's worth, regarding Henry's final drive, I read somewhere that it is easy to misalign the (splines ?) during assembly, that there is some less than obvious precise positioning involved. Wish I could remember more to help you out, but I bet an e-discussion with Henry might clarify this aspect. Looking forward to hearing how it works for you!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
395 Posts
Here's an idea - get a used enduro bike for those trips to Grandma's - that would make the dirt road fun rather than a pain.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
127 Posts
Discussion Starter · #30 ·
Thanks for all the great info, I love my new-to-me 2014, but havent been on any serious gravel. Came near to dumping it trying to restart (after stopping to cue on a gate code) going uphill on loose dirt and gravel. I think it does have something to do with the heavy front end digging? When I hit it, I just hope all those years of dirtbikes help me out!
Next time I hit gravel I am going to try sitting back on the pillion seat and see if that helps, or at least lean way back.

Haha. Love this Valkyrie, though. Love the power, the pep, and the style.
Yep, me too! Although a little more power would be nice sometimes, but that is what nitrous is for. 😉

Ditto! Honda refers to 1st Gear on a Goldwing as a 'walking gear' ! You can smoothly let out the clutch from a dead stop in 2nd gear without stalling.
Lol, you can actually start these bikes in any gear on flat ground with no throttle input just by slowly letting out the clutch, even 5th.

For what it's worth, regarding Henry's final drive, I read somewhere that it is easy to misalign the (splines ?) during assembly, that there is some less than obvious precise positioning involved. Wish I could remember more to help you out, but I bet an e-discussion with Henry might clarify this aspect. Looking forward to hearing how it works for you!!
Yea, I took it back apart last night to see what was going on. My original problem was when I looked in the transmission side the output was centered in the tunnel, and the directions say to make sure the transfer shaft is snapped into the final drive. So I looked in the tunnel, saw the output was centered and assumed it must stay that way, put the transfer shaft in the final drive, slid it in, which went nice and smooth, and bolted it on.

Turned out the output on the transmission side flops all over the place and it was just dumb luck that mine appeared to be centered in the tunnel. So really what I needed to do was insert the transfer shaft into the transmission side first, then put on the final drive. After doing that it all works fine.

Here's an idea - get a used enduro bike for those trips to Grandma's - that would make the dirt road fun rather than a pain.
Lol, I am not saying I won't get another bike eventually, but I am trying keep it to a dull roar. If I get two bikes that means my wife will want two bikes, and both my garage and wallet have limitations. 😂
 

·
Registered
2014 Honda Valkyrie GL1800C (Black)
Joined
·
14 Posts
"That being said; these bikes have a LOT of low end torque. In my first week I've found the throttle to be a little snatchy in first and second. I've taken to skipping second in traffic"

Try starting in second gear, bypassing first gear in situations you'd like to avoid the snatchy.
Yeah, that is an option as well, but I think it's a bad habit that can wear the clutch (skipping gears ius
I always keep a bike in gear while stopped in traffic (and I almost always keep my foot on the brake) in case I need to make a quick escape to avoid being rear-ended or something .

My preference would be to not skip gears at ALL - but that torque is one of the things I like the most about the bike
Ditto! Honda refers to 1st Gear on a Goldwing as a 'walking gear' ! You can smoothly let out the clutch from a dead stop in 2nd gear without stalling.
Yeah, I played around with that a little riding it home from the dealer on Monday. I'd always been told that starting in second was at the very least a bad habit (not that skipping gears isn't) and at the very worst it wears the clutch. I think it might just be a matter of bonding with the bike. My last bike was an FZ1, and I have to keep reminding myself I can't wind the Valkyrie up to 9500rpm in first like I has been doing on that Fazer.

Already hit that Rev Limiter a few times without thinking, but very happy to be back on a cruiser. This is by far the best handling cruiser I've ever ridden.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
127 Posts
Discussion Starter · #32 ·
Yeah, that is an option as well, but I think it's a bad habit that can wear the clutch (skipping gears ius
I always keep a bike in gear while stopped in traffic (and I almost always keep my foot on the brake) in case I need to make a quick escape to avoid being rear-ended or something .

My preference would be to not skip gears at ALL - but that torque is one of the things I like the most about the bike

Yeah, I played around with that a little riding it home from the dealer on Monday. I'd always been told that starting in second was at the very least a bad habit (not that skipping gears isn't) and at the very worst it wears the clutch. I think it might just be a matter of bonding with the bike. My last bike was an FZ1, and I have to keep reminding myself I can't wind the Valkyrie up to 9500rpm in first like I has been doing on that Fazer.

Already hit that Rev Limiter a few times without thinking, but very happy to be back on a cruiser. This is by far the best handling cruiser I've ever ridden.
Keep in mind this is a wet clutch, which are meant to be safely slipped for a LOT longer than a dry clutch. Watch some of those low speed competitions or performances sometimes, those guys are slipping their clutches the entire time, quite often riding the rear brake at the same time, and they still last a very long time. Even without that you can start these bikes in second barely even slipping the clutch, heck I can start them from a stop in 5th without slipping the clutch an excessive amount. I honestly can't see any reason starting in second on this bike with the stock gearing is destructive at all.

This isnt just about torque either, a single that makes the same torque as the GL1800 engine has one power stroke every 720 degrees, so if you lug the engine it is going to jerk and stuuuuummmmmble and jerk and stuuuuummmmmble, a 2 cylinder averages every 360 degrees, a 4 cylinder every 180 degrees, and our 6 cylinders every 120 degrees. So even with the same average torque at the same engine RPM, an engine with more cylinders is going to be more resistant to lugging issues than an engine of the same power with fewer cylinders.

That all being said I am really liking my Henry's final drive, and with the taller final gearing I am now back to starting in first gear and being able to use all my gears effectively.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
354 Posts
Correct, not many options for 19", so your logic is also why I run bias ply 130 instead of radial that only comes in 120 or Dunlop with that centerline tread pattern. I found out the "HD" in Shinko 777 HD actually stands for "Heavy Duty", so that's where I landed after trying the Mich Cdr 2 and 3. I ran one for 19,000 miles on front, but someone (Britman?) just reported his lasted only 1/3 of that. Wondering if the supply shortages mean the tires are more likely to be fresh off the press and therefore a little softer than one that's sat on the shelf of a year or more. I started logging the date stamps from the sidewall in my maintenance log, the one I have mounted was 1 year old when I mounted it, and the next one I bought as a spare was only 3 months old. I used to here of people returning brand new tires because they arrive 5 years old! OK, sorry for going off on the tangent.
Unfortunately I didn't think to look at the date stamp on the Shinko 777 just removed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
127 Posts
Discussion Starter · #34 · (Edited)
Found a gravel road pretty close to me, it is much less maintained, more loose, roundish gravel. Took the Valk out there the other day and it was just as bad if not worse than my previous gravel experience even trying to sit either way back or way forward. Took my 98 Magna 750cc out there and it felt much more reasonable, tires hopped and skipped a bit when I hit larger rocks, and the rocks moved. But no issues with it trying to wash out or do anything bizarre like the Valk,

Front Magna tires: 120/80-17 61H at 36 PSI. IRC WF-920F Wild Flare Tires.
Rear Magna tires: 170/80-15 at 38 PSI. Kenda Cruiser S/T.

Any thoughts or ideas besides darksiding on how to make the Valk more stable?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
315 Posts
Just before I retired a few years ago I went over to see a client on a nice day. I knew what her driveway was like (very steep hill of rough gravel for the last 100 yards to her house overlooking the river) and I had not taken the Valk on any gravel roads to speak of up to then as I don't like the poor handling and rock chips. Boy, was that hairy! I eventually got down in one piece, trying not to use the front brake but sliding sideways with the back, heading straight for the overlook if I couldn't get it stopped. The one RR tie at the bottom that was there to prevent a 50' plunge into the river was not going to cut it if I hit it going too fast. After momentary panic, I was able to get safely down, relieved, thinking that going back up was going to be much easier. Turned out, I thought I was going to have to leave the bike with her and just get visitation rights. Finally made it up, which turned out to be just as exciting, as the driveway is lined all the way with steep ravines. Not a fun day. I learned a lot, though. And I now know why she drives a JEEP. She lives in Panama during the winter, as even the JEEP would be a thrill on an icy driveway. And she walks all the way up and down that long driveway, six days a week to get her mail, as the mail truck won't go down there. Not bad for 93 years old!
:cool:
 
21 - 36 of 36 Posts
Top