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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I own a '13 F6B, and the shifting quality is typical Goldwing; i.e. clunky and noisy in the lower 2 gears. I test drove a demo '15 Valk that had about 15k km on it, and I assume being a Honda Demo Days test bike, had been beat on regularly. I was amazed at how smooth and quiet the trans was. It sounded and shifted like a sport bike, click-click-click through the gears. There was absolutely no clunking of the gearbox and shifts could be made easily and lightning quick.
Is this typical of all Valk's, or was the one I drove so broken in that it was on the way to failure?
 

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While cold they shift great. After warming up the trans gets noisy. I have a 2014 F6c Engine also has a distinct high pitched whine when warm. Living here in SW Fla heat index and high way temps quite high. Changed my oil to 20w50 synthetic. Bike runs quieter and shifts somewhat smoother. Basically you need to ride it like a sport bike. Power shift it 30% depression on clutch lever slight easing on throttle. Basically quick snap on wrist. Shifts with a slight click. As they say ride it like you stole it. The problem is the loose drive train. If you back of the throttle, you get a backlash which causes the clunking when you re apply throttle. You need to keep engine revs and clutch pressure on the drive in sink with the shifting. I still haven't perfected it totally yet myself but does work. Same issue on my VTX. If you don't like driving that way. Follow the Manual and shift at recommended speeds. 12, 19,25, 31, shift down 22, 16. Thats what I do.0:) OOh ya!!>:D
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That's my conundrum. I found the Valk to be so smooth shifting and quiet irregardless of my shifting style. I could shift slow with full clutch and throttle off, or part clutch and part throttle and it made no difference.
So I take it that the Valk I drove was atypical regarding trans operation.
If so, that's a shame.
 

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I agree with Tall Rider as I experience clunky shifts occasionally, typically when shifting with minimal throttle. But it is rare, probably because I've adapted a more aggressive shifting style with this ride. Possibly the 2015 model is configured different than the 2014 which could explain your experience.
 

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OK everyone. Think torque convert. We have a wet clutch system here. The clutch spinning in the oil bath will constantly exert pressure on all surfaces of the clutch. Therefore the feeling clutch never disingages. Reason clunk from neutral. So always having pressure and movement on both serfaces of the clutch when shifting if you do not match rpms to speed clunk or if decreasing throttle while shifting will result in engine breaking on drive train and backlash when applying throttle again after releasing clutch. Therefore, hit it baby and enjoy the rush.>:D
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
We have a wet clutch system here.
As does almost every motorcycle in production. And they all certainly don't shift as crudely as the Goldwing.
Can you explain why the '15 Valk I drove shifted so quietly and smoothly, unlike any other 1800 'Wing I have driven?
 

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Well not sure how long you rode the demo. If weather was cool or cold. The oil may not have gotten warm enough to thin out and effect the shifting. I have 20w50 oil in my bike and always shifts smooth and quiet till the oil thins. I have driven mine on a few cool days and shifted different than on extreme hot days. Purchased my bike in Feb. But unfortunately have had very little cool weather since. My VTX had similar characteristics. If you have belt or chain drive this will ease some of the backlash issues shaft drives have. I would hope Honda did tighten up the tolerances on the drive system. At any rate the bike is a great ride and loved the VTX and really like this one. No complaints from me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well not sure how long you rode the demo. If weather was cool or cold. The oil may not have gotten warm enough to thin out and effect the shifting.
45 minute ride, the weather was hot (85F), most of the ride was at speeds around 60-80 mph.
There was something very unusual going on with that bike's trans. I have no idea what make or weight of oil Honda Canada had in its crankcase. When I asked the Honda Canada reps about its smooth and silent shifting compared to the typical Goldwing, they didn't have an answer for me. It seems no one else does either. I get the impression this particular bike was a one-off for whatever reason. If that's the case, that's too bad, as I really enjoyed driving that demo Valk.
 

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A goldwing typically has a lot more cover than the Valkyrie. It may account for less noise or sound in the trans and drive. When I ride with a helmet the bike is considerably quieter. Helmet cuts down on a lot of noise.
 

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I dont notice mine being any noisier than any other bike I've owned.

I just run cheap nonsynthetic oil in mine though.

Mine shifts fine with or without using the clutch and I don't notice much noise. I also don't use first gear or neutral so that may be why.
 

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Like mrtappan, my bike shifts just like my other 2 bikes. You might want to trade it in for that demo bike?>:D
Just out of curiosity, what does a bigbird look like on a Valkyrie?
 

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Bigbird, just messing with you.;) When my bike had ~ 250 miles, I was attempting to pass an 18 wheeler on a two lane highway in 4th gear. I attempted to shift into 5th as I reached his cab. I shifted up to 5th and let the clutch out. The shifter beat the **** out of the top of my foot. I tried again and the same thing happened. 5th gear just wouldn't engage! There were cars coming so I did a clutch-less shift which produced a loud clunk (changed my oil after that) but found 5th and was able to fully pass. It hasn't happen since. The shifting has become much smoother with time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
I know you guys keep telling me they get smoother and quieter with age, but this one was beyond smooth and quiet. I am still stumped. Would I trade my F6B on it? No, I'd miss the fairing, wind protection, and storage. And I can't stand the digital gauge cluster. I need to see analogues and a temperature gauge as well.

At this point, since no one can explain why this Valk was so smooth and quiet to shift, I'll back away and continue on.
Thanks for all your input.
 

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Fifteen years ago (+/-), there was a forum called VOA (Valkyrie Owners of America). One of the rocket scientists wrote a vast article on the shifting traits of the Valkyrie. The constant mesh system, the squared gears comparisons, the dog ears being worn, and the push forks being bent were all there. At the end there was a comment (reply) by a Honda dealership mechanic, and he said "Honda does this so the transmission will out last the engine". I think that is all I needed to know.
 

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I have gotten used to the clunk sound for first and second gear. I had it with my old I/S, so it is no big deal for me. Lets me know that it went into gear. I have had it go into the 'neutral' gear between 4th and 5th, though, a couple of times. Once when I was shifting quick into 5th, the other on an easy shift into 5th.
 

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Yeah same here loud shifting and clunking on all the bikes I've owned, especially from neutral to first and first to 2nd. The Transmissions are very very strong, not many fail. I've owned and ridden a lot of wings and they are all the same, I currently have the Goldwing, F6B and the F6C and they are all identical in there traits. My old Victory was the same way lots of clunks in lower gears but after 10's of thousands of miles never a problem or failure. I do notice with full synthetic it gets a bit smoother than using the standard Honda oil so that may be a route to take. All mine run synthetic now. Still clunk from neutral to first but overall it's super smooth.
 

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Have any of you ridden the Triumph Rocket III? I had one for 4years +. THAT was like riding a two wheeled tractor compared to the Valkyrie. I would wince every time I put it into first. The noise was astounding even with ear plugs in. Sometimes I would look under the bike to see if the transmission fell out. My Valkyrie is nothing like that just a pleasant clunking sound and every other gear is silent by comparison. Now to be sure I'm sure it will get even better since I only have 240 miles on the bike since I got it last week.
 

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This is the worst shifting motorcycle I've owned for as long as I can remember.


My last two Kawasaki's, ZX14 and C14, were the best. Clutch less shifts, no problem, lazy foot, no problem. (six speeds)
Before that my two Ducati's, ST3 and ST2, were very very good. (six speeds)


Thank God the new Valk is only a five speed...


 

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Man I don't even shift I start out and once I get to third gear it's all engine braking 3.5 to 6 on the tach. I can roll on the throttle as slow as 15 mph and up to 60 without shifting. That's in the twisties, traffic is a different story. ☺
 
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