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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I happened across this video on YouTube. This guy is machining a taller final drive ratio gear set for goldwings. Watch the dyno screen. He makes it to 80mph before he reaches 3,000rpm.

It's no secret that the 01-17 goldwings and our valkyries really could have used a 6th gear. And aside from spending a hundred thousand dollars developing a 6 speed gear box to fit our bike, it seems a much more cost effective solution is just swap out the diff gears.

Sure, you will lose a tiny fraction of your acceleration, but so what? I'm not racing anybody. And it will be such a small amount that you won't even notice it is missing. The bike will still pull your arms off. It's got more than enough torque. How many people can actually get full acceleration anyway with that break-your-wrist throttle throw?

And in exchange for that, you get a longer lasting engine, much better highway mpg, a higher top speed, and for some of you, the ability to use first gear again. (I've seen all the comments about people just using 2nd gear and ignoring 1st)

I'm not really seeing a downside to this. I say we all contact this guy and show our interest. Make sure he can justify making and selling these gear sets. I know I'm interested.

https://youtu.be/fLR_oVaWY_Y
 

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Excellent geared up several of my 70 and 80's jap bikes. Made them much better and enjoyable at highway speeds. Let us know if you find out anymore about this work. Would certainly consider if affordable.
Thanks for sharing
 

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In my opinion, this final drive is exactly as it should be for my needs and riding style.

This is not THE Honda Gold Wing although it is based on it but rather a stripped down version for those who prefer a machine built for lots of various scenarios.

If you are not satisfied, get the Goldwing or the F6B.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
In my opinion, this final drive is exactly as it should be for my needs and riding style.

This is not THE Honda Gold Wing although it is based on it but rather a stripped down version for those who prefer a machine built for lots of various scenarios.

If you are not satisfied, get the Goldwing or the F6B.
In other words "Honda made this bike absolutely perfect as is! Every motorcycle is perfect as built by the manufacturer! If this bike isn't exactly what you want, get rid of it and buy a different bike!"

I'm teasing.

But in all seriousness, getting a goldwing or an f6b isn't going to fix this issue. They all have the same engine, tranny, and final drive. They all are screaming at 3400rpms doing 75 on the highway.

Maybe the valkyrie is perfect for you. If I didn't spend so much time on the highway, I wouldn't bother with these gears either. But for me, and a lot of other people, highway riding is the bulk of what we do and we all know that this big 6 cylinder is not meant to run at 3500 to 4000 rpms for hours at a time, over and over. It can do it, and you'll still get 200,000 miles out of your bike, but it will still put unnecessary strain on the engine. Why not lessen the burden? Get 400k or more out of it.

Also, these engines sip fuel up to around 3000rpm and then start guzzling anywhere after that. Below 3k I get mid 40s mpg, after 3k I get mid 30s. I ride 300 miles a week, 95% of it on the highway. I'm not a wealthy man. That savings will add up quickly.


Besides, motorcycles are meant to be modified. It's part of the appeal. On the of chance that I ever run across another valkyrie, I don't want mine to be exactly like it. This one is mine, I made it mine.
 

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In other words "Honda made this bike absolutely perfect as is! Every motorcycle is perfect as built by the manufacturer! If this bike isn't exactly what you want, get rid of it and buy a different bike!"

I'm teasing.

But in all seriousness, getting a goldwing or an f6b isn't going to fix this issue. They all have the same engine, tranny, and final drive. They all are screaming at 3400rpms doing 75 on the highway.

Maybe the valkyrie is perfect for you. If I didn't spend so much time on the highway, I wouldn't bother with these gears either. But for me, and a lot of other people, highway riding is the bulk of what we do and we all know that this big 6 cylinder is not meant to run at 3500 to 4000 rpms for hours at a time, over and over. It can do it, and you'll still get 200,000 miles out of your bike, but it will still put unnecessary strain on the engine. Why not lessen the burden? Get 400k or more out of it.

Also, these engines sip fuel up to around 3000rpm and then start guzzling anywhere after that. Below 3k I get mid 40s mpg, after 3k I get mid 30s. I ride 300 miles a week, 95% of it on the highway. I'm not a wealthy man. That savings will add up quickly.


Besides, motorcycles are meant to be modified. It's part of the appeal. On the of chance that I ever run across another valkyrie, I don't want mine to be exactly like it. This one is mine, I made it mine.
I believe one of the most important things I've learned about most motorcycle engines, they are built to scream, run wide open, and especially for the flat 6... last forever.

I did not buy it with the idea I would keep it forever. I'd like to but with the all this crazy tech and engineering ramping up, in just a very few short years, all of us may be jumping on the next great machine and the gl1800 motor could look like a child's toy.

My best friend who can buy just about anything machine he wants, just bought a 2019 Triumph Speedmaster. That thing looks like a blast from the past but it fits him the way he wants.

In the meantime, I am absolutely loving this valk and continuing to learn what it is capable of.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I believe one of the most important things I've learned about most motorcycle engines, they are built to scream, run wide open, and especially for the flat 6... last forever.

I did not buy it with the idea I would keep it forever. I'd like to but with the all this crazy tech and engineering ramping up, in just a very few short years, all of us may be jumping on the next great machine and the gl1800 motor could look like a child's toy.

My best friend who can buy just about anything machine he wants, just bought a 2019 Triumph Speedmaster. That thing looks like a blast from the past but it fits him the way he wants.

In the meantime, I am absolutely loving this valk and continuing to learn what it is capable of.
Some motorcycles are built for that. Some engines Rev to the moon. Some have all their power after 4k or even after 8k rpm.

But not this one. It is more of a low rpm tractor engine. It is most comfortable with the rpm as low as possible. It has over 100lb/ft of torque just off idle.

Frankly, it was an oversight on Honda's part not to fit these bikes (the entire GL1800 lineup) with a 6 speed tranny, or at the very least, a taller 4th and 5th gear.

They've rectified that mistake with the newest goldwings.

And I actually do plan on keeping this bike forever. It at least until i run it into the ground. I'm 39 years old. I've only had 2 cars and 2 motorcycles my whole life. I use the same smartphone for 6+ years. I'm not the type to go out and buy the next best thing. I don't have the money for that and usually the next best thing isn't significantly better than the last best thing. I wait until the thing I have no longer functions, or the next thing is a vast improvement over what I have.

As far as what the Valk is capable of, I've found the limits of its capability for highway commuting and found it lacking. I have since found a way to remedy this fault without sacrificing too much from other capabilities. That's all this is.
 

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I too think not having taller gearing for interstate riding was an oversight. If they were available and affordable I would have done it already. I plan to hang on to this cruiser for a while. I have a smaller bike in the garage for kicking around so this is mainly for bigger trips far from home. It’s actually hard to believe it isn’t available as aftermarket by now.
 

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As far as what the Valk is capable of, I've found the limits of its capability for highway commuting and found it lacking. I have since found a way to remedy this fault without sacrificing too much from other capabilities. That's all this is.
Again, this is why it is built for me. I am 60 and geared more for relaxed roads-less-traveled riding rather than hitting the slab.

I live among lots of idgit drivers where 2 out 3 have one hand steering and the other texting. I strive to stay away from all vehicles for good reason.

I do understand the financial part as well. I've had 6 bikes before this one and never paid more than 4500 for any of them until this one. I would have a 2019 goldwing if I had the dough. For half the price of a new one, I have the next best thing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I too think not having taller gearing for interstate riding was an oversight. If they were available and affordable I would have done it already. I plan to hang on to this cruiser for a while. I have a smaller bike in the garage for kicking around so this is mainly for bigger trips far from home. It’s actually hard to believe it isn’t available as aftermarket by now.
Well I think if enough people show interest, then this guy might start selling them. I'd recommend commenting your interest on the above linked video at the very least.
 

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They all have the same engine, tranny, and final drive. They all are screaming at 3400rpms doing 75 on the highway.

...

Also, these engines sip fuel up to around 3000rpm and then start guzzling anywhere after that. Below 3k I get mid 40s mpg, after 3k I get mid 30s. I ride 300 miles a week, 95% of it on the highway.
After spending 4 full days on the bike, I can't agree with you more. She's an engineering masterpiece, except here in TX where there are 70 - 80 mph speed limits on some of the interstates, she's just BEGGING to be shifted into 6th and revving unnecessarily high and wasting fuel. Yes, on one tank in the Ozarks I spent most of the time under 3000 rpms and got 47.5 mph. Then on the last day, I got only 36 mpg on the interstate. I'm sure a lot of that is due to wind resistance, but the engine is definitely not at it's efficiency sweet spot when it is cruising at close to 4000 rpm.

Did you ever get the parts from the guy? I'm going to give him a call, but would feel even better about it if I had your review.
 

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47.5 mpGALLON. What happened to the edit button?
 

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Well, its like anything else. I buy my Silverado's with 373 or 342 gearings instead of 321 or 308's for better mileage here in the white mountain area. If I was in Texas which I have visited, I would not be happy at all. You guys haul the mail down there on those highways. Certainly, my Valkyrie would be wanting a taller final drive to settle it down and get in the sweet spot. I notice it some here from time to time but it's fine really.

Keep us posted you might be on to something with this. I would also comment to the guy. let him know what's up. He might build it.
 

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I would LOVE one of these!
If you look at his other video his GW on the dyno hits 177MPH! Dunno if its because he is using that gear but I think its a good bet that he is.

I gotta have one!

58mph = 2100rpm
63mph at 2300rpm
70mph at 2600rpm
75mph at 2800rpm that's sweet right there ... perfect for slab riding..really burn through miles and motor isn't even breaking a sweat.
80mph at 2900rpm
85mph at 3100rpm thats about the rpm we go 70 at now isn't it?
90mph at 3300rpm
95mph at 3500rpm
100mph at 3700rpm
110mph at 4000rpm holy crap!

I will so have one if he is going to make some for sale.

Whats not to like?
 

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Comments on the youtube video said he was doing another 3 sets and to call him at 310.294.4242. A couple people were interested. I left a voice mail at that number yesterday, and a text follow-up this afternoon, but no response yet. Planning to install when I have to change the rear tire.
 

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He also wrote that on a test ride from Los Angeles to Grand Canyon (1300 miles round trip) several months ago, he cruised at averaged 75 mph and 52 miles per gallon.
 
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OMG.. I will call a little later so I don't wake him up.


I sure hope he has one for sale cuz this mod falls into the "why didn't the bike come with this" category.


I am doing this.. no matter the price.
 

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So I was contacted by the person making these final drives. He wants my diff along with money to do the sale.
Not sure if he needs my diff to swap the gears into or it's a component swap and his diff fits my bike.
Waiting for an answer to know.


If anyone has more info than me please chime in.
 

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I exchanged text msgs with him today. He was OK with the purchaser sending the old parts back afterward. He didn't want to post the price on line, so I won't betray that by posting it here, but he wanted 3x what I expected, so I'll wait a while and see if the price comes down.:(
 
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