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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Every different model of bike has it's strengths and weaknesses. Some models are built solid and as reliable as they come, and other models are not so reliable.

But even the most reliable models have 'something' (however minor) that has a tendency to cause some trouble.
My other bike is a Honda VTR1000F Firestorm. Much like the Valk and GW's , these are super reliable bikes that need very little maintenance other than the usual oil changes filters etc.

There are a few caveats though. (For the Firestorm)

1) Dodgy automatic cam chain tensioners - could go at any time. - Best solution was to replace with manual tensioners before trouble hit.
2) Rectifier / Regulator on early models were complete SH-1T (actually I think that was the first letters of the model number, serious...) - Often got replaced with a MOSFET one.
3) Design fault: Front springs too light. - Upgrading is an advantage.

If you took care of at least the first two items, you'll have a VTR that is good for over 100,000km with very little but the most basic servicing and maintenance.


What would you guys say the Archilles heel of the 1800C would be?

- I'm going to throw one thing out there. A lot of people seem to have kill switch issues (?)

What upgrades would you consider to be almost non-optional? (eg fixing design faults)

And are there any critical parts of maintenance that are commonly over-looked?

Any maintenance advice for a new owner who intends to DIY the simpler stuff, and keep the bike in tip-top shape?

Cheers, Malcolm
Below is my bike which is still in transit.
 

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No "aftermarket" "matched" set of radial tires available in oem sizing, I just received my Metzeler Roadtec 01 tires 190/55-17 HWM & 120/70-19.

The new front tire will be 0.47" taller than the oem front & the rear tire will be 0.43" taller than the oem rear.

The little bit skinner front tire should quicken corner "turn in" and the slightly wider rear should slow the corner "turn in" so I'm expecting the "turn in" to not change from oem or to be just slightly quicker. Also the added height will give me added cornering clearance and will drop the rpms slightly so as to not rev quite as high at highway speeds and hopefully help with the feeling of wanting to shift into the "6th gear that doesn't exist" lol
 

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Tires , Wind management . I'm sure the "kill switch issue" is blew out of proportion . My fix is to use a protective lube & just don't use it ! I consider it an emergency use only item.......Use the key. So far this bike has amazingly small amount of quirks .........Rod
 

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As has been pointed out on other threads (and some debated):, I think the major weaknesses are:
-stock seat is not suitable for overnight, multi-day trips (some say even more than an hour or 2) and there aren't enough 2014/15 made for Ultimate Seats to make one for this model (similar issue as limited availability of tires that was mentioned above, and really all accessories).
- gearing is too low for not pulling a trailer and riding two up, 1st gear is about useless except for waking it into the garage, and the bike is begging to be shifted beyond 5th gear at 65 - 70 mph
 
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The seat is junk
Wheels are should be sized for more tire options.
The suspension could use an upgrade.
Should come standard with fog lights.
Should come with cruise control.
Should come with ABS on all models.
Taller final drive ratio would be great to keep the Revy's down on the stock set up.
Keyless ignition would be cool. I hate taking the key out every
time.
 

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The keyless option is nice when it works. My cousin has it on his Indian Chieftain. Problem is that he has lots of issues with the bike not picking up the fob. Honda would probably do it better than Indian, though. His bike is an expensive piece of junk. He just blew the engine and it only has 30,000 kms on it.
 

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The keyless option is nice when it works. My cousin has it on his Indian Chieftain. Problem is that he has lots of issues with the bike not picking up the fob. Honda would probably do it better than Indian, though. His bike is an expensive piece of junk. He just blew the engine and it only has 30,000 kms on it.
my 014 chieftain sn 837 has no such issues. 5 yrs , 25k smiles. never a fob issue. well the dime size fob battery did die and I had to use the turn sig code to start it once. but that is a battery issue not a bike issue. and I don't beat on my machines like I know people who do and then wonder why they fail when they need it most.
 

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Achilles heel........


The BMW R1200 family had such a problem. The rear shaft drive/single sided swing arm would fail, break and the back end of the bike would fall down riding along the road, sometimes even burning.....


This sort of thing:








The Honda Valkyrie does not have an 'Achilles Heel' as such.


Sure, the Honda Valkyrie has been sold to many, many soft men who complain about too much breeze as they roll along whinging inside their helmets at how their tushie hurts - hurts from what - sitting down for a couple of hours? But they are just soft men who also complain that they have to turn a key to start the bike. "What, EVERY time I ride it I HAVE TO TURN THE KEY?!?!".


That is no Achilles heel. Neither is not getting free fog lights an Achilles heel. Buy them you TIGHT A$$.


It is, however, a design flaw or lack of negotiating on Honda's behalf that the wheels don't fit a single set of matched tyres from a single decent tyre manufacturer.
 

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Ox's problem is that he doesn't tell us what he thinks. But seriously, I agree. None of the stuff mentioned above could rightly be called an "Achilles heel". Crikey, we could add "doesn't come in enough colour options"(!)

That BMW final drive issue: now THAT is an Achilles heel. Having owned 2 x BMW cars, I have to concur with my mechanic who, having had vast experience with them, called them "the most overrated car on the road". From what I've read, I'm starting to wonder if their bikes might be in that category too.
 

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It is, however, a design flaw or lack of negotiating on Honda's behalf that the wheels don't fit a single set of matched tyres from a single decent tyre manufacturer.
Huh? Dunlop is a pretty decent tyre manufacturer. I know Shrubbo has been less than enthused with their grip in the wet but lets face it he pushes pretty hard. I've certainly had no issues with them. And yes, that includes longevity (20,000km+). And I might add, affordability.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks all for the replies, i guess I left some room for confusion in how I asked that question. I was interested to know about major issues as well as minor ones (shall we call it ‘common frustrations’?)

Glad to hear lots of peoples thoughts. We are very lucky to have a bike where the biggest common problems are not critical.

So I picked up my Valk from the port today, (it came from the land of Geepers - Perth). In beautiful nick. What a bike to ride.. It’s like sitting on a jet unit. I only got to ride an hour today, (in rain) 3.5 hour ride home tomorrow. I guess we’ll see how this stock seat goes.
 

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Achilles heel........


The BMW R1200 family had such a problem. The rear shaft drive/single sided swing arm would fail, break and the back end of the bike would fall down riding along the road, sometimes even burning.....


This sort of thing:








The Honda Valkyrie does not have an 'Achilles Heel' as such.


Sure, the Honda Valkyrie has been sold to many, many soft men who complain about too much breeze as they roll along whinging inside their helmets at how their tushie hurts - hurts from what - sitting down for a couple of hours? But they are just soft men who also complain that they have to turn a key to start the bike. "What, EVERY time I ride it I HAVE TO TURN THE KEY?!?!".


That is no Achilles heel. Neither is not getting free fog lights an Achilles heel. Buy them you TIGHT A$$.


It is, however, a design flaw or lack of negotiating on Honda's behalf that the wheels don't fit a single set of matched tyres from a single decent tyre manufacturer.
WOW ! Been hearing about BMWs lack of reliability on their shaft drives .....those pictures take it to a whole new level !
 

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One thing that takes a Valkyrie out quicker than Paris' arrow took down Achilles, is the oil filter. It's literally an Achilles-heel on an otherwise almost bullet proof bike. As convenient its location is for oil changes, it can get damaged by road debris easily.

I was going 75-80 mph on the Interstate and hit a small 2x4 wood piece that some carpenter's pickup truck must have lost. It just went "clunk" hitting the bottom of the bike. Half a mile later, the oil light came on. After 10 seconds of hesitation, I pulled over and immediately shut the bike off. The oil filter was penetrated. At that point, the engine had may be 1/2 quart of oil left. No damage, but had she ran 60 seconds longer, the engine would have been f-ed.
 

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One thing that takes a Valkyrie out quicker than Paris' arrow took down Achilles, is the oil filter. It's literally an Achilles-heel on an otherwise almost bullet proof bike. As convenient its location is for oil changes, it can get damaged by road debris easily.

I was going 75-80 mph on the Interstate and hit a small 2x4 wood piece that some carpenter's pickup truck must have lost. It just went "clunk" hitting the bottom of the bike. Half a mile later, the oil light came on. After 10 seconds of hesitation, I pulled over and immediately shut the bike off. The oil filter was penetrated. At that point, the engine had may be 1/2 quart of oil left. No damage, but had she ran 60 seconds longer, the engine would have been f-ed.
They make belly pan protectors for this very reason & to protect the coolant overflow bottle from puncture. I've had one on my bike since day one.

https://www.ebay.com/p/Show-Chrome-...zed/202944376?iid=172374182761&rt=nc&thm=1000
 

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If there is an Achilles Heel to the Valkyrie? My opinion is the front wheel. Not that it's bad but the tire is an odder size and can be hard to find. Maybe the seat but I come to find if you have the tall windshield and the side wind deflectors the seat somehow becomes more comfortable... True story.
 

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The seat should have been painted green like a park bench. Sits like one. Had mine fixed by Astech seats. First to second gear shift. Shift early all is good. Gearing could be taller. Kickstand too short so i added a bigger foot.
Otherwise i love it. Endless tourque, light weight, does everthing a motorcycle should do very well. These will be cult bikes in 20 years.
 
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