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Chet's Favorite Ride!
|NightMare Dressed to Kill!|
Super Trapps with no baffles - stock seat - no rear seat, sissy bar nor windshield.
Click here to download a snapshot of NightMare on the lake as seen above.
|Click here for a good MIDI version of Wagner's Ride of the Valkyries. To hear it, choose "open" on the dialog.|
NightMare was delivered on April 15th, 1998 and currently has 14,700 miles on it.
For a review of the overall bike, John Marshall has written an excellent personal one to peruse.
For a more professional review, see the MotorSports Network review or take in a Euro review at The Auto Channel.
What is a VALKYRIE? Click here then click "V" on the page. You will see.
|Valkyrie specs from Motorcycle Consumer News|
MCN is a reputable magazine which doesn't accept advertising and has no reason to favor any brand.
July 1996 issue reviewed the Valkyrie.
100.0 hp, "SAE corrected rear-wheel horsepower"
102.3 lb.ft. "SAE corrected rear-wheel torque"
0 - 1/4 mile... 12.02 sec @110.7mph
0 - 60 mph..... 3.86 sec
0 - 100 mph.... 9.96 sec
60 - 0 mph .... 107.4'
|Click here for latest DYNO results on NightMare|
|Click here for a series of FAQ sheets on the Valkyrie|
|Click here to see a Valk do a wheelie!|
|Click to see a larger pic!|
|Additonal photos of NightMare:|
|Click links below to view photos then click your browser's 'Back' or activate further links on subsequent page||Right Tank Side||Left Tank Side||Tank Top||Side Covers||Front Fender Top||Front Fender Skirt||Right Rear Fender||Rear Fender Skirt|
|Dressed to Tour||Dressed to Cruise|
|Undressed (rated R)||Front Fender Nose|
|Accessories added to NightMare|
|I have been adding and changing things quite often and it is impossible to keep up this list.|
For a list of new stuff, click here.
|If item is underlined, click to see a review and/or use and care description. NOTE: all reviews are honest. There is no quibbling about,|
"Gee, I spent so much money on this item that I won't admit I don't think it's 100% fantastic!" You won't find any of that here.
|Kick Shift||$149.95||PHOTO||Peg Relo Kit||$84.95||PHOTO|
|Tube Toppers||$54.95||PHOTO||Turn Stylers||$24.95||PHOTO|
|Super Trapps /w end caps||$780||see above||LeatherLyke bags||$350||PHOTO|
|Cobra Light Bar||$350||PHOTO||Cobra Tank Mount Cover||$70||PHOTO|
|TBR Triple Clamp||$600||---||Cobra Handlebar risers||$100||...|
|Cobra Oil Filter Cover||$63||PHOTO||Corbin Seat||$850||PHOTO|
|Plate Frame||$150||PHOTO||Baker Air Wings||$100||PHOTO|
|Shock & Engine bolt covers||$17||PHOTO||'85 Shadow Horns||$90/pr||PHOTO|
|Chrome Oil Dip Stick||$30||PHOTO||Kuryakyn Pegs w/ mounts||$60/pr||PHOTO|
|Brake Pedal Cover||$30||PHOTO||Stereo||$50||PHOTO|
|Bar Grille||$120||PHOTO||Jardine Signal Visor||$36/pr||PHOTO|
|Chrome stuff!||$???||...||Complete Radiator Dressing||$90||...|
|Iron Wheels||$4||PHOTO||Rainbow HeadLight||$26||PHOTO|
|Screw Caps||$100||PHOTO||Under Lights||$20||PHOTO|
|Foot peg lights||$6||PHOTO||Shooter sport shield||$100||PHOTO|
|Trip Computer||$30||PHOTO||Triple Crown Covers||$55||---|
|Horny Lights †||$6||PHOTO||Four way flashers †||$5||PHOTO|
|NIKKO Chrome Dual Horns †||$35||...||Extra Horns †||$50||...|
|Pilot PL-1067B Lights †||$38||PHOTO||Feet Heaters †||$1||PHOTO|
|Signal Buzzer †||$3||...||Invisible Vista †||$40||PHOTO|
|† Links marked will take you to a new page for a "how to." Click browser's BACK to return.|
|Prices above are discounted prices I actually paid at the time before tax and/or shipping. Current prices would be more.|
|You thought YOUR mother in law was cool, check out mine!|
|Is she this fine lady's mother?|
|Make mods to your stock exhaust for more sound|
|Waldo's||Chet's Favorite Links||Hexen-Vaults-Caldera|
|Rattlebars Kick Shift|
The Valkyrie shift mechanism is straight from its Gold Wing heritage. But, the wing's shift lever is six inches long. The Valk's only three! The Valk requires some authority to shift it. With the addition of a Kick Shift (PHOTO) the problem is solved. Since I invented this thing and my wife owns the company, I can't really say much more. However, I can tell you that since I've got this thing bolted on, I can't live without it.
For more information about Kick Shift, visit the Rattlebars Mfg. Web site.
|Rattlebars Peg Relocation Kit|
When I bolted on the Corbin, I found I had less leg room than I wanted. So, I installed a Peg Relocation Kit (PHOTO). This item allows you to move your pegs one inch down and up to nearly two inches forward. It really helps in the leg room department. Since I invented these things and my wife owns the company, I can't really say much more.
For more information about the Peg Relocation Kit, visit the Rattlebars Mfg. Web site.
|Rattlebars Tube Toppers|
Want a completely chrome engine cheap? Get Tube Toppers. This easy to install kit make your engine look like a HOT ROD (PHOTO). Since I invented these things and my wife owns the company, I can't really say much more.
For more information about Tube Toppers, visit the Rattlebars Mfg. Web site.
|Rattlebars Turn Stylers|
Want a completely chrome turn signal stalk cheap? Get Turn Stylers. This easy to install kit improve the looks of those drab rubber signal insulators (PHOTO). Since I invented these things and my wife owns the company, I can't really say much more.
For more information about Turn Stylers, visit the Rattlebars Mfg. Web site.
|SUPER TRAPP DETAILS|
When I put the SuperTrapp exhaust system on, what a difference! For one thing, the original exhaust weighs in at 48 pounds! That's 24 EACH! The ENTIRE SuperTrapp system weighs in at 18 pounds, that's nine pounds each! So, NightMare went on a diet and lost 30 pounds in about an hour. That's faster than you can get glasses at LensCrafters! Plus, at 2800RPM what a kick in the ass! There's gotta be 10 to 15 more HP! NightMare used to come on at 3500, but with the SuperTrapps, 2800 and it really comes on with neck snapping tire spinning acceleration! There is a major league noticable difference in performance with these installed which I assume comes from the increased header diameter of the single walled pipes combined with the vacuum action of the disc system. On a 2000 RPM roll on of the throttle, the rear tire will spin, the bike fishtails and there is barely time to react before it's at 7500 RPM ready to shift into second (with a tire "chirp") - then third (another "chirp")-. No rejetting was done, I just bolted them on. |
With the Trapps and the Valk's wild cam, it sounds like smaller version of a 'Vette with an LT1. The headers on the Trapps are closer under the frame to yield more room behind and in front of the rider's pegs which is really helpful since I like to lean forward and drape my feet behind the pegs at times during a long ride to ease back pain. That was impossible with the stock mufflers and, I've had reports from other folks about Two Brothers and Cobra pipes that they burn the heels off their boots every three thousand miles or so. The only drawback is the Trapps are short -- come to about where the old exhaust started the chrome tips. Not that it looks bad, mind you, it actually makes NightMare look lighter and "sporty" and I have a "sport" model so it fits in fine (see photo at top of page). It can be noisy, though, for the passenger most of the time and for you on a long ride. With the Hondaline windshield and the Air Wings installed, the noise can really get to you after a while because the pipes are inside the envelope of still air. If they were only about four inches longer, they would be behind the sissy bar and outside that envelope and be less irritating. Without the shield, they are nearly silent to the rider. With the shield but no wings, they are entirely tolerable, irritating only at certain RPMs after a long day. With the shield and wings, you'll be reaching for earplugs after an hour or so on the freeway.
By adding or subtracting disks, you can "tune" them, though. More disks more sound and performance, fewer disks less sound but less performance. On a long tour, subtract disks for a quieter ride. To show off at the local cruise in, add disks or just straight pipe 'em if ya want (remove the end caps) for a nice mellow rumble. I also got a set of Snuff 'r Not end caps for $120 a pair (PHOTO) which gives you purr and performance with just a turn of a screw. Or, if you're really nuts like me, two screws let you yank out the baffles and glass for a really wild growl that will turn heads I guarantee! (but the bike runs like shit) These pipes really give the Valk a unique exhaust note (three types of notes) and man what a boost! Your Valk will not sound like a Studebaker anymore and it will literally fly! (see note below)
Installation was simple, about the same amount of work you would do to change a tire without changing the tire. To make it easier, you should have a 1/4" drive ratchet with a universal joint and 6" extension to get at the header nuts easier. You should be armed with a few header exhaust gaskets from your dealer since the header for the Trapps may just be a little different than the stock pipes and may leak through one or two of the already compressed header gaskets (they are only a couple of bucks each). Takes about an hour if....: Loosen ALL bolts on the engine guard (loosen, not remove) before removing the one under the cylinders. Loosen ALL bolts on the rear foot peg brackets. Follow instructions for removing stock exhaust in your bike's owners manual making sure you wear some kind of support like a jock since those puppies are HEAVY! Then just bolt on the Trapps as per their instructions (they feel light as paper!). To make it a little easier, I found it necessary to make the original lower holes in the rear peg brackets into slots with a Dremel and grinding stone (re-paint the holes). Remember to re-torque the header nuts after a few miles because they will loosen (they warn ya by leaking putt putt putt). Um, if you have a leak that is not solved by tightening, you probably need to install a new gasket. To find the culprit, start the bike and listen for the putt putt putt under the heads. One at a time, pull off a plug wire. If it still putts, put that one back on and pull the next one. When the puttin' stops, you found the bad gasket! To clean them, Qater or Never Dull treated wadding works well. Don't wax 'em or they may discolor. Hardware is stainless, but the headers and pipes are chrome steel. The trumpets will last a good long time (water, heat and bent mine were and still look new). The headers, however, after about two years got ugly and rusty. I've had mine black powder coated.
I would recommend getting aluminum end caps though because the originals look good for only about 3000 miles. If you get Snuff 'r Nots, be sure to do this little trick to make them easy to turn: Get good strong power drill or air wrench and a 7/16 socket. Wear a leather glove and hold tight to the Snuff 'r Not with the inside facing you (where the welded nut is). Set the socket on the nut and spin it for a while, fast. Reverse the drill/wrench and spin it some more. Don't use any oil! Do this, essentially grinding away some of the weld, until the inside disk will turn easily or you may strip the allen screws turning them once the disk is full of exhaust soot. Always turn the disks clockwise to open or close them or they have a tendency to jam even if you've loosened them up with the drill trick. WD 40 is useful here.
|NOTE: I have just returned (7/14/98) from a 2,000 mile trip through Nashville, Atlanta GA, and North Carolina. When I returned home, with ears ringing from freeways and the Trapps, I decided to re-install the stock exhaust for some quiet cruising. Took about an hour and was a relatively easy job except the damn things are HEAVY to hold up while you bolt 'em on. Anyway, with my 1400 Intruder, the Cobra pipes I put on it just made it sound better with no increase in performance. The bike did SEEM faster though, with that sound behind me, but it wasn't. Having a short memory and forgetting the WOW reaction the first time I rode it with the Trapps on, I wondered if that "seeming increase in power because of the sound" was true for the Trapps on NightMare as well. It's definitely not! I wasn't just imagining performance because of the sound. With the stock exhaust back on, it's like I have a plow dragging behind NightMare. I get just a smooth power on through the RPM range with a little boost about 3500. These Trapps kick ass! No doubt about it now. At 2800, it flies through the RMPs 'til the rev limiter hits. I will be putting them back on in a few days. I really miss that crotch rocket performance.|
|My Trapps had become noisy after a year or so, even tho I had repacked them once already. The packing glass was broken and burned and the pipes were to noisy for me. I could barely wear my full face SHOEI helmet because if I did I could hear every cyclinder fire. The big shield I run in winter did a good job of reflecting the sound from the pipe and I usually put on my stock cans for winter riding. I got some ceramic wrap from jimbolaya - the trapps need 9.5 x 9.5 squares - and installed it and wrapped with stainless wire ( click for pic of packing with 90 miles on it ). At first, I was not impressed. I started up the bike in the garage and found very little difference in sound. But that was decieveing to say the least. Tonight I got to test the stuff thoroughly and this stuff is GREAT! For the rider, my Trapps are very quiet now. Excellent note and mild. But out the end of the pipe, the sound of the Trapps is still the same old sound I love so well and the bike sounds little different for the spectator... same good sound - purr - rumble... burbel... I think I'll be able to sell my stock pipes now, won't need 'em in the winter anymore.|
|DYNO results are in! Nothing is imagined!|
Click here for latest DYNO results
|HEAR SUPERTRAPPS ON NightMare!|
|SuperTrapps with no baffles||with open Snuff 'R Nots||Closed Snuff 'R Nots|
|This does not really show you how loud these are, but will let you hear the sound of the Trapps with no baffles. Imagine open headers amplified by the Trapps' trumpet. Wild!||The mellow sound of the Trapps with open Snuff 'r Nots. Very mellow at idle, but when you're "on the pipe" she screams so sweet.||The mellow but muted sound of the Trapps with four disks and closed Snuff 'r Nots. A shy purr until you goose her. This wave has a slight distortion.|
I love these bags. They are on or off in a second or two. They lock. They hold their shape and are surprisingly stable on the bike. The Cross Country style bags (the big ones) have ample capacity and a wide loading mouth. They are totally waterproof (a one day 500 mile ride home in the rain from Americade '98 proved that). They look passably like real leather (PHOTO). They are very easy to take care of if you do a few tricks but you have to do the tricks or they are a bitch to keep looking nice.
First of all, cut about an inch off of, or braid (it's hard to braid two strands), the conchos if you have them. If you leave them as arrived, they will rub nice shiny spots on the bag surface that look terrible after a few hundred miles. If you wish, cut enough off of the conchos to enable you to tie on, through the existing holes, braided ones made with stiffer leather. Or, eliminate them completely and cover the rivets with glue-on diamonds or some such from the craft store. Or, see below for an Amish solution.
Next, take those completely ugly dull aluminum mounting studs and polish the heck out of them with a linen buffing wheel and SimiChrome polish. You can make them look like chrome if you take a little time. Polish the Allen screws too. Squirt a few coats of clear lacquer on them then drop by Rattlebars and get two chrome button Allen screw caps as listed. Pop them in the ends of the Allen screws. They don't look too bad after that.
Now for the best trick. Forget about the instructions on making the bags shiny. If you use low gloss ArmorAll like the manufacturer says, what you will end up with are nice shiny bags for one day. Because these bags are hard plastic, the ArmorAll will evaporate right away but not before it has made road grime, exhaust soot, brake dust and tire sludge stick to the bags like chewing gum on your shoe. Plus, it actually seems to dull the surface of the bags and turn them grey which means that you'll be cleaning and ArmorAlling on nearly a daily basis (of course, ArmorAll does that to most things which is why I rarely use it on anything). Here's what the manufacturer should have told you.....
Go to the craft or hardware store and get yourself four tapered bottle corks with three-fourths inch fat ends. Yank your bags off the bike and plug the mounting holes with the corks. Fill a small bucket with very hot water and suds it up with dish washing detergent. Scrub your bags with a medium stiff brush like they just got hit with skunk stink. Rinse with a hose (the corks keep the insides dry through all this). Dry thoroughly and pop the corks. Now here, I used to say that using Collinite's Insulator Wax #845 was best but that's way to much work.
Someone posted some time ago (sorry, forget the name) that Black Magic Tire stuff worked and I tried it then. Made the bags look good, but they stayed "stickey" and got dirty in half an hour, plus the stuff was really messy to apply. Here's what I have done that works pretty good. Black Magic now has Tire Wipes which are less messy and easy to use. Put a coat of this on (one wipe will do both bags) and let it set overnight. Next day, wipe off any excess (it will be stickey) and then give it a good coat of BOM. After that, subsequent coats of BOM which applies in minutes easily will keep the bags from being stickey and they will still look like they are new....
Now, an extra hint. You got the bags and then you went and got a Cruiser Case for your sissy bar. That's an excellent piece, lots of space and bone dry like the bags (great for your camera). But, now you have to carry two darned keys. Well, take your Cruiser Case and the key from your bags to the local locksmith and he can change the tumblers of the case's lock so it matches your bag's key for about five bucks! NOTE: When I wanted to get my Cruiser Case, nobody had any for the Valkyrie. Even the manufacturer was on a 6 to 8 week backorder. I got one from JC Whitney that was for the Honda ACE for $76 & shipping. I needed to drill mounting holes and fashion my own spacers which allowed me to mount it a little higher than normal. Easy task. Excellent piece, but the contents do get seriousely shaken and stirred (sorry, Mr. Bond) on a bumpy road of which Ohio boasts plenty.
Are they LeatherLyke, or are they?????
I want to say this up front. Were it not for Cobra, us "jap" bike owners would have few sources for bolt on stuff (other folks are entering the market now tho). Cobra has some really good stuff and some real crap too. If you've got enough money, you can replace nearly everything on your bike with Cobra stuff. The only thing, all of it, when they have room (and they only need a little), says "Cobra" on it. If you park at the mall, someone is sure to come up to you and say, "What kind of a bike is a Cobra?" Ahhh... well...|
Myth of the Cobra Light Bar and the once "easily" removable Hondaline windshield.
Well, the Valkyrie really needed SOMETHING there. Sure is ugly stock. Cobra fixed it (PHOTO), but, almost everything they offer for the Valk is fluted (grooved). Fluted is too Harleyesque for NightMare's paint scheme, which keeps me from buying too much Cobra stuff. Now, in my best Jerry Seinfeld/George Castanza impression, "Not that there's anything wrong with fluted, mind you," but I wish they had a plain version. Kinda high at $70 bucks, too (billet is the new gold). But, the Valkyrie really needed SOMETHING there. Sure is ugly stock.
Nice, but fifty bucks EACH (billet is gold these days). And, they had very little room on these things but they did manage to put the word COBRA on each one! By the way, the washer is a spacer which goes on top of the clamp and under the riser, it ain't for the bolt under the clamp.
Oil Filter Cover
That's about it for Cobra stuff. Too much of it is fluted for me (groovey, man) and says Cobra on it. You can get non-fluted reservoir covers and cam end covers from Show Chrome (made for the Wing) for what you would pay for a SINGLE res cover from Cobra. Wild.....
Nothing gives the Valkyrie a more classy look than a Corbin seat with stitching and studs. It's like frosting on a cake, the Valk is just plain without one. The lines of the seats and the backrests dotted with the studs are just gorgeous. They are thrones for royalty instead of seats for commoners (PHOTO). I installed the complete set which consists of: the sissy bar pad, which is really needed since the stock one is too darned narrow for this fat bike; the passenger touring seat which is a great improvement over the stock pad according to my passengers; the rider saddle and rider backrest. The Corbin passenger pad is nice, but the saddle is too hard. For some obscure reason I have yet to determine, the molded plastic under the saddle has a square raised area with little padding over it. After about a half hour, you feel as if you are sitting on a four by four beam. Very nasty (pardon my language, but it goes right up your ass like a 10 speed bicycle seat!). I installed an extra one inch of upholstery foam on the saddle part and find that this is sufficient to eliminate the four by four feeling. The back part of the seat will pitch you forward about three inches and the saddle is about two inches lower than stock which made the seating position too cramped for my long legs. I have now installed a Peg Relocation kit (RB707C) offered by our Rattlebars Mfg. Before I made the changes, I did not like the seat at all and entertained notions of returning it. However, since I have made these modifications (foam and pegs) I find the Corbin seat to be the best seat I have ever ridden on. The trip to Americade was totally painless for me (two 500 mile one day rides) which was a real treat. I regularaly make singly day trips to Nashville TN from NE Ohio and find it's a pleasure. Too bad that you have to pay $900 for a seat and then work on it, but I truly love it now. It is absolutely beautiful, offers great back support with the backrest (the stock seat gives me pains after about ten minutes) and really makes your passengers very grateful (if you know what I mean ;).
I wax my seat with Collinite's Insulator Wax #845, which is available at most specialty auto stores. Now, I know this is a car wax intended for paint, but it works great. Collinite offers an actual seat wax, but I have not tried it. The #845 works fine if you apply it sparingly, wipe off any excess right away and then buff the heck out of it after it's dry. This also has the bonus of making the studs sparkle and it lasts for a very long time. ArmorAll or Son of a Gun turns the seat sticky for dirt, too slippery for sitting and you wipe it off just by sitting on it. It will dry out the leather after long term use. Insulator wax does not wear off quickly, does not show finger (or butt) marks and dirt just rolls off. (NOTE: the Corbin seat is narrower than the stock seat and exposes the top shock mount bolts.)
|Drag Specialties Lighted Plate Frame|
The lighted license plate frame from Drag Specialties ($100) is mated with their Ness tech backing plate ($50). The OEM license light and bracket were completely removed and the backing plate was drilled to match the holes where the light was formerly mounted. The entire affair is attached with two screws, which are hidden behind the tag, into the original bracket. The frame illuminates the plate and sports an additional brake light as well (PHOTO).
To compliment the plate frame, I replaced the OEM rear turn signals with Honda FRONT turn signal/running lights which yield excellent visibility from the rear. Click here for a how-to.
|Baker Air Wings with Uppers|
Why I like these puppies: I have the clear and they do not bulk up the bike like the smoked ones do (yeah, like you have to worry about bulking up a Valkyrie). They mount and unmount with the single 12mm bolt that holds your engine guard in place and take about a minute to install. Some parts are unnatractive so you can dress them up a little with a $6.00 Eagle kit from Rattlebars. To look at a pic with the enhancement and also my grandson, here's a PHOTO. You do not have to use the supplied longer and somewhat unattractive plow bolts since the chromed OEM bolts will hold (but be careful since only a few threads are in use). They really do a great job of blocking the wind. The air coming up from the road, be it cold or hot, that blows over your knees and into your face rattling your glasses is completely eliminated by the uppers. You can now listen to your stereo without sounding like a teenager with $3000 worth of subwoofers. You can use both the uppers and lowers to block the air when it's cold and they also serve to keep you fairly dry if you get caught in the rain. Turn the uppers to block the wind from your face and turn the lowers in line with the bike for a cooler ride. In this instance, the air coming off the engine is blown away and this keeps your shins cooler than they would be with no wings installed. Turn both in line and you'd swear you don't have anything mounted there at all (except for the noise - see below). Turning both slightly outboard in the front causes the engine and road heat to go between your legs and out behind you for an even cooler ride. Adjust as you like in infinite combination. They work wonderfully and are stable even at 140MPH (tested). You can get them from the good folks at Baker Built.|
Why I don't like these puppies: Well, as Dr. Bose will tell you, reflected sound gets amplified!
Since these things are shaped like a Klipsch corner horn speaker, you will hear every valve tick, every turn of the timing belt, and that charactaristic Valkyrie whine will grind its way into your expensive dental work before too long on the road. If you think this won't bug ya, you'll love these things to death. Speaking of bugs (the pesky ones that get smooshed in all the little nooks and crannies), the way these things are constructed you have to nearly take them apart to clean between the plastic and the brackets. If they are set just right, in a tight turn or when parking, they strike the Hondaline windshield, marring both on the edges. The plastic is very soft so being situated where they are they get nicks and scratches all over the place. A coat of Insulator wax will help, but they do require work unless your Valk is a rat bike. However, to qualify this dislike paragraph, if I had not had these on my icy wet ride from Americade this year.... (you finish this sentence).
|Engine & Shock mount bolt covers|
You have a Corbin seat. Your shock bolts are now exposed. What to do? Well, you could spend twenty bucks on a set of Cobra nut covers, but that leaves the ugly washer exposed under them. Now, look under your tank. You see another set of ugly bolts which mount your engine to the frame and ugly washers under them, too. Cobra nut covers there as well? OK, that's $40 so far. But there's those ugly washers again (actually, here they're sleeves). All four of these bolts have 14mm heads. Hmmmmm... Kuryakyn offers a nice set of Harley head bolt covers (PN# 8106) that are somewhat conical with a nice wide bevel around them. Only $17.95 for four of them. But they don't quite fit. Here's how to use them and make them look good saving $20 in the process.|
Take the engine mount bolt out from behind the oil dipstick and dab some nail polish on the corners of the hex. While it's still wet, line up a flat side of the bolt with the allen screw in the cover and press the cover against the bolt which will mark the cover where you need to grind a little out of it. Mark all the covers this way with the one bolt. Using a Dremel with a carbide cutter tip, grind six grooves inside two of the nut covers where the marks are until the covers will slide down over the engine bolts all the way (for a good bite with the allen screw, add a lock washer under the bolts). You have just manufactured a set of great looking covers (PHOTO of engine mount) for those downright ugly bolts!
Repeat for the shock covers? You could, since the bolts are the same 14mm size, but they are shorter and the allen locks won't grab without the addition of several lock washers. There's an easier way to do the shocks, though, without the need to grind the caps. Go to the hardware store and get yourself two bolts that are the same thread size as the shock mount bolts (I think it's 8mm but don't remember exactly), but make sure they have 13mm heads instead of 14mm heads. Get them about a fourth of an inch longer and get two 13mm nuts to fit. Run the nuts all the way up the bolts and tighten. Install the new nutted bolts where the old 14mm bolts were (don't worry, these just keep the shock from slipping off the mounts and need not be hardened, cheap ones will do). The Kuryakyn covers will just slip onto the 13mm headed bolts so you don't need to grind them. The bevel around the cover is exactly the same size as the ugly washer underneath hiding it completely which makes for a really clean look here (PHOTO of shock cover).
These are stout covers to match a stout bike and are half the price of Cobra's. Of course, you only get the price advantage if you need to cover the shocks as well as the engine mounts or you have a friend with whom you can split a set. I'm told that Cobra is not offering individual caps any more, just complete sets so grab your wallet and hurry if you want to use Cobra's.
|1985 Shadow Horns|
|What a butt ugly horn they put on the Valkyrie. And what a lousy place they found to put it. But, hey, what would us bike nuts do on a rainy day if we didn't have stuff like that to fix up? Well, you could buy a nice chrome ring to put around it for $50 or, you could put a nice cover on it for $40 but it's still there, getting in the way of your Baker Air Wings and collecting hard, stickey bug guts for you to clean. I moved the horn under the ignition switch in that nice mounting hole that they left for us folks who don't have California emissions stuff bolted there. Just took a quarter inch stainless steel carriage bolt, ran it through the hole from behind and mounted the horn there with the existing bracket and tightened the heck out of it until the carriage bolt became a stud. I then put a nice looking stainless steel acorn nut on it. Wiring was easy, just lift the tank and move the wires. Not bad. So I sat there and looked at that butt ugly horn that was now mounted under the ignition switch. Now what? Spend the bucks on a cover I guess. As I rose to ride to the bike shop, I caught a look at my '85 Shadow that I use as a trainer for my kids when they come of age. Hey! There's two nice looking horns on the front of that bike with chrome rings and buttons. In fact, they look a little like flying saucers which would fit my paint scheme. Hmmmm.... Same horn, same bracket. I bolted one on. It looked great! I found that I could order both the high note and low note for $90. So, I mounted one on one side and one on the other in the same place (the other side already had a bolt I could use in the right place). They not only look great (PHOTO), they fill up that empty space behind the engine. Cobra offers a cover for that space for $90, just what I spent on the horns. I now have a nice, loud, two tone horn set and they don't get any bugs on them. The left one does get in the way when I want to get at my seat lock, but it's negotiable with a little effort.|
|Chrome Dip Stick with Enhancement|
|This dip stick is a chromed clone of the EOM stick and a nice addition paired with the chrome filler cover, but it still looks plain. They offer a bullet shaped cap for it, but it costs 40 bucks! Here's a way to enhance the chrome stick on the cheap if you have the tools and skill: Get a set of bullet license plate mouting bolts at your discount auto parts store and an inch & a half long 6mm bolt from the hardware store. Drill a hole down about a half inch in the top center of the stick with a 13/64 bit. Tap this hole and re-tap the hole on the license bullet with a 6 mm tap. Cut the head off the 6mm bolt, loctite it and screw the parts together. Looks great! (PHOTO) NOTE: You can probably match up a tap with the bolts that come with the bullets, but I didn't have one handy. Since there is a depression in the dip stick top (which makes it easy to drill straight) the bullet's original bolt is not quite long enough anyway.|
|Kuryakyn Highway & Passenger Pegs and now Riders Pegs|
Kuryakyn offers a stout set of Magnum Dually Iso-Pegs for only $45 bucks (PN# 8028). These pegs are designed to slip right on a Harley, but they also offer a set of "Y" clevis mounts (PN# 8072) to make them into highway pegs for only $20. Using three piece frame clamps ( part #11-235 from J&P Cycles) drilled out to accept half inch bolts, I chose to mount mine low and outboard to accommodate my long legs and bad back. I made inch & half extensions out of a chromed brass shower head pipe ($4 at the hardware store) and used longer half inch bolts to mount them just at the crook of the lower engine guard frame (PHOTO). Their placement allows for several riding positions and they are close enough to the regular riding pegs so that I can put my heel on the regular peg and my toe on the highway peg to mimic floorboards (or the "toe" supports that are available for the Wing). Plus, I can apply the rear brake using my heel while my foot is on the highway peg.|
My pegs are mounted low and will strike the ground often. I allowed for that by taking a hint from Honda. All Honda pegs have a acorn stud on them which will strike the ground first protecting the peg. I drilled 13/64 holes into the bottom of the pegs on the wide part, tapped the hole with a 6mm tap and put the acorns from any standard Honda rider peg in there. This addition keeps the pegs from getting marred by road contact. I have on several occasions (canyon running in the Appalachian foothills and elsewhere) pitched it low enough to carve out pavement with the foot pegs and these highway pegs just popped up into "parked" position without a scratch on them. Of course, changing the nuts regularly serves to keep them in good shape.
I have also added a way to adjust the angle of the pegs by drilling a 13/64 hole, tapping and putting a 6mm allen set screw in the clevis of the peg where it strikes the "Y" bracket. By rotating the pegs and setting the angle with this new set screw, they are infinitely adjustable for maximum comfort.
For looks and passenger comfort, I installed a set of these (PN #8028) for passenger pegs as well. I just drilled out the original passenger peg mount holes to accommodate the half inch bolts supplied with the clevis (PN# 8072) and mounted them. It couldn't have been easier. Extended, they look good and strong (PHOTO). My passengers report that these pegs are very comfortable, offering more support than the OEM round pegs while giving more freedom than floorboard style pegs. Since these pegs can be rotated with their patented socket head bolt system, they can be mounted so that the angle of the original passenger pegs is duplicated along the frame for a good look when "parked" (PHOTO). The chrome hangers are available from Rattlebars and then I got allen screw buttons from Rattlebars to complete the installation and give these attractive pegs a finishing touch. A new setup from Kuryakyn built especially for for Hondas would be Magnum Dually pegs (PN# 7963) and a Honda adapter (PN# 8802) which mount directly to your existing peg posts. A chrome set of peg posts is also available from Rattlebars.
Kuryakyn now offers as part #7945, a set of Dually's to replace your OEM foot pegs. They are made for a Wing, and are ½" higher than your stock pegs. If you don't think you will notice, you will. In fact, stock Valk pegs are lower than wing pegs from mount to surface and they are a sought after item by taller wing riders. You can solve this by adding a Peg Relocation Kit (RB707) offered by our Rattlebars Mfg.. These are nice items, otherwise (PHOTO). They have a solid feel to them while at the same time they seem to transmit less vibration. I always hated the stock pegs because of that ridge. These are more rounded and enable you to put your foot at about any angle in complete comfort. Adjustable tilt helps this. Now all my pegs match, and it's really attractive. Easy to install, just pin 'em (though you do have to remove the rear brake cylinder to install the right one). It's a good idea to add that acorn stud as described above. This will save the aluminum and chrome from damage when you scrape.
Kudos to Kuryakyn for a excellent product at a reasonable price.
|Brake Pedal Cover|
|This is a Kuryakyn affair available at any Harley shop or from Jim at Crossroads. You need to drill a hole through your brake pedal to install it and either tap the hole or get a longer bolt so you can put a nut on it. This cover has the advantage of adding some width to the brake pedal (I always felt a little pigeon-toed when I used the rear brake). It is styled (PHOTO) to mate nicely with Kuryakyn pegs. NOTE: there is a new version available which requres no drilling to install (PN# 4025).|
|Stereo on the Cheap with a Bonus|
Well, I am a bit of a minimalist. I did not want to have mounted a stereo on NightMare. I've been riding for many years without one. But, it would be nice. I was browsing Wilson's Leather outlet and found leather fanny packs on sale for $7 bucks. I got two. One is mounted in front of the handlbar clamp between the speedo and tach to store my "foot" for soft pavement parking and also my garage door opener (man, I'm getting old or spoiled or both!). I store tapes and chewing gum there too.|
The second pack holds my stereo. I cut off the straps, folded the ends in and sewed one piece of strap across the space. I opened the gas cap and put a velcro band around the narrow part of the flip up then sewed a velcro patch on the back of the bag. To install on the bike, I slide the strap under the gas mount and press the velcro patch onto the band. My walkman fits right in the pack (PHOTO) putting the stereo within easy reach and enabling me to put in the ear buds. The whole affair is stable and does not damage the paint. It also has the extra added advantage of covering the chrome cap mount which has a tendency to glare in the windshield and obstruct my clear view of the road ahead. (I have surveyed several other Valkyrie riders and none seems to mind that glare but it bugs me to no end).
|Two Brothers Racing Triple Clamp|
NOTE: The only thing I changed was the triple clamp. No other changes were made so this review will deal strictly with the improvements of the clamp. Installation is a bit long, but not hard. You should get a new lower bearing pressed on before you start and pack it good. It was necessary to route the throttle cables behind the clamp. No other changes were necessary except I had to put longer mounting bars on my handlebar mounted fly screen.
It's amazing that such a small change can make such a big difference. The TBR triple clamp does nothing but kick the forks out an inch or so from the steering stem. The angle of the forks remains the same. This change reduces the "trail" as measured down the steering stem in relation to where the wheel sits on the ground. The lower is also much fatter which reduces flex. But, this is all explained on the TBR web site.
What you are probably interested in is the effect of this slight change in geometry on the handling of the Valkyrie. The first thing I noticed is that the "light and airy" feeling of the Valk at low speeds is gone. I will no longer say, "Geez, this thing is light and airy for such a big bike!" Though I thought I would, I *DO NOT* miss that feeling. That feeling, though a good marketing tool, is patently useless in the real world. It is due to the over-reaction of the steering to input meaning that with the understeer of the Valk, a slight input makes the front wheel "plow" causing the bike to multiply the input. In other words, you steer by pushing on the bars and the front wheel pushes back with a little more force than you started with. At low speeds (say 20MPH), this gives the fat lady a "light" feeling. But at higher speeds or lower speeds, this gives her a "tippy" feeling and she dives. I didn't like that much. She always wanted to turn more than expected causing me to adjust mid turn. That is no longer the case. Hazard avoidance -- dodging pot holes for instance -- no longer requires as much work to recover from. Used to be that once I squirted around a pot hole, I was pretty much committed to a new path of travel. Not so with the TBR clamp. I can easily squirt around a hole and return to my original path. Though that "light and airy" feeling is gone, it is replaced by a confidence inspiring laser like accuracy in turns at all speeds.
Pulling out of the driveway, the fat lady wanted to tip over. I attributed that to the fact that she was fat and once you reached a certain lean angle, she wanted to go the rest of the way on her own due to her wide weight. Ain't so. It was the front end. I'm sure you've all experienced the full turn blues in parking lots. Steer the bars to lock either way and it's a real effort to recover without a foot on the ground. No longer with the TBR clamp. This is even evident on the stand. With little effort, you can turn her lock to lock on the stand.
So you say, "Like... So what?!? Six bills so I can navigate parking lots and work the bars on the stand? Big deal!" These are only hints as to how the fat lady performs at speed with the TBR clamp. I've been riding since I was 15 (4 if you count bicycles!) which makes me a 35 year veteran on motorcycles. I steer with my butt as well as my hands. Some cosmic force of nature starts at the base of my skull, runs down my spine through my butt, through the seat straight down the shocks to the rear axle then into the center of the planet. That's "riding" to me. As much as I liked the fat lady, I rarely felt that way with her. Rare was the occasion when me and her made turns together. I always felt as if I was steering her through the turns. She was the bike and I was the "driver," similar to the way a Gold Wing makes me feel (not good). Not often enough did I feel as if I was "riding" her. With the TBR clamp, I always feel like I'm riding her. She and I are one and we make the turns together. The cosmic force is in evidence in turns at all speeds and I'm connected to the earth. It's a great feeling. Like the difference between riding a wild mustang and a thoroughbred. In "metaphysical" terms, what I mean by "riding with my butt" has nothing to do with moving my body or arms or "counter pressuring / steering / whatever" in any particular way. It has to do with the feeling of the bike and the rider. Atheletes use the term "in the zone" to describe the feeling that, without even thinking, everything gels and you get your best performance. It's a sweet balet in which you and the bike are one and you are not moving over the planet, but you are the center and the planet is moving under you. If you take the time to analyze it, you are no longer in the zone.
With the stock Valkyrie, being "in the zone" was rare for me. With the TBR clamp, I'm there most of the time. But so much for metaphysics.... how about real physics?
Since installing the TBR clamp, in familiar turns at a given comfortable lean angle, I'm traveling up to 10 miles per hour faster than I was before. Same subjective lean angle, increased speed. To make the turns at the old speed requires less subjective lean angle, it seems. In turns where I used to drag pegs, I no longer do so. The bike goes where I want it to go with little effort. Mustang to thoroughbred. The front of the bike sits slightly lower since there is a little more weight on the front wheel. Nice. One thing this does is make her take the bumps better. Bridge joints and the like are no longer as shocking an experience as once was. How about riding two-up? My dear wife is endowed with rather large... well. Let's say she's a little top heavy. Whenever she rode, the Valkyrie was a little more than "tippy." It was work. The TBR clamp taught my S.O. to ride overnight! Now when she's back there, she ain't. She now rides as good as my daughter and NOBODY rides as good as my daughter. That's how much of an improvement this little item made.
So, what's the verdict? As far as I'm concerned, you won't get my TBR clamp off my bike until you peel my cold dead fingers from the firearm I will guard it with. Six bills is a big price tag though. If you agree with the assessments that I have made above on the way the stock Valkyrie handles and buying the TBR clamp will not make it necessary that you eat beans at every meal for the next three months, then by all means don't hesitate to change your mustang to a thoroughbred. If you are really happy with the Valkyrie despite its steering shortcomings, then buy some chrome instead. Lots of chrome.
NOTE: Having had this clamp on NightMare for some time now (about 11K) I have found that the notorious "right side" tire wear pattern is much lessened. Though it is still evident (some of mine is left over from before the clamp was installed and if you want to do the math, I put the clamp on when there was already 4K on the tire), it is very noticeably less. I would have put a new tire on long ago had I still had the stock clamp. The 'lop now has 15K!
|Braided Hose Kits and a Top Kit, stainless and reasonably priced|
Unfortunately, these kits have been discontinued.|
Rattlebars Mfg. offers a three separate kits to dress up your radiator. The Bottom Hose Kit (RB907B) covers your radiator bottom hose with polished stainless braid and covers the clamps with smooth tight fitting chrome covers. The covers fit tight under the radiator side cover and at the water pump for a clean look (PHOTO). You use your stock hose and only have to remove the top clamp to install the braid. It's easier than you think to install braid and make it look nice. In fact, this kit looks better than the TBR kit because the TBR hose is so hard to install, you make a mess of the braid by the time you're done, and their top clamp fits "loosely" around the hose leaving the black hose and braid strands in full sight under the radiatior side cover. Not so with this kit. And it's half the price at $39.95.
The Top Hose Kit (RB907T) covers your top large radiator hose with the same quality braid and a chrome clamp cover plus a chrome neck cover which hides all of the upper hose and neck. But what's unusual about this kit is that it also includes braid and cover for your radiator overflow hose, an item which is often overlooked when dressing the radiator area. Plus, the kit also includes enough small braid to cover your rear choke linkage cable on both sides coming out of the covers, and the main choke cable coming out from under the frame tubes to the choke linkage cover near the engine behind the radiator. You wouldn't think so, but this addition really dresses up the top of the engine near the carbs and makes the whole engine top area look clean and finished. Detailed instructions with pictures makes this kit easy to install (as are the others) and the installation requires little skill. You do have to remove the radiator from its moorings to get at and remove the large top hose, but that requires the removal of only one 10mm bolt. Add-On offers a length of braid for $19.95 to fulfill this purpose, but you have to buy clamp covers separately and the braid is not stainless, but tin, which will discolor after time. Rattlebars Top Kit goes for $44.95 like the bottom kit, and you get all those extras beyond just a cover for the big hose with it (PHOTO). In my biased opinion, it's a steal!
A Radiator Top Kit (RB908) is something that's been missing from the Valkyrie accessory line since the Valk was born. Many folks offer a chrome screen for the front, but that rough black top is totally ignored. Well, no longer. This very reasonably priced item (only $14.95) includes two #8 mirror finish stainless panels to cover the radiator top. These panels feature a ¼" bend over at the rear to really make the radiator look like a finished item (PHOTO). There is also included a length of chrome edge molding to cover the front ridge. This is the absolute finishing touch to your chrome screen and hose kits. If you like, you can have the panels engraved at your local engraving shop to personalize them before installation.
Well, let's just say that Rust-oleum makes a neat paint called "Hammered." And let's just say this paint sticks to thoroughly clean rough cast aluminum quite well but wipes off of waxed polished aluminum quite nicely. And let's just say it dries in a semi-gloss rough texture (the more brush marks the better) which looks like hammered iron. And, let's just say it touches up relatively easily. Dabbing it on with a small artist's brush is the best method. Black (as always) looks tremendous, but Rust-oleum "Hammered" comes in a variety of colors. It is not necessary to get hammered yourself to use it. Iron wheels in one evening for only $4.99.|
I found at Crossroads, an amazing item for the headlight. It's called a Rainbow Strobe (#RSH4L or #RSH4R). This is a little cage that fits over your headlight bulb (H4 reflective Halogen). It has dichroic filters which turn your headlight into a rainbow. This was designed for Gold Wings (hence the left and right dual part numbers). But, what a job this does on the big ten inch! With all those facets on the reflector inside the headlight, it's just absolutely dazzling! It does cut down on the amount of light output by about 10%, but WOW! Folks will notice you coming, that's for sure! This is not only pretty, but it makes cages take notice! I have perceived a change for the better in the way drivers are aware of NightMare and me. The photos (light on) I have, don't do it justice (light off). You have to see this thing in action to really appreciate it. No skill required. Just put it over the bulb. I've been running an upgrade 100/90 watt H4 bulb (stock is 60/55) under it for a very long time with no ill effects.|
If you ride in the US & Canada or anywhere else where "keep right" is the rule, I suggest that you get the #RSH4L version (the "left" version). This will put the dimmer BLUE light in the opposing lane of traffic while putting the brighter YELLOW light on your side of the road. If you live where "keep left" is the rule, #RSH4R would be your ticket for obvious reasons.
|Screw caps, a bunch|
I have snap capped nearly every allen, screw and nut on NightMare. Here is a photo of how this will dress up the chrome valve covers (PHOTO). The pictured caps are 6mm or 1/4 allen caps available from Rattlebars Mfg. for only 65 cents each. I had an Intruder 1400 which came from the factory with every screw and nut capped which made that bike look clean and "finished." I got spoiled. In case you need the info, these caps are removed by inserting under them a razor knife and gently lifting until you can get your fingernail under.
Spectre Bolt Caps! PN# 1408 will fit 12mm & 13mm bolt heads and one $5.99 pack of six will cover all the brake banjo bolts (reservoirs and front & rear calipers) and that ugly lower shock bolt on the differential case. They also have sets for 14mm and 10mm bolts which will cover your rear peg/exhaust bracket bolts and a number of other things. You could probably cover nearly every bolt on the Valk with these for $30 (Available from Rattlebars Mfg. for just a buck a bolt!).
|Chrome OEM stuff, a bunch|
|Rattlebars Mfg. offers a bunch of the original Valkyrie parts re-machined and chromed at a very low price. Along with that, with some of the stuff you get extra hardware like bolt caps, new bolts or screws, and some specialized hardware. Some of these things are available nowhere else, like the chromed water pump cover (PHOTO). These are exchange items which means you pay a fee which is returned to you when you send your original un-chromed parts back. Stop by Rattlebars Mfg. and check out the chrome exhange items. There's some really nice stuff there for cheep.|
|Dave's Classic Bar Grille|
|Now here is something that makes the Valkyrie lean and mean. This item will enhance air flow to the radiator and also provede the illusion that your radiator is smaller than it really is. It's CNC machined from high grade 6061 T6 aricraft grade aluminum which is triple chrome plated. Rattlebars Mfg. offers it. It's a simple bolt on item for all Valkyries and it looks absolutely great (PHOTO).|
In conjunction with the rainbow, I run under-lighting beneath NightMare. For the WARP drive glow front lights I used "BeeHive" lights with the lenses removed. They are bolted to the front header bolts and I made stainless steel shrouds so the light would only shine down. I replaced the original bulbs with higher wattage tail light bulbs and have put BarJan condom light covers in purple which shows as pink on the ground. In the rear, for the plasma exhaust, I run a 10" neon tube from Pep Boys ($25) attached to the swing arm with wire ties which shows as a true purple on the ground. The photos are a little hot, but you will get the idea. They display a soft glow on the ground. Notice in the pics, that I have also lit up the POW/MIA badges on the engine with tiny lights that shine from under the tank. Since these photos were taken, I have added four more mini lights. One each is situated between the carbs left and right under the choke linkage angle iron. This lights up the engine in a spectacular way!|
|I can't take credit for this. I saw it on a bike at the Homecoming '98. The "sport" model Valk has a threaded hole on the rear peg/muffler bracket. It's leftover from the touring bag attachment. Some sports have 'em, some don't. It gets rusty. The threads look ugly. Fix it with flair! Go to the local discount auto store and get lighted license plate bullets. Screw them into those ugly holes. Screw 'em tight so they ground. Run the wires up under the right side cover and tie them into the brown w/ white stripe wire under there. At night, these lights are visible from the rear (PHOTO). That tiny little light looks like ten lights since it reflects off the cam covers (if you have chrome ones), the chrome valve covers, the rear pegs, the pipes, all the chrome shiney stuff. It also helps your passenger find her pegs in the dark! Chrome hangers can be found at Rattlebars web site.|
|Memphis Shades Shooter sport shield|
The thrill is back! It's fun, but tough to ride "naked" (no shield). The feeling of speed is there alright, but I get enough protein in my diet without the addition of hornets (taste terrible and hotter than jalopenas), june bugs (ouch, who gave you a fat lip?) and holding on to the bars until your fingers are stiff and sore to just stay on the bike. In 35 years of riding, the Hondaline is the first full bore whindshield I ever rode behind. I lose the feeling of speed behind the Hondaline shield (good for touring, bad for sport). I want to go to sleep behind it sometimes. I misjudge my speed for turns, too. I don't like it much for everyday riding. After a long search, I've found the perfect sport bonnet for NightMare and me. It's the Memphis Shades Shooter. It's wide at the bottom, not too narrow at the top (just like NightMare) and it's perfect for me. Great feeling of speed with enough protection so I'm not beat to death with stones and bugs.|
After a long ride on NightMare today (300 miles), I find the Shooter to be just right. Up to 55MPH, I'm riding behind a great shield. Enough wind to keep me cool and awake, not too much to make me uncomfortable - more or less a nice summer breeze. My glasses don't rattle, visibility is good and only an occasional bug will get me in the arms or high forhead. 55-65 is a little more wind, but still good for freeways. The glasses will rattle a bit, but not too bad. Above 70, there is a lot of wind, but still not bad. I once avoided freeways altogether without any shield. I hated riding the city and country roads with the Hondaline because of the reflected noise. I hated riding the freeway with nothing because the wind would suck my eardrums out. The Shooter is a good compromise. Little engine noise or pipe noise to bother you for the country, and for the freeway, enough protection to keep you sane. Tested today to 130 miles per hour. Nice heavy shield with attractive hardware that fits around the instruments. It has a 7" cutout for a headlight which is a little too small for the big ten inch and the mounting bars could be about 1" longer, but it's a good heavy shield that works! I'm working on making the cutout larger. Will post it here as soon as I have the method debugged.
The shield is mounted with its bar clamps near the OEM clamp on the straight part of the bar but outboard to just about where the bars start to curve up. They are oriented with the knuckle up and forward of the handle bars. The shield's mounting bars are elbows out so they bracket the instruments and are inserted into the knuckles just enough to tighten them (nothing sticks out of the knuckle on the end). (PHOTO) The shield will flex a little on bumps so one "thumb" of space minimum between shield itself and the guages will keep any contact from occuring and prevents damage to the shield and chrome. Raised about 3 inches above the headlight lets in some air to reduce the vaccuum behind the shield and it reduces turbulence coming in around the sides and over the top.
To make a pattern, I got the cardboard off the back of a legal pad and drew a 9½" semi-circle and cut it out. (The "big ten inch," which is my favorite pet name for the Valk's giant headlight, is actually only 9½ inches but all us guys exaggerate which my wife will gladly tell you) To mark the Shooter where the new line would be, I taped the cardboard at the top of the OEM arc right where it was and draped the cardboard so that there was that ½" at the ends. Then traced the circle with a Sharpie permanent marker (Honda spray polish removes Sharpie marker just fine). I started with a 50 grit 2½" sanding drum on a variable speed drill. I just ground away at about ¾ speed on the drill inching my way toward my new line and rounding off the edges at the bottom following the original edge. Slow is the name of the game, or the plastic melts. Keeping the drum sander always moving along will keep valleys from forming. (I kept telling myself this over and over)
Next, I went to 120 grit on the drum and did some finish work, smoothing the edges and rounding them off like the original. After that, I used a 3M finishing sander flapper wheel (PN #9416NA). This wheel has "scrubby" pads in between the sandpaper flappers. This made a nice seamless round edge finish. To smooth it, I sanded by hand with 400 grit dry then went over it with 400 wet being careful to only contact the edge. To polish, I used a linen buffing wheel with white then red rouge. I'm usually lousy at this kind of stuff (see below), but the results are amazing. The edge looks better than the original. I liked it so well, that I refinished the entire edge of the shield. My Shooter is gradient black and the color is just fine. The new cutout enabled me to lower the shield a little bit and to set it more upright. It follows the lines of the handlebars better and comes off of the big ten inch at a more attractive angle. It also protects my face better from the wind in that position. Less rattle to the glasses and adds about 10MPH to the comfort ranges listed above before I did the change.
Thanks to all the members of the VALKYRIE OWNERS ASSOCIATION who sent me ideas. I put them all together and came up with this most successful method!
Sears sells a "Buffing Wheel with Compound" set for $12.00 or so. Craftsman PN #28650. This has four linen wheels, a drill attachment and four different bars of rouge. I already had the set for doing my wheels. The scuff had a few deep cuts so I started with the gray rouge. Using the largest wheel and the fastest drill speed, I put light pressure on the shield to keep the heat down, and pressed the rouge to the wheel as I buffed. That took the scratches down to near invisibility, but left a dull area. I just repeated the process with next the white rouge then the red rouge. Remarkable! It worked so well that I fixed a scratch in the upper part of the shield that had come from the factory. Patience was the watch word here, this took me twice as long as enlarging the cutout.
|Sigma 800 Bicycle Computer|
I was perusing F6 RIDER WEBZINE and came across an article by Ross Spoonland. Well I'm not one to let a good idea pass me by and Ross' little adaptation struck me as such a good one, I went in search of a bicycle trip computer. After bringing several home and bench testing them (electric drill in a vice to simulate a rotating wheel), I settled on the Sigma 800 designed in Germany and made in China (retail $29.95). I could make NO OTHER of these work at over 75MPH so the SIGMA is the one to get if you want accuracy up in the high numbers.
The Sigma "head" (PHOTO) is a smaller unit than the Schwinn used in Ross' article and the blue/silver colors matched my bike. I chose to mount mine on the handlebars with the sensor on the rear wheel (the head removes with a clip for safe storage). Using 3M body molding double stick I taped a ½" round ceramic magnet inside the rear disc hub at the outer edge. You can use any magnet, this one is like you'd stick on your fridge. I have no fear that I'll lose it anytime soon because I've been using "Tape-a-weight" for wheel balancing for years and this magnet has no mass whatsoever. For the sensor, since the Sigma's has a nice long flat edge just the right size, I used the same tape to stick it onto the rear caliper bracket which sets it at the minimum 5mm distance from and centered on the magnet. The wire that runs from the sensor to the head unit was, of course, way too short so I simply cut it and added about four feet of bell wire to it routing it along the rear brake line with small wire ties, under the seat & tank then up to the handlebars.
The Sigma sports a dual display with the speed in MPH or KPH always on top. The lower can be easily toggled with the large bottom button among running time (up to 10 hours), time of day, max speed, average speed, trip distance (to 999.99 accurate to 1/100 of a mile), and an odometer (to 99,999). To reset, just hold the upper button in for three seconds and trip, elapsed time, max & average speed go to zero. The Sigma can be calibrated in millimeters for the wheel circumference (others I tested were centimeters). It is stated to be accurate up to 183 MPH ± 0.03 but I was able to bench test it to 350 MPH without mishap. This makes it the most accurate with the highest speed of all models I tested. I'd stack it up against any distance measuring device around.
Using a bicycle trip computer lets you use your Valk's trip for a gas gauge while still keeping track of your trips easily and the Sigma gives you a clock besides. The other stuff it is capable of are icing on the cake, but fun. With the two odometers, you can start on a long trip keeping the total mileage on the big one and resetting each day to keep track of daily runs. The Sigma is "auto-start/stop" which means that the total trip time is a record of only the time that your bike is actually moving. The only drawback I found to the Sigma is that to reset the big odometer, you have to actually remove the battery then reprogram the wheel size and the time of day. Not a big drawback, but a button would have been nice.
For the general interest, measured by runnout the Valkyrie's rear wheel circumference with a fairly new Dunlop tire on it is 2018mm while the front with a fairly worn Dunlop on it is 2080mm. Since the Sigma makes you set up for MPH differently than KPH by dividing the circumferences by 1.61, enter 1253 for the rear and 1292 for the front. I found NightMare's speedometer to be accurate to 35 MPH but from 35 to 75 MPH it is consistently three MPH high and from 75 to 125 it is consistently 4-5 MPH high. For every 40 miles on the stock odo, add 1 mile. Formula is MILEAGE + (MILEAGE/40) = ACTUAL MILES.Your mileage, of course, may vary, but only slightly unless you have an Interstate which has a magnetic pickup instead of the gear driven one on the Standard.
For lighting, I re-mounted the head under the bar clamp on the big nut (PHOTO). I use a tiny micro light from Radio Shack mounted under the bar clamp with a little plumber's putty. Easy to hook up. Ground it on the clamp and run a hot wire up to your brake lever light switch. Tie into either the wire there that's always hot so the light is always on, or like I did, hook it to the other side which is only hot when the brake lever is pulled in slightly. Whenever I need to look at the "watch" I just pull in the brake lever a little. Instant momentary switch there. Idea by MarkT of the VOA which I modified to be momentary.
|Pro One Triple Crown Bolt Covers|
|Being a nut cover nut, I could not resist the covers that Pro One sells for the top of the triple clamp. The covers for the top of the fork tubes cover the entire aluminum affairs and match up nicely with the Cobra Triple Clamp covers. They are also NOT fluted (you know how I feel about fluted) and they are very low profile and give the top end a nice look. They go for $39.95. The $15.95 one that covers the bearing nut is a little taller to accomodate the nut underneath, but it mates up nicely with the Cobra Chrome cover too. I have attached a Timex watch to the top of this with sticky-back Velcro. To light the watch, I have installed a tiny micro light from Radio Shack underneath the handlebar clamp usiing the brake light switch on the lever as a momentary switch. Pull the brake lever a little and you can read the watch at night (with the bonus that the watch will glow for about a minute afterwards).|
|Waldo's||Chet's Favorite Links||Hexen-Vaults-Caldera|