Frequently Asked Questions about Valkyries

ABOUT TIRES:Info-Wear-Conventional-Custom

PRESSURE:Get your tire pressure specificationsfrom the TIRE, not the owners manual. First, the pressure in the owners manual is for EOM tires. But, note that the specifications on the tire are for MAX pressure, adjust for taste and load. Generally, 38 front and 40 rear (plus or minus four) is about the range for tire pressure for allconventional tires. Experiment within safety ranges for your load and riding style to find what pressure will work for your application. Increasing tire pressure over the Honda recommended spec of 33psi (which is a spec designed for comfort and short tire life) will greatly improve the longevityand handlingof all theconventional tireslisted below. Tires perform differently on different road surfaces and under different loads. It is best to suit yourself and your style then settle upon your ideal pressure after experimenting. All tire pressure readings should be taken when the tire is cold. Add two pounds to your figures if the tire has been ridden upon for a period and is hot. While speaking of tire pressure… you should check your tire valves for cracks and wear around the rim seal. Also keep the little plastic hickeys in place. They serve to keep your stems from moving around and weakening the seals. Heavy custom caps should not be used on 90 stems like ours because they can stress the stems at high speeds. Never run a motorcycle (or any) tire without a cap on the valve! Make sure the cap has a gasket or o-ring sealing it to keep the air in should the valve fail and to keep corrosion out of there so the valve wont fail.

Disclaimer: Do any of these modifications at your own risk !!!!!!!! Auto tires should have a Z rating. Large custom tires like auto tries (or if you have shorter shocks than standard) often necessitates modifying the rear fender bolts (eliminating the inner nuts and using carriage bolts in place of them) and also other modifications on all models of Valkyrie.

NOTE: Dunlop in late 2001 released an Elite model D206 for the Valkyrie. Early reports on these new tires speak of about 20% increased mileage with these new harder compound tires. Handling characteristics seem to be the same as the stock D206.

DISCLAIMER: there is no warranty, express or implied, that anything on this page, or a resulting link will lead you to the correct solution to your Valkyrie question. This page is merely a service provided by [Rattlebars Mfg.] to help you if you are in need of something. Sometimes, a new Valkyrie owner will ask a question that has been covered a thousand times already. However, this is the internet and like Mulder says, The truth is out there, but trust no one! Well, many things here will help you in your quest for information. But, these things are a compilation of information from many individuals, none of whom are infallible so none of these are gospel. Rattlebars cannot and will not be held responsible for any information or misinformation or problems you may have in using this information.

Bear in mind as you read this that when riding, you are sitting atop a six cylinder 100HP motor with solid lifters. Besides the typical quiet muffler system you will likely have either a fairing or large windshield that will not only create a dead air space in which you exist with the engine, it also serves to reflect the engine sound effectiv

MOUNTING & BALANCING: Do it yourself. Heres a link [

Frequently Asked Questions about Valkyries.

PLUGS:Motorcycle tires seem prone to picking up nails and screws and all sorts of pointy objects. The rear tire is more susceptible to this hazard since rarely does a nail or screw sit upright on the road waiting to pierce your front tire. Most often, your front tire will kick up the object and send it to the rear tire in an ideal position for a puncture. Mud flaps mounted on the front fender can help to alleviate some of these hazards by deflecting the object away from the center line of the bike.

WEAR BARS:Some of these tires come with wear bars in the tread. On the sidewall of the tire can be found arrows which point to these bars. The bars are located in the valleys of the tread pattern. Manufacturers recommend that you discard a tire when the wear bars are level with the high portions of the tread.

ABOUT OIL:Rumors,Facts, and the inevitableArguments

AUTHORS NOTE:Bear in mind that this note is the experience of a single rider on a single bike and is therefore, by definition, anecdotal. The author has been through two sets of Dunlops, one set of Metzelers and is now working on a set of Avons with 11,000 miles on them (the front tire still looks new). Both the Metzeler and the Avons are superior to the Dunlops in comfort and handling with the Avons being remarkably so. My Metzeler tires, however, were very poor high speed tires exhibiting dangerous instability and steering inaccuracies at speeds over 90MPH. Even at posted speed limits, it felt as if the bike was swimming up the roadway like a lazy carp. My Avons are superior to Metzelers in handling characteristics. They exhibit very slight high speed instability (over 115mph) and only with a large windshield. There is no high speed steering accuracy problem. Without a windshield, they are as steady as the OEM Dunlops up to top speed (140+ mph). They are equal to or better than the Dunlops in the rain and I have ridden them in light snowfall without problem. Thus, the Avon is, and will remain, my tire of choice.

Click here for a comparison photo of Bridgestone, Avon 200 Fat Freddie and a Pole Position 205/55.

These tires are touted by owners to be superior to Dunlops and Bridgstones in both comfort, handling and noise level. Mileage expectation is slightly more than those two brands. The rear Metzeler will exhibit the flat band wear later in its life and the subsequent characteristics are roughly the same in this aspect except for the later onset. Reports that these tires grip better than Dunlops or Bridgestones and that they are noticeably quieter have been generally voiced. Handling and comfort is somewhat improved over the other two brands. However, a sever high speed handling problem has been vociferously reported by a few owners of these tires. There have been some reports that at speeds as low as 75MPH these tires make the Valkyrie feel slightly unstable with handling being slightly affected. At higher speeds, notably above 110MPH, some have reported dangerous instability with these tires with serious steering problems. These effects are exacerbated when a large windshield is in place. These reports have diminished of late, but some are still coming in. The conclusion seems to be that these may not be the ideal tires for very aggressive riders but excellent tires for average riders.On the other hand, many others have reportednoneof these high speed problems and feel these tires are the best tires for the Valkyrie.

TIRE SEALERS:Basically, there are two types. One is that which is put in a new tire and lasts for the lifetime of that tire (Slime). The other is a sealer to be used after a puncture (such as Threebond tire inflator/sealer). The major difference is that Slime tends to make a mess of the inside of the wheel, causes temporary tire balance problems, and there are reports that it can corrode the inside of aluminum wheels (hearsay). The sealer which is used after a puncture repair enhances the seal of a plugged tire. This stuff goes in as a liquid/foam type rubberized sealer which, in short order, beads up inside the tire as light rubber balls the size of BBs. They do not make a mess…nothing for the tire changer to clean up, and do not cause corrosion. But while in its liquid stage; it gets in and around any areas that might have a slow leak, thereby enhancing the seal of the plug. Not only are these pressurized sealers additional insurance against slow leaks, but are an easy way to re-pressurize the tire after a roadside repair.

(One should read this footnote with the knowledge that Metzeler tires have be re-engineered and released with an F designation (see above). Too, there have been few reports of problems with either the new Metz and recently manufactured Avon tires)

NOTE: There are many new old Valkyries currently being sold. These are 98 overproduction models with zero miles. These bikes have been crated for sometime and this may cause the OEM tires on them to be out of round and cause a bumpy ride. This bumpy tire symptom will usually work itself out after a few thousand miles, but Honda has replaced these tires under warranty in some cases. Check with your dealer if you have this symptom. You should also watch for delamination as this and 97 is when Dunlop delamination was most reported.

: Works good but is an inch taller than stock which means that you need to clean out anything that protrudes from inside the fender. One of the key issues in running a tire that is this wide and comes so close to the swingarm is sidewall flex. The way to eliminate this is by using a tire that has a Z or a Y rating. These high speed tires have an extra layer of belt in the sidewall which virtually eliminates sidewall flex. My tire is 1/32 of an inch from the driveline side swingarm and it has not rubbed once…even fully loaded and draggin pegs.

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Tire is 1/2 inch taller than stock (raises bike 1/4). No reports of any problems and this tire will increase your ground clearance slightly. Excellent views and a review of this tire can be found at [

AVO-131 AM23 Fat Freddie 180/60VB-16 Rear (bias ply) — AVO-121 AM23 Fat Freddie 200/60VB-16 Rear (bias ply)

ABOUT NOISES:My Valkyriewhines,whirrs,ticks,buzzes,clunks,popsandgrowls.

USAGE:Most terms used within this document should be generally known. However, often there is confusion about therightandlefton a motorcycle. These terms are relative to your left and right as you sit on the bike, therightbeing the side with thethrottlegrip and brakes and theleftbeing the side with theclutchlever and shifter. In navigating this document, click on the links in the table above which will take you to the main chapter headers. Clicking on a main chapter header will return you to the table above. Links in the chapter headers take you to the sections within the chapter. Clicking on the section headers will return you to the chapter header. Clicking on the paragraph headers will take you to the section header. Links which will show you a picture in a viewpane are in curley brackets. When the picture shows, click the picture to print it if desired. Links which take you to another server for more than just a picture are in [square brackets]. Using your BACK button on your browser will return you to this page from pictures and external links.

The information provided here will assist you in learning about your Valkyrie and will answer some of the questions most often asked by new Valkyrie owners. We dont go into too great detail here since this is intended to be simple and concise. For instance, we tell you about oil, but its up to you to learn how and when to change it. Our goal is to not confuse you, its quite the opposite. As you know, sometimes too much information can indeed be confusing and hard to sift through. Youll find some hints and good ideas here as well some pointers to more detailed information. This is not gospel, but you can rest assured it is not lies either. Of course, there are anecdotal stories of exceptions to this information, but not enough to make any of this inaccurate for the most part. This will have few hard numbers within it. It is merely a compilation of many riders experiences and ideas as reported by them after many thousands of miles riding many of these fine machines. Thus it represents the consensus opinions of all of these experiences with some good and tried ideas sprinkled in. This is not the opinion of the author (with a few noted exceptions), it is a summary of reports from many sources.

160/80HB16 TL 407796 Rear (bias belt) — MT90HB17 TL 410392 Front (but is rear bias belt)

BAX7010 701 series Front 150/80H17 (radial) — BAX 7020 702 series Rear 180/70HS16 (radial)

32KX92 D206 series Front 150/80R17 (radial) — 32KU82 D206 series Rear 180/70R16 (radial)

No hard information about handling or mileage, but the smaller Avon up front and Freddie on the rear makes for a more sport bike look. Tires and shorter custom shocks lower the bike 1.5 inches. See the picture at [

There have been a few recent reports of the new Metz tires going wobbly. If you are having trouble, please call Jeffery at Metzler/Pirelli at or emailand let him know what problem youre having.

Mods may be required to mount on the Valk and VTXr models.

Of course, as you read this, be aware that there is no substitute for your own personal responsibility. If you plan to work on your Valkyrie, decide first if youre qualified. Im not sure youd want your bike mechanic to do your taxes for you. The other side of this coin is — if youre an accountant, can you really work on your bike? Some things, if not done properly, can kill if they come loose on the road. But if you think youre ready then good information and proper tools are paramount. Your first investment should be the Valkyrie Service manual. The next investment should be time to read it thoroughly followed by an investment in the proper tools and the patience to learn how to use them.

Cautions:1. I have not explored the full lean angle capabilities of this tire/Valkyrie combination yet……I suggest caution on everybodies part until you learn to feel it.

This was the first company other than Dunlop to offer tires for the Valkyrie. Many have reported that these tires, when new, are less noisy than the Dunlops in turns, but whiney at freeway speeds. Mileage and wear characteristics are similar to the Dunlop tires, with a little added mileage and no delamination reports. However, there have been reports that once the ridge forms on the rear tire, Bridgestones are somewhat more noisy and irritating than the Dunlops. There have been no instability reports with this tire. Other characteristics are roughly the same as Dunlops.

running it at 25 psi gives me a contact patch of 8.3 with about 1/4 clearence on the driveshaft. The tire rides much better( IMHO )than the Dunlop, the Bridgestone or the Avon Fat Freddie. Stopping power is greatly incresed, the tire seems to be unaffected be road surfaces ( read it doesnt track and wonder in the ruts, expansion joints or other road irregularities that would have caused a traditional motorcycle tire to move around ). Cornering takes a bit to get use to, there is definatlely increased effort getting the tire off center and into a lean angle but you learn the method very quickly and the feel is good, it is stable and predictable. Ive run the bike to 125 mph will no ill effects and acceleration traction is greatly increased. It also looks like tire wear will outlast the best of the traditional motorcycle tires. I havent riden it in the ran so I cant comment on that aspect. Overall impressions : I am pleasently surprised, for my specific applications I have increased my braking power, my acceration traction, my load capabilities, it rides smoother and it should last much longer than traditional tire, all at a comparable price…..$ 155 plus mounting. Would I do it again: Yes. Visit [

2. This is a car tire put on a motorcycle, as such it has a flat contact patch as opposed to the traditional round tire. The flat contact patch will follow the road contour, sloped highways will push ( very slighly ) the tire/Valkyrie to the outside ( run off direction ). It is not a problem if your paying attention but you must use more caution if you take your eyes off the road for any reason..

Information gleaned from several years of experience and monitoring bulletin boards on the subject.

AV-370 Venom R Series 150/80HR17 Front (radial) — AV-371 Venom R Series 180/70HR16 Rear(radial)

THE OTHER SIDE:Of course, the argument has been made, and it is a good one, that with the long oil change interval of 8,000 miles on this machine, a few extra bucks for the right oil at oil change time couldnt hurt a thing. That is logic hard to argue with convincingly even though all the above is true and proven so. Oil filters (which, by the way, can be covered by a cut and polished, or not BEER CAN or any regular sized pop can like JOLT! ) benefit from the same argument and they are discussed in detail at length at this link: [OIL FILTERS.] Waiting to switch to synth oil for a few thousand miles doesnt seem unreasonable either since its really the next scheduled oil change anyway. More information on oil can be found at the following link: [MORE ON OIL]. [Oil filter cross reference part s can be found here].No one has yet reported losing any kind of filter to puncture from road debris.

SAFETY:Tires will lose or gain up to 1 pound of pressure per ten degrees of ambient temperature change. The Valkyrie is equipped with aluminum hollow cast wheels which do indeed bleed air pressure, especially when cold. Check your tire pressure often. Under-inflated tires are a detriment to handling and will wear much more quickly. Over-inflated tires cause poor grip and harsh ride. Cold weather causes tires to grip less efficiently and, too, there may be a salt film on the road in winter and early spring. Roads are more slick when itfirststarts to rain because oil and debris, which were comfortably settled in the recess of the pavement, get floated to the contact surface while there has not yet been enough water to wash it away. This is especially true in regions where long dry periods are followed by spotty rain showers. Watch carefully at highway ramps that lead to major truck stops. Diesel fuel dripped from semi tanks mixed with rain water makes for a slippery cocktail on the road. Of course, there is always that nasty [BLACK ICE] (moisture on cold roads that freezes but the road looks just fine to the eye). Shiny tar, whether in patches or road snakes (crack sealant) can cause you grief as well as freshly sealed parking lots if hot or wet. Do we need to mention? Road gators (blown semi recaps), hunks of plywood (talk about slippery!), reflective road markings, manhole covers, grocery bags (paper or plastic?)… all affect traction.

Mileage expectations range from 9,000 miles to 16,000 miles.

The front tire is actually a rear tire mounted with tread running backwards for safety. Front currently has 11,750 miles with 8.5/32s of tread left or 7,833 miles per 32nd. Running 36psi for better handling. Two of the 16 TL rears on the rear at 41psi got over 11,500 miles with 1/32nd remaining at replacement. The bike handles fine with the front tire having so much tread it did take around a thousand miles or so to scrub in good. See [

Avon tires have been touted as the best tire out there at this time. These tires, with a genesis on sport bikes, are reported to have superior handling characteristics combined with long life. Avon tires have variable density belts. According to Avon, their radial belts are wound much denser near the middle of the tire than at its edges. [quote fromWing World – Avon Venom R product review by Chet Shupe]. These tires also have a different profile than the others. They are nosier meaning that the straight up contact patch is narrower, while the lean contact patch is broader which makes for some good handling characteristics. Mileage expectations are far greater, especially on the front. The rear tire will exhibit flat band wear very late in its life but without the ridge and subsequent noise, vibration and handling problems. Comfort levels are better with this tire and handling is very much enhanced over other brands. Noise is non-existent for the most part, even after wear becomes visibly evident. A few have reported slight high speed (over 110MPH) stability problems with the Avon tire exacerbated by a large windshield, but there have been no reports of problematic steering symptoms. A few have described symptoms similar to those voiced by Metzeler tire owners about high speed instability. A single message said that Avons show poor wet road adhesion and some have reported they cause a low speed wobble. These negative reports have been sparse, however.

Tires for the Valkyrie have a peppered history. The factory supplied Dunlops were the only tires available for about two years. Since then, three other manufacturers have stepped up to the plate with Bridgestone first, then Metzeler and Avon. All tires seem to fall within the satisfactory range with the main complaint only of low mileage expectations on some of the models and noisiness on others. Though these reports mostly deal with the negative aspects of the tires in question, one shouldnotread into this that tires for the Valkyrie are horrible. Again, all tires seem to fall within the satisfactory range but each has its own personality. As the common disclaimer goes:YourMileageMayVary.

110-10423 ME880 series 150/80R17 Front (radial) — 110-10426 ME880 series 180/70R16 Rear(radial)

These are the tires supplied by the factory (often called OEM or Original Equipment Manufacture) and hence the standard with which all the other tires are usually compared. These tires, especially after some wear, will exhibit vibration and noise levels that can be irritating. The onset of these symptoms is rather early in the life of this tire. These tires have been called noisy even when new with a growling sound in turns. Early Dunlop tires were prone to delmamination problems, where the layers of the tire would separate and cause the tire to give a bumpy ride. Reports of this problem have diminished greatly of late for reasons unknown. There have been no instability reports with this tire. Handling and wet road adhesion are generally rated as satisfactory.

In researching for this tire report, it came to my attention that a few folks would describe Avon tires as having the same high speed problems as the few who owned misbehaving Metzeler tires. Others would report precisely the opposite as true. It got to the point where one could substitute Avon for Metzeler or Metzeler for Avon in these descriptions at will. No commonality could be found to adequately explain this, hence, the jury still seems to be out on these tires for extreme high speed riding..

Bridgestone Pole Position 205/55 – 16 AUTO

The debate has long raged about the safety of using plugs in motorcycle tires. Reports range from folks running a tire with more than one plug in it several thousand miles until replacement time to opinions that one should only run a plugged tire just far enough to get it off the roadway. Plug types range from outside inserted sticky cord or mushroom style plugs to those which require removal of the tire from the rim and internal patching. We will only offer this argument here: Plugs seem to work fine, especially the mushroom and interior patch types. But, you have only two tires under you. Is your life worth a $200 tire that may already be half worn out? Youll have to make that decision for yourself.

RUMORS DISPELLED:Use of brands of oils other than Honda brand, so long as they are within viscosity specs, will not void your warranty. These other oils include synthetics, blends and conventional. Changing over to synth oil after the first break-in period of 600-800 miles is satisfactory. The close tolerances of this machine combined with modern alloys and machining techniques belies the rumor that one must put several thousands of miles on the motor before switching to another oil type.

REAR:The rear tire will show a band of wear – a flat spot in the center – causing a ridge to form at the edge of this band. The ridge can sometimes be rough and this is often called cupping. This band is caused by the power of the machine as well as scuffing from braking and down shifting along with drive train lash upon motor generated acceleration/deceleration at speed. This wear band has an earlier onset in areas with many concrete roads and/or tar and chip surfaces. The flat band on the rear tire can affect handling characteristics as well as cause vibration and noise for the rider. This wear is NOT, as has been speculated, caused by running too high an air pressure. In fact, quite the opposite is true as too low a pressure will accelerate this wear with added cupping. This does not come from too much straight up riding, it is just that most acceleration/deceleration and braking occurs when the bike is more or less straight up and those are the major contributors to this wear. Burnouts, of course, are self-explanatory. You can certainly guess and see here if you click what kind of accelerated rear tire wear will be engendered by burnouts. For a movie of Mase doing a burn out,click here. Low rear tire pressure will also cause a vibration to be felt upon hard acceleration. For RatDogs personal experience comparison review of Avon, Metz and Dunlop,click here.

180 or 200 mm is the WIDTH of the tire. 60 or 70 is the ASPECT RATIO of the tire. The height will be 60 or 70 percent of the width of the tire. As always, divide by 25.4 to convert to inches. Hence 180/70 = 180 times 70 percent = 126 mm height 200/60 = 200 times 60 percent = 120 mm height. If dead on accuracy of the circumference of a tire is necessary for a speedometer, always measure the tire, never depend on this formula to give exact readings for a bike tire. More info on MC tires can be found here:

Using ANY non-moly motor oil within the viscosity range stated in the owners manual is satisfactory. How should you check it? Warm up the bike some, shut it off and let the oil settle for a minute or two. Unscrew the dipstick and wipe it off. Hold the bike straight up as if you were riding and simply insert the stick — dont screw it in — and pull it out. Readings in the cross hatched area means youre ok. Custom dipsticks can be of different lengths. Measure a custom one against the OEM one that came from Honda with your bike and adjust the reading accordingly.

NOTE: In mid-2001 Metzeler discontinued the ME880 for the Valkyrie. Early 2002, Metzeler re-introduced these tires as Front ME880 150/80HR17 Radial and Rear ME880 180/70HR16. Early reports are good for these tires and they have not been out there long enough at this writing to make a comprehensive report. These tires fit both the Valkyrie and the VTX Retro models. The manufacture date of the new tires is post 24th week of 2001. This would be shown on the sidewall as 2401 (24 week 01 year). Any date after that is the new tire.

] Installation of the Fat Freddy 200 might have it rubbing on the drive shaft and needing to grind a little off for clearance. Other large custom tires like auto tries below (or if you have shorter shocks than standard) often necessitates modifying the rear fender bolts (eliminating the inner nuts and using carriage bolts in place of them) and also other modifications on all models of Valkyrie.

FACTS:Use of synth oil will reduce the gear whine of the transmission and make shifting a little easier. It has been reported that gains in gas mileage can be experienced. For example… Other brands of automobile oil, whether synth/blend/dino and of whatever SG/SJ ratings, are satisfactory. There is no advantage in using expensive exotic snake oils in this machine. Despite claims by manufacturers and oil companies, use of motorcycle specific oil is not necessary. Use of oils containing Moly is questionable, but many have used it and Honda sells it too.

An article on recent developments can be found here.

]. Good match for the Metzeler front tires availble for the Valkyrie and the VTX.

STANDARD WEAR PATTERNS:Tires on the Valkyrie have specific wear patterns. [For a comprehensive description of typical wear patterns that can be applied to any bike tire click here].

No number for Front (radial) — AVO-121 AM23 Fat Freddie 200/60VB-16 Rear (bias ply)

FRONT:Theleftside of the front tire will show wear before the rest of the front tire. This is from the fact that you ride on the right side of the road and that the Valkyrie tends to plow the front tire through turns. Upon close inspection, you will see a like wear pattern on the opposite side of the tire but it is simply less pronounced for these reasons: Riding right means that the left side of your tire will have more miles and faster miles on it than the right side. Left hand turns have a larger radius than right hand turns in right side driving countries, hence you ride farther and faster turning left than right with subsequent increased wear on the tires left. European left side drivers find that therightside of the front tire will wear first. This is normal. [For a more detailed essay on the common wear patterns of tires on motorcycles, click here.] Low front tire pressure accelerates this wear and causes sever handling problems. Here is a good pic of excessive front tire wear courtesy of Vicki.

NOTE: There have been few bad reports since mid 2001 on Avon tires. These tires seem to run in after a few thousand miles and are satisfactory. Any problems that were reported earlier seem related to the Interstate Valkyrie model. Recent purchasers of these tires report no problems and greatly improved handling characteristics.

CONVENTIONAL TIRES:These are the available recommended tires for the Valkyrie.

Excellent tire for the fat & meaty look. Fits the VTX rear without modification.

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