Known issues with the Honda Valkyrie
Various problems have been discussed on the various Valkyrie boards
concerning a few shortcomings with the Honda Valkyrie. Listed below are
some of the problems that have been brought up over the last couple years.
Listed below is information gathered from some owner comments. They are
not necessarily something that WILL happen to you, but rather something to
keep an eye out for.
#1 On the 1997 Valkyries, the rear turn signals can become loose and
actually sag. Honda did issue a recall to replace them, but this
information is unavailable at this time. If anyone knows the recall #,
please provide it to the webmaster. The sagging problem has been corrected
by disassembling the unit, tightening all nuts etc and reassembling the
#2 Rear fender fatigue. On some bikes the lower rear fender portion
that is holding the tail light and license plate, buckles about halfway up
from the bottom of the fender. You will see the fender bulge on either
side. If you flex the fender up and down you will see the bulge get larger
and smaller. The only fix is to have a Honda Dealer replace it under
#3 Front wheel bearing failure. The 1997 Valkyries have smaller front
wheel bearings and races than subsequent years. Possible indications of
bearings deteriorating are clunking in front end when hitting bumps,
brakes dragging, grinding noise or lateral movement in wheel . These
bearings are sealed and can not be repacked. If the bearings are not
covered by warranty, I would suggest purchasing the bearings from a large
bearing supplier such as Bearing King, for about 1/2 the price from Honda,
and you will probably get a better quality bearing. This problem was
noticed about 25K, but could vary greatly depending on the quality of the
bearing, and the amount of grease originally installed by the supplier.
#4 Rear wheel bearing failure. The bearing size has not changed for the
rear. Failures for the rear have occurred as well. The possibility exists
that a poor grade bearing has been supplied to Honda or that the bearings
have not been properly lubricated by the supplier. The fix is the same as
for the front bearings.
#5 Final drive. It has been reported by many that when draining the
drive oil, it was extremely dirty and of a very low output volume. The
shop manual recommends changing this fluid at 24K. I would suggest
changing the final drive oil at the first oil change and replace with a
high quality fully synthetic oil. The final drive unit will run much
cooler than when using regular oil. If the oil was extremely dirty, change
it when you do your next engine oil change.
#6 Final drive spline lubrication. There have been instances of final
drive spline failure due to no lubrication from the factory and failure of
the Dealer to lubricate the splines during tire replacement. If you hear
strange sounds coming from the final drive, either check for proper
lubrication or have your Dealer inspect it. When disassembled, the splines
should be thoroughly cleaned and Molly 60 paste applied to all parts
recommended by the shop manual. Anytime you are having tires replaced, if
possible, watch the procedure to insure this is accomplished. Just because
Management insists that it will be done, does not insure that it will be
#7 Dead starter switch. You have power but starter switch produces no
results. Kill switch is in correct position, bike is in neutral etc. This
switch can stick in the "kill the headlight" position and will not
activate the starter. There is a hollow space under the button that you
can GENTLY pry out a bit and retry. Not a great fix, but at least it may
get you to the dealer.
#8 No power at all. All fuses check out, battery has juice. There have
been many instances of the battery ground cable to the frame not making
good contact either due to paint on the frame or the bolt not being
properly seated. There are several possible fixes for this. Remove the
bolt and insure that the threads are clean. Reinstall the bolt to see if
it is going all the way in. Also clean the surface to insure a good
contact with the ground cable. Some have recommended moving the ground
cable to the bolt on the left side that holds the front cover w/seat lock.
#9 Dunlop D206 rear tire delamination. There have been many reports of
the Dunlop tires delaminating. This is a bubble on the in side of the
tire, a slight thumping vibration cause by the less severe swelling on the
tread side. If this happens, slow down, get the bike to a Dealer and have
them contact Honda for warranty service. Honda and Dunlop ARE aware of
this problem .
#10 A whining noise coming from the engine. This usually occurs between
45 MPH to about 55 MPH gradually going away as speed increases. This is
common on the flat 6 engine due to the straight cut gears in the
transmission. It is one of the things we have to endure to ride the best
motorcycle in the world.
#11 Leaking coolant reserve tank. These tanks crack frequently where
the lower hose connects to the lower connection on the tank. Honda has
been replacing them under warranty.
#12 Fuel shut off switch failure. Some switches have failed to cut off
the fuel supply while in the ON position, with the engine off, due to the
diaphragm in the petcock failing, resulting in the cylinders filling up
with gas. If you crank your engine and get a click and/or a teeth not
meshing/grinding sound, there is the possibility that the engine is frozen
due to a hydrolock condition. This can cause the starter idler gear to
break. ALWAYS turn the fuel switch to the OFF position when not riding.
#13 Gas cap leaking fumes from key hole. Does your garage smell like
gas? It could be the gas cap. Honda has replaced caps with this condition
#14 Tires vibrating/ growling in turns. This is normal as the center of
the tire flattens out. It creates a ridge where the flat spot
transitions to the side of the tire. When cornering you will notice some
#15 Buzzing sound coming from engine. There is a bolt that is directly
behind the bolt that your horn is mounted to that reaches to the other
side of the engine. It runs through a spacer tube and if not REALLY tight,
this tube will create a buzzing nose. Have someone hold the nut on the
other side of the engine and really crank her down until it squeals. It is
a high grade bolt and will take a lot of torque. The radiator chrome side
covers can also rattle. If they are loose, many are, bring the engine to
operating temperature and use a putty knife to remove the reflectors from
the covers. Use the allen wrench from your tool kit, tighten and stick
your reflectors back on.
#16 Loose Header nuts. These nuts use compression type washers and need
to be tightened several times before they are fully compressed. DO NOT use
locktight on these nuts. The torque is 7 ft pounds so don't over tighten.
You can check them during oil changes, as if left loose, it could cause
popping of the exhaust system.
#17 Loose muffler hanger and muffler bolts. Check these bolts
occasionally, many have not been tightened properly.