Stitch, the second Valkyrie, (so named HERE) came to me with some issues.
All were minor…this machine has (for a Valkyrie) very few miles on it, but little things add up.
In this case, she had several “signs” of previous misadventures that were combining to give the machine a slightly “off” feel.
Those that ride know well that “feel” is critical. You must develop a rapport with your machine…controlling her must be second nature…or you’re going to miss a cue or incorrectly respond to one. Little irritations should be completely corrected to the point where the fit and feel of the machine provides NO distractions.
Some would say that this only matters in critical situations, and they might even be right, but there are a LOT of those when you are riding. In 20 miles of riding the Metroplex I may encounter as many as 100,000 cages. I need no “controllable” distractions to take my attention.
Oh…and her fairing…a Memphis Shades Batwing…was suffering from a VERY un-subtly bad installation. There are lots of adjustments to get the thing in the proper position, but they hadn’t been attempted. The brackets were clamped on the forks, and the thing was shoved into position. This caused extreme difficulty viewing the instruments, and also broke the trip odometer reset knob.
As a data point, I happen to know the fairing was installed by a Honda dealer. (sigh)
The result of all this (and some other minor things) was a glitchy, vaguely uncomfortable machine. That simply would not do.
A couple hours of tweaks took care of it. Fairing adjustment took some patience but was otherwise straightforward. Gauges visible. Reset knob cleared. Windshield at proper height (at your normal riding position you should be looking just over the top of it…this keeps the wind/rain mostly off you but provides required visibility in rain/etc).
As to some of the signs of misadventure?
Both of the driver’s foot-peg “clam-shells” were bent. These hold the rubber footrest on and give it some of it’s shape. Bent ones give the footrests an odd shape and feel.
The clutch and brake levers were tweaked in multiple dimensions. Some subtle, some not. Again, changes the feel and comfort of the machine, as well as, on the brake side at least, dramatically changes the feedback.
Anyway, these and a few other minor tweaks and she and I are conversing at an entirely new level.
…and good communication is SO important when ya really need to dance.
I’ll see you on the road.