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Life Is a Road, the Soul Is a Motorcycle

Life Is a Road, Get On it and Ride!

Life Is a Road, Ride it Hard!

Life Is a Road, it's About the Ride

Life Is a Road, Volume One

Storm Rider

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The Soul Is a Motorcycle Get On It and Ride! Ride It Hard About the Ride Volume One Special Edition Stormrider

Center Stand

The Valkyrie does not come with a centerstand. As I intend on visiting some very remote places, I figured that it would be wise to be able to get the bike off its wheels in an emergency (for instance a flat tire). Rivco Products was the solution. They make a center stand kit for the Valkyrie, and though slightly pricey, you do get what you pay for--the stand is a quality product, and it is much less expensive than many OEM accessories.

So, here is my installation. I assume no liability for my methods or documentation. I am impressed with Rivco . . . the stand arrived merely days after I ordered it, it appears to be a very quality product, and the fit an finish were excellent. Installation was straight-forward and took only about 30 minutes of actual work if you discount the hour or so of just plain fooling around that generally accompanies any project of mine.

Step One:
Read the instructions that come with the product. In case you don't have them, or like me, promptly lost them in your sparkling clean garage, a pdf of those instructions is here.

Step Two:
Tunes. As in music. As in your favorite songs. This is important. No worthwhile task should be attempted without tunes. Especially work on your Valkyrie. I have ten hours of my favorite music in mp3's on a cd in this player . . . just in case the project runs into overtime . . . The crowbar in the picture is there just in case it plays a song I really don't like . . . crowbars are so much more satisfying than remote controls.

Music is a requirement

Step Three:
You MUST have a clean and orderly garage before starting any project. I have worked long and hard on mine to get it into this condition. Very conducive to successfully completing any serious work. Note the twin six-cylinder Mercedes diesels (out of my boat) carefully camouflaged as a pile of boxes. This time of the month the phases of the moon are such that tidal effects are minimal, but avalanches are still a potential problem.

My Idea of a clean garage

Step Four:
I highly recommend this step. It can make your project go much smoother and with less offensive language. Gather and lay out a rather large number of very intimadating tools. None of these SHOULD be needed of course, but just having them at hand will make your machine more inclinded to cooperate with you in whatever surgery you have planned. Below are a few examples, but feel free to be creative:

Good intimidation tecnique is a must

These are the tools you'll actually need (but do NOT let your machine know that):
Wrenches: 7mm, 12mm, 13mm, 14mm, 17mm, 19mm. Small vice-grips, an 8mm Allen wrench (and life will be easier for you if you have a 8mm allen socket attachment also).

The tools you really need

Here is the stand and its parts:

The stand kit

The Frameclamp

Step Five:
Jack up the bike, without any jack "adaptors" or blocks in the area of the stand crossmember. This can be done, but note the straps. LOOK at the straps. Use the straps. Really. Otherwise you may just drop a Valkyrie on your head. I'm pretty sure that will slow your progress down just a bit.

Bike on jack (poor jack)

Step 6:
Remove the left nut on the side-stand holder. The bolt head is 17mm, the nut is 19mm . . . or in my case, 3/4" inch (19mm and 3/4" are the same size), since my 19mm wrench has vanished to the realm of mildly frustrating lost thingys (where it is apparently spending time with my 19mm socket). Most of the work is best done from the right side of the motorcycle. For those of you that have spent time underneath your Valkyrie . . . and are ready to point out that mine is very dirty . . . well, hush. I am waiting for a good long winter to wash and detail her . . . and so far, we only have had two days this year that I couldn't ride. 

Loosen the bolts

Step Seven:
Stand the . . . uh . . . well . . . stand, under the bike and in position.

Ready to bolt on

Step Eight:
The instructions say next to hold the stand up and thread the bolt into the left side . . . I had better luck installing the frame clamp very loosely to help position the stand, then thread the bolt in. In any case, be very careful not to cross thread the bolt. Tighten the allen bolts on the frame clamp . . . the instructions say to roughly 25 foot pounds . . . the point here is to be careful and not crush the frame tube. Absolutely tremenous pressure can be applied with a couple bolts and some steel parts (think vice). So . . . be careful and do not crush the frame tube. Then tighten the side stand bolt/nuts.

 

In Place

Step Nine:
Next, release the jack and let the bike sit on the center stand. Adjust the engine case-bumper as the instructions say, then install the "up" position bumper on the left-front bolt on the muffler bracket. Those of you that are really astute (and have been spending WAY too much time underneath your Valkyrie) will note that I do not have acorn nuts holding my muffler brackets. Long story, involving many wierd noises and a couple trips to the hardware store. Don't sweat it, your acorn nuts will work fine. (Hint, check the tightness of the rest of them while you are down there).

stand bumper

Step Ten:
Now you are going to roll the bike off the center stand and adjust both bumpers as instructed. Next install the spring (big honkin' spring). Unfortunately the instructions do not provide any helpful hints here . . . I ended up using some brute force, a small pair of vice-grips, 19 swear words, and a can of turpentine. (the can was just the right size to hold the stand up whilst I installed the spring). A later (genius) tip from the VRCC board says to insert several washers into the spring coils thus holding it stretched out, then install with minimal fuss, and remove the washers. (Thanks RJ!). Wish I'd have thought of that. If you don't have washers, use nickels (they are cheaper).

Step Eleven:
Now, install the grab-bar. Here is the only weakness I found in the kit . . . the rear attachment point of the grab-bar is the lower mount bolt for the sissy bar . . . and that is fine, I just think they should have included a longer bolt to replace the original, as with the grab bar installed, I feel the bolt is not long enough. It is a minor detail though.

Grabrail

Step Twelve:
Carefully eyeball your Valkyrie, then get on the 'net and order the matching right side grab bar from Rivco (mmmmm . . . more chrome!). Step back and admire your work. Looks great, works well, and fits fine. If you have never used a center-stand, or have trouble getting a bike on one, you probably are not using it right. Do not try to pull the bike back at all. The stand does the work. Left hand on left handlebar, right hand on grab-bar. Step with the right heel of your foot on the stand lever and as the feet contact the ground, stand the bike up straight. Then simply pull up on the grab bar (don't strain yourself, it is not necessary) and put all your weight on the stand lever. Vooorrruuummmppp! Up it comes. Easy, trust me.

On Stand

Stand tucked away

Finally, I highly recommend a test ride. Three or four hundred miles ought to do it. Here is a minor weakness in Rivco's instructions. They mention nothing about a test ride . . . so I had trouble convincing my wife that a 6 hour test ride was strictly necessary.

I am pleased with the Rivco center-stand. Quality product, went on quickly and with minimal fuss, and does the job while looking just fine. A great addition to the Valkyrie.

CUAgain,
Daniel Meyer

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The Soul Is a Motorcycle Get On It and Ride! Ride It Hard About the Ride Volume One Special Edition Stormrider

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Life is a Road, the Soul is a Motorcycle went on sale March 5, 2003 and is available at Amazon.com, IUniverse.com or your favorite on-line bookseller. You may also order it at your favorite bookstore, including Barnes & Noble.

Life is a Road, Get on it and Ride! went on sale April 12, 2004 and is available at Amazon.com , iUniverse.com icon, or your favorite bookseller including Barnes and Noble. Get your copy today! It is also available in Adobe E-Book format from iUniverse.com .

Life Is a Road, Ride It Hard! went on sale August 11, 2005. It is currently available in softcover, hardcover, and E-book at Amazon.com,  iUniverse icon, or your favorite bookseller, including Barnes & Noble.  

Life Is a Road, It's About the Ride went on sale October 18, 2006. It is currently available in soft or hard cover from Lulu.com, Amazon.com, or anywhere else you buy books.

Order Life Is a Road books anywhere you buy books. Get your copies today!
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All content © 2010 Daniel Meyer. Life is a Road is a trademark (TM) of Daniel Meyer. All rights reserved.
The page last updated: 7/6/2010; 8:56:19 PM.