GOLD WING TO VALKYRIE I/S - MY STORY
Written by Tom Schwarz on Mon - Jun 17
My wife said," You're going to buy a what!" A "Valkyrie Interstate" I replied, it's just like our 1996 Gold Wing SE but a "little more performance oriented." So with the assurance she would continue to enjoy the comfortable riding experienced with the Wing I proceeded to acquire our 2000 all black Valkyrie Interstate.
Now one rarely sees a Valkyrie without some aftermarket accessories and ours soon became no different. We added a CB, center stand, Corbin seat w/driver & passenger backrests, Heritage tank bib, 6-degree trigger wheel, passenger footboards, trunk and saddlebag luggage racks, radar detector, electronic compass, replacement mirrors, and a variety of chromed replacement parts.
|It does attract attention and I even had two HD Semis coming at me on Interstate 70 confuse me for one of their own! Now as for my wife, she really had few complaints. The Corbin and footboards were helpful. I noticed no real difference on ride comfort in fact we think the suspension is better than the Wing. The stock windshield is much to my liking for solo use but too much wind for the passenger. I solved this with a 3" higher unit from Precision Plastics, which I'll install for two up trip usage.|
Compared to the Wing it definitely feels to the rider more like a performance motorcycle although I must admit the power on my Wing with the X tractor from Heli was pretty darn good. The Fat lady does handle better and the suspension also feels better. Relative passenger comfort is about a wash. I recently put over 4,000 miles on a solo trip to Utah.
There were many times with gas mileage as low as 20 MPH I wished for the Wing back but the mileage recovered some after returning back East and riding at less than warp speeds. I suspect the 6-degree trigger wheel did not help at higher elevations. I don't know what top end should be but blazing across Nebraska into the wind I couldn't get over 110 and 5,000 RPM while my friends on their new BMW K-1200 LT's were having no trouble out running me while still getting 40 MPH.
A great source of irritation & frustration to me but I'm not ready to give up on the Fat Lady and will somehow improve the top end situation. As a matter of interest I did cut off the six "piggies" in the exhaust and ˝" drill the rear baffles (no jetting change) and am much happier now that I can hear the engine. Would I do it again….in a heartbeat,… the Fat Lady sings!