David Wilder is one of our community's "Valk Whisperers", especially with regards to Valkyrie carburetors. He offers carb rebuilding and has great insights into the mysteries of the 6 carburetors that feed our Dragons. See below for details about Dave's background and services.
David S. (Dave) Wilder, Owner
212 Wythe Lane
Wendell, NC 27591
Introduction and background:
My specialty is upgrading and restoring the fuel systems on 1997-2003 Honda Valkyrie motorcycles, and older carbureted Honda Gold Wings. I have owned, raced (long ago when I was young and foolish), and worked on motorcycles for more than 50 years. My specific training in dealing with carbs comes primarily from my work at a business that rebuilt carburetors from 1971 through 1978 to pay for college and seminary. People would take their carburetor off their car, truck, motorcycle, tractor, etc. and take the carb to a parts house to exchange for a “factory rebuilt” one. I was one of the guys who would rebuild their old carbs and put them back into the supply chain. That was not a great job because of the constant pressure to do as many units as possible during my shift. However, I learned a lot about fuel systems in the process and earned a decent income. After that experience, working on carburetors became a hobby more than a job.
Following that work, I had a real career as a Pastoral Counselor and then as a Navy Chaplain. During a total of 28 years of military service, I served with US Marine Corps commands around the globe for 22 years. (The Marines don’t have their own chaplains. Navy Chaplains who receive USMC training then wear the Marine Corps uniform and are assigned to units as dictated by the mission.) My professional sub-specialty was “Marriage and Family Enrichment”, and I still work with a few individual couples as a professional Relationship Coach and have an LLC for this work (Treasured Relationships, LLC). Until recently, I was also training other relationship coaches through Relationship Coaching Institute in CA (through a virtual classroom). In an attempt to start acting more “retired”, I have quit teaching. My wife, Laura, and I also have an ongoing marriage ministry in Kenya. There are now 104 churches in this area of Africa (Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda) that are involved in this ministry, and we have led 3 training conferences there, with more to come.
Over the past few years, I have been one of the 2 co-pastors of Full Throttle Biker Church, near Wilmington, NC. As a part of the ministry to bikers, we have a small shop where we help bikers make repairs, change tires, etc. It is a location for them to work on their own bikes with a little assistance. If you live in an apartment or a mobile home, you don’t have a place to work on your bike. By providing a location with tools, we provide a valuable ministry and build personal connections. Proceeds from my carburetor work has helped to keep the lights on in the shop. But now I am turning over my leadership roles with FTBC, as a step towards retirement.
We are in the process of moving from the Wilmington, NC area to the Wendell, NC area. The current shop near Wilmington (in a barn behind our house) is moving to another location, and we will be selling our property there. I am committed to assisting with Full Throttle Biker Church through the end of 2020, as the new leadership takes over. My wife, Laura, rides her own bike. Her first motorcycle was a 1978 Honda GL1000 Gold Wing. Then she switched to Yamahas for a while. Now I’m restoring a Valkyrie trike for her, so she can finally get back into the Honda family. “Grandmothers who ride motorcycles are just like other grandmothers, except way cooler.” (A quote from our oldest granddaughter, Mariella.) We currently own 3 classic Honda Valkyries, and several lesser machines always seem to come and go.
At our house out in the country from Wendell, NC (where we are moving to soon), there is a 2-car garage with an attached 13 x 24 workshop and a second story above that for our office area. Renovations are underway on the old house and the garage/shop area to be able to continue my Valkyrie carburetor service and other pursuits. There is even a “mini split” system providing climate control for the shop area. Upon moving, my carburetor shop will be closed for only 1 week. The address at the top of this page is the new address for the shop and home. My goal is to phase out of doing other work and only focus on Valkyrie fuel systems. I use several nice pieces of equipment to assist in this work that I now find very enjoyable. The most unique piece of equipment is a “test mule engine” (named Valkenstein) from a Valkyrie Interstate that I bought after it was totaled in a head-on collision. That engine is now stationary in the shop with exhaust piped outside and an automobile radiator and electric fan for cooling. “Valkenstein” roars to life about once each week when it is used for synchronizing and colortuning carbs after rebuilding. This enables me to thoroughly test and tune racks of carburetors before returning them to the customer. The customer is able to install the carbs (following the instructions provided) and go riding without the need to make any adjustments.
Since carburetor work is not my only endeavor or time-consuming commitment, I limit the carb rebuilds to 1 set per week and schedule breaks months in advance for when Laura and I travel to Africa, etc. It is important to me to take my time and be as thorough as possible with each set of carbs. By scheduling this work carefully, I can provide a 1-week turn around on the carburetor service program. (Note: If the customer’s bike is physically at my shop, the carbs are adjusted on their bike instead of on Valkenstein.) Most of the time I receive the carbs in a box and ship them back out in the same box for the customer to install.
Wild-R-Rides Carburetor Service Details:
Option 1: Basic $850 Package Includes:
Complete disassembly of the carbs while inspecting various parts. Each of the 6 carburetors must be detached from the others to do this job properly, and then each carburetor body is disassembled.
Ultrasonic cleaning of all metal portions in a heated ultrasonic cleaner. My ultrasonic cleaner has 2 heaters and 9 transducers, and holds 3 gallons of water (to which I add detergent). I typically “cook” 3 carb bodies at a time for 3-4 hours at 150 degrees, change the water (no detergent as a rinse), and let it go at least 30 minutes more. The ultrasonic cleaner is large enough to fit all 6 carb bodies into, but it is more effective with plenty of room around each item. After the rinse cycle, I cut it off and let the water settle. If it is still collecting anything at all in the water, I add detergent and let it go another couple of hours and check again with fresh water. The carbs will always look nice and clean on the outside after the first 30 minutes or so, but the varnish buildup inside those internal passageways can be very stubborn to remove. As that mess breaks down, the water gets cloudy looking. This tells me that there’s still buildup being cleaned out. I do not stop cleaning until the rinse water remains clear. Then I can blow it all out with compressed air, start doing vacuum tests, and finally start rebuilding each carburetor. This is very time consuming but getting the carbs completely clean inside is essential to a successful rebuild.
Note: When fuel containing ethanol sits for a while, a green colored algae substance “grows” in the carbs. It is particularly corrosive to normal rubber O-rings and gaskets like those in use when our Valkyries were built. his substance also stains plastic parts such as the floats. It is normal for some green staining to remain on plastic parts, but the ultrasonic cleaner gets almost all the stains off the metal parts. Brass parts, such as the throttle butterfly valves and the jets, get a weathered look after reacting with the dreaded green crud. This is due to a chemical reaction. Any residual “weathering” of brass parts doesn’t hurt anything. For the insides of the jets, and the cross-drilled holes, I use a set of wire reamers designed for this purpose to ensure there’s no residual varnish buildup. If you don’t get everything spotless inside a carb, you won’t end up with a perfectly performing carb. Simply spraying some “carb cleaner” into a carb and blowing it out will not remove the varnish buildup. Soaking the carb in chemicals does a little better, but air bubbles get trapped inside those internal passageways and the cleaning job will be incomplete. That’s the beauty of ultrasonic cleaning: the sound waves break down bubbles and displace/absorb all the trapped air with the heated liquid.
Complete testing with airflow and vacuum of internal passageways and components.
Replacing all O-rings, gaskets, and seals with Viton GF parts (ethanol resistant synthetic rubber, a significant upgrade over OEM). Compared to the original rubber components, Viton GF rubber is expensive. But Viton will last practically forever. Really, we don’t know how long it will last. At least 50 years, but by then I will not be testing this theory.
New K&L float valves. (The float valves are more complicated than one might imagine. The end against the float has a small spring inside it. The end that seats in the fuel inlet is rubber tipped. Sometimes the springs get stuck because of buildup. Sometimes the tips are visibly damaged or even come loose. And all of the original rubber tips are now very hard instead of being pliable. Every set of carbs leaves my shop with brand new float valves, regardless of how good they might appear to be.)
Changing jets/shimming needles if needed to accommodate engine modifications or exhaust changes. (No extra labor charge, just my cost for the jets needed. For example, a typical set up for Cobra 6x6 pipes without baffles is to go up 1 size for both the primary jets ($6.29 each) and the high speed jets ($6.09 each). So the typical jet upgrade is an additional $75.)
There's no charge for shims, they are cheap and I probably have a lifetime supply. If you have the Cobra needles installed already, they should be set properly. There's a little E-clip at the top and 4 slots to choose from. I will check each one. If you have any brand of 6x6 exhausts and the factory needles, you need 2 shims under each needle. It may or may not have been done when the pipes were installed. I will make sure it is set up for your application.
Inspection of float levels before the bowls go on
If your Valkyrie is a Standard or a Tourer, and you want to upgrade to Interstate slide springs, I will do that for $18 (my cost for the 6 springs). This upgrade will give you a little bit quicker throttle response. It's not a huge difference, but it is enough to notice. And I will already have them all apart, so if you want that upgrade, it is cheap and easy at this time.
Install a Dan-marc AFC121 with brass fittings, replacing the T between the banks of carbs. This is a better way to install the electric fuel cutoff valve than a simple inline installation, but it can’t be done with the carbs installed on the bike. The AFC-121 has the larger orifice. There are other Dan-marc valves that have a smaller orifice and can cause fuel starvation problems. (By the way, many inline fuel filters can also cause fuel starvation. You don’t necessarily need an additional filter if you have an OEM petcock because the OEM filter that sits above your petcock is adequate as long as it is replaced every 5 years or so. Replacing the in-tank filter requires removing the tank and then the petcock. The Pingel petcock that so many people like (not me) has a strainer, but the mesh is too large and if using a Pingel you really do need an additional filter. Get one designed for a gravity feed fuel system, not one designed for a system using a fuel pump. Better yet, get my dual filter setup, as discussed below.).
If you already have a “Dan-Marc” AFC121 or another electric fuel valve with the ¼” orifice or larger, I will use the valve you have and reduce the total price by $50.
Install a “Scooter Valve Modification” in the vacuum line from #6 intake to the petcock, if you are using an OEM petcock – or – convert your OEM petcock to manual only and get rid of the vacuum side of the petcock that can fail and cause a hydrolock on #6 cylinder. If you have a Pingel or another brand of non-vacuum petcock installed, you don’t need this. If you want me to convert your petcock to manual for you, take it off the tank and send it with the carbs (no additional charge). Or if you want to do the conversion yourself, I will send you the necessary gasket and directions of how to make a fool-proof conversion to the OEM petcock (free with carb service, or $20 including postage if this is all you need). It’s really easy to do, and I cut the gaskets out of 1/8” thick Viton Rubber sheet, so they will last “forever”.
Fuel leak test on the bench (using ethanol-free 87 octane fuel with Marvel Mystery Oil added. The MMO will leave a fine oil coating in the carbs, just in case they are not immediately placed into service by the customer. If the engine has high compression modifications, 93 octane ethanol-free fuel is used. The stock Valkyrie engine is designed for 87 octane fuel and will give the best performance and economy with 87 octane.).
Mount on “Valkenstein” (or customer’s bike if I have the whole bike here).
Install a factory airbox with a clean Honda air filter for testing and adjusting.
Start engine, warm up, and Digisynch the 6 carbs.
Colortune 1 carb at a time with the engine running (using a device to see the color of the combustion, to fine tune the pilot jet). This is a neat trick. You back out on the pilot jet until you see a white combustion chamber, then slowly turn it in until the color turns to Bunsen burner blue. The Colortune device screws into the spark plug hole and literally gives a window into the combustion chamber of a running engine. I keep a careful count of how far out each pilot jet is set. If all 6 carbs are real close to the same (within 1/8 turn), it confirms that everything is equal between the carbs. That's what I'm looking for.
Digisynch again, just to be sure it hasn't changed during colortuning. It doesn’t change at all most of the time, but it can and I like to be sure. I’m just OCD that way I guess.
After cool down, remove carbs.
Drain carbs of fuel and package for return.
Occasionally there is a carburetor body that has been damaged. Most often this is from someone screwing in the pilot jets too tightly and breaking the tip of the brass pilot jet off inside the tapered hole in the zinc alloy body. Sometimes the ultrasonic cleaner will loosen the broken tip enough to blow it out with air pressure. Most likely, however, the tip is permanently lodged and the carb body is not rebuildable. In that case, we must source a different carb body to replace that one. I buy old ones when they become available, usually for around $50 to $75 each, for this very purpose. If I don’t have one readily available at the time, this will entail a delay as well as extra cost accordingly. (#3 is unique, as is #4. #1 and #6 are interchangeable. #2 and #5 are interchangeable. They are not all the same because of the location of air and fuel rail ports.) This is a situation where not knowing what one is doing can cost rather than save you money.
The air cutoff valves list for $73 each, but my discount brings it to $55 each. I charge just what it costs me to get them when one is needed. There is a non-serviceable diaphragm on one side and 3 replaceable O-rings as well as a small rubber plug on the other side. If a diaphragm is ruptured and won’t hold vacuum, the valve must be replaced. There is 1 air cutoff valve on each carb. They are not exposed to the fuel (and thus ethanol), and therefore they do hold up very well. But if one or more are not repairable, the extra cost will be just what it costs me to get the extra parts. (It is easy to ruin your air cutoff valves when rebuilding carbs without first removing the air cutoff valves, which requires splitting the rack. They do not like solvents and air pressure. Lots of people spray carb cleaner into every hole and then blow compressed air everywhere to clean the carbs. Don’t do that! You really don’t want to damage those little valves. I vacuum test the diaphragm first, and then measure how much vacuum is required to open/close the valve on the back side of the diaphragm. Sometimes changing the little plug will fix a slow leak-down situation. But if the diaphragm is ruptured, that valve must be replaced. At $55 each, it can add up in a hurry if they have been damaged by someone who didn’t know what to avoid doing.
Likewise, the large vacuum diaphragms operating the slides are very durable and seldom go bad. But if one is bad, it must be replaced. The extra cost is whatever it costs me to get those. They cost me about $75 new and come with the slide. Luckily, they almost never get ruptured! And, when I buy a used carb body, I usually get a complete carb assembly – so I get this part and an air cutoff valve as bonuses. I pass cost savings on to you with used parts, or replace with new, depending on your choice.
In the event of carbs that have sat for years with ethanol in them, sometimes there is pitting in the plastic floats. There may even be perforation. That green algae can do more than simply stain the plastic. If there is damage to a float, that definitely needs to be replaced. But the chance of needing floats is very low to nonexistent in a bike that gets ridden regularly. (The exception to the above sentence is if a float gets warped. That can happen, but it is rare.)
There is no way to anticipate these special circumstances, and I do not jack up the cost of the basic rebuild package to allow for such incidents. I don’t think that would be fair to everyone else, especially if someone messed up their carbs by doing the job themselves while not knowing what to do/not to do. If they screwed all their pilot jets down tight and broke off all the tips, we must buy another whole set of used carbs to rebuild and get them going again. I am all for people doing their own maintenance and repair, and I will freely give advice over email, text or phone. Just be careful with carbs, because you can mess them up. And if you decide to do the job yourself, under no circumstances introduce chemicals or compressed air to the ports leading to the air cutoff valves without removing them first! You can very easily destroy the diaphragms.
Option 2: Dual-filter optional addition:
In June of 2019, a customer received his carbs back from rebuilding and got a bunch of debris into the end of the fuel line when he was installing the carbs. At first he said it ran perfectly, but a week or so later he started having problems. Particles had found their way into 2 of his carbs primary circuit jets. A #35 jet has a tiny hole in it. It doesn’t take much crud to stop it up. That was a nightmare because the carbs had to come out again to clean out the particles.
This is one of the reasons for wanting additional filtration.
One might wonder why we need additional filters in the fuel system than what Honda provides. The Honda filter in the gas tank is very good but small rust and other particles do get past it, and I frequently open up sets of carbs with dirt in them. There is actually a small filter at each carb's float valve that does not easily come out and is impossible to replace without risking damage to the carb but the holes in that filter are huge and it will only stop big stuff. That filter hardly counts. The ultrasonic cleaner does clean it like new though.
Whenever someone replaces their OEM petcock with a Pingel brand petcock, they get a Pingel in-tank filter as well. That mesh is far too large, similar to the filter in the float valves. It turns out that those bikes essentially don't have fuel filters that are effective at all. Most guys that advocate using a Pingel petcock use an in-line filter just down-stream from the petcock but many times they end up with fuel starvation problems on the highway. The great majority of filters are designed for systems with fuel pumps and won't work for gravity feed. We need good fuel filtration, for obvious reasons but that's not always easy.
In September of 2019, I took the carbs out of my own '99 Tourer 4 times while developing a dual fuel filter system for Valkyries. 1 filter for each side, so each filter serves 3 carbs. They are a new filter that's on the market and boasts great filtration along with high flow rate, specifically developed for gravity feed fuel systems in the powersports industry. Before putting this onto any customer's carb setups, I had to refine my mounting bracket for the "Dan-marc" electric fuel valve. In order to use 2 filters, the location of the fuel valve is critical. It sits low between the banks of carbs, with a brass T on the output side and one filter on each side going into the fuel rail. I used my bike as a test mule because I had to know that it would not cause fuel starvation issues. With the fuel valve located there, the volume of fuel available to cause a hydrolock if a float valve fails is very minimal.
Before I started with the dual filter setup, I used one of these new filters just downstream of the tank as an experiment and ran 30 miles at 80 MPH to test it. I didn't have a problem, but was also not pulling my trailer or loaded heavy. It was a test to make sure the flow rate was adequate while feeding 6 carbs. Now, with the same filter serving only 3 carbs, I know it will be fine.
Anyhow, my dual filter setup is now road tested on an over 100-mile run holding 80 MPH while pulling an Escapade trailer with about 200 lbs in it. No problems while burning a full tank of gas on the highway. This way, even if dirt gets into the end of the fuel line while installing the carbs, it gets stopped by the filters before getting to the carbs. And if the in-tank filter comes apart as they occasionally do, the carbs don’t get full of crud. The placement and angle of these fuel filters allows their inlet sides to work like two settling bulbs to trap any trash or water droplets that get that far in the fuel supply. This complete setup is a $50 additional charge and includes everything in the basic service (Option 1).
Option 3: Carburetor Exchange Program:
I have started a carburetor exchange program, with some rebuilt racks of carbs that are ready for exchange. Availability depends on the demand and how quickly I can rebuild the carbs that come in as part of the exchange program. Taking care of carbs belonging to customers takes first priority, then comes rebuilding carbs for exchange. The cost of the exchange program is higher to compensate for the possibility of unforeseen expenses. Exchange carburetors cost $1,200, with a $400 core charge. You send $1,600 after letting me know what exhaust you are running and answering a few other questions so that I can set up the carbs for your bike. (Exchange carbs come with the dual filter setup, plus they have Interstate springs installed and the correct jets and/or shims for your setup). After I receive your old carbs in return shipping, I will confirm that they are rebuildable and then refund the $400 core charge.
The advantage to customers is that this involves a much shorter delay. I ship you the freshly rebuilt carbs, you remove the old ones and install the “new” ones in the same day, then you return ship your old set to me. The sooner you return the old set, the sooner you get the core charge refunded.
A few thoughts to make the job easier:
Wood Butcher has a superb tutorial for carb removal. You can find it by going to DOCS in the menu above and looking for "Carburetors and air box removal".
A lot of people find it incredibly hard to put the carbs back in because once they get the carbs in place, it is impossible to get the big plastic heat deflector shield back into place. If it isn't just right, you can't get the airbox back on well enough to get the 2 forward-most hoses to clamp onto the front 2 carbs. Which means you're screwed!
The ultimate solution is: Leave that plastic piece alone! Don't take it out in the first place. There is no need to do so. However, if you ever must do it or someone has already done it to your bike, put it into place with the carbs off. Then put the carbs in. I know, people say that you’ve got to remove it to make room for the carbs to come out or to go back in. Nope. Follow Wood's advice, he is right. Take off the 2 engine hanger bolts behind the carbs on the left side. Just take that engine hanger loose and push it with the 2 ignition coils mounted to it back out of the way. Also take the coil mounted under the left side of the gas tank loose. I don’t even unplug the wires. I do remove the chrome intakes before pulling the carbs, and then put them on after the carbs are back in. That creates more space. No big deal. Then the carbs come and go out the left side. Piece of cake, really. I can take carbs out in 45 minutes and put them in in 1 hour, including the airbox reinstallation.
There is also a secret to putting the airbox back in. It is like an octopus with 6 legs that don't want to go where you want them to. Push 2 down, move on to 2 more, and the first 2 pop back up. Noooooo! So, instead of all that drama, start with the airbox opened up, air filter out (probably need a new one anyhow, get OEM not K&N) and upside down on your workbench. Take the front 2 hoses and pull them together with zip ties. Now zip tie the middle 2 together. Now zip tie the back 2 together. Set the clamps on top of the carbs. Set your airbox into place between the frame rails, push it down, and put the back bolt in place and turn it a couple of threads (tighten it up later, you need a little wiggle room). Now cut the zip ties. Move the clamps up above the flexible hoses, all the way to the top, and tighten the clamps a little so they will stay up there. Work the hoses into place on top of the carbs. You can't see the back side, but you can feel it with your fingers to be sure it is seated down. Start each hose by getting the back side that you can’t see in place first by pushing the front part over the top of the air horn, and then get the side you can see in position. Very important, read that last sentence again. This method makes it much easier. Next, loosen up the clamps, slide them down into the groove made for them, and tighten the clamps. Tighten the back bolt. Put your air filter into place and then the airbox top gets screwed down.
Under the airbox are 3 nipples. Each one gets connected to the appropriate hose. If your bike has been desmogged, the front nipple gets capped off instead. Don’t forget to connect these hoses before putting the tank back on. It is much harder once the tank is in the way.
Wiring the Dan-Marc is super easy. I will send it ready to plug in and with instructions as to where to plug it. Soldered connections and heat shrinked. What could be easier? Some people like to use a relay for the Dan-Marc, which is not hard to do and is not a bad idea while it is not essential either. The specs for it say that the initial surge is .75 of an amp, then it has a constant draw of .3 of an amp. I bet the relay alone draws .3 amp. That’s like nothing. And Honda provides a convenient set of connections for accessories. I just use that connection point for the Dan-marc valve. This accessory connection is under your right side cover. You will see a protection tube with 2 wires going into it and nothing connected. One wire is green (ground) and the other is white with a black stripe (switched power). My connection wire will have bullet connectors soldered in so just plug them in. By the way, it makes no difference which wire going to the Dan-marc valve gets connected to ground and to the positive switched source. It is a simple electromagnet, so it works wired either way. You can’t mess that up if you try.
Concerning the relay option, it is a little more involved and involves some additional parts and wiring. By using a trigger voltage from the coils, the connection of the relay cuts off when the coils lose power instead of just when the key is turned off. This means that your tipover switch, that kills ignition when/if the bike goes on the side, will also close the electric fuel cutoff immediately in a crash. But there’s still fuel in the 6 float chambers that can and will leak out with the bike on the side, regardless of whether the fuel valve is open or not. And a bike on it’s side doesn’t exactly have gravity pushing fuel to the carbs with the electric valve open. On my personal bikes, I’m not using a relay because I don’t see it as a significant safety device at all. In a crash, the engine will quit because power to the coils stops. Fuel will leak from the carbs either way. So is it worth another $25-30 in parts and several additional connections to possibly give problems in the future? An argument could be made either way. If you want to use a relay, there’s a wiring diagram in the files section of Southern Valkyrie Riders about how to do it. Or I will supply the relay and wiring ready to connect with 3 connections instead of just 2 for an additional $50.
Bob Smith (aka “Attic Rat”) uses a relay with an additional hidden push button switch under the edge of his gas tank. The purpose of his setup is an anti-theft device. If you turn on the key and start the bike without pushing that hidden button, the fuel relay doesn’t open. In about a mile you run out of gas. The method he uses is a latch method. In other words, the push button momentarily triggers/engages the relay and then the power output from the relay keeps the relay triggered as long as the power is being supplied. He also hides a small LED light to reflect off the chrome so he can visually see if the relay is engaged. This is another option that is even more complicated, might be a good idea, but is certainly not essential.
My personal opinion is that simpler is better. I guarantee that if you have something go wrong and power is not supplied to the electric fuel valve, you will quickly become a pedestrian. If you want the latch system and LED with hidden switch and all that, add $75 and I will make it up for you. Whatever I do, it will have soldered connections and heat shrink over those connections. Just tell me what you want and I will do it or you can get creative with it yourself.
Packaging and Shipping Information:
One customer recently mailed his carbs to me through the US Post Office in Alabama. He did not insure them, and they lost them somewhere. The Post Office valued the 6 carbs at $50 and paid him that plus refunding his postage cost. He then found a set through Ebay ($250, not a bad price – but they were in terrible condition), and I was able to rebuild those and get them to him 3 days before he was to leave on a motorcycle trip that had been planned for over a year with some friends. Let’s don’t do that again! Here’s what to do:
Use either UPS or FedEx.
Insure the carbs for at least $500. They are worth more when I ship them back to you, so my shipping will include insurance for $1,000. When figuring out how much to pay me for shipping, just ship them to me and them PayPal what you paid for shipping for the return. I will pay the extra charge for the higher insurance. $1,000 insurance costs about $15. I think that’s cheap. And if they lose your carbs, I can easily document that they were worth at least $1,000. With that much insurance on them, the shipper will probably keep track of them better.
After removal from your bike, remove the rubber tubes that attach to the bottoms of the carbs. These are drain lines only, and they go into a plastic fitting that joins all 6 together and then directs any fuel into another hose that terminates at the back of the carbs. Keep those hoses for reinstallation (or throw them away, your choice). If you are desmogging the bike, which I recommend, it looks nice to have that whole area open and free of clutter like those hoses.With the drain hoses off, remove the drain screws from the bowls. Shake the carbs and turn them every which way to get as much of the fuel out as possible. Do not blow compressed air in there! Then replace those drain screws.
If you didn’t remove the chrome intakes when removing the carbs, remove them and keep them there. I don’t need them to do my work, so there’s no need to pay for shipping them back and forth.
If you have velocity stacks or fake filters on top of your carbs, take them off and replace the screws into the plastic vacuum chamber covers. Be careful, there’s a spring under there. I need the plastic covers and screws, but not your special carb jewelry.
Put the whole rack of carbs, with everything connected just the way they came off your bike, into a plastic trash bag. The heavy duty black “construction” bags work great, but even kitchen garbage can liners will do. Tie the bag into a knot, sealing it up as well as possible. I’m not talking about tying the drawstrings together. Actually tie the excess bag into a knot because it will seal better that way.
Put the bagged carbs into a second bag and tie it up again. We want to be doubly sure that someone at a shipping point doesn’t smell the gasoline and think they are transporting a fire bomb. If the local bomb squad detonates your carbs, that won’t help. :-)
Then box it all up in a sturdy box. Or you can take the carbs with your 2 trash bags in hand to the local UPS Store, show them what you are shipping, bag it in front of them, and have them make a box for you. There’s an extra charge for their box, but that’s one option.
Send me your tracking number. I will let you know when they arrive.
If you prefer, you can stick a personal check into the box with your carbs. Or mail a check separately. Or a money order. I’m not picky.
The easiest for me is for you to pay through PayPal. You can send your payment to my email address: email@example.com. I have been told that there’s even a PayPal credit option that costs you nothing if paid in a certain timeframe. I don’t know the details on that, but it’s out there.
I am not set up to process credit card or debit card payments.
If there becomes a need for extra money to cover unexpected costs as discussed above, I will let you know, and we will deal with that separately. This is rare, and I can’t know until I get them apart.
Things I need to know about you and your bike:
Please copy and paste this portion into a response email. Then fill in the answers. This will help me get it set up just right.
1. How do I contact you?
Return shipping address:
Is a call or a text preferred?
2. What year is your Valkyrie?
3. Is it a Standard, Tourer, or Interstate?
4. Have there been any internal engine modifications done? If yes, what?
5. Have there been exhaust changes? (Such as: “Cobra 6x6, no baffles”; or “OEM, no modifications”; or “OEM, piggies cut and baffles drilled”; or “Truck stacks”. You get the idea. Changing your exhaust away from OEM will almost always take away some of your horsepower. You can make it sound “meaner” but it will almost always hurt performance. The Honda engineers did a great job of making the most horsepower by having just the right amount of back pressure. If I know about any exhaust changes, I can get at least some of that horsepower back for you by changing the jets, shimming the needles, etc.)
6. Have you modified your airbox in any way? Please say no! But if you have, what modifications did you make?
7. Are you running a Honda air filter or a K&N with the foam pre-filter in place? OEM is best in this application. Sometimes a K&N is an upgrade, but not on a Valkyrie. The design of these carbs depends on a certain amount of fresh air intake vacuum to operate properly. A K&N without the foam pre-filter really doesn’t work well at all. I need to know what your air intake side is like so that I can simulate that for colortuning purposes. We want your mixture to be just right!
8. Total up the cost for what you want me to do to your carbs. And let me know what you want.
Basic package: $850
Jet upgrades, 12 jets $ 75
Change Standard or Tourer to Interstate slide springs $ 18
Add an inline filter to each bank of 3 carbs $ 50
Relay option $ 30
Relay option with Latch and LED indicator $ 50
If I run into anything unusual and need other information, I will contact you right away.
Notes about air filter changes and exhaust changes:
Your Valkyrie came from the factory with very sophisticated version of the earlier Keihn CV (Constant Velocity) carburetors, known as a CD design (Constant Depression). They compensate for air density and humidity levels while riding, by adjusting the high speed mixture. However, their ability to make these adjustments automatically falls within a fairly narrow set of parameters. This design is very sensitive to changes in the flow dynamics on the intake side of the engine. For this reason, I do not recommend changing the air box in any way, or using any filter other than the OEM paper filter.
The most common air filter change is to use a K&N filter, either with or without a foam pre-filter. K&N makes good filters for many applications that can be washed and re-oiled many times. But they are not such a good idea with either CV or CD type carburetors because of them changing the air flow dynamics. The engineers at Honda calibrated these carbs for the best air flow with the paper filter, providing optimal power and decent efficiency. Installing a “free-flow air filter” messes up the automatic adjusting range of these carbs. The end result is a situation of having the engine running too lean and not being able to get it adjusted properly. Save your money and stick with the OEM filter. There is also a filter option by “Hi-Flo Filtro” that is not quite as free flowing as the K&N, but the same principle applies. Your OEM filter is cheaper than both of these other aftermarket options, and it should last about 20,000 miles. When you change it, also change the in-tank fuel filter.
After market exhaust:
Many people change the exhaust on a Valkyrie in order to get a louder sound. This is desirable for some people and not for others. If you want it loud, go ahead. But be aware that you will lose performance by doing so. Changes to the intake side of the engine hurt your performance much more than changes to the exhaust side, but both are detrimental. I can make some jetting changes, as noted earlier, to regain some of the lost HP and torque of aftermarket pipes. So I need to know what you are running for exhaust. But it will not be as strong as the OEM setup.
The Valkyrie OEM exhaust are quiet, but they flow air very well while providing just the right amount of back pressure. The most common aftermarket exhaust are the Cobra 6x6 pipes, which have very low back pressure with the baffles in, and essentially none with the baffles out. Two Brothers exhausts are better, especially the set with the crossover pipe. They are very hard to get and quite expensive. On the VRCC website, you can read about the “Ragnar Cut” modification, but again this is giving you less than adequate back pressure. Mark Tobias at “Horseapple Ranch” modifies OEM exhaust and has several variations. These modified pipes give close to the OEM amount of back pressure, and are my suggestion if you want louder without hurting performance.
Go to the VALKFAQ's menu and look for "What is hydrolock" for a full explanation.