Update on Mario's over drive gear kit. (Very long post)
Thank you for your patient waiting to hear from me about the gear kit. Please excuse my grammar as English is my second language. Anyway, now, I decided to go ahead and post my result because I'm unable to get a hold of Lamont, as he is moving. After all of mechanic adjustments and testing, I know that my Valkyrie is in top condition so I can report my own result.
Prior to swapping, I talked with my brother and he
questioned me why should I do it. He said that Honda spent millions on research
and developments and engineers designed this for a reason. I told him that
sometime 3rd parties are better and I believed Lamont and Mario's test results.
So I went ahead and do it with Mario's gear kit. Well, read on.
I have worked on my Valkyrie for 8 straight nights disassembled, swapped the gears, and reassembled. I took my time working on it and took some pictures of progresses. After I swapped the gears, I went out for test ride on the first night with one of AZvalk member. We went to Payson from Phoenix. When we arrived the gas station in Payson, I filled it up to 2.2 gallons while other guy filled his Valkyrie up to only 2.0 gallons. I figured maybe it was because of steep grades in the mountain, which I used 4th gear most of the time when I climbed uphill. So, we went to the Black Canyon mostly downhill and stopped at other gas station. I filled it up to 2.4 gallons. The other guy filled it up to 2.8 gallons.
On the next night, Connie, also known as F6GAL and I went out for other test riding again. We rode out west of Phoenix against the wind. I was surprised that I could not go over 85 MPH, so I downshifted to 4th gear and pushed it over 100 MPH before I changed it to 5th gear. It dropped back to 85 MPH again. We stopped at the gas station to switch our bikes before going until my Valkyrie hit fuel reserve. It was only 106 miles when Connie switched it to the reserve position. On Connie's Valkyrie, I traveled for 115 miles before switched to reserve. I was twice heavier than Connie. We stopped at the gas station. I filled my Valkyrie up to 4.8 gallons. It is only 120 miles since last fuel stop. F6GALís E-mailed to Thomas from General boards http://www.bigbf.com/bigbf_shop/gearset.htm
So, I decided to do more tests; I rode mostly on local flat level freeway between 55 to 65 MPH on calm day. The best mileages I could get before switching to reserve was 133 miles.
Few days later, I met one of the AZvalk members and went out for ride. We stopped at the gas station. I filled up mine and I also filled up other guy's Valkyrie too. I made sure that we set our bikes in the same position and filled both tanks up to the same level. We rode to Florence city, the place of infamous state prison, and came back to Phoenix. We stopped at the gas station again. I filled it up to 4.199 gallons and then I filled other guy's bike up to 4.199 gallons using the same pump. (It was funny because the other guy covered the gas meter while I filled both tanks and we were surprised that we got exactly same amount of fuel for the both bikes. Ha!). So, we rode for 135 miles synced at 65 MPH and maintenance same actions/motions all of the way.
Result: I traveled total 789 miles. My Valkyrie used up total 21.3 gallons of fuel, which it averaged at 37 MPG.
Disappointed with the results, I continued riding some more anyway hoping that it would show any difference. I have logged over 1,500 miles on Mario's gear kit. I was still not happy with overall in MPG and performance so I decided to swap the gear back to stock. It took me 16 hours of disassembled, swapped, and reassembled. I rode it again and realized that I was more than happy to have stock gears back now. I thought I lost my Valkyrie, but thank goodness that it is still ALIVE and runs a lot better with the stock gears!
After swapped back to stock gears, I rode on the same routes as before. I traveled 141 miles before I switched it to reserve; with Mario's gear kit, I only could get up to 133 miles. So, I rode back to Phoenix even with some wind and traveled 141 miles. On returning trip, result turned out same as with Mario's gear kit.
Problems with Mario's gear kit -
1) Poor MPG even for overdrive gear
2) Loss of power when shifted into 5th gear
3) Hard and loud clank when shifted from 3rd to 4th or vice versa
4) Must use 4th gear in mountain routes
5) Feel slightly more vibrates at 75 MPH
6) On 5th gear, I cannot do full throttle without getting stalled
Plus additional work as Mario told Lamont to do these modifications -
1) Trigger has to be of 5 .5 to 6 degree
2) Carb Jets 0.90 to 1.00
3) Check tuning up mark of the pulley and timing belt
4) Check carb sync
5) Opening of inlet valve from 0.12 to 0.15
6) Opening of the exhaust valves from 0.15 to 0.18
Note: I already checked with carb sync and valve at spec. (which is not increase). I don't want to adjust the carb jet and trigger wheel. I was not told until I installed Mario's gears. Lamont was not aware of that too until Mario told him after I complained. Now, I am wondering why we must make some modifications. Some of other people in USA managed to get better MPG by these modifications with the stock gears. My opinion that it is tricky (cheat) to do on Mario's gear kit to make customers think it was big different, but actual this modification did make any difference.
7) Mario's 4th gear is about same size as the stock 5th gear
Note: The stock gears run like this 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 and Mario's gear kit run like this 1 - 2 - 3 - 5 - 7. So it is kind of too much ratio on 5th gear.
8) With Mario's gear kit opened throttle more than with the stock at 70mph
9) Riding against wind is really bad with Mario's 5th gear
10) Not worth to shelled out over $1000.00 (plus time and parts) for little or less performance/MPG
Now, please remember that I am the big guy at over 300 pounds. I do not know if anyone in USA may have better mileage than mine? Maybe they get the same results? If you decided to get Mario's gear kit and installed on your bike, please let me know if you got better result than mine or not.
Here's little reminder, supposedly you found out that you do not like it and want to put the stock gear back on, are you doing it yourself or have mechanic to do it? Don't forget the additional cost mechanic will charge you to reinstall the stock gears. That's gonna be a big OUCH! I have lost a lot of my time and money on the parts.
Reason on why I waited so long to post the results was because I want to make sure I get refund on the gear kit. Lamont told me that he would give my money back. I have wasted about $100 for the gaskets, oil, filter, coolant and other items. Also I don't want to bad mouthing or make negative comments about Lamont because he is good man. I'm sure he was not aware of it until I discussed with him. Now, he knows and he is probably waiting or watching for other guys' complains. Two of AZvalk members that I believe they decided not to have Mario's gear kit installed on their bikes after they saw mine. I did warn them that theirs might turn out with better results than mine.
I don't know about Mario's fact as he said that he have done with hundreds gear kits installed in Italy. Maybe they all were satisfied with very little difference? Are they really satisfied or not? I will never know. Maybe the situations there are somewhat different than here (thick air, stronger fuel, or whatever). I was surprised that Mario was willing to come down here to work it out at his own expense. Mario, thank you for offer but no, It is only slightly difference and not worth the overall cost. If it was 45-50 MPG, then I would be happy to have it. Also it is only transportation that I have and I must ride it daily. I told Lamont to save this offer for the next person who may run into same problem as mine.
Thanks for reading,
Is there any question? Don't be afraid to ask, I won't bite!