Behold...my new acquisition!

Discussion in '5th Generation 1998-2001' started by Terry Smith, Jan 22, 2022.

  1. Terry Smith

    Terry Smith Member

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    I bought a well-used 86 VFR750 back in August and have been lightly restoring this, but have to say that I don't love it quite as much as I thought I would. I'm not getting any younger so I decided to pounce on a minty 99 5th gen last week. I sold my last 5th gen back in 2019 and have regretted it ever since, I think I've fixed that now. The 86 is now up for sale as I only have room to keep my MT-10SP, Vespa, and one Honda...

    This bike has done 77,000km, has a nice Nitron shock, the Sargent seat, double bubble screen, some hot grips, and a fan override switch, and has clearly been owned VFR-lovers throughout its 23 year life. The last lady owner had it lowered but still found it a bit unwieldly and decided to pass it on. I collected it from a city 180km from home, and had a fun ride home the twisty way. I then spent time restoring the ride height (flipped linkage triangle and shock at shortest length, forks slip down 10mm), re-locating the Nitron reservoir (had been badly positioned on left so it hit the chainguard on compression), cleaning the chain and bleeding the brakes.

    Had a proper test run over 340km yesterday and it passed with flying colours. Looks like a new thermostat is needed, I'll be fitting a voltmeter, and I will get some EBC HH pads for the front as the brakes have a little less bite than I'm looking for. Apart from that, the bike is awesome and for whatever reason also seems to be much more economical than my last bike, hitting 320 km to the flashing bar, where the last bike was lucky to see 280km under the same circumstances. Maybe yellow is more slippery, banana skins are known for this... IMG_2833.jpg IMG_2822.jpg

    Inevitable, the bike has been christened Bumlebee...
     
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  2. mello dude

    mello dude Member

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    Good looking 5th gen!
     
  3. Captain 80s

    Captain 80s Member

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  4. raYzerman

    raYzerman Insider

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    Yellow is the fastest colour!! congrats.
     
  5. Terry Smith

    Terry Smith Member

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    I hadn't realised that before, but now I know you are right.
     
  6. ridervfr

    ridervfr Member

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    Well Done! Like the colour
     
  7. Terry Smith

    Terry Smith Member

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    I have been working my way over the brakes over the last couple of days, all was well until I tried to get the left calliper off. Actually, every bolt I have loosened on the bike had been over-tightened.

    The hex bolt securing the top clevis to the fork leg was seized solid and already partially rounded out. I worked my way up from an allen key to a hex bit on a ratchet driver, to a hammer-impact driver (with escalating hammer weights) and finally to my electric rattle gun. Had heat and penetrating oil on as well. The rattle gun tried hard and then finally rounded out the hex bolt.

    Prior to this I had formulated Plan B, I very fortuitously kept some hardware from my last VFR when I delinked and replaced the callipers, and I had a used clevis and hex bolt. So I cut the head off the hex bolt, then cut through the clevis with my trusty angle grinder. Not what you find in the service manual!

    I then spent some happy hours scrubbing the callipers and cleaning the pistons, they looked ugly but cleaned up nicely. The pads are Vesrah HH all round, but they did not have the bite of the EBC HH pads that I have used; it will be interesting to see if the brake service has changed this.

    Moral of the story; use copper slip and a torque wrench, and don't throw out old parts!
     
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  8. Grum

    Grum New Member

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    Good story and advice Terry, glad you have it sorted - more than one way to skin a cat! Big fan of EBC HH pads as well.
    Regards.
     
  9. Terry Smith

    Terry Smith Member

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    Just for S&G I thought I'd take my cut-off clevis with its seized-in bolt and put it in a vice and try vicegrips on the cut bolt and see if I could loosen it. The little bugger was only hand tight now and there's no visible corrosion on the theads. I am completely mystified. Pretty sure there's witchcraft involved...
     
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  10. Captain 80s

    Captain 80s Member

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    The bike was telling you it wants to be De-Linked.
     
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  11. Terry Smith

    Terry Smith Member

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    Genius! Thanks Mike. I just so happen to have a complete front-end with 4-piston brakes just gathering dust...
     
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  12. Terry Smith

    Terry Smith Member

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    I've been having more fun getting to know my new toy. It came with Racetech stickers but the PO had no idea whether any work had been done on the forks; I was happy to open these up, found some clean oil and then some 0.95 kg/mm springs Looking good so far. Preload was nicely set to 35mm sag too. Digging down further I found some Gold Valves in compression and a modified shim stack on the stock rebound valves. Also found some sketchy assembly, the damper base circlip was mashed on one leg, and the shim stacks were uneven on both sides. I had found the forks a little jolting so I reset the shim stacks to c32 and rH17, and refilled the forks to 120mm with 5W oil.

    I also found some weeping from the SMC, and todays test ride comfirmed that the SMC neeeds a little love. The test ride itself was terrific, the shim changes have smoothed the ride out nicely, and the brakes are working much better after a clean up. Now for a little SMC love.
    IMG_2864.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2022
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  13. Jim McCulloch

    Jim McCulloch New Member

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    Looking good, I had one in the same color. Had too many bikes and it had to go. I miss it.
     
  14. Terry Smith

    Terry Smith Member

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    I was in the same boat; I had a 1990 ST1100 and the VFR and a VTR1000F; I replaced the first two with the ST1300 reasoning that it would combine the touring ability of the ST and the handling of the VFR, which it mostly did. My 1300 had modified suspension and was a great handler but ultimately I was finding it a bit unwieldly and a bit too appliance-like. I really missed the qualities of the 800 and have wanted to buy another. Like a lot of folks faced with COVID and an abundance of home time, I figured it was time to get what I wanted! None of us are getting any younger and nor are Honda's finest products from the 80s and 90s.
     
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  15. Terry Smith

    Terry Smith Member

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    I've been having a blast on Bumblebee, and have covered at least 1000km since I bought the bike a few weeks ago. I sorted out the SMC weep (just a bit of crud caught in a seal and a few years of little use) with a disassembly and a somewhat arduous bleeding process, but the brakes are just as I want now with good feel and progression and that surprising linked brake stability. The front suspension remains a work in progress, and I have ordered a set of rebound Gold Valves to finish the job, and these will be on the slow boat from the US. I have a set of VTR1000F forks with adjustable rebound needles, so I will fit those parts to the VFR fork when the GVs arrive. I actually have all the parts (barring front brake lines and rear m/c) to do a proper de-link and fit CBR600F4 callipers, but I think I'll keep the brakes stck as they work really well.

    Yesterday I covered 350km more-or-less non-stop, and my ageing wrists were protesting when I got home, although knees and bum felt remarkably fresh; I just so happened to have some locally-made Heli-bar equivalents, so once I wrestled the heated grip off the left bar, I fitted those up. I took these off my last 5th gen as they did not work well with the stock seat; the forward sloped seat pushed me forward in the absence of the lower stock bars. I'm expecting the flatter Sargent seat will work much better with the higher bars.

    The VFR is a piece of work to ride, so smooth to ride, and handles beautifully. Why did I wait so long to get another? Do I really need an MT-10SP as well??? IMG_2880.JPG
     
  16. Terry Smith

    Terry Smith Member

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    I started down the road of customisation today. I presume I turn into a version of West Coast Choppers if this continues, can't wait!

    I needed to swap out the steering head bearings and took the time to refresh the paint on the parts. As I have a spare set of triple clamps, some recently acquired touch up paint, and a rainy weekend....

    IMG_2923.JPG
    (Hint...it's the black triple clamp)
     
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  17. Jim McCulloch

    Jim McCulloch New Member

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    Making me miss my 5th gen...great look you have going there!
     
  18. mello dude

    mello dude Member

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    The fake carbon fiber dash looks great :Rockon:
     
  19. Terry Smith

    Terry Smith Member

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    Not my handy work! Just a stick on bit I think. But thanks (I think).

    Nice sunny evening for a ride. The new steering head bearings (tapered rollers) were a good idea. I do love the way the 5G VFRs roll, very calm and steady. IMG_2924.JPG
     
  20. mello dude

    mello dude Member

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    It's 12 degrees F as I here as I write...omg, do I have the winter stir crazys! I wanna ride!
     
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