Suspension rework advice (86 VFR700)

Discussion in '1st & 2nd Generation 1983-1989' started by paradox11235, Feb 15, 2013.

  1. paradox11235

    paradox11235 New Member

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    So for a while I was set on buying a newer, better handling bike but I've been really loving the VFR lately and I decided I should wait until I'm better at riding till I drop a bunch of money. I'll still probably pick up a newer commuter at some point, but in the meantime I'm thinking I want to do some suspension work on the VFR.

    Initially I was thinking I'd just rebuild the forks with new springs and whatnot to start with, but then I thought I should do cartridge emulators, but then I decided I should do the 600F2 wheels, so then I thought I should just do the whole F2 front end. From what I've gathered it seems like the CBR600F2 front end is a good upgrade, probably because of stiffness/fork diameter? Seems like even with the F2 forks the Racetech gold valves might be a good idea.

    So I guess my tentative plan is 600 f2 forks with new springs, seals, and maybe the RT valves, F2 wheels with new tires, and hopefully a nice rear shock from Jamie.
    I figure that'll give me the handling to improve my riding skills and enjoy the bike a bit more...

    Any thoughts, BTDTs, or advice? I'd like to hear from someone with the F2 front end and upgraded rear shock about how it handles...

    Thanks
     
  2. coffee_brake

    coffee_brake New Member

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    I can only agree with you.
    I went from a stock VFR700 just like yours, and loved the engine but not the dated suspension, to a 750 with the F2 wheels front and rear and one of Daugherty's shocks. It makes the rear end set just a little bit higher and feels even better than stock IMO. This with stainless lines all around makes for one happy transition from stock.
    I didn't do these mods, I picked up the 750 with them already done. But I honestly feel the emulators and a modern rear shock will do what you want.

    Having owned and ridden a whole lot of other machines, there's really something special about your bike, the way it goes, the way it moves, that is just about nonexistent in modern bikes.
     
  3. crustyrider

    crustyrider New Member

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    the 86 is like riding a brick.....
     
  4. crustyrider

    crustyrider New Member

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    check with TOE about the suspension upgrades that he did to his 86......
     
  5. paradox11235

    paradox11235 New Member

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    Yeah, I'll ask him for sure. I guess it comes down to if I find a cheap F2 front end or not... Thanks for the input guys
     
  6. moho

    moho New Member

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    I have the set up that you mention in your post. '87 700F with F2 front end and F2 rear wheel. The 94 F2 (last year for the F2) has cartridge forks, so no need for the emulators. Only thing I dont like about the 'new' front end is that the handlebars cant go to full lock without the brake or clutch lever making contact with the dash. PM me if you want any additional info
     
  7. ElectricRider

    ElectricRider New Member

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    Heya Paradox, I too am looking to do the f2 or even f3 upgrade to the front end as well. I checked with Racetech and they want 500+$$$ to do their emulator,springs upgrade with labor....not counting shipping to them either. So, I said the heck with that, for that kind of money I want the better forks and hopefully brakes.

    I'd like to hear from some people that have used other bikes other then the f2 or f3 front end conversion. Like has anybody tried using an f4 or a 994. I heard something about an fz6 swap. And know of another guy that has used a GSXR but not sure which bike or CC type. From what I've been told the 94 f2 or f3 is the easiest way to go. I've been on the look out for a front end for a few weeks and they are not as easy to come by as you might think. So, be prepared to do lots of searching, or spend lots of coin. Either way, I've heard great things about the suspension upgrades and can't wait to go that route myself. Just wish I had a 750 motor to throw in my bike but I'll live with my 700. And when that one blows I'll put my back up 700 in it that I have sitting on my garage floor. Got to love these old bikes and how cheep you can pick up parts for them.......not to mention their fuel efficiency and their looks. Nice power too.....and you can ride them longer then 30 minutes without needing to hit the chiropracor's office the next day :chaingun:

    Anyhow, I'd love to get a sticky going for front end conversion and list of mods/aftermarket parts used to upgrade our bikes....
     
  8. fatso1277

    fatso1277 New Member

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    you might be able to find cbf2 forks at a site like cbrforum.com, they are always parting out thier cbrs. there was a write on the other vfr site where a yahama front end was used. the racetech mod shouldnt be that hard to do on your own.. there is write up over at hondavfr.org n how to do the emulators in the 91-93 forks. grab some sonic springs and emulators and rebuild them yourself.
     
  9. JamieDaugherty

    JamieDaugherty New Member

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    I do a lot of suspension upgrades for the 2nd Gens. Something to watch out for with complete front end swaps is the cost. Many people underestimate what the total will be. Once you factor in the custom machining to the lower triple clamp and new springs and a revalve you will likely be in the $600-800 range (if not more). Food for thought!
     
  10. Johnny Canuck

    Johnny Canuck New Member

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    That's why I kept the stock front end gear with upgrades. RT emulators and Sonics being installed today along with a brace: 350 bux all in. Installed a Jamie special in the back on Friday (went in like a dream) so she'll be right as rain once the season starts.
     
  11. squirrelman

    squirrelman Member

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    Seems that suspension difficiences are mostly obvious at supra-legal or prudent speeds, so your quicker bike can get you in trouble faster too, if you need to maintain your license to ride, in most countries trying to raise revenue via speeding and court fines and lawyers and penalties. In some cases, a poor suspension can be like a dashboard warning light saying you're going too fast. "Instead of whupping an old horse to make it run, just buy a faster, newer horse," me ould grammpy usta always say, dribbling spittle and beer.

    Maintaing a VFR of any year in it's classic, stock-appearing trim has it's own value. I've taken the CLASSIC pledge: my '86 VFR will retain it's stock OEM (except for optional exhaust) apperance. There are other, faster, newer bikes to aquire from CL that came with better suspensions and alot less weight :behindsofa:

    Anyone wanting to $pend to tran$form an '86 VFR F2 to wider wheels or upgraded suspension should be the ideal rider to just step up to the next gen VFR, huh ?

    031_31 vfr97.JPG

    After about 12 years riding an '86 700, my first ride on a '97 750 OPENED MY EYES to real progress !!!!! Paying the modest fee to purchase in the generation 4 range if you find a good one is usually a bargain.

    Just makes better sense to save up for or trade for to the original bike with the suspension you want and ride that and save for a lighter, more nimble bike, something from just later than the mid-90's to mid-00's. Gettem on your CL. How about upgrading to a newer-gen, more modern design, VFR and just throwing some raceteck, emutators, Fox or fancier and leave it at that. I don't know how any married rider can get away spending the family budget on fancy, gold-plated Ohlins or Pensky jewlery for his bike instead of her !!!!!. Don't wives see your bills. or are you compelled to spend equally on her or on the kids when they find out ??
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2013
  12. moho

    moho New Member

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    Or if you're dead set on an 2nd gen, you can let someone else do the all the F2'upgrades' and get the bike for a song (along with a parts bike, extra 750 engine, and several crates of spare parts). That's what I did:biggrin:
     
  13. Dukiedook

    Dukiedook New Member

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    Those are rare as hen's teeth to find moho.
    I prefer riding my older bikes with just stiffer springs over stock and upgraded rear shocks and fork braces- upgrades to steering bearings will also happen when needed. Spending a whole wad of cash to 'modernize' an old bike with emulators and newer front ends when your stock bike are perfectly fine is kinda counter to owning a vintage bike to me. I own and ride bikes from the 70's and 80's to have the feel of a bike from that era.
    But, to each his own- spend wisely though.
     
  14. Johnny Canuck

    Johnny Canuck New Member

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    150 bucks for emulators completes the suspension solution you just described. I then enjoy it for what it is. It remains stock in appearance which is fine by me because IMO the '86 beats every other generation when it comes to looks (no disrespect). The technologies of the new generations better address weight (mass), tire options, braking, aero and provide even better suspension but they don't look like an '86. Bike_1.JPG
     
  15. ElectricRider

    ElectricRider New Member

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    It all depends on how you want your bike set up.....Personaly I've never been a big fan of gen 4 or 5 body work. I know the 99' is the best of the best from what I hear and as much as I would and willl one day own one of those, I like playing with my 86 700 very much. The 2nd gen and I have lots of history together. She's an old girl, and nothing wrong with giving an old girl a face lift.....a new front end, and a new rear end....yup a little plastic surgery and your good to go....lol
     
  16. paradox11235

    paradox11235 New Member

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    It's not so much a problem with the suspension in stock form, it's more that the suspension doesn't seem to work right. I can't really comfortably take corners at any sort of speed, the bike doesn't like to lean. Front end is starting to shake a bit too.

    Being a college student dropping a few grand on a bike is a much less viable option than just spending several hundred on making mine more rideable.
     
  17. ElectricRider

    ElectricRider New Member

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    heya Paradox, I got your f3 front end for you and a line to a guy for 40 bucks on calipers as well as 75 bucks for an f3 front wheel with rotors and tire on ebay now for 75 bucks plus shipping.....I also have a spare f2 rear wheel, so I have your entire swap outlined for you now if you want to pull the trigger.... follow this link to get this f3 wheel
    http://vfrworld.com/forums/1st-2nd-...pension-rework-advice-86-vfr700-new-post.html for the front, the rear wheel I have is also black so you are matching, if you want the brake calipers and master reseroir/brank lever I can send that along with th the f3 forks/triples axle...and rear f2 wheel, I'll just charge you what I paid for it all this last week to get it off ebay, it's all in very good shape.. 40 bucks for brakes, 135 bucks for f3 forks/triple/wheel axle, and 75 bucks for rear wheel with rotor....all you would be missing is a f2/f3 front fender they are interchangable and sell for new for 60 bucks on ebay/shipped.

    pm me if interested, we can work something out via paypal and I'll get you what you need.
     
  18. ElectricRider

    ElectricRider New Member

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    ON a side note, I scored a 1994 f2 parts bike in East LA today, time to let the conversion games begin, I be riding me some right tasty nice suspension here soon....me hopes:chaingun::potstir::crazy:
     
  19. Dukiedook

    Dukiedook New Member

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    Before you go crazy with money see what stiffer springs and a fork brace will do for your current ride, it did amazing things to stiffen up and prevent wobbles on both my VFRs.
    If you don't like what it does and want to go whole hog on upgrades you can always sells those items for not much less that what you put in.
     
  20. fatso1277

    fatso1277 New Member

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    congrats....do us all a favor and take some pics of the transformation
     
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