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Hulked Up

The Tale of My 100,000 Mile VFR800

53 posts in this topic

My 2002 VFR 800 ABS just turned over 100,000 miles today. It's been a long-time goal of mine to ride a motorcycle 100,000 miles. When I first started riding 20 years ago I had a cheap bike and was only able to put a few thousand miles a year on it. The idea of having a high mileage bike seemed out of reach. I was inspired by an article in Motorcyclist profiling several riders who'd managed over 100,000 miles on their bikes, such as a Gold Wing, Norton Commando and a Nighthawk S.

I had been lusting after a VFR, but my finances in those lean years wouldn't allow for it.

VFRsFirstDay5103.jpg

Finally in 2003 I bought a leftover 2002 for $9,648 ($10,999 list).

The miles racked up slowly at first but after a couple of years I was putting 15-19,000 miles a year on it. The last few years I've only been averaging 5,000 miles a year as I have a second bike and a 3 year old son.

The bike has been remarkably trouble free in these 9 years.

Here are some stats for you maintenance geeks:

Problems

- Fried the rectifier/regulator at about 32,000 miles; needed to be towed

- Battery harness fried at 40,000 miles. Replaced at no cost before a recall. Rode it home to Mass. from NY

- Had an O2 sensor go at 76,000 miles

- Charging problems at 99,000 miles. Replaced battery, regulator/rectifier and stator

Costs

I saved all my receipts (except oil and filters) and put everything into a spreadsheet. I included dealer service, parts (mostly tires & chain/sprockets) and mods/farkles I've done over the years. I've spent a surprising $8,891.49 on parts and maintenance. Averages out to just under $1,000 per year of ownership.

For the first year I brought the bike into the dealer for the scheduled service, every 4,000 miles. Costs were between $250-500 each time. I felt like this was a waste of money so I stopped using the dealer, got a service manual and did most of the maintenance myself, unless I had an issue I couldn't fix. The bike has been running fine otherwise.

Tires

- been through about 7 sets. Have used Pilot Roads or Pilot Road 2's since replacing the stock tires in 2004.

- I get anywhere from 10,700 to 19,488 miles per set. My average is about 14,000 miles a set, with the Pilot Road 2's lasting substantially longer. Have not tried Pilot Road 3's yet.

Chain & Sprockets

- the stock set lasted almost 25,000 miles. I've bought 4 sets of chains and sprockets.

- I've averaged between 20,500 and 30,287 per set.

- I've always used DID x-ring chains and steel AFAM sprockets.

Oil

- I've changed the oil 33 times, always using Shell Rotella T 15W-40. I mostly use Bosch automotive filters with some Hi-Pro when I can get them.

- I'm averaging about 3,000 miles per oil change.

- The bike doesn't burn or leak any oil between changes.

Suspension

- the fork oil was changed by the dealer at 40,000 miles. The forks seals were replaced at 60,000 miles. That's it.

- rear shock has never been touched.

-the suspension is as harsh as you could imagine at 100,000 miles. I'm deferring putting any money into it.

Valve Adjustment

- had the dealer do it at 16,000 miles; couldn't tell the difference and haven't had them adjusted since.

Mods

Favorites: Sargent seat, factory hardbags, Helibars, Vista Cruise

Least Favorite: Dual Star heated grip elements, Autocom

Notable Moments:

- the VFR has been to 26 states

- in 2004 I swapped bikes with a friend, who crashed the VFR into a guardrail. It sustained heavy body damage on both sides. All the front fairings were replaced along with some miscellaneous metal pieces. The friend paid for the repairs out of pocket, over $3,500.

062305ontheSS1000.jpg

- in June 2005 I did a Saddlesore 1000 (1000 miles in 24 hours); this is in the Northeast Kingdom, Vermont

MM100061006.jpg

- in June 2006 I competed in the MinuteMan 1000 long distance rally and finished 5th. I didn't use a GPS.

BBG92306.jpg

- in September 2006 I completed a Bun Burner Gold (1,500 miles in 24 hours), riding from Connecticut out to Ohio, down to West Virginia and Virginia and back to Connecticut. This is when it was over. We only had 45 minutes to spare.

onRoute1July52007.jpg

- in July 2007 I did a 4,000 mile trip from Massachusetts to California and back.

The bike has been garaged since new and I take care of problems immediately. It still looks great and the engine runs strong. The area where it is really showing its age is in the suspension, as would be imagined. I'm not sure how much longer I'll keep the bike. I keep saying "one more season" and I just put $750 into the electrical system so I'm inclined to get another year out of it. I'm not sure what to replace it with as I find fault with everything (including the new VFR1200F) when I compare it to this bike.

best100k.jpg

IMG_5391.jpg

Youtube Video of the odometer turning over

3 people like this

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I was wondering what happened to you - glad to hear from ya again!

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A KLR and a kid got in the way and the VFR kept right on going.

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That's awesome, congrats.

And yes, a motorcycle is just a down payment on accessories. I've EASILY spent more than I bought my bike for 12 years ago. Even minus the rebuild from the wreck.

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Man you made my day ... reading about the dependability of the VFR is inspirational. I have yet to put any miles on the '05 I got in Wisconsin in February. Just got decent enuf weather and road conditions to get my KLR on the road,, waiting for some touring weather to explore Vifferness.

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Congrats on a major milestone! Great pics. I really love these high mileage threads. I've wondered if there's one out there with 150 or 200,000 on it.

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Sweet, I would be right there with you if not for my crash in 09, currently at 92k on my 02.

CONGRATS!!!!!!!!!!!!! :tour:

BR

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Dude - you rock! Impressive. --- How the hooeey do you get 10k - 19k on a set of tires? I've never got anywhere near that!

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Nice! Congrats on the 100,000 miles mark! A great achievement!

-Mike

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Congrat's on the 100K......... 75 bucks for a set of frt springs, a few $100 to have the stock rear shock upgraded, and you'll like your suspension.

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Dude - you rock! Impressive. --- How the hooeey do you get 10k - 19k on a set of tires? I've never got anywhere near that!

I guess I'm not riding them hard enough. :smile: I can't say enough about the Pilot Roads. The durability of the PR2 on the rear had me continually checking my records for mileage. It had 19,500 miles on it when I pulled it off.

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Congratulations on hitting the 100k mileage mark, that really is impressive! I guess I shouldn't be surprised at the average of a $1K yearly maintenance.

Doing most of the required maintenance yourself would save over letting the dealer clean out your bank account...

Excellent Work!!!

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DO NOT PUBLISH THIS TYPE OF INFORMATION!!! If my wife sees this, she will never let me get another motorcycle. Congratulations but, hey come on, keep it down a little. :fing02:

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That's a great story. A testimony to the bike and your own perseverance. Good job!

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100,000 miles WOW! Nice job.

Jack

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Great read! I can see no reason why this bike wouldn't do at least another 50K miles with minimal maintenance and upkeep.

I also feel like there is nothing out there I'd rather own and ride, on public roads anyway. If anything happened to my 03, I would promptly replace it with another 6th gen!

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Congratulations :fing02: I am hoping to reach that soon my "94 is at 85k now just more :tour: and I hopefully will get there this year!

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To Mr. Cogswell, UK Bike mag covered a London bike bloke who has put .5 million miles on two different vfrs.

Congrats on hitting 100k miles,sir.

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Congrats on the milestone. As far as a new bike, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. :smile:

Congrats on a major milestone! Great pics. I really love these high mileage threads. I've wondered if there's one out there with 150 or 200,000 on it.

A local SF guy had 165K on his '98 as of a year ago and still going.

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Thanks for the update and the pics and congrats. I can't quite tell from your pics who has aged better, you or the VFR, but you both look like you have many miles left in you.

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I guess I shouldn't be surprised at the average of a $1K yearly maintenance.

That $9,000 figure actually includes mods and farkles too. Stuff like the seat, hard bags and racks, etc. Not gear though.

I can't quite tell from your pics who has aged better, you or the VFR, but you both look like you have many miles left in you.

Thanks! I turn 46 in a couple of weeks.

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Wow!!!! Awesome write up. You have bonded with that VFR. I would do the suspension and call it a day. Run the wheels off it!!!! Thanks for sharing.

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You have set your goals way too low. Get your ass back on that Viffer and log us another 100k miles immediately!! Great post!!

Rollin

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Way to go....I'm halfway there on my 07, and I know what you mean about not having a good replacement in mind. The only thing holding me back from the 1200 is the size of fuel tank, but there is nothing else out there I can see myself on.

I can't believe your tire mileage, 14,000miles on average on the PR2s , I figured I was doing good at 8000-10000 on my BT21s, but after 7 sets I can't argue with your test results. Time to give the PRs a try.

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snip

Tires

- been through about 7 sets. Have used Pilot Roads or Pilot Road 2's since replacing the stock tires in 2004.

- I get anywhere from 10,700 to 19,488 miles per set. My average is about 14,000 miles a set, with the Pilot Road 2's lasting substantially longer. Have not tried Pilot Road 3's yet.

snip

I did 90,000 miles on a 5th gen over 12 years and went through about 22 sets of sport touring dual compound. 11 of those sets were PRs and three sets were PR2. PR2 gave me up to 6000 miles a set

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