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Parts Bike to Rider - '86 VFR700 (Cali v. 49-state Q)


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New here, and somewhat new to the VFR - but not to Hondas. Apologies if I am inadvertently stepping into a controversial topic. I have done some searching on this and other fora to source some answers.

 

Short Story Long.

I have what had been my son's "parts" '86 VFR700 until a couple months ago, when I decided it was complete enough to become a rider of some sort. (OK. The truth is that I got to ride his VFR for about a month in Spring and got hooked, which changed my thinking about the future for the bike - It'll a really fun bike, not metal/plastic garage art.) Key missing bits: Carb, Airbox, plus some plastics and the windscreen. I sourced a VFR700 rack out of Texas a month ago and an airbox from the UK. Happy enough, clean enough, complete enough. I rebuilt the rack. I found some needed, serviceable plastics (and more) from a VFR750 not-too-far from me and struck a deal.

 

Then I pulled the parts VFR out and started going through it in a more serious way. (Lights work, motor turns with key, etc.) Pulled calipers, masters, and clutch slave. Rebuilt those - with exception of one PITA caliper so far. The recovery is moving right along! I'm stoked.

 

Important info: I live in Maine (US) and the bike in question was purchased in New Hampshire - with, wait for it, 1040 miles on the odometer, original tires, and a whole lot of dust and sad-looking metal.

 

Then... I started looking at the hoses/lines around the motor. Uh oh! I have a Cali-spec '86, with evap canister and a dozen hoses going all over. I've been around/in my son's VFR700 recovery project with him, but I had not really paid much attention to the CALI stuff. I think the tank has an extra vent port as well. (None of it was hooked to a carb or the tank when I bought the bike sans rack.) What is a Cali-spec bike with 1000 miles doing in New Hampshire? The story itself is one I'd like to have. Anyway,

 

The Question - at least the first one.

 

I mostly follow the routing diagram for the Cali emissions. But without Cali carbs or airbox, I think I'm seeing that I may be lacking some key vacuum/overflow hook ups for hoses. I think I see engine case vents (hard line to soft line) coming off the front of the motor, which the diagram says plug into the front of the airbox (I think). My airbox has only the one crankcase breather hose on the back. And that's just part of the challenge.

 

Should I just go with a delete or semi-delete in those places where I can't hook in the Cali PCV, ACV, whatever Vs? I've been reading about the V4s and this challenge. Lots of controversy, but most seem to be trying to delete Cali when their parts are made for it. I'm happy to do a full delete, partial delete, or no delete. (My principle here is to achieve a good-running VFR, not to defeat emissions controls or eke out 2HP at the rear wheel.)

 

Any advise will be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

 

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  • Member Contributer

I would eliminate all the CA emissions BS. It is completely unnecessary, needless complexity, and weight.

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I get the emerging consensus on delete, which is made easier without the Cali carbs or airbox. Thanks. 

 

I think I see two questions/issues I'll need to address:

  1. Fuel tank vent(?) at the front of the tank that connects to a hose running to the canister. Keep a vent hose, but route back behind the engine and under right peg with other hoses. OK. Easy enough, I think. (My guess is that the vent hole/hose for Cali is in lieu of a venting cap. Venting is needed somewhere to avoid tank vacuum and fuel starvation.)
  2. Hard lines from engine under the radiator that appear designed to route crankcase gasses into the airbox. Just plug at the transition to soft lines? Maybe pull the hard lines and plug at the case?

Once I get the bike running (maybe in a week?), I can play with 2 a bit. (1 will need to await my tank derusting process.)

 

If all is well once it's running, I'll get busy pulling Cali bits off.

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Correct on both counts.

 

Need to verify cap type.  If it does not have the plastic vent insert on the underside, the tank needs to stay vented.  I have also read that you can drill a small hole in that area for venting and it does not introduce issues with fuel coming up thru.

 

CA cap:

 

PXL_20240630_1658056501.thumb.jpg.361f1f515c3f591fc99d675099dc7726.jpg

 

Use the hard line fitting to make block off plates.  Much cleaner than having plugged hard lines still on the bike.

 

PXL_20240630_170439131.thumb.jpg.ed27951ad364214186792ae6e54971ca.jpg

 

 

 

 

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It looks like I'll be working to pull the Cali bits. I mounted the carb rack, changed the oil and filter, hit the start button, and the bike came to life with few complaints.

There are issues to address, of course. But the first running after decades of rest is always a good sign.

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There can't be that many folks still working on the Cali VFR700s, but I'm sharing my experience in the event that others find it helpful. Captain '80s info was spot on.

 

I pulled the Cali hard line off the bike, cut the hard line where it meets the mounting flange, tapped for what I think was an 8 or 10mm 1.25, bought a couple stainless bolts at Ace, cut them down to size to prevent protrusion or bottoming out, and put it all together. I kept the o-rings in the system - probably not needed, really. I also used old brake Banjo crush washers to help seal the whole thing - again, not needed, I'd guess. Once I decided to put a wrench on the bits, I think it took about 20 minutes. Not the prettiest, but given the location (and the bike's look overall) it's just fine.

 

PXL_20240706_172123430.thumb.jpg.c9befb209837891591845c4b49f6114d.jpg

PXL_20240706_172112258.thumb.jpg.9e77364a210719dfebd6cc91c118ddc6.jpg

PXL_20240708_225034870.thumb.jpg.dc28354fa46d989781688927ad51898b.jpg

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  • Member Contributer

Bam!   Some Honda bolts or allen heads look the part better, but like you said, for this application...   done. 

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Progress stalled on the VFR over the last week, as my son and I had a blown head gasket to deal with on his '83 naked GoldWing. With the Wing nearly back on the road, I hope to get wrenches on the VFR again soon. I'd like to get the sport bike on the road before summer ends - and the clock is ticking. 

  • I need to remount calipers & bleed the brakes.
  • New chain is in order, as the one on it is '86 stock
  • New tires are called for, as the bike is still rocking what I believe to be the OEM Dunlops from '86 (Man, there aren't many options left in these vintage sizes.)
  • Fuel tank is nearly set, but that's still in process.
  • The motor is slow to come to idle off throttle but isn't hanging up too badly. Getting air/fuel and sync going will hopefully help. Could be an air leak though. For now, I've been stoked that the bike starts right up, runs stably, and doesn't bog rolling on throttle.
  • '86 plastics have issues. (Whose don't?) I need to do some repair here/there with ABS cement, mostly involving mounting holes and a couple cracks/weak spots

She'll almost never even come in third in any beauty contest with more than 2 other bikes, but she'll still be a little red, white, and blue beast.

 

I want to thank folks for their insights here. 
 

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