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DDO-VFR

Subframe failure on 6th gen

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Here is a heads-up to all of you guys and gals to keep an eye on your subframe integrity!!!

In brief:

The subframe on my 6th gen broke in three places, which led to a broken muffler pipe. When I say 'broke' I mean sheared off, as in no longer connected to the other side... :unsure:

These pics show where the breaks happened.

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A little background:

I ride about 25,000km/year, and about 15,000km will be with the luggage, in various states of load. Now when I say loaded I mean about 5-15kg in each pannier + top box, + a camping bag (tent, sleeping bag, mattress, etc) lashed to the seat. So for all of you mathematicians that would be 30-60 kg or 65-130 lbs. additional load on the subframe. Granted the top box weight is extended beyond the seat, but the rest is loading the subframe pretty much as if a passenger is sitting on the rear.

The event:

Of course the frame must have been broken earlier and my bad that I didn't inspect things more closely :fing02: , but I found all this out when my exhaust note changed from sultry stealth mode to straight pipe roar in 10 minutes. Since the muffler system is mounted between the subframe and the catalytic (which is referred to the main frame) the repeated flexing cause the pipe to shear in two (I know, shear is not the right technical, but I don't give a... :woohoo: )

The repair:

Unlike some (most?) of you guys, I don't have a workshop, or many tools, so I have to pay to have the bike repaired. I figured I would have to wait forever for the replacement subframe, (I didn't feel comfortable with the idea of welding fatigued metal), but lo and behold it was stocked in Vancouver and arrived overnight. I guess it wasn't the first subframe replaced :idea3: . A zillion dollars later (I'm too ashamed to write the number) she is back on the road.

I take slight comfort in that fact that this failure was the FIRST thing that ever broke in 4 years and 88,000km. Of course I maintain things properly, (oil, chain), change consumables (brake pads, chain, tires, coolant, brake fluid) and did one valve inspection (50,000km), but that's it.

So I'm back on the road after 3 days at the dealer, with fresh PR2s and nowhere to go..lol. Time to start planning the next 'Great Ride' smile.gif

PS. I hope all that extra weight on the 7th gen went into the subframe. I looked at the pannier attachment (particularly the rear end on fender) and I didn't get a warm fuzzy feeling, although the front side seems to sit on the passenger foot peg pretty good.

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I've never heard of that happening and I have a 6th gen., too.

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That is just unfrigginbelievable! How could this happen? Did you check for hacksaw tracks? Maybe a vengeful former girlfriend was trying to take you out! Could have dropped down further and locked up your wheel at speed. Count yourself lucky, though quite a bit lighter in the wallet! ohmy.gif

Did you happen to take any pictures?

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sorry to hear of your troubles, but as said above, that could have been MUCH worse.. :tour:

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That is just unfrigginbelievable! How could this happen? Did you check for hacksaw tracks? Maybe a vengeful former girlfriend was trying to take you out! Could have dropped down further and locked up your wheel at speed. Count yourself lucky, though quite a bit lighter in the wallet! ohmy.gif

Did you happen to take any pictures?

No pictures, but I did see the subframe in 4 parts. The mechanic kept them 'in case' I was thinking of having it welded back together...yeah right...

Closer inspection reveals that the front of the seat (and driver weight) applies pressure points AHEAD of the failed sections, so in theory I could have gone on much longer, if not for the exhaust roar.

The lesson learned is to do a complete and thorough visual inspection every couple of weeks.

Brian

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IIRC the earlier 6thgens had a recall for the subframe..

Even 06 and later models such as the OP's?

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IIRC the earlier 6thgens had a recall for the subframe..

Even 06 and later models such as the OP's?

I think it was 02 and 03 only but may be wrong..

Worth looking into though..

May only be for the US also..

The earlier 6thgens in UK had a Oilcooler recall that wasnt issued in the USA also..

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Can I have the broken one?

I think BR has lots of broken parts available! laughing6-hehe.gif

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Can I have the broken one?

:tour: :pissed: Believe or not I thought of you when I was staring at the broken frame at the dealership! If you REALLY want it, I will call the dealer first thing Monday morn and see whether it's been sent off in the garbage yet. It was Friday at 7:00 PM when I saw it last, so there is a chance it will still be around Monday morning. Let me know...

Brian

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Make the call! I can use it for something, even if that something turns out to be a lawn ornament... :tour:

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Make the call! I can use it for something, even if that something turns out to be a lawn ornament... :tour:

Fair enough, I'll let you know Monday

Brian

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idunno, I kinda think Honda needs to hear about this. An 06 is still quite new and there's no reason for this to happen, ever. Could end up in a recall if it's serious enough.

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idunno, I kinda think Honda needs to hear about this. An 06 is still quite new and there's no reason for this to happen, ever. Could end up in a recall if it's serious enough.

Honda also states a 20lb max capacity for each of the 3 factory bags. I don't think he'll get anywhere.

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idunno, I kinda think Honda needs to hear about this. An 06 is still quite new and there's no reason for this to happen, ever. Could end up in a recall if it's serious enough.

Honda also states a 20lb max capacity for each of the 3 factory bags. I don't think he'll get anywhere.

ya, I figured just a cya thing. Then maybe when our frames break mid corner we'll be able to get free bikes. :unsure:

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idunno, I kinda think Honda needs to hear about this. An 06 is still quite new and there's no reason for this to happen, ever. Could end up in a recall if it's serious enough.

:unsure:

Honda also states a 20lb max capacity for each of the 3 factory bags. I don't think he'll get anywhere.

True, but the luggage rack is fine and the manual doesn't mention a maximum weight of your pillion.

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is there any way that the deer incident caused this?

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idunno, I kinda think Honda needs to hear about this. An 06 is still quite new and there's no reason for this to happen, ever. Could end up in a recall if it's serious enough.

:unsure:

Honda also states a 20lb max capacity for each of the 3 factory bags. I don't think he'll get anywhere.

True, but the luggage rack is fine and the manual doesn't mention a maximum weight of your pillion.

You mixed those quotes up my friend.

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Honda also states a 20lb max capacity for each of the 3 factory bags. I don't think he'll get anywhere.

True, but the luggage rack is fine and the manual doesn't mention a maximum weight of your pillion.

But I do believe it mentions a maximum combined weight.

Also, because the side cases also mount to the rear fender, a large portion of their weight is connected to basically the rearmost point of the rear subframe. And not with the top case extending out behind the rear seat, that extra leverage multiplies the forces from the overloaded case.

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I have an original - very early example - 2002 VTEC. There was indeed a subframe recall on these bikes but my VIN was not on the list even though the bike is a very early production run unit.

It's really hard to say what caused your '06 to break. Did you buy it new, maybe the bike has been repaired in the past with an early '02 subframe?

I ride about 25,000km/year, and about 15,000km will be with the luggage, in various states of load. Now when I say loaded I mean about 5-15kg in each pannier + top box, + a camping bag (tent, sleeping bag, mattress, etc) lashed to the seat. So for all of you mathematicians that would be 30-60 kg or 65-130 lbs. additional load on the subframe. Granted the top box weight is extended beyond the seat, but the rest is loading the subframe pretty much as if a passenger is sitting on the rear.

Mate, I've often had me, the wife, two *very* full panniers, and a *very* full Ventura back on the back, and we've gone riding through high speed bumpy twisties. There is no damage to my subframe, so I don't think the problem will be common.

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I have an original - very early example - 2002 VTEC. There was indeed a subframe recall on these bikes but my VIN was not on the list even though the bike is a very early production run unit.

It's really hard to say what caused your '06 to break. Did you buy it new, maybe the bike has been repaired in the past with an early '02 subframe?

I ride about 25,000km/year, and about 15,000km will be with the luggage, in various states of load. Now when I say loaded I mean about 5-15kg in each pannier + top box, + a camping bag (tent, sleeping bag, mattress, etc) lashed to the seat. So for all of you mathematicians that would be 30-60 kg or 65-130 lbs. additional load on the subframe. Granted the top box weight is extended beyond the seat, but the rest is loading the subframe pretty much as if a passenger is sitting on the rear.

Mate, I've often had me, the wife, two *very* full panniers, and a *very* full Ventura back on the back, and we've gone riding through high speed bumpy twisties. There is no damage to my subframe, so I don't think the problem will be common.

Like you Kaldek, there was 'no damage to my subframe'...until it broke :pissed: All I can say is be a bit cautious when you pile the stuff into your cases, especially the top case. I think the leverage effect is quite significant being way out there and all. EDIT: BTW, in case it didn't come out clearly, I've done about 60,000km with loaded bags, so I think it was just an accumulation of stresses.

Timmy, I don't think the deer hit affected it.

It turns out that posting in the "suspension" topic section was appropriate. I went for a 160km ride today, first one since replacing the subframe and the bike felt 'a whole lot better', especially on the mid turn bumps, which as anyone who has ridden in Quebec knows there a lot of them. :beer:

I hope my woes are a singular event...but those of you who use your luggage a lot, just keep an eye open.

Now back to the 'Great Ride 2010' planning...hmm May 20-23 eh? :unsure:

Brian

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You probably dont wanna see this but these sell at $120 on ebay

http://cgi.ebay.com/...=item58860bdda7

or $149 gets you a newer one

http://cgi.ebay.com/...=item439cdc14f0

And theres about 5 more on there. I will check mine though. Thats whats nice about a Honda, plenty of cheap parts.

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My 02 didn't have the recall done. I had the dealer run the vin when I bought it and the subframe and subharness recalls showed up as not being done. I did the subharness because it was free but the time had run out for the free parts on the subframe recall. I asked the dealer if I needed it and they said it wasn't a structural issue so I didn't have to do it. I thought they said it had something to do with the latch, not the frame itself.. By looking at it, it's hard to believe it would just snap without a lot of weight or an accident. I don't haul passengers so I'm not really worried about it.

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