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apexandy

My 95 Vfr-Sf Project: The Process

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Thanks for all the encouragement guys! One thing I'm also very pleased about it how comfortable it is... I did a 900km trip last weekend (2 days) and it wasn't tiring at all to ride. Im 6'3 so the higher seat height (about 32.75") leaves lots of legroom and the handlebars are still low enough to have a balanced riding position on the highway at 110-120km/h. The seat is also quite good... though maybe a little soft actually. And you all know how smooth the v4 motor is... even without bar end weights. The ducati streetfighter mirrors are actually quite functional and the koso gauge gives me two trip meters, an ambient temp gauge, a volt meter, a fuel gauge, a bunch of fancy performance testing options (that I'll prob never use) and is very readable (the tach not as much... though there are shift lights). My charging system with a 8 cell ballistic LiFe battery, a mosfet regulator (from a kawasaki zx10r), and new eastern beaver connections direct to battery (with a metripack connector to the stator wires) is giving me about 14.2v at idle and 14.5v around 5000rpm.

Also forgot to mention, measured with standard bathroom scales it weighs 450lbs full of fluids. That translates to 415lbs without gas (dry weight as manufacturers do it might even put it under 400lbs dry). Not sure how much I can trust the bathroom scales but that is a weight savings of 71lbs from stock.

It is a blast to ride! With all the geometry changes I was unsure how it would be to ride. The 929 front end with a flat rc51 upper triple (the 929 upper is a gullwing design) lowers the front over an inch I believe but has a shorter offset, the rear ride height is maxed (haven't flipped the eccentric, and i don't think I will) and I ended up with a 24.5 degree steering rake angle. It handles quick (the lighter weight and the wide handlebar helping here) without being twitchy. Sportier tires would make it perfect I think. The rear seems a little soft and underdamped when the engine heats up and the air temp goes up (it was 35 degrees celcius today) but that's expected from a $20 ebay shock that's apprently made for 120lb riders. More things to tinker with down the road :)

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I was going to make a list of the things I changed but I think most of you know or can tell what the major changes are. A few that are a little less obvious that people might want to know about:

-ZX14 nissin radial master cylinders for front brakes and clutch. The brake master cylinder is working very well with the 929/954 front brakes (I think they are actually 954 calipers). And the radial clutch master cylinder is working well with the stock vfr clutch and slave cylinder. This one was a bit of a gamble but it is working very smoothly.

-520 sprocket kit with +2 on the rear and DID ERV3... though I can't really do a good comparison to stock 530 chain and gearing because the bike is so different.

-Tried the GSXR COP mod... rode good for 900km but starting acting up after that so I switched back to stock coils and found a place for them. I posted more about it on the COP mod thread. Could have been bad coils.

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Here are a few iphone shots of the plate bracket and light. I decided I wanted to spend less time making things in the garage and more time riding so I ordered a CNC bracket off ebay made for an MV agusta and modified it slightly to fit.

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Just over 2000km on the bike since the rebuild and am really enjoying riding it. I feel like I should have more to put into the thread... but the bike is working so well there is little to report. One thing I do want to figure out is how to block some of the heat from making its way under the seat if possible. As soon as the engine temps reach 83*C (181F) the seat starts to get warm.

Riding on the twisty backroads around here I'm having fun practicing smooth downshifting/throttle blipping and hard braking into tight corners. The front brakes are the strongest I've had on a bike which is awesome... but makes it a little harder to prevent the front end from moving up and down a touch during downshifts. Stiffer front springs would probably help, maybe this winter. But this is something I love about riding... there is always room to improve and become a smoother rider :tour:

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There is a pretty direct channel from from under the tank into the battery box area on my subframe... I think if I block this off it will help. I've removed quite a few heat /weather shields so that probably doesn't help.

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The rear side extractors on the 4th Gen were designed to soppsedly pull out the heated air from around the rear cylinder/ upper manifold area that's buried under the rear of the tank. Although Honda did a good job with the rubber and plastoc air barriers and baffles routing the heated air towards the rear extractors, they did not seal sound the extractor openings and the rear frndet pan and subframe, thus some of that heated air gets trapped in the tail section, heating up the seat and other goodies in there.....

.....like the RR......

I put some foam around the right side extractor openings under my tail fairing to seal it up a bit, and according to the temp sensor I have near the RR, it lowered the temps in there. I suspect that there's still some hot air that leaks over the battery (Especially if the big rubber flap on top of the battery is removed or missing) and under the seat and that's what might still be getting the seat hot on this SF naked bike.....

Beck

95 VFR

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Digging the license plate holder.

And yeah, those 330mm rotors are like tossing a piano out of your pocket, right?

Good description! I'm loving them. I have been practicing "emergency stops" to get my brain used to the amount of braking power available. I don't want to grab too much... which would be easy with these brakes.

How are the badges doing?????

Oh they're just fine... still backwards however. I've been avoiding fixing them out of fear of damaging my new paint and possibly cracking the badges :( Riding is more fun anyway!

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Thanks zoomzoom :) You are definitely quite close... I like to do the occasional west side road ride to go and check out the bikes at Bently Motorrad. Maybe it would work to meet up sometime.

Hey Apex

I would love to meet up sometime and have the chance to both see your bike and most of all just the chance to shake your hand. You have completed a project that is both stunning and deserving of awards. I'm not sure even the design guys at Ducati could have come up with a bike that looks as good as yours. Absolutely every part of your design flows into the next. Not sure what exactly you do for a living, but perhaps you have missed your calling.

My 6 year old son Liam was looking at the computer with me as I was reading through your write up and he was practically drooling on the kitchen table. To see him that enthralled about something (anything in general) was amazing to see. He asked after we looked at the build and he asked "Daddy, can we go see that bike??" I told him that there are not a large number of people on the site that are from Canada as opposed to the US so the owner who built the bike is probably too far away to drive. It wasn't until I happened to look at where your avatar that I discovered you were so close. I take my son for the odd ride with me, but alas Armstrong is a bit far for him (he would fall asleep for sure on a ride to Armstrong), so if we do get the chance to meet up I will have to bring him with me.

When it comes to the badge issue on your bike, I have seen a badge like the one you have on your bike and as I recall the badge has a type of 3M adhesive rubberized two sided tape much like the stuff they use to install body side mouldings on cars. The difference being that I think your badge has the tape across the entire back side of the emblem. I do PDR for a living and I have had the odd customer ask me about removing badging from their car. I tried to remove the badge off an older BMW once and it had two sided adhesive that covered the whole bottom surface (I checked with the BMW dealer to make sure there were no positioning pins) and it was hard as heck to get off. I had success finally by (I think someone else mentioned this already) using a hair dryer to heat the emblem the whole time I was trying to remove it as it takes a while to get the adhesive warm and pliable in the middle. The other thing I did so as not wreck the emblem was to use fishing line to saw through the adhesive tape while one of the guys that works with me dribbled 98% Isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) on the fishing line. This helped to release some of the glue and it won't harm the paint, though it will remove any wax. One thing you may find upon removing the emblem is that the adhesive on the emblem may have stained the paint a bit where it is attached, depending on how long it was between when you painted the tank and when the emblem was applied. As long as the paint was well cured before you applied the emblem it should be fine. Once you get the emblem off I have used a product called Goo-Gone to remove any excess tape adhesive, and you can get it at most hardware stores. If you want to get the rubbing alcohol you need to ask for it at the pharmacy counter. Wal Mart carries the stuff and it is about $7 for a 1 litre bottle.

Hope you get the emblem figured out if you haven't already. And again, WOW.

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These stupid badges...

Thanks for the tips zoomzoom, do you think I will have any luck removing the remaining adhesive on the badges and using 3m moulding tape to put them back on? That is if I don't crack the badges during removal. And thanks again for all the kind words about the bike.

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I finally got around to adjusting the sag on the suspension with the help of my dad who is visiting for a few days :) Completely confirmed my suspicions that the spring rates are quite soft. With front and rear preload maxed out I could only get 40mm sag. I will probably look into suspension upgrade options this winter. I'm thinking revalving and re-springing front forks and maybe an aftermarket shock... but we'll see. Also vacuum bled the front brake again to get rid of a bit of mushiness in the lever... firmed it up quite nicely... now the brakes feel even more powerful :) My dad took it for a ride today... it's cool to see and hear it drive away when I'm not on it. Gave me goosebumps. And to top it off he even washed it for me while I got some other things done... what a dad!

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Did a little engine heat blocking under the tank/subframe/battery box area with the rubber heat guards I had from the stock bike. I think I have improved the issue but I'm not sure I can make it any better. Because there is much less in the way of fairings and plastic blocking and redirecting heat behind the engine and above the headers the hot air will get to my seat/legs anyway. Its not uncomfortable really... I guess I've just never had a bike that really does this. On Italian bikes they call things like this "character" :cool:

Other than that... just riding! Oh, and my new tankbag came in: SW Motech Engage. A nice bit of kit! Amazing, sturdy quality, easy to get on and off, and doesn't touch the paint. Not cheap... but my last tank bag lasted 15 years!

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Edited by apexandy

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Made up a little video for fun. I know there isn't a lot of "off bike" footage... I guess I need to hire a cameraman.

Edited by apexandy

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Thanks guys :) I wish I had more cool modification to post in here but have just been enjoying riding it! It honestly works so well. It's the most comfortable bike I've owned, (even better than my 6th gen), has completely smooth air on the highway (I've alway preferred smooth air over turbulent air from a windscreen), is refined and smooth but still agile, responsive and full of character. And I can't help turning to look at it a few times as I walk away from parking it... every time.

This weekend looks like some decent fall weather (been pretty cool and wet for enjoyable riding already up here) so I hope to get some good riding in. This winter I have plans to work on some things so I will definitely keep this thread updated.

Again, I appreciate all the comments and if this build has inspired you then I hope you have fun taking on your own project!

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post-25028-0-12293800-1381686164.jpgpost-25028-0-97494700-1381686193.jpgpost-25028-0-55323300-1381686224.jpg

A few photos of Apex's machine sitting in the driveway at my house a couple weeks back. There has been some photographic trickery employed, but I can not say enhancement, for Apex's bike needs no real enhancement.

PS. Sorry Apex, I just could not help myself. Hope you understand. LOL

Edited by zoomzoom

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Im so angry you posted pictures of my bike on my build!!!!! :wink:

It looked less clean after the rainstorm on the way home however...

My friends idea to throw our bikes in his truck and head down to California this winter is looking better and better all the time :)

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The oil cooler was bypassed. I cut off the stock metal pipes, flared them slightly and looped the rubber hose from the inlet to the outlet (the oil pump needs the cirucuit to be maintained... you can't just block off the ports). A number of people I found online had bypassed the oil cooler with no apparent significant downsides. The stock cooler is quite small and without the fairings the bike gets a lot more cooling air anyway. In 5000km the engine heat hasn't been an issue at all, with temps normally in the 75-85*C range. That being said... it doesn't normally get above 30-35* here in the summer and I don't spend a lot of time in sitting in traffic. Also, I know it's not the best solution to remove the oil cooler as it does more than just try to keep overall engine temps down, and I do have plans to fit either a "filter cooler" from another honda if I can figure out one that fits, or I might find a better fitting cooler to fit in a chin spoiler. But for now, the bike seems to be just fine without it.

Here is a short rundown on parts from other bikes:

-Speed triple seat/solo cowl (modified)

-GSX-R passenger pegs

-ZX14 clutch and front brake radial master cylinders

-complete front end and brakes from CBR929/954

-RC51 upper triple clamp

-CR low bend dirtbike handlebars

-Ducati streetfighter mirrors

-CB1000r master cylinder mirror mount brackets

-CBR929 rear shock

-Yamaha MT-03 headlight

-Tail tidy made for MV agusta F4 (modified)

-Front brake lines for made for CB1000R (not the best fit, but they work)

-Two bros muffler and link pipe from speed triple (cut and welded to a VFR delkevic link pipe)

-ST1100 throttle cables (strangely enough, wrong free length... needed to modify the carb attachment for the cables)

-CBR900 choke cable and lever

-CBR1000 Front fender

-CBR1000 Tank badges (backwards)

-ZX10 Mosfet regulator/rectifier

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Are you running with a fan on the radiator or does opening up the engine do away with need for one? Where did you relocate the coils and fuel pump too? Sorry for all the questions, the more I look at it the more work I see. What part of the build gave you the most grief? Cheers, Brett.

I am running a fan. It only comes on when the temps go above 102... which is very handy sitting at a stoplight on a hot day. I relocated the rear coils to the battery box and the front under the left side rad shroud. The fuel pump is also in the battery box.

What part gave me the most grief? The bodywork...

In other news... I threw together a few video clips of just the beautiful V4 music and a bit of a walk around of the bike. :beer:

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And since it's winter and I can't be out riding... I'm going to post some more VFR-SF related pics :)

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My dad bought a cycle hill tire changer used and the guy delivered it to my house, so before sending it off to my dad I changed out my PR2's for dunlop Q3's

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This gives an idea of the different profiles of the two tire types. You can't completely trust this pic as the dunlop hasn't even been mounted yet, but the PR2 off the rim here.

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And all mounted up. Road a few hundred km on them before putting the bike into hibernation mode. They handle quick yet still nuetral and predictable and have loads of grip! I wasn't really lacking for grip with the PR2's in cornering (although I could tell the rear was starting to slip a touch at the end of it's life) but I will say I find the front tire has a lot more grip under very hard braking. Instead of the front tire chirping a touch (even after nicely warmed up) on the PR2, the Q3 just lifts the rear tire. And they look boss... I know, a great reason to buy a tire.

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This is where the whole build was done

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My dad lives 650km away, but we got to do a little riding together this summer :)

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And here is the photoshop concept I put together of the build before I even had the bike tore down from it's stock form.

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The LED light bar acts as the run/brake in red and turn signals in amber.

Though I might add turn signals this year just to make sure they are nice and visible.

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Some have been asking about wiring up the Koso gauge. Here is some information I put together that might help.

The only 2 things that don't function properly on my gauge are: fuel reserve light, and Tach is slightly jumpy from about 6500rpm-9000rpm. But I have attached the tach wire directly to the factory wire, not the coils. I might try the coils this winter.

Not sure you have the wires labelled yet your factory loom. But these are what the wires correspond to and where you will run them on your gauge. I left the speedometer wires out of the equation as you are using the magnets, but you could splice into the wires in the factory loom if you were running your koso pickup off the rear wheel. Also, the fuel level wire wasn't labelled on my Koso wiring diagram... it's the wire paired with the tach wire connector (black I think).

Red: Any wires that will go directly to the gauge (Run a dedicated ground)

Pink: Wires that would go to the left side of the indicator panel with one ground wire (switched positive)

Green: Wires that would go to the right side of the indicator panel with one switched power wire (switched negative)

From the Left on the VFR wiring diagram:

Green Connector- (Not in order of wires in actual connector block)

Bl/Br Clock Switched Power

O Left Turn Signal

G/Bl Speedometer 1

R/G Clock Constant power

Bl/Br 12v Switched Power

G Ground (Run a dedicated ground to the actual gauge)

Y/G Tachometer (Unless you decide to wire directly to coils)

Bu/Bl High Beam Light

P Speedometer Signal 2

Y/Bl Side Stand Light

Blue Connector

Bu/R Oil Pressure Light

Lb Right Turn Signal

Gr/Bl Fuel Gauge

Bl/Br Switched Power

Lg/R Neutral Light

Br/Bl Checklight

G/Bl Ground

Br/W Meter Lights Switched Power

Br/Bl Fuel Reserve Light (Needs correct resistance to operate... could try a 150ohm 5W resistor)

G/Bu Coolant Temperature (I ran the koso wire with the attached temperature sensor directly from the thermostat housing to the gauge)

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About the fuel reserve light I think that it's not working properly because of the "indicator light check unit" that is on the original tach. I think that it's an hysteresis device to avoid the blinking of the light when the fuel is moving in the tank.

For the RPM i'll check with mine if I have the same problem with the original wire. I'll start the work on the harness tomorrow !

The fuel reserve light is connected to a "thermistor" in the tank. The fuel acts as a coolant, but when the fuel level drops below that of the thermistor sensor, the sensor will heat up and the low fuel indicator will light. The 5 watt bulb in the stock gauge provides the correct resistance in the circuit for the thermistor to function properly. It's possible the "indicator light check unit" has something to do with this as well. With an LED the light will always be on. I saw someone that used a 150ohm 5w resistor fix the issue, but haven't tried it myself. I just use the fuel level gauge as the reserve warning. I find it to be consisted, but not very accurate to the actual percentage marks. a 70% reading is half a tank, and I have my reserve light set to come on at 30% because after that the gauge drops quickly.

As for the tach glitches... this thread might help:

http://www.vfrdiscussion.com/forum/index.php/topic/76055-koso-rx2-gauge-on-4th-gen/

I haven't tried it yet, but intend to.

Hope that helps :)

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I might've missed it if someone else asked, but what handlebars/conversion setup did you use?

I recently crashed my 4th gen and am using your bike as a launching pad of sorts for the rebuild, so you might be hearing from me quite often :)

I am using driven brand bar risers mounted to an RC51 top triple clamp which I reinforced with aluminum plates and JB weld on the underside of the triple. Then a low bend dirt bike bar.

I'm happy to answer questions and help out! Also don't forget the search function. A lot of what I did was already researched and done by others here and other places on the web. Post up a build thread to get feedback and to show others how you've accomplished different mods. We like looking at pictures :)

Good luck!

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I've some quesitons about the koso tach !

What are your settings for the RPM and for the fuel gauge ?

For the moment I have no indications of both, I'm gonna have to check the wires, but I must admit that I have no idea what settings I have to put into lol

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