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rc30fan

1986 Vfr 750R Rebuild

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Hoping this is the right place to post.

This is the rebuild process of my early prototype VFR-750R built in 1986 and imported into Australia specifically for use as a race bike. I bought it in 1994 and was lucky enough to get it with an engine that was built in 1993 with the full HRC race kit installed. At the time this kit alone cost almost $60,000 in addition to the cost of the bike. And back then they were selling in dealerships for just under $20,000.
The bike was raced its entire life and then retired when the RC45 was introduced. Thats when I was able to pick it up for what I considered to be a steal.
I rode the hell out of it, doing 50 or so track days in 5 years before the crank lost a gallery plug, causing the bottom end to seize. The stock titanium conrods were destroyed but I was able to get the crank repaired. At the same time I was in the process of moving here to the US so I had no time to repair it. As a result I covered the chassis in a layer of grease, put the engine in a waterproof box and put it into storage.
10 years later I was able to ship it over here so I packed it up and it arrived with the thick layer of grease still in place.
It took another 3 years to find all the parts I needed before I could even think about rebuilding it, and then my 996 went all Ducati on me and I had to rebuild it just so I could get rid of it. But once that was done I cleared out my work space and got started.
There were a few nasty surprises in the build but nothing I couldn't handle. There were a bunch of parts on this bike custom made by the race team that were either broken or worn out but thats why I taught myself how to use Autocad and a bunch of CAD/CAM programs. I built myself a small CNC mill specifically to make parts for this RC30.
So here are some pictures:
My first track day on this bike early in 1994
main3-1.jpg
Picking up the package from the freight hub in Houston
CIMG0126.jpg
The special parts cleaner in use. It works perfectly.
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Cases all clean and ready to go back together.
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Heres the top end ready to go back together.
main5.jpg
New aftermarket rods cost more than my KTM supermoto. You can see the damage on the original titanium rod but these are not repairable.
PA310016.jpg
Checking side clearance on the new rods when installed.
P9160024_zps4f2dcdc0.jpg
Using the damned expensive internal micrometer to check the custom bearings. Much more accurate than plastigauge provided you take all measurements with the parts at the same temperature.
P9160003_zps2f0311e0.jpg
Old pistons are worn out. Thats why the motor was smoking a little the last few times I rode it.
P9160014_zps5242f939.jpg
New pistons. Notice the different reading on the micrometer. Thats the difference between smoke and no smoke under decell.
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Checking the cylinders. Thankfully they were still within spec.
P9160009_zps75615a1b.jpg
This motor has the cylinders cast into the top crank case. As a result the engine has to come apart any time new pistons are needed. Here they are going in:
PA050005_zps26b1d1b6.jpg
From below. Individually weighed and balanced rods and pistons installed.
PA050008_zpsb6e6fc71.jpg
Transmission installed after each gear was washed and all bearings checked.
IMG_1904_zps8b5f1f4a.jpg
There are four of these oil jets in the cases. Dont forget any or there will be problems.
40_zpscc529987.jpg
Cases together. It takes a lot of jiggling.
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Heres a question - who can shed some light on the spiral groves on this bolt? It holds the cases together so has no interaction with oil or gears. Heads of two of these are visible in the next picture.
Img_1886sm_zpsa84c6a1e.jpg
Flipped over, this is the oil pump. Its actually from a VF1000R as the standard pump doesnt have passages for the lines to the oil cooler.
PA080004_zps5c5d991c.jpg
I figured this would be the best time to bring the engine and chassis together. Thats when I noticed the crud in the threads.
PA080010_zps00ccbce2.jpg
Heres a shot from the timelapse - frame installed on the engine.
G0030033_zps74a9496b.jpg

Roger at OnroadOffroad.com rebuilt the shock and forks.
PA090001_zps029fb196.jpg
This is the titanium swingarm pivot - part of the HRC kit. It feels light as aluminum.
PA080005_zps5e966c0f.jpg
Here are the starter motor and gears I installed when I first got the bike. Why? Bump starting is a real pain.
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Race kit crank allows ignition timing to be adjusted.
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All ready to button up. (oil cooler bypass line waiting for new hoses)
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Time to start work on the carbs. Luckily I emptied them before I stored them so they werent bad at all.
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I installed a choke system - not easy with the short-port NL0 heads. But worth its weight in gold.
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On the other side of the motor I found some more stripped threads. The race team helicoiled almost every bolt hole in the motor for reduced weight. I did the rest.
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Coming together nicely.
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Checking piston travel to verify cam settings.
PA250003_zps8b494fcb.jpg

Checking cam travel. There is actually a degree of difference between the front and rear intake cams. Not sure which one is wrong though. I cant adjust until I know which one is correct.
PA280007_zps8e371183.jpg
I then found a bad bearing on the front bank so I replaced both. Here the hot bearing drops onto the chilly cam.
215_zps0e222371.jpg
Race kit ID mark.
PA280009_zpsa1fa0287.jpg
Now comes the fun part. The race kit wiring harness was replaced with the stock wiring harness so I could use the starter but is huge and heavy. So I ordered a used VFR-F harness to donate wire and connectors for a new harness made to the race kit wiring diagram.
PA280010_zps2ad219f0.jpg
I later found out that there were several plugs missing from the F model harness. I found a goldwing harness that had all the plugs I needed and it was an easy process to make the new harness with starter motor and charging circuit added.
PB060017_zps285462ce.jpg
Kit CDI connected to the new harness. We now have sparks in all the right places.
PB060025_zps364e55c5.jpg
Heres the new brake calipers mounted with custom made brackets. The old calipers needed new seals that were no longer available. Hopefully these calipers from a 999S will work as well as the AP Lockheed ones. (Thats not dirt on the calipers, the previous owner painted them then scraped most of the paint off. Theres a little more left to do though).
caliperadapters_zps66ba1294.jpg
Edited by rc30fan
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1st up..

welcome! :smile2:

2nd.. please tell me you live with in 3 hours of DC!! pretty please!!

:biggrin:

3rd. Durbahn in germany make a bunch of goodies that seem right up your ally. :fing02:

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This needs to be flagged as porn.

:wub2: :wub2:

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WELCOME great bike !!!!

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Thanks guys.

The rebuild is about done. All I have left is replacing a few hardware store fasteners with high strength bolts that can only be found online, new chain/tires and brake pads and thats about it.

Heres a video of the engine running:

http://youtu.be/fyLLQviL3To

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Coming together nicely.

Now there's an understatement. Very very nicely.

awesome.

ian

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I'm thinking that the big spirals rolled on to those case bolts in your pics, have some sort of effect on how the bolt stretches when torqued to spec??

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Great bike, thanks for sharing al those pics.

Here in Holland in 2008 a guy bought 4 rc30 endurance racers, including a NLOB version, wich is completely factory built. Some parts like the racing carbs where lease only in that time. The bikes were kept for 14 years in a shed.

Here a link to the Dutch forum, language Dutch off course, but a bunch off pics will tell the story.http://www.vfroc.nl/forumVFR/index.php?showtopic=10795

An rc30 having NLOB parts is rare.

Edited by VFRBert

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$60,000 dollars rare !!!

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I love when an RC30 falls into the right hands.

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My mill didnt do a very good job of the foam instrument surround. I'll just have to cut the next one by hand.

PC030004_zps061653ae.jpg

Lots of plumbing. I have a new catch bottle on its way from England. Making the oil cooler lines was dead simple.

PC030005_zps2f9f9693.jpg

Still need to finish the front brake lines. They're not so simple to make.

PC030007_zps8169c81a.jpg

Closeup of the kit CDI, new wiring harness connectors and fairing bracket I made 15 years ago.

PC030008_zpsdbee43c7.jpg

I found the original connectors for the kit tach. Shipped all the way from England.

PC030011_zpse1950baa.jpg

New cast iron Brembos compared to cast iron HRC discs that are worn out after a lot of fun track time.

PC030013_zps1b7d5f6c.jpg

One of the many plastic items I had to make.

PC030014_zpsad448541.jpg

Its still a little cold blooded. I havent reconnected the choke yet so it takes some convincing to start up.

GOPR1388_zps7ff7712a.jpg

The tank needs to be repainted. I had a friend remake all the winfield graphics based on the existing decals on the fairings.

I lost the original front fender when I made a mold for the carbon fender in school. I have another one ready for paint and graphics.

GOPR1392_zpsb662aa44.jpg

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Wow! That's a very trick piece of (Aussie) motorcycle history you have there! The high standard of your work will ensure that it can be enjoyed for many years to come.

Tony

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Top shelf. You and BusyLittleShop are going to be firm friends, if you aren't already!

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Great stuff. Wiring harness(along with everything else) is very cool you made yourself.

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wow you really know your bike? holy cow tore the whole thing down. If you don't mind me asking where did you learn how to do this? i am thinking of taking motorcycle certification classes so i can work on my own bike doing whta you are doing -- Good luck awesome ride..

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Nice work. Nice to see a bike live its life as fully intended from day one!

I'm curious to know what the plumbed line on the stator cover is for? Looks like a breather tube?

PC030008_zpsdbee43c7.jpg

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^^^^ Water cooled stator . ^^^^

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I'm wondering about the motor mount, looks like they move it down and forward and reinforced it .

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Thanks for the feedback guys.

Damn Kel, that's about the nicest thing anyone's ever said to me!

Phantom - we have spoken. I'm a machinist also and boasted about the merits of CNC. Larry wasn't convinced!

wow you really know your bike? holy cow tore the whole thing down. If you don't mind me asking where did you learn how to do this? i am thinking of taking motorcycle certification classes so i can work on my own bike doing whta you are doing -- Good luck awesome ride..

I started teaching myself after a series of screw ups every time I took my bikes in for service - at multiple dealerships. Various ham fisted morons scratched a brand new tank to hell, cross threaded a sump plug, reassembled a gear train incorrectly, left spacers out of a front wheel, lost various fairing fasteners (and didn't replace them), and many more. One even forgot they had my bike.

If it had been only one dealership that would be easy to fix but this all happened at Honda, Suzuki, Ducati and KTM dealerships.

As a result I started out by doing an oil change myself. Then I learned how to change tires, and worked my way up to 2-stroke rebuilds. Then a 4-stroke dirt bike rebuild, then a 4-stroke single street bike rebuild, then a 4 cylinder rebuild. You get the idea.

All it takes really is a Haynes manual and a willingness to invest the money in tools that will pay for themselves many times over.
Check out my YouTube channel for a few different bike rebuilds, http://youtu.be/Jz-MzJ6yKUo

If I had one piece of advice to offer it would be this - buy a dirt bike that's not running. Then buy a Haynes manual for it and use it to learn. If you screw up, the parts are cheap and there's only one cylinder so its simple. Then when its fixed, either ride the hell out of it or sell it to pay for all the tools you had to buy. Then, when you need to work on something more complex/more important to you, the confidence is there because you know what needs to be done.

I personally consider the tech schools out there a total waste of time. They are nothing but profit machines designed to take money from people. If they just happen to turn out a good mechanic its by accident not design. There are so many truly horrific techs working in dealerships that it makes no sense to let them work on a bike. Obviously they aren't all incompetent but the ones who do know what they're doing are under pressure to do their work faster than is possible and get paid barely more than minimum wage to do so. They are not allowed to check their work because that takes time away from other jobs so bikes go back to customers with loose wires, missing bolts and cross threaded plugs.

Damn, I sound cynical but this is all from personal experience, not hearsay.

Seb,

that's a breather for oil vapor. The hose goes up to a catch tank in the tail which is then vented into the carbs.

Switchblade,

As far as I know the motor mount position is stock. What you're seeing is extra aluminum welded on by the race team to reduce/prevent flexing. I have noticed though that the Moriwaki chassis made for this engine actually uses the motor mount down in front of the sump - much like the RC45. That's some forward thinking engineering right there.

Edited by rc30fan
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Switchblade,


As far as I know the motor mount is stock. What you're seeing is extra aluminum welded on by the race team to reduce/prevent flexing. I have noticed though that the Moriwaki chassis made for this engine actually uses the motor mount down in front of the sump - much like the RC45. That's some forward thinking engineering right there.




Thanks, wonderful bike.

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Thanks for the feedback guys.

Damn Kel, that's about the nicest thing anyone's ever said to me!

Phantom - we have spoken. I'm a machinist also and boasted about the merits of CNC. Larry wasn't convinced!

wow you really know your bike? holy cow tore the whole thing down. If you don't mind me asking where did you learn how to do this? i am thinking of taking motorcycle certification classes so i can work on my own bike doing whta you are doing -- Good luck awesome ride..

I started teaching myself after a series of screw ups every time I took my bikes in for service - at multiple dealerships. Various ham fisted morons scratched a brand new tank to hell, cross threaded a sump plug, reassembled a gear train incorrectly, left spacers out of a front wheel, lost various fairing fasteners (and didn't replace them), and many more. One even forgot they had my bike.

If it had been only one dealership that would be easy to fix but this all happened at Honda, Suzuki, Ducati and KTM dealerships.

As a result I started out by doing an oil change myself. Then I learned how to change tires, and worked my way up to 2-stroke rebuilds. Then a 4-stroke dirt bike rebuild, then a 4-stroke single street bike rebuild, then a 4 cylinder rebuild. You get the idea.

All it takes really is a Haynes manual and a willingness to invest the money in tools that will pay for themselves many times over.

Check out my YouTube channel for a few different bike rebuilds, http://youtu.be/Jz-MzJ6yKUo

If I had one piece of advice to offer it would be this - buy a dirt bike that's not running. Then buy a Haynes manual for it and use it to learn. If you screw up, the parts are cheap and there's only one cylinder so its simple. Then when its fixed, either ride the hell out of it or sell it to pay for all the tools you had to buy. Then, when you need to work on something more complex/more important to you, the confidence is there because you know what needs to be done.

I personally consider the tech schools out there a total waste of time. They are nothing but profit machines designed to take money from people. If they just happen to turn out a good mechanic its by accident not design. There are so many truly horrific techs working in dealerships that it makes no sense to let them work on a bike. Obviously they aren't all incompetent but the ones who do know what they're doing are under pressure to do their work faster than is possible and get paid barely more than minimum wage to do so. They are not allowed to check their work because that takes time away from other jobs so bikes go back to customers with loose wires, missing bolts and cross threaded plugs.

Damn, I sound cynical but this is all from personal experience, not hearsay.

Seb,

that's a breather for oil vapor. The hose goes up to a catch tank in the tail which is then vented into the carbs.

Switchblade,

As far as I know the motor mount position is stock. What you're seeing is extra aluminum welded on by the race team to reduce/prevent flexing. I have noticed though that the Moriwaki chassis made for this engine actually uses the motor mount down in front of the sump - much like the RC45. That's some forward thinking engineering right there.

Amen !!!!

I started driving cars 27 years ago and my experience with dealers was about the same. They send me on the street with a subframe with loose bolts, repaired accident damage, but forgot to replace the fill nipple used for filling up the lpg tank. (I drove cars on liqified petroleum gas, wich is cheap and much better for the environment) Resulting in a pair of shoes, filled with liquid lpg. And that was cold on my feet. :wacko: And at the same time my head turned red (very angry) And many more dumb and even dangerous things happened. So i started to do my own maintenance and repairs. Buy the tools and save lots of money. After a few years i got my motorcycle license and bought a bike. And off course i did and still do all the repairs and maintenance myself.

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WOW....I have been traveling all month for work and just stumbled across this thread...holy crap.

What a rare RC30 you have, I didn't notice the mods to the seat/tank intersect that provide room for the attachments required to remove every fastener and wire on the bike.

Those Carrillo Ti I-beam rods are even more beautiful than the stock Honda Ti rods if that is possible.

Awesome thread, amazing bike, great to see it being used as intended.

Welcome Aboard. Check you calendar to see if you can make it to North Carolina in late May and if not I will gladly give of my time to show your bike around and answer any questions that others may have of your unique and important piece of Honda Racing History.

Keith

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That RC30 is sure a exotic (even not a stock bike) that is getting some big love!

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Small update on this project.

This bike was originally fitted with a tach from the HRC catalog (which only goes down to 3,000 rpm and runs to 15,000 with no red line) which is designed to work with 2-strokes. As a result, the 4-stroke CDI is incompatible and requires a small converter box to talk to the tach.

My converter box was lost in shipping so I was able to borrow one from a fellow enthusiast on the condition that I return it when I've reverse engineered it. To do this I've enlisted the help of an avionics specialist currently working on F-35 systems. He whipped up a circuit and we tested it tonight. With a few more mods the new converter should be complete.

Here is a video of the testing process:

http://youtu.be/U3X9FLwV7PQ

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