Jump to content

Recommended Posts

 

 

image.png.ff8186e07be5a3a2a8a6c805f0c4d9a7.png

 

I picked up this 1992 RC36.1 last spring (2018) in Connecticut (USA). It was a good price, but it’s not exactly a cream puff so I’m trying to bring it up to a decent standard and as cheaply as possible. To do that, I've been poking around online and you all have been guiding me too, so thank you for that. By now I have a few insights and experiences of my own that might actually help somebody else. Time to get out of the shadows.

 

The odometer was at just over 25,000 miles when I got the bike and I am at least fourth owner. The bike's history is long lost along with a number of odds and ends, bits and pieces. I wonder if there is a way to trace it all back. The guy I got it from seemed honest and funny but he had some curious theories of shade tree mechanics so it's taken me a little while to learn to trust the ride. I'm still semi worried about the long term effects of some of his theories but so far, so good. The title showed that he'd bought the bike in 2012 at 23,122 miles. So, we're talking 2000 miles in 6 years. I’ve ridden about 1200 miles in less than 4 months without major surprises. I've also encountered the usual gen3 issues.

 

When I took it on, the bike had newish tires and chain and battery, the upgraded regulator/rectifier. And the starter clutch is supposed to be new too. The engine oil is the color of honey. I needed a few things right away and, as you'll see, this is a work in progress. The cosmetics really, really need help. Really. Look closely at my photographs and you'll spot plenty of issues. I haven’t decided exactly how to proceed yet, but I’m considering options. You are welcome to make suggestions here and I might even follow some up. And I can tell you all my experiences so far.

 

A few things done as soon as I got the bike home...

 

Front Brake Switch

 

It needed a front brake switch. These are $16 at Honda or $3 from China for a generic one on Ebay, or maybe it was Amazon. I’m trying out the $3 version. Sorry Honda. The one I bought is of a pretty cheap construction with a thin plastic shell, but it does fit and work as advertised so far. I check it before every ride. If it doesn’t last, I know where to find the real one. Or I can get 4 more cheapos…

 

Krator Mirrors

 

I picked up the Krator replacement mirrors too, also from Ebay (...or Amazon...). They’re fine. The bike came with carbon look mirrors that were a mess. I know lots of you prefer newer styling and you get rid of the boots. I’m content with the original look. The Krator fittings are plastic, not metal, and the boots are kind of a fiddly fit on the proximal end. But you can tighten down the collar so that with a little patience you can get the boot to stay in place. These cost $22 for the pair. Honda OEM? Um, more than $22.

 

Keys

 

I needed proper keys. The bike came with a single cut key that looked like a car key made at the DIY store. I had to get the key code from under the gas cap and there is a service that’ll make you the right key from the code. Once more to Ebay. Once more cheaper than the dealer. 

 

I don’t have anything against my local dealer. Not at all. I feel bad not supporting the guys more. But jeez louise, I just can't afford it. I wouldn’t even mind paying a little extra, especially if I could just walk in and out with the parts I need. Unfortunately, not only is it expensive, but they have to order most things from their warehouse anyway. So you still have to wait three or four days. I’m just sayin.

 

So far I’ve had good results from all Ebay orders. I'm not thinking it's better than OEM. But some things are good enough.

 

There's plenty more to add, but that's it for today. Stay tuned.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome to VFRD!  I look forward to reading about your VFR restoration efforts, too.

 

Ciao,

 

JZH

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Clutch diode. Silicon Rectifier

When I got the bike, the neutral light kept coming on between shifts. At first I thought it might be false neutrals because I’d read about some of you guys installing a shift kit. It didn’t take me long to figure out that I wasn’t actually hitting false neutrals, it was only the neutral light coming on when I pulled in the clutch. 

I found reference to the problem and decided I just needed a clutch diode, (also called the silicon rectifier). 
 

The thing is tiny. Maybe 1 cm2. And so far I haven’t even been able to find it in my wiring harness. I know more or less where to look, but not exactly what I’m looking at. I’ve poked around behind the right middle fairing and under the fuse box. I’ll look again when I take off the upper fairing one of these days. For now, I’m just riding with a neutral light between shifts.

On my particular bike, I think it’s also entirely possible that one of the previous owners just removed the diode and I’m looking for something that just ain’t there. Why would somebody take it out? Beats me. I already mentioned there are a number of bits missing and I’m not all that comfortable with the quality of some of the previous work. I’ll deal with it one of these days.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Clutch Slave Leak

 

Next up, there was a little leak when I got the bike. The previous owner pointed it out, a drip down the side stand. We decided it was clutch fluid. It wasn’t a huge leak but then the clutch reservoir isn’t all that big either.

 

The clutch slave apparently develops leaks on lots of Honda models maybe because lots of Hondas seem to use the exact same components. I’m not much of a mechanic so I was a little intimidated by the job. In the end it wasn’t all that difficult to fix.

 

First off, you need a replacement seal. Honda no longer sells only the seal. You have to get an entire clutch slave unit. Actually, this isn’t such a bad idea. My guess is that replacing only the seal is not always fixing the problem. At least part of the leak can be due to corrosion of the wall of the piston. So, if you only replace the worn seal, you also have to polish the wall as best you can, which may not be good enough. I found this out after I bought an aftermarket seal kit.

 

But I got the kit because it was around 20 bucks. You only get four items in the kit: a piston seal, a spring, a dust cap and a second rubber washer for the rod that actually gets pushed into the engine to engage the clutch. If you go to Honda, you get the whole unit for a reasonable $70. With the unit, you just have to undo the banjo bolt to the line, the three mounting bolts, and swap in the new unit. My job was a little more involved.

 

This is what it looked like on removal...

 

IMG_2177.thumb.JPG.b9f5840653eb92f221a2e104d8c7d071.JPG

 

You can see, the thing sits down next to the chain where it attracts lots and lots of goo. Yuck. What the hell? Honda couldn’t close up the backside of the slave? I know it’s been on there 25 years but still, is that the best design? Anyway, three bolts hold it on. To get the piston out of the cylinder, you only need to squeeze the clutch a couple times. Every time you squeeze, the piston advances a little more until it gently pops out, along with all the clutch fluid. It’s pretty dirty in there too.


The replacement bits go in easily enough. For the life of me I can’t figure out why the spring is necessary. Shouldn’t the fluid pressure keep the piston against the actuating rod? And for that matter, why the little rubber seal against the end of the rod? It seems to be more of a greasy rubber washer than anything else. It doesn’t hold any liquids back on either side. Whatever.

 

Replace the bits and clean out the corrosion from the piston and cylinder. How to do that? Well I used a scotchbrite pad. Yeah yeah. It’s not ideal, but it didn’t scratch the metal any, and it seemed to do the trick. Time will tell if the repair is going to hold or if the leak reappears. The piston goes back into the cylinder easily enough. Bolt the unit to the bike and let the real fun begin.

 

IMG_2184.thumb.jpg.584b82d421d70fa1705638be8a3ae050.jpg

 


 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bleeding the Clutch

 

Now that the line is mostly empty, you have to refill the reservoir and pump the clutch. I did the job alone. You open the bleed valve, pump the clutch and, while holding it in, reclose the bleed valve. Release clutch and repeat until fluid comes out the bleed valve. How hard can that be?

 

The first few times you pull the clutch, there is no resistance at all. Once fluid gets through the line, some resistance builds and you might be done. Or not. Plenty gets written about this. I knew the stories, lots of them from right here. Here’s my take...

 

Once I first felt I’d got the air out of the system, I made my first test. My test idea was simple enough. Start the engine. Pull in clutch. Also pull in front brake…just in case the clutch doesn’t engage and the bike lurches…then snook it into first gear. If the clutch is working, the idle will remain constant and I can try easing the clutch. If the engine stalls with the clutch in, there’s more air in the line.

 

The engine stalled.

 

I went back through the line and tried again.

 

Stall. Again.

 

I went back to the book, thought a bit, and tried bleeding through the banjo bolts, top and bottom.

 

Stall. Dang.

 

I puzzled over this for a weekend. What a pain.

 

By Monday I figured I’d try a different test. Instead of starting the engine, I just put the bike in first and pulled in the clutch, then tried to push the bike. I didn’t expect the bike to roll, but it did. Wait, what? If it rolls in gear with the clutch in, then the clutch is working. Fixed all by itself over the weekend. Let's see, let out the clutch. No rolling. Jammed in first. Pull in clutch, roll. So back to the first test. On the bike, engine running, clutch, brake, first gear.

 

Stall.

 

That’s when it finally occurred to me the side stand was down.

 

Important note: put up the side stand during the test or the side stand cutoff will stop the engine. This turned out to be a good test for the side stand cutoff. As for the clutch, it was fixed that the first day.

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Electrical: you mentioned updated rec/reg but another weak point are all the connectors in the charging system. The 3-conductor between the alternator (stator) and the rec/reg, and everything on the starter relay (adjacent to the battery)

 

Bodywork: G3 VFRs have complicated bodywork with lots of fragile tabs that have only become more delicate over the past 25 years. Take care when removing & replacing.

 

Fuel tank: some G3 tanks have a sympathetic buzz at mid revs. Honda came up with a tool design to *very* slightly tweak the vent line bracket located just in front of the filler neck.

 

Mirrors: you already replaced them but know that the condom-less mirrors from 2000/2001 VFR800 also fit

 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks guys...

 

Lorne, you're getting ahead of me with the electricals and the body work. 🙂 I've been looking into both to upgrade, and made some minor progress. JZH has already got me using silicon grease in the connectors but the wiring isn't very clean and I'll be keeping an eye on that. I check the charging on every ride. The inside information on the gas tank is news to me. Thanks for that! I found a youtube on the fix. Funny fix. Weird problem. Happily, it's one that hasn't occurred yet.

 

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mT4zSj_19-g

 

I'll keep listing my experiences here and tagging them as I go. I'm not sure if any should be under separate entries or in other parts of the site but I'll sort that out as I go. Lots of folks on site have gorgeous rides and big budgets. I don't. I'm trying to bring this bike up to snuff as cheaply as possible. So fancy upgrades and add ons just aren't gonna happen. I see a great selection of fine RC36s in Europe for less than 1000 euros. Boy! Here in Connecticut, pickings are scarce and I really had to dig to find a decent, workable bike for under $1000. Now I have to be careful not to turn it into a money pit. If only I could get one from Holland to the States in the overhead compartment of the plane... 🙂

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 
DOT 5 Fluid
 
After I bought my bike, even as I was loading it onto the trailer actually, the seller handed me a half empty bottle of brake fluid. It was to replenish the clutch until I fixed the leak. Great! I was happy to take anything the guy had laying around. It was DOT5 brake fluid.
 
Huh? Wait. Huh? DOT5? Huh? Oh brother...I’m really glad he gave me that bottle. No foolin. I’d never have assumed there was DOT5 fluid in the bike. Who uses DOT5? Nobody, that's who. The guy then nonchalantly told me he’d swapped over all the brake and clutch fluids because he didn’t use the VFR much and didn't want to be bothered replacing old fluids every couple years. Yeah? Damn. This seemed like bad news to get while loading the bike on a trailer. Even worse, he then told me he hadn’t bothered to replace any of the seals or lines, only the fluids. Damn.
 
Remember I mentioned this guy had some curious ideas about motorcycle mechanics?
 
So, I didn’t know much about silicone based fluids. I still don’t. But I did know it was incompatible with every other kind of brake fluid. And I anticipated problems. I started reading up on it. Yeesh. There are countless stories out there. And a lot of those stories go something like this: ‘I switched over to DOT5 on my Yamazuki and next day the engine blew up. Also my dog ran away.’ Advice is all over the place; it runs from ‘switch back to DOT 4 right away’, to ‘the damage is done now pal, and you’ll have to replace everything’, to ‘just leave it be and hope for the best’. Me, being naturally lazy and cheap, er poor, I much preferred that last position.
 
But it took me a while to come up with serious support for it. And here it is, from somebody in Ohio who actually read some scientific engineering studies and came up with a scientific educated opinion in a well reasoned note. He researched for classic cars, but the theory is the same for bikes. Thank you Ohio! You’re great!
 
 
For those of you who can’t be bothered even to read the report, according to Ohio there is no great problem with using DOT5 fluid in an older system. It will work fine. The seals won't swell. It won’t explode. It won't leak. The dog won't run away. You do have to properly drain the residue. And apparently it maybe could be problematic on anti lock brakes. But go ahead. Read the study for yourselves. I'm not saying I'd put DOT5 fluid in the bike if it wasn't already in there, I'm saying I am not going to switch back now. Not unless somebody comes up with compelling evidence that I really have to. Or the dog runs away.
 
And for those of you who think the previous owner was being a jerk by telling me at the last possible moment that he’d used DOT5 fluid in the bike I’d just loaded onto my trailer..... Mmmmmm, I don’t think so. I never got the vibe the guy was trying to cheat me or hide anything. Only that he was not the best informed mechanic in the world. And of course that does still worry me some.
 
 
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Throttle Lock

 

I wanted a throttle lock. I’ve used these on previous bikes. They can be really handy when you just need to relax your hand for a few seconds. I’ve tried three kinds of throttle locks. 

 

I’ve tried a yellow Caterpillar o-ring...

 

image.jpeg.d906d65fbb7b4761b7cd9e1ec8e1cc1b.jpeg

 

And I’ve used the NEP throttle lock...

 

Stock photo

But for the VFR, I decided to try a Vista Cruise...

 

Sound Off Recreational Universal Vista Cruise Throttle Clamp

 

 

Yeah, so to begin, I just don’t get the O-ring thing. I know you’re supposed to slide it between the bar end and the grip. And there it defeats the return spring of the throttle. It does. But how do you easily engage and disengage while riding? You have to fiddle with it too much. It's distracting, maybe even a little dangerous. It’s not for me.

 

The NEP lock is more like it. I’ve had two of these, on two different bikes. It installs easily, adjusts easily. You trigger it with your thumb. It works fine.

 

And the Vista cruise is OK. You can see it’s sortof like the NEP and it's about the same price but having tried it, I prefer the NEP. 

 

It took a little effort to install the Vista Cruise. The VFR throttle tube has a ridge on it that you have to grind down or the throttle lock won’t fit. I’m pretty sure you’d have to do this with the NEP lock too. I used the little grinder on my Dremel tool. There’s not a whole lot of room in there for a bigger tool. It only takes a few minutes. Nobody is going to see if you don’t do a perfect job but it has to end up smooth enough not to interfere with the throttle lock. You'll know you're done when the lock can be loosely installed and the throttle turned under it without resistance.

 

This is the ridge in a 'before' picture. The clamp is just holding the rubber grip out of the way. I didn't take an 'after' picture...

 

IMG_2903.JPG.4f5503ddbdbcc5fb2a80e54132c57cc2.JPG

 

Then there’s that tab on the throttle lock that keeps it from spinning. It slots between the throttle cables. That has to be shaved down a little bit too.

 

Once the lock is installed, you'll have to slide the grip outboard a couple millimeters so the lock doesn't bind against the collar of the grip. And when you do that, the distal end of the grip will rub against the bar end weight, so finally you’ll have to put a couple penny washers as spacers in there to bring the bar end out just that much more. I suppose you could also cut the grip shorter...Naaah.

 

Adjust the lock to gently hold when engaged. And that’s about it. It might seem an unnecessarily complicated job, but it's straightforward. Now, here’s the thing. The trigger of the Vista Cruise sits right next to the starter switch. It’s not a big deal, but you have to get your thumb under it to hit the starter. Hmmm. Also, when you move the bars to full right lock, the trigger hits the gas tank. Some folks apparently just cut the trigger down. Still have your Dremel handy? I'm thinking about it. At first I thought the tank dinging would be a non-issue since I have no plan for riding speedway, but it turns out at the gas station and in other maneuvering spots, I am knocking the tank with that plastic knob. Damn. The NEP lock has the trigger higher up. A much better position for me. I’m wondering if I can rotate the whole Vista lock about 30 degrees or so to get the trigger up out of the way. I’d have to figure a different way to keep it from spinning around. Some kind of adapter for the tab between the throttle cables. I’m thinking...

 

Here's the current installation:

 

IMG_2943.jpg.85dc548268da10686e46b75d45147a82.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Temperature gauge
 
I kept a close eye on the temperature gauge at first. When the air temperature is less than 80F (27C), the gauge hardly seems to move off the bottom mark. But you all insist they just do that. I was bothered enough to take off the right mid fairing and run the bike from cold. Sure enough, after warming up, the upper water line got warm all at once, indicating the thermostat had opened.
 
Anyway, I wanted to take the bike out on a properly hot day to stress the cooling system. So last month, when we had some days in the 90s (>32C) here in Connecticut, that seemed hot enough. We don't often get much hotter. This is Connecticut, not Texas. The bike ran fine. Yay. The coolant gauge did rise to maybe 1/2 of the way up. And the fan was on at traffic lights. But everything inside the engine seemed happy. Um, I was a little unhappy...it being 90+ degrees and all.
 
Frame burn
 
So, I have been made aware that the right upper frame member will get warm under your knee. The generally accepted if unproven theory is that the aluminum conducts heat from the right rear cylinder. Why that cylinder should conduct heat any more than, say, the left rear cylinder is unclear to me. But if it’s just another VFR thing then I’m okay with it. Well let me tell you, on a hot day, this frame gets HOT! And not just the right side. The left too. And all the way forward under the gas tank. I began to worry that the gasoline would start to boil in there. And the battery cook off. It was no joke. Now I’m hoping for one last hot day this summer so I can borrow an infrared thermometer for some readings.
 
According to the following official sounding blurb, 140F (60C) is when things get borderline for humans...
 
ASTM C1055 (Standard Guide for Heated System Surface Conditions that Produce Contact Burn Injuries) recommends that pipe surface temperatures remain at or below 140°F. The reason for this is that the average person can touch a 140°F surface for up to five seconds without sustaining irreversible burn damage.
 
On that hot day test ride, I was wearing Cordura riding pants over a pair of walking shorts. At the end of the day, I had a first degree burn under my right knee. Youch. That just can’t be right. I can’t picture a bunch of Honda engineers standing around the test track in their white coats thinking, ‘yeah that’s good enough, put it into production’. If I had just bought the bike new in 1992 and this was happening, I’d be going back to the dealer for an explanation and a fix.
 
I don’t suppose there's anyone out there who ever rides a VFR in short pants…
 
To be fair, I’m not completely sure if all the heat shielding is still in place on this bike. I’m now aware there should be a rubber pad under the gas tank, another one in front of the carbs and still another protecting the battery. I haven’t checked to see if any of these are in there. It's on my list of things to do.
 
Gasoline
 
The previous owner told me he liked to use 90+ octane gasoline. He also said he added some Isoheet at every fill up.
ISO-HEET (28202) Premium Fuel-Line Antifreeze Water Remover & Injector Cleaner Image 2 of 2
 
He said the Isoheet was to protect the components from the alcohol added to american gasoline. I tried everything his way at first then figured basic 87 octane might work okay. It does seem okay. I’m not sure. The book says it should be fine. I gave up on the Isoheet too, which seems to be composed of um, mostly alcohol? PO also said he’d rejetted the carbs. I’m not sure if that's making a difference. Like I said, the bike seems happy on regular gasoline. Not sure yet. Mileage averages about 37 mpg (that's 6.4 l/100km), less if I run it hard.
 
Drive Chain
 
The VFR has a newish DID vx chain. Nice. PO said the chain had less than 1000 miles on it. Unfortunately, he didn’t bother replacing the sprockets when he did the chain. He thought they were fine. He said the sprockets didn't need replacing because he was getting a roller bearing sealed chain. Okayyyy. I was skeptical. But well, the sprockets look okay to me too, so they'll stay for now, but what do I know?
 
Ed. (It turns out that there is a consensus saying you don't really need to replace sprockets every time you get a new chain. At least opinions are divided. That makes me feel better.)
 
While replacing the chain, PO also seems to have split the master rivet, resulting in a slight kink. Great. This was one more thing he pointed out before the sale. Ya gotta hand it to the guy for honesty. He'd never make it as a salesman. I have it on good authority that the split rivet is solid and won't separate but I sent off for a new link from DID anyway. (BTW I can't find my chain breaker/setter…if anybody around central Connecticut has one I can borrow…) After getting the DID rivet link, and missing my chain tool, I spotted the EK screw-on link and ordered one of those too.
 
EK 520SRX2 Series X-Ring Chain Screw Type Link
 
 
It's the same size as the DID link but I hesitate to use it. I haven’t found any information on one of these being used on a DID chain. Anybody in here ever try it? Anybody? I don't expect it to be a problem, but I have a vision of me bopping along the road some sunny day when the chain comes apart at that link, wrapping itself around the rear wheel, locking me up and spitting me off the bike directly under a bus. At the funeral they'd be muttering, 'yup...used an EK screw link on a DID chain...' For now, I haven’t changed anything.
 
Ed. (There is also some difference of opinion about using a regular old clip master link. Generally, folks suggest it is safer to use a rivet link but that the clip type won't necessarily lead to disaster. Of course, it only has to break once... I'm still not finding much about the screw type link.)
 
Oh! and while on the general subject, I have to get the chain adjuster wrench. For now I can live without the official tool kit, which is also missing, but I'm using an old shock adjusting tool for the chain. It's the wrong diameter and wrong for the job.
 
...and that's making me want to start ranting about the secret universal graveyard of missing bits that originally came with the bike and have no possible use to anybody without a VFR, but it'd be a long rant. And bad for my zen. 🙂
 
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/10/2018 at 11:24 AM, LID said:

Clutch diode. Silicon Rectifier
 

The thing is very small. Maybe 1 cm2. And so far I haven’t even been able to find it in my wiring harness. I know more or less where to look, but not exactly what I’m looking at. I’ve poked around behind the right middle fairing and under the fuse box. I’ll look again when I take off the upper fairing one of these days. For now, I’m just riding with a neutral light between shifts.

 

The wiring harness on my FP is currently un-wrapped, as I'm modifying it in several ways, but I think the clutch diode is located in approximately this location (but it could be a little further forward).  It is wrapped in electrical tape, but the bulge makes it pretty obvious where that is.

 

20180911_141434x.thumb.jpg.3de94da53a9cc21937e0f2cdeab8dd0b.jpg

 

20180911_141500x.thumb.jpg.8380455633bd7a2ffa88e649fab60f5f.jpg

 

Ciao,

 

JZH

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

John, it looks like yours is further to the rear of the bike than I'd been looking. Not under the fuse cover but on top of the expansion tank. Is that right? Have you moved your harness around since unwrapping it? Mine doesn't seem to be there. But I'll look harder. The book shows yours is in the right spot.

 

 

IMG_3045.jpg.4a4dab5e0a7158aeaac7f8a9bd968055.jpg

 

 

IMG_3046.jpg.960cf9b939d25a3829d39de4d7f468dd.jpg

 

Are you using silicon grease on every fitting? Would you use it on the diode here?

 

Thanks 🙂

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Recovering the Saddle

 

In spite of all its dodgy history, my bike does seem to run terrific. I've come across most all the quirks built into generation 3 models by now and no surprises. Yet. That doesn't mean everything is sorted, only that I am getting to know how things work. I'm told that the suspension definitely needs a rebuild. No way a 25 year old VFR has a decent suspension. Well, maybe so, but it's good enough for now, so next thing for me is to make things look better. 

 

The seat could use a new cover and probably some extra padding under me. There’s a fine site on home grown seat modifications here: http://diymotorcycleseat.com/ There’s even a page on the guy’s VFR seat. It's all encouraging. Aftermarket seat covers are on Ebay for not very much money, but I’m thinking I’d like to try it myself first. When, or rather if, if that doesn’t work, then I’ll spring for a precut cover...

 
Vinyl material is easy enough to get. The fabric stores have it. Or even the junk yard. You can use an old couch panel of real leather. They say the important thing is to make sure your fabric is waterproof or else you have to use a plastic liner under it. That makes sense. My CBR has a beautiful custom Saddle Craft seat with a grippy cover called, appropriately, Griptex.
 
 
IMG_2778.jpg.4a70bfc3fd7617d0a0e7b17ade2da11c.jpg
 
I’d been thinking about finding something similar for the VFR when I stumbled on this at Aldi. It’s a trunk liner. It cost 4 euros.
 
 
IMG_2766.jpg.ee3e5eceaef2683e9c3cbc5925a14937.jpg
 
I won't be sure if it's suitable until I try it out. It feels a little stretchy to me and that might mean it also tears easily. Up close, it looks almost the same as the griptex. I think the liner sheet might big enough for two VFR seats. Or yeah, more likely two attempts at one seat...
 
IMG_2778.jpg.97795166d578ee637ae9eb7466b17a81.jpg
 
For extra padding, I have a closed cell camping pad to cut up. Wish me luck. I’ll try to take some pictures as I attempt the job and then report back.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Grab Handles
 
The grab handles are in rough shape. They seem to have black Plasti-Dip on them. I’ve never used Plasti-Dip so I’m not sure. Here's what their website says.
 
ATTRIBUTES OF PLASTI DIP:
  • Protects coated items against moisture, acids, abrasion, corrosion, and skidding/slipping, and provides a comfortable, controlled grip
  • Remains flexible and stretchy over time
  • Will not crack or become brittle in extreme weather conditions
  • Proven in temperatures from -30°F to 200°F
  • Peelable and removable off of most surfaces
I'm told that the VFR would have come with polished aluminum handles in 1992. I like the sound of that and I’m tempted to cut off the nasty rubber stuff to see what’s under there. We know enough about my bike by now to guess it probably won’t be pretty. But if I can then polish the aluminum, that would be good. Or I can reapply Plasti-Dip. Most of the grab handles I see online have some kind of coating. But here's a naked one. It looks like it could use cleaning.
 
Image result for rc36 original grab rail

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Polishing Aluminum
 
The aluminum all over this bike could use some cleaning. I don't think it's terminal. One reason I went for this bike is that there isn't much rust anywhere. It's apparently been kept indoors. 
 
Like most everything else, I'm not sure how to do the cleaning job and I'm concerned about doing some damage that has to be undone in the end.
 
Here are some pictures.
 
IMG_3053.jpg.8e57a0cb2545fdb960b6789027497b04.jpg
 
Yup. The other fork is the same. Fortunately the fork tubes are fine. It's only a cosmetic thing on the sliders. And before you mention it, I know...the brake disc isn't all that clean either... (I should use a better picture. The tube isn't quite as bad as it appears. That nasty blotch of rust near the top of the fork is just a stain. And those diagonal 'scratches' are reflections off the brake disc. But yeah, it's bad enough...)
 
The exhaust can is in better shape but still needs polish. Lots of tiny scratches.
 
IMG_3055.jpg.b2a29ee02599e35c3e7fe8579590688a.jpg
 
Same story around the whole bike. On the triple clamp...
 
IMG_3054.jpg.cec0dd74dfe5987d588c53c55b628e0d.jpg
 
 
I could strip the bike down and polish all the metal. That would be the right way. Apparently all(?) the aluminum is clear coated and once you start polishing, the remnants of that coat disappear. Then you are forever struggling to maintain a decent finish.
 
Anyway, I picked up this polishing kit at Harbor Freight. It doesn't look like much. I don't know how effective it can be. You're supposed to use the white block for aluminum. I think it's like putty. I get the idea I need to wet sand everything first, using the putty last. And then rattle can clear coat? Dunno...
 
IMG_3051.jpg.04c5b360579929536c64f4df5a8e0ae5.jpg
 
 
Levers
 
My front brake and clutch levers are scarred. How many times has this bike been dropped? I spotted this set at Ebay for all of $6 (10 with shipping). At least they're better than the ones I have on there, but they too could use a little polish I think before installation.
 
IMG_3050.jpg.b209f645eb1eae4e902760ce3ae86b56.jpg
 
If you guys have any encouraging ideas, please let me know. Like so much information online, there are plenty of anecdotal reports and conflicting procedures, most of which aren't very helpful.
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 
 
Rear Cowling
 
I found a rear cowling in Holland and brought it home to Connecticut. It wasn't a high priority for me but these things are hard to come by in the States and the price was right. You can see the rear tabs have been rebuilt and one front tab is cracked, but in general the thing is good enough by my standards.
 
It's also really red.
 
IMG_2816.JPG.2bc08123e98151cc047686eff5085d8e.JPG
 
IMG_2817.JPG.f05013f44a4a74a357ad1c62b9d1b289.JPG
 
I haven't decided absolutely positively that I'll keep the bike black. It seems the easiest, decent color I can manage. It's also sortof the original color. But red ain't bad. Or that pearly white from 1993. Or maybe silver gray? Anyway, I didn't want to ruin this red cowling, at least not right away, knowing how rare cowlings are, and just in case somebody out there needs a red one one day. You're welcome.
 
So, an experiment in vinyl wrap. I got a small roll of gloss black made in Germany at the DIY store. It's not specifically made for outdoor use. I'm just giving it a shot. And I had a scrap of black cloth vinyl to cover over the red bump pad. Anybody translate instructions from German?
 
IMG_2854.jpg.2023c60ed58fd3e450f36131e7041684.jpg
 
 
OK. Um, okay. I'll be the first to admit the result wasn't...optimal? I pulled and stretched the wrap as best I could around the corners. The stuff is easiest to apply on flat surfaces and well, as you know the cowling has curves. You can use a hair dryer to make the vinyl more elastic but you can't reshrink it once it's been stretched. And then there are all those air bubbles trapped underneath. Whew. After an hour or two this is what I had. 
 
IMG_2858.jpg.2b681d88e2bde6a20c8217f2723fa414.jpgIMG_2859.jpg.1c9171b2b2b4edd600628893459f8247.jpg
 
Yeesh. The wrap was semi smooth I guess but really there's not much positive to say about it. And the bump pad vinyl didn't work at all. Wrinkles everywhere. Naah. Just a mess.
 
IMG_2860.JPG.03f42d9007bc8a376ecd18f334751514.JPG
 
I have enough wrap to try other bigger, flatter panels, like the midpanels, but now I’m discouraged. I’ll think about it. And think harder about paints and clear coats.
 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, at least there's no rush on that translation...  (Besides, German is pretty much like Nederlaans, innit?  Should be no problem for you!)

 

Have you considered painting the bike red to match the cowl?  It's probably worth more than the bike, after all...

 

I suppose silicone grease should be used on the clutch diode terminals, but I hadn't really thought about it.  With terminals exposed to the elements it's probably a good practice to use dielectric grease, but these are generally wrapped and covered by the 'leccy tape.

 

Ciao,

 

JZH

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

9 hours ago, LID said:
Yup. The other fork is the same. Fortunately the sliders are fine. It's only a cosmetic thing. And before you mention it, I know, the brake disc isn't great either...
IMG_3053.jpg.8e57a0cb2545fdb960b6789027497b04.jpg

 

 

Ten years ago the forks on my '92 looked pretty scruffy, though not quite as rough as yours. I had the forks off to get emulators installed and decided to try cleaning them up. Some good paint stripper, #0000 steel wool, heavy gloves, safety glasses and a bit of elbow grease had them looking much improved. Next some Solvol Autosol and more #0000 had them looking really good. I pondered reapplying clear coat but opted not to. Two years later they still looked fantastic.

 

By the way, Honda didn't polish the fork legs evenly overall. 

 

In this pic the top leg is just stripped of the clear coat and the lower one has been polished.

D200-B04472.thumb.jpg.5648d8fdceebd6dc73af0242b6df54a4.jpg

 

And they look great back on the bike, and stayed this way till I sold it 2 years / 20,000 km later.

D200-B04871.thumb.jpg.f6d2f80a782ede08f3a31228eaf6696b.jpg

 

Edited by Lorne
Added more detail
  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I suppose silicone grease should be used on the clutch diode terminals, but I hadn't really thought about it.  With terminals exposed to the elements it's probably a good practice to use dielectric grease, but these are generally wrapped and covered by the 'leccy tape.

 

Have you considered painting the bike red to match the cowl?  It's probably worth more than the bike, after all...

 

John, I thought the silicone grease was supposed to help conduct electricity as well as protect the connection from corrosion. Um, I'm not sure how exactly it could do both since it might be a conductor or an insulator but probably not a conductor and  an insulator 😛 

 

As far as painting the whole bike red to match the seat cowling yeah, that's probably not gonna happen. For now at least I won't do anything irreversible to the cowling. (I get the vibe folks around here would be offended) BTW, in Connecticut the color of the vehicle is on the registration. If I change it, then it's back to DMV. Just one more reason to think twice... Painting? That's the easy part. Going to DMV? Not so much...

 

On the other hand, I will take a whack at the fork tubes. Thank you Lorne! See John, pay attention, this is how you get me to do something. Tell me the job's easy and gets good results, then show me pictures. I've got some steel wool and paint stripper laying around here someplace. I'll check for autosol too. I noticed that some VFRs have black fork tubes. So I could always just spray them if I completely screw it up.

 

You guys might be aware there are currently 39 pages of topics on body work at VFRd. And unfortunately the indexing system leaves something to be desired so I've been slugging through one page at a time. 

 

Thanks, both of you, for playing along.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

oxgard, better idea than s/g, found in elec dept of local "home depot" type store, or even in the mom n pop style hdwre  if ya have such a thing

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Oxgard. Here it is. Ox-gard. Lowes has it. It's on my list. Thanks Airwalk...

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Decals

 

Everybody has his own taste of course. I ordered an inexpensive set. I'm pretty sure you can get them made anywhere. I don't know any more about decals than I do about anything else around here. 😛

 

The only decals on the bike now are on the gas tank. They're in good enough shape for this bike. But they have that 90s bling with the purple edging. Yuck. Fortunately, it's subtle. (btw the tank isn't bashed, it's just a reflection in the picture. I don't plan to respray it. It's the only original paint on the entire bike. But I'll try to polish out the scratches. A tank cover would work for me too.)

 

IMG_3071.thumb.jpg.30d8e6243c22a7b2b7b939deda0a17e1.jpg

 

 

Original design decals weren't an option for me, which is fine. Is the design trademarked? I found this set in gray, but any color is available... My rims aren't white, so I didn't go with white decals. Not sure how these'll look on a black bike.

 

 

IMG_3065.thumb.jpg.93153b252d1732faed7bb6315156d54d.jpg

 

All I really wanted was the big VFR for the mid fairing. If I decide to remove the tank decal, I might use the honda wings there and maybe the large HONDA down on the belly. I have no plan at all for any of the other bits. Little VFR on the quarters? Oh, a little HONDA decal goes above the headlight and tail light. 

 

All that's in the distant future of this project.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
54 minutes ago, LID said:

The only decals on the bike now are on the gas tank. They're in good enough shape for this bike. But they have that 90s bling with the purple edging. Yuck. Fortunately, it's subtle. (btw the tank isn't bashed, it's just a reflection in the picture. I don't plan to respray it. The only original paint on the entire bike. But I'll try to polish out the scratches. A tank cover would work for me too.)

 

Fwiw, the Honda decals on the tank are clear-coated and so much more durable, but impossible to remove.

 

Honda made a different graphic for each body colour, also the pattern changed during 1990-1993 model run. These oe decals have 5 colours, black, gold, red, white, blue, and clear. Not too easy to duplicate I think. The backing paper has notches and holes to help line it up correctly on the side panel, and it says Scotchcal 3M Film. The p/n are: Left:   64480-MT4-300ZC Right: 64440-MT4-300ZC

 

I have an unused spare set if you can't find them anywhere.

 

For reference, the first pic shows the stock decals on my '92 VFR. In the 2nd pic I'd applied red tape over the purple and replaced the VFR decal with the UK version.

 

1992VFR750stock.thumb.JPG.b976acfb81e6d14d54dd27eccac0518b.JPG

 

1992VFR750modified.thumb.JPG.e47b7aa21e60419fed083021c03ee9da.JPG

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, LID said:

 

I thought the silicone grease was supposed to help conduct electricity as well as protect the connection from corrosion. Um, I'm not sure how exactly it could do both since it might be a conductor or an insulator but probably not a conductor and  an insulator 😛 

 

As far as painting the whole bike red to match the seat cowling yeah John, that's probably not gonna happen. However for now at least I won't do anything horrific to the cowling. (I get the vibe folks around here would be offended) BTW, in Connecticut the color of the vehicle is on the registration. If I change it, then it's back to DMV. Just one more reason to think twice... Painting? That's the easy part. Going to DMV? Not so much...

 

On the other hand, I will take a whack at the fork tubes. Thanks Lorne! See John, pay attention, this is how you get me to do something. Tell me it's easy and gets good results, then show me pictures. I've got some steel wool and paint stripper laying around here someplace. On site, there's also a thread about using oven cleaner(?). I'll check for autosol too. I see that some VFRs have black fork tubes. So I could just spray them if I completely screw it up.

 

You guys might be aware there are currently 39 pages of topics on body work at VFRd. And unfortunately the indexing system leaves something to be desired so I've been slugging through one page at a time. 

 

Thanks, both of you, for playing along.

 

 

I was joking about repainting the bike... :wink:

 

The silicone grease doesn't conduct electricity.  The idea is that its application inhibits the corrosion of the contacts, which are thus able to maintain the clean mechanical connection they were designed to have.  I have some Ox-Gard in the garage, but I haven't really used it in anger at this point.

 

I powder coated my FL's fork tubes black before I shipped that bike to Europe (the first time!), I still have them and they're still black.  You're welcome to them, but I can't guarantee they don't have any nicks or chips, as I really haven't looked at them in years.  I'm headed to California for my postponed summer holiday at the end of next month...

 

Ciao,

 

JZH

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Privacy Policy.