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sportfour

Gen 5 Track Day?

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Just for fun I'm thinking of doing a trackday later this year on my Gen 5. The intent is learn more about handling this VFR which just can't be done on the street. 

 

It's been awhile since I did trackdays but did so on an Aprilia RS 250. Will be at either Gingerman or Grattan, both of which are in Michigan and I have ridden before. They are very different tracks. Grattan is my favorite. Will be running in the novice group.

 

Other than the obvious like lighting, mirrors, coolant, and up to spec mechanical condition I am looking for any suggestions from those that have done trackdays on their VFR's. My VFR is currently wearing Conti Road Attack's (from PO) but will fit new tires prior to weekend....suggestions? And yes,  I have searched YouTube for related uploads.

 

It is certainly much heavier than my past Aprilia so it should be an educational experience. 

 

Thanks

 

Steve

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If you are running the stock suspension, then the current tyres will match the stock setup well. But as always the harder you ride the more grip you need from your tyres. So the best you can get locally, din’t Sorry to much about the brand unless you have tried various brands already. But new  round hoops always feel better regardless of brand. 

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Go for it and have fun - the VFR is deceptively capable. 

 

Truth is you can run any old pig iron at a track day and have fun. I’ve seen full dress Harleys dragging panniers and rusty scrap heaps can overtake modern soportsbikes if the rider knows what he’s doing. 

 

It’s all about mindset. If you’re planning on having some fun and stretching your 5th gen a bit you’ll have a blast. 

 

If you’re looking to sign a GP contract and leave everyone for dust you might be disappointed. 

 

Sounds like your head is in the right place so just go have fun. 

 

As for tyres (tires), I would just fit what you’re planning to use on the street. Modern sports touring rubber is better than race rubber was 15 years ago - seriously! 

 

After your trackday you’ll have to live with those tyres for another year so pick what works best on the street. Just stay within their limits on track...

 

Stray 

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I have been using my 5 Gen at the track pretty much exclusively for most of last year, this was due to not having a salvage title done free my low side on a freeway off ramp. I have been working with the California Superbike School as a corner worker which has given me a lot of track time. To use my bike on their tracks, we need the minimum done to the engine, which is safety wire the oil filter, oil filler cap and have non glycol coolant. I took mine a step further and safety wired the brake caliper bolts and front axle. As some track day organizations have slightly more safety requirements.

 

So for suggestions, two things for sure, get some pure sport tires on the bike, although I had a decent level of performance on my 6 Gen with Michelin Road 5s, I wouldn’t use them for more than a day or two. Not that they couldn’t do the job, they did quite well, but I would definitely not be pushing it like I would with pure sport tires. Although that being said, if your goal is to see how well your bike performs in street trim or to see how far you can push your bike, put whatever you feel you want to ride with. Just be cognizant that if they are not pure sport tires, that limit may be a bit less.

 

My choice has typically been Michelin so I have the Power RS on my 5 Gen  right now but a great tire and a good bargain is the Dunlop Q3+. I have use the Pirelli Super Corsa SP2 and they too are a great tire but wear rather fast. However for track use they warm up very quickly and provide great confidence in the corners. I stuck with the Michelin’s as the Corsas are a little more expensive but don’t last as long and I just have a thing against Dunlop! (Long story)

 

The other is bike setup, not sure what purpose your 5 Gen serves, whether it’s your daily commuter, weekend fun bike or just the occasional ride every now and then. Mine happens to be just for play, I have my 6 Gen setup as my daily commuter so I haven’t really did the same to it as I did to my 5 Gen.

 

Anyway, what I am referring to for setup is more of the details of it. Like suspension, weight savings, brake pads, etc. I have actually updated both my VFRs suspension but with slightly different setups. I went with DMr (www.daughertymotorsports.com) upgrades for both bikes but on my 5 Gen I have a Penske rear shock and the front with the adjustable rebound inserts, both front and rear were setup with sport/track riding in mind. Also on both bikes, I have stainless steel brake lines (HEL Performance) but for pads I have Carbonne Lorraine XBK5 on the 5 Gen. I found these pads worked much better than the EBC HH pads I had and still have on my 6 Gen. The CL pads just seem to hold up to heavy braking and hard use all day.

 

Although the VFR is a bit more hefty than your average sport bike, I tried to shed as much weight off as possible without going too far overboard I.e. replacing all the bolts with titanium! So for this, I ditched the center stand, the OEM exhaust can and the catalytic headers in favor of no center stand, a 2 Bros carbon fiber can and cat-less 98-99 headers. 

 

Im sure I forgot a few of things but I definitely have been enjoying the 5 Gen much more now with my current setup.

 

I hope this wasn’t too wordy and was helpful to you.

 

Cheers!

 

 

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Highly recommend Dunlop q3+ for novice through intermediate pace. I mostly ride a 6th gen at Road America in Wisconsin. Stock suspension is ok at novice pace but you will notice under hard braking from a long straight that it will bottom out the forks quickly so practice doing braking in steps rather than mashing it. Even just a fork spring change would be beneficial if you don't want to spend on a complete suspension setup right now. If you are up to it remove the center stand which requires removing the head pipe. I use ebc efpa brake pads which are their trackday pads and have been happy with performance. It may help to lower the front and raise rear a little to make it easier to flick in the turns. On my 6th gen forks are at 50mm from 42mm stock and rear raised about 10mm

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Thanks for the replies. I am reading and rereading them. 

 

Grattan has a long straight, various radius configurations , off camber, significant elevation changes, and simply has it all.

 

Stray; you pretty much nailed my approach. It's about stretching myself and the VFR. 

 

I will admit that I am in my mid 60's still fit (decades of cycling) and have other bikes here in the stable (+2 other VFR's) that I could use instead of the Gen 5. But for some reason I want to give this one the nod and take on the challenge.   

 

Tires will be an important consideration as will be the fact that the VFR is +200lbs over the Aprilia.

 

In everyday mode the VFR is purely recreational. I run dualsport machines for touring.

 

 

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11 hours ago, Stray said:

Go for it and have fun - the VFR is deceptively capable. 

 

Truth is you can run any old pig iron at a track day and have fun. I’ve seen full dress Harleys dragging panniers and rusty scrap heaps can overtake modern soportsbikes if the rider knows what he’s doing. 

 

Quote

Stray; you pretty much nailed my approach. It's about stretching myself and the VFR. 

So, my first track day was a Class school in the early 90s. I did several more over the next few years, and track days with friends. The instructors at Class were using VFRs which, even in the late 90s, were considered overweight and underpowered. Yet they still dusted countless risers on theoretically much faster bikes.

 

I have even ridden with Reg and Jason, each more than once, and seen how ridiculously fast they can be 2 up. As a novice, you never realize how far away from the limits of the bike your bike you are until, after a day of riding faster than you ever have in your life, you ride on the back with someone who takes EVERY corner a gear faster and actually weaves through traffic in the Corkscrew at Laguna Seca. With an extra 180lbs sitting on the back.  So smooth it seems deceptively easy.

 

I was, and have never been, anywhere close to the limits of the a VFR, and that time on the track basically showed me where I was causing problems. And holy crap was it fun!

 

 

Quote

It’s all about mindset. If you’re planning on having some fun and stretching your 5th gen a bit you’ll have a blast. 

 

If you’re looking to sign a GP contract and leave everyone for dust you might be disappointed. 

 

 

The difference in bikes these days is far greater, obviously. The power and geometry changes sport bikes went through form '95 to '05 was remarkable, so a 5th gen is going to seem portly in comparison. Especially compared to some nutter on an R1 or a local club racer who knows the course well.   And an RS250 is like 300 lbs!  I rode one once and it was SO much fun, but having hopped off a VFR, stuff happened so fast it was disconcerting. I was better on my bike. The stability is confidence inspiring and, if you're in the novice group, that's a great thing. You'll be concentrating on the right things, your smoothness, your line, your braking, and staying relaxed on the bike.

 

I loved riding a "touring" bike in the slow group. Never felt the need to push, yet somehow I always eventually ground my pegs even while taking it easy. Learned more in a day at the track than a year on the street.

 

Tell us how it goes! I'm jealous and miss it, in case you can't tell. I'll have to get back to track days soon.

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MooseMoose; thanks for taking the time to express your thoughts.

 

First, let me say I am a small bike rider growing up with a pair of RD 350's, a Kaw 400 triple, and various 2 stroke dirt bikes.

 

About 16 yrs ago I did my first trackday at Grattan on a stock 01 Kaw 250 Ninja. Had fun but soon crossed paths with a new RS250 and closed the deal.

 

When asked about the differences I always said twice the power and 4 times the brakes. Ran with a couple of buddies (top tier novice) one had an SV the other a 600 Gixxer. We all had a blast and each had strengths and weaknesses relative to each other. The instructors turned us loose because we ran each other clean and respected others on the track..

 

Parked the trackdays and did dualsport riding/touring for a number of years.

 

Drifted back into sportbikes with the purchase of an 84 VF750F. This was a bit of a resto project taking several on and off years to work out all the issues. Loving the V4's and reading about the Gen 5,  I soon found a pretty good deal on one a few years back. It needed some TLC and was completed last year. Then looking for a first Gen gear drive I picked up the RWB 86 this year. Of the 3 the 86 is probably the most potent track bike but needs some TLC and sorting out to assess it's mechanical condition. It has a CBR 900RR front end,a Fox shock, and a full Hindle exhaust.

 

This venture is about increasing my competency bigger and heavier sportbikes that I have only modest experience with. And since, like most here, the VFR is a favorite why not start there.

 

Pics of the clan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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IMG_0370.JPG

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That's a who's who of VFRs right there. The beginning, the pinnacle of the racing domination years, and the ultimate gen with gear driven cams. Sounds like that 86 will be a great bike once you sort it out. Especially since the basic suspension upgrades are already there!

 

Suspension can do wonders for track day fun. Especially on the 5th gen, which are sprung for like 145 lb riders so someone like me, who has to wash himself with a rag on a stick...  I had Daugherty sort me out on this one. Did race tech on my 91. Best money I ever spent on the bikes.

 

You'll have a good time.

 

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2 hours ago, MooseMoose said:

 

 

Suspension can do wonders for track day fun. Especially on the 5th gen, which are sprung for like 145 lb riders    

 

You'll have a good time.

 

Well, that's me.

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Ok guys here's another question relating to Honda branded fork oil.

 

This bike has 18 K on the odometer and figured I would do a fork oil change while the front end was apart for brake service. I'm working from a Honda manual and they call for Honda Pro Suspension Fluid SS 8. Should I use this spec fluid or is there an equivalent offered by others. I  have on hand some PJ 1 Pro Cartridge Oil for another bike but I have not serviced cartridge forks before. 

 

Another thing I'm not sure of and it is not spelled out clearly in the manual, is whether or not I need to do a complete disassembly to change the fluid, yes or no.

 

Needless to say it would be wise to change the fork seals if a full teardown of the fork is required for a fluid change but I will also have the front end apart this winter for steering head bearing service and could do a full service at that time  

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I believe that is 10W fork oil. Any other manufacturers 10W fork oil can be used.  Just remember that the fork air gap is measured with the fork collapsed & NO spring in it. More oil, will result in slightly stiffer suspension at maximum compression, just before it bottoms out. IIRC the stock air gap is 130mm or there abouts, so a 120mm air gap (i.e. 10mm more oild depth) is a reduced air gap, 140, is an increased one.  The best way to set it is to pour oil in untilthe damper top is covered then put a finger/thumb over the top of the damper rod & slowly pump the rod in & out to ensure the cartridge is full of oil, then adjust the oil level to slightly more than what you want, then use a syringe or vacuum pump line to suck out the excess using a fixed marker on the syringe or vacuum pipe. That will keep both sides the same !

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Sportfour, if you're going to do all that you may want to look into getting custom damping done at the same time. When I did my 6 Gen, I didn't want to have to send my forks in, as it is my commuter bike and it was going to take a few weeks for a full send and return. I asked Jamie (DMr) to send me the valves and shim stack for my riding weight and type of riding it was going to be used for. I don't recall the cost off hand but I do recall that it was very reasonable and helped transform the bike, even with "touring" damping in it! I also got new springs along with the valve/shim stack, so that also helped I'm sure.

 

Jamie shipped the valves and shim stack all setup in the proper order so all I had to do was remove the old stuff and replace it with the new stuff. There was only one minor item that needs to be addressed and that is the grinding off of the peening done at the bottom of the valve stack on the OEM fork. Other than that, it was a really easy job. Although for more money DMr has kits that will provide you with rebound damping adjusters and it is a "drop in" kit.

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Did my 2nd track day at the Assen MotoGP track last monday.

Decided to ride in in 3rd gear and leave it there (except the sharp left "Strubben"180 switchback). 

Having test ridden an Aprilia RS250 in 1997, this is not an option 🙂

Freed from  shifting (there is plenty ooomphin the RC51). I could focus on riding the lines, hitting the apexes. Sure, you speed at the straights will be a bit lower...

Give it a try for a lap or 3 in a session and see if you like/benefit from it.

 

I know guys that track CB500 with a brembo upfront, superbike steering bar and one big "NOHLINS" sticker on the side... :tongue:

Outclassed on the straight, they dive in and overtake in corners...

 

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13 hours ago, sportfour said:

Ok guys here's another relating to Honda branded fork oil.

 

This bike has 18 K on the odometer and figured I would do a fork oil change while the front end was apart for service. I'm working from a Honda manual and they call for Honda Pro Suspension Fluid SS 8. Should I use this spec fluid or is there an equivalent offered by others. I  have on hand some PJ 1 Pro Cartridge Oil for another bike but I have not serviced cartridge forks before. 

 

Another thing I'm not sure of and it is not spelled out clearly in the manual, is whether or not I need to do a complete disassembly to change the fluid, yes or no.

 

Needless to say it would be wise to change the fork seals if a full teardown of the fork is required for a fluid change but I wl also have the front end apart this winter for steering head bearing service and could do a full service at that time  

https://www.partzilla.com/product/honda/08C35-A071M?gclid=Cj0KCQjwwODlBRDuARIsAMy_28VKunGdu3lVIrOR8HADWVriSxDPGsQ9q8RE4-7klt0IcD2QEzferEQaAkqoEALw_wcB

 

This is one of the fork oils recommended by jamie. I went to my local dealer and they don't put it out in the showroom display. I gave them the part number and they found it in the backroom. 

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Thanks for the input.

 

More fun occurred while removing front wheel.  I dived into brakes as I was hearing pad wear indicator noise.........well not exactly. Discovered the PO failed to fit the left side axle spacer which allowed the rotors to drag on the caliper adapter brackets which did limit the side to side play.  After bead basting rotors they look fine. Ordered up the right parts...........just too much fun.

 

 

 

Will look into a fork upgrade this winter.

 

Found at my local dealer, label tells all.

 

 

IMG_0379.JPG

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That's fine for OEM forks, but if you do fork upgrades you will want the 5w oil I linked. The ss8 is too thick for upgraded valves

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