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lawnmowerman

1998 honda vfr 800 , lack of power ?

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Hello all new  here. just purchased a 1998 vfr 800 great condition , but it seems to lack power, for example when letting out the clutch it wants to stall ,it need to give it a decent amount of gas and clutch lever doesnt seem to pop right in , there is allot of travel in the clutch lever, i have several other bikes and have ridden for 30 years  faithfully , clutch pops in gear faster on my other bikes. so my question is, do these bikes have a lack of power at low rpm,s  or would i most likley need a carb cleen, is this a carb or fuel injected  can anybody help

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It's fuel injected.  If it has sat for a long time, check the air filter to make sure it's breathing clearly and no mouse have made homes above the filter and blocked the air flow. If no nastyness is there, it may need the injectors cleaned, try a fuel treatment first and dump a bunch in for a tank or two (cheapest fixes first!).  Spark plugs should be tested to make sure all are sparking up, and they may need replaced (next item on cheapest fix list).  If that doesn't clear it up, you may need to pull the injectors to have them cleaned.  There isn't a dearth of low end power on these bikes, the torque curve is pretty flat.  

 

If all that doesn't cure the problems, it's helpful to find a local VFR owner and compare the bikes - if you're used to a Hayabusa, the VFR will feel underpowered at low RPM's, but it's no slouch.  (I've owned lots of bikes and the VFR is a good performer when in proper tune).  My guess is the fuel has varnished in the injectors and a big bottle of Techron or seafoam or whatever you prefer will clear it out - barring an issue with air or spark.

Best of luck tracking it down - and let us know what you find out!

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You might have some air in the clutch line. There is a trick to bleeding the clutch. Because of the angle of the banjo fittings on these bikes you may need to just crack the banjos (with a bit of paper towel under them) and pump the clutch to see if any bubbles come out in addition to bleeding the slave cylinder bleed screw. 

 

My bike is prone to lug a bit below 4k rpm its a 2000 gen5. Also sometimes the spark plugs (NGK) work loose and it drops power. If its low on power just off idle, you may need to synchronise the starter valves. The process to do this is in the worksop manual which can be down loaded here at VFRD.

 

Get some miles on the bike and run some quality injector cleaner through it and there is a good chance any abnormal slugishness will sought itself out.

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Good luck with the new-to-you VFR. 

 

I'm learning not to be so presumptuous as to suggest that your new bike might need some remedial maintenance due to it being a 21 year old bike, that sort of behavior has come to be viewed as problematic here on this forum.  But I'm in the process of slowly "getting my mind right". 

 

VFRs don't need maintenance (it's true, just wait a moment and someone will be along to post about how they've never done any work and their bike's just fine).

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Thanks for replying. i will let you guys know if fuel injector cleaner works with the lack of power,and as far as the clutch i will also let you know if bleeding it helps.  thanks for the positive attitude and good advice.

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On 6/1/2019 at 7:52 PM, lawnmowerman said:

Hello all new  here. just purchased a 1998 vfr 800 great condition , but it seems to lack power, for example when letting out the clutch it wants to stall ,it need to give it a decent amount of gas and clutch lever doesnt seem to pop right in , there is allot of travel in the clutch lever, i have several other bikes and have ridden for 30 years  faithfully , clutch pops in gear faster on my other bikes. so my question is, do these bikes have a lack of power at low rpm,s  or would i most likley need a carb cleen, is this a carb or fuel injected  can anybody help

I'm not sure I get what you're describing with the clutch. By saying the clutch is slower than your other bikes, do you mean it just engages over a longer throw than you're used to, or do you mean that it actually lags behind the motion of your hand? If it's lagging behind, you've got an issue.

 

The VFR800 isn't the fastest bike on the market, but it's hardly a dog. I think you've probably got some problems happening somewhere. Don't worry, this forum will help you get to the bottom of it. You've gotten good advice so far and I'm sure it will continue.

 

Don't pay any attention to the "no maintenance" stuff... you've just stumbled into an ongoing wiener waving contest that seems to be lingering.

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Welcome to the asylum. As I usually state in cases like these, we'll need to see a picture of your machine to verify you are not a figmemt of our imagination.

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I would have to say the clutch lever engages over a longer throw or distance goes in gear fine . i recently purchased this bike from a man that seems to of taken care of it. i no longer have his number .but being now that it is summer i have some time to ride my vfr  800 and the bike seems to run well, butt seems to lack power since i am new to this bike i dont know if this is normal for it.  the bike seems to have a good amount of power between 4 and 8 thousand rpms. and then doesnt really have much power after that .not that i need to go that fast .im just wondering if i maybe the fuel injectors need to be cleaned . also it wants to bogg down when letting the clutch out . just have to give it more gas and were all good. thanks 

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Hmmm... They changed several things in the clutch over a few years when they went to the 800. What you're describing may be normal for a 98. I don't know if you've done the bleed yet, but it might be worth doing a complete flush depending on how the fluid looks. After that, a set of those multi-position levers might put the engagement more where you want it - there's a lot to be said for getting that engagement point right where your hand wants it to be.

 

As far as power, it seems pretty likely that you aren't at 100%. Probably worth going through the usual suspects: filter and plugs first of course, then get the injectors cleaned and do a starter valve sync. It's hard to get more specific without obvious symptoms. At this point all we've got to go on is that it might be down on power. It might be worth finding another VFR owner in your area, just to have a good comparison.  I'd swing through, but the upper peninsula is a bit out of my way!

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Not a problem I've ever had, but critters do like to make winter nest in the VFR airbox; you can pivot up the front of the tank and unscrew the airbox lid for a look. No sure whether that would explain any low-end weakness but won't hurt to check. 

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On 6/6/2019 at 11:18 PM, Terry said:

Not a problem I've ever had, but critters do like to make winter nest in the VFR airbox; you can pivot up the front of the tank and unscrew the airbox lid for a look. No sure whether that would explain any low-end weakness but won't hurt to check. 

I've had exactly this experience with two VFRs (fifth gens) I've bought. However my symptons were rough running at low rpm's and all across the rev range. 

 

Having read about this issue before I bought a Cleveland area 2001, I asked the seller to check his air box before I agreed to buy it. He checked and there was a nest in the air box of this polebard-stored machine. He cleaned it out before I got there. The other I purchased from a barn-stored location and discovered the nest when I took it off the trailer in the Microtel parking lot during a T-Mac gathering. All was well after that.

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As stock the VFR, has nothing below 3K rpm, and it’s over geared. So you don’t mention what your other rides are, but if 1000cc+ Naked/Tourer etc then the VFR will feel flat low down, due to the nature of its power delivery & the high stock gearing.

If you are used to slow revving bikes then the VFR is probably NOT your best choice, or any 750 size or smaller engine.

 

Do as the others have suggested & check the intake is clear. Then balance the starter valves, as the way it revs is directly related to how well the induction balance is set, the 5th gen uses an offset balance so check the manual. Mine was way off when I got it, but after balancing, it was sweet. Put a 16 tooth front sprocket from the Vtec model (2002-2009) on it & it wis I’ll pull much better low down.

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My opinion is that the VFR is actually useless under 5000rpm, and mine is very rarely under that even in traffic. 

Its why you have a gear box. 

Its a 4 cylinder with a 11750rpm red line and needs to be revel like one. 

 

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