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EazyRider

Looking to buy, thoughts on mileage ?

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I'm looking to buy a 5th gen VFR800fi. What is the forum's thoughts on mileage ? Is it worth paying more for less, or would you only look at condition ? 

 

For example, a local one that caught my eye has 40k miles. But another bike, out of state, has only 20k miles but costs an extra 1000. If it was local, I'd probably heavily favor the 20k mile example. But when it's over 500 miles away, there would be a lot more effort involved. I supposed I could fly out, inspect it, and ride home. What do you think ? I hear good things about VFR reliability, but I've always considered 40k pretty high mileage on a sport bike. 

 

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Condition is more important, as is service history. These bikes can easily clock more than 200,000 miles, the engines are pretty bulletproof. Look for records of engine maintenance as in oil & filter changes, then look for useful upgrades. The stock shock would be shot by now so look for aftermarket figments, same with the fork oil, look for changes to that, and the stock rubber brake lines will be past there bst, so after market braided ones are a good thing.

 

New bodywork is NLA now, so get one with good bodywork. Check the clutch cover for signs of being dropped, as it always seems to be the damaged side.

 

The value of anything is down to what someone is willing to pay & what the seller is willing to accept, cash in hand can help ! 

 

Happy hunting.

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If you look at enough ads you'll get a handle on the price range of 5th gen VFR800s. 

 

If its a keeper:

Condition trumps age - newer isn't necessarily better. In any case, they are all ~20 years old with no significant difference other than colour. Pro tip: yellow is best.

Condition trumps mileage - lower isn't necessarily better. Many owners have exceeded 100,000 miles on their VFRs, so 40K is a mere pittance.

 

 

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my 5th gen had 50k when i bought it and i paid $2100. It included a new in box corbin seat and unmounted NiB tires. Look for maintenance records and know you're in for clutch, shocks, lines but that's pretty minor stuff. the engine won't let you down.

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Thanks for the responses. Good to know 40k miles is still ok. 

 

The local one I'm considering has a new chain, bar risers, and comes with a sargent seat, and vfrness wiring harness. Is that a good one ? 

I've read the factory regulator/rectifier wiring can have issues. 

 

So it will probably need a clutch, rear shock and brake lines ? I see Penske makes shocks for 5th gens. My last bike had ohlins front and rear, but I don't plan to do any track riding with the VFR.

 

I don't see any road rash in the pictures. But will inspect it carefully. Thanks again ! Good to know this forum is active. 

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My ‘99 had 20,500 miles when I bought it in 2003 and I doubled that in the first year. It’s at over 103k now. 

You won’t need a clutch. I replaced mine at over 70k and the difference between new and old was minimal. I only did it cause I was in there already and doing a bunch of other work. I could give you my old clutch pack and you wouldn’t find any difference to whichever you get. 

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One other question if you will all indulge me. How well do these bikes handle the heat ? Are the side mount radiators a problem in 100-110F degree weather ?

I've always heard the RC-51 ran hot. 

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Running hot?   

 

 

Only if it is me,

running into the corner "too hot"....... :goofy:

 

 

leukopdefoto_1112488.thumb.JPG.9d6cafc4aab44911ef87a8e09df70aa5.JPG

 

 

 

I have put a ground wire from the fan to the frame with a simple on/off switch, allowing me to start them manually (kicks in automatically at 103C).

In AZ I'd pay more attention to myslef not overheating/dehydrating......

 

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On 8/27/2019 at 9:11 PM, EazyRider said:

One other question if you will all indulge me. How well do these bikes handle the heat ? Are the side mount radiators a problem in 100-110F degree weather ?

I've always heard the RC-51 ran hot. 

They do run hot.  My 5th Gen is not my first choice for riding in hot weather, especially stop and go.  If you're moving along at 60mph+ it's not an issue, but if you're crawling along at first and second gear speeds you're going to really be watching the temp gauge climb pretty quickly.  

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I thought the vfrness was for 6th gen vfrs, I didnt know it was compatible with 5th. I put in an after market r/r and added a computer fan. No problems in 20k+.

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I looked at a pretty nice 2000 this morning. It had 49k miles but looked clean. Only problem was the owner said he'd never shimmed the valves, and thought the engine had probably never been opened, but said he wouldn't worry about it until it had 100k miles. LOL

Considering I'd immediately have to spend at least 500 for the valve work, and he wouldn't budge on his price, I passed. 

 

The search continues...

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I wouldn't worry about valves unless the bike was hard to start and I couldn't find another cause.

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I'll never understand the unwillingness to do a valve check/adjustment on a 5th Gen.  I enjoy doing this bit of maintenance.  With its gear-driven cams and the shim-under-bucket clearance method the 5th Gen presents a very straight forward and hard to mess up situation (unless basic math is truly not your friend).  And there's no cam chains to fight with, and no cam chain tensioners to worry about.  Just mark the gears so they can be reset and re-torque the camshaft hold down bolts in the correct order when you're done.

 

And getting down through the bits that block your access to the cam covers is a great opportunity do a few other things: to check/replace the spark plugs, to replace a 20-year-old thermostat unit (and all of the O-rings and associated hoses), maybe go ahead and pull the injectors to send them out for testing/cleaning (as a 2nd or 3rd owner you just don't know what quality of gasoline the bike has seen over the years) and maybe replace that 20-year-old fuel filter while your at it. 

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Yeah the bike started fine. It sounded good. I'm just OCD and would feel compelled to have the valves shimmed right away, before I started riding much. At 50k miles, I'd bet at least a few were out of spec. If I had a garage, I would consider tackling myself. But without a garage, I'd realistically have to pay a dealer to service it. And I know that wouldn't be cheap. So I offered 500 less than asking( $2500), but he was firm. It was still good to go out and look it over. Gives me a frame of reference. I have my eye on a few other bikes on craigslist, but they're out of state. 

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2 hours ago, EazyRider said:

Yeah the bike started fine. It sounded good. I'm just OCD and would feel compelled to have the valves shimmed right away, before I started riding much. At 50k miles, I'd bet at least a few were out of spec. If I had a garage, I would consider tackling myself. But without a garage, I'd realistically have to pay a dealer to service it. And I know that wouldn't be cheap. So I offered 500 less than asking( $2500), but he was firm. It was still good to go out and look it over. Gives me a frame of reference. I have my eye on a few other bikes on craigslist, but they're out of state. 

Sounds like you've got 2 "wants" that are pretty much mutually exclusive.  You want to own/ride a well-sorted motorcycle, but it also sounds like you might be on a tight budget.  I'm also very OCD about only riding a very well-sorted motorcycle and I've refurbished 2 5th Gen VFRs.  I can tell you that bringing a 5th Gen (a bike which is now 20 to 23 years old) up to a good standard costs a pretty good amount of money, which leads me to say that maybe a newer year model bike would give you a situation that wouldn't require as much maintenance and thus cost less in the aggregate (cost + maintenance costs).

 

(Here's the forum thread that I created while refurbishing my first VFR800: https://vfrworld.com/threads/refurbishing-my-99-5th-gen.52488/)

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I am on a budget, although I could have afforded his full asking price. I first saw the ad posted on CL yesterday and was excited because it looked like a decent bike and was local to me, but yesterday, after I made arrangements to see it today, I started doubting it's the one because it was yellow. My last bike was yellow, so I'd prefer a red one. If this 2000 had been red, I would have bought it and bit the bullet to pay to get the valves adjusted. And the seller texted me this morning claiming "his phone is blowing up" and first come first serve, but since I called first, he'd wait for me to see it before showing it to anyone else. I didn't believe him, it seemed like a tactic. On the way over I told myself, I can overlook the color if I can get a good deal. And when he was trying to close me on it, he said how rare good VFR are. But I told him about the original owner 2001 with 13k I saw 2 weeks ago that sold for cheap. So deals are out there. There is another really clean looking one in another state I'm considering, and it's red but costs more than the yellow. The one really cool thing about the yellow one I passed on was the staintune exhaust. But seeing it today made me realize, I really don't want to get another yellow bike. I liked yellow on my last bike, it was something different, but I don't want to get two yellow motorcycles in a row. 

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