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A Dangeruss VFR Tale


Dangeruss
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Since getting it on the road I have added a set of Pazzo shorty levers and some Domino grips. I also swiped the Atlas throttle lock off my RZ, I've tried others and this is the best one so far. I replaced the tired Yuasa AGM battery with an Earth-X Lithium that was on sale at my local powersports place. It weighs slightly more than the box it came in and starts the bike just fine.

After reading the post on starter valves I bought a DigiSync and found they were set flat. I adjusted them to spec and the bike starts better and is much smoother off a closed or small throttle opening.

I purchased some new Daytona boots since my 12 year old Alpinestars were falling apart. They are a bit thicker at the front and made the shifter awkward to get in a good position. After a bit of window shopping on eBay I bought a lever off an Aprilia RSV100/Tuono and it bolted right on. It is shorter so it takes a bit more effort but also gives a shorter throw and has an eccentric adjuster on the tip.

 

large.IMG_7794.jpeg.81c7c88fe31de1eab69cb077a8c5649a.jpeg

 

This did the trick and let me get it right where I needed it. There isn't a lot of room between the bottom of the footrest and the sidestand switch but it works and doesn't hit anything.

I also installed a set of Peg Blocks from Busy Little Shop and they improved comfort a lot. I'm over 6' and have a presently gimpy hip so being folded up less is nice.

 

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Nice work getting the old girl looking glamorous again, Dangeruss. She’s a peach! 
 

And I love the Aprilia gearchange mod. Might prove useful to those with bigger feet, or who just want a more instant shift. 

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Looking good dangeruss, love the black with the yellow decals. Hope you enjoy the ride. What is your reaction to the V4 engine?

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1 hour ago, Philois1984 said:

Looking good dangeruss, love the black with the yellow decals. Hope you enjoy the ride. What is your reaction to the V4 engine?

Well, that invites a list of likes and dislikes;

 

LIKE- The sound! That iconic V4 sound. I love that sound, and it will get me in trouble. I also like the seamless V4 thrust that comes along with it, especially since adding a few teeth to the rear sprocket. I'm still not used to the immediacy of the throttle at very low speeds but that will come.

DISLIKE- Wellnuts for panel fasteners, especially where 3 overlap at the top of the mid panels. It's like trying to start a screw in cold peanut butter. Then again they might be the reason the panels are like new and not cracked at all the fastener holes like many other bikes of this vintage.

LIKE- The sound! I thought my RZ made me adolescent again, but his thing...The styling is sharp too, it happened between those cyclical Star Wars meets Godzilla periods that Japan seemed to go through for quite a while. Kind of a timeless design, a bit 'full figured' out back, but it is a sports tourer. I happen to think the VTR1000SP/RC51 is a fantastic looking bike too, although others differ on that.

DISLIKE- (sort of) Linked Brakes. I'm giving them a fair shake, with new EBC pads and a full service, but I still see them as typical Honda solution in search of a problem. They might have benefits if touring or carrying a pillion but for my riding, one up day trips with minimal baggage they are kind of meh. First VFR I rode was a '90 and the brakes set the target for how I wanted my RZ350 to stop. It now has an R6 inverted front end on it and I want my VFR to have brakes like that...(yes I know its rather a bit heavier). Jury is still out on this one.

LIKE- Did I mention the sound? Damn I like that sound.

DISLIKE- Those bloody plastic push to release clip pins that are everywhere. The bike came with about a dozen spares still in Honda wrappers. I dislike them less now I have taken the time to understand them, but still they annoy me. Especially the hard to reach ones that don't want to go in because the ends are flared and then they make no sound when you drop them until you step back and hear it crunch under your shoe.

LIKE- Yes, you know...

DISLIKE- Some of the unnecessary complexity. Single sided swingarm, so the wheel can come right off, no mucking with chain or caliper, oh wait, just let me take the exhaust off 🤬. Same on the other side, wow, I can take the chain off without breaking it, just let me get this footrest out of the way...which requires the swingarm to be removed 🤬. I am now viewing these as 'character' but the narrowly missed opportunities for simplification made me shake my head the first time.

We are still on the first dance, but all in all it's looking good.

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The VFR is reasonably easy to delink the brakes if you wanted too; get some fork lowers off a Superhawk VTR1000F (or the whole fork legs if you want adjustable rebound), mix in some 4-piston calipers from the SP2/954/CBR600RR with a matching master; wheels, axle, spacers, discs stay stock. You have to fab up a bracket to fit the 5G fender to those legs. At the rear swap out the brake master and join both existing hoses at that master, job done. 

 

I think you can insert the swingarm pivot bolt from the other side, so only need to remove the footrest to get the chain off. 

 

I sold my 5G last year and now really wish I hadn't...

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The exhaust doesn't need to be removed, just loosened and turned up out of the way. Still not a brilliant piece of engineering, but that may save you a minute or two. 

 

I never really considered any tricks to remove the chain as a whole. I just cut it off with a dremel. 

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Yeah, they're minor things when you look at it from a daily use perspective, I just tore most of the bike down when I first got it and the stack of minor things started to irk me. No big deal now it's all been done once.

I did manage to get the chain off without cutting it, you just have to remove the swingarm nut most of the way and push the pivot bolt through enough to allow the footrest to come off the locating bolt and rotate out of the way. I prefer to clean and lube a chain off the bike, so with a riveted chain this is handy.

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When I was returning from the ride where I took the 'calendar pic' above, a car pulled in front of me at an intersection and was driving quite slow, so I passed them. When I pulled into my driveway they pulled up a minute later, a guy and his wife. He asked me if I recently bought the bike in Wasaga Beach, which I had, so I smiled and said 'I guess you know my friend'. He told me that the bike was his dads before he died of cancer, and it was sold to his cousin, my friends son. We chatted for quite a while and his description of his father made him sound like the sterotypical 'Mad Englishman' and said was nice to know the bike was in such good shape and to let him know if I ever want to sell it. It was a nice way to end my first good ride on the bike, and I enjoyed hearing some of its history. After they left my wife asked how I knew them. She shook her head when I told her I didn't, the bike did, they just followed it home. 😄

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  • 2 weeks later...
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DISLIKE; The cheesy looking ‘condom’ mirrors. They might have been hip at the time or emulating the NR750 or whatever, but 22 years on they look like an afterthought.

LIKE; The 2000-2001 mirrors I just installed. I ordered these from Honda the day I got the bike, the left side came in the next day in early June. The right side finally showed up yesterday nearly 3 months later.

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Nice write-up and pix!  She's a beauty for sure!  The nice thing is you'll only very rarely have to disassemble most of this again, and only then if you're putting major mileage on the bike.

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  • 6 months later...
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Sooo, the snow is melting and it's warmer in the garage so I started playing;

 

large.RC46SP.jpeg.9809aefefb67efd714d37cc084fdf9cd.jpeg

 

I've lost about 25 lbs in the past couple of months so I thought the bike should look slimmer too. I will likely never go on a long multiday ride on this and don't own luggage for it so this isn't a comfort issue, although I will probably get a Sargent seat for it. I could swap the stock tail back on in an hour or so. The cranked up muffler is temporary until I get my VFRD headers, I plan on making my own mid pipe and mounting a nice carbon or Ti muffler tucked up tight to the tail. I need to make proper mountings for it yet, make an inner fender, and rig up a tail light. Ignore the black vinyl below the front of the seat, I was just trying to cover that unfinished area to see what a filler panel would look like.

Not sure about the silver yet, plan was to paint it black, but it looks okay as is so I may just paint the trunk lid to match for now and decide later. The 1000R decal will come off, or at least the 10 will become an 8. Rear MC reservoir will be relocated, this is just a rough fit. Opinions and suggestions welcome.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The tail looks great!:beer:

 

Could you show the bracketry you used?

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24 minutes ago, mello dude said:

The tail looks great!:beer:

 

Could you show the bracketry you used?

Thanks! Right now it's just a bunch of strips of aluminum flat bar, plenty sturdy enough to sit on, but meant to acquire dimensions for a final solution that I haven't chosen yet. I'm stuck between fabbing a single sturdy adapter plate for each side for a bolt together setup, or welding new legs on the RC51 subframe to put it in the right place. Since nothing is conveniently on the same plane I'm leaning towards option 2.

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Looks great, even the upturned exhaust. The RC tail slims it out but it's still specific to the period of the bike, not a newer gen mini pointy tail.

 

I've got an extra RC tail in the garage and you're giving me ideas. If I didn't already have the undertail exhaust on my '99...

 

 

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I like the look! 
 

New subframe shouldn’t be that hard to weld, no? Few ally tubes and some accurate measuring would do it. 

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Yeah, the more I think about it that is the more professional approach. I'll build a jig so I can do one leg at a time and end up with it in the right place.

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8 hours ago, Stray said:

I like the look! 
 

New subframe shouldn’t be that hard to weld, no? Few ally tubes and some accurate measuring would do it. 

 

7 hours ago, Dangeruss said:

Yeah, the more I think about it that is the more professional approach. I'll build a jig so I can do one leg at a time and end up with it in the right place.

Looks great! After you assemble with jig, you tack it together with tiny spot-welds. Then verify bodywork fits on in proper location. Let you disassemble and make minor adjustments at this point before fully welding together.

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You could do the 'ol "HRC" rear brake fluid reservoir, i.e., short piece of Tygon tubing with a little cap on it.  All of the parts can be ordered from Honda, but the Tygon tubing is cheaper elsewhere.

 

spacer.png

 

Ciao,

 

JZH

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Ha, thanks for the reminder, I have a couple of those in the cupboard, just like that one.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 8/18/2020 at 9:30 PM, Dangeruss said:

Well, that invites a list of likes and dislikes;

 

LIKE- The sound! That iconic V4 sound. I love that sound, and it will get me in trouble. I also like the seamless V4 thrust that comes along with it, especially since adding a few teeth to the rear sprocket. I'm still not used to the immediacy of the throttle at very low speeds but that will come.

DISLIKE- Wellnuts for panel fasteners, especially where 3 overlap at the top of the mid panels. It's like trying to start a screw in cold peanut butter. Then again they might be the reason the panels are like new and not cracked at all the fastener holes like many other bikes of this vintage.

LIKE- The sound! I thought my RZ made me adolescent again, but his thing...The styling is sharp too, it happened between those cyclical Star Wars meets Godzilla periods that Japan seemed to go through for quite a while. Kind of a timeless design, a bit 'full figured' out back, but it is a sports tourer. I happen to think the VTR1000SP/RC51 is a fantastic looking bike too, although others differ on that.

DISLIKE- (sort of) Linked Brakes. I'm giving them a fair shake, with new EBC pads and a full service, but I still see them as typical Honda solution in search of a problem. They might have benefits if touring or carrying a pillion but for my riding, one up day trips with minimal baggage they are kind of meh. First VFR I rode was a '90 and the brakes set the target for how I wanted my RZ350 to stop. It now has an R6 inverted front end on it and I want my VFR to have brakes like that...(yes I know its rather a bit heavier). Jury is still out on this one.

LIKE- Did I mention the sound? Damn I like that sound.

DISLIKE- Those bloody plastic push to release clip pins that are everywhere. The bike came with about a dozen spares still in Honda wrappers. I dislike them less now I have taken the time to understand them, but still they annoy me. Especially the hard to reach ones that don't want to go in because the ends are flared and then they make no sound when you drop them until you step back and hear it crunch under your shoe.

LIKE- Yes, you know...

DISLIKE- Some of the unnecessary complexity. Single sided swingarm, so the wheel can come right off, no mucking with chain or caliper, oh wait, just let me take the exhaust off 🤬. Same on the other side, wow, I can take the chain off without breaking it, just let me get this footrest out of the way...which requires the swingarm to be removed 🤬. I am now viewing these as 'character' but the narrowly missed opportunities for simplification made me shake my head the first time.

We are still on the first dance, but all in all it's looking good.

 

I've owned three different 5th gens, one 4th gen, and countless other bikes over the years. As far as "regular"  maintenance goes, it's no more complex than anything else. Some things are easier, some aren't. Just the way it goes. Like those push pins. PITA at first, but do yourself a favor and have a bunch on hand. New ones work much easier. Also, those well nuts.. just replace them. Hell, my local hardware store carries em. After time, they get all mushroomed from overtightening and the threads get all cockeyed. Now you're digging around with the screw trying to get it started. Change out the three on the side too. You'll be surprised how much faster the fairing goes back on. Don't overtighten and they'll last years.

 

Now...

 

Everything "beyond"  regular maintenance is definitely harder. Brake bleeding, valve inspection, and just working on the motor in general. Good thing these things are indestructible. Not sure how many miles I've put on 4 different VFR's. Prob close to 75k and counting. The ONLY major malfunction I've ever had was the voltage regulator taking a dump and taking out the battery, stator, and some lights. And even that could have been avoided if I had been more observant. Two dead batteries, and flickering dash lights, should have tipped me off immediately.

 

I was too busy riding

 

 

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Re Rear brake M/C reservoir you could always get the world best kept secret.

 

https://psr-usa.com/sport-bike/fluid-reservoirs/intergrated-rear-brake-reservoir.html

 

I did the Honda hose thing years ago but like many others they often leak where they fit on the spigot. So a lot of searching turned up the PSR's above, they replace the spigot connector on the M/C & look super cool IMO. 

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1 hour ago, VFRXX said:

I was too busy riding

 

The most important part! Thanks for the tips!

 

Mohawk, thanks for that link, just what I needed. I was also thinking of using the standard RC51 reservoir, but since I'm going to use a flat undertray the little sight hole for the reservoir is a good spot to put the lock for the trunk lid.

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