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Hello fellow Vifferini!

I recently picked up another 2001 VFR800 after a 15 year hiatus from riding. I posted a trip report in the ride reports section documenting the 1,000 mile journey to bring it home. With the bike now in my garage it's time to get it dialed in and "make her mine" so to speak. The goal is to loosely recreate the memory of my first 2001 that I bought new back in the day. 

Here is my first '01 the day I brought it home from the dealer. I was still living at home at the time so I told my mom it was her mother's day present. ; ) 

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And after a few mods: Genmar risers, Sargent seat, Staintune Highmount, K&N air filter, rear fender delete, Vista cruise throttle lock and tank bra. Sold after 5 years and 26,000 (s)miles. 

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Here is my new bike. It has 21k miles. Current mods are Vance & Hines pipe, 16T front sprocket, speed healer module, headlight modulator, Stebel Nautilus dual tone horn, Heli bars, VFRness harness, Cortech tank bag with mount, ZG double bubble windscreen. It runs great but needs some maintenance and a good clean up and polish.

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Things I like:

Heli bars! Love these!! Way better than the Genmar risers I had before.

Headlight modulator. If it helps to be seen why not? 

VFRness harness. We're all familiar with the R/R issues on these bikes so this is a great upgrade. 

 

Things to change: pipe, seat, probably get a new chain and OEM sized sprockets and the tank bag has gotta go. It's useful but I don't like the mounting ring sticking up from the fuel filler. Also needs oil and filter change and a new air filter, and I need to dial in the wind buffeting better.

 

The first thing I ordered was a new Sargent seat. Prices have gone up on these but I am glad they are still available. I was able to negotiate 10% off for being a repeat customer (even 20 years later!) and they throw in a Sargent hat with the order as standard practice. This is such a nice upgrade over stock. By comparison, the stock seat is like a piece of plywood covered in vinyl and the Sargent is like having Richard Simmons personally hugging your bum while you ride. It’s quite wonderful really, for short or long rides. Nice for the wife/pillion too. Once I installed the seat I also took a chance to give the bike it’s first wash since being home.

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Next up was the pipe. The V&H sounds better than stock but the Staintune is where it’s at for me. The Staintune company nearly went out of business but has recently joined up with another company in Australia to continue making products. I spoke with the parent company (torqit.com.au) last week and was told it will be a few months before they are ramped up and start turning out stock. I had posted on the forum that I was looking for one and another forum member reached out to me. His pipe had a couple minor dings and needs a good polish but we settled on a price and he shipped it out. My plan is to polish it up and see if I can pull the dings somehow but for now it’s on and it sounds even better than I remembered. 😊 And when I’m riding I can’t see the imperfections, I just hear the glorious V4 noise that this bike makes. When it comes to go fast bits, the Aussies don’t mess around. Super happy with it.

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Wind buffeting was an issue on my ride home from Kansas. I’m just 5’8” tall and the combination of Heli bars and the DB windscreen puts turbulent air right at my helmet. Even with ear plugs it’s really noisy. I thought I’d try a cheap air deflector from Amazon as they are adjustable. I first angled it up hoping to push the wind up and over my helmet but it created a lot of turbulence. I moved it around a bit and found that setting it up like a biplane wing seems to smooth the airflow much better. So the air still hits my helmet but it seems to be much cleaner and noise is reduced by some margin. Combined with better ear plugs I don’t have nearly the same amount of buffeting noise as before. I also installed a new Vista Cruise like I had back in the day. Great to have on long rides between twisties.

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Now we move on to the air filter where I found a bit of a surprise. The filter on the bike is definitely OEM, and who knows, could be the original, or at least 10 years old. Not sure how this thing breathed all the way home from Kansas but the filter did it’s job. The throttle body trumpets were all clean and looked good. I ordered a new K&N, removed the old filter and airbox O-rings and installed the new. Also took a minute to clean up the airbox lid. I removed the snorkel just to try it out as I remember that being a thing way back when. Went for one ride and put it back in. It just makes a little more intake noise and I’d rather hear more exhaust than intake.

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With those items tackled it was time for new oil and filter. Honda GN4 and an OEM filter ought to do the trick. Took some time to clean up around the filter a bit. Also noticed the coolant level was low so I topped that off. 

 

**Question** Does anyone know at what temp the radiator fan is supposed to kick on? I noticed earlier in the day that the bike got up to 206* F while idling in the driveway and it didn’t seem like the fan had kicked on yet. I need to make sure that is working properly.

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After the air filter install and the oil change I went for a ride last night and the bike runs great. I’m sure it was happy to be breathing better and have fresh oil.

 

Next steps:

1.     Eliminate the tank bag mount for which I have ordered new bolts for the fuel filler.

2.     Do a full polish on the paint to see if I can give it some new life.

3.     Clean and adjust the chain or just buy new to start fresh there.

4.     Get some proper franken bolts

5.     Touch up a few nicks on the wheels where the paint is missing

6.     Possibly new brake pads front and rear

7.     Go on some more epic rides!

 

Anyway, it’s great to be back on a bike and certainly something as cool as a 5th gen VFR. I am loving it big time. I live between a mountain and a lake so we have some decent roads to cruise on.

 

More to come!

 

Cheers and ride safe,

Justin

 

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Wow - that first pick reminds me of the day I trailered my 5th gen home new from the dealer.  For me it was love at first sight.   Fortunately I still have it!  :wub:  

 

 The Staintune looks great.  There was also a company in Australia that makes (ed) carbon fiber bits for bikes - I think it was Geelong.  I looked at their hugger for a while but never pulled he trigger on it.  AFAIK they're also OOB. 

 

As for the Rad fan, it should come on at 220.  Anything under that is nothing to worry about.   If not, I'd double check that the coolant is full - the switch in the left rad is at the top and needs to be immersed in coolant to sense the temp. 

 

Just curious - what is the sticker on the right frame spar?  Maybe a state inspection certificate?  It's absent in some of the other photos . . .

 

Keep the pics coming - this is looking good!  :fing02:

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Yes Sir that was a good day when I brought the bike home! 

 

The coolant level was low so I topped that off while doing the oil change. I'll keep an eye on the temps to make sure the fan is coming on when it should. Thanks!

 

The sticker on the right frame was a college parking pass for the previous owner. I took it off along with the factory stickers that were on the top of the fuel tank. 

 

Here's another question: Did all 5th gens come factory with a catalytic converter?  My first one was a California bike so it had the cat plus the charcoal canister below the oil filter. This one is a 49 state bike as far as I know. It has the cat converter but no charcoal canister. 

 

For some reason I thought 49 state bikes didn't have the cat?  

 

Justin 

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5th gens got a cat starting with the 2000 model year.  98's and 99's do not have them.  Cats had nothing to do with 49 state or Cali models - they all had them starting in 2000.  The 98/99's also have manual starter valves vs a wax unit (hence the 98/99 lever on the left switch pod - absent on 00/01 models) but they had the godawful condom mirrors.  I replaced my 99 mirrors early on with Y2k mirrors for the much tidier look. 

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You mentioned the VFRNess but not a MOSFET R/R.  I'd look into that...my bike no longer smells like hot electrical wiring when I ride it, and I was kind of worried after re-obtaining it since the harness is close to two decades old.  I have a VFRNess to install but the R/R upgrade solves the underlying problem (and won't cook my stator...hopefully...) so I haven't gotten around to installing it yet. 

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Just incase you haven't already done it.

Top priority- Replace and flush the brake and clutch fluid.

Great looking 5gen ya have there.

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3 minutes ago, Grum said:

Just incase you haven't already done it.

Top priority- Replace and flush the brake and clutch fluid.

Great looking 5gen ya have there.

 

 Thanks and will do. 👍

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4 hours ago, ShipFixer said:

You mentioned the VFRNess but not a MOSFET R/R.  I'd look into that...my bike no longer smells like hot electrical wiring when I ride it, and I was kind of worried after re-obtaining it since the harness is close to two decades old.  I have a VFRNess to install but the R/R upgrade solves the underlying problem (and won't cook my stator...hopefully...) so I haven't gotten around to installing it yet. 

@jroberts427In any case, it's worth considering mounting a voltmeter up front so you can watch the trend of what is happening.....

There's a good thread on meters mount if you search.

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3 hours ago, jroberts427 said:

 

 Thanks and will do. 👍

You'll want to pay special attention to getting clean fluid through the SMC on the left caliper. They can cause issues with the rear brake dragging if the fluid is not clean.  It's not as simple as just pulling new fluid through the calipers - the SMC has its own procedure.  There's a great guide to it pinned in the maintenance forum that will help.  It's for the G6,  but getting the SMC done is similar to your G5. Read through to the end.  I added a post specifically on dealing with the SMC. The 6G has 2 PCVs, but the 5G one.  Don't let that deter you,  the principle is the same.  

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For maintenance items I am adding the following:

1. Clutch and brake fluid flush

2. Coolant flush

3. Possibly new brake pads

4. Possibly new chain and 17/43 sprockets

5. At minimum I'll attach a multimeter just to see what the voltage is doing. 

6. Inspect fork seals

7. Check valves 

 

Are there any other maintenance items I should add?  Thanks. 

 

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- Inspect charging system wire harness and check stator to R/R connector.

- Identify current model R/R.

-Check voltage output at the battery -idle and 5000rpm.....

There are literally hundreds of threads on charging system death on this and the other forum.

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20 hours ago, mello dude said:

- Inspect charging system wire harness and check stator to R/R connector.

- Identify current model R/R.

-Check voltage output at the battery -idle and 5000rpm.....

There are literally hundreds of threads on charging system death on this and the other forum.

 

I read some of the threads on the topic and did some initial checks last night:

 

My R/R is the SH579C-12 which is the better version installed as factory in the 00-01 years according to what I read. While I can't prove it, there is a good chance it is the original unit as the bike has just 21k miles on it. 

Voltage at idle is 13.6.  

Voltage at 5000 rpm is a steady 14.2

 

This is the VFRness harness that is installed:  https://www.wiremybike.com/product_info.php?cPath=1_4&products_id=271  

 

Also I noticed some slight acid/corrosion on the positive battery terminal. I neutralized and cleaned it off with baking soda and water. I'll have to pull the fairing and rear cowl to inspect the rest of the wiring. 

 

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I have that VFRness on my 5th gen, and I had installed one on my previous VFR's as well (6th and 4th gen) 

If installed correctly it's a great addition to the bike. (if not a slightly older and outdated fix to the VFR's electrical issues)

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Congrats!  I know you didn't find your old bike but I know that you'll enjoy making this one yours.

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Hello all and hope you are getting some great riding weather where you live! 

 

I have been making some progress as parts have been coming in. 

While I liked the functionality of the tank bag that came with the bike my eyes couldn't handle the plastic mounting ring that was bolted to the fuel filler cap. I ordered a stainless steel bolt kit and the fix was done in minutes. Interesting to note here that 4 of the bolts on the cap ring are simply cosmetic. They bolt into the ring but they don't actually attach anything. Just makes it look more uniform guess. I like the smoother lines on the tank without the mounting ring. 

 

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I took some time to bleed the clutch line which was easy enough with my brake bleeder tool. I am going to bleed the brakes with the help of another local VFR owner later this week. The clutch fluid was a little dark but not too bad. Also took the time to carefully clean out the clutch MC. Nice to have this task done and documented on my VFR maintenance spreadsheet. 

 

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There were a few small bits missing from the bike that I wanted to have in place. Franken bolts and some miscellaneous pieces. I love that you can go to the Honda parts fiche and order just about any small OEM part you need. Many of the larger parts are no longer available but most of the smaller bits are. 

 

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I had previously done some voltage testing and everything was in spec but I didn't know how old the battery was. Upon cleaning off some dust I found a date inscribed into the battery: 4/25/11 (!) If that is accurate all I have to say is wow! That and the battery tender the PO used must be magical. I would have never thought that a battery would last 10 years. Not wanting to risk an issue out on the road I ordered a replacement and put it in with the current date inscribed.  

 

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The rear brake pads looked low so I ordered a new set from the local Honda dealer. I also ordered EBC HH for the front and they should be delivered this week. 

Yep, the rears were due:

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New set installed:

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Did a full coolant flush using Honda Type 2 50/50. I wasn't expecting it to be blue for some reason but it will work all the same no matter the color of the dye.

As the gents from Project Binky would say: Sorted! 

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The chain looked a little old (minor surface rust in some spots) and I wanted to go back to the 17T front so I ordered a DID gold chain (Flava Flav!) and 17/43 sprockets. The front is a lightweight design and seems to emit a slight vibration so I have ordered an OEM rubber insulated front sprocket to use instead. 

Worth noting here that my cheapie Amazon master link flaring tool self-destructed upon first use. You do indeed get what you pay for in tools I have found. I had enough of a flare to ride but I wanted a little more so I stopped by the local Honda service dept and they flared it a bit more for me free of charge. Great service at Monarch Honda in Orem, Utah. 

Torqued to spec and looking good.

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While looking through the service manual I noticed the spark plug replacement interval. Thought I might as well start fresh there and ordered some NGK Iridiums that should easily last longer than the standard interval. I will install them this week. 

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Also bought an OEM windscreen from a forum member. Compared to the DB screen, the stocker is about an inch lower which places the wind below my chin instead of right at it. Took a few minutes to install and we are good to go here. 

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Lastly, I did a bit of initial polishing. I have done some automotive detailing as a side gig in the past and still have all of my stuff. I hit the tank with a dual action polisher just to see how soft the paint was and how it would react. Got some finer scratches out but didn't want to get too aggressive with it. Also hit the Staintune with a cotton buffing wheel and compound. It looks better but needs a big industrial wheel to be done right. No worries though, it looks good enough and sounds amazing. I need to polish the rest of the bike and do a proper detail once all of the maintenance is up to date and I'm no longer removing panels, etc. Cool to see the metal flake in the Honda wing on the tank! 

 

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On Saturday I took my bride of 18 years on a ride up the canyon. Our very first date was on my original VFR back in 2002. The ride was awesome. Nice flowing sweepers, waterfalls and a some lakes to pass by. Had lunch at a park in Heber, UT and then cruised back down the canyon. Made sure to properly engage tunnel mode through the short tunnel on the way. 😉 

 

I am absolutely loving this bike and riding again. I can't believe I missed out on riding for so long. Just a few more things to address and I think we'll be ready for summer! 

 

Ride safe and take care,

Justin

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

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Great work there Justin. Fantastic looking bike, many happy miles ahead of you for sure.:fing02:

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Looks pristine! Great job! Now, you make me look/feel bad, I guess I will have to do some TLC on mine.

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