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Bent Front Wheel


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I got a great deal on my bike but...it had been wrecked. It was missing hardware and mirrors, and had cracked, broken, and missing plastics, etc. One of the things it had, and still has, is a bent front wheel. I've looked for someone to straighten it but the only one I could find said they didn't repair motorcycle wheels. I have also looked at buying a used wheel, but I'm worried about getting a wheel that's no better than the one I have. So, I'm reaching out to you folks for advice...

 

Fix or replace? Who to contact about fixing? Where/who to contact about buying a replacement? Anyone on here have one for sale?

 

2000 VFR800... Not the fastest, not the best handling, not the most comfortable, and yet, such an awesome combination of all three.

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On 8/24/2021 at 4:15 PM, Ziffer said:

I got a great deal on my bike but...it had been wrecked. It was missing hardware and mirrors, and had cracked, broken, and missing plastics, etc. One of the things it had, and still has, is a bent front wheel. I've looked for someone to straighten it but the only one I could find said they didn't repair motorcycle wheels. I have also looked at buying a used wheel, but I'm worried about getting a wheel that's no better than the one I have. So, I'm reaching out to you folks for advice...

 

Fix or replace? Who to contact about fixing? Where/who to contact about buying a replacement? Anyone on here have one for sale?

 

2000 VFR800... Not the fastest, not the best handling, not the most comfortable, and yet, such an awesome combination of all three.

 

Front wheels from 1998 through 2009 (in the US) are the same, so one from any of those years will work.   I bought a second set of wheels off Ebay (one at a time) and the front wheel I got had blemished paint (like some sort of solvent had been spilled on it that ruined the paint) but was otherwise perfect and came with a set of ABS rotors.  I got if for $80, so deals can be had.  But you are correct - ebay ads will say the wheel is "straight", but when you get it it wobbles or has other problems - in some ways it's the luck of the draw.  I doubt most sellers actually put the wheel on a stand or mount it and watch it rotate to check for "straight".    Look for a seller with lots of sales, good rep and easy return policy - ask plenty of questions and for more photos if needed.  That's about all you can do. 

 

Also, since the wheel had an unknown history, I replaced the wheel bearings.  No telling if it had seen 5,000 miles or 50,000, so all things considered it seemed like a good idea to replace them. 

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1 hour ago, Cogswell said:

Front wheels from 1998 through 2009 (in the US) are the same, so one from any of those years will work.

Oh, thanks. I had been limiting myself to 5th gen wheels, cuz I didn't know. This might open things up a little.

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if the front end took a hit hard enough to bend the wheel, chances are that the steering head bearings are dented and need replacement.

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9 minutes ago, squirrelman said:

if the front end took a hit hard enough to bend the wheel, chances are that the steering head bearings are dented and need replacement.

 

I think they've been replaced. The guy I bought the bike from had replaced the forks. They were bent in the wreck.

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6 hours ago, Cogswell said:

 

Front wheels from 1998 through 2009 (in the US) are the same, so one from any of those years will work.   I bought a second set of wheels off Ebay (one at a time) and the front wheel I got had blemished paint (like some sort of solvent had been spilled on it that ruined the paint) but was otherwise perfect and came with a set of ABS rotors.  I got if for $80, so deals can be had.  But you are correct - ebay ads will say the wheel is "straight", but when you get it it wobbles or has other problems - in some ways it's the luck of the draw.  I doubt most sellers actually put the wheel on a stand or mount it and watch it rotate to check for "straight".    Look for a seller with lots of sales, good rep and easy return policy - ask plenty of questions and for more photos if needed.  That's about all you can do. 

 

Also, since the wheel had an unknown history, I replaced the wheel bearings.  No telling if it had seen 5,000 miles or 50,000, so all things considered it seemed like a good idea to replace them. 

 

So... Now I'm thinking I want to delink the brakes...and upgrade the suspension. So I'm wondering if I should just be going after a better fork and brake combo, and getting the wheel to match...?

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15 hours ago, Ziffer said:

 

So... Now I'm thinking I want to delink the brakes...and upgrade the suspension. So I'm wondering if I should just be going after a better fork and brake combo, and getting the wheel to match...?

The simplest way to do that is to buy some VTR1000F Superhawk forks; use your VFR uppers and the VTR lowers and innards, that adds adjustable rebound damping and allows use of the Honda 4-piston brakes off CBR600, CBR929/954, SP1/2. This way you keep your stock geometry, bars, wheel/axle/discs. You can use the stock fender with some simple brackets to adapt. 

 

However...using stock damping parts and springs is missing the point, these need to be upgraded to some decent stuff like Racetech or DMr.

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1 hour ago, Terry said:

The simplest way to do that is to buy some VTR1000F Superhawk forks; use your VFR uppers and the VTR lowers and innards, that adds adjustable rebound damping and allows use of the Honda 4-piston brakes off CBR600, CBR929/954, SP1/2. This way you keep your stock geometry, bars, wheel/axle/discs. You can use the stock fender with some simple brackets to adapt. 

 

However...using stock damping parts and springs is missing the point, these need to be upgraded to some decent stuff like Racetech or DMr.

Alright, this is the specific kind of answer I can understand. So I'd be using my stock wheel/axle/disc, so I still need a new stock vfr wheel (cuz mine is bent). Is this a brake upgrade? It looks like the VFR has 4-piston brakes. Personally, I don't like the stock fender, and was thinking of modifying it anyway -- not sporty enough for me.

 

So, I could do this mod, and later add the Racetech or DMr stuff...or just collect all the parts and do it all at once...right?

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5th and 6th gens have 3 piston sliding calipers, but only 2 of them are actuated by the brake lever (middle is actuated by the rear linked system).  With cbr600f4/929/954 calipers you get 4 pistons and they are rigidly mounted to the forks (not sliders).  If you do the VTR fork lowers you'll have to de-link because of the change in calipers.

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6 hours ago, Ziffer said:

Alright, this is the specific kind of answer I can understand. So I'd be using my stock wheel/axle/disc, so I still need a new stock vfr wheel (cuz mine is bent). Is this a brake upgrade? It looks like the VFR has 4-piston brakes. Personally, I don't like the stock fender, and was thinking of modifying it anyway -- not sporty enough for me.

 

So, I could do this mod, and later add the Racetech or DMr stuff...or just collect all the parts and do it all at once...right?

Once you have the infrastructure in place, the suspension upgrade parts can be added later, although to change the damper components (eg Gold Valves) requires a complete disassembly of the fork. There's no functional benefit using stock VTR damper parts in place of VFR parts, barring the damper adjustability. 

 

VFR brakes are sliding caliper design; the ones I mentioned are 4-piston opposed. My recommendation is the CBR954 calliper with early CBR600RR master, my pick for best feel/power.

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I did the SP2 calipers with a 19 radial for my VFR800.  Both my VFR800 and RC51 have the same calipers different master cylinders,  The RC51 has a convential 17mm master cylinder works very well.  The key is to use braided lines.  As for forks send them to Daugherty or buy some Andreani drop in cartridges or simply put the right springs in them with new oil and set the sag.  

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18 hours ago, comradeQuestion said:

5th and 6th gens have 3 piston sliding calipers, but only 2 of them are actuated by the brake lever (middle is actuated by the rear linked system).  With cbr600f4/929/954 calipers you get 4 pistons and they are rigidly mounted to the forks (not sliders).  If you do the VTR fork lowers you'll have to de-link because of the change in calipers.

 

I see, So, they are basically 2-piston sliders. I was okay with the linked brake system for awhile, but I'm done with them now. Would like to get rid of the complication, weight, and lack of control.

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18 hours ago, Terry said:

Once you have the infrastructure in place, the suspension upgrade parts can be added later, although to change the damper components (eg Gold Valves) requires a complete disassembly of the fork. There's no functional benefit using stock VTR damper parts in place of VFR parts, barring the damper adjustability. 

 

VFR brakes are sliding caliper design; the ones I mentioned are 4-piston opposed. My recommendation is the CBR954 calliper with early CBR600RR master, my pick for best feel/power.

 

Yeah, got it, might as well collect the parts and just do it all at once.

 

I like the VFR front brake feel, but wish it had a tad bit more power. So, when you talk about "feel/power" I'm thinking you mean plenty of power, but with enough lever throw to modulate the brakes...?

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18 minutes ago, Ziffer said:

 

Yeah, got it, might as well collect the parts and just do it all at once.

 

I like the VFR front brake feel, but wish it had a tad bit more power. So, when you talk about "feel/power" I'm thinking you mean plenty of power, but with enough lever throw to modulate the brakes...?

If you like the stock brake but want more power, the best path is to upgrade the pads to something with a higher friction coefficient. The EBC HH pads will provide a good level of all-round power even when cold or wet. 

 

Yes my comment was about brake feel; at one end, like squeezing a brick with little brake power, at the other a squishy brake that throws you over the bars. The difference is mainly hydraulic ratio between the master and the slave pistons. As the master gets smaller you get more squish, if it gets bigger you get less power. Personally I found the 954 calipers and CBR600RR master to be just right. 

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9 hours ago, VFR750F3 said:

I did the SP2 calipers with a 19 radial for my VFR800.  Both my VFR800 and RC51 have the same calipers different master cylinders,  The RC51 has a convential 17mm master cylinder works very well.  The key is to use braided lines.  As for forks send them to Daugherty or buy some Andreani drop in cartridges or simply put the right springs in them with new oil and set the sag.  

Here's a quote from a post from an RC51 site:

 

I looked at the caliper and master cylinder specs in the service manual.
SP1 - Master Cylinder 19mm, Caliper pistons 34/32mm
SP2 - Master Cylinder 17mm, Caliper pistons 32/30mm

SP1 Brake Rotor Thickness 4.5mm
SP2 Brake Rotor Thickness 5.0mm

 

So... When you say "19 radial" are you talking about the master cylinder?

 

I'm 6'2" tall, and weigh around 185 pounds. The guy I bought the bike from was into racing (or at least spending time on the track). He looked to be about my weight. Maybe he set the suspension up for himself, because I haven't. I've heard people talk trash about the VFR800 suspension, but this is the best handling street bike I've ever had. That may not be saying much, cuz all my other bikes were substantially older, but I've had no complaints. I just want to upgrade it to see what it could be.

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1 hour ago, Terry said:

If you like the stock brake but want more power, the best path is to upgrade the pads to something with a higher friction coefficient. The EBC HH pads will provide a good level of all-round power even when cold or wet.

 

I've thought about doing that,  but have wondered about rotor wear.  Is there any anecdotal long term experience if it's the same / similar as with OEM pads?

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1 hour ago, Cogswell said:

 

I've thought about doing that,  but have wondered about rotor wear.  Is there any anecdotal long term experience if it's the same / similar as with OEM pads?

I've put EBC HH pads in all of my recent bikes. On my 800, I had them there from 76 to 105,000km, the rotors were still well in spec, and I can't say I noticed extra wear at all. Many more modern bikes come stock with HH rated pads (not necessarily from EBC). 

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Here's something I found on wemoto.com. Sounds like I'd prefer GG pads, but with bigger calipers/shoes. Of course, I'd have to try them to know:

Brake Pad Frictional Formulation

Brakes work on the crude principle of friction between two surfaces. To give a uniform measure of the frictional characteristics of a Brake Pad the SAE J866A test procedure is used to give a two character code e.g EE FF GG HH.

HH or GG

  • HH Pads These have the highest coefficient of Friction and are ideal for high-performance motorcycles and race track use. Some modern performance motorcycles specify HH as standard. HH Pads can sometimes prove grabby, scary in the wet and ineffective in every day use when they fail to reach a good operating temperature.
  • GG Pads This grade of Pad is a great all rounder and will perform well in most conditions. GG are softer than HH pads and bed in quicker on worn discs.
  • Mixing HH and GG Pads Many manufacturers specify HH for the front of performance Motorcycles with GG in the rear. This is because GG pads can give you more feel and control of the back brake. It is not considered safe to use HH in the rear with GG pads in the front.

Obviously Pads are only as good as the condition of the whole braking system. When first used, brake pads can sometimes give poor braking, as residual moisture from the manufacturing process works its way out and the pads bed in. It is best to bed in pads with gentle use and very heavy initial use can result in glazing, a condition where the resins in the pad crystalize with resulting poor performance and squeal.

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I have a lighter weight newly black powder coated CBR F4I front wheel and rotors that was on my bike last year, that are plug and play if needed.

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7 hours ago, gig said:

I have a lighter weight newly black powder coated CBR F4I front wheel and rotors that was on my bike last year, that are plug and play if needed.

What are the differences between the F4I and vfr800 front wheels? I have a friend who just picked up a wrecked vfr800 to use the engine for a go-cart. I'm going to see what's going to happen with that first. I don't know what shape the front wheel is in. It looked fine in the pictures. I might even end up buying the whole bike from him.

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4 hours ago, Ziffer said:

What are the differences between the F4I and vfr800 front wheels? I have a friend who just picked up a wrecked vfr800 to use the engine for a go-cart. I'm going to see what's going to happen with that first. I don't know what shape the front wheel is in. It looked fine in the pictures. I might even end up buying the whole bike from him.

I'm not exactly sure but I do know that F4i forks are compatible with the VFR800 wheel/axle so the disc diameter is common, as is the axle diameter, but I don't know about the disc spacing; that last bit is critical as it needs to broadly match the fork spacing. Easy enough to run a tape from disc to disc through the spokes to check. 

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8 hours ago, Ziffer said:

What are the differences between the F4I and vfr800 front wheels? I have a friend who just picked up a wrecked vfr800 to use the engine for a go-cart. I'm going to see what's going to happen with that first. I don't know what shape the front wheel is in. It looked fine in the pictures. I might even end up buying the whole bike from him.

 

The only way to truly know if a wheel is in spec is with a stand and dial micrometer checking both runout and being perfectly circular. A stand can be made using something like a Marc Parnes balancer or similar.

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20 hours ago, Terry said:

I'm not exactly sure but I do know that F4i forks are compatible with the VFR800 wheel/axle so the disc diameter is common, as is the axle diameter, but I don't know about the disc spacing; that last bit is critical as it needs to broadly match the fork spacing. Easy enough to run a tape from disc to disc through the spokes to check. 

yes, measurements are important. F4i brake-rotor spacing is closer than F4/F3 due to less offset on rotors themselves. At some point, they changed 62mm bolt-circle to 58mm. Ran into these minor variations when looking for spare wheels for rain tyres on my track CBR600RR. I ended up using RR wheels due to them being several kg lighter than F4/F4i wheels.

 

Here's where to take measurents. If OP can measure his VFR wheel, we can match them up to other models easily.

 

C0865E33-E493-4A96-8800-59E7079B06B2.png

 

552E5ED5-CBFC-4C1A-A15B-DDE5AB94B34C.png

 

Also measure C-t-C distance between two rotor mounting bolts.

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18 hours ago, Cogswell said:

 

The only way to truly know if a wheel is in spec is with a stand and dial micrometer checking both runout and being perfectly circular. A stand can be made using something like a Marc Parnes balancer or similar.

I left the wheel in the forks and just pulled the brake calipers clear; the dial gauge can be mounted on the fork leg, i modified a g-clamp for this role.

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On 8/29/2021 at 8:30 AM, DannoXYZ said:

yes, measurements are important. F4i brake-rotor spacing is closer than F4/F3 due to less offset on rotors themselves. At some point, they changed 62mm bolt-circle to 58mm. Ran into these minor variations when looking for spare wheels for rain tyres on my track CBR600RR. I ended up using RR wheels due to them being several kg lighter than F4/F4i wheels.

 

Here's where to take measurents. If OP can measure his VFR wheel, we can match them up to other models easily.

 

C0865E33-E493-4A96-8800-59E7079B06B2.png

 

552E5ED5-CBFC-4C1A-A15B-DDE5AB94B34C.png

 

Also measure C-t-C distance between two rotor mounting bolts.

My wheel and tire are still on the bike, so can't take these measurements. I ride it regularly.

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