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I did a thing (new to me 97)


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As I frequently do, was cruising the classified ads last week. A Super Hawk and RC51 caught my eye. Both local and both appeared to be in better than average condition for their age. But then I saw an absolutely pristine 97.  Some back and forth with the owner, sent a deposit, then yesterday drove up to NJ to fetch my new bike.  13 hours later, it is tucked in my garage, with my 02, back in VA.  I’m stunned, apart from some rust pitting in side and center stands, it’s immaculate.  I’m giddy like a school girl!!   
 

This is what I wanted way back in 1995 but was too stupid and too cheap to appreciate the difference with what I did buy, a CBR600F3.  
 

I’ll post better pics when I can get it out in the sun. 
 

Completely stock, and I’ll keep it that way. 
 

As an aside, bought my 6th gen new in May of 2002. Registration decal says it will be 20 years old next month. 
 

 

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Clean and nice!!  Congrats.  Been looking for one for a while. picked up a really nice 95 earlier this year...     from NEW JERSEY! 

 

Your bike has been tipped on the right and must have had new parts installed.   Maybe the left too.

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3 hours ago, Captain 80s said:

Your bike has been tipped on the right and must have had new parts installed.   Maybe the left too.

I'm curious why you think it has been tipped on the right side?  It is so clean and pristine that I thought it had to have had some amount of rework/restoration.  I asked the seller.  He didn't know but didn't think so given the ROI.  Seller only had it for about 6 months.  He put about a 1000 miles on it in that time...and new tires.  Owner's manual is with the bike and has some notes.  Shows milage through 2011 (~8000 mi).  Bike has about ~18500 miles now.

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2 minutes ago, Hawkeye Driver said:

I'm curious why you think it has been tipped on the right side?  It is so clean and pristine that I thought it had to have had some amount of rework/restoration.  I asked the seller.  He didn't know but didn't think so given the ROI.  Seller only had it for about 6 months.  He put about a 1000 miles on it in that time...and new tires.  Owner's manual is with the bike and has some notes.  Shows milage through 2011 (~8000 mi).  Bike has about ~18500 miles now.

 

I worked at a Honda dealer in the 90s and 00s.  I did A LOT of damage estimates.  These years VFRs have telltales when they have been tipped over, not necessarily "crashed".  The shift lever and especially the brake pedal design, when bent in, leave a half moon impression (or worse) in the frames directly inboard from the pedals.  Maybe it was an artifact of the picture, but I'm pretty sure your right side frame shows this.   And maybe the left side of your frame has a tiny one.  Looks like the shifter has seen contact with something perhaps.

 

I didn't bring this up to shit on your bike, it's really pretty.  Just a heads up to keep your eyes open for anything else that might need attention, or if you find anything else that seems odd, you'll know why. 

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3 hours ago, Captain 80s said:

 

I worked at a Honda dealer in the 90s and 00s.  I did A LOT of damage estimates.  These years VFRs have telltales when they have been tipped over, not necessarily "crashed".  The shift lever and especially the brake pedal design, when bent in, leave a half moon impression (or worse) in the frames directly inboard from the pedals.  Maybe it was an artifact of the picture, but I'm pretty sure your right side frame shows this.   And maybe the left side of your frame has a tiny one.  Looks like the shifter has seen contact with something perhaps.

 

I didn't bring this up to shit on your bike, it's really pretty.  Just a heads up to keep your eyes open for anything else that might need attention, or if you find anything else that seems odd, you'll know why. 

Good info.  Thank you!!   Now I know what to look for when I pull the panels.
 

Didn’t think you were shitting on it…hehe.  I learn something on this site almost every time I visit, so a good thing. 

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3 hours ago, Captain 80s said:

 

I worked at a Honda dealer in the 90s and 00s.  I did A LOT of damage estimates.  These years VFRs have telltales when they have been tipped over, not necessarily "crashed".  The shift lever and especially the brake pedal design, when bent in, leave a half moon impression (or worse) in the frames directly inboard from the pedals.  Maybe it was an artifact of the picture, but I'm pretty sure your right side frame shows this.   And maybe the left side of your frame has a tiny one.  Looks like the shifter has seen contact with something perhaps.

 

Damn!  You’re good. My thought was just intuition.  You’re spot on.  See pics. 

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15 hours ago, Hawkeye Driver said:

Damn!  You’re good. Mine thought was just intuition.  You’re spot on.

 

Normally I like being right. 

 

You have a gorgeous VFR that presents exceptionally well.   You should rightfully be very happy.  

 

My 1995 fulfilled a decades long desire.

 

 

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That looks showroom fresh.  I remember once when we had Honda stand alone dealers, going in and seeing two 4th gens and 2 Blackbirds lined up in a row on the showroom floor.  It was :wub: at 1st sight.  It was in 1998 - the 4th gens were leftovers.  What a time that was - Honda had so many great products then. 

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5 hours ago, Cogswell said:

 What a time that was - Honda had so many great products then. 

 

In stark contrast to today. :sad:

 

Beautiful bike HD, many happy miles! :beer:

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lovely looking bike and THE best colour, just wondering about the number plate light, is that a standard fitment?, just wondering as they are different here in the UK, mine is built flush into the tail unit, just curious really

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The US DOT made them have an extra light.  If you look at a US taillight there's a solid panel where the Euro version got a clear (frosted) panel.  I got a Euro light with a piece of bodywork I bought and am gonna switch over this winter.

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Yes, other DOT-compliance measures on US models are the red and amber side reflectors, the lack of a white "sidelight" and the two-filament indicator bulbs and/or separate amber rear turn signals (on the 3rd gen).

 

Ciao,

 

JZH

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Amber turn-signals were result of '80s trade-war with Japan. Big-3 automakers and Harley pushed Congress for additional regulations to drive up pricing of imports. Result were tarriffs and tonnes of these little things like amber turn-signals and licence plate lights. Domestic vehicles were allowed to continue with all-red turn-signals so taillights & turn-signals can use cheaper to make single-filament bulb and one-piece single-colour lens assembly.

 

With costlier imports, did that improve sales of cheaper domestics? NO! Because Big-3 just raised prices of their cars to rake in bigger profits and balance remained the same. Well, it got worse even with higher cost of imports because consumers aren't stupid. 

 

Japanese automakers opened up U.S. plants to bypass tarriffs, take advantage of cheaper U.S. labour and lower shipping/distribution costs. Result was U.S. made Corollas from Fremont's NUMMI plant came out with all-red taillight & turn-signals! But quality was horrible compared to Japan-made version. Paint peeled off in a year, electronics died on regular basis, etc. No comparison between Denso vs.... AC Delco! Eewwww.. :barf:

 

Same thing with tarriffs on flat-panel active TFT screens. U.S. makers just sat on their ass, raised prices for bigger profits, didn't use that extra cash on R&D to keep up with competition. Result is now there are absolutely zero U.S. manufacturers of flat-panel LED/LCD screens. Eeediots!

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Fantastic VFR!  My acquisition story is almost exactly the same, though here in the PNW.  And I learned a lot with the tip over knowledge. 

 

Nozz

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Alas- the one that got away - actually I pushed it away.

 

My '95 was the first street bike I actually owned.  I bought it lightly used, and it had been down on the left side only but came with a new panel.  It was the second one I looked at - the first one had bailing wire up in the fairings and didn't quite sound right 🙂  

 

One of my only regrets is that I only owned that 1995 for a year.  My arthritis was not yet under control and being in any kind of a tuck was miserable - I just couldn't bend my right knee for more than a few minutes.   I was impatient, and traded it without ever really bonding with the bike and realizing it's potential, even thought I knew how good it was.  Rather than modifying it, I traded it on a then new Yamaha  FZ-1, a bike I literally grew to hate in less than a year.   In that time, my medication changed, it worked, and I moved on to all manner of squidly goodness (R1, etc.) before ultimately regaining my sanity and moving on to a Triumph Sprint ST - I had two of them and I loved them.   In fact, I really enjoyed every bike I owned except for that FZ-1, and I parted with them in due time on my own terms.  The only REGRET I have is selling the 1995 VFR.  

 

A cautionary tale I suppose.   "Things" come and go in your life, some for the better, and some for the worse, but there are ultimately very few things we procure in the short time we have in this world that are truly special.   It is incumbent upon us to recognize these things and cherish/appreciate them.    Age and time conspire against us - we must persist and remain diligent to keep old flames alive.   🙂 

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