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5th Gen Model Year Differences


Skids
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I recall reading somewhere a guide to the different model years for the 5th Gen, describing the changes from each model year so you could tell which model year a bike actually was without seeing the paperwork or having the chassis number. Things like silver wheels for the 01/Fi1 model etc, colour changes, auto-choke, things like that.

 

I've done a Google search but nothing detailed enough comes up. Does anyone know of one please?  :beer:

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And then a m8 sends me this through the Internet.

 

Written by Mr VFR, a very well known (over here) very dear friend sadly taken far too early from us. 

 

Valid for UK models and showing it's age (2007) with regard to the values at the end.

VFR MODEL HISTORY.pdf

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That pretty well covers it on gen 5, however I don't recall seeing mention of the wax unit for actuating the starter valves that appeared in 2000.  The lever on the left switch pod that did that on 98/99's disappeared.  I'm not a fan of the wax units, but while they work it's fine.  Replacing them however is a royal PITA.  With that, however, the thermostat housing and shift side water neck on the outside of the rear head are not interchangeable between early and late gen 5's as the latter each have a nipple to supply coolant to the wax unit that was not present previously.  IIRC the instrument fonts / colors differed slightly as did the side panel graphics, but only a trained eye would even notice.  I may be biased as I have a 99, but for my $ the early units are more desirable, but have to watch out for rotted headers - the mild steel rusted badly if exposed to salt air or roads.  I might take issue with the comment that the "RR changed to finally banish the charging system woes."  I've not seen any anecdotal or empirical evidence that late gen 5's have more reliable R/R's than early or that they do not have charging system woes.  Both I think benefit from an upgrade. 

 

Regardless, both great bikes, wouldn't hesitate to own either if a nice example. 

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7 hours ago, Cogswell said:

That pretty well covers it on gen 5, however I don't recall seeing mention of the wax unit for actuating the starter valves that appeared in 2000.  The lever on the left switch pod that did that on 98/99's disappeared.  I'm not a fan of the wax units, but while they work it's fine.  Replacing them however is a royal PITA.  With that, however, the thermostat housing and shift side water neck on the outside of the rear head are not interchangeable between early and late gen 5's as the latter each have a nipple to supply coolant to the wax unit that was not present previously.  IIRC the instrument fonts / colors differed slightly as did the side panel graphics, but only a trained eye would even notice.  I may be biased as I have a 99, but for my $ the early units are more desirable, but have to watch out for rotted headers - the mild steel rusted badly if exposed to salt air or roads.  I might take issue with the comment that the "RR changed to finally banish the charging system woes."  I've not seen any anecdotal or empirical evidence that late gen 5's have more reliable R/R's than early or that they do not have charging system woes.  Both I think benefit from an upgrade. 

 

Regardless, both great bikes, wouldn't hesitate to own either if a nice example. 

 

Thanks m8. I agree, but remember this was written over 10 years ago when there was less empirical evidence of improvements or not to the charging system.

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Currently looking at a 2000 model with a stripped spark plug thread.. Are the heads and/or engines interchangeable from 98-01, or would I need to stay on the same side of the mid-model upgrade if I wanted to replace the engine and/or core components? Excluding the items you mentioned @Cogswell, looks like those are all external of the engine itself. 

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See for yourself: https://www.partzilla.com/catalog/honda/motorcycle/1998/vfr800fi-a-interceptor/cylinder-head-front

 

If the part numbers are the same, then its the same exact part.  Though if they are different, they may still be interchangeable with the old part.  From what I understand all the engine components (block, heads, oil system, rotating parts, etc) are either the same or interchangeable.

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On 10/30/2021 at 10:13 AM, comradeQuestion said:

See for yourself: https://www.partzilla.com/catalog/honda/motorcycle/1998/vfr800fi-a-interceptor/cylinder-head-front

 

If the part numbers are the same, then its the same exact part.  Though if they are different, they may still be interchangeable with the old part.  From what I understand all the engine components (block, heads, oil system, rotating parts, etc) are either the same or interchangeable.

With the exception of the '98-'99 CA models (AC designation) with the different cams & ECU.

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