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Mac Morgan

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About Mac Morgan

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  • Birthday 12/23/1945

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  • Location
    Hockessin, DE
  • In My Garage:
    98 VFR800, 04 VTR1000, 77 BMW R100RS, Bultaco Streaker, RD400LC, KLX250, MV Agusta Stradale, KTM390

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  1. Having owned 2 98 Gen 5s, I’ve experienced all the issues with the problem areas of the bikes. The first was using the kill switch to stop the engine but leaving the ign on. I did that twice which I think caused the stator/rr connector to melt as the connectors overheated as the system attempted to re-charge the dead battery! The stator wiring is around 14-16ga wire and the rr wiring is closer to 12ga. Think that causes a resistance issue! I’ve never found that the rr completely failed but have since replaced it with a mosfet unit. I’ve doubled up on the ground wire running a 10ga wire from the - terminal to a frame boss near by. About 2 yrs ago I started having a problem with the rear caliper locking up. Unlike many, I like the linked system although some of the components are no longer available. Upon disassembly I found the rear caliper in need of cleaning as I found some contamination inside. I’ve been keen on replacing brake fluid yearly. As for the suspension, I first replaced the stock shock with a Fox Twin Clicker back when I first got the bike. I’m not sure it really improved the handling to justify the cost of the shock! After buying a second 98 VFR, I sold the first after first installing the stock shock! I’ve always found the VFR to be a stellar handling bike hence it’s being one of the best used sport bike. I’m not sure of of the reason for a complete front end conversion especially when one considered the time and cost and final results. Obviously modern USD forks are all the rage especially if one considers the fact that almost the contenders in WSB and MotoGP are using Ohlins components. In trying to “improve” Honda’s stock setup, I’ve tried GoldValve and their shim stack is basically the same idea Ohlins use. Unfortunately, if you don’t get it right the first time you have to completely disassemble the fork to revalue. A better idea is the DMr cartridge upgrade kit. I still have my second 98 but it gets ridden less and less after acquiring a 2013 Triumph 800 Tiger a couple of years ago.
  2. I had the same problem. I disassembled the rear caliper and replaced all the seals and cleaned the pistons. The center piston had what appeared to be water mixed with brake fluid. For bleeding I manually pushed the secondary master cylinder to bleed the center rear piston. Now that I’ve seen your photo it may be time to look into a new SMC. Good piece and photos. I should also think that the old SMC could be cleaned. I’ve had similar issues on a BMW Magura MC. The front brakes were locking up. I pulled the plastic reservoir off and found corrosion around the return orifice and cleaned it with a .009 guitar string.
  3. Rusty fairing screws...! I never let mine get that bad. I just chuck them up in my drill, apply some semichrome to some 0000 steel wool and they come up looking like chrome. If your fairing screws look like the above one, what’s the rest of your bike like?
  4. After 20 years, I wasn’t surprised about what I found in the rear caliper. You try an maintain your bikes as well as possible but time passes by and a couple of years have gone by since you replaced fluids. The braking system is a bit complicated and I think you have to think outside the box when you get into the bleeding of it. I replaced all the seals in the rear caliper- unfortunately there are some components which are no longer available and I was hoping they were not the problem. There was one component, perhaps the PCV, that someone spoke of having a screen which was clogged with debris. Did not get into that. But after a couple attempts of “reverse bleeding” it seemed ok.
  5. I rebuilt the brakes on my ‘98 last year. The rear brake had started to “self-apply”! I found some water in the middle piston area of the rear caliper which is activated by the pivoting left front slave cylinder when the front brakes are applied. As for bleeding- after refilling the system (I have every type of bleeding system- mityvac, ebc air powered, big syringe for reverse bleeding) and still having a soft pedal, I started forcing the rear caliper pistons back into the caliber body and then manually exercising the left front slave cylinder (the one on the pivoting mount) while bleeding the rear (remember to unbolt it and hold it upside down so the bleeder nipples are pointing up.
  6. As for wellnuts, the best are from Honda but expensive. I’ve had good luck ordering from amazon but one has to look at the sizes- thread size, length and diameter. Never really had a problem and I’ve been replacing them for 20 years... really quite simple. JIS screwdrivers- it took a lot of “crammed-out” Japanese fasteners till I discovered that we’ve been using USS screwdrivers that don’t fit Japanese “cross-headed” screws. Actually the screwdriver that comes in every Honda tool kit is a JIS screwdriver-try it out on the countersunk screws on your brake/clutch reservoir cap. Go to partszilla and you can order just the stem and handle by themselves, about $1-2.00.
  7. Having owner a number of bikes during my life and still having a 98 gen 5 since 1999, I love to check back on the discussion site to see what’s going on with you all. The amount of time, money and effort spent on making one’s VFR as fast as Marquez’s Honda is mind boggling. I’ve always enjoyed my VFR and other a few small changes have pretty much left it alone. First thing I did was to replace the stock shock with a Fox twin clicker and then later with a Penske; didn’t feel much difference! Read about lots of folks delinking the brakes but decided against it; I like being able to use the rear brake on steep downhills in the rain! Also better for playing with the ADV crowd wrestling their 550lbs GS elephants down rocky Jeep trails! As for the forks... I’ve used the RaceTech dampers in both a KLR250 and my VTR1000. What a pain it is to take the forks apart to change the damping! Anybody try DMr for some help? Anyway, keep up the good work guys and keep sending in those photos!
  8. I have a feeling that the oem bent flange shownin the photo above is probably the result of overtightening the the exhaust nuts. The torque is only 9 lb.ft. I’ve had my headers off a number of times for jet hot coating and a failed attempt of fitting Delkevic’s version 1 ss system. Their fixed front down pipes weren’t inline with the exhaust ports and the 2 rear pipes wouldn’t fit into the collector. If anyone’s interested, pm me. I’ll sell them cheap! A note about the 6mm exhaust port studs and nuts. It’s possible/probable that one or more exhaust nuts will permanently attach itself to its stud resulting in the removal of the whole shabang! No matter what I tried, I could not unscrew the nut from the stud. Put anti-seize on the stud/nut assy to save future hassles.
  9. I’ve followed this discussion when it was first posted a number of years ago. Since then many of us have come and gone as have their VFRs. I sold my first 98 but kept a second but have quit trying to make it something it’s not. I’ve left the brake system alone, tried Fox Twinclicker adjustable shock (for sale, like new in the box), Penske shock now, GoldValve install- too much trouble to set up to one’s liking. Jamie Daugherty, Daughertymotorsport, makes a great upgrade for our VFR- a fork cartridge upgrade kit. Installation is a lot easier then trying to decipher the Gold Valve instructions and the results are worth the price. Jamie will send the correct weight springs and answer most questions. He also has custom made shocks and does custom machine work.
  10. Not sure where the bike came from but I've rebuilt a lot of carbs and a pair from an airhead BMW from Texas had a lot of dried brown stuff in the float bowls. Some of it comes from contaminates in the gas. If the bike's been sitting, check the tank with a good led light and see what's inside. Metal Rescue (from Amazon) is a great product for getting rid of rust. Good luck.
  11. Having delt with the rr problem on my 98, I'm still curious as to what happens. My experiences all point to the connector from the stator to the rr. I've owned my VFR since new and have ridden it 20,000 miles in most types of weather. My suspicion is that over time, the connector gets some moisture from the atmosphere which inhibits a good connection which creates heat which melts plastic housing. I replaced my original rr last October 07 with one from Electrosport. I had to break the connector getting it apart and ended up replacing the burnt terminals with new ones... no problems during a 4 day, 1500 mile trip. Being the consumant tinkerer, I keep looking for causes and effects. I got a 4 unit Batterytender which I keep hooked up all the time (I also have an SV650 and a VTR). While trying to keep an eye on things, I probably created a poor connection at the terminal block and it ended up melting completely. A call to Electrosport indicated that they were redesigning their rr and would get it off to me ASAP - 2 months went by with no rr! To cure the connector problem, I could either solder the 3 yellow stator wires to the rr or.... use Posi-Lock connectors. I'd seen them reviewed on WebBikeworld (a great site btw) and decided to try them. So far, no issues. I also mounted a small CPU fan to the rr which reduces it temperature by about 20-30 degrees. Have I fixed the problem? I don't know yet. I haven't seen the fuse or the associated link overheat either. Mac Morgan Hockessin, DE
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