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afwjam

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  • Location
    Hawaii
  • In My Garage:
    VFR1200f

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  1. From what I gather all the other models use the modern plunger style cam tensioner. The 1200 is using the old school wedge style. They operate differently and would fail in different ways. Not sure mine are “failing”, but the sound I hear cold is very clearly located on the rear cylinder bank where the cam chain passes through the case. Advantage of the plunger style is replacement takes 5 minutes and two bolts. I’m not terribly worried now, it seems to be common, I will be investigating the valves including the rockers and tensioners in the near future and will continue to try and diagnose the noise, can’t help myself.
  2. That’s duragloss car wash out of a foam canon. Was washing the wife’s car and decided to do the VFR at the same time.
  3. Appreciate that, my ignorance was going to make it difficult 😂
  4. Your roads are better then mine! black is hard to keep clean, I’ve got ceramic coat on it now let’s see how that works.
  5. Small update. The video which I uploaded to YouTube now has three comments from people saying they have the same noise. So I’ll just assume cam chain rattle is normal on these bikes, even if it does indicate the tensioners aren’t working great. No worries there. My throttle rocker along with grip puppies eliminated any hand discomfort on longer rides. I’m thinking about trying one of those 3d mesh cooling seat pads, maybe that might help keep my fat ass cool and reduce my need to shift around seat positions as often. Tail tidy looks nice. The rear shock adjustment is seized, I gather this is also normal. I’ll make the most of it as suspended now, it’s not great, especially with the wife on the back. started taking to Sabstef, hoping to remove the restrictions. I ordered a new Honda chip key, the one I got has been obviously bent and straightened probably from the super stiff seat lock, don’t want to be locked out of the HISS without a backup, I’m hoping Sabstef can do the programming for the key as well, Honda dealership in Kona says they don’t have the tool. Working on setting up the GoPro for chin mount, maybe I can make a video for you guys to see some riding in Hawaii. Thanks again for all the help and thoughtful discussion.
  6. No worries there my friend, it’s riding season year round here. Pontification of maintenance has no impact on my mileage which is a lot higher then most despite being stuck on a rock in the middle pacific. As a mechanic and tinkerer I can’t help but find and address mechanical issues before they become a problem, always feel better about a machine I’m in or on when I know how to fix it.
  7. That’s a cool picture, nice to see how the narrow rear bank slots into the frame shape so nicely. If there’s enough room in the cylinder head casing after removing the cam I don’t see why the rear tensioner couldn’t be slid out the top. It doesn’t look like the tensioner could be slid out the front without hitting the frame. The only noise I’m positive of the location is the cold rattle which comes from the rear bank. I’ll try and locate the hot knock sometime, it could be as you say in the nature of the motor and nothing to worry about. All to be figured out in due time.
  8. I really appreciate the input and suggestions on suspension. It will probably be a year before I can afford to do it as I have a baby on the way but I know I will do it. I can tell the front end is better sorted then the rear, so I can totally see buying a replacement rear shock instead of trying to tune the stock unit. My KLR is a hunk of junk compared to the VFR but in the end I bought a full setup with Moab rear shock and fork cartridges from cogent dynamics for a little over 1k. It transformed the bike from 70’s noodle technology to telepathic around the corners and getting air off road like the 250’s. As different as they are in nature, I can tell how much easier to ride the KLR is do to superior suspension setup. I can’t wait for the VFR to handle “easy” as I’ve got enough other things to worry about with all the power, luckily for me the brakes are perfect already. I haven’t yet tinkered with the stock adjusters and hopefully that should help, but I’m well aware of the stock suspensions limitations and the effort necessary in the corners to keep everything kosher. So I guess I’ll take it easy on the corners and enjoy the throttle for now until I can get her proper sorted. Truth is I’ll probably sort the pipe and ECU tuning first, the opposite of what I should be doing 😂 this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship with this bike and I can’t help but tinker and get her sorted, it’s my nature.
  9. That’s exciting happenings for your suspension! I want to work on mine some but not sure I could afford the full setup like yours. Hopefully some revalving can get mine at least halfway there.
  10. Thank you for your interest guys! It’s all new to me so I guess I’ll have plenty of content for you. Yokel your knocking sound is the same although milder then mine, mine sounds louder usually, although not as loud as the YouTube video above. The clicking sounds like typical valve train noise and not the same to me as what I identify as cam chain rattle. I used the mechanics stethoscope to find my cold rattle came from the chain area of my rear cylinder bank. I suspect some of this is normal for these bikes, although the sound getting louder is indicative of a problem. Honda made some interesting compromises on this engine with the valve train. The unicam system with the follower arms and nut adjustment valve clearance on the exhaust valves, which is in need of more frequent adjustment then the shim bucket style on the intake. Also the old style wedge cam chain tensioners, I’ve always heard these were unreliable back in the day. I’m less concerned then I was when I first heard the noises, but fear I’m not without issue. I’ll continue to enjoy the bike and let this issue simmer on the back burner. It seems as though it might be possible to remove the rear cam chain tensioner if there is room to pull it through the head while the engine is in the bike. There’s no room to do the same in the front. Having typed out what I have about the exhaust valves going out of adjustment, it occurs to me that it might be prudent to check sooner rather then later. Its possible this bike went on more short rides that would lead to more temperature cycling and increased risk of valves out of adjustment and possibly leading to premature wear on cam chains/tensioners. When I do the valve checks I think I’ll be able to better ascertain the condition of the cam chains/tensioners.
  11. Mine is a poor recording of the knocking sound when hot, it usually sounds louder. The YouTube video I posted right below my video has more advanced and louder case recorded. The first comment says “tensioner error” which was my conclusion after investigating my own sound. I wonder if others have the same sound and didn’t notice, that puts more straws in the not a super serious issue bucket. I don’t think it’s related to the fuel system, but you are right that it probably couldn’t hurt this bike to have a cleaner run through. As I continue to ride the bike my relationship is deepening and my worries about future repairs lessons. It’s a really cool machine, kinda a cult classic I think. I see how people didn’t like the rounded styling when it came out because sport bikes were going through the angular phase style in rejection of the earlier rounded style. A decade later one style is timeless and the other played out. It’s a gorgeous machine, well made and powerful. After sorting issues with the power restrictions, sound and suspension I believe it will be one of my favorite bikes of all time up there with my KLR, K75 and Speed Triple.
  12. Yeah the swarf issue, after buying what I thought was a perfect bike the knocking sound was scary. It does look like there is a lot of access to the cam chain components. I’ll have to research more carefully why Honda prescribed dropping the motor and removing heads. I bought a tail tidy and briefly entertained the Coffman exhaust, which is cheap and looks great but I worry will be obnoxiously loud and not have great performance. As I understand the ecu flash can’t actually adjust fueling? So it shouldn’t make much difference on the Dam exhaust happening before or after. I don’t think the bike needs a Power Commander although I always liked tuning my fast Triumphs before, we don’t have a dyno on big island either. That German outfit has a dyno chart for over 200 RWHP! What a widow maker that thing must be, they must have headwork and full exhaust to get all that. Anyone have any thoughts on filters? People just throw in the K&N? Wonder if it would improve intake noise. Really phenomenal motor, it’s got such an awesome power band that pulls clean from 2k in any gear. The grips made a big difference and I’m getting used to the riding position, throttle rocker should finish improving right hand comfort for me.
  13. Storage conditions would be the largest factor not age.
  14. I guess they never sold many of these bikes 😂 I’ve thought about it and decided I will wait till the prescribed valve adjustment interval at 16k. I’ve got 6k miles left to go, I’ll just ride and listen and see if the sound gets worse. If it doesn’t I can do the valve check and see what I can about the tensioners and chain from up there. Should at least be able to see the wedges and determine if the spring is pulling it tight. If the noise gets worse then I’ll plan on dropping the whole motor, removing the heads and replacing both tensioners, maybe chains if it seems necessary. When I first heard the knocking sound I assumed the worst, having read the stories about the 2010 models, mine is a 2013. Since I heard the cam chain rattle at start up I felt better, and by the fact the sound comes and goes I don’t think the motor gonna seize up and blow. So I’m gonna learn to live with it and be patient, maybe 10k miles later it will still be making noise and I won’t care.
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