98 VFR Purchase

Discussion in '5th Generation 1998-2001' started by AZ_VFR_98, Feb 1, 2018.

  1. AZ_VFR_98

    AZ_VFR_98 New Member

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    Hey there VFR folk,

    New member to the forum and the new owner of an all original 5th gen. The gentleman I purchased it from found the bike to be too much for him and had kept it all original. Bone stock with one possible exception, the R/R looks aftermarket, which from my understanding is a good thing. I am the 4th owner and it had remained in AZ for its entire life.

    35XXX miles
    Basic maintenance always done by shops, and includes receipts from the last owner.
    Paid $2300 - How did I do?

    The big question I have is about the R/R. Until I can upload pics, I can describe it - it has cooling fins, grey in color and a part number SH6890A - can anyone help identify if this is an aftermarket unit?

    This is also my first bike, and I find it to be perfect for my skill level. Not a complete newbie, I took a motorcycle safety course and found it well worth my time.
     

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    Samuel and Lint like this.
  2. stubbs

    stubbs New Member

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    That’s a good looking bike, I think you did well. You will want to look into some new rubber, as that front tire is fairly cupped (a common problem with those pilot road 2s).

    A new clutch lever is also a good idea.

    I paid a bit less than that for my 37k mile ‘99 last fall in rougher shape, and I’ve had to sink $600 or so into tires and routine maintenance. If you’ve got a solid maintenance history, that’s worth a lot.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  3. adk_finn

    adk_finn New Member

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    Nice bike. I agree, I think you did well. I picked up my red 98 in the fall with 25k mi on the clock for a bit less. It had a few upgrades - TBR slip on, double bubble wind screen, but needed tires and a battery. At the end of the day if you are happy with the purchase that is all that counts.
     
  4. mello dude

    mello dude Member

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    Congrats on your 5th gen.. I have the same bike... ON the R/R that is the Honda OEM replacement. Suggestion: A must have tool for any VFR is a multimeter. They are generally cheap and buy near everywhere. - Its worth to take a data point on the charging output at the battery. Also plenty of us add voltmeters up front to watch what is going on.
     
  5. GreginDenver

    GreginDenver New Member

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    Yes, the R/R is the OEM item, the "SH" tells you it's the old fashioned shunt-to-ground type, rather than a MOSFET unit.

    And, WELCOME to 5th Gen ownership. I'm still relatively new to the club too, just over a year, but now I have two of them (one I keep here in Colorado and the other in Alabama where a lot of my family lives).

    There are several items on the 5th gen that have an unknown lifespan. These include: The R/R, the thermostat and the slider bushings in the fork.

    The R/R, for example, being a shunt-to-gound type is destined from day one to die a long slow death due to the heat generated by the shunting action. If you install a VFRness to provide the absolute best possible path-to-ground the R/R won't have to work as hard to waste off the excess voltage, so less heat and a longer life (but still a limited life, the shunt type doesn't last forever).

    The Thermostat is a wildcard, you never know how long a 5th Gen thermostat is gonna last. Some people are riding happily along with the original thermostat in their '98 (the oldest of the 5th Gens). Others have already been through two or more. Maybe there's a bit of a quality control issue with the subcontractor that Honda uses.

    The fork slider bushings: h0w long they last is a function of how often the fork are serviced (changing the fork oil). Unfortunately it's common to find that 5th Gen bikes have never (not even once) had their forks serviced in their entire lifetime.

    Also, that's a good looking bike. I think you made a very good purchase.
     
  6. squirrelman

    squirrelman Member

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    At that mileage it's overdue for new wheel bearings (likely), headset bearings, fork oil change, bushings (maybe) ........ unless you see receipts for the work and have faith in his mechanics. :homer: :drink: :homer:


    it's a good, fair price :wheelie:so enjoy it !
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2018
  7. AZ_VFR_98

    AZ_VFR_98 New Member

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    Thanks for the replies and advice! I bought myself a Clymer and will be looking into all the standard maintenance that does not have documented history, including the forks, wheel bearings ad front brakes. The VFRarness looks like a good deal, and will probably be the first mod. Next will be the clutch lever which has evidence of being bent (noticed by Stubbs). There is also a little play in the clutch lever due to a worn dowel that holds the plunger in place. This will all be fixed at the same time I flush the clutch fluid which appears a tinge used.

    Here is the bike with another VFR and a Honda Shadow in the White Mountains of AZ.
     

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  8. GreginDenver

    GreginDenver New Member

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    Nice picture. I've never ridden a 4th Gen (or ridden with somebody riding one). I was wondering if the gear-driven camshaft noise was different on the 4th Gen vs. the 5th Gen, because the gears are buried inside the engine on the 4th Gen (between the cylinders) while they're right on the end of the engine on the 5th Gen. I've always imagined the 5th Gen would make more gear whine noise.


    There's a electronic copy (PDF format I think) of the OEM manual for the 5th Gen available somewhere here on VFRWorld. I can't remember where it's located for download, maybe somebody else reading this thread can direct you to it.

    I mention the OEM manual because it was a great help to me as I did the necessary refurbishment work on both of my 5th Gens.

    And then there's Chapter 21 of the OEM manual. It's titled, "Technical Features" and I've never seen a chapter like it in all of the other motorcycle service manuals I've used in my lifetime. If you're already feeling good about your 5th Gen purchase, wait until you read through Chapter 21. Honda really shows off the bike's features and you see how much effort they put into improving this VFR over the 750 Gens.

    I think Honda was extremely proud of the engineering they put into the 5th Gen, and at the same time they might have been a bit insecure as to whether people (both prior VFR buyers and possible new buyers) would accept/appreciate this new model. So they went all out.
     
  9. AZ_VFR_98

    AZ_VFR_98 New Member

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    The 4th gen pictured has a two brothers slip-on, so comparing the exhaust note was like comparing apples and oranges. The 5th gen had a more definite cam whine that was not noticeable on the 4th gen, but this is likely contributed to the two brothers slip-on producing a grunt that drowned out much of the whine.
     
  10. AZ_VFR_98

    AZ_VFR_98 New Member

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    IMAG0659.jpg IMAG0648.jpg IMAG0650.jpg IMAG0657.jpg IMAG0651.jpg IMAG0652.jpg IMAG0656.jpg IMAG0645.jpg *Update

    After driving the bike for a few weeks I decided to put on a new exhaust. After doing some research I decided on a mid-range unit, and bought a Delkevic. I prefer the look of stainless high-mounts because it opens the rear wheel up nicely, and someday a polished 3rd gen wheel is in order. People found the Delkevics to have some fitment issues that include the exhaust angling away from the bike which looks rather funny, and the length extends rather far towards the back. All of these problems were evident in the exhaust I received, and were so bad it wouldnt fit without modification. The actual slip-on part is very high quality, but the high-mount tube has design flaws that are unacceptable. I fixed these by first cutting 1 3/4" off the S pipe, and bent the bracket which mounts to the frame with the passenger pegs. By doing this, the Delkevic hugs the bike better, and shortens the overall length. Resulting in a much better overall look IMO.

    Once running, I immedietly noticed the idling RPM is up higher than normal. The bike usually idled at 1400-1500 RPM which I know is higher then spec, but it has been exacerbated by the new exhaust. Not sure how to remedy this, but also noticed the engine is running rich. I live at 7000' and suppose with FI this shouldnt be a problem? The richness is subdued when the silencer is installed, but is still evident, along with the high idle. Do these issues sound related? and what could be the fix?

    Next, I took the tank off and inspected the air filter. Turned out to be a BMC filter that appears to be in good condition. I intend to clean and continue using it for the foreseeable future.

    Recently ordered a bunch of parts from HondaPartsHouse, including the required stuff to fix the clutch unit and some missing fairing screws + fork shield. I plan on bending the original clutch lever back into shape instead of buying a new one. The bike did not come with a tool kit, so in the near future I will be in the market for one.

    Enjoy the pics!
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2018
    Samuel likes this.
  11. VFR4Lee

    VFR4Lee New Member

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    Looks like a clean bike and a nice deal from here.
    Enjoy. :wheelie:
     
  12. GreginDenver

    GreginDenver New Member

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    You should do a Stater Valve Synchronization (which is detailed in the Service Manual chapter 5, beginning on page 5-67). I use a Carbtune Pro for the vacuum and an EZ-Tach Plus for precise monitoring of the engine idle RPM (because the bike's instrument panel tachometer doesn't have fine enough resolution for setting the idle).

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    For first-timers the Service Manual's description of how to set the vacuum on each cylinder is a bit confusing. The Service Manual directs you to set individual vacuum readings for each cylinder because of variability in the intake airflow through the air box into the individual cylinders and differences in the efficiency of gas flow/scavenging into the exhaust headers and exhaust collector.

    Cylinder #1 is non-adjustable (you can't change it, it is the "reference" cylinder, you adjust all the other cylinders based on cylinder #1)
    Cylinder #2 you adjust to make its vacuum read exactly equal to cylinder #1
    Cylinder #3 you adjust to make its vacuum read 20 mmHg less than cylinder #1
    Cylinder #4 you adjust to make its vacuum read 10 mmHg less than cylinder #1

    If you look at Service Manual page 21-10 you'll see profile graphs of the Manifold Absolute Pressure characteristics of each individual cylinder on the VFR. You'll notice that the profile graph for cylinder #1 and cylinder #2 are very similar, which is why they get adjusted identically. You can see that the cylinder #3 profile is significantly different from cylinder #1. And you can see that cylinder #4 is also different from cylinder #1 but not as big a difference as cylinder #3.


    Letting the bike idle at higher-than-normal RPM can cause overheating at stoplights.

    Regarding running rich: I think you might be right that your high altitude home location could be a factor. I live in Denver, at about 5,700 ft and my '99 runs a tiny bit rich (I can just barely smell it sometimes when I roll to a stop). The 5th Gen has a Baro sensor to compensate fueling for altitude but I think it (the sensor) might not be accurate at higher altitudes. Service Manual page 5-69 shows a chart of the Baro sensor's voltage output vs. altitude and the chart doesn't even go all the way up to 7,000ft.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2018
  13. GreginDenver

    GreginDenver New Member

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    Although... your rich-smelling exhaust plus higher than normal idle could be caused by a situation like having one cylinder running over-rich at idle while the other three are running normal. The existence of a condition like this would be revealed during a Starter Valve Synchronization procedure when you first hook up the vacuum meters and run the engine.
     
  14. AZ_VFR_98

    AZ_VFR_98 New Member

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    After reading suggestions, I believe the next step will be the starter valve synchronization and vacuum. Looks like I need to invest in the necessary tools to get the job done. Thanks for the advice!
     
  15. superhawk996

    superhawk996 New Member

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    Nice looking bike and good price! Get rid of the OEM rectifier before it causes you trouble.Mine started acting flaky at about 20k miles so was proactive about it.Heres what I did that was very cost effective:went on Ebay and found s FH020AA from a late model Yamaha FZ09 with only 3k miles.Think I paid $25 shipped and then bought the super harness from Roadstercycle.com,Jack there is a real good guy and makes a quality harness and will answer any questions you may have,but its super simple to do.The FH020AA will fit under your rear tail piece with zero modifications,and you can use the stock bolts although I did have to drill one new hole.Then attach the 3 wires to the stator,and other 2 go to positive and ground.I did this for about $75 and no trouble since.Other than rectifier problems,these things are bulletproof nearly.Cooling system is a little wacky with its side mounted radiators and about a million hoses and clamps,so maybe change those hoses out or at least go through it and tighten all your clamps,they are most likely a little loose at 20 years old.Love mine,its my second VFR and my biggest gripe is the weight,but its manageable.Enjoy your bike and stay safe!
     
  16. AZ_VFR_98

    AZ_VFR_98 New Member

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    Thanks for the info Superhawk996, I have not looked looked into my unit enough to make a determination about replacing it. However, the new harness and rectifier you mentioned look like a good alternative.

    Here are a few updates about the bike since the last post:
    - Oil change with Valvoline synthetic 10w-40 (old oil was 3 years old and regular)
    - Mobile 1 oil filter (extended length)
    - Cluth lever bushing replacement as shown in pictures (old was exceptionally worn and was an oval shape rather than a circle)
    -- Cluth lever no longer has play before master cylinder engagement
    - Corbin Seat for $75 on Ebay (near perfect condition)
    -- sorry no pictures yet
    - Side fairings removed for inspection of inside and general cleaning.
    -- Many of the rubber grommets disintegrated (the nut side of fairing bolts) so waiting for their arrival from HondaPartsHouse
    -- General degreasing of accessible engine areas (radiator hoses and plastic look in good shape)
    -- Installation of a few small screws and pins tabs that were missing upon purchase

    After driving the bike for around 1700 miles, and the new exhaust for approx 1000 of those miles, the idle varies +/- 200RPM depending on elevation. In PHX (1000' elevation) the idle sits just under 1500RPM, and in Flagstaff (7500' elevation) the idle sits at 1200 - 1300RPM. Since I live in Flagstaff I assume just leave it where it is at for now. Also, the richness diminishes once elevation decreases. Everything seems normal considering the input from others in this post, and I wont assume anything unless engine vaccum is tested and starter valve synchronization is done. IMAG0697.jpg IMAG0691.jpg IMAG0705.jpg IMAG0706.jpg IMAG0687.jpg IMAG0690.jpg
     

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  17. superhawk996

    superhawk996 New Member

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    Nice progress and good looking bike! How do you like the Corbin saddle? I have one too and I find it hard as a rock and slick,but it came with the bike.$75 is a steal for one regardless! I can't comment on the idle but I think these have MAP and Baro sensors so that's a possibility.
     
  18. AZ_VFR_98

    AZ_VFR_98 New Member

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    The Corbin seat is working out well, it has slight forward and backward movement but that can easily be fixed. I did the snorkel and flapper valve modification and am generally happy with the results. The exhaust note did not change IMO, but the rumble is distinctive when sitting above the engine.

    The biggest issue lately is a coolant leak on the left side of the bike. locating this leak is quite tricky; as there is fluid building up on top of the crank case cover and running down the side. There are two hoses over the cover but neither appear to be wet. could this fluid be coming from a higher location? or is there something else near the crank case cover with coolant?
    IMAG0780.jpg IMAG0781.jpg IMAG0779.jpg
     
  19. AZ_VFR_98

    AZ_VFR_98 New Member

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    The other morning I went for a short 20 minute ride and found the coolant leak issue to be a rather severe problem. Coolant has now appeared on both sides of the bike and in large quantity, spilling onto the exhaust pipes and draining about 1/2" from the reserve coolant tank. I drove very slowly home keeping the RPM's below 5k and began the tear down to what I believe is a leak within the engine valley. The leak is likely from the thermostat or an associeated hose, however, upon further inspection there is a coolant trail possibly originating from the rear head. I cannot confirm this, but the bike shows no other signs of a blown head gasket; no oil contamination, not running rough,not blowing white smoke, so I find if unlikely this is the source. Below is a picture (last one) of said residue beneath the head, what do you think?

    Also, the two lines underneath the tank, one which is the overflow line I believe, seem to end rather abruptly. Where do these go and is there anything missing?

    IMAG0785.jpg IMAG0789.jpg IMAG0792.jpg IMAG0800.jpg IMAG0802.jpg IMAG0805.jpg
     
  20. GreginDenver

    GreginDenver New Member

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    there's so much dirt in that valley you could grow potatoes.
     
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