98 VFR with 72000 miles. What to do?

Discussion in '5th Generation 1998-2001' started by Michael Boeglin, Aug 20, 2019.

  1. Michael Boeglin

    Michael Boeglin New Member

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    Hi, new to me 98 VFR with 72000 miles and most of the service history. Went ahead and replaced oil/filter/air filter, replaced old tires, adjusted/lubed chain which was replaced at 60k. Sprockets look pretty good still but no record of their change. Bike runs like new, no kidding. Rock solid. So, what should I plan in terms of maintenance projects this winter? I don't want to dump much money in the bike, one major service would probably cost more than it is worth. I'm mostly interested in things I can handle on my own.

    -slight weep in one fork seal and no record of oil or seal change ever - I'll pull and replace seals/bushings, but should I do fork springs or anything else while I have them off? I'm OK with the stock suspension but if $120 worth of fork springs set for my weight would transform the ride I'd be willing.

    -valves: no way I'm going to try this on a V4 16 valve engine. I could find an independent shop to do it, but I'm guessing still pretty damn expensive. If the engine is running well should I bother. PO claims that its last two valve adjustments at 12k and 30+k lead to no adjustements. Worth it?

    -plugs - replaced 20k miles ago. Bike starts instantly and runs smooth.

    -fuel filter. Something to do preemptively? Big job?

    -steering head remove and service? No record of this ever being done, but no wiggle or noticeable grinding. If I do, do I replace the bearing/races or just service them?

    -coolant hoses. Pre-emptive replacement? Look pretty good, and coolant was changed 2 years/12000 miles ago. Hoses are most likely original

    -brake and clutch lines: Will bleed annually, but should I replace them as well? Look pretty good to me, no cracking. Seems like the linked brakes make this a significant expense/workload.

    -Reg/Rec: already upgraded. Bike is not experiencing any electrical or charging issues.

    Anything else I should consider?
     
  2. bk94si

    bk94si Insider

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    It's been a while. I would at least check the valve clearances. That part isn't too bad. It's only hard if you need to actually adjust them.
     
  3. stubbs

    stubbs New Member

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    I’d do the plugs, check the valves, and fork seals+oil as you mentioned. Then just ride!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  4. Terry Smith

    Terry Smith Member

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    The valves are the only things I would check proactively. On these engines the valve clearances slowly close up over the miles, so the valve gear makes less noise and you won't know the clearance is low until you have a failure. As stated above getting the covers off just to check the clearances is not a big job, even checking the rear head (very easy access) as an indicator would be a start. Aside from feeler gauges you will need some gasket sealant and ideally a torque wrench (do NOT overtighten the cam cover bolts as they can break out the thread in the head).

    Actual adjustment of valve clearances is easier on these gear drive engines than any others, no cam chains to wrestle with so less chance of messing up the timing. Access to the front head is less fun but not mechanically challenging.

    For the rest I would be repairing or replacing parts on an as-needed basis. If/when the thermostat fails then you will be doing a deep dive under the throttle bodies and at that point I would be replacing the hoses, o-rings and the throttle body rubbers. Trust me that is a job you only want to do once.

    Some preventative maintenance on the steering and especially the rear suspension bearings would be prudent. If the steering head bearing feels at all notchy or self-centering then it needs to be replaced.

    You may be surprised how much better the bike will feel with some other parts replaced e.g. the cush-drive rubbers in the rear hub. And replacing all the fluids regularly flushes out accumulated crud, especially important for the linked brakes. Keep an eye on the secondary master cylinder especially the rubber boot on the pushrod as you don't want that failing and allowing corrosion.

    The last area I would check is electrical, specifically the 3-pin RR connector on the left side , that is a known weak point that gets wet, corrodes then overheats and melts. Some dielectric grease can hold this off, a better long-term solution is to cut the connector out and solder and heat-shrink the wires.
     
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