"Best" year to own

Discussion in 'General VFR Discussions' started by Cakedaddy, Apr 20, 2022.

  1. Cakedaddy

    Cakedaddy New Member

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    Just bought an '83 interceptor, because since the late '80's, the early/mid 80's were the ones I liked the most. Never owned one (or any other year), but when the itch came again, I went back to those years.

    Now that I have it, I'm seeing how. . . 'difficult' it might be to keep up. From the dreaded cam wear (that I'm just learning about), to simply lack of parts available. Not regretting my purchase AT ALL. But, I am afraid of riding it! If something goes. . .that might be it for the bike! So, I feel like I have to save it for special occasions.

    So that leads to my question. What year is: Easy to maintain, has good parts available, has a good durability reputation, etc. What's the best/easiest year to own? Looking for one that I don't have to feel guilty about putting miles on and wearing things out.
     
  2. bk94si

    bk94si Member

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    I asked this same question before I got my 97.i was told 4th Gen 94-97 were the best. I think an argument can be made for the 5th gen as well for the fuel injection.
     
  3. Grum

    Grum New Member

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    Well that depends on a many things, and personal preferences. But I will say that the 8gen which came out in 2014 will prove to be the most reliable VFR ever built, thats because ALL of the electrical gremlins that have plagued previous models have been solved. Also being the last of VFR's parts availability should be most easily accessible.

    If you like the whine of gear driven cams and no CCT's to worry about , and non VTEC (four Valve ops all the time) and with EFI the 5th gen is a GREAT bike once the electrical issues are sorted.

    There's also the 7th gen VFR1200 which came out in 2010 if you want the extra grunt, shaft drive, superb build quality.

    There are many other details of each generation to consider but this is just my very short 2 cents worth.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2022
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  4. Terry Smith

    Terry Smith Member

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    Apparently, when asked which is your favourite child, you are meant to pick one of your own...

    Grum makes some salient points...all of the 86-onwards are known to be mechanically reliable (I'm touching wood as I type this) so condition is probably more important than mileage.

    Anything before 98 has carbs...if the bike gets parked up over winter, these need a bit more care.

    The 6th gen probably had the longest model run so used parts should be most plentiful for those.

    The 5th and 6th gen bikes have linked brakes; these can be a bit more maintenance intensive if ignored. If you're handy with spanners, not too challenging however.

    The 5th gen hits my personal sweet spot: FI, gear driven cams, no VTEC, decent chassis, and not TOO old.

    IMG_2949.JPG

    Having ABS is a nice-to-have, in which case some 6th gens, and all the later models come with that.
     
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  5. Captain 80s

    Captain 80s Member

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    A DE-LINKED 98 or 99 is probably the sweet spot where "modern" meets a true sporting VFR. Fuel Injection and Gear Driven Cams. No other bullshit to add weight, complexity and maintenance woes.

    But I like all VFRs, just some more than others.
     
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  6. raYzerman

    raYzerman Insider

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    And the Gen5's came in the fastest colour, pearl shining yellow and sound great with that Delkevic can.
     
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  7. Captain 80s

    Captain 80s Member

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    Ventura Rack + HRC sticker and you are looking at another 10mph easy...
     
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  8. Terry Smith

    Terry Smith Member

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    Damn...I forgot the HRC sticker. I'll get right on that.
     
  9. Blackslide

    Blackslide New Member

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    Somehow I've always loved the 90-93 looks the most, but it seems that parts availability is getting worse, so if I was buying now, a 94-97 it would be.

    Happily many of the parts between the early and late rc36 are interchangeable. A good mechanic can usually service a lot of stuff, without breaking anything while at it. So parts availability, or lack thereof, may be more scary in theory, than it really is.

    I like the idea of efi and 800cc, but it would need to sit inside an rc36 chassis. :grin:

    Sent from my SM-G981B using Tapatalk
     
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  10. raYzerman

    raYzerman Insider

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    I'll agree I'd like a 4th Gen, they look great, but everybody wants too much money for them.....
     
  11. FJ12rydertoo

    FJ12rydertoo Member

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    It just so happens I own the best year: 1999, in the best and fastest color: red. Just good luck on my part. :)
     
  12. RllwJoe

    RllwJoe Member

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    FYI the 800 isn't. It's a 781cc, so little difference in capacity.

    I think that the 89 and 99 are the sweet spot because:
    1) still have gear driven cams - no chain adjustment
    2) no emissions junk - 2000 on does
    3) EFI - less issues with fuel stored over winter etc.
    4) 17 inch front and rear stock tire sizes
    5) change out the R/R and you eleminate the only bad spot in the charging system - https://vfrworld.com/threads/how-to-fix-common-regulator-stator-failures.39277/
    6) Change the brake fluid on a regular basis and if your not riding like Marc Marquez, you won't even notice they are linked. I don't anyway.

    Body parts are getting more scarce, esp new condition. But, eventually all VFR model years will have parts that will no longer be avialible from Honda, specifically those that are VFR only parts.

    All that being said, the best VFRs are the ones that someone put in the effort to maintain over it's life time.

    If when you go to look at one and the rims are full of dust and grime, the paint is not stock and/ or faded and scrached badly, the tires are old and hard, the chain is rust covered and has links that are not flexing,.........That is not likely to be one of the best VFR's.
     
  13. Mr. Philadelphia

    Mr. Philadelphia New Member

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    I agree with this, but I'll add that the 94-97 throws some nods to the NR750: Front & Side Fairings, headlights, belly pan, & wheels. '98-'99 may be the best package under the plastics , of which I'm not a big fan, but some people like their looks. To each their own.

    With the 4th gen. and older models, I think you're able to find everything you need nowadays except for plastics.
     
  14. jethro

    jethro New Member

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    My vote is for the 3rd gen and this is on looks along. None prettier in my estimation. Weight is a downside as well as plastic body panels, but those are becoming a problem for alot of later gens also. Weight can be taken off and I have over 22 pounds off so far with maybe another 10 to go, and I even lost 20 so it should really rip now.
     
  15. skimad4x4

    skimad4x4 "Official" VFRWorld Greeter

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    Returning to the original question...

    "What year is: Easy to maintain, has good parts available, has a good durability reputation, etc. What's the best/easiest year to own? Looking for one that I don't have to feel guilty about putting miles on and wearing things out."

    If those are your requirements then the answer is simple either buy an 8th Gen or possibly a 7th Gen (but only the 2012+ version). As they are the only ones where Honda finally had got around to installing a reliable charging system. You only need to end up stranded at the roadside once to curse the bean counters who opted to fit awful charging systems to earlier VFRs.

    Sadly there was a swarf issue with some early 7th gen models which for me makes buying any of the 2010 batch a bit too much of a lottery in terms of reliability. Honda seem to have got the 8th Gen right first time - but it does mean they hold their value.

    Parts for 7th and 8th Gen models should be readily available for years, and both can handle huge mileages. The shaft drive on the 7th Gen does mean you will not be messing with oiling the chain and is probably the one to go for if convenience is important.



    SkiMad
     
  16. Mr. Philadelphia

    Mr. Philadelphia New Member

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    I don't know, but I thought Cakedaddy was looking for a more nuanced answer rather than, say, "Buy the newest ones available, preferably with a warranty & less than 1K miles."

    If he's into an '83, I'm guessing he may know his way around a motorcycle. If that's indeed the case, then anything 4th Gen & beyond is reliable and all relatively easy to work on. There still remain many parts on the used market for the 4th gen because the mid-90s were the VFR's heyday. I agree that the intelligent charging system and added oil cooling circuit for the stator on on the 8th gen looks very cool and thus far very reliable. But from anecdotal experience with two 6th gens that have done a combined 180K miles (almost 300K km) for which the charging system was the achilles heel, the OEM stators can go 50-60K provided the rest of the charging system is sound. Rewiring it with a mosfet or series Rectifier/Regulator is recommended for every 6th gen and earlier VFR and isn't difficult, both of which should prevent premature stator failure and the latter of which should extend stator life.

    Valve checks/adjustments on non-VTEC engines is much less tedious. Anything '02 and beyond, you're looking at retiming the engine twice, fussing with chains & sprockets, to just check the valves. And if you have to change out a VTEC bucket, then 3 times if you're doing it properly with a final check after installing the new VTEC lifters.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2022
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