Looking at a 2003 VFR

Discussion in 'General VFR Discussions' started by emon07, Sep 10, 2010.

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Does the Gen 6 VFR need a Power Commander to work properly?

  1. Yes

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  2. No

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  1. emon07

    emon07 New Member

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    My 2k VFR is in need of a lot of work and I am ready to upgrade (been resisting the VTEC upgrade). My 2k VFR has slightly over 40k mi and I do not want to do a complete rebuild. I picked up an sweet lookin Black 03 Yamaha R1 Special Edition with the Flame graphics earlier this year and that has been my daily ride. I love my VFR for touring and two up riding and have taken it to the track also (best all around bike ever). I found an 03 Honda VFR that is Black with a flame paint job just like my R1 with 11k mi - looks like it was made for me so I gotta have it. I checked and found some post on the 2003 - 2005 VFR issues and recalls. I found there were two recalls for the 2003 VFR (See info below pic of bike) and wanted to check if the recall work resolved all issues or if it is necessary to do some other mods. Also since I am a VTEC skeptic (sorry) does the Power Commander help with the VTEC and any flat spots on the power curve for the bike? Check a pic of the bike - whatcha think??? Oh yeah I am 6 ft and approx 225lbs - any suspension upgrade recommendations?

    [​IMG]


    2003 Honda Vfr800 Recalls

    Recall ID #16948 - ELECTRICAL SYSTEM:WIRING
    Recall Date: AUG 15, 2007
    Component: ELECTRICAL SYSTEM:WIRING
    Model Affected: HONDA VFR800
    Units Affected: 6952 Recall Details
    Recall Date:
    AUG 15, 2007


    Model Affected:
    2003 HONDA HONDA VFR800


    Summary
    ON CERTAIN MOTORCYCLES, THE FRONT FAIRING SUB-HARNESS (SECTION OF THE WIRING HARNESS) TRANSFERS THE ELECTRICAL GROUNDING LOAD OF THE HEADLIGHTS, FRONT TURN SIGNALS, INSTRUMENT PANEL, AND VARIOUS RELAYS TO THE MAIN WIRING HARNESS VIA AN 18-PIN CONNECTOR. UNDER CERTAIN CONDITIONS, THE GROUND WIRE TERMINALS INSIDE THE CONNECTOR CAN OVERHEAT, RESULTING IN MELTING OF THE CONNECTOR AND A LOSS OF POWER TO VARIOUS CIRCUITS.


    Consequence
    AS A RESULT, A LOSS OF CRITICAL LIGHTING OR ENGINE POWER COULD OCCUR WITHOUT WARNING, WHICH COULD CAUSE A CRASH.


    Remedy
    DEALERS WILL INSTALL A RE-DESIGNED SUB-HARNESS. IF DAMAGE IS FOUND, THE MAIN WIRING HARNESS WILL ALSO BE REPLACED FREE OF CHARGE. AN INTERIM LETTER WAS MAILED TO OWNERS ON SEPTEMBER 26, 2007. OWNERS WERE RE-NOTIFIED ON NOVEMBER 10, 2007, TO TAKE THEIR MOTORCYCLES TO DEALERS TO HAVE THE PARTS INSTALLED. OWNERS MAY CONTACT HONDA AT 1-866-784-1870.


    Units Affected:
    6952


    Notes
    HONDA (AMERICAN HONDA MOTOR CO.)
    Recall ID #35890 - SERVICE BRAKES, HYDRAULIC
    Recall Date: JAN 24, 2005
    Component: SERVICE BRAKES, HYDRAULIC
    Model Affected: HONDA VFR800
    Units Affected: 36046 Recall Details
    Recall Date:
    JAN 24, 2005


    Model Affected:
    2003 HONDA HONDA VFR800


    Summary
    CERTAIN MOTORCYCLES EQUIPPED WITH COMBINED-BRAKE SYSTEMS HAVE A PROPORTIONING CONTROL VALVE (PCV) THAT MECHANICALLY PROPORTIONS BRAKE FORCE WHEN THE REAR BRAKE IS APPLIED. A SEAL IN SOME PCVS IS IMPROPERLY SHAPED, AND BRAKE FLUID LEAKAGE MAY OCCUR.


    Consequence
    IF THE MOTORCYCLE CONTINUES TO BE USED AFTER A LEAK OCCURS, THE REAR BRAKE WOULD EVENTUALLY BECOME INOPERATIVE. A LOSS OF REAR BRAKE FORCE COULD INCREASE THE RISK OF A CRASH.


    Remedy
    DEALERS WILL INSPECT THE REAR BRAKE FORLEAKAGE. IF LEAKAGE IS CONFIRMED, THE DEALER WILL REPLACE THE PCV FREE OF CHARGE. THE RECALL BEGAN ON JANUARY 31, 2005. OWNERS MAY CONTACT HONDA AT 866-784-1870.


    Units Affected:
    36046


    Notes
    HONDA (AMERICAN HONDA MOTOR CO.) P65
     
  2. pastorgumby

    pastorgumby New Member

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    What a looker! I just picked up an '02 VFR mint condition - but it stalled on me in Manhattan! Never had that happen to me before. I'm guessing it's the RR that needs replacing. Sweet ride.
     
  3. havcar

    havcar New Member

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    Yes, if the recall work has been completed you should be good to go. Although I am in the middle of replacing my stator at 15k miles, I'm told that this is an aberation. A PCIII with o2 eliminators and a proper tune will smooth over any abruptness. I also found that a gearing change did wonders for the bike without draining my wallet. I did 10k with a -1 front and liked it. I'm now on 3k with a +2 rear and like it also. For my riding style on mixed roads, from tight and slow to 100+ mph sweepers, I would choose +2 over the -1 front. Before you start thinking suspension I would just turn both pre-loads to full stiff and see what you think. At your weight you'll probably want the rebound near full stiff aswell. The 6 gen suspension is a nice move up compared to the 5 gen and may be enough for you. If it's not than by all means replace it. Best of luck!
     
  4. emon07

    emon07 New Member

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    Thank you - exactly the info I needed - really helps a lot. I have decided to get the bike and want to get it setup right so I can enjoy it. Thanks!!!!!
     
  5. Pliskin

    Pliskin New Member

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    Hey Emon. I know where that bike is! 'Bout 10 miles from me! Its definitely sharp looking. I'm usually not too big of a fan of flame paint jobs, but something about this one that sure looks nice.

    I don't know what the difference is, but the advertisement leads me to believe that bike is a California version. Like I said, don't know if that means anything. Can our CA counterparts comment on the differences?

    Send me a PM when/if you go to get her. Maybe we'll meet up for a beverage. Of if you're taking the train into Netcong and need a lift, I'll certainly volunteer as long as I can coordinate it. Station is about 5 miles from me.
     
  6. havcar

    havcar New Member

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    Hey Pli, unfortunately all 6 gens are California emissions equiped. However, it's not to difficult to undo.
     
  7. dko15

    dko15 New Member

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    what does the undo entail and what are the BENEFITS?
    Thanks havcar
     
  8. Pliskin

    Pliskin New Member

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    Ahh, OK. Good to know for general purposes. Thanks.

    I wasn't sure if it meant anything. I just noticed that the ad for that particular bike had some wordings about the CA emissions, while other ads (also for 6th Gens) from the same dealer made no mention of it.
     
  9. havcar

    havcar New Member

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    That's a long list depending on what you want to spend. The cheapest way to get started is to block of the pair valve and remove the evap can. It takes an hour or so and block of plates run from a $1 marble rig to $40. Then you can do oxygen eliminators (o2 elims) that will also cost anywhere between $1-$40 depending on whether or not you want a Radio Shack rig or o2 elims from Dynojet. My understanding is that doing just these mods will eliminate off-idle surging and smooth the VTEC transition. I can't be sure because I eliminated those things using a PCIII and a Dyno tune first...Which brings us to the more expensive mods.

    From there you can move onto a slip-on exhaust which can cost just about anything you would want to spend, I'd say $300 or so for entry level used equipment on up to $1200+ for top of the line new. I would do this soley for the sound improvements and weight savings, although there are some performance benefits to be had. Add a good airfilter (K&N etc) and you can stop there and procede to the next paragraph, or for $240 more you can buy catless Delkevic headers to complete the exhaust and remove the last significant piece of California emissions equipment (to get the catless you have to order the Delks that where originally designed for the '98-'99 gen 5).

    If you've gone this far you might as well, and should, buy a PCIII USB for $300-$350 and take the bike to a good Dyno tuner for a custom map. The map will set you back another $250-$300 and is worth every penny. The custom map will remove any remaining environmental fueling restraints and get a 6 gen running the way it should have been straight from the dealership. The tune will also tie togather all of the mods you've just made and get everything running in harmony.

    By doing these things you can add 5 or 6 HP and 5 or 6 lbs of torque, but much more importantly your machine will simply run much better than it does in the stock version. You will eliminate the big drop in HP at mid-tach, smooth the VTEC transition, eliminate off-idle (parking lot speeds) surging, and just about every other detrimental side affect that a bad stock map and strict emissions requirements caused.

    You can find more details and how-to instructions for any of these mods by using the search function at the top right of this page. If not, you can always post up so that one of our more mechanically inclined members can help you out. I unfortunately, am not a do-it-yourselfer.

    On a non emissions note, let me say again that a gearing change also does great things for this motorcycle, without dropping a fortune. Lets face it, the mid-section of the tach on a 6 gen is a weak spot, and while it takes some new mapping to completely overcome that, gearing goes a long way. If you're staying primarily in slow and tight corners than a -1 front is a good choice. If your riding is more varied, with some higher speed and higher RPM stuff, than a +2 rear might be the better way to go.
     
  10. emon07

    emon07 New Member

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    I picked up the bike yesterday and rode it back to NYC. It was a really nice day and I had a great ride back (got the bike up to 120) to NYC . The bike is in good shape with Pilot tires and a sargent seat, but the paint job is not that great. The side panels are great, but front cowl and tank paint show signs of the bike's previous color (bike was originally red) bleeding through . Also missing the cover on the side that covers the battery. I am still getting use to the VTEC engine, and so far I do not like the low end and slow take offs - maybe I need to get it tuned or something. I really did not notice the VTEC abruptness on the highway coming back to NYC, but did notice it when I got back to NYC on the highway. If felt kinda snachty when the VTEC kicked in. I am definately gonna do as Havcar recommended and get the bike setup with a PCIII and dyno. I am also interested in any sprocket change information.
     
  11. emon07

    emon07 New Member

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    I am not happy with the 2003 VTEC VFR so far. I rode the bike to work today in the rain and the suspension does feel better than my 5 gen VFR, but I still like the 5th Gen engine better. The brakes on the 6th Gen seem the same to me and work great in the rain when used properly. The thing I dislike the most is the slow takeoffs and lack of pull and power down low - I am also doing more shifting because of the VTEC and I am lazy so I do not like that either lol. I really love the VFR, but I may end up trading the 2003 VTEC VFR for a Busa. I am glad I have not sold my ole 5th gen VFR yet. I am gonna be patient and ride the bike some more. Trying to imagine how it is riding two up and taking off - is it gonna have enough pull to start at the bottom of a steep hill and pull the bike up the hill riding two up? A real Jeckle and Hyde bike to me so far and I like Hyde better and wish he would stay lol.
     
  12. havcar

    havcar New Member

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    At a minimum, I would go and it geared before making any final decisions. From what you're describing, I would get started with a 15 tooth front sprocket. That should make a significant difference without having to do anything else. If it's still not enough than you can always add a tooth or two to the rear sprocket. You'll still notice that HP drop at VTEC transition, but that can be dealt with down the road. In the mean time just doing the gearing will bring the desired power lower in the tach. Here is a link for an AFAM 15 tooth front, this one is on the more quality side for $35, you can find them for less if you need to. It's any easy install as well.

    AFAM 530 Chromoly Steel Front Sprocket - HONDA - Sprocket Center
     
  13. 02 VFR Rider

    02 VFR Rider New Member

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    there are mods you can do that will help w/ the vtec without having to buy a power commander
    nice looking bike there.
     
  14. emon07

    emon07 New Member

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    Yes the sprocket change is what may help, but I am concerned about the effect it will have on the bike's top speed. Am I gonna need to do sprocket and chain changes and then Power Commander setup? I actually wish I could put a Gen 5 engine in the bike lol - seriously. Anyway I need some help with the mods so I can check the total expense and make plans. If I had to I would choose torque over HP, but what a lousy compromise for a sportbike - starting to get really pissed at Honda cause I am fustrated and feel like I gotta fix design flaws in the bike. Bummer
     
  15. havcar

    havcar New Member

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    Some minor gearing shouldn't affect what your doing on the top-end too much. A -1 front will still let the bike do 145mph. I would complete all of the modifications that you think you'll do, then do the PCIII and dyno at the very last.
     
  16. havcar

    havcar New Member

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    I neglected to mention that you won't have to change the chain with a -1. If you need to change the sprocket and chains regardless, than doing a 520 conversion is also a helpful step. Some will complain about longevity but in my opinion the performance benefits outweigh the lesser life. You'll retrieve a few HP and power delivery is so much smoother. Plus it will shave anywhere between two to five pounds off of the drive system, increasing its longevity.
     
  17. emon07

    emon07 New Member

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    I checked with a local Honda dealer and there is still a recall on the bike for the Brake leaky PVC. I am going to get the bike over to them to have it checked for the recall work and tune-up. If everything checks out these are the mods I am planning:

    INTAKE SYSTEM

    Mod: Flapper valve disable
    Benefits: Smoother acceleraton through 5k rpm??? Sound enhancement at low rpms?
    How to: Lift fuel tank, pull vacuum hose off of flapper control valve diaphram on top of air box, plug hose with bolt, secure with zip tie (optional).
    How it works: Disconnecting the vacuum hose will keep the flapper valve from closing the second intake opening under the control valve.

    Permanance: Completely reversible.


    Mod: Remove intake snorkel
    Benefits: Sound enhancement at WOT, possible performance benefit due to less restriction.
    How to: Lift fuel tank, pull snorkle out of right front of airbox lid.

    Permanance: Completely reversible.


    EXHAUST SYSTEM

    Mod: De-baffle stock exhaust
    Benefits: Sound enhancement, possible performance benefit due to less restriction.

    Permanance: Not reversible without buying another stock exhaust.


    FUEL SYSTEM

    Mod: Adjustable fuel pressure regulator (FPR)
    Benefits: Improve drivability by reducing lean running conditions

    Permanance: Completely reversible.

    Mod: Dynojet Power Commander (PCIII)
    Benefits: Improve drivability by modifying fueling maps

    Permanance: Completely reversible.


    FRONT SUSPENSION

    Mod: Heavier fork oil
    Benefits: Increased compression and rebound damping with stock internals


    Permanance: Completely reversible.

    Mod: Raise forks in triple-clamps
    Benefits: Improved handling due to steeper head angle, reduced trail

    Permanance: Completely reversible.

    Mod: Replace fork springs with Race Tech appropriate for rider weight and use
    Benefits: Improved handling, reduced brake dive. Stock springs are too soft.

    Permanance: Completely reversible.
    Help: got to http://www.racetech.com/evalving/SpringRat...SpringType=Fork to choose your rate, or direct or through your favorite vendor


    REAR SUSPENSION:

    Mod: Increase rear ride height by shimming under top shock mount
    Benefits: Improved handling due to steeper head angle, reduced trail, increased cornering clearance
    Add approximately 4mm of shims under top shock mount to raise ride height ~12mm.

    Permanance: Completely reversible.
     
  18. Bubba Zanetti

    Bubba Zanetti Member

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    Damn emon, you caould have saved some coin and just bought my 97 for sale.

    All upgrades already complete!

    BZ
     
  19. freewheelburner

    freewheelburner New Member

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    Ditto Bubba there are alot of Gen 5s out there for the taking ......hint hint!
     
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