New to me 2003 VFR. Some questions...

Discussion in 'Mechanics Garage' started by sorenlaf, May 8, 2018.

  1. sorenlaf

    sorenlaf New Member

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    Hi everyone, new member here. Just bought an '03 800 w/ ABS. 18xxx miles, heated grips, two powerlet plugs, factory (meaning Givi) hard bags and top box, MRA vario wind screen, no other mods that I know of.

    My first VFR - been bracketing them with a CBR F3 and an ST1100.

    First, what is typical coolant temperature? Saw 220F yesterday when stopped, dropped after I started moving. Kinda scary. Have not checked coolant level yet, but will do so before next ride. On freeway, I was seeing 185. Owner's manual says to remove the lower fairing to check coolant. Is there a workaround? Remove the top left edge and bend a little? Did not check if the fan was working. Will dab a bit of nail polish on it prior to the next ride. I was kind of surprised to find only one fan.

    Next, has anyone tried drilling the top triple clamp to mount a standard 7/8" bar? Or in my case, a modified helibar from an ST1100... Love the bike, with all of about 100 miles on it, but my wrists cannot take the stock bar angle. Cannot move the stock bars to the angle I need w/o them hitting the tank. Converti-bars are the only "turn key" solution I've seen so far. At $340, I am thinking about other options. Helibars might work, but they might not, and only $20 cheaper. I think up and back helibar range will allow me the approximately 10 degrees I need to rotate each bar, but it's hard to tell. I'll certainly contact them before buying anything. One of my RC plane buddies manages a CNC shop, and has offered to build things in the past, so I have some options there as well.

    Last, for now, is there a consensus of opinion on the suspension? So far, I'm not that impressed. It's okay, but... Bike corners on rails, but hit some bumps in a turn, and it feels like it's about to skitter a bit.

    At this time, I have three F3 shocks: stock, Fox TC, and Ohlins. It's king of embarrassing, but the stock one is still on the bike. It looks like an F3 shock can be adapted to the VFR. I assume I would need to rebuild, respring, and revalve an F3 shock (besides adding the spacer) prior to use, so that makes the $650 (what I read, not a quote) for a remote preload Ohlins a definite possibility. Figure I'm looking at $300-$450 for the shock work if I go with an F3 shock.

    I'm assuming front suspension options are gold valves and swapping out the forks for sportbike forks. Not sure if anything is a direct fit.

    I'd welcome any other comments, suggestions, or general wisdom from the forum!


    Thanks in advance,
    --Soren
     
  2. Africord

    Africord New Member

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    My sixth gen is a 2002 and your coolant temps are pretty normal. The handlebar questions have all been worked out long ago. The only conventional handlebar solution is from LSL, and isn't any cheaper than Convertibar. I have the Genmar risers on mine and they allow for virtually any angle you want to use . They were on the bike when I bought it in 2010, but still available. http://www.genmarmfg.com/shop/honda/cbr1100xx-97-on-vfr800-02-08-detail.html I suggest that your answers will come to you faster if you search the forums for previous posts.
     
  3. Terry Smith

    Terry Smith Member

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    Your description of the shortcomings of the stock suspension are dead-on; an inability to deal with larger bumps without over-reacting and jolting the bike off-line. I can recommend making contact with Daugherty Motor Sports in Indiana, Jamie is an expert on making the VFR work properly and will be able to advise you on the most cost-effective solution.

    220F is not really hot, on a bike with a dial gauge that is just over 1/2 way, and just above the point where the fan should be kicking in.
     
  4. vVertigo

    vVertigo New Member

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    Temps sound normal, hot day and traffic it will go up, thermostat opens completely at 203, and then fan kicks in around 215- 220, going by memory, cant find exact temp fan turns on in service manual but once it does it will stay at those hi temps till you get some air moving.
     
  5. kevlar750

    kevlar750 New Member

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    Just bought my '02 today. First VFR - first Honda. 60°F outside and 2 minutes off the freeway the temp gauge read 226°F! Is this normal in such "cool" temps?
     
  6. Africord

    Africord New Member

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    It's not totally unusual. I would check your coolant level and condition. What was your highway cruising temperature? I would expect a temp around 180-190 at those temps while cruising the highway. Did your radiator fan turn on? I would expect it to turn on at 220.
     
  7. kevlar750

    kevlar750 New Member

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    You're spot-on with the freeway cruising temp. Same thing today (Friday). DID notice the fan kick on at a stoplight at around 220°. First time I actually heard it. Was wondering whether or not it was working. My Aprilia runs hot but not this hot! This will take some getting used to. Thanx for the info. I've got plenty of questions to come on this forum.
     
  8. kevlar750

    kevlar750 New Member

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    Did you notice the hat my son is wearing in my avatar pic? Do you really care. GO BIG RED!!!!
     
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