Really torn about my 2003 VFR800

Discussion in 'General VFR Discussions' started by jhon, Sep 12, 2019.

  1. jhon

    jhon New Member

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    I am very torn about my VFR.
    First I want to say that I'm in absolute love with the bike.... the looks, the power the SOUND OMG THE SOUND... this bike fucked me up because I don't like how any other sport bike sounds anymore apart from the Aprilia RSV4... which is out of my budget.

    I paid $2000 for this bike and some of you remember I posted that the bike let me on the side of the road with a burnt stator.
    I replaced the stator, Rectifier/regulator and battery. I was using the bike maybe once a week because I am a motorcycle instructor and I was using the for demos on the Advance Raider Course (ARC) that I teach on military bases. SO ... the bike didn't give me any "issues" after I replaced those components, however I lost confidence on riding the bike for a long distance. My commute was 1 hour long ....
    After Memorial Day I started a new job and I have not been riding the bike. I have the bike on the shed next to my wife's CTX700. I have been starting both now and then, and the always started with no problems, today the CTX fired right up, but I almost couldn't start the VFR. Got it running and went for a ride for like 20 mins, hopping that would charge the battery. Well NOP.... it didn't. I stopped for gas and I had to push her to start it.
    I want to sell this bike so another person can take car of her.. I don't ride it that much and I don't want to be chasing where the issue is.
    There is also a oil leak at the bottom of the bike.... with only 16K miles I think this bike had a rough life before I got her. I am not sure how hard it would be to replace the gasket that will make the oil leak stop. (IDEAS??)

    At this point I would like to get another VFR in the future that has been properly cared for... BUT.... now that I know this bikes are plagued with electrical issues I feel hesitant about it. Can I get some inputs?

    The other bike I could consider is the Aprilia RSV... but is a twin and not a V4.... I love the sound of the V4... and I like the V twin but not as much as the V4.

    for what I paid for this bike is hard to beat.... the power the handling .... but again I don't want to find myself down the road with a $2,000 paper weight because the bike keeps making me spend money on repairs.

    What do you guys think? if anyone feels like taking over the phone better my number is nine five four two hundred one one seven eight.

    Thanks
     
  2. OZ VFR

    OZ VFR Member

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    Shame you had a bad start with the VFR.
    They are one of the most reliable bikes out there, the only issue is the charging system that once fixed correctly never fails again.
    It’s hard to tell what has happened not knowing what you did and used.
    If you just replaced everything without making any modifications the problem is probably still there.
    Same with the oil leak, I’ve never seen a VFR leak oil, and without knowing where it’s coming from it’s impossible to diagnose.
    Could be a badly installed filter or anything else.
    Pull the fairings and have a good look.
     
  3. 34468 Randy

    34468 Randy Secret Insider

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    Sorry to hear of your difficulties. I totally agree with OZ. There is definitely something amiss with your bike. I have had the electrical problems in the past with rectifiers and stators but those are a known problems and there is a preventative fix. I am working (Actually a shop is) on a gremlin of a problem that causes the RPMs shoot up when starting from stop in first gear when cold, which disappears when warmed up. BUT! I have over 220,000 km (Almost 137.000 miles).

    There is seepage of oil at the bottom of my motor somewhere but no where near enough to cause drips. I hate oil stains on my driveway. But given the mileage on mine, I am not critical of the seepage I get.

    As far as your battery going dead, a 20 minute ride is not enough to charge up the battery in my opinion. Remember there are electronics that are working even when your bike is shut down. The clock being one of them. Not a big drain on power but remember, your battery is small. Do you have other devices wired into your bike such as GPS. I have to physically turn my GPS off when I stop. Those are a decent drain on your battery.

    Hope you can find a solution to your problem. I see you asked for advice on Chat. That is not a good place to seek advice. It is just a spot for bull shitting around. You did right by posting this thread but it should have been posted in the Mechanics Garage forums. Hopefully one of the moderators will see this and correct it for you. Or you can repost.
     
  4. Norse

    Norse New Member

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    The battery issue is pretty easy to explain and I would be very surprised if it is the fault of the bike.
    If it is sitting for extended periods of time, the battery will drain. For anything other than lithium that is just a fact of life. And you are going to need significantly more than a 20 minute ride to get any kind of charge.
    The old "start it every once in a while" strategy is useless. In fact, it could do more harm than good. it likely doesn't even have time to warm up and unless your idle RPM is REALLY high and you leave it running for a long time, it is not going to do much of anything in terms of charging. In fact, it will likely end up with less charge than it started with.

    Unless you ride your bike regularly, you need to take the same steps as you would for winter storage. Bikes don't like sitting still.

    As for the oil leak; Without knowing where it is coming from, it is impossible to diagnose. But the most likely places to look are the oil filter and the drain plug. Those are the only things that are part of regular maintenance and therefore the only parts that are routinely replaced. Either one could be damaged or installed wrong.
     
  5. jhon

    jhon New Member

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    OZ Thanks for your reply. You said: ”If you just replaced everything without making any modifications the problem is probably still there.” What modifications need to be made? If you could please help me mention the names of the mods, so I can search on the forum, that would be great.

    I checked the oil plug and the oil filter. I doubt is coming from there. I will change the oil, replace the crush washer etc and degrease the bottom of the bike to try to identify where is coming from.

    Randy: Thanks for your reply too. I completely understand your point about the electronics. However
    I have no 12v outlets, no GPS, zero electronics connected to the bike. Maybe this is “new battery”, is not a very good one.

    I have gone through 24 motorcycles since 2010 different brands etc. I buy them, fix them, ride them have fun and sell them. Not for profit but for fun. Now, normally when I start the bikes "now and then" I do it properly: I start the bike let it idle for 3 mins, then get the oil to operating temp by riding 1 or 2 miles so the oil can move etc., and the shut it. My wife CTX has not been moved in a prolonged time with an old battery, it also has a digital cluster speedo, clock etc. and the bike started yesterday without any problems. The point I’m trying to make is that this bike (VFR) has NOT being sitting long enough to have a drained battery. I removed the battery and I will have it on a true battery charger (not the regular battery tender) for 24-48h. Let’s see how she responds. But more importantly the question here is what OZ VFR was saying: . ”If you just replaced everything without making any modifications the problem is probably still there.” That’s key… what exactly need to be done to have this stator/rectifier etc. problem completely taken care of?

    As far as the place where to post, I apologize for posting in the wrong place. Hopefully the moderators can move the thread.

    Norse: thanks for your reply also. Again about the battery. During this journey of 24 motorcycles that I have owned, I have got through multiple winters (not super heavy here in Virginia) where the bikes sit for 1.5 months without getting moved. The longest I have got a bike not moving was a Vulcan 900 that was on my bothers garage and it didn’t got started in like 3 months. She fired right up. I understand not all batteries are made the same. I will keep this battery on a tender after is fully charged and I will ride the bike at least 1-2 miles every other week. If that doesn’t keep the bike’s battery healthy I would be dealing with the same question: What is the issue: the battery or a parasite drain on the bike. I have no 12v outlets, no GPS, zero electronics connected to the bike.

    The oil problem: As far I would tell the oil is not coming from the plug or the filter. But Again I will come back with more news about that later.

    It seems that she and I started on the wrong foot. I love the VFR I don’t think I want any other but a VFR or a RSV4 which is out of discussion because of the price.

    Thanks for your inputs.
     
  6. James Bond

    James Bond Member

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    One of two minutes of riding does not bring oil temp up to normal operating temps. That takes a full 20 minutes of riding or driving a car for that matter. An oil temp. gauge would tell you this. The same holds true for bike or car after owning both with gauges. As far as electrical issues, just ride the bike more or put a trickle charger on it. Otherwise, any bike is going to go through batteries. Concerning the oil leak, have you tried to find it or just obsessed over it? Find it so you can make an informed decision. Doesn't sound like anything is wrong with the bike that can't be fixed. You paid next to nothing for it so why not fix it and ride it? If it's not being ridden, get rid of it and save some insurance money. Just some free pragmatic advice to consider.
     
  7. jhon

    jhon New Member

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    Mr. Bond. Much appreciated your sincere advice. Thanks. If you read my post I said this and I quote: "I start the bike let it idle for 3 mins, then get the oil to operating temp by riding 1 or 2 miles " I never said 2 mins.
    As per manual of my 2006 Yamaha Stratoliner, and the
    YouTube
    video by the Yamaha Corporation on how to properly get the bike to temp to accurately read the oil level, they recommend a 10 min ride. Based on my 2006 Honda GL 1800 manual and my 2006 Suzuki V strom , both tell you to start the bike let it idle for 4 -5 mins. until oil temp has reached operating temp, then shut down and wait 3 mins and then measure the oil. Also my 2014 BWM R1200GSA which had a digital engine temp, and according also to the manual, would reach oil temp at around 5 mins. Based on all this manuals, my personal experience I consider that 20 mins ride is not required to get the oil to operating temp.
    You have a solid point.... If the bike is not being ridden just get rid of it. However the true reason I bought this bike, was to have a bike to go the track and get my certification on the track with futures plans of becoming a Race track instructor too. Besides being riding for 21 years, both in Europe and America, and being a MSF coach, I'm not even close to what I consider being a professional rider, there is so much to learn. So, I decided to buy this bike which was cheap and I would not be to upset if I end up on the floor at the race track. That's why I bought it. This bike is pure Evil and is a symphony to my ears each time the V-tech kicks in... So I try to stay away from the streets, because I don't want to lose my license and my MSF certification.
    Looong explanation, probably unnecessary but hey.... we are passionate about what we love.. Motorcycles...
    I thank you all for your inputs and I hope I don't come across negative in any way.
    I'm still wanting to hear what are the proper mods to fix for good the Stator and rectifier problem.
     
  8. Norse

    Norse New Member

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    A modern FI engine does not benefit from warming up at idle. Start and ride, but keep it in the lower end of the RPM range until it gets to operating temperature.

    It doesn't take that long to get it to temp. It generally takes me about 1½ miles in light city traffic at 4-5K RPM.
    But that does basically nothing as far as charging the battery goes. The bike is meant to maintain the battery. Not charge it from flat. It will charge the battery over time, but quite slowly.
     
  9. Thumbs

    Thumbs Member

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    If you want a reliable VFR800 get an 8th gen

    Mine has just over 30k miles, lives in the cold part of the garage, does get an Optimate through the winter and gets warmed up until the idle drops, however sees the Rev limiter regularly
     
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  10. Allyance

    Allyance Insider

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    Maybe with older VR's and other engines, but the 8th gen definitely requires that the engine get moderately warm before it will have any get up and go. Starting and immediately starting your ride could put you in danger if you get in a jam and require immediate response. If you want the VTEC to work, it has to be above 147-150 degrees F.

    My first VFR was a 2003, I know about the rough performance below 3K rpm. For me, adding a PC III aftermarket fuel injection controller solved the problem.
     
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  11. 34468 Randy

    34468 Randy Secret Insider

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    I think there is advice in this post on what you may do to eradicate the electrical problems with the stator rectifier. I just cut and pasted Mellodude's post and made it a stand alone thread for easy access to his great thread. How this helps some.
    https://vfrworld.com/threads/the-drill.52131/#post-579543
     
  12. highway star

    highway star New Member

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    BatteryMINDer PLUS 12v 1.5 Amp Battery Charger Maintainer Desulfator
    BM1510 . I've been using this for several years, a must when the bike isn't ridden for a while like your situation. Knock on wood but my
    '09 has 27,000 miles and no electrical issues have occurred. I do want to take a look at the stator one day for piece of mind.
     
  13. Norse

    Norse New Member

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    Same with my 2000. We all know that they don't like low RPM. Which is why I keep mine at 4-5K until it's warm. And as mentioned, it takes it about 1½ miles in light traffic to get to 165-170 F, so it's not really a big deal.

    You are not doing your bike any favours by letting it idle until it's warm. Most people who are not stuck in the mid 1980's will even tell you that you are just creating more problems for yourself.
     
  14. James Bond

    James Bond Member

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    I do respect your thinking, feelings, and the "why's" in what you've done. I know what manuals say, including Honda's, and the manufacturers have to know what they're doing for the purposes they are addressing. I suppose the issue may be "what is operating temps". A temperature gauge will tell one when oil is at its' stable operating temp. My experience in watching temp. gauges is that it takes 20 minutes of normal street use on just about any engine, even an air cooled engine such as a Harley. BMW motorcycles, Harleys, Hondas and other's take some time based on oil temp. gauges and prudent street riding. I don't know that it matters as much with a VFR as I've never heard of one having problems related to oil, even if oil used is not what Honda recommends. VFR engines seem indestructible.
     
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