Discussion in '1st & 2nd Generation 1983-1989' started by BLIGHT, Feb 25, 2012.
you may need to reread the thread
Well folks, I thought it was time for an update! Thankfully, I have had a really heavy workload for the last few months, even though the economy here is in the tank. Hey, thanks BARAK!!! I'm self-employed and don't get to charge 'billable hours' unless I really keep my nose to the grindstone.
I work on my bike projects (yes, there are more than one) during lunch breaks and when I can squeak it in a little on weekends. On the single-sided swingarm conversion for the VF500F, I eventually discovered the NC30 (VFR400) setup was the way to go, after no luck with the NT650 Hawk SSS setup. It's just too wide, and the wheel CL and sprocket offsets were just not right.
The NC30 and VF500 engine cases are quite similar, as are the overall frame dimensions at the pivot point. The NC30 arm fits in the VF500F frame perfectly, (like a glove) and I just made a solid 20mm steel thru-axle and machined some threaded captor nuts and spacers to hold the shaft solidly to the frame. I did have to 'dent' the rear header pipes a just a 'skosh' to clear the front edge of the swingarm, but hey... Honda has actually made even larger clearance 'dents' for chain, frame, and sidestands on exhaust pipes too on several different models, including the VTR1000 and the RC30!!!
So... I was able to FINALLY procure all the NC30 parts eventually from several eBay UK vendors. Many are reluctant to sell or ship to the USA, so it's been a real waiting game to finally get enough parts to make this all come together. Here's a couple of pics of the NC30 SSS and wheel on the VF500. Also, I placed the NC30 tail section and tank on there for the photo:
I'm in the process now of fabbing up brackets for the bodywork and tank, and am now sourcing matching tank paint colors and wing decals. The repro NC30 bodywork from China is really pretty nice, and just needs hanging at this point. BTW, the rear arm and wheel feels a ton lighter than the VF500F OEM stuff. I'll try and weigh the assemblies when I transfer all the parts over to my licensed '86 bike.
Stay tuned for more pics of the finished project if you are interested! Overall, it's been a really fun project so far, and I'm looking forward to wrapping it up in another month or two. Please... no naysayers... this is just a voluntary hobby project for me and if you don't like it, that's OK, but please keep it to yourself. I just don't need any negative feedback to slow my motivation as I finally bring the project to a close.
:thumbsup: Yay Blights back!!!
Awesome job its looking really good, ant wait to see it all finished.
I for one would be interested in seeing more close ups of the swing arm mods if you can find the time between work and creating.
I came in on this thread late, & I would have & am, a supporter of what you wanted to do. Its your bike, your tyme, & your money, so go for it! What you & toe cutter did may even become a new suspension mod we 1st. / 2nd. genners will strive to do.
So Congrats, & "PLEASE" post some pics of what you did to do the swap.
When you realized the Hawk arm wasn't going to fit after all, w/o trouble, I'm glad you didn't give up on the idea totally. It looks killer and I look forward to seeing the body work done.:thumb:
Nothing more rewarding than taking the impossible and making it possible.
Looks like you might be past the point of no return and failure isn't an option.
That body work looks so much better than the 500 in stock form :thumbsup:
More pics on the nitty-gritty would be greatly appreciated
That looks VERY nice Blight. I too am excitedly awaiting pics. of the final product.
Well done, so far.
Thanks guys... YES I will take some measurements and lots of photos of the parts for the swingarm swap. I haven't so far, but I have to remove it all from the '85 to transfer over to the (licensed) '86 you see in the photo. I am also planning on a CBR600F3 front fork & 17" wheel swap too later on. Those parts are cheap & easier to come by here in the USA.
BTW, I did see a mostly complete NC30 SSS sell for $64 USD (!) in the UK a few days ago. Cheap, but the shipping is expensive if you can get it at all. In most cases it's more than the bits & pieces you are ordering! I put the NC30 swing-arm together from individual pieces, all shipped individually. Not the best way to do it, but I had to be sure of what I needed and what I didn't. Incidentally... the rear caliper and mounting brackets are the same part numbers as the RC30 VFR750F! I wouldn't be surprised if the entire swingarm casting is the same P/N. I'll have to check it someday. Not many RC30's in the wrecking yards though, hehehe...
BTW, I'll be selling the Hawk GT SSS on eBay in the next few weeks. I'm sure it will fit other bikes out there.
Cheers, and thanks for the kind words!
well....get on with the paint and pictures......hurry hurry....
Great work there Blight! I don't know which is more impressive, the bodywork, the swingarm swap, or persevering in the midst of all the negativity, but much respect for making it all come together. The VF5's are great bikes, and you've certainly made worthy updates that freshen the look and give it a much more modern feel. Thanks for sharing with us it's amazing transformation.
Thanks again guys. I'm still working steadily on the VF500 in every spare moment I get. I stripped and sanded the NC30 fuel tank and did some body work, hammering and bondo-ing the dents. There was one large dent, and it's taking some time to get it properly faired in. I primered the tank, and it's pretty close to going into the paint booth.
Still waiting on the NC30 rear caliper to arrive from the UK. Should be here in a few days. When it gets here I can bolt it up and then transfer the entire swing-arm assy. over to my '86 so I can ride around with the new SSS rear end and wheel in place. I also fabricated a bunch of alloy mounts for the NC30 seat assembly which I'll install on the '86 runner as well. It's really solid and lines up with the fuel tank perfectly. Just takes time and a lot of cutting & measuring!
I didn't like the black upholstered pillion cushion that came in my body 'kit' so I'm making a new foam cushion and upholstering it in proper red pebble grain vinyl. It just didn't look right to my eye.
I also need to make an adapter for the fuel feed, as my tank is missing the original petcock, and they are rather hard to come by. I may just make a billet block, drill & tap it, bolt it up with a Viton gasket, and install a small brass petcock as I did on my Kawasaki H1. It's worked well for many years, although I don't have a reserve setting with this home-brewed solution. I just refill the bike at 100 miles and I've never run out of gas... so far. It gets 30 mpg (2 strokes!) now matter how I ride it.
I also got the tank paint colors squared away. It' predominantly white with light blue and dark royal blue stripes. I had the lighter color matched and bought a pint, with some reducer and catalyst. I found a dark blue that I think looks good too. The Honda wing logo is pretty small (red) but I found a set on eBay, and it will be here in a few days too. I also am waiting on a new locking gas cap (eBay vendor) to finish it off.
The last parts involve hanging the upper fairing & screen, the twin headlight and mount, and the side panels. They are really gorgeous parts in person... I can't wait to see them on the bike! I'll need a different set of gauges too, because the OEM VF500 panel is way too big. I have a solution for that too, but that's down the road.
Other finishing touches include... F3 forks, 17" 6 spoke front wheel (white) and, if I'm not dead... a custom 4 into 2 into 1 header/exhaust exiting on the left side into a single canister. For now, I'm using a couple of cool rev-cone brushed SS megaphones from Cone Engineering, clamped to the OEM collector box. They sound great! On Saturday I pulled the carbs and installed a Dyno-Jet kit with larger mains, DJ needles, and K&N air filter. I spent a long time visibly synching the carb butterflys (with a laser!) while they were off the bike. I got them pretty close, and after adjusting the idle mixture screws it idles really nicely and starts & runs great. The bike definitely pulls harder to redline now.
I really like the close-ratio 6 speed gear set on the VF500F. It's like riding a dirt bike... pin it, zing it to redline, hit the next gear, and just keep rowing through all of them, all the while staying right there in the power band. These 27 year old bikes are still faster than a LOT of other larger new bikes for sale right now. It seems a lot of bikes have a huge ratio drop from 1st to 2nd gear (hurting performance) that was required by EPA noise regulations. My SuperHawk 1000 (still fast) was like going from 1st to 3rd when shifting into 2nd. I've read that the 1000+cc v-twins are hard to keep quiet at certain road speeds, so they do this trick to pass the EPA requirements.
Anyway, that's enough miscellaneous ramblings for now, so g'nite! More updates when I have some news.
I've been sourcing bits from the UK bikes for a couple years now. They have quite a few pieces that bridge the gap when doing custom work on NA bikes.
Looking forward to new pics.
You are the dude I'm looking for, have you documented the single sided conversion you did on the 2nd gen somewhere? Please?
Never have documented it, and don't really care to... just riding it a lot and enjoying it while I work on it. I have installed the completed NC30 tank, seat, front fender and upper cowl & mirrors, and I'm working now to shoehorn the NC30 lower fairings onto the slightly larger VF500F frame. It's gonna fit, I just need to to shield the exhaust headers and make several more mounts.
Also, working out the electrical for the dual LED headlights, turn signals, LED tail-light and a digital (Veypor) gauge pack. I also completed fitment of the CBR600 F3 complete 43mm front end, forks, calipers, rotors, and CBR 6 spoke 17" front wheel. It's in the home stretch now... I'd say about 95% done.
Hey Blight have you any recent photos? I would love to see how your coming along. Sounds awesome!
Here's a couple of phone pics from a few weeks ago:
(the large side fairings are just hanging on a bungee in these pics, so they are not in the correct & final position)
I'll post some completed pics when everything is all buttoned up.
Have a great Christmas everybody!
It is impressive so far.
Nothing special to like here. Except the concept. And the engineering. And the execution. And the attention to detail. Otherwise, nope, nothing going on here . . .
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