Washington 2004 VFR800

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by wa.stewy, Jun 30, 2019.

  1. wa.stewy

    wa.stewy New Member

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    Purchased this a week ago as an upgrade. I got my endorsement in April, and with no motorcycle history under my belt bought a 1995 Suzuki GS500E as a learner bike. Well, I learned quite a lot about the entire charging system as well as how much I am not a fan of carbs. So it was definitely a "learner bike" just to ride it.
    But ride I did, and I enjoy it very much (a fear I had was that I would spend $$ on something I wasn't having fun doing). So, I decided I was ready for something with a little more power and reliability for a few extra $$$. Enter the VFR.
    I had been holding out for a Buell that fit my budget and still in ready-to-ride shape when I discovered the VFR800. Power, reliability, long lasting engine, something I couldn't accidently loop out. When 3 became available near me, I chose the one furthest, a ferry ride away, due to the care it had been in.
    While there are one or two small things I'll be crawling the forum to find answers to, I'm very much satisfied and grateful to have found this beautiful machine and hope to give it the same love the original owner gave it.

    GS500E will soon be torn down, cleaned up, and rebuilt into a cafe style ride for my son to enjoy.
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2019
    mello dude and Samuel like this.
  2. skimad4x4

    skimad4x4 "Official" VFRWorld Greeter

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    Hi and welcome to the MadHouse:Welcome:

    Congratulations on your new ride and the superb photos - it looks like you have a real winner there.

    PS Its good to hear you don't plan on selling the Goose. I had one and still remember the fun riding it around Europe and love how those twins were so light and easy to mess around on.

    That auxiliary fuse box setup suggests the previous owner was looking for a professional standard install when adding kit to the bike.

    Those Ram mounts are also not standard and suggest it was once fitted with a GPS and possibly a phone mount or go-pro set up.

    Whilst the matt black paint finish is great at hiding dirt, the downside is it can really soak up heat from the sun making for a very uncomfortable seat if its been parked in full sun for a few hours.

    Have fun - ATGATT


    SkiMad
     
  3. Scubalong

    Scubalong Official Greeter?

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    Hello John
    Thank you so much for filling in for me. You have done a fantastic job welcoming newbie.
    Your reward for outstanding achievement is unlimited access to a bike, beers and...(BBB)
    They are available for you 24/7 in South Cal US of A

    MAGA
     
  4. skimad4x4

    skimad4x4 "Official" VFRWorld Greeter

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    Most generous Long!:drink:


    You and the Phamily are of course welcome to stay at my place any time you can get this side of the Pond. Indeed if you and Monique can get over in September we are organising a meet with 100+ bikes heading 4 hours north of here for a long weekend based in a ski resort in the Vosges Mountains on 13-16 September - its going to be mega.

    I have been checking out possible flights to LAX in late September, but even after the main holiday season has passed, flights are all damned expensive - so it may be next spring (memorial weekend) before I can take up your kind invitation, and it would of course be great to catch up again with some of the west coast madness when I am in town!

    Before then we have loads of motorbike events planned throughout the summer months. So far its been Mont Blanc circuit (twice) Lac Leman Circuit, Route des Grandes Alpes, Route Napoleon, Chateau Allignes, Mont Saleve, Cascade Rouget, over to London then on via Liverpool to the Isle of Man for the TT, back to London, Triumph Factory tour in Hinkley, Beaulieu Motor Museum (by Car), back to the Alps, 4 days leading a bunch of Norwegian bikers around the Alps, 4 days checking out routes in the Vosges, and back to the Alps for 3 days of massive thunderstorms. The VFR now needs a service and a serious clean, so the Street Triple is getting a decent workout!

    How about you and Reggie organising Long3 in Westminster for Memorial weekend 2020? I am sure we can easily get a dozen or so VFRs into your garage. We will be very quiet and no one will notice a beer tanker parked outside - honest! :)



    Take Care


    SkiMad
     
  5. wa.stewy

    wa.stewy New Member

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    Yeah, this beauty is such a huge leap from the Suzuki. The fact that I don't feel like a kite on the freeway is the nicest thing of all though. I really like the naked look, but yikes the difference is night and day at high speeds for me.
    I have yet to pull the tank to see if any mods have been done to it. I did get LOTS of service records that the original owner had, and by 2011 he had put 16k mi on it. There are only 22k on it now. That was a pleasant discovery, only 8k miles of unaccounted for services. The Suzuki was 32k of unknowns to me.

    Stew
     
  6. skimad4x4

    skimad4x4 "Official" VFRWorld Greeter

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    Stability at speed and especially in cross winds is one thing which really stood out when moving up to the VFR from the GOOSE. The naked GS500E was bad enough in windy conditions but I had the faired GS500F model which at times felt like I was hanging on to a runaway sail. I guess until you try another motorbike you assume that is normal and just something you have to contend with on all motorbikes.

    By comparison you will quickly discover your VFR800 is so planted it gives you confidence to pass big rigs rapidly without having to contend with the bike trying to suddenly veer off line as you pass the front of the truck and when you drop a gear or two to wake up the Vtec this thing becomes a missile capable of safely getting out and past a heap of traffic stacked up behind a truck with just a flick of the wrist - and big smiles all round. With the VFR its queues, what queues? Just don't get carried away - these things are plenty capable of collecting unwelcome performance awards.

    At 22K that thing is barely worn in - mine is well past 200K and with proper servicing it is still going like a train. So, stop reading this forum - get your riding gear on and go add a heap of miles on your beastie. If you fancy riding with company, then keep an eye on the forum posts, as every now and then, people set off on epic trips on their VFRs who may be happy for some company or a bed for the night along the way.

    Take Care ATGATT


    SkiMad
     
    wa.stewy likes this.
  7. wa.stewy

    wa.stewy New Member

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    Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaand I dropped it

    Pulled into my parking spot this morning for work and stepped off. No kickstand. As soon as the bike tilted further than it's supposed to I knew what was happening and just fell with it in defeat. Mirror snapped off at the connection point, shift lever curled in toward the mirror, and the bolt under the peg snapped off. Fairings gauged in multiple places.
    What a sickening feeling, this thing was flawless for 15 years then I just toss it.
    Mirror will be here 2 days. The levers won't be in until next Tuesday.
    Boo on me.
     
  8. skimad4x4

    skimad4x4 "Official" VFRWorld Greeter

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    Ouch.

    As long as you are OK, then yes it is sad, but bikes can always be fixed or replaced.

    Frame sliders make sense even on old bikes. If you have a tip over away from home you may be paying for an expensive tow to get the bike home. Sliders will not eliminate all damage but should greatly reduce it, and most times you can usually pick the bike back up - wait two minutes for the sensor to reset and still ride home. Whilst people tend to focus on damage to the bike, their big benefit is they also protect you. You really do not want your leg being pinned beneath a quarter tonne of tipped over bike. Indeed the impact of several months recovering from a broken leg makes the cost of decent sliders well worth the investment.

    If you are careful you can often straighten bent things like the shift lever in a vice - but go slowly and use some softwood to protect the part from metal vice faces. If there are obvious cracks in the parts then replace as you don't want things to snap off whilst riding.

    As for mirrors you will find EMGO equivalent readily available on tBay which are virtually the same as OEM but half the price. Whatever you fit, make sure you adjust the mounting pivot bolt tightness. At the bike end of the mirror prise off the plastic cap that covers the pivot bolt head (Hex) - then set that bolt so it is tight enough to keep the mirror steady in normal use, but still loose enough so that it moves with a firm push so it will pivot harmlessly out the way if the bike takes a nap or you clip a vehicle whilst filtering through traffic.

    Take Care


    SkiMad
     
  9. osoamazin

    osoamazin New Member

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    Double ouch!! I know exactly how you feel. The day I got my pristine 2006, I rode it 300 miles home and my 14 year old, overly excited son, disappears for a few mins. Only to reappear and say “Dad, I was looking at your bike and it fell over.....” No damage to the kid and nothing broken on the bike but the gouges in the plastics are a constant reminder. Nevertheless, it still revs and rides like a champ! Be careful out there and enjoy the lovely music from those pipes!

    e.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  10. wa.stewy

    wa.stewy New Member

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    That actually made me laugh. Things always seem to "just fall over". There are suspicious marks on the front bumper of the car I bought to teach the kids to drive in (no one has a license yet, just permit, so there's *no way* it could've been either of them)
    I have a buddy bringing me some sliders tomorrow to put on until I order a set. I'm also back on The Goose until I get the mirror and levers fixed. Goodness that thing feels SO SILLY to sit on after maneuvering the Honda. And yes, the sound of the VFR pipes is much more soothing compared to the Suzuki's.
    Oh and thanks guys for the support.
     
  11. RRloves2RRIDE

    RRloves2RRIDE New Member

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    Aaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh ME TOO. Same exact thing happened. While sensor re-set I got a few f-bombs off while I stomped my foot. No peg damage thank goodness b/c I bought it with a set of Sato's. Just another mirror needed. Very strange b/c I have been using the same motion/movement forever. Will for sure be checking kickstands every time. Hope you have still enjoyed it and found a good mirror replacement. This is my second time around after the scooter tribe came piling in to the moto parking spots and busted a mirror AND my windscreen. Even though there are cameras a plenty the university police did not want to go after the girls for my 250 expense. Poor little spoiled rich girls.... If ya bang your own moto that's one thing. If you bang someone else's don't set the mirror on the gas tank without leaving a note... Your daddy will pay for it.
     
  12. wa.stewy

    wa.stewy New Member

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    WOAH random reply! Amazon has a mirror that looks nearly identical. Emgo is the name. It's been 5 months since that tragic morning and I've looked at my foot every time since just to make sure I don't do it again.
    I've never worried about parking my cars near high traffic areas and getting door dings or anything. But there's something about the bike, if someone compliments me on my bike while I'm omw into the store, I secretly sweat the entire time I'm in there because I think they are gonna kick it over or mess with it in some way. Not sure why that is, maybe preparing myself mentally to find someone knocked off a mirror it something like in your case.
    Safe riding.
     
  13. skimad4x4

    skimad4x4 "Official" VFRWorld Greeter

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    Yep EMGO clones are widely available on tBay, Amazon etc and pretty much identical to OEM mirrors, and much cheaper. The patterning on the plastic is every so slightly different but that is it, so some people just replace both and keep the OEM as a spare.

    Importantly remember to adjust that pivot arm bolt tension - so it is firm enough to stay put in normal use, but will still swing harmlessly out the way if the bike tips over - likewise levers.

    I repeat this check every time the bike visits the dealer, as they routinely check all bolts are tight, but I prefer them just snug - that way I am no longer visiting their store for new levers too often ... https://vfrworld.com/threads/you-dropped-it-how-many-time.44298/


    Take Care
     
  14. 34468 Randy

    34468 Randy Secret Insider

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    The difference between the after market and OEM is that the paint on the arm of the aftermarket wears off far and away sooner than the OEM. Otherwise I have noticed not functional difference.

    Best solution is not to drop you bike. LOL
     
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