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9,103 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Picked up my winter project for later this year. Always wanted one. Kid was moving tomorrow and needed money for school. It is rough!. Rough but complete with the little bits intact that are difficult to find today.

Surprising was the OEM exhaust after all these years. It is very quiet. Brakes are terrible, but will be stripped down and rebuilt using braided lines anyway. The engine though started right up and ran smooth, shifted well, doesn't appear to leak a drop of oil. Encouraging.

Back in 1985 they overbuilt things so much it is ridiculous. The passenger footpeg brackets probably weigh more than the entire rear subframe on my Mille. My wife's first reaction wasn't "wow what a POS" it was "that thing is BIG". If I had a nickel for every time I've heard...well never mind. It is 600 pounds, easy. And physically large.

The original red seat (surely ripped) is under all that duct tape (this is the Ozarks you know, where duct tape is a legitimate fabrication tool). The contrasting white duct tape for the grab handle is perhaps my favorite feature that will be thrown in the trash in a few months.

Updates about the time the leaves change!!! Crappy cell phone picks tonight, but had to get it in before thunderstorms.


9,103 Posts
Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
I'm currently in the process of planning the project and collecting information and parts sources. This bike is fairly rare (maybe 2000 sold in US) and is nearly 30 years old so parts are not overly plentiful.

Ebay is a good source of used original parts, there are few options for upgrades. Therefore my plan is to return the bike as close to stock as is practical. Luckily it is fairly complete, only missing a few parts. It will never be a 100 point concours winner, but I could get it back to where unless you were a VF1000R wonk you would never know.

It may seem strange, but the first thing to buy is actually graphics. Not cheap but these are supposed to be the closest to OEM (no longer available). Even has the warning stickers...
CBdecals.com Best Source For Vintage Honda Motorcycle Decals

Here is why to buy them first. The three stock colors for the bike are:
Taffeta White
Electron Blue
Fighting Red
However, these colors even if correctly mixed often will not match the colors on the decals exactly. Therefore a good plan is to get the decals in hand, then match the three colors to those displayed on the decals. Sort of working backwards from a color point of view.

One of the first things I want to do is completely rebuild the forks and front brakes. Forks are currently painted black, correct color should be red. So need the red paint first before putting the forks back together.

Complete disassembly and clean. New bushings, seals, dust wipers, repaint, 1.0 or 1.1 rate springs. Not going to do Gold Valve Emulators at this time unless the ride is really horrible, which seems unlikely when basically every moving part will be replaced.
Race tech Inner and outer fork bushings: $40 & $22, respectively. RT - Digital Product Search
Sonic fork springs: $80 SonicSprings.com
Fork seals and dust wipers can be found on Ebay for about $30
I will need to buy a 41mm seal driver. $26 on Ebay. upside is it will also work on the 851.

Brakes at this moment are horrible, probably because the pads are coated in fork oil with both forks leaking.
Rebuild both front calipers: $75 minimum
New pads: $20
SS brake lines: $85
Master Cylinder rebuild: $30
Rotors appear good, but will check them with a dial indicator for flatness. A good cleaning and wire brush to scuff them up a bit and they should be good. Good thing as rotors are NLA with zero alternatives it seems.

The front wheel is filthy and has a touring tire mounted on it. Plan is to have the tire removed and replace the wheel bearings unless they look perfect. The finish on these wheels is pretty durable, so hopefully they clean up. These are multi-piece wheels that are difficult to disassemble. I have seen powdercoated wheels where the screws are just painted over: nasty. If they look bad after cleaning I will have to work on plan B.

note to self: develop plan B

Realistically it will be January before I get to any of this with other stuff to do around the house and family comittments. Maybe February. Maybe next winter the way things are going...

Many, many other things to do, this is just the front suspension. others will be discussed ad nauseum in later posts. In no particular order.
Engine removal with cosmetic cleanup, full service.
Maybe new clutch.
Steering head bearings
Frame is showing surface rust in a few places, hopefully it cleans up and the silver paint can be touched up, otherwise paint the frame.
Crack open the gauges to fix or repalce broken needles.
Water temp gauge does not work
Swingarm bearings
New rear wheel bearings and wheel cleanup
New chain and sprockets
Replace/repair right footpeg bracket
New footpeg rubbers, grips
Recover seat and restore seat foam. May have Sargent do this...
Restore rear turn signals
Fabricate front mounting brackets for turn signals
New pattern front turn signals (OEM is NLA)
New mirrors if these do not polish out (OEM is NLA). '86 VFR750 mirrors look good on these bikes.
Aftermarket windscreen (OEM is NLA)
Fuel filter and fuel lines
Restore mesh side panels (you guessed it...NLA)
Source seat cowl and back bump pad
Several unique fasteners to hold the bodywork are missing, luckily many are still available from Honda used on other models.
Swingarm bearings
Leaning toward Hagon shock, longer than stock (to increase rear ride height) unless I can find a used Ohlins for a CBR600/900 and use Daughtery Motorsports for a conversion, then rebuild the shock to my specs.
Restore tailight
Stock exhaust on the bike is rusty, with probably have it powercoated or ceramic coated.
Bodywork needs help many places.
Full repaint. Will do the prep myself, may try painting too.
Some sticky bias-ply tires. Few choices these days in the VF's old sizes.

I think that's about it!
The goal...


123 Posts

Rear shock = Jaime Daugherty

IF you're going to repaint it, go fo the Rothmans scheme. None to the US, but it looks awesome.

You can change the wheels to be CBR600 wheels, with a little effort.

Good luck. I had an 86, loved it, but it was too long for me.

Pics required.

Lots of info over at VFRD.


9,103 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Well, the old girl is FINALLY being torn apart.

After two+ years of home improvement projects, it is time to the VF1000R

Pulled the duct tape seat off and put a new battery in just to see what kind of electrical problems may exist.

Covered in grime, probably hasn't had a bath since the reagan adminstration.
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