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I am 27 years old and I have a couple of rc51's in the stable. I always lusted over them when they first came out and when I could afford it I paid cash for them. When I bought them I had a few gixxers in the garage. I knew at the time that the rc was going to be heavier, slower, and more expensive when it came to parts. That didn't matter to me after my buddy let me take his for a spin. I figure I am never going to be skilled enough to extract all the performance that any of the bikes could offer so I went with the bikes that spoke to my soul. I saw a RVF a few days ago on the road and I was hooked. The thing sounded fantastic and the fact that it was the first one I had ever seen in person made it that much cooler.
What do I need to know about these bikes? I am 5'11 and weigh 205 lbs. Are these bikes pretty quick for what they are (400cc)? Are they easy to work on? Can they be upgraded? I guess I am just looking for a crash course on these beautiful bikes
 

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They are great!!

Great engine, revs to the moon, great sound, very flicakble!

Tyga makes a LOT of stuff, I can get it all but only stock a few things for it at the moment, but take a look at their site for all you can do, parts are NO problem!

Honda NC35 RVF400 - Tyga Performance


Finding a titled one here in the States is a little difficult!
 

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Rvf400

I owned an VFR400R back in the early 90's having imported it in from Japan. It was very reliable, fairly easy to work on, back then though, factory parts such as air filters were quite expensive, the oil filter was the same as a cbr600. The plugs had a very small thread and were expensive, though I am sure this has changed.

Valve clearances were easy to do and getting to carbs was quite easy. At the time my younger brother had an M model RGV 250 with aftermarket pipes, when the VFR400 was derestricted(easy) it's performance was line ball to the RGV except the VFR had a higher top speed.

I got the bike with 1km on it and proceeded to put about 88,000km on it, the only problem I had during the whole time of ownership was, where the crank trigger for the ignition is, it is held on with a small roll pin, this sheared, it was an easy find and an easy fix. Other than that the bike ran like clockwork.
 

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Crash course might be difficult, I've had NC35's for nearly 10 years and I'm still learning.

Known issues? The reg/rec will lunch itself on a pretty regular basis often taking part of the harness with it. Take off the seat cowl and check the condition of the 5 pin connector. Aftermarket reg/recs are available at a fraction of the Honda price but the connector can be harder to track down. The earthing is not good generally but some very simple upgrades will sort that out and really improve low RPM performance. The lower radiators often get trashed so look for that. Check the front forks carefully for leaks. Apart from these there are few issues if any. The NC30 VFR400's have a habit of breaking the top engine mounts which is hard to see if you don't look for it but this is not an issue on the RVF. Typical bullet-proof '90's Honda engineering and build quality. Heaps of cam gear noise ... ignore it.

At 5'11" you're gonna have an easier time fitting on to it than I do at 6'3" but these bikes were made for the Jap domestic market, not for us taller types. Outright power is modest and there's a notorious hole around 5-6k that you will not be able to do anything about. However if properly tuned the motor should pull strongly from 7k or so right through to red line at over 13k. Mine does 200 km/h ... I think that's quick. Handling is where these bikes excel though. The NC35 is so forgiving it will blow your mind. Not only can you turn inside anything you can change line mid corner.

For performance you'll find the typical story - a host of upgrades which produce good results you can do fairly cheaply and then you start getting into serious money. My advice is decide at the beginning if it's for street or track and then proceed accordingly.
 

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Crash course might be difficult, I've had NC35's for nearly 10 years and I'm still learning.
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I think your selling yourself and the mighty RVF400 a little short!!

Yours sits under water, gets thrashed in Bangkok traffic, and in the country side, has to put with me ringing it's neck, breaks down on the side of the road and you fix it and keep on going....

They are great bikes...JB has his carbs so dialed in on his track bike that with the Tyga full exhaust with a Maggot I swear it sounds just like a MotoGP bike only a little bit less volume! The throttle response is amazing!

This is a V4 worth talking about because anyone who really wants one can get their hands on one and there are parts and support out there!
 

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Me likey this bikey!
Me too!!! a sweet dancer of a V4 unique to the Japanese home market... I
wish Honda would ante up a 600cc version...


 

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This is a V4 worth talking about because anyone who really wants one can get their hands on one and there are parts and support out there!
Totally agree, I have been on the lookout for a good condition RVF400 in either of the 2 factory colours or an MC28 NSR SP in Rothmans colours of course. Either bike will do :rockon
 

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Whoa... kick it and wick it...

 

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My track bike on it's first outing at Bira circuit still wearing the fairings it came with. I ran it to dial the carbs in after the exhaust & air box mods and soon realised the limitations of the OEM suspension which I've since upgraded. It's now in pieces again pending fitment of a TYGA RC211 body kit and modification to the wire harness etc.
 

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