1993 Honda VFR750 Review by Jack Shrader

Here is my 1993 Honda VFR750. Not to long of a story since I’m only had it for a year now. While riding around the north east North Carolina country side on my 1986 VFR750 last January (2012) I saw this white VFR sitting in someones front yard. While risking being shot for trespassing I thought I’d steal a closer look. Upon inspection I realized this bike had not been moved in a very long time. The tires had become one with the ground awhile ago and the amount of mold growing on the bodywork (what was left of the bodywork) gave it a “fuzzy” appearance from 5 ft away. I left a note on the bike and on the front door of the house asking what the owners intentions were with the bike and if they would be interested in selling it. Honestly, I figured I would just part it out and make a few bucks.

The next day I got a phone call from the owners father. He stated that his son bought it from an insurance company after the original owner laid it down in 2005 and the insurance company totaled it. His son rode it once and it just died after a few miles (confirmed since the mileage on the bike is only 5 miles more than what is on the insurance paperwork). He continued to state that his mechanic said it needed a new ECU to run again. It had been sitting in his yard since then (2005). During that time his son had left town and had been working on oil rigs in the gulf. The owners father continued by saying he’d be happy to take $200 to get it out of his yard. $250 he delivered it to my house!!! I figured I could make at least that much if not more for the 8 spoke rear wheel.

So, I got the bike home with all the necessary paperwork and thought I’d see what happens when I put a fresh battery in. New battery in and nothing, no lights, dead bike. Before I would believe a mystery mechanic though I had to check the fuses before I would give up. Sure enough, burnt out fuse, replaced that and I got lights!!!! I checked to make sure there was oil in the engine and gave the starter a push and she turned over!!! Well, that was good sign. I knew the carbs would be completely blocked and froze but I thought, maybe if I could get it to fire once it would be worth putting money into it. I had high hopes. Took off the tank and air filter and sprayed a can of starter fluid down the throat of her. She fired right up and sputtered till the fluid burnt off. At this point, dollar bills began flowing to ebay and everywhere else to begin this rebuild. My wife was not happy.

After months of shopping, wrench turning, fluid replacing, etc. I got her up and running and registered on Sept 28th 2012 with 29153 miles on the ODO. The hardest part of the restoration was the bodywork which is still only a 6 out of 10. I had to find pieces of plastic that were damaged and ship them from Cali to NC just to plastic weld and paint to make it all work. I am no painter and I did my best with what I had. Primer, base, clear and lots of wet sanding in between. I’m satisfied with the final product but in another year or two I’ll be having a professional mend and paint it to make it look good.

Total cost of the restoration was $1253.00 (parts and paint), yes it was done on a budget. Since then I’ve been riding and riding. My daily commute is about 100 miles round trip so it adds up. As of today, 23 Dec. 2012, the ODO now has 360011 on her. That’s not bad.

What she looks like today:

Next on the list is suspension and brake upgrades. I’ve decided to go with a more modern front end. A 2005 Yamaha front end with a CBR954 triple will do just fine. Pretty easy mod since it nearly all bolts right up. 2mm spacers on discs and on each side of the wheel are all that’s needed to be made up. All parts are present except longer brake lines. Forks have been rebuilt by me with new seals, oil and some stiffer RaceTech springs. With the front end taken care of I had to help out the rear. I had Jamie Daugherty Motorsports build me a custom CBR929 rear shock for my VFR. Sprung and re-valved for my weight and riding style.

The goodies:

Now the bad news. I’m not going to enjoy the suspension or brakes until next fall at the soonest. I’m US Navy and I found out last week I’ll be deploying for the desert (Bahrain) January 19th. So, instead of spending my last few weeks wrenching in the garage I’ll be riding while I can trying to hit 38000 on the ODO before I go. I’m not gonna be home again till mid August 2013. Anyway, that’s my story. Hope you enjoy. I love the bike, can ride it for hours and it “just fits”. My ’86 VFR is now a garage queen. Would I like a new bike with FI and all the goodies? Sure, but this one is mine. Every nut has been touched by me, everything is the way it is because I did it and there isn’t another one like it on the road. Plus, I want to hit 100000 on that ODO before I upgrade. When I do, it’ll be another VFR.

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