Getting close to finishing the old girl now

Well it has only taken me almost two years to get to this stage, part time admittedly.

This VF100FF has had new brake pads, Cam chains, braided steel brake lines, new battery, carb sync, new carb manifold rubbers, belly pan (thanks to Aaron from Sydney) and of course a coat of paint, or more accurately almost three coats of paint as I teach myself how to spray paint.

The before pic is actually part way through the process, as evidenced by the belly pan that I only obtained last year, but is actually remarkably close to how it looked when I got it in 2011.

looking good Tony, a quick tidy up on the engine side covers with a black texta would look even better, well done.

hi tony, what a transformation, looks awesome… nice job :wink:

Very true Paul, I intend to bead blast them and flatten and fill any scratches on the engine covers before repainting them, I am also thinking of painting the lower fork legs red, but not sure how it will look.
There is still a fair bit of detail work to do but I feel I’ve “broken it’s back” if you know what I mean.
There are some other small things like the chain guard, instruments, sidestand, brake lever and gear shift lever need cosmetic attention but overall it is a very sound old bike.
I just wish it would stop raining long enough to ride it!
I hope you are healing ok? Are you still off work? How does the XR look after your “spill”?

Thanks Pete!

Very nice job, Tony! I’ll try to do the same on my VF1000F next spring if i can find some time left between the house, the work and the family!

PS: Thanks for your mail; yesterday we had a mini storm that take away the dustbin’s lid but today it’s quite cold (5°c) and very windy so I’ll go to work with the Honda CRV!

So would I Fred! It is said that a true motorcyclist will ride in any weather, but as I age I have no shame in saying that when it stops being fun…stop doing it! Riding in extreme cold or rain is no fun.
I no longer put up with foul weather as a motorcyclist, but few things are better than a ride on a great road on a 25C sunny day!

Well the maiden voyage was short and sweet, well maybe not so sweet. I decided to ride to the closest service station and fuel up for the first time, a mere 10.8 kilometres away.
The first thing I noticed was the lack of horsepower since the last time I rode up and down our dirt road, struggling to get to and maintain 100kph. I thought I would fix that once I got home. Wrong.
After fuelling up, went to start it and click, click, click…bugger, I forgot about the starter being lazy when it warms up.
Eventually I got sick of waiting for it to cool down and phoned my wife to bring some jumper leads and tools.
Once I got back home I discovered that the spark plug lead on cylinder 4 was just sitting loosely in the plug well, and although I haven’t been for another ride yet, it is now sounding and feels way better.
The starter motor was an interesting job, after removal I started to dismantle the starter and when the end cap came off, loads of black carbon dust fell out. On closer inspection the brushes are toast so I have ordered a new set from Honda, but curiosity got the better of me and I just had to have a play to confirm my thoughts.
After skimming the commutator in my lathe (this can be done with emery tape or sandpaper), I was inspecting the brushes and noticed that the positive brush was way more worn that the negative brush, so after a little “adjusting” I swapped them over, refitted them and reinstalled the starter.
Now this is a VERY temporary fix and was only done to confirm that the rest of the starter was serviceable.
It now has way more starting power and speed, so it seems that the new brushes will really make a big difference.
I had a thought that I may do a video tutorial on the starter when I pull it down to install the new brushes, but I am by no means an expert on starter rebuilds, more just a demo of what I discovered and how I fixed it. Thoughts anyone?

My starter symptoms were fairly common I believe, it would start when cold but never really spun over like I thought it should. Then after a very short ride, it would really struggle to turn the motor over at all. For each press of the starter button, the engine may rotate half a revolution then stop.
This was a real drain on the battery when this happened, so it is easy to think it is just a bad battery, but in my case it is a new battery and is charging at 13.9-14.2 volts so no issue there.
The next ride will tell more.

Hi Tony,
Healing very well, i had one pin taken out of my wrist on Friday night and getting the other one taken out tomorrow in surgery.
My foot is almost healed completely with only a small wound at the moment and healing more and more each day.
My wife still wants to make a bonfire with the bikes but i stressed to her it would not end well for her (Divorce LOL).
The XR has 2 broken indicators, a broken clutch lever and a broken headlight surround, with my spares it will cost me about $30 and a couple of hours to repair.
I need to exercise my wrist and get it working properly after the pin is removed and then i will be back on the ‘HO’ in no time.
Cheers for now.

Glad to hear that you are both healing well, ignore the Missus, she will get over it, mine always has!

Got the pins out of the wrist last Thursday and just trying to free it up a bit, bit stiff from being in a cast for 6 weeks. ribs feel good and only a small band-aid sized sore on my foot left and lots of scar tissue. wearing my boots and back to work full time this week. cant wait to get the ‘HO’ out for a run but might have to book in for a couple of bus driving jobs on the weekend first to restock funds.

My initial diagnosis was partly correct regarding the misfire, but didn’t completely rectify the problem.
After another run with better but not satisfactory results, it was time for more testing.
Spark plugs first, after wrestling with the incorrect plug spanner I managed to remove them to discover that No. 4 was not firing.
So cleaning the plugs was the first job (I live 55kms out of town so popping down to the parts shop to pick up some new plugs on a Saturday arvo is not ideal)
Checked the plug leads, which someone in the past has replaced with Top Gun 8mm leads, operating spec according to the Top Gun website says 6000 ohms per metre, two of mine were over 10,000 ohms for around half a metre, or 20,000 ohms per metre, so just a little out of spec! So I made up some leads that test OK and fitted them. I am still not confident that these are the right leads for the job though.

After doing this, I found a big improvement but instead of just being gutless, I now had a misfire on acceleration that did not exist before.
Out with the plugs again and the same plug that was in No 4 which I moved to No 1 Cyl was noticeably wet, while the rest are a nice dark tan colour…

Ok so new plugs picked up and fitted, today is the first chance to ride it again, and almost all of that lost horsepower is back!
I say almost because it still misfires slightly at light throttle, but runs cleanly if you really open it up, until around 7000 rpm when it begins to hesitate and again misfire slightly.

Having said all that, it is a huge improvement (80%) from a couple of weeks ago!
The strange thing is that when I rode it about 12 months ago, it would rev cleanly and pull like a boy of 14.
After doing nothing mechanically during this time, I now have a mysterious misfire?
Most likely carb diaphragms that will deteriorate like that.
Ya just gotta love old bikes eh? They can really test the grey matter at times.

Hi Tony,

I believe the plug leads should be solid copper core wire not resistance car type leads, could be causing some problems?


I had the same problem with my vf1000fe
Measure with a ohm meter each coil (1 per pair of coils)
both pulse generators should read approximately 480 ohms each
its the big connector in front of the battery with a braided sleeve
my own ones was 55ohms and 420ohms so i ordered some but they were us also so the seller measured the final set and they were fine and sent them foc from the USA
problem solved
I fitted new ht cables and NGK caps and plugs to complete the service after 30 years i owed it that much


You could be right Tony, I kind of cringed when I first saw them but since it originally ran so well I thought I was just being a little OCD. I do have a couple of original leads and they are the correct solid core leads with removable resistor in the cap. I think I will try to find some new ones.

Lloyd, about the only thing I haven’t tested is the pulse generators and the electronic unit in the tail section, so that could keep me busy tonight. I will still take the caps of the carbs to check the diaphragms for any splits, tears or perished areas. I do still feel that it is electrical, since my efforts on the ignition system have made solid improvements without touching the carbs, and it sounds as though it is all cylinders slightly misfiring, not just one. I think a split diaphragm would be more obvious on one cylinder.
I still haven’t checked the plugs after a 110km ride either, that could be interesting.

Getting close to sorting the misfire 100%, but not quite there. It is the leads causing the issue, I made up some leads from some old ones I had, using the ends and resistor with new copper core wire but only had enough old leads for the front two cylinders, it is running much better with the slightest hesitation/misfire at 8-9000 rpm now.

If I can find some more old Honda leads, I am confident that my misfire issues will be behind me, but there is always the stick coil mod, or coil on plug conversion that eliminates the leads altogether, hmmmm decisions, decisions?