New here with a bunch of questions

Hi there,

i’ve just registered for this board because today my blind-bought VF1000F was delivered. I got it from ebay for 660€ with about no information about it. Let’s see what is indide this box ob chocolates. :slight_smile:
The rebuild will probably take some time as this is not my only motorcycle and I’ve also got other things done. As mentioned, the bike was delivered today and I could just take a quick look at it. The fist impression:

  • plastics ok
  • tank ok
  • painting rather good
  • brakes basicly work
  • clutch basicly works
  • gears can be shifted
  • fork seems to blow oil
  • electrics unknown for there is no battery
  • engine turns if bike is pushed in 5th gear

Here is my basic plan for the first shot ob resurruction:

  • remove tank and valvecovers to take a look at the cams and rockers
  • remove old fuel from tank and carbs, refill
  • change oil with filter
  • change sparkplugs
  • change coolant
  • replace battery
  • fire it up!

Everything ok so far? What else should be done before the first start up? Any additions or objections?

I have another noob-question: What is this switch for? (See picture. Sorry, it’s taken from the auction but I think it doesn’t matter)

I’ve read some things about mods of the cooling-system. Or is this an original switch? It’s a simple switch with 2 positions.

Tanks a lot.

I’ll post more pics and discriptions of the rebuild as soon as if starts.

Hi there.
Your Pre start check looks good and a hell of a lot more than mine got…looks ok and jump start off a car batery. I don’t know what that switch is for, my Bol D’or doesn’t have one, does it start the cooling fans?

[8D]my bike had one also
its for a fan override switch and easy to wire up.
if you get in traffic for ages the temperature rises and this allows you to switch on the cooling fans and it works well
just a on off switch using two wires to the thermostat switch on the main radiator

on my bike I left the cam covers alone
If it was quiet Alls fine[:D][:)][8D][}:)]

My advise fit a Dave dodge oil kit to it, as this stops the cams from wearing out and it runs quietly too

see my posts for details

Welcome to the forum you are now 1 in only a small number in the world

Welcome Hans, your pre-start list is very professional but like Windy says, Id leave the rocker covers ( theyre not that easy ) and try to get the engine started with the minimum of sensible work done initially.
If she fires and runs sweetly you know youve got a good engine to work with. If you dont know how long she`s stood still you may find the carbs a problem.
The only additional piece of advise I might suggest is to check the oil strainer which sits in the engine sump ( bottom of the engine.) When I checked mine it was full of S…t and must have restricted the amount of oil the pump was able to suck up and pump round the system.
Good luck with it and keep us up to date with progress.


Hello there,

thansk for your advices and your welcomes. I could not keep calm, so I’ve removed the rocker covers last night. Was not too hard in my opinion. I hab to remove the fueltank, the front cooler, the airbox, ignition coils and some minor parts. Some idiot removed the airboxcover, wich is missing now. :frowning:
Nevertheless, I was able to take a look at the cams. What I saw was not very surprising considering the price I’ve paid but however did not make me too desparate. Three camshafts looked more or less ok, but the inlet-camshaft of the rear cylinders got pittings on one cam. I’ve made pics but can’t up them right now because my GF took my camera to work today. I’ll send them in later. The other cams got really minor or no pittings. The bearings look fine so far.
I’ve also removed the engine oil and tried to remove the oilfilter but that beast was too tight for me not owning the correct oilfilter-wrench. I’ll try to get one tonight.

My plan is now to adjust the valve clearance (can someone tell me the correct clearances for IN/EX? and the refill oil and coolant. I had to remove the coolant to dissamble the cooler to remove the front valve-cover so coolant has to be refilled, too. Is it a problem to use destilled water without additives for the first shot?

After refilling and provisoinal reassembly I want to try to fire if up.

My major question is: What to do with the pitted cam? I thought that I could start the engine and let it run for a while and then decide if the noise is acceptable or not. Is this a good idea or will I cause major damage by running the engine with the pitted cam? Or more generally: What happends when I operate the engine in it’s actual condition? Will it blow or will the pitting increrase more and more until the noise unbearable? I’ve found a company in Germany that restores VF camshafts by grinding and nitriding for 150€ per cam. The rocker arms are charged separatly. They also offer oiling kits for 170€. Here is their website (german only)

Is it possible to stop or significantly slow the pitting process by applying an oiling kit? I am hesitating a bit how to proceed with the engine.

Just for our understanding: I’ve bought this bike for two reasons:

  • I love it’s sound, optics and technical setup. It’s pure 80s power. :slight_smile:
  • I wanted to own some piece of … to get my hands dirty on. My primary bike is a CB Sevenfifty which is that reliable that maintaining a serious workshop for it is completly unnecessary. I want to turn the wrenches but a little success is absolutely mandatory, too.

I hope you’ve got the point. The VF 1000 will always be my bike for a nice sunday-afternoon ride. It won’t be driven very much and very hard but when I drive it I do not want to feel like I am sitting an a ticking bomb.

Han, pitting on cams is really not a big deal ( unless hey are really bad) If youve got a few pin head size marks then worry not. Ive run many Honda`s with cams like that and they last for many years.
The main thing to listen for when firing her up is to listen to 1) the cam chain noise and 2) the tappets ( cam to rocker clearance) Obviously if that is very wide it will smack down hard on the cam lobe and cause problems in a short while.
I can get the valve clearances for you from my manual in the garage if no-one else gets them before me
I dont believe its as bad as you might think but lets have some photos to check.

Hey, thanks for your reassuring words. This cam is what scares me the most:

As mentioned, it is the rear-inlet camshaft.

Some of the others look like this one:

What can we say about this? Worth a try?

I’ve picked up an oilfilter wrench today to remove the old filter. Didn’t fit, the filter is still on the bike. The weekend is near…

By the way: What would be an acceptable price for restoring a camshaft?


Yo Hans! Grusse dich! Where are you in Germany?

the f has chain driven cams the r has gear driven cams hans has f model on ebay germany there are used cams for 55 euros shed loads of good vf1000 spares just high postal charges

if you fit a oil kit to the bike it will put oil pressure to the cams at 5 psi all the time from idle to the red line.
originally the problem was on idle when the pump was not pumping to the cams until it reached 3000rpm
just make sure you fit the same kit as i did,check my posts.

in my opinion just run it till the cams get noisy and they may not if the kit is fitted.
my bike runs smooth as ice cream.[:)]

I would run it until it sounds bad


[}:)]should have seen my old Honda Rs250 single I had 25 years ago
I managed to grind the cam followers down and it still got me to Morden Surrey ,back to my motorcycle mechanics course and it seized up going through London running out of oil.

they coated the cam followers with a stalite wielding rod then ground it down and a quick rebuild later it was back on the road and thats how I sold it no noise silent and probably still running today[}:)]

Do you mean theese?

As I am located in Germany, the shipping would only be 5€. :slight_smile:

Are you sure these will fit? Mine is a 84 and the auction says the cams are fitting for 85 and above. I think I remenber, that they changed the width of the journals. Please reply quickly as the auction is ending tomorrow. Would be great. I also found some shops the would reweld and grind and even nitride the rockers. Price would be ok. As I am working in a research organisation I could possibly even get a DLC coating for almost free. What do you think? Good idea?

I fear you are correct Hans, the 85-89 cylinder heads are physically wider to cater for the wide journals, they even had to widen the frame to allow it to fit.

Originally posted by cmdvimes

Hi there.
Your Pre start check looks good and a hell of a lot more than mine got…looks ok and jump start off a car batery. I don’t know what that switch is for, my Bol D’or doesn’t have one, does it start the cooling fans?

jump start off low amperage or you will damage your diodes FYI. The switch is a mod of some sort, maybe to turn the fans on manually...not a normal factory feature here in the US.

If you look at the list of vf parts on the jama ebay page he has both heads with both types of camshaft you can see the difference in length email the guy see what he has for your model


thanks for all the replys. I was already a little desperate, as the amount of information to get on the internet is not very high, compared to for example what you can read about my sevenfifty or the bol d’ors.
Unfortunatly I didn’t get things done on the weekend except from removing that hulk-style boltet oilfilter and dissambling the starter. The previous owner said it was faulty but from my point of view it looks good and measuring showed at least no broken or short circuited coils. Nevertheless, I wasn’t able to test its function. Is it a good idea to just wire the starter direktly to a battery. Of course it’s not mounted to the engine.

@ PAJ: Ich bin aus Karlsruhe. Wo kommst du her? vielleicht auch aus dem Süddeutschen Raum? Ich suche noche ine Bugverkleidung. Du hast nicht zufällig noch eine liegen, oder andere Teile?

@ efleming50: Sorry, I really do not understand what you mean. My english does not seeem to be good enough. Can you explain this in other words, please? That would be great.

@ vfntv: I’ve contacted him and the rockers inside his heads look creepy.

For now, I have NOT ordered an oiling kit. I will definitly do it, when I get the engine running and rate its noise acceptable. From my actual position I do not want to spend a lot of money just to start the engine for the first time. If it runs and it sounds acceptable, I will order a kit and apply it immediatly. Promise!

I have another thing: I really do not understand the model identification chart on this page. For my understanding framenumbers have to be unique, but the chart says different. Can you help? My Numbers are:

Frame: SC15-2002151
Engine: SC15E-2003322

Wich specific model do I habe and what does that tell me? Can I gather any information from the engine-number? As far as I know frame- and engine-numbers at honda differed ~300-500 in this times. that would mean it is not the first engine mounted to that frame.


My frame and engine numbers are later than your numbers my bike is a march 85 model vf1000fe
So yours is a f or fe with the narrow heads
and the non line bored cams If i was you looking at the photos of the cams i would give the bike a full service and run it for the summer and then sort it thro the winter Pitting is ok it is when you get wear or ridges fit a top end oil mod it helps 100%

Ok, I’ve adjusted the Valve clearances to 0.12 mm as the manual said. 14 of 16 valves were wrong, some too tight, some too loose…
Unfortunatly, I broke one of the rear headcover bolts but was very lucky I could remove the rest from the thread in the head. Pew… the bolt is still available on

I figured out another big problem: The starter seems to be faulty. I’ve removed it and hooked it up to a battery directly, but except for some sparks, nothing happened. I’ve dissampled and cleaned it, but no change. My question: What resistances can I measure to locate the problem? If the starter is assambled the resistance between the housing and the plus screw is almost 0. :frowning:

Does any starter from another model fit? What about the one from the VF 750? Or maybe the VFR 750? Any ideas?