project vf1000ff/fe


hi tassi,
i used these ones from ebay, they come in many different sizes, i thought this size was the best as the smallest end will just fit over the standard vf exhaust pipe, and the larger end is the right size to accept the normal vf exhaust/collector gasket, they just need trimming to length and welding on.
they are a bit on the expensive side for what they are, but as the collector boxes are getting very scarce now i thought it was worth trying to save it.



Thanks. Another thing that might be worth a try is there are companies that aluminium electrocoat stuff like this then bead blast to harden the coating, for aircraft use. Been considering it when i redo mine next. Won’t be cheap but should last forever.

I’m enquiring about this at the moment. Will keep you all posted.


well, finally managed to press the starter button, unfortunately it wasn’t good news. >:(
the engine was knocking like a good un :o,
So the engine is now stripped down, the knocking was coming from a rocker arm that was completely worn out, another 5 of the rocker arms have large chunks of the hard surface missing, but no substantial ware which just seems strange, its as if the surface has just broken up :o , the cams on further inspection, in the daylight, with a magnifying glass are showing very slight pitting on some lobes, which was not noticeable whilst the cams were in the heads.

just bought a set of vf1000r cams and rockers off ebay, (just need the rest of the bike to go with them now) i only bought them for the rockers, what puzzles me is, the “R” cams has quite heavy pitting on some lobes but, 7 out of the 8 rockers are in excellent condition with just one that looks like its been under attack.
???strange ???

so a step backwards,which wasn’t unexpected, and a feeling that im going to have to sprinkle some money on this engine,

will post some pics up soon


decided to give the pistons a good clean, looks like its been burning a lot of oil, the piston’s, rings and liners are easily in spec so i’m thinking its been coming from the valve stem seal’s or running very rich,
Removed the first liner to give it a quick whizz over with the honer to remove the glazing, couldn’t believe how much crap was in the water jacket, looks like antifreeze wasn’t top of the last owners list,




Jeebers that’s a lot of crap in your water jacket Pete! I guess you will be taking your time to remove any excess in the cases as well.

Sitting without coolant and not being ridden could cause this or at least contribute to it.

Your cam issue sounds like a strange one though, could they have been non genuine cams?

I thought the Honda ones just wore the case hardening off and then became the “Chocolate Cams” everyone spoke about.


hi tony,

yes, there’s just a few short passageways that lead to the external water pipe that sits between the cylinders to do, then its all external pipe, i should have guessed there would be plenty of crap in there as the impeller on original pump was well rusty, as far as i know the bike hasn’t been on the road for at least 12 years, and possibly longer, so your probably right about sitting without coolant.

the cams are genuine honda items, as far as i understand it the cams didn’t have any kind of hard surface on them, the rocker arms did, they were supposed to bed into each other,
I was always under the impression that the cams started to pit, this then started to ware through the hard surface of the rocker, then when that wore through and it was soft metal to soft metal that’s when they destroyed each other…

maybe i’m missing something, but to have 5 rockers with chunks of hard surface missing and one completely scooped out, yet only have minimal pitting on the cams seems strange… i don’t think any previous owner has changed anything… every bolt i’ve undone has had to be cracked off…i think the last person inside that engine was Japanese. ;D


You are probably right Pete, I thought all camshafts were case hardened but that comes from long ago and may not be correct.

Could it be oil supply to some rockers and not others? Doesn’t explain the uneven wear though does it?

You are most likely correct about the engine never being opened before as well, you just seem to get a feel for it when dis-assembling motors when all bolts the same size crack the same way. and no signs of silicone or excess sealant etc that almost all bike shops seem to love.

So the worn out rocker was on a fairly good cam lobe? Hmmm… the plot thickens!


Yes tony, oil supply was my first thought, ive checked all the main bearings with plastiguage, 3 pairs were easily within spec, and one pair was still within spec but getting closer to being out than in and showed a faint rub mark near the edge,
the con rod bearings were exactly the same, 3 pairs well within, and one pair closer to being out, so i’m replacing the the 2 pairs, i don’t want to be revisiting the inside of this engine again.
still got the oil pump and oil ways to check,
Crazy thing is, you could check all this looking for some kind of answer, but it could be that the previous owner used to run it low on oil, that’s if its anything to do with oil any way.
It could just be a bad batch of rocker arms, where the hard surface hasn’t bonded properly, after all 20 years ago people expected these to fail, they would have just said the cams have gone, stuck the bike in the back of the shed, piled rubbish on it, then 20 years later it becomes a “BARN FIND”


Hi Pete,big job you’re in!Running on low oil level,may be! Stupid question:are the nearly worn out bearings on the right side of the engine,I mean the clutch side?


hi fred,
yes its turned into a bigger job than i thought, i was probably being too optimistic when i thought i would start the engine up and go riding :)…

yes the bearing which is showing wear is on the clutch side…


Pete,I guess the previous owners of your bike did let the engine warming on the side stand with a low oil level… It’s a very common problem on Honda’s but also on all the modern bikes without center stand.


Good point Fred.


well fred, you learn something new everyday, i’ve heard people say you shouldn’t let bikes tic over on the side stand, but never really thought too much about it…


It’s a very common issue on the Kawasaki of the Ninja generation with cam chain on the left side. It’s quite easy to understand:on tic over,the oil presure in marginal and,thanks to the weird oil circuit on our bikes,the already limited oil flow submitted to the universal gravity follows the bike’s inclination and neglects the right hand side of the engine… :-X


Yes Fred, it makes perfect sense when you think about it.
I must admit that I haven’t t put much thought into that either since most of my bikes have been singles.
I imagine it would magnify the problem if the oil level was low too.


Hi Pete, just caught up on this thread. Been bumbling round Normandy, France with my mate on a Norton 16H and an AJS 350 single - bloody marvellous.
Anyway, back to your woes. Could it be that it was left on the side stand whilst “stood up” for those 20 years. The oil would have slowly drifted south i.e. to the left of the engine leaving the highest point unprotected and therefore open to attack from acid etc from fuel and old oil - which we know both contain this horrible, bearing destroying stuff ? Just another consideration for the pot.


Hi martin,
Its alright for some, just go swanning off round france when ever you like… what a life ;D

it could be, i don’t think anything mechanical benefits from being stood for years, to be honest the the slight wear on the bearings isn’t a big concern, its within the bounds of wear and tare, probably helped along by the side stand issue fred mentioned, i’ve only decided to change them because they were slightly less in-spec than the others and i don’t fancy opening this engine up again.

I think what you have suggested is a good point, after all the cams are just cast steel, and the rockers are cast steel with a hard chromium type coating on… (and we all know what happens to fork legs…) , will be taking the cams down to SEP Kegworth to see what they think, i suppose that will blow the house keeping… bread and jam for dinner all this month :frowning:

I’m pretty confident this engine will be a good one when its sorted, there’s lots of stuff inside there thats good, more in-spec and looks better than some of the internals of my other engins… :stuck_out_tongue:


had a run out to sep kegworth with my not so pitted cams, you can see from the pics that the top one is worst affected (front inlet)… bit of pitting on the next one down, the bottom 2 are pretty reasonable-ish, any way ive left them in there capable hands to work there magic on them, the guy i was speaking to there says they now have a process to remove and re-apply the hard coating to the rocker arms, £20/£25 per rocker, which has got to be good news for any vf enthusiast.
after dropping the cams off, i had a run through to earls performance parts at Silverstone, they’ve made me a set of oil lines up with a bigger bore for the top end oiling kit, i was a little bit skeptical about the size of the original oil lines, the original banjo ends don’t look any bigger than brake hose one’s,
the upgraded oil system on the FF has larger diameter “H” shaped oil pipes, and the oil feed hole in the back of the cam cap is probably twice the size of the original FE one, Honda obviously thought it needed a little more oil…so i’m going to give it some :slight_smile:

the FF cam cap and original top end oiling kit hose end, the bore on the hose is only just bigger than the cam cap hole, and it has 4 of those to feed.

the new hose end

top end oiling kit with new larger diameter hoses.


Hope it all goes well Pete.


Hi Pete,
That will do the trick! How much did they charge for the bigger hose?