Start of an R project

Gooday All,
Picked up the RE rolling chassis and motor that @Peterk had kept for me. Got a little time today to get it unloaded and check what it is like. It’s an 84 RE with no bodywork, and had been loosely fitted with CBR 1000F wheels and forks. It came with lots of bits in boxes, including some FF parts like seat, and instruments.
First step was to blow all the dust off. Checked spark plugs, looked like it had been running ok, whenever it had last run- guessing a long while ago. Good news, turning motor over it had good compression, and no horrible noises. It had nice clean green coolant still in motor, and oil looked ok also. Pulled cam covers, and from what I could see Turning motor over, cams look ok too!
So motor looks useable. Judging by wear on the foot pegs and other bits, the bike has had a hard life, and I think may have been crashed hard, judging by damage to the steering bump stops.
At this stage I’m not sure of direction to go. I was thinking of fitting FE bodywork, but probably easier to just fit the R motor into the FE parts bike I have here, and keep collecting bits to take it back to stock one day?
A bonus was finding it has a nice stainless 4 into 2 collector. I think this is a Tranzac brand made in Australia in Queensland. They are really light, and have great ground clearance.


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Let us know how you are getting on

Either way (with pictures please :+1: :smiley:

Gooday Tuffy,
will keep the thread going. next step will be hanging enough bits back on, wiring loom and radiators etc, to be able to get the motor started. As it looks all right in the heads, and turns over ok, I might as well know it starts, and has good oil pressure.
If it starts and runs ok, will pull it out of the frame, and tidy the motor up externally.

Good luck in the project! Looking forward seeing the photos as you come along.

Progress today,
had some time, so threw wiring loom on, and connected everything I thought essential to starting/ignition circuits, with car battery and heavy leads. Took ages to work out the spare ignition switch was not making proper contact, so ended up shorting the back of the switch between the red and red and black.
Got good spark, and got it running briefly and sounded good. Oil light went out almost as soon as it started cranking. One carb started flooding badly, and rather than risk damaging the motor with hydraulic lock, I turned it off, and drained the oil. Next step will be get carbs working properly, connect full cooling system, get it running and nice and warm, and then compression test. Motor sounded very good without any rattles.
The frame is another story- I suspected it had been dropped hard at speed from bent clip on, and bent bump stops, but it looks like the rear subframe has been badly bent, and roughly straightened. The subframe from swing arm back had been repainted, but the mounting lugs for the rearsets and passenger pegs are still bent inwards, and not at 90 degrees to the frame.
When ‘hanging’ the wiring loosely off the frame I realised how much more complicated the R is than the Fs. More connectors at the back for the two tailights, but at the front another diode?, and more relays for the dual headlights.

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Have been fitting cooling system, but thought that I should pull the carbs off and check them over. The usual battle to get the carbs off due to hard rubbers. Carbs were in sad shape, full of diet and fine rust and a couple of main jets completely blocked, see pics. I had a good set of R carbs, clean and sound that I was going to fit, but decided to give this set an internal clean, and reinstall on the motor for now. Interesting that this set of carbs has 120 main jets front and back. My FE carbs have 140 front 145 rear, and my FFs have 160-165.

What kind of animals lived there???

1985 manual states 125 main jet (optional range 115 - 135) for VD85A and B.
VD85C is 98/95 - swiss version only

Good to hear it started. Thats half the battle on these types of projects. LOL

The condition of those carbs are nasty.

Cleaned out the original set of carbs today. One carb in particular was really bad , looks like the dregs of fuel had drained into this carb with rusty watery sludge. The float needle was seized, and someone had tried to remove the pilot jet unsuccessfully, breaking the slot.See pic.
I had to cut another screwdriver slot with a Dremel, and then remove the butchered jet. Luckily had plenty of spare 38 pilot jets.
Refitted the carbs with used rubber boots, as I just want to run the motor properly and check it’s good.
One of the carb bodies had been butchered, and repaired with Araldite just under the where the diaphragm screws on. I’ve got a good spare body if I decide to use this set of carbs. Motor started up and ran fine, no nasty noises, revved well, looks like a good motor mechanically, cosmetically challenged!

Thanks Faxe, this bike is an 84 RE- carbs it came with coded 83 AAWD, and I have a spare set that Bif has ID’d as 85-86 Canadian spec. I think that set is 82CAVKJ
Have got a great range of carbs, jets and spares now!!!

Another update, but possible change of direction. A fellow VJMCC member was keen to reduce his project bikes, and blow me down, had most of an 84 RE minus motor, exhaust, carbs, and front subframe. This was about 1 kilometre from my house!
The great thing is, with the parts I already have, this one has the bits that I need, except for an instrument cluster. If I decide to, and can find instruments, I can build up a stock RE?
Q are the instruments the same as FE or FF? I’m aware the R have red marked faces. I have a seperate temp gauge, and if the clocks are the same I’ll just be looking for the gauge mounting.

Instruments are peculiar to the R I’m afraid,good news is Oz works in KMs and instruments from Europe pop up on fleabay regularly

Thanks Bif, jigsaw progresses!

To see what you need look here

What about gas tank (condition) and seat / rear fairing? From pic it looks you can only use plastic parts from that bike. :innocent: Hope the price is ok …

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@Faxe , thankfully tank is in brilliant condition, clean inside with no sign of rust. Outside paint is good with only a few chips in paint. Seat tail fairing are good and fibreglass seat hump is there in good condition, but presently seized on the fasteners.
I reckon it’s a fair price, local, with no running around!

Picked up the RE roller from about 1 km down the road, thanks Mike

Getting this rolling chassis and body panels looks like it has prompted a change in direction. I now have most parts to build an original type RE rather than the hybrid, or mongrel I had in mind.
Just looking at the bike when I got it home, you realise how big and heavy it is, even compared to my FFs. It’s a bit like a 80s muscle car, plenty of weight, plenty of power!
It’s going to be a long project……
Still need the side mesh panels, instruments, and fairing oil check hatch, but I’ve got a long way to go before stressing too much pics didn’t upload, will try posting below.


Pulled some of the bits off today, foot pegs,and master cylinders.
From the rusty threads on the mounting lugs for the fairing it looks like it has been a long time since this bike has run.
Decided to check that the front headlight/ fairing subframe from the other bike would fit. Loosely hung the headlight and bodywork on.
Lots of work to do!



Makes you wonder how someone could let what was a very expensive bike in its day get into this condition.
Lots of hours and money to get the fairings back to original condition but will be great to see the finished result and another RE saved.

Yes Jeremy, the last 2 owners just had it sitting around as a ‘one day’ project. I’d love to know what happened to the original motor?
My plan now is to get the motor started again in the other chassis, get it hot and do a compression test to ensure it’s in good condition, and doesn’t need a rebuild. Then will remove motor, and gradually start painting up motor and frame ready for the long process of rebuilding and painting the rest of the bike, and finding the missing hard to get parts, like instruments, black side panels, mirrors etc…
In the meantime, aiming to shift some of the VF stock with building up a special based on a FF, but with FE swingarm, CBR 1000 17-inch wheels and forks, and FE bodywork. The idea is to build something a little different and get some better brakes and better tyre choice. Will also see if I can set it up just a little lower, as I`m a shortarse. Hopefully setting it up with a Blackbird shock will help.