Vf1000FF 1986

Hi, new to your forum as just bought a 1986FF. As I’m not too much of a mechanic I put the bike into a local bike shop for a once over as the brakes were poor. The brakes have been sorted but a new problem has come to light. The fork caps at the top of the forks are the wrong ones as they don’t reach the threads!! Lucky I had it checked. Does anyone know where I can get replacement caps. If not I have found a set of forks from a 1984 bike which are in good condition, but will they fit with the existing brakes?
I need some help please

Welcome to the forum!

I think you will find that the '84 forks are for a 16" front wheel and therefore will be a different length than the forks that fit your 18" wheel.

Hi, thanks for that, I did find this out after I posted the question. Has anyone tried a more modern set, like a blackbird maybe? If the length is ok it will just be the tube thickness that could be an issue. The problem I have is that the fork caps are clearly not the correct ones as they bearly reach the internal thread of the fork tubes. One possible answer, although a bit drastic might be to cut 1/4inch of the top of the fork tube to enable the cap thread to get a good bite. Has anyone come this problem before?

There are a couple of areas that need special consideration, first of all the handlebars use the fork leg above the triples to clamp on to, second is the fork travel ensuring that the wheel is prevented from hitting the front cylinders (especially with the 18" front wheel), which would happen under hard braking, now that could be nasty!
If you have alternate handlebars in mind, no problem. The issue seems to be a balance between being long enough overall but not have too much travel. I started looking at VFR800 front ends and I think they could work well, still 41mm tubes so original triples “could” be used if required, they are a modern cartridge fork that works very well, and if you use the VFR triples you wont need to space out the front brakes, and since the VFR brakes are a major upgrade it is a “win win” although I have not tried to fit them myself. That being the case, there could be other issues that I have not thought of. If I recall, they even use the same steering head bearings. Or you could just use the fork legs with a couple of machined spacers?
You will also need to consider steering stops if using a complete front end.
To answer your question, cutting the forks could result in front wheel to cylinder head contact depending on how much you are thinking of cutting off, a small amount (10-15mm)should be fine but I would still measure just to be safe.
I hope this helps in some way.

hi ken, as tony says there are no easy options on front end swaps for the vf, I have managed to modify a set of cbr1000f forks to fit on a project bike, it uses the cbr wheel and calipers as the vf wheel spindle and caliper brackets are different, it may be worth your while to post a couple of pics of your forks and the fork caps just in case you have the right caps but the wrong fork tubes, someone with a ff would be able to say better than me.

P.S the blackbird forks are 43mm,

Thanks for the help guys. I have thought of another idea. As the cap threads don’t reach the tube threads could I get an engineering firm to cut the cap inner and weld in a 1/4inch spacer so that the threads will reach. My only concern is the rod in the right hand fork leg, will this need extending as well

when you say the caps do not reach the threads what is stopping them,
the only thing to stop them is the springs which is easily overcome.
surely the forks will have collapsed with the caps not fitted

All that was holding the caps on was about 1/2 turn of one of the threads! They could have collapsed at any time. We only found out as the fork seals needed replacement. The dealer has never seen anything like it, I have found out that the caps are the correct ones, it must be the fork tubes that are the issue. I can only assume they came from another model with a longer cap body.

Hi and welcome. Silly question but why not try and source the correct caps ( why would they be the wrong ones anyway ?)
I`m not sure but if you alter the top end of those forks, will the balanced air pipe be effected ?


Hi Ken whereabouts in UK are you, I might have a set of forks that would sort your problem, need sesals fitted but generally seem ok. I’m in Gateshead, cheers Wayne

Hi, marmite thanks for your imput but I believe the caps are the right ones , it’s the tubes that are the issue as I have had contact with a breaker who has a bent set and the caps are the same as the ones I have. Without knowing where the tubes are from it’s difficult to consider different caps.
Hi Wayne,
I live in Northamptonshire but if the forks are from a 1986 model with an 18inch wheel I will be interested.
I will cover the cost , what do you want for them?

Hi Ken, yes they’re off my 1986 Vf, as I said forks are ok, could do with new seals, currently on my bike but I could get them off this weekend for you, postage will be the biggie though, forks you can have for £20.

Hi Wayne, just sent you an e-mail.

Hi Ken, nothing has come through to my email. Wayne

Strange I sent it via the site. Never mind. Could you give me a ring anytime after 5 tomorrow on 07825 985183., as I do wish to take you up on your offer

This could incur the wrath of the Mods, but here goes anyway.
The email function on this site is unreliable at best from my experience, I have never received a single email notification regarding topic updates even though subscribed, I have asked a moderator to investigate why, no answer.
I also changed my email address to see if that helped, no luck.
I sent a test email to myself about 30 mins ago, I have still not received an email, I will wait and see.
It’s probably best to supply email addresses (maybe only visible to members?)if that is allowed.</font id=“size2”>

hi tony, i have in the past received and sent emails successfully through the PM function, but i know other people have at times struggled…

As a new member to the forum, it seems amazing that the e-mail facility is not working. with all of the I.T now available as a normal method of communication, this really is not acceptable.

Hey Pete, it’s good to know that it’s working for you and is not a “board wide” issue.
This issue may be confined to a select few members, I just happen to be one of them.
I am still waiting for the test message that I sent yesterday to arrive in my inbox.
Regards, Tony

Hi Wayne, i’m away for a while from tomorrow, can you give me a call to sort out the forks.