$300 ’86 VFR750 Blasts down Bonneville!
Yippee, we made it to Bonneville Salt Flats on the $300 VFR!!
Its so amazing blasting down the salt, its like nothing I’ve ever experienced before.
The old girl hasn’t let me down and I’ve been wringing it for all its worth.
Getting to this point….
November 2009 – Buying something cheap
I was looking for a cheap motorbike on www.craigslist.com for the start of my Build Projects and came across an advert for a VFR750 that had been crashed and left in the corner of a barn somewhere. Because no one was stupid enough to be interested in it, Tom who was selling the thing bit my hand off when I offered him $300 for it, which also included that it be delivered to my door.
When the machine arrived I realized the advert and brief conversation about the crashed VFR was somewhat sugar coated as it wasn’t a runner, hadn’t run for some considerable time and as it was dark it was a bit difficult to see how bad the crash damage was. Anyway, I made a quick decision and handed over $300 and now I’m the proud owner of a pile of junk which I don’t know if the engine even works.
The inspiration behind this build is Wayne Rainey and his ride at the UK’s Transatlantic Match Races in 1987 on a VFR750. Anyone who knows anything about great races will have lots of respect for Wayne’s ferocious battles with fellow American Kevin Schwantz and as Wayne was on a VFR750, it’s a machine I’ve loved ever since.
Well now it seems I own one and by the looks of things it’s going to be a while before it runs let alone looks like a Wayne Rainey replica but here goes regardless…
Continue the ‘RAINEY’ BUILD – Read More below the Photos
‘Rainey’ Build Continued
July 2010 – Oh yes Dad’s in town
I’d hit a huge brick wall with the ‘Rainey Project’, few tools, little mechanical skills and no help had ground the VFR750 and like it’s previous owner I subjected it to the corner of my garage to collect dust. Then, luckily for me my Dad came over to visit, went to town on getting my garage turned into a workshop and before you know it, a dusty non working crashed motorcycle was soon up on the bench.
Just seeing it up on the bench was exciting enough, but after a few days of my dad pulling all the bent and damaged parts off the Honda and stripping the carbs, I finally started to believe that the VFR750 would run again.
Let’s not forget that this machine had been sat in a corner of someones garage for a very long time in a rather sorry state and it was going to take a pro (My Dad) to tell me what was needed to get it up and running again.
For some strange reason the front tire is badly worn on the left side??? and the rims are very bent, new ones are needed. So after looking around, we manged to find a set of mint ones on EBay as a guy was breaking his VFR and selling off the bits.
Take one look at the tank and you’ll see it’s a mess so I bought a tank at the same time, it was a couple of good buys and proves if you hunt around, you’ll find what you are looking for.
The carbs were clogged up so a full stip down had to be done, not an easy job getting the carbs off, let alone back on!
As I’d never even looked in the engine or turned it over, I was astonished to hear from Phil that all was OK and no major problems found! Brilliant… $300 didn’t sound like a bad deal after all.
After a new battery was fitted and a few other tweaks here and there PJ hit the starter button and the once trashed VFR750 coughed, spluttered and then fired into life! I could hardly believe it!
Yes OK, it did sound like a bag of spanners but its a runner…of sorts…and now the ’86 VFR750 can move to the next stage and get this motorcycle looking, sounding and running like a pro racing machine.
It’s amazing what brilliant Dad can do! Top job PJ!
Now I’ll be looking into bodywork and turning to Metric Method to assist with the next stage…
‘Rainey’ Build Continued
April 2011 – fairing, fitment and expertise
As the bodywork on the VFR was all smashed I looked on the net to see where I could get some replacement pieces, not an easy task but I was delighted to see that Air-Tech make front upper and side fairings as well as many other vintage and modern fairings.
A quick phone call and a fairing was ordered, and then I took the machine down to Metric Method in Laguna Hills to help me get the ‘86 VFR running better and help get a headlight sorted.
When the fairing arrived it looked superb; the vintage replica was well-made, light and solidly built.
As I want to make it look like a Wayne Rainey replica machine and place a big #6 at the front, I’ve chosen not to replace the missing headlight with a standard one, instead I’d like the headlight to be for the most part invisible so I bought a Ducati 999 headlight off eBay and Ryan had the job of cutting the right sized hole.
Metric Method also wanted the VFR750 to run a bit better so a full carb kit was bought and fitted as the old carburettor rubbers weren’t sealing properly and were leaking fuel all over the place, the new carb rubbers did the trick and now the VFR is running and running well.
Those cheap std wheels I bought off eBay came up gleaming white thanks to Metric Method and Im now bringing the VFR750 home to take it to the next stage.
Next up is getting an exhaust system, going over the suspension and then it’ll be repairing the seat and then finishing the build with an excellent paint job….. I hope…
That’s it, I’ve tripped over my $300 VFR750 too many times and after gaining some confidence recently after working on my CBR600RR build, I’ve now made a plan to get this awesome machine going again, but this time I’ve given myself a few weeks…..
Its the BUB Motorcycle Speed Trials at the end of the month, no better way of getting a motorcycle working again than an event you want take part in.
Somehow I am going to rip down the Salt Flats on a bike I’ve always loved and between now and then, I’m asking for help.
Anyone with any knowledge of how to make this baby go faster, right now its 100% standard, please email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Regardless, even if its in standard form, I am going to be at Bonneville and I am going to video it all!
Sportbike Parts, Service & Information: www.metricmethod.com
Excellent modern and vintage motorcycle fairings: www.airtech-streamlining.com