Wild Dog Adventure Riding

General => General Bike Related Banter => Topic started by: blitzer on June 26, 2020, 06:13:48 am

Title: VFR 400 reliability ? (1987 model)
Post by: blitzer on June 26, 2020, 06:13:48 am
Hi All

I know someone who wants to sell a 1987 VFR400, now there are plenty of other bikes to choose from i know but compared to the choices looking at my strict budget, obviously the 400 is tempting.
He said he had redone the engine:

"re done whole engine. New plugs battery mirrors coil tyres. Bored engine a bit. It's top end clocks out at 243km. Taken fairing off just need to mount back on put petrol and oil in Bike. Only problem I've had was the pilot jet was clogged up. So it was running on choke because of that."

It seems tempting to buy this bike however on the other forum it seems like everyone is cautioning against the VFR400 in general as they say it was a grey market import, parts are scarce and no one wants to work on it:

https://forum.thinkbike.co.za/showthread.php?72931-VFR-400-as-a-commuter&s=86f52590928dd163c5f356b6271746e2

Still i am curious and attracted by the power this little pocket "rocket" as some have said provides.
Should i knock myself firmly out of this spell that seemingly tempts me to get this bike ?
Or is it not as bad as they say it is ?

I'm not planning on riding it more than twice a week. And i'm not planning on pushing it to the 200km/h mark.
However, if i do ride it, will it breakdown next to the road ? what can go wrong on this bike and what parts are so hard to find?
How often will it need servicing and tuning, i am not a mechanic but a good all rounder, is it easy to learn to self servie, as i understand it the engine is not so easy to work on ?

Will i be buying into trouble ?
Title: Re: VFR 400 reliability ? (1987 model)
Post by: Dux on June 26, 2020, 06:44:16 am
Tops out at 243kmh !!!  :imaposer: :imaposer:

Those 400ís are seriously reliable , you need to run them without oil to break them , so anyone that tells me they rebuilt the engine is concerning for me , and having a carb problem but not fixing it  :o , the whole thing sounds very dodgy .
Walk away and find something else , for the record , spares on Honda grey imports are not a problem at all and those bikes are not difficult to work on at all
Title: Re: VFR 400 reliability ? (1987 model)
Post by: the_BOBNOB on June 26, 2020, 06:53:44 am
VFR400 were great bikes.

Old neglected VFR400s that had suspicious mechanical work done to them are terrible bikes.

Walk away.
Title: Re: VFR 400 reliability ? (1987 model)
Post by: LouisXander on June 26, 2020, 07:02:04 am
Walk away.

Must've taken serious neglect to have the motor redone.

Bought a ZX4 many years ago for the wife. From a reputable importer, who had the PDI done before every delivery.

When I serviced it, there was no airfilter, not a broken one, none, nada, fokol airfilter.

Walk away
Title: Re: VFR 400 reliability ? (1987 model)
Post by: subie on June 26, 2020, 07:04:51 am
Bored the engine out a bit.  :eek7:
With a lekker noisy exhaust added that  top end will easily clock out at 243km/h.  Should be easily atainable (down a mineshaft ) :sip:
Never had one but also thought they were reliable little bikes if kept unmollested
Title: Re: VFR 400 reliability ? (1987 model)
Post by: Rufus115 on June 26, 2020, 07:06:13 am
Dont listen to these people telling you to walk away
..you should run..very fast and very far.
Title: Re: VFR 400 reliability ? (1987 model)
Post by: Wayne on June 26, 2020, 07:09:35 am
It seems as if you have a little voice in the back of your mind causing doubt. Listen to that voice......

Sent from my SM-N950F using Tapatalk

Title: Re: VFR 400 reliability ? (1987 model)
Post by: 2StrokeDan on June 26, 2020, 07:21:11 am
I would regard this with suspicion, although the VFR400's were very reliable, old age, many mechanics later they are suspect.

A good one would reach a top end of almost 210, they were fast.

V4 in a tight package makes working space tight.

Yes, Subie, I had to laugh at the "bored out a bit", probably with the same pistons/rings. :imaposer:

Google British production racing with Carl Fogarty on these, and Jamie Witham on an RGV250. Absolutely spectacular!
Title: Re: VFR 400 reliability ? (1987 model)
Post by: Dux on June 26, 2020, 07:28:30 am
I would regard this with suspicion, although the VFR400's were very reliable, old age, many mechanics later they are suspect.

A good one would reach a top end of almost 210, they were fast.

V4 in a tight package makes working space tight.

Yes, Subie, I had to laugh at the "bored out a bit", probably with the same pistons/rings. :imaposer:

Google British production racing with Carl Fogarty on these, and Jamie Witham on an RGV250. Absolutely spectacular!

Killarney back straight we could get them to about 220 kmh , that was the NC30 , the 87 model was the NC 24 with less power , maybe about 190 kmh .
The sad thing is that someone will be suckered into buying this bike 
Title: Re: VFR 400 reliability ? (1987 model)
Post by: IceCreamMan on June 26, 2020, 07:39:40 am
I would regard this with suspicion, although the VFR400's were very reliable, old age, many mechanics later they are suspect.

A good one would reach a top end of almost 210, they were fast.

V4 in a tight package makes working space tight.

Yes, Subie, I had to laugh at the "bored out a bit", probably with the same pistons/rings. :imaposer:

Google British production racing with Carl Fogarty on these, and Jamie Witham on an RGV250. Absolutely spectacular!

Very toight toight to work on. If you have average fingers itís impossible. Worked on more than one and how they crammed all that into such a small space is incredible.

Go look at the bike. If it talks to you buy it. Lifeís to short to only own practical bikes. Can learn a lot working on motos. Cathartic too.

243 km/h easy peasy. My bro had a cbr 400 and 2 up I used to push 260.  So maybe this one needs a bit of love.

Title: Re: VFR 400 reliability ? (1987 model)
Post by: subie on June 26, 2020, 07:49:15 am
Nee hel ouens. Mens mag spekskiet maar nou gooi van julle sommer heel varke  :patch: :imaposer:
Title: Re: VFR 400 reliability ? (1987 model)
Post by: Edgar on June 26, 2020, 08:29:23 am
Nee hel ouens. Mens mag spekskiet maar nou gooi van julle sommer heel varke  :patch: :imaposer:

spekskiet is so mooi word. Ek noem dit sommer wat dit is: kakpraat!
Title: Re: VFR 400 reliability ? (1987 model)
Post by: Lem on June 26, 2020, 08:33:23 am
Nee hel ouens. Mens mag spekskiet maar nou gooi van julle sommer heel varke  :patch: :imaposer:

ja nee, het die forum 'n visvang blad? Want as hy het gaan die mods hierdie thread vinnig soontoe skuif  :imaposer:
Title: Re: VFR 400 reliability ? (1987 model)
Post by: blitzer on June 26, 2020, 09:39:32 am
I would regard this with suspicion, although the VFR400's were very reliable, old age, many mechanics later they are suspect.

A good one would reach a top end of almost 210, they were fast.

V4 in a tight package makes working space tight.

Yes, Subie, I had to laugh at the "bored out a bit", probably with the same pistons/rings. :imaposer:

Google British production racing with Carl Fogarty on these, and Jamie Witham on an RGV250. Absolutely spectacular!

Very toight toight to work on. If you have average fingers it’s impossible. Worked on more than one and how they crammed all that into such a small space is incredible.

Go look at the bike. If it talks to you buy it. Life’s to short to only own practical bikes. Can learn a lot working on motos. Cathartic too.

243 km/h easy peasy. My bro had a cbr 400 and 2 up I used to push 260.  So maybe this one needs a bit of love.



Indeed it does talk to me, however the replies to this thread talks the other way :( I appreciate the feedback so because of that i think i will not buy it.
But now for the same price i need to settle for a cbr125, not an easy pill to swallow...

If i ride the 400 gently, will it not make a difference ( as in 140k/h max gently)

And no i cannot get a different bike for that price, as in a 250 or 300. not going to mention the price.

The main reason for the 400 would be passing power (and of course the experience and the sound)
Title: Re: VFR 400 reliability ? (1987 model)
Post by: Dux on June 26, 2020, 09:48:23 am

Indeed it does talk to me, however the replies to this thread talks the other way :( I appreciate the feedback so because of that i think i will not buy it.
But now for the same price i need to settle for a cbr125, not an easy pill to swallow...

If i ride the 400 gently, will it not make a difference ( as in 140k/h max gently)

And no i cannot get a different bike for that price, as in a 250 or 300. not going to mention the price.

The main reason for the 400 would be passing power (and of course the sound and the experience)

If the 400 is going for the same price as a CBR125 ,( I presume both used bikes ) and the guy has done a complete rebuild then he is bullshiiting big time , the spares for a rebuild as he describes would be more than the price of a 125 .
Title: Re: VFR 400 reliability ? (1987 model)
Post by: IceCreamMan on June 26, 2020, 09:59:00 am
I would regard this with suspicion, although the VFR400's were very reliable, old age, many mechanics later they are suspect.

A good one would reach a top end of almost 210, they were fast.

V4 in a tight package makes working space tight.

Yes, Subie, I had to laugh at the "bored out a bit", probably with the same pistons/rings. :imaposer:

Google British production racing with Carl Fogarty on these, and Jamie Witham on an RGV250. Absolutely spectacular!

Very toight toight to work on. If you have average fingers itís impossible. Worked on more than one and how they crammed all that into such a small space is incredible.

Go look at the bike. If it talks to you buy it. Lifeís to short to only own practical bikes. Can learn a lot working on motos. Cathartic too.

243 km/h easy peasy. My bro had a cbr 400 and 2 up I used to push 260.  So maybe this one needs a bit of love.



Indeed it does talk to me, however the replies to this thread talks the other way :( I appreciate the feedback so because of that i think i will not buy it.
But now for the same price i need to settle for a cbr125, not an easy pill to swallow...

If i ride the 400 gently, will it not make a difference ( as in 140k/h max gently)

And no i cannot get a different bike for that price, as in a 250 or 300. not going to mention the price.

The main reason for the 400 would be passing power (and of course the experience and the sound)

the wise decision ...believe me very wise.

We only know this cos we have made the wrong decisions...motorcyles are heart purchases.
Title: Re: VFR 400 reliability ? (1987 model)
Post by: TheBear on June 26, 2020, 10:07:46 am
They were great bikes back in the day and even as a grey import, still a good buy.  They came into SA by the container load and back then, the bikes as well as parts were readily available.  Now, 30 odd years later, not so much.  The mechanics who still have parts are few and far between and will charge whatever they want as parts are not easily obtainable anymore.  30 years of use may well have required an engine overhaul, but what about all the rest?  The suspension?  Brakes? Frame?  Electrics? Fuel delivery system? Etc?    All these things are now 30 years old and bound to fail.  Anyone one of those can put the bike out of commission, forever.

Title: Re: VFR 400 reliability ? (1987 model)
Post by: Dux on June 26, 2020, 10:48:50 am
They were great bikes back in the day and even as a grey import, still a good buy.  They came into SA by the container load and back then, the bikes as well as parts were readily available.  Now, 30 odd years later, not so much.  The mechanics who still have parts are few and far between and will charge whatever they want as parts are not easily obtainable anymore.  30 years of use may well have required an engine overhaul, but what about all the rest?  The suspension?  Brakes? Frame?  Electrics? Fuel delivery system? Etc?    All these things are now 30 years old and bound to fail.  Anyone one of those can put the bike out of commission, forever.

The importers with the exception of Yamaha were happy to import spares for the grey imports , most spares are still available from the dealers , they probably wouldnít have stock in SA but at least they are available ex Japan . Added advantage is that there are also lots of aftermarket spares available for the popular grey imports , quite often spares can also be matched up to other models .
Title: Re: VFR 400 reliability ? (1987 model)
Post by: Kortbroek on June 26, 2020, 10:52:35 am
Nee hel ouens. Mens mag spekskiet maar nou gooi van julle sommer heel varke  :patch: :imaposer:

ja nee, het die forum 'n visvang blad? Want as hy het gaan die mods hierdie thread vinnig soontoe skuif  :imaposer:

Wag net dat ek jou vertel van die DT175 wat ek so effens groter geboor het en 200kmh geclock het...  8)
Title: Re: VFR 400 reliability ? (1987 model)
Post by: Dux on June 26, 2020, 10:55:57 am
Nee hel ouens. Mens mag spekskiet maar nou gooi van julle sommer heel varke  :patch: :imaposer:

ja nee, het die forum 'n visvang blad? Want as hy het gaan die mods hierdie thread vinnig soontoe skuif  :imaposer:

Wag net dat ek jou vertel van die DT175 wat ek so effens groter geboor het en 200kmh geclock het...  8)
Op die agter wiel nogal  :thumleft:

My RZ50 used to do 150kmh , on the back of the V8 Ranchero bakkie  :biggrin:
Title: Re: VFR 400 reliability ? (1987 model)
Post by: the_BOBNOB on June 26, 2020, 11:15:51 am
I have a CB400SF - spares not an issue.

But they get old - I replaced my 4 floats the other day.

Man it will make your eyes water - 4 little plastic floats almost R600 a pop.

So they might be cheap but maintaining them is not cheap
Title: Re: VFR 400 reliability ? (1987 model)
Post by: Wayne on June 26, 2020, 11:29:34 am
Something else to keep in mind, just because someone has a spanner and a screwdriver, it does not make him a bike mechanic. I would always be careful of a older bike with claims that it has been re done.

Sent from my SM-N950F using Tapatalk

Title: Re: VFR 400 reliability ? (1987 model)
Post by: sidetrack on June 26, 2020, 11:56:37 am
Agree run away ! Its such a small compact motor that I would not trust just any guy to work on it plus he is talking BS about the top speed.
Title: Re: VFR 400 reliability ? (1987 model)
Post by: Dux on June 26, 2020, 12:02:45 pm
Agree run away ! Its such a small compact motor that I would not trust just any guy to work on it plus he is talking BS about the top speed.

By the sound of things that guy is speaking so much BS that he has to wipe his mouth with toilet paper
Title: Re: VFR 400 reliability ? (1987 model)
Post by: blitzer on June 26, 2020, 01:05:32 pm
ok guys i guess i won't be going that route thanks for the comments i guess i will have to force myself into getting the cbr 125
Title: Re: VFR 400 reliability ? (1987 model)
Post by: DR BIG 750 on July 04, 2020, 06:58:25 am
CBR 125 vs VFR 400, find the 400, but thats just me never went for the sensible or  safer route :thumleft: just read your post, U dont mention your budget, I see a lot of info of these top speeds etc :o, there are a lot of bargains about at the momemnt, as your commta/general ride bike I would look at min 250 cc pref 400 size. Street DS lots of good examples, a buddy of mine sold a 650 Yamaha cruiser (HD lookalike ) about 9000km battled to sell it eventuallly swopped it, but was a good reliable bike with min milage , keep looking you'll find a ride
Title: Re: VFR 400 reliability ? (1987 model)
Post by: Carl84 on July 05, 2020, 12:57:29 pm
I had a vfr 400 nc24 as first bike. Tops out at 190kph on a downhill. Fun bike with solid engine but it needed a new regulator every six months, suspesion was already a bit moertoe, difficult to find tyres (16 inch in front and 18 inch in the back). Cant find airfilter and had to make custom one, leaking carb rubber boots etc etc. And this was in 2006 when the bike was only 20 years old. Could be a fun restoration project though if one can find a fairly clean one. Engine sounds amazing and was super smooth.

Sent from my SM-G920F using Tapatalk