Ownership Verified: Two Wheeled Bliss ['99 Honda VFR800]

there is one "reportedly" that will fit our bike on eBay. It's in France and I'm very leary of paying $1400 for it.

I can not believe that there is not a compatible shock that will fit. I have written Ohlins too, including the guys in Hendersonville, NC how rebuilt mine. They all say the same thing, nothing available for a 5th Gen VFR. I think I am going to try to find dimensions on the stock unit and start asking more questions. I'm not opposed to buying from Racetech etc, I just want a shock that can be rebuilt as I need it. I don't want to spend my hard earned duckies $$$ for something that's not top quality.

Finally can respond! I won't be selling it as I'm having mine rebuilt. The HO801 is tough to find and I'm glad the previous owner sold me his. Other than camping the forums, keep an eye out on your local CL for parts bikes. Don't just search for Ohlins, but just VFR. I scored an entire parts bike with a Corbin seat when I had my GS500E for $150. The seat was worth $150 :D

EDIT: Spectre found that ?hlins France still has them new.
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S46HR1C1S ... S (single Tube) 46 (piston diameter) H (Monotube high pressure gas type, hose mounted external reservoir) R1 (Adjustable rebound damping. Adjuster wheel on end-eye) C1 (Adjustable compression damping. Adjuster on reservoir), S (Hose mounted hydraulic spring preload adjuster).

I can't believe they don't have one that's compatible.

according to this page, the Super Tenere is the same shock....


The S46 code is just an indication of what features the shock has. It doesn't indicate length, stroke, damping rate, eyelet dimensions or anything like that. It's the equivalent of seeing "XLT" on the side of a 9th generation Ford Pickup that doesn't have any other badging and with hubcaps covering the lugs - no way to tell what's under the hood or even which version it is.

Per the Ohlins USA web site, this is the spec for the Super Ten's YA013 offering:
Product Type Street Shock
Type Code S46HR1C1S
Length 352.5
Stroke 73.5
Spring 01099-49
MSRP $1237.91

The length right there means it won't fit.

I spoke with Dan Kyle, of Dan Kyle Racing, one of the largest Ohlins resellers/service facilities in the US. He said that it's possible they can replicate the HO801 with spare parts but the price is likely to be in the $1600+ range. You can give him a call, here's the contact info (copied and pasted from http://www.kyleusa.com/ ):

(831) 394-1330
(866) 667-4925 Toll Free
(831) 394-1331
Postal address
801B California Avenue, Sand City, CA 93955
Dan Kyle: dan@kyleusa.com
Should also mention that Penske, Ohlins' nearest competitor does offer their rebuildable 8987 for the VFR800s. http://shop.penskeshocks.com/files/downloads/PENSKE MC APPLICATION CHART.pdf

They're almost as good (90-95%) as an Ohlins in terms of hardware quality. The Penske tends to be a bit on the softer side per most reviews which makes for a better street usage experience. There's also Works Performance who does have the specs for your bike and can make you something custom. They're about 75-80% as good as Ohlins but still solidly competent. Something else to consider is that most Penskes are user-rebuildable and Ohlins have to be sent in, as servicing was a concern mentioned.

Here's a typical review thread comparing the two types: http://www.gixxer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=289379 They do tend to devolve into religious wars between the brands. Warning, contains Gixxer riders so use appropriate caution. :p

As the thread indicates, once you get to a certain level of hardware on a street bike, it doesn't really matter what you've got as the actual setup of the equipment is far more critical. Get Ohlins, Penske, Works or anyone in that league to build you something for your weight and intended use, then get someone good to set it up (if you yourself are not so skilled - I'm not) for you and you probably will never notice any difference in real world use.
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Aaaand time for a new tire. Installed it last night. I decided to go with another Michelin Pilot Power, the last one lasted about 3k miles, which is about on par. Commuting on this tire isn't the greatest idea, but it's great when getting into the twisties. However, once I replace the front, I'll probably go to Pilot Roads.

Changed the oil at 81,332 after my first overnight touring trip where CJ and I went down to the Texas Hill Country to ride the Three Sisters.


Coolant system has held up great, no leaks at all, despite a good amount of thrashing over 770 miles in one weekend. Bike held up better than I did :lol:

I've since also sent the ?hlins off to be rebuilt and hope to have that back soon so I can enjoy it over the summer.

I've also finally purchased a battery tender as I noticed that the clock had reset itself sometime last week. I haven't replaced the battery since I've had it (almost 1.5 years now), so that's probably coming up soon.
So the ?hlins came back in this week from Kyle Racing, and naturally, Spectre and I pulled an all-nighter getting it mounted just right. :D

We weren't satisfied with any of the solutions we found online for mounting, so we took a kind of stealthy approach for the mount. Unfortunately, that means the compression adjustment is harder to gain access to, but I'm going off later today to a local race shop to have the suspension setup by someone who knows what they're doing. :p

Getting started...tank propped up with a log to access the clevis bolt.

Old Showa shock out

Mocking up the install

You can see where the previous owner had the line for the remote reservoir too close to the headers and burned it a bit, but not enough to do anything aside from cosmetic damage.

Under the tail fairing-it's close


We put some weather stripping on the outside to keep the reservoir from damaging the plastics

And finally at 4AM :lol:
Yeah, you lose a little bit of reservoir cooling by putting it there, but it sure beats the line baking that was going on before. Also keeps it out of the way of most possible damage.

The overnight grind was interesting. :D It actually wasn't that hard to snake everything in, unlike some people's reports, provided you did it in the right order. Most of the time was spent playing around with locations and such, not trying to route lines and parts and such.
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So far, I'm loving the ?hlins unit (duh :p )

Now that I've had it properly setup by North Texas Superbikes. Totally recommend this guy--ex-AMA and Ducati racer, builds and sponsors lots of CMRA and other riders. Plus he was a cool dude and started helping me out the second I showed up. I wish I'd taken pictures of the stuff in his shop...very drool worthy stuff.

Here's the outside--the race bike on the right is one he built with an aircooled 1000 Ducati twin, with 1098 CF bodywork.
Was bored today and cleaned the bike up for a glamour shot. Creeping up on 83k now and it's about time for me to replace the front tire. I'l be getting a PR4 and another out back when the time comes.

CrazyJeeper and I are planning a little 250 mile loop around the metroplex tomorrow morning, provided my cold is in check.

I've also ordered some LEDs for the turn signals that should arrive from China in August. Hopefully 4/10 will work :p
As some of you may have read in the Gen Moto thread, CJ, a friend of his, and I did a Northwest Arkansas trip this weekend.

It was great fun, some really nice roads and scenery. And this happened in Oklahoma about 2-300 miles in on the first day.




Binned it in some gravel up a hill directly behind me in this picture. Don't grab a fistful of front brake in gravel :idiot: I already knew this, but the lesson bore repeating, apparently.

All of my gear was unscathed and did perfectly well (new scratches on my Arai and week old blue mirrored shield though). The boot took the brunt of the damage.



Managed to ride on it okay on the longest weekend I've ever done (ca. 900 miles). Roadcrafter was the saving grace though; even though temps hovered around 100?F, I never got too uncomfortable and did not get dehydrated, unlike my last outing. This trip continued to prove that my ass is Japanese man-spec as I didn't experience too much discomfort in the stock seat. The bike of course, performed flawlessly (other than being really friggin' hot. Engine temps hovered in the 200-220 range for hours at a time). I also ticked over 85k this weekend.

Here are some better pics from the weekend:







We stayed at the Hub, a motorcycle-oriented hotel in Harrison, AR. For $65 a night with an onsite restaurant, it was great. The staff/owners were great. They noticed my rather frankenstein-esque walking speed and provided a gallon zip lock bag for some ice that did the trick later that night. I thought I'd taken more photos...oh well. CJ will have some more to post.

The real owner at the Hub:

So next steps will be repairing/replacing stuff. More detail shots from this morning.



Upper cowling




Frame slider did it's job, but is toast now



These ugly and cheap "Garage Pro" top cases from JC Whitney were a life saver. I popped it back out as the bag had originally acted like a crumple zone, leaving the racks and tail fairing completely unscathed.


Poor Staintune pipe gets more character


Scuffed the LH fairing with my boot as I flew over I guess, this came off fortunately.

Mark on the radiator from the fairing

A little coolant spilled out this weekend too

To be replaced:
-upper cowling
-missing screw/pop rivets
-RH indicator
-repair/replace RH fairing
-RH fairing stay (rear mount)

Live and learn, right? :p
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Pretty much.
Glad to hear it was a minor accident.
Trip sounds awesome man, and glad you're ok.

I'm also glad your VFR isn't gonna turn into the zip-tie/fiberglassed/primered Frankenstein that my VFR was. :lol:
Yeah, it was a great time. I'm excited to do one again...just waiting for parts to come together. I've got the frame sliders in bound, Twisted Throttle hooked me up nicely, so props to them. On Monday, I'm heading to a body shop to get a quote on cleaning up my right fairing. I think I'll hit the bullet and go for an OE nose fairing...
After nearly 5 months, everything came together last night (although I still have a couple pushpins/fairing screws to add and general massaging of body work to do)

CJ came over to supervise/laugh at me and helped out with replacing the old and nasty spark plugs. I did the oil change last night and then swapped all body work on and added the new frame sliders :D


Old motor mount crash bar

Changing plugs



All done :D


To say that I'm excited to take her out again would be an understatement :p
Glad to see it put together again!

Yes, it was great being out on the VFR after so long. She's a little cantankerous though, she gave me a couple hard starts and reset the clock/trip computer despite having a healthy battery. I think it may be time to spring for a MOSFET regulator/rectifier and probably replace the stator. However, it was fantastic to be on this great machine again, CJ and I did some hard riding today and covered a little over 150 miles.

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So all this got fixed a couple weeks back (touches wood).

I took the tank off and it sat for the rest of December and finally, I resolved to get it done.

Also during this time, I had the heatshield treated to a jet hot coating and high polish coating on the other side from Speciality Performance Coatings. Highly recommended and worth the money.


It seems to do a pretty good job of keeping the heat at bay.

Went on a ride on the last weekend of January to check out THE MURDER HOLE in BFE, TX




JJ Abram's lens flare with two known FG associates

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