From the day I got it, I wasn’t quite happy with the wheels on the VF.
The FF seems to have a wheel combination that works, but the tyre choice in particular, was a concern for me. I ride all year round in some pretty ****ty weather, and decent tyres are a must for peace of mind.
Plus, I use the bike to commute, so tyre life is an issue too.
Having put 55,000 miles on an ST4s, I was fairly familiar with decent sport touring tyres, the emphasis on sport. I had gone through Pirelli Diablo Stradas, Angels, and Dunlop Roadsmart I, II and IIIs, all with good experiences.
So when I decided to pull the trigger and go with the CBR600 F2 wheel conversion for the FF, a set of Diablo Stradas were cheap but a known quantity to begin. A 120/70 17 front and 160/60 17 rear were ordered.
Secondly, a visit to the Daughterty Motorsport web site, a chat with Jamie and the kit was ordered. Alas, it took months to get it, as Jamie was moving premises and I’d imagine there were higher priorities.
However, after many months I eventually had all the necessaries, a pair of freshly powder coated CBR wheels, with new bearings and tyres, the conversion kit, and most importantly, some bloody time to get stuck in and do it.
The front was the area of concern for me, as the 90 profile, 18” wheel seemed to be the one most likely to give me gyp. However, it all went very smoothly. The main change is the newly machined speedo drive, and drive ring that requires a bit of modification, namely that the drive tangs need to be flattened from their standard curve. However, a large, industrial vice in my shed/workshop made a neat job of it.
When it went all back together, I did the precautionary measure of putting everything back hand tight to allow the wheel to be centred by the brakes. Years of sports bikes has taught me that the best thing to true the front wheel are the brake callipers. So putting everything in, spinning the wheel and then gently applying the brakes just positions everything nicely.
With this done, I nipped everything up and found that there was just a little too much friction. Not the worst I’d ever seen but more than I’d like on such a set up.
A prayer at the forum altar, and Bif of this parish suggested a final bash of the bearings to make sure they were 100% seated, and that did the trick.
The rear seemed more straightforward, as spacers and new brake calliper hangar all seemed straightforward. However, it was only on assembly that I discovered the VF sprocket does not fit the custom machined CBR sprocket carrier.
Hence the pic with the wheel in, but the chain slack and the sprocket missing.
Of course this happened on a weekend where I could not get another sprocket and so things had to wait.
Finally, with the right sprocket, I put it all together and went for a shake down.
First impressions were good. It steered well, rode nicely and seemed to drop into corners nicely on the tyre profile. Then the damn thing died again, due to the fuel issue described in another thread.
So a proper shake down was not accomplished until last night.
The short, abortive shake down had revealed that some rear ride height was lost. Some research revealed that the Wilbers 641 shock in the back has all the bells and whistles, including hydraulic preload and ride height adjustment. I took off the lower mount and wound it out as far as I dared and put it back in. It improved things a bit, but still not as much as I’d like. I also wound up the preload, as this gives some ride height too, but again, it’s still about 20mm short of where I’d like, but I’ll live with it for now.
Overall, I’m very happy with the results, from an aesthetic and practical stand point.
It looks the dog’s, now gives me a wide range of options for modern, radial tyres and now handles even better with its Wilbers suspension.
The final part of the puzzle was the Blackbird master cylinder for the front brake. I’d installed it with new seals a few weeks ago, but was never quite happy with the action.
I bled it several times and did the lever tie-back over night, and the effects were always good but never quite persisted.
It was when I was wrapping up after sorting the front wheel bearings that it occurred to me about the old trick of bleeding at the master cylinder.
I wrapped a rag completely around the banjo bolt, cracked the tension and then pumped the cylinder and opened the bolt to allow the pressure to bleed ever so slowly from the lever. A nip up and wipe of the excess fluid and there she was.
Now, I feel like this is properly my bike. 😊
I did more than 40kms around the local neighbourhood, never far from home, just in case. It ran fine, except once or twice when doing a second gear roll on to the limiter. When it got into the 8k plus range, it stuttered once or twice. I reckon there might be some crap in the carbs around the main jets or emulsion tubes from the fuel issues.
I’ve not had a chance to do a proper carb clean yet, but it is on the cards. In the meantime, I’ll use the RedEx additive to help keep things flowing as I need it for transport.
So, it’s taken many months, cost about a bag of sand, in euros, all told but the VF is now rolling on 201st century tyres.
Rock on the VF1000S!