Oily plugs - fix or sell up?

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matt74
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Oily plugs - fix or sell up?

Post by matt74 » Sat Oct 10, 2020 7:59 pm

Bit of a dilemma, would welcome opinions.

Had my RVF for 18 years, first bike and kept it ever since. Used to run it often but left it idle for many years only getting it back up and running last year. It’s never been happy since and is oiling up its plugs to the extent that if it’s left for more than 2 weeks without being run its a pig to start. Wouldn’t start at all today, pulled plugs and oil again. I’ve not helped matters as it’s only been out probably 3 times in the last year.

I’ve been thinking of getting rid anyway as I’m not enjoying it in the way I used to partly because its so temperamental. If it was working it’s a good few grand towards something else. As it is right now, not worth much.

So, choices.

- Get shot of it for a grand and forget about it. The local place that services it has offered me this but seems a shame to let it go for that.

- Pay for enough work to diagnose the problem, walk away if expensive, fix it if not. Walking away not having fixed it seems like money down the drain in labour cost and if major I’ve got the hassle of getting rid of it.

- Hang it on the wall of the garage as a memento! After 18 years it owes me nothing.

What do you reckon?

cbr400rrn
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Re: Oily plugs - fix or sell up?

Post by cbr400rrn » Sat Oct 10, 2020 8:58 pm

£1000 for an rvf? Why? Is it all there? Never ever seen one for that little even if it doesn't run.
Any pics of the bike?

matt74
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Re: Oily plugs - fix or sell up?

Post by matt74 » Sat Oct 10, 2020 9:26 pm

Yep, all there. It’s not a minter, lower fairings tatty and the exhaust has the usual corroded underside joint but it’s not a shed either. No after market bits on it, all original. A grand seems like a “not really up for it but I’ll take a punt” price.

It’s a bugger really. Selling it cheap seems like a cop out after owning it so long, fixing it could be expensive for something I’m not entirely sure I’ll keep and more importantly ride. Hence the hang it on the wall option!

Should say, not trying to make this a sales post! More a case of wondering what I could be in for if I go down the repair route.

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Re: Oily plugs - fix or sell up?

Post by Foxy400 » Thu Oct 15, 2020 5:14 pm

If you are really serious about sorting the problem(s) and getting it roadworthy I would take it to an expert. I don't know where you live but I would highly recommend Graeme France, in Brigg, Lincolnshire.
After several years my bike developed problems. I took it to a recommended local-ish mechanic, who assured me he knew these bikes and would sort it. He clearly didn't. He brought it back un-fixed..but he'd bloody serviced it and charged me! Moron. He also thought it probably needed a new engine. I thought the bike was as good as dead but contacted GF anyway. He said send it to him and he would check it over. He would have to charge me for his time but wouldn't work on it without my go-ahead, after he'd given me an estimate. So that's what I did. It cost me £80 to get the bike transported to his place (from Cheshire). He sent me a detailed list of faults..some of which were caused by the aforementioned mechanic, such as all 4 plug leads being damaged, the engine very overfilled with oil and the carbs a mess, with diaphragms torn.
He convinced me it was all repairable and broke down the work into sections, prioritising the most essential. I could have it done bit by bit but in the end I simply said 'sort everything that needs doing'. He even fitted new tyres (the ones on it were 8 or 9 years old) and a Nitron shock (yes, he checked with me first!). He sent regular updates of the work, together with photos showing the parts that needed fixing. When I rode it I couldn't believe the change, it was like a new bike. Despite the expense I know I made the right decision. It was so good that the following year I sent him my NC29, which he has similarly transformed.
So there you go. In case you're wondering what it cost me (and I bet you are!), I spent around £2250 on the NC35 (two and a half years ago) but take away the tyres and Nitron and that drops by over £800. The NC29 was around £1800. The NC35 'owes' me over £6500, including purchase (nearly 8 years ago) and getting the fairing panels sorted one by one, as and when I could afford it. I know I will probably never recoup the outlay but I enjoy the bikes so much it was money well spent.

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Re: Oily plugs - fix or sell up?

Post by Foxy400 » Thu Oct 15, 2020 5:24 pm

By the way I wouldn't be surprised it the dealer who offered you a grand planned to break the bike and sell the parts. I hope you don't go down that path.

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Re: Oily plugs - fix or sell up?

Post by Foxy400 » Thu Oct 15, 2020 5:26 pm

Foxy400 wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 5:24 pm
By the way I wouldn't be surprised it the dealer who offered you a grand planned to break the bike and sell the parts. I hope you don't go down that path.
However, if you DO decide to part with it I would match the dealers offer and it would be going to a good home! I'd get it back on the road somehow (I've accrued a heap of spares, including bodywork)..even if it meant another visit to GF! Bikes should be on the road, not on a wall.

matt74
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Re: Oily plugs - fix or sell up?

Post by matt74 » Thu Oct 15, 2020 6:25 pm

Thanks Foxy really appreciate your comments. My neighbour said the same as you - don't let it go for that and if you do give it to me first! I'm certainly not keen on seeing it broken for parts or sitting idle either. Took another look at it on Sunday and fired on the first crank...

I can see it from the workshop's point of view. It was an off the cuff offer on a rainy Saturday on a bike with an engine that's an unknown quantity other than they had a job and a half sorting out carbs sat with the same fuel in them for 6 years. If I were them running a business I'd be low balling too knowing I could break if necessary. But I think it's far too low and wouldn't let it go for that. GF is a bit too far from me unfortunately but I trust my local place to work on it, they are not new to these bikes.

I'm tempted to follow your route, spend a bit to understand what the situation is rather than speculate then I have more of a sense of where to go from there. I'd also be more comfortable giving any buyer a more informed heads up too, particularly if going to an enthusiast.

cbr400rrn
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Re: Oily plugs - fix or sell up?

Post by cbr400rrn » Thu Oct 15, 2020 9:21 pm

Foxy400 wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 5:24 pm
By the way I wouldn't be surprised it the dealer who offered you a grand planned to break the bike and sell the parts. I hope you don't go down that path.
They were after making a lot of money out of you and taking the p@$$ with the offer they made to you. I would never take anything there ever again not even a toy car. I got stitched up with a mechanic on my first bike (The bike was a piece of sh!te bought from a well known bike seller near me but i didn't know that at the time) and after seeing two quite high bills for work apparently done i decided stuff it and started to learn how to do little jobs then over time the jobs got bigger and bigger (this was before the internet, but there are still some jobs im reluctant to tackle.) I had to laugh when the mechanic went bust a few years later. He was that bad he fitted a friend's front bike wheel with the heaviest point near the valve and told him it didn't need balancing as with years of experience he always did it right. The vibration broke the front mudguard in a couple of hundred miles.
Always go with the recommendations of other people and i will vouch with foxy400's recommend mechanic.
Could you take the carbs off yourself and take them to them to clean and see if they are ok before taking the whole bike.

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Re: Oily plugs - fix or sell up?

Post by Foxy400 » Fri Oct 16, 2020 6:25 pm

Glad you're having second thoughts. I'm in Cheshire, just south of Manchester (actually nearer to Stockport & Macclesfield), so if you're not too far away I'm happy to come and give you a second opinion. Let us know how you get on.

By the way, did those lug repairs you did to the rear tail panels all those years ago hold up? A very neat looking piece of work.

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Re: Oily plugs - fix or sell up?

Post by matt74 » Fri Oct 16, 2020 9:47 pm

Thanks for the offer. I’m about 250 miles south of you so bit of a distance! Will certainly update the thread with the outcome.

Yep, the lug repairs have held up very well, all still in place. The ABS sheet I bought is a bit soft so I think the screws will eventually wear them out. Would be easy to set a nut into each lug to make it captive. Think I’d use the same technique to patch any splits from the back of the plastic too.

I’ve bought a couple of damaged panels with scratches and broken or missing lugs and will have a go at restoring them. When I bought the bike the previous owner has tipped some kind of solvent on one panel and left runs in the plastic. It was possible to wet sand and polish back to restore them and buy some new Honda lettering so will give it a go.


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