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Older, but no wiser!
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Discussion Starter #1
How vital is it to do the 16k mile valve clearance check/fix on the Vara if the bike has been regularly serviced prior to this time?

I know that the bucket and shim setup is very robust but dare it be left for say, 18-20K?
 

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The Angry Pasty Muncher
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I had mine done twice and neither times did the carbs need adjusting nor did the valves need adjusting. Unless it sounding rattly, misfiring, or running poorly i wouldn't bother with it all the other stuff is really easy to do and doesn't take much time. You can test coolant before changing it to see if it needs to be done. MOst of th ework is just safety checks. Since i had it done the last time my reserve light does seem to come on a little earlier that it did before now it's about 175-180 where as before it was 190ish miles
 

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Older, but no wiser!
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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Cheers Jason. Any idea on the time needed for a valve check only? I know my TA was around £180, 2-3 years ago.

I am just trying to get an idea of likely costs for some work needing to be done on a possible purchase...
 

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2 bikes = twice as happy
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Cheers Jason. Any idea on the time needed for a valve check only? I know my TA was around £180, 2-3 years ago.

I am just trying to get an idea of likely costs for some work needing to be done on a possible purchase...
EFi vara's have got to have one of the easiest service schedules. IIRC valves and and plugs are every 32,000 miles. Oil every 8,000 with the air filter annoyingly every 12,000. But stick a K&N in and you can get away with just changing the oil and a general check over for three consecutive services, then a big one where you check valves, change coolant and brake fluid. I paid Blackpool Honda about £220 for all that 2 years ago. The deal was a check only, if adjustment needed it would have been more. You rarely hear of the bikes needing adjustment until V high miles.

On the CBS systems the rear pads wear quickly - I got about 8k out of mine. Fronts about twice as long.

Hope the bike you have seen is a good 'un.


Sent from my iPhone with a smile :)
 

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The Angry Pasty Muncher
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Cheers Jason. Any idea on the time needed for a valve check only? I know my TA was around £180, 2-3 years ago.

I am just trying to get an idea of likely costs for some work needing to be done on a possible purchase...
The full 16k service was about £180, alot of the work didn't need doing i had already changed brake fluid they checked that and coolant didn't need changing still within limits. They did the valve check and carb balance which needed no adjustment changed air filter, plugs, and oil and oil filter. I did give them the bike for the full day dropped it there the night before as valves have to be done cold.

Can't agree with Austin about brake pads with CBS mines done 35k and i have used 1 set on the rear and 2 on the fronts
 

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Older, but no wiser!
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Discussion Starter #6
EFi vara's have got to have one of the easiest service schedules. IIRC valves and and plugs are every 32,000 miles. Oil every 8,000 with the air filter annoyingly every 12,000. But stick a K&N in and you can get away with just changing the oil and a general check over for three consecutive services, then a big one where you check valves, change coolant and brake fluid. I paid Blackpool Honda about £220 for all that 2 years ago. The deal was a check only, if adjustment needed it would have been more. You rarely hear of the bikes needing adjustment until V high miles.

On the CBS systems the rear pads wear quickly - I got about 8k out of mine. Fronts about twice as long.

Hope the bike you have seen is a good 'un.
Thanks muchly Austin, it sounds better by the minute :)

The bike is a 2005 VA5, so not quite up to the spec of the latest kit. I got my dealers to do the TA on a "check only" basis too.

It sounds as if a K&N air filter may be a requirement too, but at 40 quid, it's affordable. Its had an oil/filter swap recently. I think it might need new rear pads, but struggled to see, but if the rear wheel is coming out for C&S, it is no big deal again apart from choosing the make to put in!! EBC, Brembo, OEM or cheapies??
 

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You will have to do a lot of miles to get your money back on a K&N. I'd just change the air filter as per manufacturers guidelines.

The valve check is reasonably straight forward but should one need adjusting then thats a camshaft out job so can get expensive. In saying that anecdotal evidence suggest that they rarely need doing so if you are concerned check them yourself and if necessary you can either reshim them yourself or have a dealer do it.

Apart from adjusting valves the bikes are a doddle to work on.
 

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Older, but no wiser!
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Discussion Starter #8
The full 16k service was about £180, alot of the work didn't need doing i had already changed brake fluid they checked that and coolant didn't need changing still within limits. They did the valve check and carb balance which needed no adjustment changed air filter, plugs, and oil and oil filter. I did give them the bike for the full day dropped it there the night before as valves have to be done cold.

Can't agree with Austin about brake pads with CBS mines done 35k and i have used 1 set on the rear and 2 on the fronts
Thanks for that info, it does sound as if the local Honda dealers were taking the pi$$ wanting £500!!!! I will ask the local unfranchised dealers who do my MOT and odd job if i have no joy with the other chap.

On the brake pad issue, I am far too polite to suggest it may be rider style or the "mass" being carried.

I reckon if I go for the Vara, the brakes will have a VERY hard time with 26 stone+ on board, so the pads will need to be spot on when negotiating the wee roads in the Highlands!! :(
 

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Older, but no wiser!
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Discussion Starter #9
You will have to do a lot of miles to get your money back on a K&N. I'd just change the air filter as per manufacturers guidelines.

The valve check is reasonably straight forward but should one need adjusting then thats a camshaft out job so can get expensive. In saying that anecdotal evidence suggest that they rarely need doing so if you are concerned check them yourself and if necessary you can either reshim them yourself or have a dealer do it.

Apart from adjusting valves the bikes are a doddle to work on.
Mmm, valve work like that is beyond a simple farmer like me, my feeler gauges are rusted solid anyway. :thumbup:

They look OK to get around, just that BOF tank... I would need to run a cable for a sagnag to the front dash, so that'll mean lifting the tank, unless there is an easy access live feed under the front fairing.
 

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2 bikes = twice as happy
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Rear brake pad replacement is literally a 2-3 minute job. Fronts not much longer. I get 50,000+ out of my transalp's rear pads but only got 8,000 or so from the Vara's. Could be style, weight or something else but I put it down to the CBS.

K&N, yes depends on miles and how long you plan to keep it, but for me not having an "extra" service at 12,000 miles it seemed well worth it.

Live feed, lots of wires to splice into under the dash - someone will be along who has done it to advise. . Mine had a cigarette socket spliced into the lighting circuit by the first owner - Stanbloke. Or get one of Hondas heated grip jumper leads and adapt as necessary.

watch out for tyre wear, 26 stone, luggage, all that torque, and a fun attitude will soon shred a rear. 6-8,000 was the best I got but I seem to recall wearing out a Conti road attack a lot more quickly. Annakee 2 were my faves.

Enjoy!!!


Sent from my iPhone with a smile :)
 

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Maybe I'm tempting fate by posting this, BUT my 1999 Vara has never had a valve check! Have mentioned it many times to my man with the spannners, but he always says the same. There's no excessive engine noise, fuel consumption consistent, not burning oil. I've always changed the oil every 2k miles or so, with a new filter every other change. Seems to have worked. 116,000 miles and still going strong.

Most effective upgrade was the facet fuel pump. The points on the stock pump gradually wore out with only a gradual loss of performance. The facet has put a lot more life into the old girl.
 

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Interesting this one!

Re Valves, in on now almost 20k. Based on lots of similar advise above, i just ignored the 16k valve clearance check and did all the other service jobs myself. engine still sounds sweet as a nut. As Austin says above, the EFI Vara has got to be about one of the easiest bikes to work on. Once you've got the hang of lifting that big mother of a tank, and more importantly refitting it without trapping any fuel or vent / breather hoses.

Re the rear pads wearing faster on CBS models. That's also true with me. I thought it was just me! Replaced two sets of rear pads to one set of front.

Re the live feed on for the sat NAV. Ther is a blanked off live feed cconnection inside the front LHS fairing. ( There is on my 2008 EFI mdoel anyway. Assume this is the same on all EFI models. ) You need to remove the LHS inner fairing cover to get to this. Whalt you are looking for is a white / transluscent waterproof sheaf, covering a bundle of wires and connector plugs. Can't miss it. Peel this back, and you will see a blanked off square white, male 6 way connector, with I think 4 wires going into it. and a white female balnking cap clipped on. This is your accessory connector plug, and has both switched and constant 12v feeds. Its designed to take the Honda quartet harness, which is an official accessory, which plugs straight in. This quartet harness then gives you 3 connector plugs for Sat nav, heated grips and fog light kit, all of which are available as official honda accesories..

You don't have to buy the quartet harness kit. I did, but with hindsight it is expensive and un-neccesary, when you could connect direct into the accessory connection point with an appropriate connector, or alternatitively chopping of the original connector and fitting your own. With hindsight, this is what I should have done.

I have my garmin zumo 660 and a 12 volt accessory socket, connected to seperate 12v switched lives. via the quartet harness.

The connectors on both the original loom and the optional quartet harness are odball connectors, which are not readily available. I think they are Hitachi connectors from memory, and are available on ebay
 

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Older, but no wiser!
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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Thanks for all the top info guys.

Been for a 15 mile test ride this afternoon, nice bike, funky V power! Seat as hard as a board, but of little concern, as I use an Airhawk :) Footpegs were maybe a tad high, but easily sorted for €120.

Done a deal on a 2005 black Vara, so I now be will seen in this part of the forum for a week or two as I suss out the various little jobs....

Rear brake was really crap, so will be a first task ;) What pads should I order? I will get a decent set of C&S and hopefully they will last a cuppla years....
 

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Hill Rider
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Done a deal on a 2005 black Vara, ...
Nice one Steve. Glad you've finally found something that yo can make your own and ride without pain.

You'll love the seductive torque from that motor, which will see you testing the fuel consumption / tank range :thumbup:

Welcome back to the V-Twin world

Steve T

:cool:
 

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Older, but no wiser!
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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Cheers Steve, it just seems the natural thing, partly inspired by your "golden girl". Believe you me, I was wondering whether to try and join the mad xrv Scots this w/e for a ride out :)

Now to spend a few quid on modding it. Peg lowering gadget ordered from Krautland and I will see then if I need a seat mod too from CM Seat in Coventry. Maybe have to find one of those "throttle stops" from one of the old Honda SS50 mopeds of our youth, just to make sure the throttle stays in economy mode ;)




Might well keep the scoot about though, just in case.... It is also ideal for popping off for farm spares or into town.
 

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The Angry Pasty Muncher
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Thanks for that info, it does sound as if the local Honda dealers were taking the pi$$ wanting £500!!!! I will ask the local unfranchised dealers who do my MOT and odd job if i have no joy with the other chap.

On the brake pad issue, I am far too polite to suggest it may be rider style or the "mass" being carried.

I reckon if I go for the Vara, the brakes will have a VERY hard time with 26 stone+ on board, so the pads will need to be spot on when negotiating the wee roads in the Highlands!! :(
£500 would be about right if they do everything on the service schedule as it would take about 2-3 hours longer than mine took, if you say £60p/hour thats an extra £180. Mine was done by a honda dealer but they checked everything first to see if it needed doing, if it didn't need doing they didn't do it so the price was cheaper and they told me what didn't get done like coolant and brake fluid when i picked the bike up. Easy to dip the coolant and brake fluid with a hydrometer to see if it's serviceable.
 

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Older, but no wiser!
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Discussion Starter #17
£500 would be about right if they do everything on the service schedule as it would take about 2-3 hours longer than mine took, if you say £60p/hour thats an extra £180. Mine was done by a honda dealer but they checked everything first to see if it needed doing, if it didn't need doing they didn't do it so the price was cheaper and they told me what didn't get done like coolant and brake fluid when i picked the bike up. Easy to dip the coolant and brake fluid with a hydrometer to see if it's serviceable.
Didnt know you could check the brake fluid! I am hoping to get a local bike mechanic to do the wee jobs that I am reluctant to tackle. :) I will ask if he can check both the fluids as you suggest. Ta.



Sent from my GT-P1000 using Tapatalk 2
 

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The Angry Pasty Muncher
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Didnt know you could check the brake fluid! I am hoping to get a local bike mechanic to do the wee jobs that I am reluctant to tackle. :) I will ask if he can check both the fluids as you suggest. Ta.



Sent from my GT-P1000 using Tapatalk 2
There's loads of different tools for testing brake fluid properly but all cost a bit, if in doubt just change it, it's an easy job to do.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B003934V...de=asn&creative=22206&creativeASIN=B003934V50

Sealey VS027 - Brake Fluid Tester --- Sealey & Draper Tools - CCW-Tools

Sealey VS0272 Pocket Brake Fluid Tester - Sealey available at Toolbox
 

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Older, but no wiser!
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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
There's loads of different tools for testing brake fluid properly but all cost a bit, if in doubt just change it, it's an easy job to do.
As you say, they cost a few bob and with only a small stable to ride, (compared to some here!) probably not cost effective really.

I was under the impression that the Honda linked brakes were a little more awkward to do than normal brakes? I'm sure I read somewhere it was easier as a 2 man job!
 

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I'm with Austin on the brake pad front, I'm on my third set on my VA9 Vara.
The back brakes? Well, remember they're linked Steve, I always think mine are hard following a non linked bike.
Enjoy the big Vara mate and we'll see you on the road soon.
 
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