Giving classics of the late 1900s a new lease on life is its own reward.
If you’re a fan of legendary Japanese sportbikes from the 1990s, then you may want to check out YouTube channel Race & Retro’s new series. They’re diving straight into a 1994 Honda VFR400 NC30, and of course it’s got plenty of marks both for and against it, right from the drop.
Like an extremely smart group of bike-obsessed friends, they’ve apparently bought it “in the dark,” as they put it—which means they didn’t take a good look at it before the cash and the keys changed hands. In this introductory video about the particular machine that they’re tackling, we find out that they did know it had been dropped at some point, and you can see that the footpeg hanger on the right side is bent in pretty badly.
What they didn’t know at purchase was that the right handlebar is also quite bent—something they only learned once they started to take the fairings off to see how things looked underneath. (To be fair, it’s a little 400cc Japanese sportbike from the ‘90s, so even if it didn’t have too many kilometers on the clock, the thing is still nearly 30 years old.)
Bring It Back:
- Watch A Sad 2004 Beta Trials Bike Start To Come Back To Life
- AC Sanctuary Restores Suzuki GSX1000S Katana As A Retro Racer
During the first walkaround, while it’s clear that this little VFR400 has a few issues, things don’t appear to be terrible from the outset. The machine is almost entirely original, with notable exceptions being the windscreen and the chopped tail. The exhaust is original, the fairings are original, the wheels are original—although the wheels definitely need to be stripped and repainted, as the paint is literally flaking off the rear one in particular. Even the footpeg rubbers don’t look to be in terrible shape, which is kind of remarkable for its age.
It’s clear that this bike has been fairly well cared-for, even if it’s obviously had at least one tipover on its right side during its lifetime. Even before the fairings come off, it’s clear that some parts are going to need a good turn with the vapor blaster—and indeed, after pulling the fairings off, it’s quite clear that the engine cases are also going to need a bit of help once they pull the engine out of the frame. The two radiators are also in pretty bad shape, so they’ll probably want to find some replacements for those.
That’s the fun of a new-to-you bike, though—assessing what you’ve got, and then deciding what you’re going to do with it. The second part of the series is up already, in which they pull the engine (but accidentally get a slow-mo video instead of the timelapse they wanted for that process) and pull the carburetor bank, and have sourced used (but straight) both a right-side footpeg bracket hanger and handlebar to replace the bent ones.