Denizens of Doom logo DoD #0051

Welcome to my Motorcycling Home Page, home of the Honda V4 files and more.

I'm your host, Robyn Landers, DoD #0051 and KotV4 on rec.motorcycles.

Before we continue, you may be wondering what that goofy looking picture at the top is. Well, it's "Geeky", the ridiculous mascot of the ridiculous rec.motorcycles non-club called the Denizens of Doom of which I'm a member.


Roadmap

This opening page is in four main sections: What's New, What's Fairly New, Honda V4 Information, and Everything Other Than Honda V4 Information.

If you have problems with my page, please let me know. [This page is NOT Netscape enhanced, Microsoft Explorer enhanced, Java enhanced, ShockWave enhanced, spinning animated GIF enhanced, pop-up advertisement enhanced, or anything else enhanced. And proud of it.]

While I don't revise the content of this web site very often, I am still here, so don't be worried by the relatively old change dates you see.

Last tweaked May 2016 with proper reference to OntVFR mailing list subscription, and the Quebec VFR Club's move from its own web site to Facebook.

Last updated March 2012 with the complete cover story article from the May 1982 issue of Cycle magazine about the then all-new Sabre and Magna. See the What's New section below.

Previously updated January 2008 regarding V4 oil kits from David Dodge, June 2009 regarding the relocation of the SabMag folks from www.sabmag.org to www.sabmag.info, July 2009 with link to a slick V4 web site in Europe, and September 2009 with a fresh link to Mike Troutman's technical publications site. See below.

Last tweaked December 2005. Added news about Mark Douglas, Phil Rastocny. Changed V4 Lineage article from text to HTML and included the VFR800-VTEC (only a few years late on that!). Miscellaneous other little tweaks.

Last major updates from January and February 2002:


Section One: What's New?

May 2016: The Quebec VFR club web site disappeared a few years ago. Now there is a link to their Facebook page. The Ontario VFR club mailing list moved to a new hosting site a few years ago. Finally fixed the reference for how to subscribe. Both of these are in the "Other Sources" section below.

March 2012: A couple of years ago I took a trip with some friends to the Dragon in North Carolina, and on a side trip, we stopped at a bike museum where they had stacks of old magazines up for grabs. Lo and behold I found the May 1982 issue of Cycle magazine with a lengthy cover story about the all new Honda V4 Sabre and Magna. (Don't you wish the magazines wrote in such detail these days?) And now, posted for your enjoyment. (Cycle magazine is defunct, so I hope they won't sue me.)
| cover | page 1 | page 2 | page 3 | page 4 | page 5 | page 6 | page 7 | page 8 | page 9 | page 10 |

July 2009: Check out this slick V4 web site in Europe! http://www.honda-v4.eu/en/en/Home.

January 2008: Many of you have been asking about alternate sources of V4 oil kits since Mark Douglas seemed to vanish (as explained below in the "What's Fairly New" section). I've been unable to make any recommendations other than Dale Walker's Holeshot Performance until now. Doug Scott (a multiple V4 owner) just reminded me about David Dodge who has been making a really nice V4 oil kit for quite some time. He has no web site. Here's his contact info:

DODGE RACING PRODUCTS
16503 Glenfurness Drive
Huntersville, NC 28078
U.S.A.

Tel: (704) 892-7961
Fax: (704) 892-7961
E-Mail: info (at) drp123.com, or drp123 (at) mindspring.com


Section Two: What's Fairly New?

I heard from Phil Rastocny again in December 2005. He's alive and well and living in Florida and designing energy-conserving vehicles. (Not sure whether they are V4-powered.) He's reachable at philip@okstatealumni.org.

I'm sorry to report that Mark Douglas seems to have vanished in 2004 or so. Several people have reported that either Mark's email (formerly marksv4@yahoo.com) or his web site or both were not responding. He had been making a really nice Tierney-Hollen style V4 oil kit available via www.v4honda.com. This kit seemed to be refined and improved with closer tolerances than previously available similar kits. The web site was responding as of December 2005, but has some old dates on it, so I'm not sure what's up. If any of you find out what happened to him, please let me know.

Jamon Dahlberg has a web page up for his Interceptor project, including oil mod blueprints. Plus, see if you can help him with his quest for an RC30.

Did you pick up the January 2002 issue of the British motorcycling magazine "BiKe"? The cover story features the 2002 Honda VFR, and there's another feature on the early V4 motors that includes interviews with a number of knowledgeable commentators, as well as me!

In fulfillment of one of my long-standing wishful promises (mentioned below), you can now read my opinions about oil.

Another old wish now fulfilled is the arrival of an illustrated overview of valve adjustment.


Section Three: Honda V4 Information

I owned a Honda V45 sabre (VF750S) from 1985 through 1996). Currently I own a 1993 Honda VFR750F. My VFR pages include product reviews and a series of articles on cartridge fork service, among other things.

I'm the KotV4 (Keeper of the V4) for rec.motorcycles. You can read all about various aspects of the early Honda V4s, i.e. the Sabre, Magna, and to some extent the Interceptor.

Currently available via WWW are:

Oil System Information

Save your cams! As described in the above items, the early V4 motor has a reputation for cam problems. The ultimate solution (other than buying a VFR :-) is to install some sort of oil system modification which improves oil flow to the cylinder heads. A variety of modifications have arisen, covering a range of complexity, cost, and effectiveness. This is the topic of the following items (along with related valve train issues).

Despite the large number of items in the list below, there are essentially only three approaches described, each with several variations. The first approach involves installing a special adapter between the engine block and the oil filter, along with new oil lines that take oil from that adapter to the cylinder heads. The origin of this approach appears to have been Tierney-Hollen Engineering whose commercial product is no longer available. Art Reitsma has drawn up engineering plans for such an adapter. Dave Duncanson and David Berkey each manufactured several. Dale Walker's Holeshot Performance company still sells an essentially equivalent kit. Mark Douglas used to sell a more refined kit at a better price but he has vanished. Also, David Dodge, info (at) drp123.com, or drp123 (at) mindspring.com, is offering what is reported to be a very nice kit.

The second approach involves taking oil from the main gallery to the cylinder heads using oil new lines. This approach was taken by HRC on their Interceptor superbike, and was commercialized by Amol Cycle in New Jersey. The same approach was written in do-it-yourself form by John Landry, and variations on his approach were developed by Trenton Schoeb, Tony Donisi, and others.

The third approach makes use of the existing oil lines and attempts to improve their flow capacity by various means. Phil Rastocny and much more recently Jack "Paddlefoot" have written about this method.

The subject of motor oil itself is always hotly debated. Here are some helpful articles.

V45 Sabre Dyno Testing

Aftermarket Goodies

I also had a Corbin seat on my Sabre. Despite some initial problems with proper fit, it was a huge improvement over stock and I couldn't have survived without it.

Interceptor and Magna History

Other Sources of V4 Info

Sabre, Magna, VF Interceptor

A slick web site of V4 news and history can be found at http://www.honda-v4.eu/en/en/Home

A mailing list specifically for VFs is the SabMag list, "sabmag@mitvma.mit.edu". This list was originally managed manually by Jude Federspiel, jfed@mit.edu. It now has an automated list server. To subscribe, send the message "help" to "listserv@mitvma.mit.edu" and follow the instructions it gives you. (Historical trivia: I was *this close* to creating this list myself, having maintained an ad-hoc V4 mailing list of my own for some time, but then Jude volunteered to do it.)

Check out the entire official SabMag web site at www.sabmag.info. It includes lots of photos and a service FAQ.

If you're interested in reading magazine reviews of the Honda Magna, check out Bob Sunley's Magna page.

Robert Sutton's web page has a write-up on the valve adjustment he did on his V65 Sabre. This includes photos of his cams.

Despite appearances, I'm not the only person who has something to say about the Honda V4s. Here are some stories that you might enjoy from other V4 owners. If you have a great V4 story to tell, send it my way.

VFR750F, VFR800

You can read about my 1993 VFR750F, including various product reviews and a series of articles on cartridge fork service.

The VF/VFR mailing list, which we call "The Big List", was maintained for many years by John Perkins. It ceased operations in early 2009, and as far as I know, has not yet been revived elsewhere.

The members of the VFR mailing list bring you The VFR FAQ.

A spin-off of the big VFR list is an Ontario regional VF/VFR list. It is maintained by me. We have a good-sized membership from various locations in the province and a few from surrounding areas in Quebec, New York, Michigan. To subscribe, follow instructions on the Club Info page on the web site.

There is a mailing list dedicated to the 1987-87 VFR Interceptor .

There once was a web site for a VFR club in Quebec, but it has moved to Facebook, at ClubVfrQuebec.

Here was the home page of Ricardo Menendez with lots of VFR info including pictures, bike and accessory reviews, historical tidbits, but now this link is broken. Or if you prefer, you can visit a French VFR home page.

Looking for on-line service manuals, parts listings, or technical service bulletins? Try www.troutman.org. And how about the HondaTech.info web site too.


Section Four: Everything Other Than Honda V4 Information

Susan's Fazer

My wife's bike was a 1986 Yamaha FZX 750 Fazer -- way cool! Here is a much larger colour gif. Have a look at a huge colour gif of a friend's Fazer too if you like. She had the Fazer from 1990 to 2001. In February 2000, we bought her a 1998 Yamaha YZF600R Thundercat. I have a bit of information about her YZF600R including some accessory reviews.

There's a Fazer owners club on the web.

My former Sabre

My previous bike was a 1983 Honda VF 750 Sabre. This is the bike that turned me into such a V4 nut. Here is a much larger colour gif that looks far better than the crummy small picture you see here.

Since September 1995 I have been the happy owner of a 1993 Honda VFR750F. Here's a very nice photo (not of my own bike, but close enough) courtesy of Ricardo Menendez' photo gallery.

Check out my list of other people's motorcycle-related web pages. Many are V4-related, some are FZ/Fazer related.

A favourite local (Waterloo, ON) bike shop now is on the web. Visit Cycle Improvements (and tell Jim I sent you :-)

A well-liked not-so-local (Cowansville, QC) bike shop specializing in VFR work is also on the web. Visit Dynamo Humm (and tell Brian I sent you :-)

Interested in rec.motorcycles gatherings? I've been to several, including the original DoD Rally in Columbus Ohio, the 1994 Spring Fling in New Hampshire, the 1998 WDGAH(a) VFR rally in Lake Placid, and all the Canadian Assaults, from 0.1 in 1993 to 1.A in 2004. To capture a wee bit of what these are like, here is a Cast of Characters from CA 0.1 as well some Quotable Quotes from CA 1.0, and you can find out more about the next CA here.

You can view colour GIFs of the cover or the inside of the wedding card I made for famed rec.moto personality and lingerie auctioneer Jody Levine.

I sometimes hang around on the NEDoD list (North-East, or New England, take your pick). To join up, send "subscribe nedod" to majordomo@linus.mitre.org.

Ever wondered what NGK spark plug codes mean? Read this to find out.

In the Province of Ontario, motorcycle insurance used to be relatively expensive and difficult to obtain, especially for sport bikes, thanks in large part to a black-list against sport bikes started by JEVCO. Here's the JEVCO blacklist of bikes that they would not insure. Fortunately, the insurance climate in Ontario has changed considerably since the dark days of the evil JEVCO years ago. But you might find this list amusing anyway.

April 14 1995: Recall on FRAM oil filters. This was serious business at the time! Here are some further ruminations on the topic of oil filters.

(By the way, if you want to see a really impressive internet bike club web page, check out the IBMWR page. These guys are serious!)


That's it for now! Thanks for visiting. Hope you found something interesting.


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rblanders@uwaterloo.ca