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1985 Honda V45 Interceptor, an old friend come around again

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great white

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#1
Well, I didn't even know this forum was here until a "today's posts" search turned up a thread. Since I'm buying my first lathe (Atlas 10x36) and my bike work is part of the reason, I'll post up my current bike. Well, other bikes have come and gone, the Interceptor has been a ride/project for about 14 years now.

I used to have an 83 V45 in high school and always had fond memories of it. One day while driving home from work, I noticed the red white and blue of a V45 peeking around the back corner of the local bike shop. On a whim I pulled in. The bike was an 85 (last year for this model) and in bad shape. It had been left out over a couple winters, it had been thrown down the road a couple times and was just generally mungy. But it was complete, all there.

I asked the shop if it was for sale and the owner said it was a customers bike in for work but he was interested in selling it. The engine had the new cams and was otherwise tight. A quick toot around the lot showed no real problems other than some bits being tweaked and it general poor appearance. So a deal was struck and I took it home for 900 bucks.

First things that had to be done was a new muffler on one side and braze up the collector box. On went a VF1000F front end with welded closed air ports and slipped on a set of CBR600F2 wheels. I made the rear shock ride height adjustable, cranked it up a bit to load the front wheel more and lopped off the rear fender. Dropped in some cartridge emulators and eventually a resprung CBR600F2 reservoir rear shock. it was torn down to the frame, blasted and given a good coat of aluminum colored imron. The red white and blue cleaned up well enough to be respectable. On went a new vinyl seat cover and called it done:

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I rode it that way for about 5 years and it was very enjoyable. With the newer radial tires it could often show it's rear tires to modern (at the time) sport bikes. Spot on carburetion and a hellacious roll on drive out of the corners had more than one kid shaking his head at the "old man" on the big heavy old bike he just couldn't close on. That had as much to do with the rider being familiar with where the limits were for the bike as much as the bike itself I think.

But time progresses and soon the big ol bruiser was torpedoed amidships by every 600 sportbike that crossed it's path in both power and handling.

I was also getting a bit too beat up to ride (knees, back, neck etc all work related) and admitted to myself the bike's (and my) prime was past. I rolled it into the garage and covered it up. Couldn't really ride it anymore, couldn't justify the registration and insurance but still couldn't bring myself to sell it.

I lugged it back and forth across the country for the next few years until it started it's next evolution......still Interceptor flavored, but a bit more radical changes.

Since the ol hack was no longer "competitive", time to make it a curiosity.

On went a CBR600RR rear swingarm:

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A little custom linkage action:

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The 600 shock interfered with the side rails, so a CBR1000RR shock with a rear facing reservoir was substituted:

image_zps3iceszfm.jpg

decided I wanted a set of CBX750F dual front headlights. I'd ridden one in the UK and the headlights are years ahead of anything you can get on a NA model. Graft them into the fairing bracket:

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Then split the fairing to fit and plastic weld:

image_zpssleaxb1o.jpg

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After trying several high mount exhausts, I just didn't like the high can look. So I built an underslung muffler box like what's available for the ducatis:

image_zpssj7sraqi.jpg

you can also see the vf1000f side covers I'm adding in that pic

on went some NC24 floating front discs:

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and this is what it looks like today:

image_zpsir5vjra1.jpg

Unfortunately, it's only together. It's not ride-able as is. I need the lathe to make an offset engine chain sprocket, properly sized swingarm pivots and a few other bits.

There's also SP2 switchgear, brake and clutch masters as well as some SP2 front calipers I have yet to add. I'm also watching for a CRF450F rear brake master cylinder ot show up at an affordable price.
 

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pdentrem

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#2
I rode the 500 Interceptor awhile when it was the in thing. Long gone, but still have my 85 Shadow VT500C. It qualifies as a classic this year, so now I can get to the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum for free entry as long as I pay my lunch. It is sitting in the garage ready to go, but the snow keeps coming!!
Pierre
 

great white

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#3
Well, pretty stoked!

Headed out this weekend to pick up an 83 Yamaha venture and a Yamaha FJ1200.

Combined with the v45 interceptor already in the garage, I'm pretty much at every bike I wanted when I was in high school.

That's another item to check off the bucket list.

A Yamaha rz500 would finish it right off.

Jammy thing is the 83 venture is about as mint as it could get. Original owner, garage kept and only 31,000 kms!

:)
 

juiceclone

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#4
hi
just saw this topic...never noticed the bike stuff before. Question... Around 83 or so, I had a v45 Honda and remember it as the best street bike I ever owned. When I looked around for them now, I see that it's claimed that there was a flaw in the design of the cam drive? and there are not very many around today because of that. Just wondered if you knew any more about that??
 

Kaighn80

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#5
Hi, I actually joined the forum because of this bike, I am part way through a vfr750 build and using the same swing arm, but I'm stuck with how much to cut out, I tried to see what you'd done on vfrd but none of your pics work there, any chance that you could post a few more pics of the swinger going in please?
 

Chris H

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#6
hi
just saw this topic...never noticed the bike stuff before. Question... Around 83 or so, I had a v45 Honda and remember it as the best street bike I ever owned. When I looked around for them now, I see that it's claimed that there was a flaw in the design of the cam drive? and there are not very many around today because of that. Just wondered if you knew any more about that??
It's not a design flaw. It was a production flaw. An oil gallery passage was either poorly drilled or not drilled at all, leading to oil starvation of the cams and rockers/followers. Worse, it was intermittent from the factory, so the only way to know if your bike had an issue was to pull the engine apart and look. Most folks figure theirs survived to this point and don't bother with it, or use one of the aftermarket kits to route oil to the top end. There's a drill and tap method out there, too.

I have a V65 Magna, and used to own a VF500F "mini-ceptor." Neither had the issue.
 

great white

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It's not a design flaw. It was a production flaw. An oil gallery passage was either poorly drilled or not drilled at all, leading to oil starvation of the cams and rockers/followers. Worse, it was intermittent from the factory, so the only way to know if your bike had an issue was to pull the engine apart and look. Most folks figure theirs survived to this point and don't bother with it, or use one of the aftermarket kits to route oil to the top end. There's a drill and tap method out there, too.

I have a V65 Magna, and used to own a VF500F "mini-ceptor." Neither had the issue.
It's a fairly common misconception that top end oiling is responsible for the VF/F series cam problems. It sounds reasonable right?

Nope. It was backyard mechanics taking pot shots at what they thought it would be.

The "oiling issue" has made a fair bit of money for a few guys in top end oiling kits and other top end oiling schemes. But they don't address the root cause, just the symptoms.

Honda danced around the problem quite a bit with "special" cam adjusting procedures, special tools (I actually still have that "cam lifting tool" in my box), blamed it on poor initial cam adjustment at the dealers for a while (claimed the "forked" followers were not adjusted equally), changed out to "specially hardened" cams, etc. We actually started laughing at the shop I was working at when Honda came out almost weekly with a new "service bulletin" on how to deal with cam issues on the V4 bikes. We actually had a pool on what day of the week the new one would come out.

Then the miniceptor started eating crank bearings/thrust faces and the arse came right out of 'er for early/mid eighties Honda V4's.....:)

But it was all a smoke screen for the real problem: the cam retaining caps were not line bored to the head.

And there was no way to fix that without recalling every engine and putting a newly designed head on both the front and rear cylinders.

Honda used a "half cap" as a production cost/time saving measure. you can see them here:

stuff005.jpg

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As opposed to a line bored VFR:

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The poorly designed cam caps allowed too much movement in some of the engines and subsequently beat the cam faces and followers to death. Once either had gone through the face hardening, things go very bad very fast.

Some bikes were very bad, some not so much. It all came down to how "lucky" your bike was on the original fit of the caps that came out of the bin to be bolted on.

Honda had a very quite internal policy of having shops "hand select" cam bearing caps for fit when a bike cam in with wiped out cams. Sure, they replaced the cams and followers, but mechanics were directed to swap around caps until the got a tight tolerance fit. This made the bikes that had problems last at least long enough to get them out of warranty.

They fixed it in 86 with the VFR750.

Well, they actually first "fixed it on the 85 VF1000R, but not many people remember that big old bruiser and it was too late to save the VF series from the tirade of magazines slagging the VF's every chance they got. I can't stand bike magazine writters. Most are english lit majors who couldn't find a job doing anything else. A few writers are ok (Kevin Cameron is pure gold) but most wouldn't know an expansion chamber from a muffler or why strafing an apex on the street should never be done like it is on the racetrack (even with staying in your own lane).

But I digress.

Lots of people think it was fixed by the gear drive for the cams, but that wasn't it. It was that they went back to line boring the heads/caps.

So it actuality was a design flaw that brought down the "wonderbike" of 1983 (at least in reputation): it was the cam bearing caps not being line bored.....
 
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great white

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#8
Hi, I actually joined the forum because of this bike, I am part way through a vfr750 build and using the same swing arm, but I'm stuck with how much to cut out, I tried to see what you'd done on vfrd but none of your pics work there, any chance that you could post a few more pics of the swinger going in please?
My bike is a Vf, not a VFR so pics arent going to do you a whole lot of good. Measurements are likely different. The rest is just good ol' plumb Bob and measuring work.. Ya just gonna have to shave it 'til it fits.

:)

You may break though the side wall of the swingarm when shaving. If that happens, you're going to have to make your way to a good tig welder.

I also had to build an offset drive srocket in order to clear the swingarm bracing.
 
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tpic402

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#9
Wow great info about cam caps, My cousins v-45 sabre had the noise (sounded horrible when hot) mine did not and mine had more miles. I liked that machine very much and still look up when I ocassionaly hear that exhaust note.:grin big:
 
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