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To get an RVF or...

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by Snicko, Oct 17, 2010.

  1. Hey guys,

    After months of procrastination I've decided to go for my license which I'll be doing at HART this wednesday, and buy my first bike so am looking for a bit of information regarding RVF's. I've looked at other bikes, CB400's, SV650's, CB250's CBR250RR's etc but keep coming back to the RVF after hearing great things and reading peoples experiences with them. I've been keeping an eye out on bikesales over the past couple of months and have also stopped into Peter Stevens FTG to see one they have there and had a sit on a couple at Internation Motorcycle Importers in Fentree Gully and am quite comfortable on them (6' 1") and love the looks and feel sitting on it. The other day I came across this one and decided to go have a look see.

    http://www.bikesales.com.au/all-bik...1432 604 1428 4294967259 4294966622&silo=1400

    Went and had a look at it the other day. The owner (an older bloke) said he has never had problems with it, uses it for occasional rides (not commuting) and that he loves the bike however the riding position doesn't agree with back anymore. However I did notice that the exhaust was putting out a fair bit of oil as I held my hand over it.

    I'm just wondering if this would be worn piston rings that would be causing this. If not, what does cause it? If it is piston rings how would I go about fixing them in terms of part availability and cost? Also if any RVF owners could give me some insight into their experiences with their bikes and some common problems they've run into that'd be great also.

  2. Same height...felt great in my denims.

    Then i rode one for just 20 minutes in full leathers. Ouch. Cramped and in pain.
  3. Does it put out visible smoke?

    Are you sure it's oil? If so, could be valve stem seals, rings, pistons.
  4. Firstly, I been doing a bit of investigation myself. Personally, I wouldnt buy one for more than 6.5k. It might take a while, but if you keep your eyes open (hint: ebay), you can snag them for $5k.

    As for the ride position, that's something you'll have to sort out yourself.

    Now the oil in exhaust. I doubt it will be oil. Highly doubt it. Oil would typically come out as smoke, not liquid. What you will find that to be is condensation (a.k.a. water) mixed with soot from residue incomplete combustion, forming a blackish somewhat greasy liquidy substance. There is water in the exhaust because petrol burns to produce water. I would expect that the water only forms before the exhaust has a chance to heat up.
  5. They do seem a lovely bike.

    If you've time, head out to Ferntree Gully and hit up the guys down at International Motorcycle Importers. They seem to have a few in and it'd give you an opportunity to have a look at a few tidy examples as a comparison and talk to some guys who know their stuff. Dealership though so obviously they're a bit more expensive than private sale.

    Edit: Doh! Helps if I actually read all of your post and not just bits of it. It must be Monday afternoon!
    BTW, the Castrol rep on the IMI site is p0rn.
  6. Hmm, that could be a problem. :-s

    It did put out a little bit when it started but wasn't really paying much attention. So it is probably what Lilley described.

    This is probably it then. I put my hand in behind the exhaust right after it had started and didn't think to do it again after the bike had warmed up. However I'm going back for another look on Thursday so I'll let it warm up and then try and report back.

    Yeah, not too sure about that actually. Will ask again what that's about cause I was definitely told it wasn't used for commuting.
  7. Don't take my word for it that it doesn't happen when the exhaust is warm, I just don't expect it to. But what you're looking for will be little blackish liquidy spots. Hold a piece of paper up to the exhaust etc. If that's the case, I wouldn't be worried at all. If it was smoking some, that is when I'd start to get worried.
  8. You could get a lot better bike for 8.5k but the RVF's are quite good from what I've heard. Ditto everything these guys have said.

    I've been thinking about going back to a 250 two-stroke - similar to the RVF400 in terms of power but a bit more insane in the delivery of it. Also a lot more maintenance intensive... but I do like strokers.

    If the construction of the CBR250's is anything to go on, the RVF's should be similar in terms of reliability. In other words, oil changes and valve clearances are about all you have to worry about.

    Cheers - boingk
  9. Bang on... I hardy had any issues with mine, other than a buggered battery. Which all came down to the reg/rec, other than that mechanically sound, I did quite a few engine/gearing mods which makes the thing a lot more powerful on the delivery, but even as stock these things KEEP ON PULLING all the way up to red line.

    Battery sits under the tank so pain in the arse to get too, and the oil filter bit awkward too.

    But all in all its one of those bikes that will see you thru and be fun without ever upgrading.
  10. I've had a couple of these bikes and currently still ride one.
    Just change the oil every 5000klms and service when needed the bike will just keep on going and love you for it.
    I picked up an RVF at Peter Stevens and got them down under $6800 and the bike had just on 30,000klms. The odometers on these bikes get twisted just like other grey imports - cbr250's etc so ignore any bikes with "genuine low" klms on them. Just make sure the engine sounds right and you check out out all the other normal pre-inspection checks. Your buying a second hand grey import bike so bike history etc goes out the door. You play the same gamble whenever you buy anything second hand so don't sweat it.
    I've done the valve clearances and carb balance on mine each time I got the bike for my own peice of mind but that's just because I'm a pedantic tit. The engines are bullet proof and the only real problems I know is the reg/rec going on them but that's a $50 fix if they go.
    If you want a hand looking at a bike just shoot me a PM to arrange.
  11. My battery is under the seat on my rvf.. 2 Alan kay bolts and seat slides off and it's right their..

    Anywho Ive had my rvf400 for only 2 weeks but from my limited experiance I love it. Gives me confidance in the corners which is what I wanted for my first bike. Something with alot of grip.
  12. True...

    I keep forgetting that I have the TYGA kit, so I need to remove the tank and dovetail to get it out.
  13. I am 6'2" and have an RVF. Will eventually get something bigger but it is really really nice to ride.

    I would recommend one.

    Better than the CBR250R I started with by a long shot in every way I can tell.
  14. Thanks for all the info/feedback.

    Went and had a look again today with a friend, and got mixed reviews. He test road and said everything was working fine but he said he noticed a whining noise when he was gearing down which he thought might be a problem. However, he isn't familiar with RVF's. Have been told, that's just the RVF sound though so if any other owners could clarify that just for a bit more piece of mind that'd be good.

    Another thing, after going and have a look at the RVF, I went into Honda in Ringwood and my friend and I were talking to one of the blokes there and he was saying that at 24,000k's they need valve clearances done and that can cost a shit load. He was saying $800 just for labour. But as this one is at 21,000k's (probably rolled back), I'm getting a bit worried about how much going for a bike like this could end up costing.

    If anyone could give some more feedback on these things that would be great.

  15. From what I understand they can be a real pain to work on. Very cramped or something. However I can't see a valve clearance check taking 8 hours.

    I believe the RVF's run gear driven cams which produce the whining noise.
  16. $800 for parts AND labour seems right, going on what I've heard for a VFR800. If the mileage is complete bullshit and the mechanic has to replace some shims because they're out of spec, expect more $.
  17. To replace shims your looking at $35. Mid $300 is all it should cost with the shims included. I just had mine done 2 weeks ago.
  18. Yep RVF's are gear driven cams & yes they are very cramped to work on haha. But it just makes it all that more exciting when you actualy fix something on it.
  19. #20 c0rrupt, Oct 22, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 13, 2015