General Discussion Anything SuperHawk Related

Looking at a 1998 - newb to VTR's

Old 07-30-2016, 01:35 PM
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Looking at a 1998 - newb to VTR's

I'm a pretty mechanical person, 50, 6' 225 lbs. Got back into bikes a year ago when i bought a 1988 Sportster 883 with issues...got it running well, but the bike ergo's just weren't right no matter what I tried. Every bump is like a hammer hitting the bottom of my back. Found a deal on a 2002 Road King that needed some TLC, and got that bike running great, and looking good. The Road King is a comfortable tourer, and I ride 2-up with my wife on the back.

So I'm looking to sell the Sportser, and turn the $ over and go for something with lets say, "a little more excitement". The VFR and VTR's caught my eye.

I was thinking 1998-2000 VFR800, and there are a couple in the price range that look good (20-30K miles). Found a 1998 VTR1000 18,000 miles that "was running great, then a carb flooded, and it sat for a while, rebuilt the carb, but haven't got it to run since (hasn't run for 2 years. Cranks over, won't fire." Bodywork looks great and no signs of repaint/scratches drop. Asking $1000...Planning on offering 1/2 that possibly and see where that goes.

Also finding some good looking VTR's in the $2500 range, that are "running need nothing." Unfortunately none are close, and work won't let me get out until next week to look at a few.

I like that these bikes are carbed, vs the fuel inj of the VFR's...I'm not a huge believer in tech as it gets some age on it.

Ok - a 1998 is a 18 year old bike - how hard are parts to find? Does Honda dealer have most of the stuff, or are these bikes in a place where its salvage yard only/ebay?

How are the ergo's for a 34" inseam rider? Is there a lot of weight on the shoulders?
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Old 07-30-2016, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by CZshooter View Post

Ok - a 1998 is a 18 year old bike - how hard are parts to find?
Not hard at all, all OEM still available and Aftermarket is plentiful as are used parts.
Originally Posted by CZshooter View Post
Does Honda dealer have most of the stuff
Yes, all parts available.
Originally Posted by CZshooter View Post
Is there a lot of weight on the shoulders?
That depends on if you ride a sport bike correctly and use your core or you ride it like a your falling forward..
a SPORT (it only does one thing, not things, so not a sport"S" bike) is a rear setting control, forward rider position by design, so yes if you ride it incorrectly, you will have weight on your arms.

You can swap in aftermarket bars to covert it to a more standard riding position, I use Apex manufacturing bars on mine, set to 2 inch rise, and a much different than stock sweep and drop of the bar angle.
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Old 07-30-2016, 02:21 PM
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Welcome CZ,

I am 60 soon and roughly your height and weight.

I have a 2005 VTR and have fitted adjustable rear sets.

The early VTRs have lower handle bars fitted than the later ones. Fitting higher bars is easy.

As far as the ergonomics go I have been able to do over 500 miles in one day without any problems.

Parts are easy to get from wreckers or on the net and are usually fairly priced.

I have bought parts from all over the world.

I have owned my bike for 4 years and have had others at the same time only to sell them and keep the VTR as it is just a great bike to own and ride that also offers a great ownership experience.

A word of advice,

Don't buy a bike that you don't hear running. Cam Chain tensioner failure is common and expensive to rectify .

Use the search function on here to find out what goes wrong and how to rectify/ modify .

Good luck with your search and welcome to the forum.
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Old 07-30-2016, 04:51 PM
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Originally Posted by CZshooter View Post
Is there a lot of weight on the shoulders?
I'll cut right to the chase. Yes, and the wrists. Nature of the ergos. I've installed Helibars shortly after I got my VTR and they have very slight improvement. They actually raise the bars to the point where they touch fairing @ full lock so you can't go more without a hacksaw. Ride one, you'll see right away. Another thing you might not prefer @ 50 is how high you lift your feet to get on the pegs. Spent almost 10 years on my Hawk and recently bought an mts1200. I didn't realize just how laid over my upper body was.
So my .02, ride one first to make sure it's for you. If so, it is a very rewarding moto and super reliable if given proper care.
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Old 07-30-2016, 06:59 PM
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Just came home from a ride, what a great bike. That said I'm not so sure if a VTR is what you want. The VFR, especially if you're going to ride two up, would be a better choice.
As suggested, ride them before you buy them.
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Old 07-30-2016, 07:20 PM
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plan for this bike is fun, not planning on touring with it. the Road King will be the 2 up machine.

did Honda install catalytic converters in these machines? and if so, what year, and do they cause any issues?

Last edited by CZshooter; 07-31-2016 at 05:48 AM.
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Old 07-31-2016, 06:35 AM
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Originally Posted by CZshooter View Post
plan for this bike is fun, not planning on touring with it. the Road King will be the 2 up machine.

did Honda install catalytic converters in these machines? and if so, what year, and do they cause any issues?
I don't believe the there is a cat on the gen 5-1998-2001.
The Hawk is the sportier of the two. Lighter and quicker handling.
Wish I knew of an easy way to determine if the $1000/$500 Hawk has had a problem with the CCTs. That would be a steal.
Second gen Hawks, 2001-2005 have improved handle bar ergos. If you add those and some Genmar risers you get pretty close to completely replacing the bars with aftermarket ones, with no faring trimming (not something I would do, IMO).

Last edited by xeris; 07-31-2016 at 06:39 AM. Reason: fix text
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Old 07-31-2016, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by xeris View Post
Wish I knew of an easy way to determine if the $1000/$500 Hawk has had a problem with the CCTs. That would be a steal.
If the engine turns over with the starter, with decent compression and no clicks or knocks, wouldn't that be a good indicator the CCT's are ok? (or at least the cam didn't jump time?)

Waiting for the seller to get back to me at this point. Would be nice if they forgot to install the plug wires or left a connector off and it just don't have spark...but thats never my luck. On the other hand...there are those poor souls who miss simple stuff like that sometimes. Unfortunately I work with a lot of them so I know they exist.


I also found a running 2003 with 19,000 that looks good in pics for $1500...6 hours drive away though.

Anyone want to buy my 1988 Sportster, so I can buy a VTR?
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Old 07-31-2016, 02:02 PM
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I own both a 99 VFR800 and 97 VTR1000, and I'm 51 and 3/4. These are both great bikes defined by characterful engines; gutsy and torquey for the VTR, refined, smooth and exciting in the case of the VFR.

The ergos on the VFR are definitely gentler with lower pegs and higher bars, and also a roomier seat fore and aft with more padding, but I prefer the airflow management on the VTR. For a couple of hours riding, the VTR position is fine, longer rides are easier on the VFR but even that gets tiring compared to a more touring oriented machine (I recently bought an ST1100). None of my bikes are stock suspension-wise, but the VTR has a better weight distribution and feels long/low compared to the VFR. Both handle great, and are easy to upgrade.

Both bikes suffer from the same electrical maladies with age, my FI system on the VFR is faultless (the bike has done 95000km) but certainly more digital-feeling than the VTR carbs. My VFR has had a replacement RR, and I have removed the stator-RR connector and soldered the wires. 98/99 VFR's have no cats or O2 sensors, 00/01's do have those.

The VFR has linked brakes which actually work really well but are heavy and complex. I ditched mine and bolted on VTR1000 fork lowers, and added CBR600F4 brakes (also a good thing to do to a VTR).

At the end of the day, you probably need to ride them both and see which one you click with. For a simple fun machine, the VTR is hard to beat, as long as you fit it.
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Old 07-31-2016, 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by CZshooter View Post
If the engine turns over with the starter, with decent compression and no clicks or knocks, wouldn't that be a good indicator the CCT's are ok? (or at least the cam didn't jump time?)

Waiting for the seller to get back to me at this point. Would be nice if they forgot to install the plug wires or left a connector off and it just don't have spark...but thats never my luck. On the other hand...there are those poor souls who miss simple stuff like that sometimes. Unfortunately I work with a lot of them so I know they exist.


I also found a running 2003 with 19,000 that looks good in pics for $1500...6 hours drive away though.

Anyone want to buy my 1988 Sportster, so I can buy a VTR?
If you do a compression check that will tell you for sure if the CCT had failed.
If you could steal it for 500 that would leave you a lot of change to make any mods and fixes that you needed to, and still be ahead on money.
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