Restoration projects are super satisfying to watch, especially when they involve an iconic motorcycle such as the Honda VFR400 NC30.

The VFR400 NC30 is one of the bikes that got me into motorcycling, and is a bike I dream of owning to this day. As such, when I stumbled across this restoration video from RRC Restoration, a YouTube page with a knack for comprehensive restorations thanks to his impeccable attention to detail, you just know I was hooked and watched it from start to finish.

The video above is all about bodywork restoration—something I believe to be the most mesmerizing to watch. It’s just amazing to see how the bike can be transformed from looking like a total mess to a showroom-fresh masterpiece. Of course, one can’t help but learn a thing or two in the process.

The bike came with a custom black paint job

The bike came with a custom black paint job

We start with the bike’s bodywork in pieces, finished in an all-black custom paint job. RRC Restorations goes right ahead and strips the paint off each individual panel. Making use of a combination of paint stripper and good old fashioned elbow grease, he makes it look like easy work. But chances are it took him hours, if not days, to completely strip the bike of its custom paintwork, as well as the original paintwork underneath.

The VFR400's bodywork post-stripping.

The VFR400's bodywork post-stripping.

It’s interesting to note that the previous owner seemed to have sprayed over existing paintwork, rather than properly prepping it for a new coat.

With these panels now stripped of paint, we’re treated to quite an insightful plastic repair tutorial. With chunks of plastic missing from the fairings and cowl, RRC Restoration makes use of a plastic welding technique involving stitches and plastic matting. Everything’s melted together on both sides, sanded, and made to look pretty with flexible filler.

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Next comes the paint. RRC Restorations chose the iconic Ross white/Fighting red/Dakar blue colorway of the VFR400—arguably the most eye-catching factory colorway available for the bike at the time. Each panel is painstakingly primed and painted, and prepared for final assembly. When it’s all complete, we see the bike quickly take shape—transformed from a nearly unrecognizable mess to a masterpiece that could very well be too pretty to ride.

Now, as someone who has long dreamed of restoring classic bikes, videos like this both scare and inspire me at the same time. On the one hand, restoring such an icon certainly seems satisfying, making you feel like you’re part of something much bigger than yourself. I’m more than certain that the feeling of accomplishment when completing a build is more than enough to offset any costs—both in terms of time and money.

Plastic repair on the bike's bodywork

Plastic repair on the bike's bodywork

This classic icon has been restored to its former glory.

This classic icon has been restored to its former glory.

But on the other hand, videos like this make it seem deceptively easy to restore a bike, let alone one as legendary as the VFR400. RRC Restorations explains that despite it being his very best restoration to date, he doesn’t ever want to work on a VFR400 NC30 again. Why? Simply because of how rare the parts are. For bikes like this, parts aren’t only expensive, but are fairly complex to put together, and not to mention, take quite some time to arrive.

I have a bunch of friends who are heavily into restoring classic bikes, and it’s a proven fact that these folks spend much more time wrenching on their bikes than they ever do riding them. Heck, some of them have never even ridden their bikes at all, with some projects sitting on the workbench for years, if not decades. I guess, for now, I’ll live vicariously through my friends, as well as awesome restoration videos like this one.

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