Restoring classic motorcycles is nothing short of a labor of love. Depending on the condition of the bike being worked on, a full-on restoration can take months, if not years. After all, not everyone who restores bikes can focus on one bike all of the time. People also have other things in life they need to pay attention to – perhaps even other project bikes they need to work on.
Indeed, restoring a bike yourself takes a lot of work, as well as tons of specialized skills and know-how. A good example of this is RRC Restoration's project, a Honda VFR400 NC30. Back in July, Janaki shared the start of this build, with the bike in its unrestored condition. This time around, RRC Restoration has posted an update to the project, and it's clear that a lot of work is now being done to the bike. For starters, it's been completely gutted down to the bare frame, subframe, and swingarm. Naturally, what comes next is the restoration of these underpinnings.
The video starts with the dismantling of the swingarm and wheel bearings. Given that the VFR400 has a single-sided swingarm, its rear wheel bearings are housed on the swingarm rather than the wheel. With the bearings completely removed, RRC then proceeds to restore the swingarm and frame with a very interesting makeshift vapor blasting method. He does have a vapor blaster in his workshop, but the part is just too big to fit inside. As such, he makes use of glass beads, a siphon, and a pressure washer to blast the swingarm until all the gunk and corrosion has been completely removed.
Once the swingarm and frame are spotless – a very satisfying process to watch, by the way – he goes on to polish the parts, as well as replicate the brushed aluminum finish by using a red Scotch-Brite pad to lightly scuff the surface, ensuring to do so in one fluid motion, all in one direction. Once that was finished, the parts were painted in a matte ceramic clear coat to ensure they stay looking new for a long period of time.
RRC then proceeds to meticulously clean and respray the subframe. While that's curing, he restores all the hardware – the bolts, screws, and fasteners – by replating them. With all the bits and pieces looking brand new, the last order of business was reassembling the swing arm. A fresh set of wheel bearings were installed, along with a new rear sprocket and chain guide. We're then treated to an extremely satisfying before-and-after montage at the end of the video.
Needless to say, we're really excited to see the progress of this restoration project as it goes along. Clearly, the bike still has a long way to go before it looks showroom-fresh, but given the level of detail we can see in RRC's video, it looks like we're in for some very meticulous restoration videos surrounding this bike.