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Keith Ogata's Honda VFR400R NC30 "Lucky Strike"

Customer bike for May 2021 is Keith Ogata's beautiful NC30 below you find his write up accompanied with many photos, enjoy!

When I obtained the VFR400R NC30, it was my intention to completely overhaul the motorcycle and return it to pristine stock condition. This was going to be my little RC30. But little did I know that when I first started that that aim was going to change dramatically.

The first task was to disassemble the bike leaving only a bare frame. The frame and major components were cleaned and where necessary, painted. The engine was also given an initial cleaning.

Somewhere between the removal of the parts and reassembly, I came across the TYGA-Performance website. I was like a kid in a candy store. Now, the bike would need to perform and have components that were updated.

Having a different mindset, the engine was mounted back into the frame and the next order of business was to work on the rear suspension components. With the frame/engine mounted on a stand; the swingarm, suspension links and rear shock were attached.

I decided to use a 2005 Honda CBR600RR rear shock which bolted right in but this modification will need alterations to other components down the line because of the placement of its reservoir. The shock is also 10mm longer than stock but with a wheel swap that was not going to be a problem. The CBR600RR rear shock offers compression and rebound adjustability as well as spring preload.

The rear axle assembly was stripped apart and all of the axle bearings were replaced. The rear axle assembly was rebuilt and then installed along with the chain and sprockets. The stock 525 drive system was swapped out for a 520 one. A Renthal 320-520-14P countershaft sprocket, a Renthal 211-520-41 rear sprocket and DID gold chain are parts of the drive train.

The aluminum rear sub-frame from TYGA, TYLY-0224, NC30 and the rear sets were bolted on.

The mounting tabs for the ignition coil were removed from the sub-frame because of its interference with the rear shock reservoir and the coil was later placed on the plate together with the voltage regulator.

The rear brake master cylinder and a Venhill stainless steel braided brake line were installed. The rear headers of the Tyga exhaust system, EXPS-0010 Full Race System Pipe Set, NC30/35, were mounted for good measure.

TYGA offers the HRC rear brake reservoir kit, BPAC-0001, which tidies up the rear.

A Motion Pro Rev2 throttle was installed at this point. I like the idea of less twist to attain full throttle. A K&N air filter was substituted for the paper filter. The paper element was cut out of the housing and a 33-2006 K&N filter was dropped in with aluminum tabs holding it down.

The engine covers and oil pan were removed, paint stripped and then repainted. The head cover bolts looked bad and in some cases were rusted so new bolts were made of aluminum washers turned on a lathe and titanium bolts. NGK 8035 CR1 race spark plug cables were added. Aluminum wire clips replaced the steel ones.

I like to temporarily place parts on the bike such as the fuel tank and rear wheel just to get a perspective. They were promptly taken off to continue the work. Here you can see the Honda NSR250R MC28 17-inch rear wheel exchange. The decrease in the diameter of the wheel compensated for the additional length of the rear shock.

The bike was taken off the cart and positioned on the ground. The front exhaust headers, the collectors and round carbon fiber silencer were slipped into place and the radiators fastened onto the frame.

From there, the front forks, triple clamps, front wheel and controls were mounted. New OEM switches replaced the old and faded controls that had corroded connectors and contacts. The stock levers and master cylinder were retained.

The front forks are from a 2009 Honda CBR600RR that were reworked and stiffer springs put in. The Tyga triple clamp set, TYLY-1944, CNC Black, makes it possible to attach the CBR forks onto the VFR400. Because the

VFR400R’s front tire is of a lower profile than the CBR600RR, TYGA fender stays, BPSY-0239 CBR600RR conversion, are necessary for the fender to be at the correct height over the tire.

EBC MD1010RS and MD1010LS front brake rotors referenced from the Honda VFR750R RC30 were used to match the position of the CBR600RR front end calipers. Venhill stainless steel braided brake lines and EBC brake pads were installed.

Tyga also makes a lightweight aluminum meter stay, TYLY-0016, NC30 Stock Shape, that is a direct replacement for the stock part.

The battery was located further back in the sub-frame to allow room for the shock reservoir and a tray was fashioned for the fuse box and the spark unit (CDI). I swapped out the original Honda spark unit for an Ignitech CDI unit that offers more flexibility in timing changes and derestricts or eliminates the rev limiter. The Ignitech unit comes pre-programmed and with connectors which makes it plug and play.

After much research on the internet and debating within myself, I decided to mimic the 1999 Honda RVF RC45 Lucky Strike endurance bike. Here is where Tyga was crucial in making that happen.

Tyga is the only manufacturer that I found that produces bodyworks that are copies of the RVF endurance bike but fits on a VFR400R NC30.


The following cowlings were used in this project:

* BPFS-0152 - Upper Cowling Set, Endurance, GRP, NC30

* BPFL-0003 - Lower Cowling, GRP, NC30 Stock Shape

* BPFT-9113 - Seat Cowling, GRP, NC30, RVF Race Style, No Tail Light

* BPSP-0003 - Seat Bum Stop, Small


Last year, Paul of Tyga Performance, mentioned to me that they were working on a composite fuel tank for the VFR400R. Excited, I asked Paul to keep me informed and wouldn’t you know it, fall of last year they came through with a GRP and a carbon fiber fuel tank for the VFR400 NC30, BPFG-0005, GRP.

Very little in the way of alteration was needed for all the body parts to fit together.

I fabricated a carbon fiber cowl collar to replace the steel one just to make things interesting, for me anyway.

I switched the stock rubber cushions that’s located on either side of the tank with rubber edge trim along the bottom seam of the fuel tank. This is what Honda appeared to be using on their factory RVF bikes. The edge trim holds the fuel tank firmly in place once the tank is bolted down. The trim stays on the tank and doesn’t come off so it doesn’t get lost like the rubber cushions when the tank is removed.

Vent holes were drilled in the windscreen to duplicate the windscreen on the RVF endurance bike.

I tossed the stock seat and molded an ABS seat pan, glued on ½” neoprene rubber and covered it with simulated leather fabric. It has a thinner profile and is closer to a factory look.

From there, it was applying the paint then striping and the placing of the sponsors’ logos to reproduce the Lucky Strike motif. I attempted to hide much of the necessary street motorcycle hardware such as the turn signals and mirrors to maintain the illusion of a track bike.

So, as things finally turned out, this is my little RC45.

Many thanks to Paul and Matt at Tyga Performance for their invaluable help and encouragement through countless e-mails.

TYGA-Performance products used below.

Show: 

Set, Pipe, Full Race System, NC30/35, Round, Carbon Silencer

Set, Pipe, Full Race System, NC30/35, Round, Carbon Silencer

Set, Pipe, Full Race System, NC30/35, Round, Carbon Silencer The TYGA Full Race System has been designed with maximum power…

Model
EXPS-0010
Quantity
5
Upper Cowling Set, Endurance, GRP, NC30

Upper Cowling Set, Endurance, GRP, NC30

Upper Cowling Set, Endurance, (GRP) NC30 This Suzuka 8 Hour inspired cowling is supplied with four headlight covers, two…

Model
BPFS-0152
Quantity
1
Fuel Tank, GRP, VFR400R NC30, Unpainted

Fuel Tank, GRP, VFR400R NC30, Unpainted

Fuel Tank, GRP, VFR400R NC30, Unpainted Top quality reproduction of the steel NC30 fuel tank in GRP. This…

Model
BPFG-0005
Quantity
4
Subframe, Aluminium, Race, NC30

Subframe, Aluminium, Race, NC30

Subframe, Aluminium, Race, NC30 This lightweight aluminium subframe is closely modelled on the stock NC30 subframe and can be…

Model
TYLY-0224
Quantity
1
Lower Cowling, GRP, NC30 Stock Shape

Lower Cowling, GRP, NC30 Stock Shape

Lower Cowling, GRP, NC30 Stock Shape Street one piece lower cowling with open bottom as stock. Direct replacement for…

Model
BPFL-0003B
Quantity
2
Seat Cowling, GRP, NC30, RVF Race Style, No Tail Light

Seat Cowling, GRP, NC30, RVF Race Style, No Tail Light

Seat Cowling, GRP, NC30, RVF Race Style, No Tail Light RVF shape Race Seat Cowling without taillight holes. Single seat,…

Model
BPFT-9113
Quantity
1
Seat Bum Stop, Small

Seat Bum Stop, Small

Seat Bum Stop, Small This foam seat bum stop is supplied with adhesive surface on back for easy and…

Model
BPSP-0003
Quantity
9
Meter Stay, NC30 Stock Shape, Assy.

Meter Stay, NC30 Stock Shape, Assy.

Meter Stay, Stock Shape, Aluminium, NC30 Direct replacement of the stock item. Fabricated from aluminium alloy, this Tyga Lyte product…

Model
TYLY-0016
Quantity
3
Racing Step Kit, NC30/35

Racing Step Kit, NC30/35

Racing Step Kit, NC30/35 Designed in-house by TYGA Performance using AutoCAD software, these CNC machine- made step kits are made…

Model
STAA-0003
Quantity
6
HRC Brake Reservoir Kit

HRC Brake Reservoir Kit

HRC  Brake Reservoir Kit Comprising of HRC GP bike parts, hose 43503-NF4-000, bung 17370-419-700, clamp 43541-ND5-750, clip 95002-02120 as…

Model
BPAC-0001
Quantity
13
Triple Clamp Set, CNC Black, CBR600RR forks to fit VFR400R, NC30

Triple Clamp Set, CNC Black, CBR600RR forks to fit VFR400R, NC30

Triple Clamp Set, CNC Black, CBR600RR forks to fit VFR400R, NC30 CNC machined TYGA lower triple clamp for the…

Model
TYLY-1944
Quantity
4
Fender Stay, CBR600RR Conversion, Set

Fender Stay, CBR600RR Conversion, Set

Fender Stay, CBR600RR Conversion, Set Front fender lowering stays to use with CBR600RR front fork conversion when using…

Model
BPSY-0239
Quantity
3
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