New Year, New Tyres

andrew Tyres, VFR Leave a Comment

The second set of Angel GT’s bit the dust back in November, so I took to the car for the cold month leading up to Christmas.

On New Year’s Day I hit the garage and swapped the old hoops for a new set of Metzeler Roadtec 01. Aimed at “Sport-Tourers, Urban Fighters, and Master Travelers”, according to Metzeler, these are the latest long lasting do-it-all tyre from Pirelli Metzeler, and if the Angel GT is anything to go by, these should be as good if not better.

For the record, I changed the GT’s at just over 71k, which means the last set lasted around 13k. Pretty good in my book. The roadtec 01’s have only been on for two return journeys to Bristol, but seem very confidence inspiring, especially in the cold and wet. I’ll post a full review as time goes on.

While I wasn’t using the VFR, it was sat in the garage hooked up to a battery trickle charger. When I started the bike, it took a fair amount of turning over before it fired up, but eventually I got it going, using a decent amount of choke. I was however shocked to see the LCD screen blank. Not ideal, as this gives you, amongst other things, odometer and fuel gauge.  Into the VFR forums for me.

Well, no surprise, but this is a common issue with old VFR’s. I’d go so far as to say that cleaning the back of the clocks (where the printed circuit board, PCB is located) should be in the standard maintenance regime of anyone who wants their VFR to last.

The salt and dirt which accumulates behind the clocks corrodes the copper tracks, leading to loss of electrical connection. Truth be told, it’s poor design by Honda. The PCB should be behind a cover to protect it from the elements. If you have a young VFR800Fi (pre V-Tec), take off the clocks and clean the PCB with a contact cleaner regularly to stop this from happening.

If you have lost the LCD screen, don’t rush out and buy replacement clocks off eBay just yet. There is an easy fix. You will need:

  • an electrical multimeter,
  • some thin gauge electrical wire (e.g. from an old bit of flex)
  • ideally a soldering iron and some solder, and
  • something to scrape away the plastic coating of the PCB to get to the copper tracks beneath.

The LCD has six screws each connecting via the PCB to the connectors into the loom. These tracks need to be checked using the Ohm meter. If they have gone you’ll need to add new connection, by bridging the gaps with wires; either soldered to the PCB or connected by the screws – if available.  It I’ll end up looking something like this:

photo from

photo from

The write up is here and very comprehensive it is too;

Suffice to say the old girl is back up and running, and my draper 25W soldering iron is in the bin. That thing isn’t hot enough to curl hair.