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My new 1983 BLonde Bombshell VR


Ghostman
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Greetings all!

 

My name is Jason... most folks call me "Ghostman." What a great forum and group of enthusiasts you all are! I ride with another member here named Bobby G in STAR Touring chapter #352

 

So about 2.5 weeks ago I ran across this absolutely sexy old 1983 Venture Royale. Odometer says 47k miles and she appears to have been kept inside for most of her life. I didn't see any leaks beneath her and she started slow but seems to run strong. Seller has the bike on consignment from the owner and it had been sitting for a few months at this point...

 

On the 30 mile ride home we stopped for gas... she started a little slower... stopped for cracker barrel and she started slow again. I figure she needs a new battery since she was sitting for a while. Common stuff right?

 

I fell in love on the highway ride home... what huge difference over my Vstar 1100 and Virago 250 commuter. My tailbone just doesn't like the cruiser seating style... although the Airhawk R cushion helps. After the 5 hour ride to Mrytle Beach for bike week... I was set on more comfortable long distance option than the vstar 1100.

 

Made it home and poked on her for a few then took my gal out to feel how comfy the VR was on the road... start was slower now. Also she had stalled as I arrived home.

 

After a few miles we stopped for drinks at a convenient store then it happened... waaa waaa waaa click. Employee tried to jump us off and no dice. Figuring the battery was needing replacement we goofed around for a while as advance charged up a new battery... walk back and get waa waaa waaa... no start. hmmmm... used a jump box... no start.

 

Frustrated my gal and I push start the big beast and get her going so I can get us the 3 miles home. On the ride back she doesn't stall (new batt) and gets us back.

 

I turn it off and a few minutes later I try to start her up... waaa waaa waaa click. hmmm...

 

Well after doing gobs of research here... I poke around a little and decide to replaced the greasy black starter with a 2nd gen starter for a 99 RSV. Figuring if I was going that deep I wanted the 4 brush starter lol.

 

While installing the starter I discover a 4 gauge battery cable has been installed already! This starter problem has been happening before I bought it and the PO was trying to fix it with tips from HERE! This also means that the slow starter has been taking its toll on the starter clutch too huh? Figuring I will upgrade that with Danos deal later in the year so It doesn't give me trouble later on.

 

The only oring I didn't have on hand was for that bypass fitting at the bottom of the silly tstat housing. It is still currently giving me a mild drip that I am going to have to return to...

 

After topping up the new battery she starts strong and the starter spins fast as crap! Woohoo! Although she sure doesn't like it if that battery is slightly low huh?

 

So as I have things torn apart I start noticing a bunch of things different... seems someone had been actively upgrading this old blonde bombshell. Here is what I found

 

  • stainless steel brake lines front and rear including front discs tied together rather than linked.
  • LEDs in almost every light
  • 4ga battery cable upgrade
  • wolo horn... unworking (trouble shoot that later)
  • upgraded Hella headlight kit

Well as of yesterday she started and idled great... took her out for a run to shake her down. Suddenly the tach drops to zero and it feels like it is running on two cylinders! Up and down... she willl run strong for a few and then the tach drops to nothing again. After a nervous ride home going from to sluggish to suddenly rip your arms off when it catches... I grab the Ipad and head back HERE.

 

From my searching it sounds like the heavy rain a few days back ( while she was uncovered) may have gotten some moisture in my TCI or related connections. So after I check the coil wire connection going to #2 I will tear into it and see what it up with that old TCI and its connectors. Who knows it may have dried out by today and run fine... lol. Not sure I can relocate my TCI though as my headlight ballast seems to have been mounted on top of the air box.

 

We shall see shortly when I throw a leg over...

 

I aim to run seafoam through her this week to help clear out some gunk from sitting... but all in all... for the $1500 I paid for her I don't mind fixing some age related issues! I will continue tuning her up with plugs, wires, check carbs diaphragms, synch carbs etc....

 

Once I get her wrinkles ironed out I am sure I will be happy camper and put many many more miles on her. Such a comfortable and strong ride...

 

I have paid my $12 today because this site is extremely useful and a store house of knowledge... You all rock! So after some diligent searching I have been able to start troubleshooting this old girl and fixing her up... Thanks to all who have contributed to this forum in the past. Your past contributions continue to help us VR newbs with knowledge we need to keep these MKIs on the road...

 

Now... time for pics yes???

 

She is quit the sexy old girl and seems to have been fairly well maintained... not to mention it looks like she has almost every piece of chrome available at the time. Love the chrome! lol

 

Well that's my story and now time to see how she rides to day...

 

Ghostman

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My 83 restoration is a blonde.

 

And of course we all know Blondes mean more fun!

 

From the pics I can think of a few bits of safety chrome that you might find yet!

 

Trust me....it will probably NEVER be finished! :doh:

 

These folks on here have helped me a lot!

 

If you need new parts...check with Skydoc17 (a member here) first.

He's saved me a bunch of money and seems to provide free technical support with all his parts.

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I know where you're going there since I too am restoring and sorting out minor problems getting my "new to me" 83 Standard back into tip top shape.

Yesterday I replaced the thermostat and all of the "O" Rings between the pump and bypass valve. Still dealing with rear brakes but hopefully that'll be solved soon too.

Am I hooked too? :confused24: And I haven't even ridden this bike yet. No insurance or tags yet. I doubt I will do either till spring

Larry

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Ok, ya got my attention! Ya got a blonde! Atta boy!

 

But what caught my eye is your headlights......

 

Not many of those around. Maybe 3 or 4 setups like that I know of.

 

So welcome to the club. I'm sure we will have some things to talk about.

 

And this place is like Hotel California.......You can check in, but...........

 

:group cheers:

 

Mike

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Hey Ghostman,

Any chance you could post (or PM me) a close up of the foot board/brake pedal set-up. Looks like you ol' girl has the same as mine but with a better pedal position relative to the footboard than mine.

Nice ride you have there!!

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@Venturous: Thanks! I dig the trimmed back side plastics on your purple beast. Thinking of doing similar. Would have loved to ride to Asheville had she been sorted out.

 

@Trader: haha I can vouch for that... My project Nissan 240sx is always needing something for the past 10 years lol

 

@ Van: Much appreciated

 

@ Carbon_One: Yup you're hooked lol. I accidentally only got one of the big orings for the plastic elbow when I went to the dealer... sooo I dabbed a thin coat of lucas power steering stuff on one old one and let in warm up in the sun. Thankfully than one is holding for now.

 

@Snaggletooth: yeah it was love at first sight... I just couldn't let her sit in that storage building unwanted lol. Wow I just noticed you have the same headlight set up. That is one of things I really liked about the bike. Any info on it?

 

Somebody was definitely working on the old girl... So I feel like I found a score.

 

Oh I forgot to mention it already has the spin on oil filter adapter and a beefy fork brace as well. Seems like a lot of the mods I have read about that I would have done, have already been done for me... :cool10::cool10:

 

Ghostman

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Yup, well worth the investment!! You are right, you have ALMOST all the chrome add ons but there are a few you don't have, and they are rare as hen's teeth! There are chrome fairing vents, chrome lower side cover panels, chrome top piece for the trunk, and chrome inserts for the passenger foot pegs. If you ride 2 up a lot there is a few things you can do for passwenger comfort such as moving the trunk back a few inches, and installing MK2 passenger floorboards for startrers. I also added highway pegs for my wife as well. Check out my old blonde in my photo gallery. Bought it with only 8K on it, it now has over 18K. Haven't driven it since buying my 2nd gen in '09 but still won't part with it!!!

 

Welcome to the zoo!! Now start attending some of the M&E's!!!

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I could be wrong, but I'm going to suggest that your windshield is two inches shorter, you have three holes/switches in the right side dash next to the false tank cover, your upgraded R/R is on the airbox, you have a metal stub under the right side floor board and there is a block on the frame brace next to the right front cylinder. I'm wondering where the 2 inch driving lights are though:think: And they were on Squidley's brackets!

 

Never could figure out why two of the LED's wouldn't work on the back.

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Wow Barend! I think we need to chat!

 

I knew someone here had to know about this old girl. I see you are in Easley... I am in piedmont...

 

So there is one button and one switch on the right as you mention. I found and taped up the driving lights wires... They were missing when I got her and I didn't test the circuit yet. I will def be adding lights back there. I presume the button is for the horn which has no power and got damaged... Horn will be replaced.

 

Ooh that is what that is on my air box??? Sweet an upgraded voltage system makes me even happier. I was just trying to figure that box out earlier today lol. Reading up on it now.

 

Yep on the LEDs lol.. But one blinked on shortly!

 

Thank you for your insight. What is the deal with that block on the frame?

Nice to run across someone who knows this bike...

 

 

Ghostman

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horn works of the regular horn button. you have a push button that I had my garage door opener hooked in to and the light switch was for thew driving lights. I'd see if the guy you got it from knows where the driving lights went, the brackets they were on can't be had anymore (I should still have the old ones along with other minor stuff you are welcome to)

 

As far as the brackets, look in my albums, you'll figure it out :D My cell is 444-5880, I work nights (for now)

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Well look there... It's my bike.... Or your old bike lol. Very cool! How did it ride with that side car?

 

Yeah I am certain those brackets are long gone. I got it from a consignment seller so no telling. Glad to know it did come from a member here... When did you get rid of it?

 

Today she starts strong and ran great for about 12 miles. After a set of train tracks the tach starts dropping again and she ran like a slug. Looks like I will be digging in and checking those tci connections... Maybe relocate it.

 

Man until it started sputtering it sure was strong...

 

Ghostman

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OK you will probably want to "bake' your TCI. Remove it from the bike and pop the cover off. Drain any excess water from inside the case then pop it in the oven at 250 degrees for about an hour. When done remount the TCI on top of the airbox where it is more protected. You may have to break one of the mounting ears off to make it fit. The cables will reach.

You may want to consider unsoldering the edge connectors and inspect the circuit board for any signs of corrosion and clean as necessary. There are also some diodes in there if you know what they are that can be replaced with better diodes from the 1N100(X) family. The stock diodes weaken with age, the 1N1001 etc diodes are stronger...

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Thanks Bongobobny... Sounds like that will be my next project lol. Since I have the upgraded r/r on the air box I will have to find a different place for that tci...

 

But after reading Barends posts... Looks like he took care of a lot of age related stuff already on this old girl. Nice knowing the history of any vehicle.

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Well after some more work here's what I found boogered up...

 

Starter from the 99 is spinning like mad... Starting is all good now.

 

Removed the tci via the hacksaw blade method.. That only took about 30 minutes.

 

As I Removed the air box I found a mess! Both right boots from the airbox were not seated properly... And someone had silicones the boots in attempt to keep the oil seepage at bay. Well oil and silicone don't mix. Removed silicone and degreased the whole box and boots and all.

 

Meanwhile I open the tci box and dribbles the tell tail teaspoon of water... The contacts and plugs were corroded as well. So into the oven for a bake... Btw do not do this in a smaller toaster over... Don't ask lmao. Clean the contacts and reassemble the tci in its new home on top of the air box... Covered by a freezer Baggie barrier.

 

I relocated the r/r unit from the air box to the pocket under the class controller. What a booger that airbox was to reinstall.. Especially that lower oil drain back hose. The oil drain back hose nearest the engine was hard and brittle... After the return from the auto parts store with new hose everything went back together.

 

Today she is pulling smooth and strong in all gears with no hesitation or tach drop out. I am a happy man! It seems for now I have chased off this round of gremlins and can go twist the the throttle...

 

Thanks again for everyone's past contributions that make the search feature so useful here!

 

Ghostman:322:

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As I Removed the air box I found a mess! Both right boots from the airbox were not seated properly... And someone had silicones the boots in attempt to keep the oil seepage at bay.

 

Wasn't me!! Never removed the airbox, actually I have some pictures under my profile about that very thing, 'cause I was worried about the oil in the airbox and the aasembled membership here told me that some oil is normal from the breather line.

 

But then, I never had a problem with the tach surging .....

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Will do....

 

Glad to have it running right so I can show the old girl off at our annual picnic Saturday...

 

I don't mind turning wrenches .. But yesterday was a 7 hour day working on this girl. I am relieved to have smoothed out the tci issue.

 

Ghostman

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