Honda VF500 Pre Restoration

Rebuilding a Honda VF500: Restoration of the Soul!

A couple of years ago I had the opportunity to purchase a Honda VF500FII for the bargain price of Just £85. A great chance to do some more restoration I thought.

Is it Worth all the Effort?

However, I was surprised when a number of folk I’d shared the knowledge of my good fortune with, suggested I should walk away! As soon as they saw the bike or the photo they said:

‘hand it back’ or even ‘scrap it!’

The Titanic is in better nick that this Honda was!

It seems there was a possibility that, as it looked like it had been in the English Channel for a couple of years, it was beyond fixing. It’d been suggested there was no point restoring this VF as it would absorb too much money.

Negative Nellys!

As the naysayers put it; ‘You’ll end up paying out more than the bikes worth – what’s the point of that?’


350 answers…mostly negative!


Just Got on with it

So this got me thinking; what is the point? What is the point of restoring a bike that seems beyond redemption? Well maybe there is a value in the restoration, but not necessarily financially? So I decided to crack on with the work and total it all up!

I set about the full restoration from the frame up to prove a point: That it could be done and it was worthwhile. In the end I did indeed prove it was worthwhile but not in financial sense. No rather it was worthwhile spiritually!

Cathartic Process

The whole process: Meeting up with my old partner in crime in the shed, taking the VF apart, sand blasting, buying all the seals, cleaning the carburettors, stripping the engine, rewiring, re-chroming, replacing this and that  repairing and repainting was all worthwhile. This all had value for the experience gained

The rusty boat anchor gave me over a thousand hours of work. This really helped me stay sane and focused on my everyday life! Crucially without the need to go down the pub or pay £80 an hour for therapy.  The full restoration ended up costing me rather more than a couple of grand in the end.

Pleasing end result

However I got £80,000 worth of therapy for a fraction of the cost! So that put me up nearly £78,000 up on the deal!

I also discovered what the point of working on an unloved and worthless motorcycle really was all about…

Words and Pictures: Adrian Budd

Based on his first post in The Unloved and Worthless Facebook group