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Honda VTR1000F FireStorm (SuperHawk) Maintenance Schedule and Service Intervals

Honda VTR1000F Firestorm Superhawk

This is the maintenance schedule and associated service intervals for the Honda VTR1000F FireStorm.

The Honda VTR1000F Firestorm (designation “SC36”) is/was a 90 degree V-twin sport bike produced by Honda from 1997 to 2005. Known worldwide as the Firestorm, in the USA it was marketed as the SuperHawk.

It’s powered by a 996cc DOHC 4-valve-per-cylinder liquid-cooled V-twin, fed by two 48mm Keihin carburettors — the largest ever put on a production motorcycle at the time. In stock form the Firestorm makes 80 kW (110 hp) at 9000 rpm, with peak torque of 97 Nm (72 ft-lb) arriving at 7000 rpm.

The VTR1000F Firestorm was the street-going sibling to the fire-breathing and fuel-injected Honda RC51 that was intended to beat Ducati at their own game.

The Firestorm was made between 1997-2005, with no major revisions in that time.

Honda VTR1000F Firestorm Stock Image
A custom-painted VTR1000F in Australia

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What you need to do a service on your Honda VTR1000F FireStorm/SuperHawk

So you want to do a basic service on your Superhawk/Firestorm. It’s not that difficult, considering there are fewer fairings to remove than on a full four-cylinder superbike.

Here’s what you need to do your basic service, per the manual (aside from motorcycle maintenance tools — check what’s missing).

PartHonda VTR1000F FireStorm/SuperHawk spec
Engine oilThe manual recommends SAE 10W-30 motorcycle oil that meets standard JASO MA or API SG. Pro Honda GN4 10W-30 is an obvious choice.
Oil filterThe Honda FireStorm/SuperHawk takes a HifloFiltro HF204RC oil filter.
Spark plugThe FireStorm/SuperHawk takes an NGK DPR9EVX-9 spark plug. Many owners use iridium plugs coded DPR9EIX-9 instead.
Air filterUse a K&N air filter code HA-0011.
CoolantUse Pro Honda HP Coolant, a silicate-free coolant based on ethylene glycol.
Brake fluidUse Castrol DOT 4 brake fluid, a high-quality synthetic.
Cable lubeProtect all cable life is a popular and cheap cable lubricant for control cables (especially the throttle)
Chain maintenanceMotul chain paste is a cheap, tidy, and compact lube for your chain.
Brake padsThe Honda VTR1000F takes EBC FA187HH brake pads at the front and FA174HH at the rear
Honda VTR1000F FireStorm/SuperHawk maintenance

Honda VTR1000F Firestorm Maintenance Schedule

Below is the maintenance schedule for the Honda VTR1000F Firestorm.

Honda likes to indicate “difficulty levels” of maintenance, recommending that things with one or two asterisks be done by a dealer (but these days many do home maintenance on their VTR1000Fs). Honda’s indicated difficulty levels:

  • * “Should be serviced by your Honda dealer, unless you have the proper tools and service data and are mechanically qualified.”
  • ** “In the interest of safety, we recommend these items be serviced only by your Honda dealer.” (These are things related to braking and safety)

Notes:

  • At higher odometer readings, repeat at the frequency interval established here.
  • We’ve removed the “break-in” maintenance (presumably you’ve done this…)
  • Observe the earlier of the time-based or distance-based interval.
  • (3) Replace every 2 years, or at indicated odometer interval, whichever comes first.
  • (4) Lube/clean the chain every 1000 km/600 mi.

Maintenance Procedures:

  • I: inspect and clean, adjust, lubricate, or replace, if necessary
  • C: clean
  • A: adjust
  • L: lubricate
  • R: replace
x 1000 km61218243036
x 1000 mi4812162024
Dif.Month61218243036
*Fuel LineIII
*Throttle Operation (Protect all cable life)III
*Carburetor ChokeIII
*Air Cleaner (service more often if you ride in the dust/wet)RR
Spark PlugsIRI
*Valve ClearanceI
Engine Oil (Pro Honda GB4 10W-30)RRR
Engine Oil Filter (HF204RC)RRR
*Carburetor SyncronizationIII
*Engine Idle SpeedIIIIII
Radiator Coolant (3) (Pro Honda HP coolantb)IIR
*Cooling SystemIII
*Secondary Air Supply SystemIII
Drive Chain (4) (Motul chain paste)I/LI/LI/LI/LI/LI/L
Drive Chain SliderIII
Brake Fluid (3) (Castrol DOT 4)IIRIIR
Brake Pad WearIIIIII
Brake SystemIII
*Brake Light SwitchIII
*Headlight AimIII
Clutch SystemIII
Clutch Fluid (3) (Castrol DOT 4)IIRIIR
Side StandIII
*SuspensionIII
*Nuts, Bolts, FastenersIII
**Wheels/TiresIII
**Steering Head BearingsIII
Honda VTR1000F Firestorm/SuperHawk maintenance schedule

Tyre size and tyre pressure for the Honda VTR1000F Firestorm

Honda VTR1000F ships with these tyre sizes and brands, and recommends these tyre pressures.

Originally the Firestorm/Superhawk shipped with Dunlop 204FK or Michelin Macadam 90X G sport-touring tyres.

TyreSizeTyre pressure
Front120/70ZR17 M/C (58W)250 kPa (2.5 bar) 36 psi
Rear180/55ZR17 M/C (73W)290 kPa (2.9 bar) 42 psi
Tyres and tyre pressures for the Honda VTR100F/Firestorm/SuperHawk

About the Honda VTR1000F Firestorm

Honda VTR1000F Firestorm/Superhawk red

The Honda VTR1000F FireStorm/SuperHawk was introduced in 1997 using an all new 90-degree V-twin engine and a HMAS (Honda Multi-Action System) fork and shock.

It was the age of V-twins in the 90s and early 2000s, before inline four-cylinder engines took over the sportbike market (after the arrival of the FireBlades, but before the advent of the first generation Yamaha YZF-R1).

In the 90s, Ducati was dominant in the World SBK and other manufacturers wanted to catch up — Suzuki with their TLR1000 and later SV1000, and Honda with their Firestorm/Superhawk and RC51.

But the SuperHawk/FireStorm doesn’t share much in common with the RC51 other than a general concept of a sport motorcycle with a V-twin engine. They’re different bikes! And this is reflected in the much higher price of the RC51.

The Honda VTR1000F FireStorm had many new design innovations for Honda, like the semi-pivotless frame, where the engine is a stressed member with the swingarm bolted directly to it.

Other innovations were side radiators, a single-casting engine case, connecting rods with cap screws instead of nuts, and 38 mm intake valves, the largest Honda had ever used on a production motor at that time.

Another “largest ever” for Honda was the enormous 48mm Keihin carburettors on the FireStorm — the largest ever on a production motorcycle.

And in order to overcome response irregularities typical for larger V-twin engines, Honda figured out different camshaft profiles and intake manifold dimensions for the two cylinders. This led to smoother throttle and less lumpiness.

The FireStorm/SuperHawk isn’t terribly powerful by today’s standards, with a claimed 80-90 kW (110-120hp) depending on the source, or a measured 71-78 kW (95-105 hp) at the rear wheel, depending on the source too — all around 9000 rpm. Nor is it terribly lightweight at 214 kg (472 lb) wet — good for a street bike, but a bit heavy for a race bike.

But because of its classic looks, that V-twin lump, and the fact that the power is quite “street usable” compared to today’s high-revving, super high-power sportbikes, the FireStorm is a favourite for collectors, track day junkies who strip them down, or just people who enjoy a V-twin without the punishing Ducati valve service.

The major valve clearance inspection on the VTR1000F is every 16000 miles or 24000 km — more than twice the distance of its contemporaries from Ducati, and with far fewer valves to check thanks to the standard (non-desmo) valvetrain.

Manual for the Honda VTR1000F Firestorm/SuperHawk

The above maintenance schedule comes directly from the user’s manual for the Honda VTR1000F Firestorm.

Honda VTR1000F Firestorm Superhawk maintenance schedule

You can download it from here.

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