Honda VFR800's header pipe snapped

Q. I have a Honda VFR800FI, a 1998 model. The front header pipe has snapped right at the point it joins to the cylinder head so I've had to invest in the whole downpipe collector unit.

I've never had my bike apart but I have a workshop full of tools and six mechanics to help me out so I should be all right, I've looked through Honda’s workshop manual and I can't find anything about the studs anywhere in it but I’ve heard I may need to replace them, how many do I need and what sizes?

Any other tips and advice on this would be great.
Jake, MCN forums.

A. It comes to all VFR800s sooner or later. If you buy a VFR without a stainless replacement chances are you'll be fitting one. It would be a good idea to replace the studs/nuts while you have the bike apart as they are not expensive, but the studs are only 6mm thick and snap oh so easily. If it was a rear cylinder one that snapped you would have the devil of a job replacing it.

The best bet is to carefully remove the exhaust nuts and leave the studs where they are if they are still serviceable, giving them a good clean. The old VFR400 NC21 had very tall stainless 10mm hex head cap nuts fitted to the front two downpipes as standard. Unlike a standard open-headed nut they don’t corrode as much.

See if you can pick them up from a grey import dealer or David Silver spares, and Copaslip them to avoid future seizures. We would also use new clamps and gaskets.

After all, it's a big job and if you fit a stainless system it will last forever, so you'll have peace of mind knowing you (hopefully) will never have to touch it again.

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