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Author Topic: Hello from Nebraska, restoration starting  (Read 10544 times)
petetb154
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« on: March 23, 2014, 05:20:55 PM »

Hello all, just joined this forum yesterday, I'm almost 40, I live near Omaha, NE and I am a recovering FJ addict... that just fell off the wagon.

I'm a long time FJ owner, I bought my first, and current '87 FJ in 1990 when I was 16 years old. It was my dream machine, I sweated it out on the farm for 2 years at $3.25/hr to save the $3,350 it took to buy it from an Army Sargent that was headed over-seas to desert storm. The bike had 5,000 miles on it at the time, and I rode the hell out of it but Barney Fife took my licence before I was 17! I think I signed 7 tickets in 6 months. Looking back, no 16 year old in a small town should have a bike like that, but I'm lucky I did. The FJ was my only means of transportation until I was 18 and went overseas with the Air Force myself. My Dad kept careful watch of her until I came back from my tour in Japan and Saudi Arabia. When I got back, I took the bike on a 2 week, 8,000 mile "find myself" trip and stopped in Utah. There I met my wife, had kids and picked up the responsibilities of college, a family and a job. I stopped riding it completely in about 2002, but I kept the bike. It had about 54k miles on the clock by then. As I've grown, I lugged that damn FJ around with me, never riding it, but never parting with it. She has been stored in a garage her entire life.

During the time that I was actively riding it, I put every penny I had into the thing. I put a Wiseco 1mm over piston kit in it, larger stainless valves, heavy valve springs, back cut & magna-fluxed the transmission, Barnett spring clutch, Vance & Hines Exhaust, installed stage 3 jets & filters. The plastic and paint are cracked and brittle now. A thick layer of dust was protected her paint until this morning.

Lately, I have been thinking of selling her, not for the money but for the space in my garage. I still ride, but mostly offroad with my 12 yr old son. I was planning to post a craiglist ad this weekend but... this morning, when I woke up I felt a since of sorrowful regret, that I had been neglecting her, and hadn't given her a chance to serve me again. Laying there in bed, thinking about motorcycles, I remembered that no other bike struck me as profoundly as the FJ did. So I got up and went to youtube to see if I could remember what it was all about. Right off, I found this:
1987 Yamaha FJ1200powered by Aeva
. Watching this video, I realized had forgotten how pretty the red and white FJs really are. This video re-ignited my excitement about the old girl. Watching it, I could smell the exhaust on full choke as I first start it up, I could feel the vibration through the bars as she revved and I even squeezed my mental clutch when it was time to shift gears. I needed to give her a chance, but I'd need more information about where to find parts etc.

I used to participate heavily on the yamahafj@netpath.net mailing list http://fj1200archives.com/ back in the late 90s. It doesn't hold a candle to the information on this forum, but hey, it was all we had! I kept digging. I found this forum and the rpmracingca.com site. What amazing resources. So, I went outside with a pad and paper and started writing down every defect I could find on the bike. I counted 51 things that needed to be replaced or repaired. None too serious, much of it was cracked & scratched plastic, some of it was wear related, but nothing serious. I built a shopping list, then scoured bike bandit parts fiche, amazon, ebay, and the rpmracingca.com site, I figure it's about a $1200 job to make her mechanically and cosmetically sound again.

So, I think I'll start a project to get her running again. It just wouldn't be right let such an old member of our family go to the junkyard.

I thought you guys might like some vintage photos of my early days with the FJ.

This is me right after I bough the bike, going to high school in the morning. Notice the football jersey, oh to be 16 again! (1990)


Here is me working on the bike in our shop after I lost my license. I took the down time to strip it bare, paint the frame and engine.  (1990)


Installing and balancing some new new Metzler tires. I think they were ME1F. I loved those things! (1991)


A trip to Brainard, MN superbike races while in high school (1991)


This is a photo from my 8,000 mile trip to the NW coast after the military (1995)


I was always working on the darn thing. This was in Port Angeles, WA. I was getting water out of the ignition coils this time (1995)


A trip the Glacier National Park (1998)


This is in 2002, about the last time I had her out on the road


I'm not going to post a picture of her today. I'd be embarrassed. Well guys, see you around!
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Brian Peterson
1987 FJ1200
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« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2014, 05:29:48 PM »

What a great introduction. Welcome, from a fellow long time ambulance rider. Sounds like you need to get your FJ ready for an FJ rally near you. Time to find the Kookaloo again...
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« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2014, 05:30:45 PM »

Awesome intro. I, too have an 86 and just love the power. I will be turning 60 next month and have been riding since I was about 10. Welcome to the nut house. Looks like you already have the moditus bug. Big R
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« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2014, 05:32:37 PM »

G'Day there and thank you for the best introductory post ever.
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fj johnnie
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« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2014, 05:33:29 PM »

 Nice intro. Welcome aboard. Enjoy the therapy rebuilding the FJ will give. Then the therapy the riding will offer next.
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fintip
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« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2014, 05:38:04 PM »

That was awesome. Those are my favorite FJ colors, fine bike you have. I have an '86, just bought an '87 so I could steal the fairing for mine and have that paint scheme.

Awesome stuff. Would love to hear more about that 8k mile trip.
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TexasDave
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« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2014, 05:41:59 PM »

Great intro. Great pictures. You can't sell the old girl she's part of the family.Welcome.  Dave
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« Reply #7 on: March 23, 2014, 05:43:34 PM »

G'Day there and thank you for the best introductory post ever.
+1  hi Really looking forward ta hearing more. Cheers, Doug Mc
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« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2014, 05:53:50 PM »

Welcome to the forum. Great intro ! The FJ is family with a lot of history for you.  Now is as good a time as there ever will be restore her.  Ton's help and support here.  Every year there are rallies with the FJ group, next year we are talking about a rally in the Black Hills area.  Glad you decided to keep her.
George

As a side note referring to your pictures, I still have one of those milk crates (upgraded the top to a piece of plywood) and the picture of you working on the your bike with three fellow biker supervising is great  lol drinks You are going to fit right in............
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kawabob1
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« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2014, 06:15:14 PM »

Welcome Brian,
Great intro and welcome. First and foremost thank you for your service. I am glad that you are giving her another chance to let her service you again, you will find this forum to be very informative and friendly. I have received so much advice over the past 2 years on my '85. Please post some pics when the old girl is presentable  drinks
 
Hello all, just joined this forum yesterday, I'm almost 40, I live near Omaha, NE and I am a recovering FJ addict... that just fell off the wagon.

I'm a long time FJ owner, I bought my first, and current '87 FJ in 1990 when I was 16 years old. It was my dream machine, I sweated it out on the farm for 2 years at $3.25/hr to save the $3,350 it took to buy it from an Army Sargent that was headed over-seas to desert storm. The bike had 5,000 miles on it at the time, and I rode the hell out of it but Barney Fife took my licence before I was 17! I think I signed 7 tickets in 6 months. Looking back, no 16 year old in a small town should have a bike like that, but I'm lucky I did. The FJ was my only means of transportation until I was 18 and went overseas with the Air Force myself. My Dad kept careful watch of her until I came back from my tour in Japan and Saudi Arabia. When I got back, I took the bike on a 2 week, 8,000 mile "find myself" trip and stopped in Utah. There I met my wife, had kids and picked up the responsibilities of college, a family and a job. I stopped riding it completely in about 2002, but I kept the bike. It had about 54k miles on the clock by then. As I've grown, I lugged that damn FJ around with me, never riding it, but never parting with it. She has been stored in a garage her entire life.

During the time that I was actively riding it, I put every penny I had into the thing. I put a Wiseco 1mm over piston kit in it, larger stainless valves, heavy valve springs, back cut & magna-fluxed the transmission, Barnett spring clutch, Vance & Hines Exhaust, installed stage 3 jets & filters. The plastic and paint are cracked and brittle now. A thick layer of dust was protected her paint until this morning.

Lately, I have been thinking of selling her, not for the money but for the space in my garage. I still ride, but mostly offroad with my 12 yr old son. I was planning to post a craiglist ad this weekend but... this morning, when I woke up I felt a since of sorrowful regret, that I had been neglecting her, and hadn't given her a chance to serve me again. Laying there in bed, thinking about motorcycles, I remembered that no other bike struck me as profoundly as the FJ did. So I got up and went to youtube to see if I could remember what it was all about. Right off, I found this:
1987 Yamaha FJ1200powered by Aeva
. Watching this video, I realized had forgotten how pretty the red and white FJs really are. This video re-ignited my excitement about the old girl. Watching it, I could smell the exhaust on full choke as I first start it up, I could feel the vibration through the bars as she revved and I even squeezed my mental clutch when it was time to shift gears. I needed to give her a chance, but I'd need more information about where to find parts etc.

I used to participate heavily on the yamahafj@netpath.net mailing list http://fj1200archives.com/ back in the late 90s. It doesn't hold a candle to the information on this forum, but hey, it was all we had! I kept digging. I found this forum and the rpmracingca.com site. What amazing resources. So, I went outside with a pad and paper and started writing down every defect I could find on the bike. I counted 51 things that needed to be replaced or repaired. None too serious, much of it was cracked & scratched plastic, some of it was wear related, but nothing serious. I built a shopping list, then scoured bike bandit parts fiche, amazon, ebay, and the rpmracingca.com site, I figure it's about a $1200 job to make her mechanically and cosmetically sound again.

So, I think I'll start a project to get her running again. It just wouldn't be right let such an old member of our family go to the junkyard.

I thought you guys might like some vintage photos of my early days with the FJ.

This is me right after I bough the bike, going to high school in the morning. Notice the football jersey, oh to be 16 again! (1990)


Here is me working on the bike in our shop after I lost my license. I took the down time to strip it bare, paint the frame and engine.  (1990)


Installing and balancing some new new Metzler tires. I think they were ME1F. I loved those things! (1991)


A trip to Brainard, MN superbike races while in high school (1991)


This is a photo from my 8,000 mile trip to the NW coast after the military (1995)


I was always working on the darn thing. This was in Port Angeles, WA. I was getting water out of the ignition coils this time (1995)


A trip the Glacier National Park (1998)


This is in 2002, about the last time I had her out on the road


I'm not going to post a picture of her today. I'd be embarrassed. Well guys, see you around!
[/quote]
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FJscott
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84 and 89FJ in South Florida


« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2014, 06:34:52 PM »

Welcome to the group Brian.

what a great intro. at this point your FJ is family, cant sell her. You joined the right forum to re-kindle your FJ flame.This year is the 30 year anniversary for the FJ so if you can make it to one of the Rallys you will meet some very good people that share your passion for the Mighty FJ.

Scott
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rlucas
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« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2014, 07:27:50 PM »

Outstanding intro.  good2

Welcome to the Virtual Campfire.


rossi
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« Reply #12 on: March 23, 2014, 07:50:56 PM »

Great intro and welcome to the group.  hi I also have an 87' along with an 89'. Even though they are the same model and look similar, they each have their own personality. The mods that you have done are very similar to what a few have done here. No worries about what it looks like at the moment. We do not judge. A current photo would be helpful to view when you need advice from the forum members. Plus, once you get her all sorted out everyone can look back and see what your hard work has accomplished. My 89' was in pretty poor shape when I got her, 2 years later and it doesn't even look like the same bike.

Don't know what your time frame is on getting her back up and running. There are a few FJ rally's. Willits, CA May 30th - June 1st. Dogpatch, AR July 18th - 20th. Eastern TN in September. Next years Central Rally will be in South Dakota.

Willits, CA
http://www.fjowners.com/index.php?topic=10832.0

Dogpatch, AR
http://www.fjowners.com/index.php?topic=10840.0

Fred


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Current
2008 VFR800 RC46
1996 VFR750 RC36/2
1995 FJ1200 Brownie Thunder
1990 FJ1300 (1297cc) Casper
1990 VFR750 RC36/1 Minnie
1989 FJ1200 Lazarus, the Streetfighter Project
petetb154
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« Reply #13 on: March 23, 2014, 08:15:14 PM »

Thanks all for the warm reception.
Looking forward to getting to know you all!
I'll keep you posted.
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Brian Peterson
1987 FJ1200
petetb154
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« Reply #14 on: April 02, 2014, 09:49:21 PM »

After about 12 years of sleep, she runs again!
http://youtu.be/K42fG7HOuvo

It took a new battery, new XJR starter motor, a total carb overhaul with new brass parts, new air filters, an oil change and new valve stems for the tires. I couldn't have done all that without parts from RPM Racing.

She's still a little sleepy and still runs a little rough. Nothing a few miles and another carb sync wont cure. 

Next:
I bought a 88 GSXR750 rear wheel and 93 FJ1200 front wheel. I'll install soon with fresh, fat rubber.
I bought a plastic welder to fix up all the cracked plastic.
After that, fresh paint, original colors of course.
Then I'll be 90% done, 90% to go to make my ole' FJ like new again.

Thanks everyone for the help so far.
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Brian Peterson
1987 FJ1200
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