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9000 miles on an 84 fj

Started by azure, October 08, 2015, 06:04:10 AM

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Quote from: azure on February 06, 2016, 08:16:39 PM
Ugh, I replaced my original shock with someone's new takeoff, done 30 years previously, but the price of rear shocks are... shocking! Did you replace, and what with?

I liked the RPM fork vales so much I took a nice size bonus from work and got an RPM shock and exhaust... The exhaust has no direct impact on suspension other than it is damn light over the stock system. Less weight on our pig heavy FJs is always good (it also sounds damn good). I am very happy with how my FJ rides the canyons and mountain roads. Take care of home and family first, save up and spend when you can afford it.
The glass is not half full, it was engineered with a 2X safety factor.

'86 Ambulance - Bent frame, cracked case, due for an overhaul
'89 Stormy Blue - Suits my Dark Side


I thought it might be more interesting to revive this thread, to add context to the addendum that follows. If moderators feel it would be better to place it in a new thread, I am happy to port it to one.

I had not ridden my FJ since completing the ride and the thread above, in October 2015. I had stored the bike, and done some maintenance over a couple of months after returning, such as replacing the front tire, which had made the whole trip, as well as some mileage before, replaced carb diaphragms with RPM parts, battery etc. Moving residences and building a new home had put bikes, this one in particular, on a back burner. When I finally attempted to start it last Spring, I could not get it to elicit any more impetus than what the starter was providing. I ended up figuring that I had somehow messed up in rebuilding the carbs when I replaced the diaphragms and slides, which had a different cutout than the originals, even though I had never run gas through them until trying to start it at that time. I had a spare CDI unit, and both produced the same amount of spark, gas was reaching the carbs etc....I let it slide, and went on to other tasks until asking my friend Anders to help me. Anders was the same fellow who assisted me in initially reviving the bike when I made my initial trip. The attached photos were taken before putting the bike on the trailer to take up to Anders in New Hampshire last weekend. I was hoping that I might get the bike ready for a July departure from MA to make a trip to revisit the Pacific northwest, eventually to make it to Anchorage. I had been up there once before, close to 50 years ago on a bicycle trip along a similar route, foiled from making it to Alaska by the gravel road surface of the Alaskan Highway at that time, and the unceasing line of tractor trailers that pelted my companion and myself with stone, nearly contacting us while doing so. This was a bucket list opportunity to take the FJ, a proven, if aged veteran of journeying, with me of similar description on perhaps what is our last epic ride.


Well, I have a setback...was informed that #2 cylinder has 95 lbs pressure, and is leaking through the inlet side of the head...anybody have a head they want to part with? I will eventually refurbish miine, but it'll take me too long to do so to get on the road this year.... I find it easier to accept obstacles as I get older, even if I still don't like 'em! Thanks for any help!


I have a spare head that could use new valve stem seals. The head was removed from my 1995 FJ a bit over a year ago. If interested, make me an offer. Shipping from Kansas may be in the $75.00 range.

Mileage on the head was roughly 55,000

I'm not the fastest FJ rider, I am 'half-fast', the fastest slow guy....

2008 VFR800 RC46 Vtec
1996 VFR750 RC36/2
1990 FJ1300 (1297cc) Casper
1990 VFR750 RC36/1 Minnie
1989 FJ1200 Lazarus, the Streetfighter Project
1985 VF500F RC31 Interceptor


Hello Fred,

Thanks very much for your offer, and hope all is getting better in KS. I am hoping to find a head that I don't have to service before taking a long trip. That might well be impossible to do, in which case I will service mine, and wait until next year, when I can leave in the middle of June, and not hit snow coming back.

Much obliged in any case, with my best regards, Ben

Quote from: aviationfred on May 20, 2021, 06:28:07 AM
I have a spare head that could use new valve stem seals. The head was removed from my 1995 FJ a bit over a year ago. If interested, make me an offer. Shipping from Kansas may be in the $75.00 range.

Mileage on the head was roughly 55,000



Awesome collection of Yamahas in the garage!


Quote from: fj1289 on May 20, 2021, 09:18:44 PM
Awesome collection of Yamahas in the garage!

Not sure if you were referring to my garage, but if so, thank you! Yamaha had some of the coolest and most unusual features, at least to me, of all the motorcycle manufactures I have been exposed to. The tx650 had a starter that was actuated by the compression release, I will have to look, but think that is so. The srx-6 has an auto compression release that is actuated by the kick starter..the RZ350 is watercooled, as 2 strokes run stronger when cooler...stuff like that, for me, is very enticing.


I will look for direction from the forum's moderators if I am overstepping in attempting to continue my journey with this FJ1100 that the bike and I started in the Fall of 2014.

Having tried to resurrect my bike in 2021, I stripped the bike down. At that time Rick Stetson and Harry's machine shop in Westborough MA were not in operation, and I used another, highly qualified shop, ABT Machine company, in Holliston MA to mill the valve seats and deck the head. As well, they did an excellent job of milling the ends of the valve stems so that I was able to re-use the same shims...this impressed me considerably. I have to admit to losing steam for the project after re-seating only one valve. Months dragged by, as did 2023, when I hoped to make one last long distance trip on both the bike and myself. Finally at the end of 2023, I asked my dear friend Mike Rieck( a good friend to many on this forum) for help in getting the engine back together. I don't think there will be much dispute in the idea that a dear friend is someone who comes through when one needs them. Mike has done so for me and many others repeatedly, if not constantly over the years. He does so not only because he loves mechanical things, and modifying them to make the better, but also because doing so creates a wonderful social network. Mike is a people fellow, and he is dear to me...Mike ported the head after installing the remaining 15 valves...I am sure he also lapped them a bit too, knowing him! I in turn, purchased a Dyno 2000 to replace a CDI unit that I was always a little suspect of, and as well a set of Mikuni rs carbs. Picked up the engine around Christmas, and it's still sitting where I left it in the

I now come here to seek inspiration to continue the resurrection of this hoping to garner some inspiration from You...somewhat similar to religion I suppose, I come here looking for your support, hoping it will kick my keister into gear, and allow me to get out on my target date of June 29th.

This year marks my 70th turn around the sun, and as well the 50th anniversary of a trip I made in 1974, on a bicycle from metro Boston on a quest to get to Alaska. While the road condition(rough gravel in parts) and heavy truck traffic  made the Alcan Highway impassible for my friend Mark and I, we continued instead southwest to the west US coast, and back. That trip was a high point in my life, and perhaps the source of my love for long distance motorcycling. Being able to do so on this 40 year old motorcycle seems symmetrical, reinforced by the echo of my old friend Anders who while helping me to purchase this FJ out of a Vermont barn after many years of disuse, uttered "anybody can ride a new motorcycle long distance". This challenge fueled me to take this bike for the trip I wrote about previously, in 2015. While its sentiment continues to rattle around in my head, much of my impetus now comes from wanting to rattle the bars dictated by advancing years...A good part of what I have patted myself on the back for over the years has been my good fortune in being able to see this country and meet it's people, in most cases without sheet metal between "me and them"..I firmly continue to believe that it's the most satisfying way to do so. With your encouragement, and the permission of the forum, I look forward to continuing my journey with my FJ. Thanks for kicking my butt...gently please!


I like the phrase "you don't quit riding because you get old, you get old because you quit riding"!


Quote from: fj1289 on March 24, 2024, 07:37:17 PMI like the phrase "you don't quit riding because you get old, you get old because you quit riding"!

Thanks, I like that too!