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Author Topic: Convince me to keep my FJ!  (Read 3830 times)
captaudi
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« on: April 04, 2021, 05:16:28 PM »

Greetings everyone,

I have not posted here in a long time due to life getting in the way. Well life has changed, a recent divorce and relocating to coastal Maine means it is time to get back in the saddle. So my 93 has almost 80k miles on it, but is near perfect. I bought it with 6k, it has never been down and always garaged. It has some tasteful mods like blue dots, GSXR 17x5.5 rear, FZR1000 17x3.5 front, tail raised 30mm and a Vance and Hines SS2R exhaust. It is however due for some service work. Tires, carb cleaning (already has the hardware kit and Hank Scott jets), battery, fork service etc.

My problem is I really want hard bags, and preferably factory ones. I have a 20 min commute and work second shift. I want to be able to carry my dinner as well as all of the other crap I use daily. It looks like the only setup that would clear my exhaust would be the Hepco and Becker, which is out of stock in the USA. I actually have a set of Yamaha branded Krauser bags and the brackets, they would require an exhaust change as well as new seals (want to be water tight).

I can very easily sell it and buy a K1200s or the like and not look back. The old girl has been rock solid to me, but has a flaw. When I did the rear wheel swap 15 years ago I forgot to torque the rear axle. I hit 2nd full throttle and the $h!t hit the fan. Yanked the wheel sideways and caused the chain to skip hammering the gear. I replaced the broken chain adjuster and reassembled. It now is 50/50 if it will pop out of 2nd gear at full throttle at high rpm. The labor to fix it does not bother me (25 yr Porsche/Audi master tech), its getting the gears repaired and undercut. Finances after the divorce are tight. Add this to the service work and I ask "Is this the right move?"

I look forward to any and all input

Thanks,

Dan
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93 FJ1200 FZR1000 wheels, Vance and Hines SS2R, Hank Scott jets R1 Monoblocks. Cartridge forks in the works.

1985 RZ350 couple mods
Flynt
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'92 with some mods - Wizard '84 with less mods - Stormy


« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2021, 05:56:10 PM »


I can very easily sell it and buy a K1200s or the like and not look back.

I look forward to any and all input

Thanks,

Dan

Keep the FJ...  you can get by until bags appear.  Tank bag, bag strapped to seat, backpack even...  not ideal, but sounds like this bike is a favorite and you know it well.  Fix the issues and you're back to a bike you can maintain without the potential financial strain of the BMW destroying it's driveshaft in a few thousand miles, it's sophisticated suspension crapping out and requiring complete replacement, or the plastic QD fitting on the fuel pump discharge splitting and spraying fuel onto the hot engine and dripping down onto the exhaust... very typical issues with a K1200S/R.

If you do go BMW, get a K13s...  it's very similar looking, but much more refined all around with better suspension and fueling.  They also fixed most of the catastrophic stuff that the K1200S/R could do to itself along with some 80+ other minor changes to almost everything.  I've had a K12S and 2 K13S.  The K13S are nice, brutally fast bikes that handle great...  however they are all gone now an my 2 FJs ('84 and '92) remain.

Frank
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captaudi
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« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2021, 06:28:42 PM »

Frank,

Thanks for the input. I admit some of the K12s stuff does bother me, right now a K13s is outside what I would like to spend. Then again, pay up front or pay later. I guess the two main issues that I would like feedback on are: Is there a good pannier setup that works with the SS2R exhaust, and what are my options to have the gears welded/undercut. Who is the goto and how much?

Thanks again,

Dan

p.s. Do I remember right is your 92 the old Klavdy bike with all of the trick suspension?
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93 FJ1200 FZR1000 wheels, Vance and Hines SS2R, Hank Scott jets R1 Monoblocks. Cartridge forks in the works.

1985 RZ350 couple mods
aviationfred
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« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2021, 06:33:29 PM »

Please give me a call concerning the Hepco & Becker luggage. 316-409-3335


Fred
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Flynt
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'92 with some mods - Wizard '84 with less mods - Stormy


« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2021, 06:52:51 PM »

The ESA alone costs about $2K to replace with non-OEM...  BMW's not a good way to spend a little money.

You remember right... Wizard (the '92) is Klavdy's old bike with a few more bits I bought from Marc Rittner directly and with an RPM built 1350cc/FCR carb'd/Factory Pro tuned monster motor...  It has the USD YZF750 front and Thunderace rear Klavdy had bought from Marc and installed just before "the incident".

Frank

PS - RPM on the go-to guy question...
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Millietant
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« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2021, 08:55:39 PM »

I'm surprised your Krauser panniers leak - mine are still good after over 30 years of use.

Any set of panniers and frames is going to cost big enough $ to be out of reach if you're short of cash - why not just put your stuff in a plastic carrier bag if you have a slight leak - unless you're going to be riding through hours of torrential rain, I can't see there being a problem.

Exhaust-wise, since fitting my Krausers's I've run my FJ with V & H, Eagle/Cobra, Motad, Kerker and Remus exhausts and never had an issue with any silencer getting in the way, or making contact with the bags. The Krauser mounting brackets give the flexibility to mount the bags high enough to avoid silencers, but still not interfere with passenger comfort  good2

Here's the Remus with my Krauser bags on.
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Dean

'89 FJ 1200 3CV - owned from new.
'89 FJ 1200 3CV - no engine, tank, seat....parts bike for the future.
'88 FJ 1200 3CV - became a race bike, no longer with us.
'86 FJ 1200 1TX - sold to my boss to finance the '89 3CV I still own.
Millietant
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« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2021, 09:04:27 PM »

Or you could do what as done to RevDeal's exhaust and have an extended silencer hanger bracket with 2 holes to pretty quickly/easily raise/lower the silencer slightly to give clearance for the pannier bags - much cheaper than new luggage, or a BMW !!!!
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Dean

'89 FJ 1200 3CV - owned from new.
'89 FJ 1200 3CV - no engine, tank, seat....parts bike for the future.
'88 FJ 1200 3CV - became a race bike, no longer with us.
'86 FJ 1200 1TX - sold to my boss to finance the '89 3CV I still own.
Waiex191
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« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2021, 09:13:24 PM »

I'm a fan of bagging whatever I want to keep dry.  I've always had soft bags.  I have a small cooler that fits in my soft bags and that is how I used to carry my lunch to the glider field.  That is a lot cheaper than your other options.

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Bryan
1989 FJ1200
1981 Suzuki GN400
Poplar Grove, IL
 
T Legg
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84 FJ1100 x 2


« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2021, 09:33:57 PM »

RPM sells an assembled  undercut transmission for a reasonable price. I just put one in mine last fall. It looks like they are out of stock at the moment. I guess I should send my old core back.
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andyoutandabout
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« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2021, 10:14:55 PM »

Easy.
I never took much mark from things my Dad said, but one or two classics did stick, so here's one for you that might help solidify your thoughts - 'go with what you know.'
The World is in constant flux, and often a different choice suggests solutions to perceived problems only to be revealed as a false hope.
You've lived with a dubious 2nd gear for 15 years so by now its a non issue.
Hard luggage is certainly a great addition. Givi for a big budget, Krauser for the modest pocket. I've had a good experience with both. Only opted for hard luggage for security on longer trips, but if your not bothered about that aspect, Revzilla have loads of universal soft bag options that would carry your sandwiches.
If money is tight, its the wrong time to be looking at anything made by BMW.
Its widely believed that the Fj offers one of the best all round bang for the buck.
It certainly comes with the best on line forum


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life without a bike is just life
ribbert
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« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2021, 04:08:42 AM »


BMW's not a good way to spend a little money.


Haha, I've said many times, the perfect bike would be a BMW made by Yamaha, Honda, Suzuki or Kawasaki.

Not having to ever factor in labour costs and having access to parts at the best prices has enabled me to own many vehicles that otherwise would not have been practical, but BMW motorbikes blow that idea right out of the water. There are no after market parts so everything has to be OEM and man, are they expensive, a LH switch block for example - $1100!

I knocked one over in the garage a couple of years ago, $9500!!!! from a stationary fall, the automatic garage door clipped the windscreen and rolled it forward off the centre stand, it literally just fell on it's side. Admittedly it was an insurance claim and repaired at the dealers but even so, even if you halve it, it's still a silly amount of money under the circumstances.

Footnote, I know we have a lot of BMW owners here and they might be relieved to know you can have the ESA electronics grafted on to a new Wilburs shocker for under a $1000. It not only lasts forever, it's a better shocker. (My FJ shocker cost about $1750 with exchange rate and freight)

Noel
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ribbert
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« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2021, 07:50:04 AM »


.....and buy a K1200s or the like and not look back.


Haha, in your dreams. As Frank said, they are brutally fast, handle well and have brakes to match, they're the whole package, but.....they are money pits, the very thing you wish to avoid and unless you are riding the wheels off it on a regular basis, you are paying for a performance edge you'll never get near. They also have a particularly long wheelbase which makes them pigs at low speed and in the twisties, they are Autobahn bikes.

I have a number of different configurations of luggage for my FJ, all soft, all hard and several mixed options plus 3 different size Givi Tanklock bags.




I rode hundreds of thousands of km's with expandable, water proof, soft bags. Single medium size for daily use and two expandable large bags for trips....





For general round town use I now use the biggest top box I could find, it's lockable, weather proof, very cheap to buy and reasonably vandal/thief proof in both lid and locking to bike.



....I can fit a 4XL helmet in there.



The biggest downside to hard panniers is clearance, they make it virtually impossible to filter, and for me around town, that is an absolute deal breaker. When I'm heading out of town for a trip and have the panniers on, I find it an absolute pain in the arse having to que as I would in my car because my bike is too wide to ride between the lanes. Even navigating my own driveway and carparks is a PIA.


What is surprisingly difficult, contrary to first thoughts, is how difficult it is to replace an FJ, despite it's age and disparity in value. The sort of use mine is put to makes finding a bike with similar attributes harder than you would think. In a nutshell, I do a lot of "Sports Touring" in the literal sense and have averaged since I bought it in '08, 22,500 recreational km per year, the mileage being split equally between big day rides and 4 or 5 trips.

Four years ago, armed with a budget that would buy most bikes a couple of years old, I set out to find a stable mate for the FJ that would fulfill the same duties, I was salivating at the thought of choice that lay before me, that was, until I got down to it. Turns out, the obvious successors, such as FJR's, GTR's etc just don't cut it like an FJ, particularly a tweaked one.

I feel like I almost had my hand forced as the bike that nearest fitted the bill was not what I had in mind at the outset but undeniably does the job. 50k and 4 years later I describe it as "brilliant but bland" It doesn't put a smile on my face like the FJ does.

Dan, get the FJ fixed. I know of two people here who have in the last 12 months split their cases and been back on the road within 24hrs, neither one of them a mechanic like yourself, neither of them having done the job before.
Buy the gear set and continue your love affair with the FJ, truly one of the best bikes ever built. Oh yeah, and fit a big top box to it, unlike pannier systems, they're dirt cheap and do the job.

As Andy said, FJ's remain one of the best bang for buck bikes out there to this very day. Because of my former life I still get to ride a ton of new bikes and I agree.

You'd be surprised just how many folks on here are returning owners who spent who spent years, if not decades regretting selling the last one.

Noel

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"Tell a wise man something he doesn't know and he'll thank you, tell a fool something he doesn't know and he'll abuse you”
captaudi
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« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2021, 12:04:20 PM »

Everyone,

The feedback has been awesome, had a great conversation with Aviationfred. Looks like I am going to tweak the exhaust and mount the Krauser K2 bags that I have. I need to retrieve the bike as well as the rest of my belongings from my ex-wife in the next couple weeks. I have the mounting kit from Krauser, but I will be honest I don't know if I am missing anything. I know I will need different turn signals. I would love to figure out what else I would need to put a K2 top case on, for commuting and tight parking at work it might be the best day to day. Add the side cases and I am off for the weekend.

Milietant, if you would be willing to get some more detailed pictures of all of the mountings I would be eternally grateful.

As far as the transmission goes, I will address that this winter, I have lived with it for 65k miles. I can make one more year. I would like to get in touch with Bob Weymouth and talk options, he may have a core I can swap him for as well as a brain to pick. (he is 15 min from me). Also a riding partner would be awesome!

That being said, if I am going to keep the bike I am going to follow the build of my dreams. aka the Marc Rittner formula. So time to start scouring eBay for parts. May take a couple years, but I will get there.

Thanks again,

Dan
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93 FJ1200 FZR1000 wheels, Vance and Hines SS2R, Hank Scott jets R1 Monoblocks. Cartridge forks in the works.

1985 RZ350 couple mods
andyoutandabout
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« Reply #13 on: April 05, 2021, 02:11:23 PM »

That's the spirit
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life without a bike is just life
Millietant
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« Reply #14 on: April 05, 2021, 03:14:43 PM »


Milietant, if you would be willing to get some more detailed pictures of all of the mountings I would be eternally grateful.


Of course Dan, I'll try to get some proper detail pictures/photo's over the next couple of days. I have a few, but the detail is probably not enough for what you need, so I'll take some more and probably put a couple of sketches in  good2
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Dean

'89 FJ 1200 3CV - owned from new.
'89 FJ 1200 3CV - no engine, tank, seat....parts bike for the future.
'88 FJ 1200 3CV - became a race bike, no longer with us.
'86 FJ 1200 1TX - sold to my boss to finance the '89 3CV I still own.
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