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Sticky throttle

Started by Toddr44, February 12, 2022, 09:23:56 AM

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Good morning everyone, I finally made it up to pick um my 87 and bring it down to the shop. It's in pretty good shape I believe, although it has a few knicks and scratches (as it should for a 35 year old bike) it's got just under 15k on the odometer. I checked the oil level, it's fine. Checked the fuel, it smelled like fuel and not varnished. Gave it about half choke and started it up. It was a little grumpy about idling for a sec but it smoothed out and I let it warm up till it idled without any choke. I didn't ride as I have t registered it with the DMV yet. I tend to have really bad luck and I'm sure if I even took it around the block, there would be an officer waiting, or something crappy would happen that would make me wish I'd thought things through a little I hate adulting sometimes!
Anyway, there are two things I noticed that I want to ask about. First, I noticed a little smoke on start up at the front of the engine. I saw it through the fairing and below the triple tree. I think it was just unspent fuel. The second thing is the throttle. It's stiff and doesn't return to zero without help. Is the issuer with the throttle cables themselves, or could it be the linkage? What would be the things to check? Wondering if the two issues are related? I did add some seafoam to the tank.
I'll register it this week but I don't want to ride it until the throttle issue is resolved. What should I look for to identify the issues?  Thanks in advance for any advice.
2021 Harley Road glide CVO
1997 Yamaha FJ1200

Pat Conlon

Hi Todd, I don't think the issues are related.
Re: Smoke, with recommissioning 35 year old FJ's, there have been reports of seepage from the valve cover gasket. If it seeps, it often seeps from the left front corner, dripping down to the #4 header tube.
Wash your engine, spray some foot powder around the valve cover gasket area, see what this shows.
Perhaps it's just a matter of resealing** your valve cover gasket?
Also, another area that leaks are the rubber grommets on the valve cover bolts. They harden with age and leak.
*Be careful* with these valve cover bolts, these are shouldered bolts. To fix a leak on a valve cover gasket or around these bolts, do not be fooled into over tightening them. You will strip the aluminum threads. New valve cover bolt grommets or removal and resealing the valve cover gasket, or perhaps even a new valve cover gasket is needed.
**A note on sealing the valve cover gasket:  Only a small dab at the leak location is what I'm talking about. You should not need to use much, if any, sealant on this gasket, maybe only a very small amount around the half moon cam plugs.
If this gasket is hard, throw it away, get a new one. The oil seal on this gasket comes from it's pliability as it compresses when you *carefully* tighten down the cam cover bolts.

Re: Sticky throttle. Disassemble, clean and lube your cables and cable splitter box, you probably have dried gunk in there. While the cables are off, check that your throttle tube rotates freely. I have seen crushed throttle tubes from Canyon Dancer (handle bar type) tie down straps, also from interference from the grip or throttle lock type cruise control.
Finally, with the cables off, check the carb linkage, see that it snaps back.

Cheers. Pat
1) Free Owners Manual download:
2) Don't store your FJ with E10 fuel
3) Replace your old stock rubber brake lines.
4) Important items for the '84-87 FJ's:
Safety wire:
Fuel line:


Quote from: Toddr44 on February 12, 2022, 09:23:56 AMthe throttle. It's stiff and doesn't return to zero without help.

Cable lube tool.  Use a good spray-can lube (NOT WD-40) with the tiny red straw.  The cable goes into the large hole, the red straw goes into the tiny hole.
Most bike shops have them, and some auto-parts stores.

P.S. Life is too short, and health is too valuable, to ride on cheap parade-duty tires.


Thank you for the info guys, I appreciate it!
2021 Harley Road glide CVO
1997 Yamaha FJ1200