FJ 1200 for basically free with a shot transmission - worth it?

Started by Potential_FJ_Owner, December 15, 2023, 08:57:44 AM

Previous topic - Next topic


Hello dear FJOwners,
I am brand new to this forum and the answer to my question will determine if I am around to stay or not. Let me cut to the chase, I found a local FJ 1200 from 1990 with around 40k miles on the clock for literally two packs of cigaretts, the only downside is that it doesn't shift. I have read in a post from 2017 on this forum that it's not an uncommon issue and not a small or cheap one either. I stumbled upon this bike because I was looking for something I can wrench on for cheap, but since I am far from an experienced mechanic I figured it's best to ask some people who have more experience with this bike than I do. Do you think it's possible for me to fix the transmission myself? Which tools, skills and parts are needed to get this thing back on the road (or racetrack)? This is very much a low budget build so I wouldn't want to invest more than a few weekends of my time and $500 give or take.

Thanks in advance, ride safe :)

Pat Conlon

What makes you think that the transmission is the only thing wrong? Did you hear the engine run?
Is the title clean?

If the title is clean, the VIN checks out as not stolen, keep the bike and sell it. You could probably get a couple hundred dollars for it if you keep it together. If you take it apart, nobody would want it.

You can read about transmission repair here:
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:



Where are you located? You don't need to be too specific. There may be another member nearby who may be willing to help.

George D
George D
'89 FJ1250 ~'90-black/blue
'87 FJ1250 ~streetfighter project
'89 FJ1200 ~white/silver, resto project
'88 Honda Hawk GT, resto project


If you want to learn - this is the cheapest way to do it!

I think you need to rethink the "few weekends" of your time ....

If the intent is to end up with an excellent bike at minimum cash outlay in return for your time, this bike sounds like a good way to get there - but will require some $$ as you go. 

If this bike is meant as a quick flip money maker - you'd be better to find another bike to try parting this one out - but that will take you a LOT longer than a few weekends to get it all sold


Thanks for your responses, I'll try to adress them all;

I'm located in central Europe, Austria to be exact.

I didn't see the bike yet and the picture uploaded was an "example" of what one looks like, so not very helpful. The owner wrote it's just the transmission but I can't confirm that yet. It's of course a possibility that the engine is done for, but I think if the fuel tank seems clean and the oil isn't full of glitter I'd risk it. Seller said the bike is currently still registered (I don't know if that's the correct word, it got a numberplate is what I'm saying) so that would imply that it's not been out of comission for a lengthy time and that the title is clean. Not too worried about stolen bikes because I think few thieves would trade their catch of the day for 2 packs of cigs haha

My intent is to ride it first and maybe flip it when and if I get sick of it, but I am not counting on making any money, I'm in it for the cheap thrills


In UK there are plenty of running usable fj engines available for not that much money.
Depending on your luck you might find another with a working motor but which is essentially scrap for other reasons like worn out suspension bodywork or electrics etc.
Swap the motor over and you can sell off anything useful that remains. Split the original engine down to see if you can sort the gearbox while you enjoy a working bike.
Swapping an engine is a lot of work but is less technically tricky than stripping and repairing an engine.
Stainless lines
Blue spot calipers but std m/cyl (so far)
Ebc prolite front discs
Ohlins remote adj rear shock
Remus 4:1
Still running original chain and sprockets from new (scotoilers really work)
Krauser k2s


Are you sure they don't just mean that the clutch doesn't work - it's VERY rare that a FJ gearbox fails completely, but it's quite common for the clutch slave cylinder seal to blow/leak, especially if the bike has been unused for quite a time.

Personally, I'd take any FJ that was offered for next to nothing, money can easily be recovered from spare parts value, even if you try to give most parts away. I know, I've tried to give parts away and other FJ owners have literally forced money into my hands because they think it's unfair to get parts for free  :sarcastic: :sarcastic:

'89 FJ 1200 3CV - owned from new.
'89 FJ 1200 3CV - no engine, tank, bike for the future.
'88 FJ 1200 3CV - complete runner 2024 resto project
'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.