First tour on First Gen - Yamaha FJR Forum : Yamaha FJR Owners Forums
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-23-2020, 12:34 PM Thread Starter
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First tour on First Gen

About a month ago I picked up this 2003 FJR. My first destination in mind was Nellis AFB in Las Vegas to see my newborn granddaughter. The bike had been well cared for so only a few things needed to be sorted before this trip. CCT, grip puppies, heat fix mods and a few other minor things and it was ready for the road. Oh, I drilled two 2 inch holes near the base of the tall windshield to help eliminate the vacuum effect and provide a bit more air flow on hot days.

The day I planned to leave was crazy busy and I didn't get out of Albuquerque until 5:30 in the evening. Up until the last minute I was fiddling with a camel back, rounding up camping gear and supplies, most of which ultimately got left behind. I opted for frequent hydration stops and motel stays.

I had no real plan for the route, only a destination and two days to get there. I really wanted to avoid interstate travel as much as possible for this trip. Heading West through Albuquerque at rush hour I noticed a traffic jam on the Northbound ramp to I-25 (imagine that! LOL) so I thought I'd continue on I-40. Not being crazy about over 400 miles of nothing but interstate, I reluctantly decided to do it. The next few miles had me rethinking my plan here unless I wanted to stop already and throw on the rain gear. OK, on third thought it looks like the Northern route is the way to go. Scrambling to get ready, I forgot to eat before setting out. UGH, OK, stop at Subway for a sandwich and check tire pressure, then hit the highway. Sheesh, nearly 6:30 now and still in city limits.

Finally, out of town heading Northwest with thunderclouds to my left blocking the sun. Very nice ride to Northern NM the FJR and I were loving the open road. Stopped for gas in Bloomfield and thought I'd better pick a spot to spend the night. I really wanted to ride through Monument Valley, and hopefully before noon the next day. Picked a hostel in Mancos, CO using my phone and got back on the road. I made it to Durango right as it got dark. I love the headlights on this bike! Riding at night, especially through the mountains, used to be something I dreaded. It was a delightful 75 in Southern CO. Made it to Mancos and checked in to the hostel for a short night's sleep.

Up at 5am and riding long before sunup. Man, I was not prepared for the cool morning mountain air. A couple extra layers were in order. No worries, it'll be way too hot in no time. I crossed the border into Utah at sunup, shed a couple of layers, and made it to Monument valley much earlier than anticipated. Zigzagging between Utah and Arizona I stopped a few times for gas, water and the occasional photo. Every fuel stop seemed to be an ordeal with Covid restrictions. One person in a gas station at a time, no dine in food stops, etc. I carried plenty of water, cliff bars, fruit munchies and beef jerky so most gas stops I didn't even get off the bike. I found I could stretch and move around enough while riding that my body didn't cramp up....much.

Temps are in the low 90's now so not too hot at all. I'm trying to drink plenty of water at every stop. Just finding shade to have a snack and um, dehydrate was challenging. The FJR still running like a top. Not being sure how far it is the the next fuel stop I only burned four gallons or so before refueling. Listening to Pandora and the occasional GPS directions on my Sena unit was great! I've never used the GPS on road trips, but I will from now on. I still had the paper map on top of the tank bag as a backup.

I stopped at Lake Powell to stretch and take a photo. I'm starting to notice the haze in the air now from wildfires in the region. Still, the colorful desert was a real joy to see. I loved the long straight roads that I could look around and see the scenery. By now I was getting updated from my wife, who was already in Vegas, about my daughter. Her water broke and she was admitted. Grandbaby willl get there before I do. No hurry really though since Covid prevents family from goin into the hospital. She'd be there a day or two afterwards too, but I still sped up the pace a bit.

After fueling up in Hurricane, UT I hit I-15 and made a b-line for Vegas. Now it was getting really warm, well over 100. I was soooo glad I took measures to eliminate as much heat as possible. I had a long sleeve T-shirt under my mesh riding jacket that was wicking sweat away helping me to cool a bit. The closer I got to vegas, the hotter it got. I made it to the main gate at Nellis AFB at 3:30pm before the hottet part of the day, but it was still 111! Four of my other grandkids met me at the door of my daughter's house. Somehow I still had energy left to give attention to them. Maybe it was the RedBull in Arizona, LOL.

I stayed four nights in Vegas. Got to see the baby, make paper airplanes with the grandkids and grab an In-and-Out burger. Also, I noticed some weird uneven wear on the tires which explaines the odd handling I felt. The rear was nearing the end of it's useful life so I took the opportunity to pull the wheels off and have some new tires mounted.

Sorry this is so wordy. I'll continue in another post.
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Roger

2003 FJR1300A
1983 GS850G
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-23-2020, 12:44 PM
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Sounds like a great first trip actually except the heat. Don't know how you guys do 110+ temps. I rode to utah and AZ about a decade ago in September and it felt like someone was blowing a hair dryer in my face all day lol. Dang it was hot.

Oh sounds like a great excuse for a trip too. looking forward to the next installment.

SW Ohio
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It doesn't matter what I ride, where I ride, how fast I ride, or how far I ride... it only matters THAT I RIDE...EVERY DAY. "Ferret"
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-23-2020, 02:27 PM
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Sounds like great fun Burque, absolutely beautiful area of our country. I can’t wait for your next installment.

What kind of mods did you do to your 2003 to tone down the heat problems, not for me but we’ve had quite a few newbies with 1st gens that have joined the forum here lately and being that you’ve just done an extremely hot ride, it might help some of them.

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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-23-2020, 03:10 PM Thread Starter
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Ferret, funny you should mention that. Flipping up my visor for some fresh air was just how you described it, like looking into a hair dryer. It was better to leave it closed.

passx, the mods were all found searching the forum here. I think the insulation under the tank made the biggest difference. The heat block on the left side and additional foam on the right to block air from the radiator helped as well. Other than that heavy riding pants with knee pads surely helped as well.

Roger

2003 FJR1300A
1983 GS850G
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-23-2020, 08:26 PM Thread Starter
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That Sunday morning, I got the new tires mounted. My oldest grandsons, 14 and 11years, helped me get the wheels back on. Mostly just putting weight on the back end so I could get the forks down from the blocks.

They didn't care how hot it was, neither could wait to go for a ride with me. First, I took a ride around the neighborkood alone. Unsure how well new tires would grip on what was essentially a hot frying pan, I found a big empty lot and did a bunch of tight turns. The new Michelin Road 5's felt great! I set the pressure four psi below spec and when they heated up they were right on. I knew the boys would want to ride so I carried an extra helmet with me. Plus, my wife was there and we hoped to sneak off for a ride sometime (which never happened). After taking the boys for a ride I had them lay a hand on the gas tank. OUCH! That's insane they said. Between the engine heat and the sun, yeah it was cookin'.

OK, knowing Monday's forecast was 116 for the high, I wanted to get as far away as possible, as early as possible. Didn't get quite the early start as before, but I'm rolling before 8am at least. Stop for gas on base and head North.

I thought about going to Zion National Park in Utah which was only 150 miles. I hear it's just an amazing place to visit. The thought of taking some of the same roads home just didn't appeal to me though. Instead, I headed up hwy 93. Just riding and keeping the sun behind me was so nice, I figured I'd make a day of that. Since I didn't have to be back at work until Thrsday, and my 23 year old son was at home feeding the dog and watering the fish, I figured I'd just see how far I could go. North through Nevada was rather hum drum. The scenery never changed much. Mountains to the left and right but nothing to write home about. Using pandora for music, I need to have a cell phone signal or it defaults to the one station I have downloaded, Bob Segar. If I never hear Against The Wind again it'll be too soon!

Very uneventful stretch here. Full to empty and repeat. I thought about going to see area 51 but for some reason Google maps couldn't find directions to it. Huh, oh well. I made it this far and had never been to Idaho before so what the heck. Here's a shot on the border and a couple of the of the grandkiddos. Maybe next time the other two will be able to reach the foot pegs.
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Roger

2003 FJR1300A
1983 GS850G
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-23-2020, 08:39 PM
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You are supposed to set your tire pressures cold to spec (or preference if higher) and let the tires warm up.... pressures will increase with warmup 4-6 psi usually and that's where you want them. You mentioned stopping for lunch and checking the pressures.... that would be at an already warmed up tire.... if you adjust your pressures down when hot, they are too low.
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Ray
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2014 FJR1300A - Root Beer (sold)
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-23-2020, 09:55 PM
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Sounds like you had a fun trip Roger. I've ridden in 104 heat before and that was exhausting! It seems these FJR's can handle anything you can throw at them. Now that you have your first ride under your belt, consider riding to the midwest next June.😉
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-23-2020, 11:26 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RaYzerman View Post
You are supposed to set your tire pressures cold to spec (or preference if higher) and let the tires warm up.... pressures will increase with warmup 4-6 psi usually and that's where you want them. You mentioned stopping for lunch and checking the pressures.... that would be at an already warmed up tire.... if you adjust your pressures down when hot, they are too low.
Thank you.

Roger

2003 FJR1300A
1983 GS850G
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-23-2020, 11:30 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm-64 View Post
Sounds like you had a fun trip Roger. I've ridden in 104 heat before and that was exhausting! It seems these FJR's can handle anything you can throw at them. Now that you have your first ride under your belt, consider riding to the midwest next June.😉
I've considered it for years and really hope to make it next June.

Roger

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1983 GS850G
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-24-2020, 12:24 AM
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Garage
Sounds like a great first trip!!!

New to me 2003 FJR1300
2003 Ninja 500
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