1974 - Yamaha FJR Forum : Yamaha FJR Owners Forums
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-12-2019, 10:51 PM Thread Starter
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1974

It's summer. It's Tuesday. It's Saturday... I was 25 years old.


I didn't have a lot of money. I had a lot less, the day after I bought the Norton.


"If you buy that thing, you're a dead man!" Friend after friend. I can still hear their voices.


I had no garage. I shared a big house with some friends. The Norton spent the first night in the living room.



People stared at it, and at me. This was IT. The most deadly, most awesome and fearsome bike in the world (that we knew of, anyway). And there's one IN OUR LIVING ROOM !!!


It's absolute, gloss black malevolence muted the room. In my eyes, it was a thing of unmatched beauty. And death, itself. And it wouldn't start.


Checked the spark. Pulled a plug - checked the compression. Opened the gas tank, then it started. Used a small nail to poke a bigger hole in the rubber thing under the gas cap...


The thing scared the he77 out of me! Nobody knew that, except me. It had 60 horsepower! My death was not only immanent, but certain.



I return from my daydream as my FJR has run for about one minute - long enough to get oil everywhere in the motor/trans, and get going.



I move off on a machine with 145 horsepower - something that renders that Norton into the joke it really was. Something more than twice as powerful and many, many times more deadly. And I, quite literally, think nothing of it. I'm not scared, at all...


Of late, a question haunts me. "Did IT change, or did I?" Are all the radical and mostly miserable changes I perceive external, internal or some combination, of the two?


An image from my hippie days crosses my mind. It depicted a middle-aged, burnt out female, dressed like a young chickie, saying "There hasn't been any good weed since 1952."


And so to those that say the FJR is "boring" I suggest YOU have lost the ability to become excited, by a motorcycle? You and me both, I guess.


To test that theory, go find a Norton (or whatever antique you desire), ride it and see if it still scares you into being awe-struck, and starry-eyed. Or take my word, as someone who has done just that: It won't. Not even close.


*I* have changed. Now, instead of a jag of raw fear, I appreciate... I SAVOR being able to ride a world-class motorcycle. Which is something of which I never even dreamed, in 1974!


Every once in a while I go to an on-ramp, way out in the middle of nowhere, and I wind the FJR out in second, then third... Yeah, the scare is still there. But I don't enjoy it like I used to.


Do you?

2012 Gen 2


"The closer you get,
to the meaning,
The sooner you know,
That you're DREAMING"


(HEAVEN AND HE77 - Black Sabbath)
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-12-2019, 11:57 PM
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For those who might say FJR "boring"! They never been on one! Pound that baby 5500 rpm and higher in all gears in straightaways and tight curves. Still bored, your dead daddy, dead.

Got back from a 3000+ miles in and about the hills of Tenn, WVa, NC, and Va. Cool daddy..... No chicken strips on my PR4's! Had her leaned! My buddy behind me said I can never get another bike, he said I am one with her in the switchbacks. I said, that never a problem, keppin her to the end......
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-13-2019, 12:26 AM
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I enjoy the heck out of my FJR. But after endurance roadracing an R1 for a couple of years, the acceleration of the FJR does not scare me. It pulls hard and does so many things amazingly well. But for flat out HOLY **** ACCELERATION and hour long knee-slider on the ground thrill, the FJR doesn't hold a candle. Which is fine. It shouldn't. It's more like a true Grand Tourer machine: fast, comfortable, good handling, good range. Great machine. But I'm telling you, that R1 at full song...!! Oh my gosh!

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2008 FJR1300 (Gen II)
2006 FJR1300 (Gen II) (RIP*)
2004 FJR1300 (Gen I) (RIP*)
*Dang cage drivers.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-13-2019, 01:30 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by slowdave View Post
I enjoy the heck out of my FJR. But after endurance roadracing an R1 for a couple of years, the acceleration of the FJR does not scare me. It pulls hard and does so many things amazingly well. But for flat out HOLY **** ACCELERATION and hour long knee-slider on the ground thrill, the FJR doesn't hold a candle. Which is fine. It shouldn't. It's more like a true Grand Tourer machine: fast, comfortable, good handling, good range. Great machine. But I'm telling you, that R1 at full song...!! Oh my gosh!

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Yeah, and after I stepped off my 650 Tiger I said the same thing, about the Norton. And meant it, just as much as you do. Funny how that works... isn't it?


Put a Hayabusa (peregrine falcon) into a power dive. Uh Huh. Now, ride the thing 400 miles. NOT.


Suzuki claims the Hayabusa is not a track bike - that it can be used as a "regular" motorcycle. One look at it, especially with a rider on it, and we see that is just bs.


Maybe my bike runs exceptionally well - I don't know. Have you used some fuel injection cleaner in yours? I do - every year, when I get her out for the first time. Makes a HUGE difference in the way she runs.


Anyway, the FJR really might be boring to Mr. Sulu. He's always hitting warp... But to the rest of us? Methinks not

2012 Gen 2


"The closer you get,
to the meaning,
The sooner you know,
That you're DREAMING"


(HEAVEN AND HE77 - Black Sabbath)
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-13-2019, 02:02 PM
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Not boring and if I haven't just come off the R1, it still puts a huge grin on my face. Just not scary. And yes, when I went from my Honda CM400E to the GS850G I thought, "Oh my gosh! This is surely the fastest vehicle on the planet!" Its us.

Reminds me of people saying a 600 is a starter bike but you'll want to upgrade in a year or two because of lack of power! This at 100+ rear wheel hp! Compared to the mother of all superbikes, the '69 CB750 at about 69 hp. Lol. All perspective.

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2008 FJR1300 (Gen II)
2006 FJR1300 (Gen II) (RIP*)
2004 FJR1300 (Gen I) (RIP*)
*Dang cage drivers.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-15-2019, 07:05 AM
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Technology has a lot to do with 150hp being as managable as it is today. Back in the days of 70 hp "superbikes", you have to remember the frames weren't exactly very rigid, you were probably running bias ply tires, disc brakes were a fairly new thing and suspensions just plain sucked by today's standards. It was a period of time when HP was increasing and everything else on the bike had yet to catch up. One of my favorite stories involves someone racing a tz750 and pulling back into the pits to find they had bent the forks during heavy braking, and the subsequent methods engineers tried to remedy the problem (there's a reason forks have doubled in diameter over the years).

So was the excitement the sheer speed of the bikes back then, or the fact that it was so easy to reach the limits of capability of the machines? Maybe you should try riding the new R1 with out any of electronic safety nets and see if you get the same kick in the pants.

2004 FJR1300
2003 Triumph Speed 4
2002 SV650 (track bike)
1974 honda CL360
1972 yamaha R5 (long term custom project)
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-15-2019, 09:21 AM
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farmer frank hits it squarely.
By the time I'd gotten my Commando 850 my "real" Brit bike days had passed and I was also riding a Concours 1000 after unloading an R100RT. But it so surpassed the BSA I'd grown up on I had a hard time wanting to ride the Royal Star any more.
But when ff points to the frames and tires, that's where it's all so different.
We're all familiar with the mini-mart scenario of an older gentleman approaching to talk about how he'd had a CB750 in '71 and how great it was. And it was. Then we hear how our interlocutor would never return to riding because it's too... something.
My every-time response: you won't believe how much tires have improved. It's nothing like back in the '60s and '70s.
My mental computer is still burdened by old code filled with recollections of Dunlop K70s letting go on the slightest provocation. That same computer struggles to this day to realize that the Pilot Road 4s aren't going to do that short of hitting an ice sheet.
There are things about modern motorcycles I don't like- curmudgeon-ness comes easily after all these years- but the tires! Man, I love the tires!
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2009 FJR1300
2000 ZRX1100
2018 Versys 650LT in the hands of the Missus
2004 Suzuki SV650S, also Hers

(Recently departed) GPZ/ZX1100E, best bike I ever had.
And some others over the course of the decades.
In the avatar: 1966 Velocette Venom Thruxton and 1967 BSA Royal Star.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-15-2019, 10:44 AM
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Well, this post hits home. I may be Jumping ship. After singing the praises of the FJR I am one of those that finds the manner of the motor not necessarily boring, but not really exciting either. as was stated in another post. It's a spectacular bike, the suspension is decent and handles great for the weight it shoves around, I am just having a hard time being happy with the transition of the motor and the harder I ride it, especially hard pulls in upper gears I just feel it lacking. So Im officially on the hunt for something a little more exciting in the motor department, I may go back to KTM. I dunno, I may jump ship from Sport touring all together and look at something stupid like a newer VMAX or Diavel.. Which would handle like an Ironing board, but the motor would be fun. WHo knows..
I'll finish the season on it cause I just bought a new fifth wheel and bikes are cheaper in the winter.. who knows what Ill end up with.

Ron

40 years on all kinds of 2-wheeled creations
Current Bike: 08 FJR1300
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-15-2019, 03:15 PM
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1974 was the year I started my union job at McDonnell Aircraft. I turned 18 in 1973 and Feb-04-1974 was my 1st day at work at the aircraft factory. I was on my 2nd 500 Kawasaki and before my 2 stroke days ended I had went thru 7 of the 500's and 2 of the 750's. The 500 was 60 hp and a super bike back then. It was standard naked bikes till 2004 when I got my 1st K1200 GT beemer with full plastic. I got the left over 2015 FJR in Nov 2016 but working 7 day weeks so never rode the bike much. Retired in Nov 2017 then lost a girl that I had been with for 30 years and did not feel like doing anything for awhile. Middle of 2018 btl68 (nubi to this board) said lets go for a ride and now I kida like following him around the back roads of the USA. After some new rubber and tapered head bearings I wound up liking the FJR better than my 2 beemers I had.
Now btl68 is getting a 2008 FJR with 20,000 miles so now I can follow him with the FJR stock pipes and not have to listen to that noisy smoke on a shift ZRX1200 he rides.

Real Name - Bobby
2001 ZRX1200
2008 ZX14
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-15-2019, 06:58 PM
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Originally Posted by ronheater1970 View Post
After singing the praises of the FJR I am one of those that finds the manner of the motor not necessarily boring, but not really exciting either....
I'm very pro-FJR but have to agree that the engine's "character" is anything but exciting. Flat linear torque from just off idle to redline, never really a *hit* whatsoever. That blandness suits me but on certain days, I could wish for more excitement.

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2008 FJR1300 (Gen II)
2006 FJR1300 (Gen II) (RIP*)
2004 FJR1300 (Gen I) (RIP*)
*Dang cage drivers.
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