Tentative newbie - Yamaha FJR Forum : Yamaha FJR Owners Forums
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-25-2020, 05:55 AM Thread Starter
Junior Member
Training wheels fitted!
Join Date: Mar 2020
Posts: 1
Tentative newbie

Hi All,

I'm Fraser from SW Scotland, keen on touring but not much hope of that for a wee while!

I've joined up as I have an opportunity to buy a 2003 FJR in pretty good nick with only 32k miles. Being a Honda guy usually, I know very little about the marque or any specific foibles to watch out for. Somebody told me camchains can be an issue, but that can't be right?

Anyway, looking forward to learning and hopefully contributing where I can!
Fraser McDougall is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-25-2020, 06:46 AM
Senior Member
FJR Top Gun
FjrjrF's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: West Central, NJ
Posts: 1,207
Welcome and others will chime in. I believe you have a Gen 1, Yamaha is now on Gen3+ or 4. That mileage is low for that age, but there have many technical service bulletins as that is an early design in the FJR world. Don't know which updates have been performed on you ride. Gen 3 started in 2013. I have a 2014. 2016 is when some call Gen 4. Search for the thread in this forum with the different Gen's comparison.

No matter which Gen you have the FJR is rock solid in dependability. I also came over from the Honda umbrella for my entire life. The FJR was my first venture into Yamaha world, and to be honest, I don't even look at/consider Honda motorcycles anymore. The entire Yamaha line of motorcycles have been reworked and updated in the past year. I almost feel like Honda has given up on its bike line except the supersport 1000RR, MotoGP quality but who needs that? The FJR has impressed me so far, I haven't looked back, and the aftermarket support for the FJR is tremendous.

Enjoy the ride, you've got a lot of reading in front of you, just don't read and ride at the sametime! LOL

- Jim,
AMA Life and MSTA member
2014 GenIII ES
2002 VTX1800c
FjrjrF is offline  
post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-25-2020, 07:24 AM
Senior Member
High-G FJR Junkie!
RaYzerman's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Millgrove, ON, CA
Posts: 5,708
There was (is) a cam chain tensioner issue '07 and prior, older design tensioner had a weak spring and got weaker with age. Sometimes detectable by rattling noises occasionally on the right side of the engine (where the cam chain is). A few have had engines destroyed... no tension on the cam chain, it skips, and valve timing goes way off... If you ever hear that, IMMEDIATELY you need to get the latest CCT. I would almost bet yours is the original, will have no paint dot on the mounting flange... just go get one.
The FJR has an interference design, so when the valves go off timing by more than two teeth, valves hit pistons, very bad things happen and you go shopping for a new engine.
There is a procedure to change it, to preserve valve timing... basically, remove right side timing cover, zip tie the cam chain at the crankshaft end to prevent it dropping down and skipping teeth, then remove old tensioner... bit of a job, not much room to work... a broken off 8mm wrench and you can get at one of the mounting bolts from below. While those bolts are out, cut a slot in the heads and it will be much easier to seat the bolts via the slot in the frame using a screwdriver.....
There were a couple of revisions to the CCT after '07, but online parts sources list the latest usually. Get this out of the way, do regular maintenance and you'll have many miles and smiles.
jtdunc likes this.

Keep yer stick on the ice....
2014 FJR1300A - Root Beer (sold)
2009 CBF1000A - Sienna Red
1999 VFR800Fi - Pearl Shining Yellow
RaYzerman is offline  
post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-25-2020, 08:08 AM
Senior Member
High-G FJR Junkie!
JohnC's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Corinth, TX just south of Denton on I35E
Posts: 2,892
Howdy. Welcome to the forum.

Time spent looking at motorcycles, even Harleys, is never wasted.

2013 FJR1300A
1984 GPz750
Series III fairing removal:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
JohnC is offline  
post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-25-2020, 11:21 AM
Trainee Sport Tourer
Luca Brasi's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Cherohala Skyway, TN
Posts: 68
Welcome Fraser. lots of good information and helpful people here.
(not me ... pay no attention to whatever I post)
Sete Bond likes this.

2004 Miata
2016 Yamaha FJR1300A
2017 Ducati Monster
Luca Brasi is offline  
post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-25-2020, 11:41 AM
Senior Member
Farkle Trainee
cra-z1's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: CDA, Idaho
Posts: 490
Tentative? Just do it, you will like the bike. But take care of the CCT (cam chain tensioner)

2013 FJR1300 and other bikes
cra-z1 is offline  
post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-25-2020, 12:56 PM
Senior Member
FJR Top Gun
red's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: near Great Salt Lake, Utah, USA, Sol III
Posts: 1,207
Tentative newbie

Originally Posted by Fraser McDougall View Post
Hi All,
I'm Fraser from SW Scotland, keen on touring but not much hope of that for a wee while!
I've joined up as I have an opportunity to buy a 2003 FJR in pretty good nick with only 32k miles. Being a Honda guy usually, I know very little about the marque or any specific foibles to watch out for. Somebody told me camchains can be an issue, but that can't be right?
Anyway, looking forward to learning and hopefully contributing where I can!

Welcome to the FJR sandbox! Pull up a seat, and be among friends. The 2003 is one of the first FJRs available. As such, the price should be very attractive. You should look around to see at what prices the newer FJRs sell, to compare.

There is a serious issue with the the old Cam Chain Tensioners. You may or may not have the new part installed already. We have process write-ups here for the job, if you do your own work. If you give such work to a mechanic, I would also give the mechanic these processes (as a printout) to help. The CCT has a small gasket, if the old gasket is not viable. If you will need a new CCT, that need should factor into the selling price of the bike. I would not run the bike with the old-style CCT. Check here:


Best wishes! . . . check PM.

2008 FJR1300A
- Pirelli Angel GT (Spec A) tires, RDL seat, TPMS, GPS digital speedometer (Amazon ~US$28.00).

Last edited by red; 03-25-2020 at 01:04 PM.
red is offline  
post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-25-2020, 02:29 PM
Trainee Sport Tourer
oldbaldsob's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2019
Location: Springfield, MOFO
Posts: 35
Welcome Fraser! My 2015 FJR1300ES is the 2nd Yamaha I've owned. One of the things that I love about Yamaha bikes is their extraordinarily long valve check intervals of 26,000 miles. That says a lot about how well they are engineered. Best of luck sorting out the reported cam chain issue on the early bikes. After that's taken care of, it should be a reliable ride capable of years of worry-free enjoyment.

2015 Yamaha FJR1300 ES (sold)
2008 Honda VFR 800
2007 Suzuki SV1000S
2005 Suzuki SV1000S (crashed and rebuilt)
oldbaldsob is offline  
post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-25-2020, 03:28 PM
Senior Member
High-G FJR Junkie!
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Rolling Prairie, Ind
Posts: 2,415
Frazier, welcome! There’s a lot of really good people here and one know-it-all sob, past that the above advice on the cam chain tensioner is spot on, also be aware that some have issues with the steering head bearings like most Honda’s ( I am a Honda guy as well, this is my. 1st Yamaha) and the only other thing I would advise you on is if it has or had a top case check for a broken rear subframe, easy to do by just removing the rear seat and look at it under the rear cowling, it’ll be obvious. And if you decide to add a topcase yourself there’s a ton of threads here on all that to protect the subframe.

I, like you came from an all Honda background but when I was looking for a new bike (2014a red, the fastest color) I looked at everything available and rode the st1300 & c14, both nice bikes but a ride on my buddies 2011 fjr and the fact that neither the Honda $$$ or Kawi had cruise, plus that 14 red and the hook was set. It’s a pretty terrific bike despite my considerable issues with my bike it is the far exception and not the norm. It is a fantastic piece with a few possible problems but generally is totally reliable enjoy yours.

Steve P
Red 2014A, the fastest color !
Ride more,, worry less !

Last edited by passx; 03-25-2020 at 03:33 PM.
passx is offline  
post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-25-2020, 06:13 PM
Senior Member
Farkle Trainee
jtdunc's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Seattle
Posts: 480
Welcome Fraser. Duncan as my European co-workers call me. Work at a Dutch company in the U.S.

The FJR1300s are solid motorbikes. The are top performers in the US's Iron Butt Rallies with a female BMW mechanic riding her 2005 FJR to win that competition this year IIRC.

I have a Gen I - 2005 with ABS:

Also love touring on my 2003 Gold Wing GL1800. Sorry but Yamaha does not have a long distance touring equivalent with the comfort, power and reliability. The Gold Wing has been produced since 1974.

Back on topic. If you're looking for a deal, the Gen I FJRs can be had very affordably. Get the CCT handled. 17K had some scheduled maintenance. Change the fluids is easy peasy on the Gen Is. It's my daily commuter - rain showers, cold weather, fall, winter, spring and summer. They only tip is that the Gen Is have a reputation for overheating - so you have to watch your thermostat and avoid getting trapped in a traffic jam where you are barely moving. Thick riding pants that are breathable helps. Hope it has a few farkles (aftermarket upgrades). That's the bene of buying a used bike - the other guy already spent 1300 on accessories that you get basically at zero cost on an older bike.

If well maintained and garaged, that older FJR should run for a good long time. We commonly see FJRs in the US being sold easily with 50-75,000 miles on them. And people buy them and ride the crap out of them.

No matter what, please let us know when you buy it and of course,

2005 Yamaha FJR 1300A
2003 Honda Gold Wing GL1800A
1985 Kawasaki GPZ900R Ninja - Past
Toyota 4runner/Tundra/Land Cruiser
Nash 17K Travel Trailer

Last edited by jtdunc; 03-25-2020 at 06:21 PM.
jtdunc is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Yamaha FJR Forum : Yamaha FJR Owners Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome