Hello from Colorado
I bought my 2003 FJR about a year ago. I joined the forum because I was looking for some tech advice and found it. I'm 50 and am very new to street bikes. I've always had at least 1 dirt bike since I was in my 20's and wanted a street bike. Then, my kids witnessed a fatal bike wreck while on a school bus so I promised them I wouldn't get a street bike.
Nearly 20 years later, my son started showing an interest in motorcycles, so I decided that getting a cheap bike and doing a cafe racer project would be a fun idea. The goal was to buy a bike for under $1000 and bring it back from the dead. I saw an ad for an FJR1300 for $1200, not running. I did a Pinterest search on FJR1300 cafe projects and found a few and decided it could be done. I talked the guy down to $900 because it wasn't running. When he went inside to find the title, I put my jump starter on it, held the throttle wide open and it started right up. I quickly shut it off and tried to wave out the exhaust smell before he came back outside. When I got it home, I took it for a spin in the neighborhood. This was literally the first street bike I had ever ridden. I parked it and took pictures to show my son and while I was looking at it, I realized that I could never bring myself to tear apart this beautiful bike. So I called my son and told him that I'm keeping the bike for myself and ended up getting him a 1998 FZR600 for $1000 and started the cafe project on that bike.
A lot of people have told me that the FJR is not an ideal "beginner" bike. I really have nothing to compare it to other than the FZR, so what do I know? I've been riding it for about a year now and so far so good. I really love the bike and I ride whenever the weather allows. I've had 2 mechanical issues with it that I've fixed. One day, I was taking it out and it died at the bottom of my driveway. Wouldn't start back up. Turned out to be a fuel issue. I'm not 100% sure, but I cleaned the contacts on the relay assembly and packed the connectors with dielectric grease. That got it back and running. Worried that I had a bad fuel pump, I changed the motor using one of the $70 replacements online. When I put it back together, it would idle, but would die when I gave it throttle. I took removed the pump assembly, disassembled it, reassembled it and re-installed it about a dozen times before discovering a little o-ring that wasn't installed correctly. Fixed that and I'm back in business.
The only mod I've done on it is the exhaust "trooper" mod to make it a little louder.
No one believes that I bought that bike for $900.