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nunia720 07-24-2020 11:58 PM

I am in over my head~~~~~Help please!!!
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Disclaimer: For all intents and purposes I am on my 3rd season of riding. On a Ninja500.......coupled with the occasional Harley if a buddy wants to switch for awhile. So I definitely have my training wheels on!!!! At this point I wish there was a way to teleport the bike to a Freeway or fast pace two lane highway. I am more than confident there and smiling from ear to ear the whole time. City riding.....another story and another topic actually. The purpose of this Thread is to kindly ask for help in getting my machine ready for Sturgis, and by that I mean I am riding her from Milwaukee to there. Stats are: 2003 w/42000 miles. I bought it from the 2nd owner, a 70 year old Gentleman and he has had it since 2006 at which point it had 5000 miles on it. Sadly the only reason he is selling is he was diagnosed with Leukemia in April and got out of the hospital 45 days ago. He's on the mend but his immune system is shot. He was religious about oil changes every 3000 miles coupled with that was final drive oil change. Dog bones have been greased according to him but never repacked. The CCT is the original as far as he knows too. He couldn't recall when brake fluid and coolant was changed but that really doesn't matter as I will change all fluids anyways. Oh, valves haven't been checked by him either.

What can wait until after Sturgis and what needs immediate attention. It needs tires for sure, Metzlers are on there now and he thought they were new last season but doesn't know how many miles are on them.....Last year? The life of the bike basically averaged 2500 miles a year. Please tell me that's not the typical life span of tires for her!! Unless this guy is Ghost Riders Pops, I am missing something. Again, I will do all fluids. What tires should I get? I weight a whopping 155 lbs and am 6' tall. I'll adjust suspension to my weight and until I am far more comfortable on her I will be easy. Thats not to say I won't get loose on the highway and semi straightaways....I am already comfortable just from riding her home hitting triple digits doing rapid braking, swerving while braking @ speed trying to downshift for brakes. Which brings up another question, where is too high in the revs to downshift and lock the back tire up?? She handles what my Ninja doesn't in that regard without breaking a sweat!! Man oh man I'm going to really enjoy her company I believe.

Farkles: Right now looking for long distance so keep that in mind. Also cheapest. Actually not so long distance, because only my Brother is riding in our crew, the rest are trailering and he's got a 05 883 Sportster with a **** stock peanut tank so I am anticipating lots of breaks!!! 3 fill-ups to my 1 on the Ninja is what I'm use to.

I'm sure you all get the point, I need help here. I tried searching best tires and all I really could find was a year old thread w/lots of bickering. P4GT's ...I found some Pirelils cheap but then the back tire was no longer available. They have em' in a 190 though??? I really need help here with the tires and understanding considering my riding style.

I know, I am asking alot everyone, especially w/out Bike porn!!! I'll attach my new machine to this and promise to take pics while in Sturgis, maybe even video. Plus I do my own wrenching on everything so I promise I will be able to help in the future instead of being so frickin needy, LOL. Again, I thought I was going to pick up like a Civic si or a Eclipse GT......not a McLaren. Crazy insane fast machine~~~~

Sete Bond 07-25-2020 01:42 AM

nunia, Congratulations on getting your FJR! I'm surprised you thought you were getting a two wheeled version of a Civic - the Yamaha website notes "The FJR1300ES offers a significant level of power & performance. It is not intended for novice or inexperienced riders."

Good that you are pleasantly surprised!

As for tires ... while there's no lack of threads on this forum about tires, there is definitely a lack of consensus, other than "buy something ... if you like them, buy them again. If you don't like them, when they wear out buy something else." I'm only on my second set of tires - I bought PR4 GT's, and really like them. I'm not a knee dragger, but definitely lean toward "spirited" riding.

Have a great ride to Sturgis and back!

N4HHE 07-25-2020 02:09 AM

There are Pirelli tires that wear quickly, there are Pirelli tires that wear a long time. Same for Metzeler. Saying "Metzlers are on there now" is as meaningless as saying you use synthetic motor oil.

A Bridgestone T30 or T31 in GT or not-GT is the best FJR tire value these days.

A Michelin PR4 or PR4GT is the longest lasting tire. Also most expensive. Some say it is squishy and imprecise. I fear the front does not steer nicely the last of its life, but have a new one waiting to mount and refresh my memory.

Pirelli Angel GT, GT-2, and either in A-spec (Pirellispeak for Michelin and Bridgestone's "GT") is an excellent expensive tire.

Metzeler Z6 is a cheap fast wearing tire. Behaved well but was bicycle tire thin. When punctured near end of life I felt the tire tear when I inserted the plug. Finally got a plug that would get me home but lost 10 PSI in 35 miles. Better than a tow truck. Immediately replaced tire.

nunia720 07-25-2020 03:05 AM

Thanks Sete.....I guess after what I've been reading my questions regard the speed rating of a Z and maybe the recommended and the max carrying weight (58 W/73 W). If I have no intentions of going that fast loaded or not? Plus I weigh only 155 lbs. And can I change the aspect ratio at least for now on this set while I'm trying to get comfortable on her to make it easier to make turns from a complete stop. If so do I go with a smaller or bigger ratio?

As far as not realizing what FJR's were I honestly never heard of them until this one popped up on Craigslist. I did a little research but I guess not quite enough!! Could be just me as well. I mean I knew she was a bigger bike and obviously would be fast if on the throttle. But I just couldn't pass it up. I mean I can jump on a R6 or a Sportster and have no issues. It's a combination of things I'm thinking~~~insane power and absolutely crazy response in throttle, the sheer size of her and most importantly my HEAD!! And maybe being shaft driven....??? I guess I'll try a throttle tamer and a **** ton of practice in the parking lot. Or...........I could just ride like some Harley guys that act like it's a Semi and slow everyone down while they come across 3 lanes of traffic making a right hand turn from a intersection at a dead stop!! LOL. JK, I strive to be as safe and technically correct at riding as I can. I will get this!! Give me a little time and I will be able to low speed maneuvers with the best of them!!!

Or I will only go in straight lines @ triple digits, because I absolutely love this Machine!!!

RaYzerman 07-25-2020 06:48 AM

If you want the longer lasting tires, get Michelin PR2's if you can find them. Otherwise Roadsmart 3's, which should last a touch longer than PR4's. You can put a 190/55 on the back no problem, that's what I do.

I would change the CCT like yesterday if it were mine, but you must remove right side timing cover and zip tie the cam chain down near the crank sprocket so the chain doesn't slip down and skip a tooth while you have the tension off. It helps to slightly rotate the crank forward to keep tension on the front part of the chain.

The valve check is a little more involved, perhaps leave that until you get back (and the coolant change that goes with it). But do ensure your rad is full and overflow bottle is at max level.

And if I could recommend you calm down a bit on a new-to-you heavy bike.... lol. Darned young'uns.

hipi111 07-25-2020 08:28 AM

as for the power on the bike if you ride it calmly its easily manageable under 3k-4k rpm the bike rides like a gentle tourer once you go over that you unlock the real power of the bike and you'll get in that super car level of power haha

as someone with a bike where the cct has failed i wouldn't want that to happen to others so i recommend you change it as fast as possible but if your trip is soon and you dont hear any ticking noise on the right side of the engine you should leave it till you get back it involves some work same with the valve clearance

Benhameen 07-25-2020 09:25 AM

When I bought my 03 it was a very similar situation to yours. Sounds like you are on the right track overall.

I'm not getting into the tire discussions plenty of that here already, use the advise given in this thread.

I changed out the CCT, do that asap if its not been changed. It's not that difficult of a job, do a search and you'll find step by step instructions with pics.

Something to consider if you're not already wearing riding gear, I would start looking for deals now. I also picked up a water proof roll bag to strap to the rear seat. Don't forget about rain gear, as well.

What about a tire repair kit and pump? Might be a good idea to do a search on here to see if guys have listed what they carry with them for longer trips, i'm pretty sure there's a list in here somewhere.

Sounds like you're really excited about your bike, as was I, still am as a matter of fact. Time to go for a ride before it gets too hot.

red 07-25-2020 10:27 AM

I am in over my head~~~~~Help please!!!

Originally Posted by nunia720 (Post 1267337)
Thanks Sete.....I guess after what I've been reading my questions regard the speed rating of a Z and maybe the recommended and the max carrying weight (58 W/73 W). Or I will only go in straight lines @ triple digits, because I absolutely love this Machine!!!


At anything near triple digits, in any direction, I would have Z rating tires, well balanced. The FJR is a strong and heavy machine, not at all the place for bargain tires . . .

Under 5000 RPM, have a nice ride. Over 5000 RPM, have a lot of room ahead, and hang on. Really. There is NO need to use the upper half of the tach, for a while yet.

bounce 07-25-2020 10:30 AM

Don't skimp on load ratings when considering a new tire (it's a heavy bike and can be loaded up before you know it). Speed ratings can be hedged a bit based on your KNOWN riding restrictions but if you do, don't get suckered into trying to keep up when on Hoon Rallies. Sadly, a lot of the character of the FJR will be missed.

N4HHE 07-25-2020 10:42 AM

Am not aware of any tire that fits the FJR not being Z rated 58W/73W.

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