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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

I am hoping to be back on two wheels after 7 years without a bike. I've only owned dirt bikes and some vintage bikes, last three were 70's and 80's BMW boxers and honestly my first thought was to look at early 2000's RT's but... my budget is limited for a "reentry to the hobby" bike and I need to avoid a money pit.

Since discovering and test riding a family friend's FJR, I do believe this is where to concentrate my efforts. I understand my current budget ($4K) will limit me severely but I'm going to keep an eye out and see if I can get lucky.

I have just begun to dig into the many great posts on this forum and look forward to learning from and hopefully meeting some fellow enthusiasts.

James
 

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Howdy. Welcome. $4K will limit you somewhat. Series I bikes have engine heat issues. Series II bikes, because of the way MamaYama did the electrical system, are prone to electrical gremlins (colloquially known as the "spider bite" [ground spiders]) because of the way Yamaha daisy chained the grounds. Plus Yamaha didn't really fully sort out the EFI system until around 2010. Series III bikes (2013 on) are probably out of your budget.

All of these problems are well documented and fully sorted out. Any FJR, with a little care, will last you 200,000 miles. 50,000 miles on most bikes is considered "high mileage". On an FJR, 50K miles is just well broken in. Although many owners will ride them hard, most do not flog them. Plus we tend to be very conscientious about maintenance.

Good luck on your hunt.
 

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I would concentrate on 08 and up. You will probably find a higher mileage bike in your price range but if maintenance has been performed should be no problem. These are among some of the easiest bikes to maintain out there. 50/60K would not scare me off.
If you would let us know your location maybe something near by could be found.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Howdy. Welcome. $4K will limit you somewhat. Series I bikes have engine heat issues. Series II bikes, because of the way MamaYama did the electrical system, are prone to electrical gremlins (colloquially known as the "spider bite" [ground spiders]) because of the way Yamaha daisy chained the grounds. Plus Yamaha didn't really fully sort out the EFI system until around 2010. Series III bikes (2013 on) are probably out of your budget.

All of these problems are well documented and fully sorted out. Any FJR, with a little care, will last you 200,000 miles. 50,000 miles on most bikes is considered "high mileage". On an FJR, 50K miles is just well broken in. Although many owners will ride them hard, most do not flog them. Plus we tend to be very conscientious about maintenance.

Good luck on your hunt.
Thank you very much for your input. I do indeed have my sights set on a GEN II and in fact my budget may very well keep an FJR out of my reach indefinitely, if not permanently, but that will certainly not cause my world to crumble as there will always be plenty of often less reliable, headache inducing, bank account draining, older RT's to choose from. Like I said in my first post, I've tasted what I believe is right for me and want to make a sincere effort to get it within my limits.

I would concentrate on 08 and up. You will probably find a higher mileage bike in your price range but if maintenance has been performed should be no problem. These are among some of the easiest bikes to maintain out there. 50/60K would not scare me off.
If you would let us know your location maybe something near by could be found.
Thank you for your reply and encouragement. I agree that 2008 and up might be best for me and I am in no way shy about a well-cared for example with 50-70k miles on the clock. I have no delusions of grandeur that I will somehow end up with a mint condition, low mileage bike anywhere near this price point but "mini miracles" do happen and that's why I'm here on this site and staying (cautiously) optimistic.

We're located in the Piedmont area of North Carolina and my short term goals are 2-5hr at-a-time day trips 2 up with my wife and very occasional longer treks. Also, weekend afternoons "solo sans paniers" zipping along back country roads here in North Cackalacky :)
 

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I know that prices are up some now, but I bought my 16K mile 2007 last year for just over 4K (On this forum). That is not an unreasonable goal, just be ready to buy - bikes priced well sell quickly.
 

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jamesNC,

Check the local TV stations; they may have Want Ads for vehicles. I do not like eBay, but hey, you never know . . . There are car and bike trader tabloids out there too, but don't trust that anybody has what they say they are selling. Travel may be needed. Avoid any "deal" that is not first-person, buyer to seller, with all paperwork in order. A "salvage title" means the bike was rebuilt from a wreck, and the bike is very hard to sell.
You can check all Craigslists, nationwide, or at some distance that you choose, from this site:

SearchTempest: Search all of Facebook Marketplace, craigslist & more

  • A few Gen1 FJRs had a head problem (valve train). Avoid any that sound like bad valves. Engine heat may be a problem for the rider (not the engine), but there are some FAIR remedies for that issue.
  • For Gen 1 & Gen 2, check that the Cam Chain Tensioner is a new (green dot) CCT. You may get a deal on an FJR with an old CCT, but take it to the repair shop first, before anything else is done. If the owner says it will all be okay, just have them ride it to the shop before they get your money. I would not ride an FJR with an old CCT to the shop, I'd take it in a trailer or truck. A CCT failure would kill the engine dead, FUBAR, before you can reach the key.
  • Check the gas tank for rust. Do not run the engine on old ethanol-gas. Siphon the tank empty, and use fresh gas.
  • Check the tire date codes. Tread depth does not count. After about five years and older, the tires are just about done.
  • Ask for all maintenance records, even if it's just a handscribble list.
  • A can of Seafoam or other fuel injector cleaner in the tank (mixed to label specs) will be good, there.
Happy hunting!
 
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Want to remember a few '06 / 07 on the FB marketplace in the $3500-4200 range in NC, SC and GA.
Maybe lookie there.
 
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Welcome , potentially, to the Horde, JamesNC! Be among Friends!

Yeah, the folks here really know their stuff and make owning an FJR a real pleasure!

There is not an issue that has been presented that hasn't been solved!

And we GenII-ers have a "fondness" for our "spider bites!"
 
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Hello all,

I am hoping to be back on two wheels after 7 years without a bike. I've only owned dirt bikes and some vintage bikes, last three were 70's and 80's BMW boxers and honestly my first thought was to look at early 2000's RT's but... my budget is limited for a "reentry to the hobby" bike and I need to avoid a money pit.

Since discovering and test riding a family friend's FJR, I do believe this is where to concentrate my efforts. I understand my current budget ($4K) will limit me severely but I'm going to keep an eye out and see if I can get lucky.

I have just begun to dig into the many great posts on this forum and look forward to learning from and hopefully meeting some fellow enthusiasts.

James
Find a 2003-2005 with about 30-50k. If it was a "ticker" it would have already showed signs and/or killed itself. Should be easily in your range and with the left over money you can change the primary, secondary, filter, get a CCT and probably some rubber. I know because I did exactly that and have put over 15k on the bike since I got it last October-ish. Hassle free and aside from the work done on a tech day (albeit I didn't need it but it was good to get in there and check) the bike runs like new.
Plus you can do all sorts of stuff to it and not worry about scratches and/or messing little things up along the way. Then when you dump another 0 on a newer one you will know exactly what you are doing. Believe me you will have another one after the first. Not because you will need another you will just want another sooner or later.
 

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Hello all,

I am hoping to be back on two wheels after 7 years without a bike. I've only owned dirt bikes and some vintage bikes, last three were 70's and 80's BMW boxers and honestly my first thought was to look at early 2000's RT's but... my budget is limited for a "reentry to the hobby" bike and I need to avoid a money pit.

Since discovering and test riding a family friend's FJR, I do believe this is where to concentrate my efforts. I understand my current budget ($4K) will limit me severely but I'm going to keep an eye out and see if I can get lucky.

I have just begun to dig into the many great posts on this forum and look forward to learning from and hopefully meeting some fellow enthusiasts.

James
I'd also like to add that many people that are selling the Gen 1's are not the die-hard FJR enthusiast or even have any idea what these bikes are capable of. I shopped around on FB market place and was lowballing anyone in a 6 hr radius. The majority of people simply saw the bike as an older bike and not worth what their longevity and reliability is valued at. Some people were smart enough to understand and would not budge. Honestly, with that budget (I am coming from a very "budgeted" lifestyle as well. Fucking kids) you always have to consider a purchase like this to encompass what you are going to have to spend on top of the bike to get it to the point where it is safe and not going to destroy itself. Along with the cost of replacing things that may need to be scraped. If your budget of 4k is for the bike only and you have more for taxes, title, reg, ins, another $750 for the maintenance stuff and tires/CCT and fluid flush, and moly lube everywhere, sure go Gen II but you also have to consider ABS and electronics are going to be more expensive to fix if God forbid.
If 4K is your total budget and you can throw a little at a time at her, go Gen 1, buy from someone that at least rode it some and used it, has no idea the thing is capable of traveling to the moon and back, and have a keen eye on what to look for in terms of the expensive problem areas and you can grab a decent bike for 3k easy that will last 10x the miles you spent 3K on.


For what it's worth I just did the math and by the end of this riding season I will have spent more on the gas I've put through the bike in my ownership then the amount I spent on getting it legally and safely on the road. Money well spent. IMCHO
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
If your budget of 4k is for the bike only and you have more for taxes, title, reg, ins, another $750 for the maintenance stuff and tires/CCT and fluid flush, and moly lube everywhere, sure go Gen II but you also have to consider ABS and electronics are going to be more expensive to fix if God forbid.
If 4K is your total budget and you can throw a little at a time at her, go Gen 1, buy from someone that at least rode it some and used it, has no idea the thing is capable of traveling to the moon and back, and have a keen eye on what to look for in terms of the expensive problem areas and you can grab a decent bike for 3k easy that will last 10x the miles you spent 3K on.
Budget is for bike only and I am definitely leaning toward a Gen II but will not overlook a great deal on a Gen I if it presents itself. I'm going to be patient and keep learning what to look for and hopefully find someone in my area willing to share some experience with me. I know my way around the boxers pretty good but this is brand new territory and I'm not yet feeling very confident in my ability to choose a good one.

One thing is for sure, I really appreciate all of the folks on here willing to chime in (y)
 

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Budget is for bike only and I am definitely leaning toward a Gen II but will not overlook a great deal on a Gen I if it presents itself. I'm going to be patient and keep learning what to look for and hopefully find someone in my area willing to share some experience with me. I know my way around the boxers pretty good but this is brand new territory and I'm not yet feeling very confident in my ability to choose a good one.

One thing is for sure, I really appreciate all of the folks on here willing to chime in (y)
Personally I chose the 2003 because I did not want ABS (unpopular opinion I know) I just don't like complexity and I REALLY like to lock the back tire up especially when wet. (silly I know) I use a $20 throttle lock so I don't need CC and like to hammer on a bike and beat the piss out of it, have fun with it before I buy a newish one and baby it. I read that the 2003 had the most "aggressive" gearing and so I was sold. I also have this personal belief about Japanese manufacturing that stems from both golf clubs and motorcycles and that the first 3 years they make a specific "model" of something it is of the best quality and the rest is downhill till they make a new "model". Mizunos, Muiras, etc.

That's just me. I am a little "special".

My point is that if you are going to have a starter FJR I would hope you at least consider something that you can really put through it's paces and wrench on without getting worried about dinging the clearcoat or snapping off a fairing tab. They all have the EXACT same engine. The differences are in the transmission, electronics, suspension, farkles etc. At its core the powerplant is the same and my advice (weather you take it or not is okay) would be to save some cash and get one you can really learn everything about it's core attributes first and beat the heck out of and then when you find your "baby" you can powder its behind and sing it lullabies while you spread carnauba on it's plastic.

Frankly at this point with mine I am so far "out from under" the money I spent I feel like I have ridden every ride at the amusement park and it's only lunchtime. Anything I do to this bike here on out is just smiles in my pocket. I am considering the idea of slapping some homemade engine guards on it and learning to stunt it. I can already do little power wheelies but I don't want to fully drop it sideways. I need a $350 spring kit for the front so I don't completely destroy the suspension when I inevitably am forced to slap the rear if she got too high. I have no idea if this bike is capable (or should I say susceptible) of a suicide wobble when putting her back down as I have only really wheelied it a foot or two at most and at speed. I just know where I am at in terms of the bike and the money, I would be far more worried about my personal safety then the damage to the bike or the expense caused by a drop. That says a lot as if I had a loan on a H2 SVX I would be hobbling on broken legs to see the damage and checking if I still have my wallet on me if I dropped what I dream of riding. I am only 41 and I ride like I am 21 but I am also not planning on dropping the bike at speed enough to kill/paralyze me. You can't lean this bike enough to do that, it's just not possible without debris/oil/water/poor throttle control and I ride darkside and scrape pegs easily. But again, that's just my stupid ass and what I do and value, you may be completely different.

Long rant longer, you rode one. You got the bug. You saw the light. You harnessed the Space X rocket and now you want one to wrap your legs around. We all went through it. My point that I am poorly trying to make while hopefully entertaining at least a few people is that when dealing in a bike that new costs almost 20K and has the same engine as the first model (albeit, probably one of the top 5 best power/torque MC engines ever made) do you want to cherish the first one you get or use it as a "long test-ride" till you get the one you cherish? Just things to consider when spending 4K on a bike worth 19K new.

Thanks for coming to my TED Talk!
 

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Versys 1000, VFR800
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Get the Traxxion spring kit for the front end...... less than half of $350.
 

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Get the Traxxion spring kit for the front end...... less than half of $350.
Yep. I am really impressed with the difference it makes. No need for gold valve kit or anything else.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Long rant longer, you rode one. You got the bug. You saw the light. You harnessed the Space X rocket and now you want one to wrap your legs around. We all went through it. My point that I am poorly trying to make while hopefully entertaining at least a few people is that when dealing in a bike that new costs almost 20K and has the same engine as the first model (albeit, probably one of the top 5 best power/torque MC engines ever made) do you want to cherish the first one you get or use it as a "long test-ride" till you get the one you cherish? Just things to consider when spending 4K on a bike worth 19K new.

Thanks for coming to my TED Talk!
I did indeed get the bug but definitely have a different approach at this point in my life. Having said that, you've given me some things to chew on while I see what's out there. If I were on my own I would be more inclined to maybe get a beater to put through the paces and experiment wrenching on OR spend more than I should on a much newer and nicer model than I should lol... So, here I sit thinking of something maybe in between those two extremes.
 

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You are entering the correct time of year to buy. Get down around Thanksgiving and Christmas and some sweet deals will pop up assuming you can wait that long. Patience Grasshopper, the right deal will come along. Just be ready to pounce and good luck with your search.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
You are entering the correct time of year to buy. Get down around Thanksgiving and Christmas and some sweet deals will pop up assuming you can wait that long. Patience Grasshopper, the right deal will come along. Just be ready to pounce and good luck with your search.
Exactly what I was hoping to hear. Yes, I'll be patient then snatch that pebble as soon as it appears :LOL:
 
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