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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
PROLOGUE
In the beginning.....my knowledge of FJRs was limited to only what one could glean from the (paper) pages of Cycle World magazine & the brief spec-sheet-turned-to sentence-format internet bike reviews. I was there when the "new model" & "first look" articles hit the press about the brand new for 2003 Yamaha FJR1300. The paradigm shift in motorcycling thought they produced was unprecedented....full fairing....windshield....shaft drive....hard cases that snap on & off in a single bound...all that with sport bike looks & handling but without sore wrists & back...& from one of the big 4 Japanese brands no less? Naked bikes & dual sports? Surely I had been doing it wrong all this time.....backpacks & bungee cords....endless chain tensioning & mess...neck sore from head bobbing in the wind like a rag doll....the freezing cold! No, there was a better way; that much was clear now. You can adjust the winshield up & down as you ride? The glove box--let alone the very idea of such a thing--locks & unlocks automatically? It might as well have been nuclear powered. It was like building a fire your entire life by rubbing two sticks together only to find out they sold Zippos at the corner store for $0.49. Then too much common sense took over.....FJRs were $1x,xxx. The x's didn't matter. They could all be "0"s; they all could be "9"s, it was like the distance to Mars or to Jupiter; just too far. Besides, I was young...far too young...for what HAD to be an "old mans" bike. I was suppoed to be into CBRs, FZa, Bandits, & ZRXs.

In the years that followed I admired the FJR from afar. I knew they were there. I knew there were some changes from time to time. I knew there were some documented issues here & there. I knew they made one without a real clutch lever. The details never stuck, there was no reason to.....not yet. Hell, I even went & test rode a used one once....& they guy let me...a then 20 something guy....on a then 2-3 year old blue 2005....on a mile of gravel before you hit any pavement. I came with a serious intent to buy, but only if I knew it was the right bike at the right time. On the test ride I knew...I knew I didnt travel the distances worthy of the steed & that the one I was riding wasn't the one I wanted...I wanted one with less miles & less scratches & cosmetic issues...I knew I needed a FJR someday but not now. Slowly the FJR fire burned down to a simmer & I lost touch with them. Years passed; then more than a decade. Eventually I only knew of FJRs as most people know of Corvettes. Everyone can point out in the parade, but not much more.

I've worked on bikes in one way or another my whole life. Eventually it turned into pure entertainment like most people watch TV. I woudl seek out motorcycles just for the sole purpose of rebuilding them for the challenge or learning something new. I did most of my work in the winter when there was nothing else to do. It got to the point where i intentionally sought out a single major project to take on over the course of the winter.

In preparation for winter 2019-2020 I posted a want ad to Craigslist.

"Wanted: motorcycle projects or basket cases. Street or dirt bikes. No Harleys"

After batting away the usual responses of guys wanting me to buy their Sportster for $4-6k or their old KZ1000 for $8-9K one email made me spring to my keyboard like no other......

<paraphrasing>......"I've got an FJR1300 that hasn't ran in 6 years...mice ate the seat....$500."

This guy has to be wrong. A FJR1300? No that's far too new, that's far too cheap! He must mean a much older FJ1200. I'll humor him....

<paraphrasing> "I'm interested, got the keys? Title in your name?" Can you send any pics?

What follows is an account of one man's foray into the FJR world. I am posting it here as a retelling of the story I originally penned on another forum so that you FJR enthusiasts may find some amusement--& hope---in these cold dark months known to many of us here in the upper regions of North America.

Much of the thread will be copied & pasted from my original postings as the project progressed in then real time. I will differentiate those posts with italics. Any supplemental or current information & replies will be posted in normal text. Please note this project has already reached its end---whatever end that may be--so any original questions posed in italics need not be answered here...I was asking the forum audience (not a FJR specific crowd) of the time...not now. I will post updates every now & then to recreate the suspense of the original, but rest assured you will relive the full project at a much faster rate than the first go round. Please note I had never set foot in any FJR specific forum at the time of this project & could not tell you the difference from one Gen to the next. This is an origin story.
 

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Much better than "It was a dark and stormy night".

dan
 
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link to the other forum you posted up on?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
On an icy November day I received an email reply with some photo attachments. I had probably also asked if he was the original owner & what year it was. In the email reply it was stated it was a 2004 & he was the original owner with the title & keys in hand. Below are the photos I received.
Tire Wheel Vehicle Fuel tank Automotive lighting

Vehicle Tire Wheel Snow Automotive lighting

Wheel Tire Automotive lighting Vehicle Automotive tire



It was real & no mistaken FJ1200. A 2004 FJR1300 as a project....a bike I actually wanted & to keep & ride for myself. I replied I woudl take the bike & be out to get it on the weekend when the weather cleared. Poor FJR, out in the cold alone & coveredd in ice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
CHAPTER 1--BEGIN THE BEGIN
It made perfect sense. Get the bike for $500 put on a set of tires, battery, some Ebay seats & for $1,500-$2,000 max all in I woudl be riding down the road in the spring. Once the weekend hit I arranged to borrow a ramped trailer--no way that big boat was going up a ramp into the back of the truck. With the trailer hooked up next thing I knew we were driving down a gravel road to a house in the middle of a couple of fields. Pieces of farm equipment were smattered here & there, marking the spot where they died; their own tombstones. Right outside the machine shed sat the FJR, it had not moved an inch since the pics were taken. No dog had escorted us onto the property so, so far so good. No paw scratches on the exterior door this time. I did my usual routine getting out of the car in these situations....checked for the yet to be seen farm dog to come screaming out around the corner...nope. Open the door make some sounds....still nope...shut the door stand there a minute in case i need to get back in real fast....nope. Went up to the door & rang the bell. Nothing. Beat on the door a bit. Was anyone home? Finally a gray bearded upper 60s / mid 70s guy came to the door. He was the quintessential old Harley guy. If you have seen one, you have seen them all. Skinny, glasses, longish hair but you could tell it was the shortest it had been in his entire life, hadn't taken a breath that wasn't through the filter of a Camel since high school, & moved / walked with a gait that implied that at one point every bone in his body had been broken. "you here about the motorcycle?" Indeed I was.

Nice enough fella, we chatted a bit as we walked over to the FJR. He said he was a Harley guy & rode all over, he may have rambled off various Harley models that all seem the same to me. Said he started to do those "iron butt rides" but his Harley made that pretty much miserable, so picked up this FJR brand new to do some long distance rides instead. He said he got it, rode it coast to coast & then that was pretty much it. Given our location, that implied to ride coast to coast one first must ride halfway across the county to one coast, ride across to the opposite coast, then ride halfway back across the country to end up where you started. So really that's TWO rides coast to coast. He said he didnt ride it much after that & it had not ran in six years. After a little more talking it was revealed that the six year mark was probably back in the spring & it had sat in the machine shed thru those six years; but effective that spring he pushed it outside to get the mice out of it & it has sat outside from spring until now. He expressed some remorse about the end that had come to this previous trusty steed & wanted to get rid of it to someone who coudl get it back going agin, but he knew the mice had had their way with it. I feared not, but the old man from the farm knew more than me. I woudl have to learn. He already knew. Its not even as if he looked for himself. He didnt have to look. He just knew. I asked him how many miles it had. he said he couldn't recall but he would guess "ten to twenty".

I could smell the bike before I even got up to it. There are 3 smells I can identify immediately that are forever hard wired into my brain.
1. Dog shit
2. Old moldy tent
3. Bad gas
I could smell the bad gas before I could read the lettering on the side panels. There it was. Uglier than the pics. They always are. The rear seat was almost hollowed out & emptied of its foam. Just a cover over a pan with some stuff inside that wasnt foam anymore. The cover over the battery (upper right fairing no less--always thought that was odd) was missing but i was assured it was in the bag. Some home made wiring to something that was no longer there--great home made wiring is always a pet peeve of mine. Some home made looking plate above the dash. That & the blue windshield had to go. But all in all, it was an FJR & it was complete. Nothing more to discuss. I asked to see the title & for the keys. Title was in order but he could only produce one key & the owners manual. He was the type of guy who did not sweat over such small details as only one key. "Well lets load it up".

It was about that time I realized the tires were close to flat. I've done this many times--pulling bikes from barns & sheds yards from the nearest electrical outlet or air source. I normally bring my own air tank, but for some reason this time I didnt. So the 3 of us pushed that hulking beast to the trailer & up the ramp on flat & flat spotted tires. Hmm, not alot of experience strappign down a full faired bike with side bags & tires that fatten more as you tighten the straps. I strapped it down (went to the lower triple tree), exchanged paperwork for cash & off I went.

Since it was mid-late November I thought the chances of trying to properly wash this thing at home were slim to none so we stopped by a car wash & sprayed it off quick right on the trailer (done it many times). Once I got home I produced my handy-so-long-as-you-bring-it-along air tank & aired up the tires before it parted weays with the trailer. With air in the tires it only took two of us to get it up my steep driveway I wondered why it continued to drip after the washing. I didnt know about all the foam behind the fairings at this point.
I snapped these pics & figured i woudl make a forum thread to document the progress as I enjoyed reading about others projects. it read:

Took in a FJR1300 project...2004. Bike has not ran in 6+ years & stinks of bad gas at 10 paces. Mice ate the seats. Has been sitting in a barn for 6 years then outside for the last 5 months.

Just been able to briefly look over the bike. Hole in the top of the gas tank....maybe just a a vent chamber as the tank is full (of something) & it does not splash out. Also removed the seat & the mouse damage is worse than I hoped, but not as bad I have seen before. Other than the seat they started eating the plastic inner fender/under tray, 1/2" hole thru the top of the air box, a little of the rear cowl, & the insulation of a wire or two (so far). Of course all the gross & corrosive action of the mouse pee too. Not brave enough to get inside the airbox yet. A lot of the main harness/ECU wiring is down by the air intake also so will have to see what kind of damage was done around there. On my last project (YZ125) mouse pee completely ruined the bike..nest in the airbox & the mouse pee ran down...melted the carburetor :eek:....then continued on & ruined the crank & cases. There was no saving that one. This one is not near that level (that I have seen yet) & at least the airbox is below the intakes so that cant happen here.

Rolls a lot easier with air in the tires. Looking for a set of seats & a windscreen that isn't blue (stock height preferred) if anyone has one laying around the garage cheap.

Never dealt with old/gummed up gas in a FI bike before. What do you do? Just replace the fuel injectors instead of trying to use or clean them?


Tire Wheel Fuel tank Vehicle Automotive tire
Tire Wheel Vehicle Automotive lighting Hood
Tire Wheel Fuel tank Vehicle Plant
Tire Wheel Fuel tank Vehicle Automotive lighting
Wheel Tire Vehicle Automotive lighting Automotive tire
Sleeve Auto part Personal protective equipment Close-up Human leg
Automotive parking light Automotive lighting White Hood Automotive tire
Tire Automotive tire Wheel Vehicle Motor vehicle
Land vehicle Fuel tank Vehicle Motorcycle Motor vehicle
Hood Automotive design Motor vehicle Automotive tire Vehicle
 

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Awesome! But damn! I ain't never seen a hole like that in the fuel tank before!
 

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Now you really have my attention! Good luck and keep us all posted. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
CHAPTER 2--OF MICE & MEN

With the newly acquired FJR in the garage it was obvious I had a problem. The garage stunk. Bad. It was even stinking up the lower level of the house. Rank gas combined with old mouse nest/pee was not a good smell. Something had to be done. This was outside work & it was late November with winter coming in fast. On probably the last opportunity to do anything outside I believe I took a half day off work & rolled that beast out into the driveway. The goal was get that tank off there & put it back in the shed to stink & die in peace. It was filled to the brim. I also had to get all the mouse nest off the bike & make sure there was still nothing living in it. I don't recall if I popped the seat off at the car wash on the way home--I think I did---to blast it with water but I didn't do nearly a good enough job, There was still mouse nest including lots of seat foam packed in the tail cowl & all around the tail light. I found someone selling some old 5 gal gas cans on CL & bought them for $5. To hold what I thought would be 6.6 gallons of liquid (more on that later). I blew all the mouse nest out with a long air wand on the air compressor.

Ventured further in...
Opened the gas cap & found heavy corrosion around the filler neck, liquid pretty much full. Siphoned out all the liquid to the tune of around 4 gallons (in a 6+ gallon tank). Could tell the tank has alot of sediment or solids in it so I assume the fuel pump is not going to make it but I have not pulled it or even looked in with a flashlight yet. Yanked the tank from the bike then went after the air box. No mice live or dead but they sawed though the main wiring harness near the ECU. So far the shopping list includes fuel tank, inner/rear fender, air box, wiring harnesses (this bike has several--need main & injector harnesses at minimum) & probably fuel pump & complete fuel rail. I assume I could reuse the throttle bodies themselves but may replace everything else for peace of mid if nothing else. The good news is the smell in the garage is improving & in general parts are plentiful & reasonable for FJRs. The exception being Gen I (03-05) fuel pumps...currently not much out there & used ones cost more than a new one from Yamaha.

Note the hole in the air box & no wires leading to the intake temp sensor.


So despite a full tank I only got out 4 gallons--the rest was rust & solids. Never took a pic of the fuel pump when I eventually pulled it out of the tank; but it was just coated in rust in appearance with grit throughout. It was toast. The fuel cap was almost rusted shut (due to growth on the bottom side of the cap). I barley got it it open without breaking the key. I pulled the air filter & whatever mouse nest & bodies it may have held. Never looked. Straight in the outside garbage.

Mouse damage.
Hood Motor vehicle Automotive tire Automotive exterior Gas
Motor vehicle Automotive exterior Gas Nut Auto part
Vehicle Automotive exterior Gas Auto part Metal
Automotive exterior Motor vehicle Machine Automotive wheel system Auto part

Automotive lighting Bicycle tire Automotive tire Bicycle handlebar Motor vehicle
 

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Cripes! That is one dirty and corroded FJR! Never seen one that bad. I don't think it was stored in a barn.
 
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Might be time to just light it on fire. I love a good project, but just adding up the parts you need so far is a lot.
Was that rear subframe already broken and welded back together?
 

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Yeah, I think I'd just strip the rest of the plastic off and get my power washer fired up. I can see every electrical connection has to be checked anyway, go for it.
 
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