Yamaha FJR1300

So we were planning another group holiday with Steve and his Wife and Blade-Bert… sorry R-Bert….. actually, now must be F-Bert due to his latest bike change, I’ll let him tell you about that. Another couple also said they wanted to go so now it was an expedition. My wife said that she wanted a better bike for touring than the Hayabusa, we got very uncomfortable on the Scotland tour due to the seats being re-foamed and the person doing it not understanding what we wanted and making them worse than standard. So, I started looking round for something more touring orientated, Wifey really liked a Triumph Trophy 1200SE that we sat on in a showroom, and to be honest so did I. However, I was thinking about getting something cheaper to see if we were happy touring on a touring bike, stupid when written down I know but if it was only a little better than the Busa then the extra cost couldn’t be justified. Looking around for a cheap touerer, around £2000, there is not much choice. Either an old BMW that has been to the moon and back, a ST1100 Pan European, Kawasaki GTR1000 (very old school) or a FJR1300. Looking at all the reviews the FJR sounded good, it is the sportiest of the cheap tourers and was well put together and generally survived the years well. So I started looking out for one. I really wanted factory panniers and a topbox of some description with lowish miles and good condition and I was willing to pay upto £2500 as that seemed to be the price for such a beastie. You could get cheaper, but the miles were high or there were no panniers or just panniers and no topbox. Then I spotted one on Facebook Marketplace that wasn’t too far away so I thought it would be worth a look. When we got there is was good clean (condition) bike that was very dirty, he had been using it for commuting to work in the bad weather. It had done 31500miles, which is low for its age (2002 model), had old style Givi Panniers and Topbox on a Wingrack2 (remember them?) which isn’t really what I wanted but OK and a Ohlins shock. I saw the potential in the bike and started haggling, the wife was not keen and didn’t want the bike at all. I ignored her (which I came to regret) and got the price down to a mutually acceptable level and agreed to buy it. I rode it home in foul weather so didn’t get much chance to try it out properly, all I can say is that it was smooth and grunty, but didn’t seem fast (is anything fast with a Hayabusa at your disposal) and the handling was OK (I think the tyre pressures were wrong) if a little odd at the front. After getting it home and much thought and trying the seat I have decided to sell it (The wife told me it has to go) The problem for me is that the seat is fairly flat, the pillion is generally on the same level as the rider. I’m 6’6″ tall and ermm big boned and my wife is 5’3″ and petite. So when she is sat on the bike she has to part her legs so much to get round my hips it is less comfy than the Hayabusa for her.

So it was time to prepare the bike for sale. Looking at it there was a very short list of “problems” they were:

1.         Left hand crash bung scraped
2.         Left hand fairing foot extension was cracked
3.         Both fairing foot extensions were discoloured
4.         Neutral light didn’t work
5.         Specks of white paint all over the bike
6.         Footpeg rubbers worn
7.         12v Power port working

So here is how I dealt with them.

  1. Easy one to fix, whip off the crash bung and put it in the lathe. Dress up the scuffed end and generally make it look better then stick it back on the bike.
  2. Took it off the bike and plastic welded the crack. Sanded it a lot and sprayed it up satin black.
  3. Sanded down both panels and sprayed the panels satin blank.
  4. This was a bit of a mission. I couldn’t find out exactly where the neutral light sender was, I thought it was at the back of the engine in the back of the sump (sort of area) but I couldn’t get access. So taking half the bike apart I eventually discovered that it was in the back of the engine but higher up. Slipped in a new sensor and it all worked perfectly. Unfortunately, I had took the entire front of the bike apart to get to the dashboard to check the actual light in the dash, it was fine. Stupidly I realised I could of checked the dash light by earthing the sensor lead, I did that and it also showed that the bulb worked. Well that’s 1/2 a day of my time I’m not getting back!
  5. Just applied some elbow grease and removed most of the white paint.
  6. I ordered some Chinese copy footpegs but when they got here they weren’t quite the same as the existing ones, they fitted on the bike with no problem but I couldn’t make the fairly hefty FJR weights fit. So taking all the good bits from them both, adding a little sand blasting, some silver paint and a smidge of ingenuity and the footpegs looked good as new.
  7. Looking into why the power supply wasn’t working the rust inside it was a bit of a clue, but the real pointer was the fact that the cables weren’t connected! Anyway, I decided to replace the power supply anyway.

The bike looked really good when I had finished and it didn’t take long to sell. So onto the next bike.

About The Author


Ambitious Amateur Mechanic, with a slight (OK not slight) Suzuki bias