1991 Yamaha FJ1200


Solid, fast, reliable bike that's easy to maintain


I personally maintain the bike, so I would only mention problems with it that are NOT due to neglect.

1. The bike was designed with a sealed battery, and it is charged/maintained by its alternator/generator that has an internal voltage regulator. The voltage regulator eventually fails probably due to the heat and vibration from the engine. The result is the battery's short life from over charging. The battery basically, and eventually gets cooked. A $28 external adjustable voltage regulator mounted elsewhere cured the problem.

2. The clutch plates have a wire circlip installed among them. (Rumor has it that Yamaha used it to during assembly). The cir-clip has broke and took a chunk out of a clutch plate. I removed the circlip and replaced the plate. 30 minute job. With the bike on the side stand, you don't even need to drain the oil!

3. 'Whistling gas cap'. Rubber vent flaps in the gas cap eventually harden and restrict air flow to vent the tank. Remove the rubber flaps from the internals of the gas cap assembly. They're not needed. 20 minutes? I did this myself and I don't claim to be a tech by any means.

These 3 design flaws are the only ones I have encountered with the bike. The rest is preventable with regular maintenance.

General Comments:

Incredible bike all around! I have had some good bikes that lasted, but not like this one. The bike is so easy to work on! If I can maintain it properly, anyone can! The FJ platform is a gold mine as well for easy performance improvements. Different parts from newer bikes can be installed to increase horsepower and performance dramatically, if need be. Presently, I have no need to increase the performance or horsepower!

I haven't the guts to drag my knee, but I love to push it and have fun as best I can. It has tons of power for me! With just aftermarket 'cans' (the rest of the bike is stock), it can stay with, and drive by new 600RR's.

The bike is the ultimate tourer as well. It has the strength needed to carry my wife and I, and three large side and top cases, and be comfortable enough to drive across country.

What a fast, solid bike! The looks are there too!

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th February, 2011

1989 Yamaha FJ1200


Awesome "Old School" bike


I purchased the bike in replacement of my 1986 BMW K100RS that was totaled after a lady came out from side street, forcing me to avoid her and lay the bike down in the process. Insurance covered me for the bike.

This was a used bike and I did all the usual checks on it to make it safe for a "road trip" All the brakes redone, calipers taken part cleaned and 2 pistons needed light Emory cloth cleaning to remove slight pitting and roughness. Bleed the system with new fluid, after a 6000km/10 days road trip works awesome. Changed oil with Belray Synthetic oil, but could not shift properly. I have read that some bikes and synthetic don't work, changed to regular oil, worked like a charm.

Have to move the Vance and Hines exhaust header forward to change oil, which is a pain, but it's life with aftermarket headers.

Chain was checked and small adjustment made at start of trip and is still fine. Tires (Bridgestone BT45 still look good after lots of curvy roads :-)

Make sure you use some kind of "locktite" on all body fasteners, I had a few come loose and had the chin fairing almost fall off!

Everything seems to run as it should. Safe FAST and very reliable!

General Comments:

This is my 19th motorbike, I have had a mixed lot of bikes, both street and dirt. My previous 1986 BMW K100RS was a great commuter/road trip bike. It just didn't have what I term "enough giddy up and go". Well this bike does!

It has over 100,000 KM now! With a Vanes and Hines SS3 exhaust. The bike came with brand new Bridestones BT45 and they stick well in the wet, and it appears I can lean the bike all the way over to the edge of the tires, even fully loaded with strap on soft bags full of gear :-)

It has the Corbin seat and was comfortable enough for a few 300 KM full tank runs. Best tank was 327Km with still some left in bottom of tank. (all hiway 90 - 120 KMH). My bike has had the reserve switch disconnected, so used the trip meter and fuel gage, the gage reads very accurate!

Bike has proven to be very fast with a TON of grunt, once underway leave it in 5th and just roll on the throttle and adjust speed. My bike had a sharp "jump" after about 6500 rpm and feels like I was hit from behind... its awesome!

We covered almost 6000 km in 10 days from 35C to almost freezing from sea level to 6500 above and no noticeable change in power or drivability. Fuel economy was consistent 40 - 45 MPG except for one tank with spirited riding bringing it down to 35 mpg. This bike will still use almost all of the speedo from what I found out in one semi deserted section of road. :-)

I would recommend to do your research read up on these bikes, and if you need a simple/reliable/inexpensive/fast and still good looking bike, give the "ole" FJ 1200 a run.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th June, 2009