1993 Yamaha FJ1200 from United Kingdom

Summary:

Buy one; I guarantee you will not regret it

Faults:

Harder to control at low speed, but hey it's a heavy bike so it's to be expected really, so wouldn't really call it a fault.

Had to re-adjust the chain tension a few times as it tended to stretch a little bit and squeak annoyingly as the bike warmed up. Seems fine now.

General Comments:

I bought this bike as a step up from my first "BIG" bike after passing my test last year, which was a 1994 Honda CB 500 R.

I'm very, very impressed with the acceleration and power of the FJ 1200. I find that once you are in top gear, there is so much torque throughout the rev range that you find yourself making very few gear changes.

The power is brutal and this bike is an absolute beast of a machine when you twist that right hand back. It's not a machine for the total novice or the faint hearted, but I find it rather easy to ride once it is moving for being such a big, heavy bike.

The fuel consumption is around the mid 30's to the gallon, but that depends on your riding style, and what do you expect with around 119 or so horses at the back wheel? It's a small price to pay for the enormous grin factor that it gives you. I'm starting to judge how happy I am riding this bike by counting the flies on my teeth after every ride.

Another positive side is that it is very comfortable, and I found it surprisingly cheap to insure.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th June, 2014

1991 Yamaha FJ1200 from Canada

Summary:

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

Faults:

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