31st Aug 2007, 16:12

Got an '89 FJ1200 for $2000 in 2006, put about $2000 into it to rebuild the carbs, replace the carb-rubbers, plug-wires, fork seals, sparkers, front and rear tires, mirrors, fuel pump and a lot of electricals.

The bad:

It's a whiney, moaning, buzzy, rattling thing that has all kinds of weird sounds that make you think "Yamaheap" when riding it.

The electrical wiring is not up to what you expect from most other Yamahas. There were so many little problems with the wiring on this thing, it was almost death by 1000 paper cuts.

It's the heaviest bike I've ever ridden. A little scary to move around by hand.

The air cooling of such a large engine makes it inappropriate for much stop and go traffic.

The Good:

The noises this machine make are common to all FJ1200s. It's just the way they were the day they rolled out of the factory.

It's ergonomics are spectacular: You can cruise at 125 MPH for hours, it's so comfortable.

The Hayabusa of its day with completely explosive power at lower speeds.

If you use it only to tour, for which it's very well suited, you won't have to worry about its air cooling.

2nd Oct 2007, 20:48

I've had the same 1990 FJ 1200 since 1991 (it's now late 2007) and I've replaced the fuel pump (last year), the chain three times in about 85,000 miles, some wheel bearings, the front brake discs (just worn from years or use), and that's about it.

With regular oil changes and an occasional carb balance and valve clearance check, the thing runs and runs and runs.

It still makes power about like new, it's comfortable, it's decent, though not great, in the twisties, and if you want to pass somebody on the highway at 60 mph, shifting down is not part of the procedure. You just twist and go.

There are faster and better handling bikes, and more comfortable bikes, but for year-in, year-out functionality and pleasure, it's hard to beat an FJ, still.

22nd Nov 2007, 04:21

I have a 1990 FJ and love it. I just celebrated the 39,000 mile mark and feel that the bike is among the best on the road. I feel that it will some day be a collectors item. I love my FJ!


Seattle, Washington.

28th Jul 2008, 19:57

I am the original owner of a 1984 FJ1100. While it's had many upgrades over the years, it's always been dead reliable. I never had the dreaded 2nd gear problem that some have but then again I never abused the bike either.

It has FZ wheels (17") and radial tires, R1 blue pots calipers and ungraded fork internals and a showa rear shock (fully adjustable). This and Corbin seat and luggage rack with removable top box gives me the best of both worlds. Modern rolling stock with air-cooled simplicity.

I'll never sell the bike. It's an original and the 1100s were a little lighter and sportier than the later 1200 models. It's been a great bike.

21st Nov 2008, 06:39

I have an 86 LTX. Upgrade the soggy rear shock, put on a decent sports exhaust, put a stage 3 jet kit through the carbies and a high flow air filter, upgrade the brakes with stainless brake lines and an FJR1300 master cylinder. Put some decent tyres on and you've got yourself a reliable, comfortable torque monster that is an all round pleasure. This bike is tops!

17th Apr 2009, 16:45

I have had my 1990 FJ1200 since new, and through the years it's been my pride and joy. It has taken me from the Arctic Circle to the Gulf of Mexico, both coasts in Canada, and as high as Pikes Peak in Colorado without so much as a hiccup.

Through many of those tours, it has towed a small cargo trailer as well.

I'm still on the original sprockets, run Metzeler tires, top line chain and so far it has 148,000kms and can still outrun some of the newer bikes. The engine is starting to use a small amount of oil (synthetic), and it will get a few new parts for the carbs this spring, along with a valve adjustment before it hits the road again.

I am looking to find a rear rack/sissybar setup now. All in all, it's been an amazing bike, and will do me well for many years to come with some love and attention...


British Columbia


26th Apr 2009, 10:21

I've owned my FJ1200 since 1992. I've gone round trip cross continent five times with this bike and it never let me down. Even when the temps were over 120 and below 20, this bike started, ran, and handled better than most.

I was going to pick up the new FZR touring, but when I saw the price... I choked. By accident I found another 1992 FJ1200 for sale and yep, mint condition. Bought it and rode it home (5 hour ride) and loved it. Like these bikes so much, gonna keep the mint one mint and gonna have the old one performance max tricked. For those of you who don't know what that means, I know a guy with a Hyabusa... and he knows I'll be looking for him '=}.

The only problem I've ever had was a slight imbalance in the engine that initially tore up the front fender and rattled the fairing into bad shape. That vibe has been there forever, but will be gone once the engine is rebuilt, blueprinted, and tri-harmonically balanced.

Looking forward to this summer... LOL.

Take care, be well... and later daze.

22nd May 2009, 00:46

I own a 1993 FJ1200 ABS. What a killer bike! Bought it in 2001 and will not sell.

Have Hepco Becker hardbags, Corbin Seat, K&N air filter and just converted to R1 brakes. The R1 conversion allows you to keep ABS, which I like... especially in rainy Seattle, Washington.

Just ticked over 40,000 miles and have done nothing but normal upkeep. No 2nd gear problem. Also added MRA windscreen and spoiler. Just replaced steering head bearings... what a difference. New rear Ohlins shock is on order.

None of my Honda's were ever this good. If you don't have a FJ, most wish they did. Jon.

19th Aug 2009, 10:40

I've owned my '90 FJ 1200 since '95 and it's been a true love affair. Completed 6K+ mile US tour several yrs. ago (15) day duration and no discomfort with Corbin saddle. K&N/jet kit/Kerker gives flawless throttle response and GIVI luggage mounts with Goodwill Samsonite resulted in dry/secure storage. Must add that the combination allowed stable 120+ mph touring in desert regions with no drama what so ever. Overall a great bike if balanced compromise is your cup of tea. NCTriad - 2009.

28th Aug 2009, 05:21

Gday, Tim from the wide brown land downunder.

I owned a 94 model for 2 years and traded it on a 98 1100 Virago. Bad move! The FJ had 250,000km on the clock when we parted, and the compression in the cylinders was still as good as new!

As earlier comments have stated, it's a heavy bike to move around the shed (even though I'm 6ft tall and built like a brick dunny) however once rolling it's a joy to ride and can certainly put even the most up to date sports bikes to shame. No major problems during ownership, added a scottoiler and a givi top box. Regular services every 6000 km are important as she was my only transport due to the divorce! Stay upright.