I owned a 1989 FJ years ago. When I decided to dump four wheels for two again, I searched for and found another FJ. Some dude advertised a 1990 FJ (purchased originally in Japan and shipped) with 12,500 kms on the odo. I went to see it, and while short, the belly pan, everything was there and in pretty clean condition. I bought it and sank about two large into engine cleaning, carbs, front end and suspension.
With that done, the FJ is nothing short of torque monster with the road manners of a hooligan. It runs about 150 horsepower with CVs and loves to ego-crush Benz AMGs and Porsches. From a dead stop, the rear suspension squats down to compensate for the power and builds from there, with an explosive arm-pulling rush from 6000 to redline.
I run only the best Metzelers, and with these I can stay with much smaller road rockets in the twisties. Come spring time, my FJ "Destroyer" gets a rack of Mikuni RS38s and K&Ns, with a ported and polished head. Methinks body armour will be required too. Rubber down everyone!
I have two FJs. My first one, the white 3cv, took us around Europe twice, done nearly 100,000 miles, but when my better half said get another one, when one came up for sale, it took no second bidding, I was gone.
So now the white one is for spares and I have a 3xw one with 40,000 on the clock.
What can I say about this bike that hasn't already been said. Pulls like a train, always put's a smile on your face, engine's as solid as a rock. You can never bust them, because you don't need to flog them. They will go on forever.
If I had to choose between the wife and the bike, well what do you think.
I have a 1989 FJ1200, which I've owned for many years.
This bike is a legend in my family, as well with my friends who I ride with. Many great experiences on my girl I could share over the past 15 years, from 4,000 mile rides, the faithful heavy handling, comfort, riding position, and its torque. Yesterday was something new for me.
My son grew up on this bike and learned to ride on my FJ. He has always thought it was kind of cool, but kind of old looking too. He recently purchased a Ducati Monster 1000... It looks so new! Well of course you know what this came to when he came over to show me his new bike.
Happy to say my son respects the old FJ even more. After 4 races from dead stop to starting at 50, and a few in between, the FJ won all four!
I have owned other bikes over the past 15 years (BMW, HONDA, KAWASAKI), but eventually get tired of them and sell 'em off. I will never sell my FJ1200, as I can't seem to find a bike that does it all like this one.
Just bought a 1989 FJ 1200.
Great bike; loves to go and keeps great speed into the corners.
My best mate's a bike mechanic, and went over it and got a rating of 9/10. We are going to start working on the suspension; F/R just needs a little tweaking. The concept of 17 inch front and 16 rear works great, and the braking is perfect. You can ride at high speed and roll the throttle off to slow down for towns. Only problem is the fuel light staying on??? That's it.
Big ride plan around Australia, and will start setting up.
Happy fast and safe riding.
Hi, bought my 1994 3XW with 400 miles on it a few months after the original owner had purchased it. Unfortunately he needed to sell, and £5400 got the bike with a £7200 list price complete with all three Givi boxes.
17 years later and I've still got it. Only 30,000 on the clock, but I've done a few bits. Aeroquipped, K&N filter, stage three dynojetted, R1 front calipers and a Remus 4 into 1, along with stainless bolts everywhere.
Brake pads do 11000 front, slightly more on the rear, as do tyres (Avon Azura's much nicer than the original crossplies). First chain and sprockets lasted till 23,000 miles.
Bad points... Belly pans, have done three on sleeping policemen, and the headlight isn't great.
Best MPG 42 whilst touring Switzerland.
Probably going to be replaced by the BMW K1300GT, as on two more litres of fuel, it does double the range, and at 80 returns 60mpg.
The dealer even offered £1200 part exchange.
Overall, a damned fine bike the FJ1200, but I fancy a change.
Was a motorcycle mechanic in my younger years (30 years ago), so I learned to understand good horse flesh regarding bikes. Was amazed with the first FJs to come out and wanted one, but at the time couldn't afford one. Well I bought one this summer that had 29K abusive miles. I have put about a thousand in it and it (1990 FJ1200 3CV) is now well worth riding. I plan on rebuilding the motor this winter (most likely in February), due to the compression being low. The rings have given out, but it only burns a small amount oil, though it is noticeable when accelerating hard.
Just to let you know that you can buy a lot of parts/accessories from sources in the UK that are no longer available here in the US. I found a lower fairing (not a chin fairing) that mates up to the upper fairing, and it fitted well on the FJ, and she looks far more complete than that of the chin fairing Yamaha put on it. It now gives the new sport bikes a run for looks as well as speed.
I so agree with you. I have an 90 FJ as well. It has 94,000 miles on it. I recently upgraded the exhaust, did a valve and ring job. Put some new tires on it, and it still run like a bat outta hell. I owned quite a few bikes in the past, this one is the best hands down.
I had lots of bikes on my way to the FJ12. Ninjas, Katanas etc. Great bikes for sure, but I never kept any for more than two years, being eager to try and go one better. Well I bought my 1989 3CV in 2002... and I've still got it with no intentions whatsoever of selling.
It wasn't in the best shape when I bought it, as it had been standing for seven years as the previous owner had grown ill. I thus got it quite cheap, but the effects of stagnation were manifest, such as gummed-up carbs and seized chain to name the worst bits. I sorted it out in due course with replacement parts - the carbs with secondhand items, which were one hundred pounds at the time! The exhaust was dying on the inside, and I've since fitted a stainless collector/silencer.
I just love the thing, and every ride is an adventure, even if that sometimes only means the commute to work. The seamless thrust of creamy torque right off tickover is something I'll never tire of. So much grunt that even with the missus and half a ton of luggage on board it'll still accelerate up a hill in top gear without a flutter. Such effortlessness is not boring - quite the opposite in fact. The monster torque is such that I fitted a smaller rear sprocket and a larger front one to raise the gearing, and incredibly it makes no discernible difference whatsoever to acceleration, but gives a slightly less frantic feel at extreme speeds, and probably improves mpg a tad.
Come five thousand or so revs, and the nature of the beast changes entirely - the Jekyll and Hyde nature being revealed fully. Heat-seeking missiles spring to mind. My motorcycling wanderlust sated, as it is far faster than anything I could want. I've seen so-called sport bikes zooming in thru my rock steady mirrors when I've been doing 120mph, and it amuses me greatly to let them pull alongside me with their butts in the air and their face buried in the clocks while I nonchalantly tweak the throttle a little more, and watch them recede in my mirrors again whence they came, furiously playing tunes on their gear levers.
And... it's my picture of what a bike should look like, and it has so far been utterly, completely dependable - starts on the button after six-month winter lay ups, every time. It's user-friendly so I do all my own servicing and would be quite happy to take it down to the crank in the extremely unlikely event of that being necessary. And it's as comfy almost as my favourite armchair for as long and as far as I care to ride. An amazing bike, and one I'm sure will outlive me.
Only the earlier 84-86 bikes had issues with 2nd gear. Your last year model will never have it. So just ride and enjoy!!
Great comment. I own 2 1984 1100's near mint, and my daily is 1991 FJ 1200. I constantly "school" riders aboard modern sport bikes all over the Western US, and it's always the same comment if they do pull up to me at me next stop. "Wow, that old bike is F-king fast as hell, what all done to it?" My reply? "It has a Corbin seat and my wife on the back."
I have an 89 midnight blue FJ1200 that's been in a California garage since 1998. It has 11230 miles, as it was driven on weekends only. Once in a while the bike is washed and waxed, and back in the garage and covered. Reason I don't drive it.. was because wife kept and lost on purpose the keys. Wife has changed her attitude towards motorcycling.. I got new keys and I want to bring it to working condition... Can I start the bike after changing the old gas and oil?
As an update: I did rebuild the motor entirely. Replaced everything I could, i.e., bearings, oil pump, clutch, etc. Bored the engine and used Wiesco Racing pistons (12.1 to 1 compression) and Legend Racing springs. Rebuilt the carbs, new fuel pump, new sprockets and chain. She is bad to the bone! I can easily keep up with a Hayabusa (done it, but don't tell my wife). I love riding this thing, rain or shine.
Eric, Tacoma, Washington.