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Old 01-20-2005, 06:23 PM   #1
pitbull OP
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Fj 1200

Anybody ride an old FJ 1100 or 1200 or has riddend one in the past? I'm thinking of one as a cheap touring bike to give the Duc monster 900 a break. Yeah, I know, the monster is not a very good touring bike, but I did'nt know I would fall in love with touring and I love the bike too much to give it up for something more practical.
Anyhow, I've read good things about the old FJ's over the years, but wanted to check in and hear some first hand opinions on the bike.
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Old 01-20-2005, 06:26 PM   #2
jlsworks
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I loved my FJ1200 w/ ABS, I had it for over a year and it suited my purpose.

Bulletproof and economical.

James
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Old 01-20-2005, 06:52 PM   #3
spagthorpe
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I've owned two 86 FJs, an 89, and a 92 wABS.

I have this weird love hate thing with the FJ. I am always drawn to the bike, and typically have one in between other bikes. Each time I get one though, I'm reminded how far technology has come since then, and I usually find something else I want to ride more. The motor is air-cooled, but bulletproof. Lots of power, lots of torque. My 89 was the only one I ever dynoed, at it showed a true 121hp at the rear. I forget the torque, I have the dyno run around somewhere. The thing I notice the most about the bikes now in comparison with more modern bikes is the brakes.

The earlier you go with FJs, the lighter and sportier they are. At one time, the FJ1100, and then the first year of the FJ1200 was considered THE sport bike, competing with the 900 Ninja in the new catagory of sport bike comparisons. As time went on though, the fairings got bigger, they gained weight. The 92 I had last was a completely different animal than the 86 I had. There are websites that outline a lot of the model changes so I won't go in to those. Those same sites have a lot of upgrades you can make to the bikes to drag them in to more modern times. Things like changing the forks, FZR wheels for more available rubber, brake upgrades, etc. Those same sites will have lists of things to look out for. Probably most common is a worn 2nd gear that will pop out under acceleration, and is very expensive to get fixed unless you do it yourself (then it's just a royal pain in the ass). Common problems with used ones is rattling plastic and fasteners. It's amazing how irritating this can get. Allow some money for fixing a lot of little things. I would personally stay away from the ABS bikes. It is amazing how complicated it makes the wiring and hoses on the bike, how much more difficult to work on, how expensive if you need it fixed, etc.

The FJ is still a very comfy bike, it's alwasy fit me like a glove. The seat to peg distance is a little cramped, but I've always liked the way they ride. I saw a really nince condition one last year for sale. I really thought about it. I think when I take the FJ plunge again, I'll probably go for a more modern FJR.

Hope some of this helps.
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Old 01-20-2005, 07:08 PM   #4
markjenn
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Good bike, but when you're going this far back, it never hurts to have more choices in used bikes, therefore I'd certainly look at the Honda CBR1000F, the Suzuki RF900, and the various 1-liter Ninjas of the period. They'll all roughly equivalent bikes, although the FJ would appeal it you like air-cooled bikes.

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Old 01-20-2005, 07:34 PM   #5
pitbull OP
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Spagthorpe: great summary....thanks. I will check out a few of the owner groups online.

markjenn: I really like the style of the old FJ and think it has a relatively contemporary look compared to most old sport and sport/touring bikes.
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Old 01-20-2005, 07:54 PM   #6
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Yes, they're very neat bikes and different than their contemporaries.

I've never owned one, but I recall the reports of the day saying that the bike has a bulletproof engine, but that it had a tendency to run hot, which could warp heads and burn exhaust valves - apparently valve jobs and replacement of cylinder head gaskets were common at fairly low miles (e.g., <50K). The solution was a freeer-flowing aftermarket exhaust and richer jetting.

My only other concern would be if you're looking at one of the somewhat rare ABS models. I think it was offered for the last couple years of the bike's run beginning in 93 or so. If it's the same system that was put on the 93 and 94 GTSs (which is likely, I'd think) then I'd consider it something to avoid. When I was shopping a GTS, I test drove three and two had faulty ABS systems with no warning lights - you could lock up the rear brake for as long as you liked. The other one I drove was newer and the system worked perfectly. As I looked into this further, I found a lot of unhappy GTS owners complaining that their ABS brakes were faulty and essentially unfixable, since the dealers didn't see enough of these systems to have the training and tools to fix them and parts were either prohibitively expensive or non-existent.

Good luck with your search. Charismatic bike.

- Mark
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Old 01-20-2005, 09:25 PM   #7
mutineer
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very cool bikes, I looked for one for a while and couldn't find one.


You may want to figre in shipping as part of you purchase cost
there is one on Ebay right now, price under 2K with a couplf of days left

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eB...spagename=WDVW
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Old 01-20-2005, 10:08 PM   #8
Arch
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I bought one new in '84 and flogged it mercilessly till the FZR1000's debut in '87. The FJ never gave any trouble whatsoever and continued to serve the fellow I sold it to. In fact, four of my riding buddies had 'em as well, so we were somewhat of an FJ pack back then. Far as I'm concerned, a decent example would make for an inexpensive & fine sport touring mount, even today.

Valve adjustment day with a bud, circa 1985..



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Old 01-21-2005, 07:31 AM   #9
ddlewis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pitbull
Anybody ride an old FJ 1100 or 1200 or has riddend one in the past? I'm thinking of one as a cheap touring bike to give the Duc monster 900 a break. Yeah, I know, the monster is not a very good touring bike, but I did'nt know I would fall in love with touring and I love the bike too much to give it up for something more practical.
Anyhow, I've read good things about the old FJ's over the years, but wanted to check in and hear some first hand opinions on the bike.
I have a 91, that I've owned for about 5 years. Before you read on, let me tell you than I am an FJ freak, so keep that in mind as I proceed to tell you what a great bike it is and all the things that can be done to make it peform like something much newer.

I bought it in stock condition, w/ about 10k, now it coming up on 50k miles and I still get a kick out of riding it. It makes a great sport-touring bike, I think of it as my poor mans R1150RS - w/ POWAH!! Throw on a set of hard bags and it tours as good as anything.. 100k miles and up is common on these bikes. On older models (87 and older) be on the lookout for 2nd gear jumping out under load. it's perfectly fixable, but some work involved..

Like someone said earlier, the older ones were more superbikish and the newer are more sport-toury gaining about 15 lbs.. However they are virtually the same. A bigger fairing, two-pot calipers and 17" front wheels, and beefed up 2nd gear dogs and shift forks came out on the 89 bikes. Rubber mounted motors, even bigger fairings and one less tooth on the rear sprocket for touring came out in 91. There was an ABS option offered the last two years 92/93.

In stock condition the suspension is flabby but there is a lot you can do to shore it up. RaceTech cartridge emlators and stiffer springs up front and newer shock out back are common mods and make it handle like a newer bike. The frame is plenty stiff and is a good match for suspension upgrades.

R1/R6/YZF600R/FZ1 master cylinder and monoblock calipers will bolt in place of the stock items on the 89 and newer FJ's. and make a HUGE difference in braking power and can be had for a song off ebay. Also, all years come with 16" rear wheels and 150 section tires, but there are several easy swaps to get a 17" wheel and 170/180 section which opens up a world of sport rubber options.

There's a couple very active usergroups. one at Groups.Yahoo and one on Netpath that can tell you virtually anything you could ever want to know.

thump.


ddlewis screwed with this post 01-21-2005 at 12:11 PM
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Old 01-21-2005, 01:33 PM   #10
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Excellent info. Thumpy.....thanks
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Old 01-21-2005, 02:56 PM   #11
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I had a '92 1200 ABS. Rode 26K miles in 2 years (living in Canada). I loved that bike. Very comfortable, tons of torque and absolutely bullet proof. The handling was a little slow but other than that it was great.

I definately regret selling it but at the time it was either food and shelter or the bike.

The later you go in model years the more sport touring oriented you will get. The 92-93's had 17" front wheels, 4 piston calipers and the biggest fairing. If you can find a well maintained model I'd buy it!
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Old 01-23-2005, 08:47 PM   #12
BeeCeeGS
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I had a '90 for a brief time. Mine was a Euro import and had a different (higher) screen. Still the most comfortable bike to cruise on a high speeds that I've had the pleasure of riding, but mine was buzzy in town. Stock exhausts can rot, and I don't think there's much available through the aftermarket anymore. Long and low--while sitting on the new K1200S I was reminded of my old FJ. Had I been able to afford it at the time, I would have kept it.
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Old 01-23-2005, 09:12 PM   #13
barko1
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I put about 25000 on my 91, fine machine but eventually it yielded to a Blackbird. Did a 1525 mile day on it so that says something about the machine. Comfy and still very powerful, no real issues.
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Old 01-23-2005, 09:36 PM   #14
ddlewis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barko1
...Did a 1525 mile day on it so that says something about the machine...
is that a typo?? 1525 miles in a day?? That equals an average of 63mph for 24 hours.
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Old 01-24-2005, 09:17 AM   #15
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I had a 92 FJ1200 and finally sold it to my son last year with 115,000km on the clock. Took it to Alaska, Newfoundland, etc everywhere. Comfy with plenty of power. I occasionally ride it these days when we switch bikes around and I'm still impressed how nicely it handles. If you want to upgrade the brakes, suspension or whatever, there are several active FJ owners communities which have every farkle under the sun documented. I still go to the FJ Rally in NC and there are some bikes there with hundreds of thousand of miles on them, running through the NC mountain twisties like there is no tomorrow.



Great bike!



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