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Old 04-20-2013, 09:00 AM   #1
CatTomb OP
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Joined: Sep 2012
Location: Sisters, Oregon
Oddometer: 19
Fly in, Ride Back... Central Oregon to SoCal and then the Adventure Begins !!!

Day 0

After spending the last couple of months looking for a streetbike to augment my KTM 450exc I settled on a clean one-owner 1987 FJ1200 with the help from some of the members of the FJowners group forum.




I booked my ticket to Santa Ana, the airport formally known as John Wayne International. I fly in the day after tomorrow. I'll inspect the bike with the help of Paul from Streetdreams Streetbikes, buy it if it looks

good and take it to Paul's shop to have the carbs cleaned.

My plan is to spend the weekend with my daughter in Orange County and then, when the bike is ready, hopefully Saturday, ride it up to Ventura to visit for a week with my other daughter, granddaughter and some good friends.


I'll take off the following Friday and head north.


Assuming the weather looks tolerable I'll head up the 395 and spend the night in Bishop. Saturday I'll ride until my butt goes numb or until I start gettin' a little fuzzy and stop again, hopefully, fairly close to Oregon. Sunday, home to the hotness that is my girlfriend, Kelly and the beauty and wonder that is Central Oregon!

Today I'll make a list of necessities and start packing. I have a Giant Loop Coyote soft bag I'm bringing. Taking some advice from the forum I'll leave my camping gear at home and find a cheap hotel to crash in each night (and update ride reports).

I still need to sort out helmet and boots. My dual-sport helmet and MX boots would be underkill and overkill.


Day 1 - Flight Day Friday

I'm an overpacker... Made it to the airport and had to check a bag. I managed to fit everything into a duffel and a backpack, although I had to carry the helmet. I flattened the GL Coyote bag and most of the duffel was filled with boots and riding paraphernalia; riding jacket and pants, and body armor.

I hadn't decided on a helmet and ended up borrowing one from Brian at Atomic-Moto, a sweet carbon fiber Vemar. Thanks, Brian! I also found a used pair of Garne G-RS boots on Craigslist.

I am comfortable with the phrase "all the gear, all the time" when it comes to riding a motorcycle. I'll see how that changes as I use the bike as a commuter over the next week before the trip home.

Flying out of Redmond is fantastic. No lines, no traffic, no issues. The flight was easy with a quick stopover in Portland and then a couple of hours to Santa Ana. My daughter picked me up on her lunch hour, we had some Thai food and then I took her back to work so I could drive her car to check out the bike. It is very different driving in Southern California. Coming from the land of single lane roads. Driving and have three lanes on BOTH side of me is disconcerting. I spent over 40 years in this area and don’t miss it, at all. Not in the least!

I had arranged with Paul from Streetdreams to meet me at the sellers. We showed up together just as the owner was pushing the bike out of the garage. It isn't perfect but it is super clean. The owner has every receipt from new and the bike looks pampered. It has new brakes, chain and sprockets. Paint, fairing and seat are in like new condition, lower fairing has a crack on the left side a few inches in front of the bolt. It has the tool kit and owners manual, a tank bag (never used) and a cover.

Paul started the bike, got it running, poked around and then gave it a thumbs up. It was missing an end cap on a fuel line and was leaking fuel. Paul plugged the line with his finger to listen to the engine and do his divining.


I knew the bike had been sitting for a couple of years and would need the carbs cleaned and an oil change. The owner had done a complete tune-up, synced the carbs, put on new tires, brake pads, sprocket and chain and then left it in the garaged unloved for two years...

I haggled the owner, handed over the cash and filled out paperwork. The registration was expired but he had paid the fees and listed it as non-op. I will add a trip to the DMV down here and hand over some cash for a moving permit to save me the possibility of problems on the drive home.

We loaded the bike onto Paul's truck and followed him to his well set-up shop. The bike should be ready this afternoon (Saturday). I'm heading to the beach with my daughter while I impatiently wait for his call...

Here's a pic of the PO signing it over to ME! More to follow.



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Old 04-20-2013, 09:21 AM   #2
8lives
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I'm here for this thread,nice bike,sounds like its good to go on,and ya So Cal is a crazy place and Redmond is very gentle on the soul,have a good time and the trip up the backside to home should be fun.
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Old 04-21-2013, 09:17 AM   #3
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Day 2

Day 2

Spent the day at the Salt Creek beach with my daughter and her boyfriend. Absoluetly beautiful day and fabulous to spend some quality time with the initial offspring. She is incredibly intelligent and has a wonderful sense of humor.





All systems GO!



Picked up the bike in the evening. The mechanic had some challenges getting the carbs un-gunked and spent a few extra hours getting it done. He changed the oil and took some time to polish the painted pieces after putting it back together. If you are in Orange County I would definitely recommend Paul at Streetdreams Streetbikes. He was competent and had a ton of integrity.



I'm about to go for a shakeout ride.... pics to follow
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Old 04-21-2013, 09:57 AM   #4
8lives
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Your gonna have years of fun on that bike,it kinda a classic but really ready to cover some miles.Keep us updated on the 395 ride and watch the speedo,I run up and down the California portion of 395 often and the cops watch their radars close.
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Old 04-21-2013, 10:00 AM   #5
8lives
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How many miles on the bike?I
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Old 04-23-2013, 08:57 AM   #6
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Day 3 - Took a couple of short rides but family time ruled the day. Nice dinner with my favorite nephew.

Day 4 - DMV - In Oregon, I go to the DMV office in Bend. No line, everyone is friendly and jovial. The Laguna Niguel DMV was lined up out the door at 8:30 with 100 cars in the parking lot. We drove to San Clemente and only had to wait an hour... angry and disgruntled employees and customers co-existing in a tense standoff of intolerance and dysfunction. On the bright side it only cost me $19 for a trip permit.

Went back and loaded up the bike. The GL bag fits great. I wasn't too sure about the magnetic tank bag, so I filled it with dirty laundry. The bike came with a nice cover which I rolled up and put into a duffel. I put my laptop in my backpack.



90% of my driving in Oregon is on one lane roads. I spend 30 years driving in Southern California but it takes some adjustments when I return.

I said my goodbyes, gave my mom one last hug to assuage her tears and headed out. Traffic was variable, 75 to 0 to 75. I tried to plant myself in the HOV lane (called the diamond lane in California). I rode up to Santa Monica and grabbed Highway 1 north. Traffic thinned as I passed Malibu and the cool ocean air helped to blow off some LA grime.

Neptune's Net is right across the street from the beach on the border between Los Angeles and Ventura counties. They have 28 parking spots for motorcyles right out front! I stopped for some hydration and a quick snack. Neptune's Net has a great vibe and has some great seafood but it isn't cheap. $4.75 for a soda and a candy bar.



The ride from there was easy and fun. The marine layer was returning and temps cooled quickly. The last 40 miles went quickly and it was great to see this when I arrived.



At 52 with the mind of a 12 year old, it is still hard for me to grasp that I am a grandfather. I spent the rest of the day playing with Cambria. The bike ran great. Bags, including the tank bag, were unnoticeable on the bike.





More family time today and maybe a ride to see some friends.
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Old 04-23-2013, 09:40 AM   #7
8lives
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The bike looks great all loaded up,at least from the Ventura area and beyond traffic thins a little compared to what you came through.Lotsa good family time,enjoy!
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Old 04-23-2013, 04:41 PM   #8
Bluesjammer
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Great lookin bike and an even more beautiful family!! Have a fun and safe ride home.

Steve
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Old 04-29-2013, 12:37 PM   #9
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The ride home...

Days 5-7 Spent with family and friends.

Day 8 - Packed up and took off. First 10 miles were highway 126, two lanes, straight and fast, and then highway 150. I nice bit of twisty from Santa Paula to Upper Ojai. This is St. Thomas Aquinas College.



My good friend, John, has an organic farm in Upper Ojai, I spent a few hours on Wednesday helping him prepare for his summer planting. Before I moved to Oregon, I volunteered on his farm and another a couple of days a week for 7 years. It was good to be back and get my hands dirty.





Riding down the 150 into Ojai and thru town onto the 33. I diverted into Meiners Oaks for a veggie burger at my favorite restaurant, The Farmer and the Cook. Steve and his wife, Olivia, have a great farm that supplies most of the veggies for the restaurant and market. Steve gave me lifetime picking rights to his farm, anything I want, anytime I want it... and then I moved. I visited with him and he bought my lunch. :good2:

Back to the 33 and one of the funnest parts of the ride. The 33 climbs, twisting and turning, for thirty miles to the summit.





The ride continued down the backside, hooked up with Hwy 166 thru grazing and oil land. I stopped in McKittrick for a soda and a candy bar to offset my healthy lunch and give my butt a rest.



Rode from there to Hwy 99, and then to Hwy 178 toward Lake Isabella. The Kern River flows down the mountain and sometimes it rages.



Rode up joyfully passing all of the good people courteous enough to let me pass. Filled up at the far edge of town and rode east toward Ridgecrest and Hwy 395. I had a 50 mile an hour tail wind most of this section. I could put my had out to the side and feel almost no wind doing 65. I did have to stop and clean my visor...

[img]farm8.staticflickr.com/7055/8687798977_64e012e568_z.jpg[/img]

Rode the 395 into Bishop and decided to stop for the night. First day, 350 miles. The bike has simple rubber, MX style, grips and my hands were numb, vibrating and sore. Got a $54 dollar room and had a good $13 prime rib dinner. The Giant Loop bag takes 90 seconds to remove. It works great, holds a ton of stuff and doesn't require a rack. I can also use it on my dual-sport. The magnetic tank bag that came with the bike also worked great. It never moved the entire trip and since it was only magnetic, removed instantly for refueling.

[img]farm8.staticflickr.com/7056/8688918372_ca500e26e1_z.jpg[/img]

Slept well. It was supposed to be a cold morning but turned out to be in the high forties. I had breakfast the same place I had dinner, Jakes Waffle Shack, and hit the road. Cold enough to get my attention but bearable. Hwy 395 is beautiful. Lots of amazing vistas.

[img]farm8.staticflickr.com/7046/8688918780_bd6dd77b45_z.jpg[/img]



I stopped at Mono Lake to take a break. This isn't the best place to see the wonders of this special place, but it is a perfect place to stop and stretch.



[img]farm8.staticflickr.com/7050/8688921476_9ec4316498_z.jpg[/img]

Continued to Bridgeport, stopped for gas, soda and the guilty pleasure of Nutter Butter bars which I shared with this guy.



I saw flocks of seagulls flying in formation several times. Some flocks had over a hundred birds.

Stopped for the night in Alturas, Ca. Day 2, 370 miles. Nice Best Western room for $80 and a tolerable lasagna dinner. Great nights sleep. Packed up by 7:00 and found the bike didn't want to wake up. It had dipped to the upper thirties during the night and I thought it might just be cold. It turned over great but didn't seem to want to fire. I let it sit in the sun and tried it every 10 minutes. It finally started and I was on my way.

Rejoiced to be back in the Rose State.



South Eastern Oregon is a mix of verdant valleys and stark desert landscapes. The ride had been cold. I have a decent pair of winter riding gloves but after several hours it was time to stop. I stopped at the turnoff for Fort Rock State Park and warmed my hand and stretched my legs.



The bike fell asleep and didn't want to wake up. I was only two hours from home... I tried the wait ten minute trick... several times. I had three quarters of a tank of gas and thought I could make it home if only I could get it running. I tinkered a bit and it finally started. I had removed the bags, seat and side covers and misplaced the seat in trying to reinstall it. I had to stop the bike to use the key to remove the seat and reinstall properly. Luckily it restarted instantly. I then noticed I forgot to replace the side covers which required stopping the bike again. Luckily it restarted instantly. I then noticed I forgot to replace the side covers which required stopping the bike again. Dumb luck, it started again and I was on my way. Made it within a couple of miles from home before it started to sputter, like it was running out of gas. I coaxed it within a half a mile from home when it quit. I had two hundred miles on this tank but the fuel light never came on. I could see the tank was still above the center divider. I waited. It started after 20 minutes and I gratefully sputtered home.

About a thousand miles, averaged 44 mpg and loved every minute.

Today is going to be spent cleaning the bike and sorting out the fuel problem.
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Old 04-30-2013, 08:31 AM   #10
8lives
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Keep us informed on how the fuel issue goes,I believe it's old enough that it has carbs so it should be easy to sort out,perhaps a vacuum petcock issue,might be time to convert it to manual.Let me know Im curious,I like to store these types of problems in my mind and their fixes so I can be able to diagnose mine or help others.
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Old 04-30-2013, 08:43 AM   #11
bk brkr baker
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I flew to Ca. once to pick up a red & white FJ, but ,, the one I got was different.
And the trip home was 4700 miles. Nice bikes.
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Old 04-30-2013, 08:46 AM   #12
8lives
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bk brkr baker View Post


I flew to Ca. once to pick up a red & white FJ, but ,, the one I got was different.
And the trip home was 4700 miles. Nice bikes.
I like those older FJ's,and wow 1 with a hack,and it fits the dynamics of a FJ,thanks for sharing!!
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Old 04-30-2013, 08:53 AM   #13
yokesman
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I like to carry welders wool gloves as liners in my jacket for those cool times.
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Old 05-01-2013, 03:56 PM   #14
CatTomb OP
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Petcock first...

Quote:
Originally Posted by 8lives View Post
Keep us informed on how the fuel issue goes,I believe it's old enough that it has carbs so it should be easy to sort out,perhaps a vacuum petcock issue,might be time to convert it to manual.Let me know Im curious,I like to store these types of problems in my mind and their fixes so I can be able to diagnose mine or help others.
I removed the vacuum line from the intake boot and left it attached to the petcock. When I sucked gently on the hose air flowed freely. When I sucked quickly the air would mostly stop. I replaced the vacuum line (to eliminate that possibility and tried again with the same results). I ordered a new petcock ($170) and will give that a go.

I'll let you know how it turns out....
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Old 05-02-2013, 07:49 AM   #15
8lives
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Ya not sure if that was the issue but vacuum petcocks can be a first place to look,and you can just make it a manual petcock easy enough,although Im not familiar with the FJ system but if you have it apart anyway google it and see if someone has blocked off the diaphragm,if you do you just have to remember to turn the gas off when the motor is off,like you would a full on dirt bike.Keep us updated,I am looking forward to how the bike goes even though your done with this adventure,heck I might be interested in it if you ever decide to sell it.
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