FJ Mechanical Consultory


Like I´m receiving a lot of technical questions by mail, I have decided to publish them with the objective to try of being useful for all of the FJ community.

If your have any problem or headache with your FJ, don't doubt to mail me and I will try to help you

I don’t claim to be a performance expert, I am merely relaying information I have learned though my own experiences. You must be a competent mechanic to do any of the tasks that I explain and I am not responsible for any injuries you inflict on yourself while performing these modifications, or as a result of riding your bike after doing them.

Too, consider that I am answering to your comments about your problem, and I am not inspecting the bike myself, so take care with my advices and re-check all the information I provide.


INDEX (click to go)


BRAKES - Front brake problem                                    

                - Brake noises and bedding in   


CARBURETION - Running rich?. Main jet problem           

                              - Fuelling

                              - Floats height                                                

                              - Fuel supply problem                            

                              - Overheating?

                              - Exhaust popping


ENGINE - Engine Vibrations

                 - Dyna coils & low end surge problem

                 - Gearbox ticking noise  

                 - Gearbox clacking noise

                 - Clutch Slippage


CHASSIS & SUSPENSION - KN cleaning, fork tune up & head bearings

                                                - Head Bearings change

                                                - Rims change                                     

                                                - 1TX vs 3CV fork swap and fork bridge


ELECTRICS - Indicator relay

                        - ELECTREX answer to a Overcharging problem          




Hi Alfredo,
cool site, I was reading about you from the FJ Yahoo site. Read your article about front brakes. My wife's Fj 1100/85 has a problem! It is as if the bike takes a while to brake when applying the brake.
We recently changed to steel braded brake hoses and Vesrah sinter metal brake pads. My wife is not satisfied with this setup. After reading about your experiences it seems that you suggest changing the master brake to a Fazer 600.

Is this correct. Are there any other alternatives?
This winter I will probably also make a brake upgrade of some sort on my FJ1200/88. So I am very interested in your ideas.

Answer: I change to the Fazer 600 master cylinder and calipers because these survived to my crash and it was the cheapest solution... and the most effective.

With the single piston FJ 1100 calipers the best solution is change the master cylinder and hoses. The calipers, in good shape, are good. Don't fit the 89-90 calipers to the 1100: they are rubbish!! 

Anyway, in any case, clean and strip them carefully.

Fazer 600, 1000 R1, R6, FJR 1300, YZF 1000, YZF 600...  all of them have the same fantastic blue calipers, and Fazer 600, 1000 and FJR 1300 have the same master cylinder.

And changing front calipers you can use R1 OE pads in your 88 on model 

Your wife feeling is normal with the OE master cylinder. I had the same problem with my FJ 1100, my 90 FJ 1200, my FZR 600 and my FZR 1000, with the same type master cylinder.

And even with the Fazer 600 calipers and OE master cylinder.!!! When I changed the calipers at first I didn't change the master cylinder. The feeling was rock-hard, but without results!! 

You could fit master cylinders. from a Kawasaki ZZR 600 or 1100 too, with fantastic feel, I have tested in a friend of mine's FJ 1100




 Hello, I was wondering if you could help me on a small problem with my FJ. I have recently put on a new set of disk brakes (braking) and pads (brembo), I was reading on your site and you mention “bedding in”

Could you tell me how much time is need to bed in a new set of brakes and disks. So far I have done about 100km and I still have a squeaking sound coming from the brakes. Is this normal? I look forward to your response.

 Many thanks Shawn


It depends on the disc model. I.e. iron discs need a lot of time to bed in, around 2.000 kms, The pads only need around 100 kms when change only these ones.

The bedding in consists only in applying gently the brakes during the recommended period of time, without overheating.
If you have that squeaking sound from the brakes it could be due to improper bedding, simply road debris in your pads or not compatibility between pads/brake materials.
In any situation, dismount the pads, gently pass a soft water-sandpaper to your pads and discs to remove the debris or the crystallized material and your brake music must go




Hi Again Alf. How are you. I see that You are going to fit a set of O& S exhausts. I have got rid of the dyna coils as they were too much trouble and the bike always had a stumble.

I have changed my pilot jets to 42.5 and they are two turns out. My needles have a small shim and my main jets are 117.5. I have a standard air box and paper element. Also new carb diaphragms from the fj club.

The bike runs very smooth but now I am concerned that the bike is running too rich. I thought the o &s needed more fuel as they are free flowing. The acceleration does not seem as hard. Any thoughts on my settings.

Many Thanks dean


I told you that I had a lot of problems with my ex-FJ 1100 when I fit the Dyna coils. My bike had a stumbled too around 3.000 rpm. And the worst problem is that sometimes it did it and other times not,

therefore I was always dismantling the bike looking for the problem. What a nightmare!.

Finally I refitted the OE coils and the stumbled go away, but I am not sure if the Dyna were the cause of my problem (even although these were the main candidate) Doc at the club know very well the OS exhaust and he likes a lot.

I have not still got a 2nd hand pair, but I am looking for them. Deducting for Doc comments and from Flitwick Motorcycles´ advices , I think that OS are only a little more opened that the OE ones,

and the std settings are appropriated with those.

The shim is as good idea, because of OE lean settings at the middle rpm due to homologation laws, even with the OE exhausts, but the 117,5 main is too big even for my F1Rs (and they're restriction free).

People think than fitting a BIG main the bike runs faster, but it is completely the opposite: a bike running lean normally runs fast ... until it breaks, of course.

Try with the OE 110 mains or go to 112,5 ones. Flitwick Motorcycles guys recommended me only go 1 size up with my air box mod, KN filter and F1Rs restriction free... and the bike is spot on.

 So your FJ, with OE airbox and filter, run overly rich with the 117,5 I ´m in process of refitting the OE silencers again while I get the O&Ss, so next week I can inform you how my FJ runs with those I hope this helps.

Please, keep me informed


Hola Alf, Thank you for your email. I have just put back my standard 112.5 main jets. I will let you know how the bike feels. I have kept the shims on the needle and the pilots at 42.5 two turns out.

I originally selected the 117.5 main jet after looking at members settings on the yahoo FJ board and thought that is what i required with my O & S pipes.

The Bike felt slower at motorway speeds and acceleration seemed flat. The Bike would no do more than 120 mph in top. I will email you soon. Best regards Dean.


The 117,5 mains are appropriated with a race can and individual filters and with 118 air jets to try to avoid the horrible hole that appears around 3000 rpm with individuals.

O&S silencers are only a bit more opened than the OE ones, so like I told you, 117,5 is a bit excessive

With a simple test you can check if your mains are too big: in 5th gear, around 4.000 rpm, twist the accelerator completely open. A correct tuned FJ jump ahead ferociously.

In fact, it is difficult maintain full throttle a couple of seconds in a public road. If the bike runs too rich, there is not acceleration: in fact if you partially close the throttle, the bike accelerates more than on full mode

To check if the main jest are lean, full throttle in 3er gear: at +8.000 rpm the bike stalls I understand that your FJ is a 86-87 model. 88 on use 110 mains like OE equipment


Hola Alf. Thanks again for the help. I have done the tests. 112.5 seems to be the best jet. My plugs look clean too. Best regards Dean



Hi Alf, I’m Makman2 from Love browsing your website as it is packed with fantastic info. I’m just after something a bit more specific and hope that you are able to point me in the right direction.

I’ve got a UK Spec 1988 FJ1200 3CV. A tired bike which I am slowly getting into decent shape. My latest change is to have added a K&N filter, which was great. Bike was serviced by Doc and carbs balanced.

The engine is solid and pulls beautifully. The electrics are not that great, I need to clean the earths and make sure they make good contact.

The main question I have is that since Doc’s service I’ve added ART Cans, originally for an XJR1200, but a perfect fit on the FJ and look great.

The bike is now giving 5mpg less on consumption, and not as smooth as before. The carburettors are standard jetting. It does backfire sometimes too.

Could you advise me on what size main jets, pilot jets I should try? I understand that I will need to get a few sizes to find the right balance, but I don’t know what size I’ve got at present or where to start.

I’ll be buying some Carb Balancing Gauges as well, so that will be a good addition to the workshop tools (sadly I have no garage and have to work on the street!! That is London for you!). Any tips would be greatly appreciated!


Hola, Gordon! Thanks for your compliments. It is a personal satisfaction when people tell me that they like my web, because I assure you that it did a lot of work packing all the info together The backfires are normal in the moment that you open the cans. Try fitting the mixture screws in a place between 2 and half turns out to 3 and half turns out Are the ART cans very free flowing?. Try the 0,2 shim to up the needles and 112,5 mains if the answer is yes. Normally works Well, if the bike has more power, it has to be a little more rough. Try an ignition advancer. It helps between 1500-3000 rpm Please, keep me informed in order to include the info here

Thanks Alf! J I’ll try the adjusting the mixture screws and then use shims on jets and then have the bike dynoed, which should give a clearer picture of fuelling etc… Yes, the ART cans are very much more free flow and it breathes more easily. Sounds fantastic as well!


If you can, buy a Dynojet kit. Use the needles as per the instructions included to install them. Be careful to buy the Dynojet to suit European models. Use 112,5 mains instead the ones provided in the kit and drill the carb slides as you can read at the instructions. With the Dynojet needles the mixture is perfect. Raising the OE needles with the shim will give more Ooomph! but it will increase the fuel comsuption


Thanks for the advice you gave on refuelling my FJ1200 3CV. J I upped the jets to 112.5 as recommended and adjusted the fuel mixture by 3 ½ turns in the end (I’m still playing with this a bit), but it is much smoother on the throttle now, much fewer backfires and evened out nicely. Took her out for a bit of a ride on the motorway and it is so smooth and lots of power! Thanks again





I have a 1986 FJ1200 that I am experiencing some weird problems with the floats, needles and seats. When I purchased the bike it did not run, as the float for #2 carb was pouring gas into the cylinder. I took the carbs apart and cleaned them and got 1700 miles on the bike with no problems. Then the same carb stuck again, so I re-cleaned. When I put the carbs back in, #4 was doing the same. I drained the bowl and that took care of it, but carb 2, I could not get to stop. So I purchased 4 new needles and seats and put them in today. I am trying to readjust the floats but still the carbs will randomly poor gas out the overflow. I have bent the float actuators on each carb considerably now. In the manual, the book says to adjust the float height to 21.3 to 23.3 mm’s; do I measure from the outside lip of the float bowl seat or inside the edge oo the float bowl gasket surface? Any suggestions? I have never experienced a problem with floats on any other bike I have owned.



I think you are at the right way with the seats and needle purchase.


Have you checked your floats?, put them in a recipient with gas and see if the petrol permeate the floats. If yes is the answer, change them 

Float height measurement steps:


·         Hold the carburettor in an upside down position

·         Incline the carb at 60-70º so that the end of the float valve does not hang down as a result of float weight

·         Measure the distance from the mating surface of the float chamber (gasket removed) to the TOP of the float. The float should be resting on, but not depressing, the spring loaded inlet needle

Ah!, the float bowl vent tubes can upset carb function if improperly routed. By shortening or removing these, you will prevent this from occurring (nº 6 at the microfiche. It must be 4 long tubes, from the each carb to the down side of the motorbike


Hola Alf;

   I haven't changed the jets as of yet, I have been looking at other things, the one thing that started to puzzle me was it would seem to rev up real high when I pulled the choke on, kinda like running out of gas, (lean condition) so I went to the fuel pump, the pump rattles all the time, well that's not entirely true, before I start it, it will rattle until pressure is up then it stops, but if I turn the switch off then on again it rattles again for a while until the pressure comes up, and sometimes it takes longer then other times, but when I start the bike it dose not tick like I think it should, it just rattles constantly, I put a pressure gauge on it and get about 2lbs pressure before it stops, but I cant check it when its running. I unplugged the feed line to the carbs and turned it on and it flows gas when unrestricted. I tried to bypass the pump and just run on gravity from the tank but that is worse, do you think my pump is bad? seems to me the pump should pump up, stop and when running just tick, just like every other electric fuel pump I have worked with. Please let me know what you think about this. Thanks again, Mike.



I answer you between lines. Regards

...”but if I turn the switch off then on again it rattles again for a while untill the presure comes up...”  (this is normal), “...and sometimes it takes longer then other times, but when I start the bike it dose not tick like I think it should, it just rattles constantly ...” (have you revised your fuel tubes?, see that these are correctly fitted, without strange curves that could estranglate the fuel supply),”... I put a pressure gauge on it and get about 2lbs pressure before it stops...”(ok),”... but I cant check it when its running. I unplugged the feed line to the carbs and turned it on and it flows gas when unrestricted. I tried to bypass the pump and just run on gravity from the tank but that is worse...” (you can´t do this in post 3CV models)”... do you think my pump is bad?...” (it seems normal. Anyway, do you know a FJ owner living near you to try his fuel pump?)” me the pump should pump up, stop and when running just tick, just like every...”

Mike Seems my presure from the fuel pump would come and go, I just bought a new one and it works now as it should, good constant presure and just a slight ticking, but still have the problem, first starts fine then wont come off idle, I have cleaned the carbs about three times now and just dont think they are the problem, but still might be, almost sounds like a lean condition, the bike did have 29,000 miles. I havent checked them yet but do you think the carb boots could have a crack? the cost is not to bad, so I ordered a new set and will keep you informed if all is well, if you have any other sujestions please feel free to throw them at me 



doný think that any of the carb boot have a crack because you would listen explosions when you close the accelerator (pop pop pooop) at high rpm. 

Have you checked the air vent of the deposit? In older models, it seems to be a problem with the venting of the gas cap not letting enough air in, and this builds up a vacuum in the tank, starving the carbs. The permanent fix for this involved disassembling the gas cap and removing these 2 little orange pieces of rubber that are supposed to act as some kind of vapour valve. I saw no reason the removal would have any negative impacts to the bike.



Let me get you up to date on my problem, I put a new fuel pump, new carb boots, cleaned the carbs, again, fourth time, and as we speak I am soaking the jets overnight again, just to make sure.

Jets size


pilot, 37.5

emulsion tube, 37][ Y-2

air jet, 155

   Upon a very meticulous inspection and checking of all the jet passages I found one air passage restricted, not the 155 air jet, but the one on the other side of the inlet that feeds the emulision tube, cleaned it and recleaned all others and made sure all are clear. I will recheck the float level again, and if there is anything you want to tell me about that, please jump in, I want to get that right.

   Let me refresh you with the original problem. I bought the bike with 30,000 miles and it ran like a top, started and ran great. I shut the petcock and ran the gas out to let it sit for winter, but only waited about six weeks and wanted to ride, turned the fuel on and could not get it to hardly idle and would not come off idle, but when it did it would rev good wide open but then die when I shut the throttle. Thought there was crud in the carbs and I was right, they were pretty gummed and when I let it sit without fuel the stuff flaked and plugged up everything. I cleaned everything, and put new float needle and seat in and still had same problem. New fuel pump and still same problem, almost felt like it ran lean and no fuel. As a last resort I bought new carb boots and recleaned carbs again and found that one passage restricted, but I cant believe that just the one air passage would cause this problem, let me know what you think.

One more thing I forgot to mention through all this, after the problem started, after sitting and drying out, when I start the bike, and choke it, it revs really high, almost goes to redline, and I push the choke off then it dies, this one sounded like a lean fuel condition to me and is why I replaced the fuel pump, but still the same thing. Anyway, just thought I would throw that at you too.

As always I appreciate any and all help you give me. Mike.



 Only one thing: have you checked that the sync screws are ok?. Let me explain: one day, when starting my friend's FJ (the blue one at my web) the symptoms were the same that yours: the bike went near the red line with the choke on but stalled at the moment that you closed it. Impossible to idle! Well, the little spring that fits over the central sync screw (the screws that conect the carbs between them and that you move to get a correct four cylinder sync) had collapsed, so 2 cylinders were completely closed, no way that you move the idle screw. Only fitted again and the bike run normally. Before to fit the carbs again on the bike control manually the gap of the carb slides in the main body so 4 of them are similar and you could get a minimum of sync idle prior to sync them with the vacuum tune I don't know that the air obstructed causes the problem And try the 42,5 pilots. EU models are fitted whit them, giving a less abrupt response to low rpm Good luck. I´m sorry not to be more helpful. Inform me, please



Hola Alf;
   Success at last, the Fudge flies again. I got it running like a top and purring like a kitten.
I have a theory about what happened and I will run it buy you. First things first, I got my FJ with 30,000 miles and it ran good, I ran the gas out to let it sit for winter and when I went to restart it, it would not run, so I took the carbs apart, cleaned them and put new float needle and seats in and it actually ran worse, it would start on choke and go to redline, but would never come off idle if it ever idled. New fuel pump and carb boots and recleaned the carbs 4 times, not a fun project, but this last time with the new boots and another complete carb clean out it ran different, still wanted to go to redline with choke but would idle but still stalled off idle. 
   When I took the carbs apart the first time I counted how far out the pilot screws were, all 1 1/2 turns, you had sujested to go to 2 turns, still no difference, so this time I went all out and at 1/4 intervalls I finally got out to 3 1/2 turns and it finally would come off idle but now was idling over 1500 so I cranked the idle down resynced the carbs everything going good and came out to about 4 turns and every is splended, idles good, snaps hard off idle and starts great with the choke.
   My thinking is these carbs orignally came  from the factory at about 4 turns out and with age and crud began running rich and poorly at idle and low speed and some backyard monkey just leanded out the idle screws and cranked the idle back up then I came along, cleaned everything and put all adjustments back to where I found them and nothing worked untill I reajusted the pilot screws to where it would idle then brought the idle down re synced and presto, but I have to tell you , the carb boots were not cracked but the o rings were very flat and I am sure they were leaking a little air and causing some of my problems. But everything out of adjustment so far was a hard one to chase down, but with your help and a lot of work we got it, and it runs waaaaaay better now then it did when I bought it, faster, snapier with way better acceleration. 
   Tell me what you think about my theory and if you want to use this or me on your website or refer anyone to me with a similar problem, then I would be glad to help, you have been a great help for me. 
   If you get a moment write back and let me know what you think. 
     Thanks again Alf , I will take a picture of my FJ tomorrow and send it to you.
P.S. I put FZR1000 six pots on my bike and have the 320 rotors but need the adaptors to move the calipers back for the bigger rotors, do you know where I can get them? 
  Thanks Again Alf.      Mike.



Congratulations!. I´m very happy to know that you has your problem sorted. But very curious solution, because all FJs come OE with 2 turns out. I´ve checked the OE manual and from the FJ100 to the last 1200, all of them come with 2 turns out
Try the 42,5 pilot jets that I recommended. The EU models are fitted with these and in Cycle World mag (around year 1988) they recommended those instead the 37,5 US spec. 
Yes, I will resume it and put the history in my medical center section to be useful to other FJ owners. Thanks 
Best regards and ride safe (and a lot now, enjoying your reborn FJ)



HI Alf
I was wondering if you could give me some advice please.  I live in Thailand and purchased a FJ1100 that seems to have been maintained well and the oil changed at very regular intervals. 
The bike overheats very quickly and when I stop for  fuel  I find it very difficult to start as the engine seems to be very tight from the build up of heat. Once the bike cools down in 30 minutes then it starts right up.
I was wondering if the heat is building up just because the engine is about at the end of it's life or In fact could there be a problem that I have not spotted.
I cleaned the carbs and they are balanced however a curious situation is that when I play with the mixture it doesn't seem to have must effect other than if I turn the mixture right down then it cuts outs as you would expect. I can't however get the idle to increase by turning the it out. I was wondering if you thought this may because I have an air leak somewhere, could a leak cause this problem and induce the amount of heat that the bike generates over a short period, when I say short I mean maybe 10 miles. It would be great to have your though

I have checked the following items...
1. I took the carbs of and stripped them down, they were not dirty however I did take the jets out and give the a clean along with the bodies. I checked the float levels and where very close to the measurements set down for the floats. I did adjust but its was a very minor adjustment.
2- I have checked for Air leaks and can't find any either on the carbs, carb boots or the exhaust.
The bike is running well after 2500 RPM but up 2500 its running rough and if there is a mixture imbalance. I have turned out the mixture to 3 turns but have I have also played with many other settings, it seems what ever I do with the mixture doesn't make any difference at all to the bikes running.
3- I checked the plugs they are all dark as if it's running rich.
I have yet to check the coil and leads but today I ran to put some petrol in which is only about 5 miles and after the run the bike was so hot that it wouldn't start because the engine was so tight, I did turnover but its was to slow to start.  The battery is new and has recently been fully charged. After leaving the bike for about 10 minutes it started up.
I was also wondering if the Valve clearances could cause it to over heat so quickly, as I would guess the valves have not been checked for along time. If this couldn't cause the over heat problem then I would just like to rule it out.




I think you have a mix of problems: why?, because when a bike overheats usually run lean, not rich
You have not told me what size main jets are. And what other changes have you done?
If it was my bike, I would be systematic
1.- Check valve clearances. No, the bike don't overheat even the valves are fully closed. Simply, the bike don't pull
2.- Return to the OE settings with the mixture screws 3 turns out
3.- If there is a rough running passing 2500 rpm the carb circuit involved are needles, pilot air jets and emulsion tubes, but unless the needles are fully lean, the bike don't overheat
4.- So, apart to solvent the above problems, neither of them are a overheat cause. So the ignition is the probably culpright. Check the coils are corrected connected to the wires that come from the ignition and the cups in their correct firing order. What spark plugs do you use?
5.- Have you checked the starter?. Are you sure the problem is overheating?. When the starter motor brushes are dirty or in bad shape the symptoms are the same that you describes
I hope to be helpful. Its difficult to solve a mechanical problem 20.000 kms away, but I think that if you are systematic you will solve it
Good luck. Keep me informed, please


Alf Hi

The plugs that are in the bike are NGK D8 EA

Just on another reference I'm not sure if it's important or not but when I use the choke its has no effect at all I have checked to make sure the cable is ok. I never use the choke over here because its always warm, but I thought telling you this might help diagnosing.

By the way the running rough is only under 2500 RPM, once it gets over 2500 RPM the bike has a huge serge in acceleration on it's own without twisting the throttle.

I checked the ignition this evening in the dark so I could see the spark better, there is a spark from them all however I would say that one of them is not as good, that's the No 2 Cylinder.

I did notice when checking cylinder 1 I got a spark between the rubber HT lead and the cylinder head on cylinder 2, I would of thought that should have been possible......Is it possible? or is the lead no good. I guess the sensible thing to do is change all the leads, can the leads be detached easily from the coils or do I have to buy new coils with the new leads attached?

The HT leads were connected as follows

Coil 1 L/H ....................This fed the two outer cylinders 1 & 4 ........The connections to that coil were L/H to Cylinder 1 R/H cylinder 4

Coil 2 R'H .....................This fed the two centre cylinders 2 & 3 ........ The connections to that coil were L/H to Cylinder 2 R/H cylinder 3

If i'm getting a poor spark from one or more of the cylinders could this cause the over heating problem?

I hope they are the right order..


NGK DPR8EA9, I think you want to say. The reference is different
The choke: no, with warm weather I don't use the choke too. To change the wires you can´t cut the lead and fix a new one. You need a special connector to insulate it
To check the ignition: with a multimeter, please, very cheap and useful tool. Do you have the workshop manual to identify how to check coils, ignition captor and CDI?.
That spark... it could be the overheating cause if it ignites nº2 cylinder out of settings. Take a closer inspection of the lead
Well, you can change all the leads, but you need coil adaptors. It is a cheaper solution to buy a 2nd hand coil if it is necessary and make the coil circuit like it is specified in my web
And no, poor spark don't cause overheating
And the coils are in the correct order


Hi Alf
Just to let you know how I got on.
1- I checked all the leads and coils they all seemed fine.
2- I changed the plugs to the correct ones, the bike runs better and seems a bit cooler, didn't cure the starting problem when hot. So I took the starter motor off and stripped it down and cleaned the brushes, and the armature rotor greased the bearings and put it back together. I took the bike for a good run and when I tried to start her she fired right up............I presume that the clean of all the connections etc did the trick. By the looks of it perhaps at some stage a new one would be worth spending the money on.
This only leaves the rough running up to 2500 RPM, I would guess by the looks of the pilot jets they were the originals 37.5. 
I presume raising the needles wont help any I did check and they have 6 grooves and they are set on No 3. is there anything else you can suggest to get rid of this problem.
Just to confirm...
1- Ticks over well at about 800 rpm
2- Ass soon as you accelerate you can tell its not pulling
3- As soon at you hot 2400 RPM it buck unless you accelerate hard and go though
4- The same problem when you de- accelerate as soon as you hit 2500 rpm it bucks..

Alf Sorry I forgot to confirm
1- I set the mixture to 3 turns out.
2- The new plugs are a little dark so perhaps its running a little rich?


I'm glad to listen that your problems are near solved
Its not necessary changing the complete start engine. Simply put new bushes. Well, I told you that if the plugs were black it was not overheat
Change the pilot jets and put 40 ones. Leave alone the needles. Have you checked there are not holes at the carb diaphragms?
Ah!. DON'T DO airbox modifications. 1100s and 1200 1TXs don't run properly with holes or other mods with STD carb settings. Its  necessary a carefully dyno set up


Yes I did check the Diaphragms when I first got the bike.  I will try to source some new 40 pilot jets from here. It seems that reading the blogs that a lot of bikes have the poor performance below 2500 RPM..
I will let you know how it works as soon as I get them.
For your reference the brushes  were about 10mm long so I think they were ok, I did clean the ends though.  I think cleaning the armature where the brushes sit did the job, it looked a bit worse for where so I cleaned that up with some fine wet and dry. I also took the brushes out and filed them down slights as they were very tight in the holders and they were not sliding up and down very easily. Perhaps when everything got hot they were not hitting the armature consistently.
 I also took out one washer too just in case that it was expanding and tightening in the casting.
Just for your reference I have had the bike for about a month, one of the other problems I solved was the oil light which was blinking on and off. I see this problem a lot also in the blogs...The problem was the connection which is directly near Alternator had dropped on top of the exhaust and had eventually worn through the cable with the heat, this was causing the break light to flick on and off. As soon I made good the cable and cable tied it onto the frame the problem went away....just thought it might useful if anyone asks you about this...



Be sure that I'm going to write a resume of our conversation in my web in order to be helpful to other owners, because the problem is clear that it was not overheating since the beginning


Yes that great, I guess what miss leads everyone is it only happens when the bikes hot,  I guess the heat  build up from the engine causes the problem in the Starter motor and brings out the weakness. 
Thanks Alf  
Kind Regads



Hola Alf

Firstly, congratulations on a remarkable website you have, credit to you for all the valuable information you provide. The question i have to ask is 1989 3CV relating to a popping sound from exhaust when changing down the gearbox and rolling off the throttle. This doesn't happen when bike is started or working the gears up to top (5th) or tick over, it only happens on change down.

All shims were adjusted and correct, inlet rubbers are perfect as is diaphragm rubbers in carburettors, also, carburettors were adjusted same time as shims. Exhaust is fairly new Neta, complete system, and all joints are tight with no leaks as is collector box fittings.

What i did notice Alf while doing the maintenance on shims was the colour of one spark plug when i removed to check, three was perfect light brown colour, one was white! could this be the lean one thats causing the problem?.

As yourself Alf, owned bikes for many years, me (40 years) and always carried out my own maintenance with utmost care and understanding, this is my third FJ and know my way around them, but, never had this problem before. There was only one person to ask for a correct answer (yourself) as the answers i got on forum made me scratch my head. Look forward to hearing from you Alf, take care and ride safe.

Gracias Alf



Hola, Steve

Thanks for the compliments

The popping sound when changing down is normal to a certain level if you fit an open exhaust can, but it is not your situation with the Neta The spark plug colour is crying you that there is anything wrong in that cylinder. Or the mixture screw is closed or, even although you have checked air leaks, THERE IS an air leak in that cylinder... or the main jet is clogged. Check the manifold to the headstock fitment looking for air leaks there.

Do you changed the gaskets when changed the exhaust? You say that your Neta system fit perfectly. My friends have had a lot of problems with air leaks in them There is no more possibilities, or my knowledge don't get more, so I hope you find the solution

Keep me informed, please Good luck


Many thanks for a quick reply my friend, and by your suggestions there is something shouting out with what you say.

Since i posted my question Alf i have been in touch with past owner as i have only owned this bike a few weeks. Having owned past FJ's, some with Neta exhaust i knew this one was not sounding as others. It turns out its a new system and correctly fitted, i have also checked this today and all is fine with correct gaskets/clamps are in stainless steel, it also has a new collector box. He went onto say he opened the inside of the end cans to breath (his words) and a better sound (it do roar a bit). Now as you mentioned Alf 'open' exhaust will pop a bit, do you think this is the answer to my question then? its not a loud popping more like a 'burbling' sound. As for the spark plug, i have also checked this today, its not as bad as i first thought, i would say a whitish/light brown where the other three are as they should be, maybe a slight tweak on mixture required? As always Alf, your opinions are greatly regarded as the best, world away from some i could mention, listen to them and they would have your bike stripped down to the frame for the simplest of fixes.

Gracias again Alf I’ll try the adjusting the mixture screws and then use shims on jets and then have the bike dynoed, which should give a clearer picture of fuelling etc… Yes, the ART cans are very much more free flow and it breathes more easily. Sounds fantastic as well!


Hola Alf Carried out the mixture check today, the four required attention. Set them back to basic then everything chimed in correctly at 3 turns out. Soaring like an Eagle now. Much appreciated for your knowledge and second opinion. Take care, kind regards


Anyway leave inner carbs 1/4 turn out more than the outer ones. Inner cylinders are hotter that the outer ones, specially in stop and go traffic situations. Like the pilot circuit affect 0 to 3000 (rpm more or less) is a simply way to cool the inner cylinders.

And if the popping disturbs you, set an additional 1/2 turn out the mixture screws. kind regards




Alf (Myself)

Before presenting the Robert trick I will like to make a brief summary of how to reduce and prevent vibrations in our FJs, an issue that at one point or another every FJ owner has been bothered / worried by.

Lets start supposing that the valve adjustment, carb sync and transmission is in order and in good shape, as well as rear suspension dogbones are correct greased and front fork is working as designed.


1.- Check carb diaphragms. Even the tinniest hole cause excessive fuel consumption and vibrations

2.- Use the OE handlebar ends, not aftermarket lightened ones

3.- Balance the rear tyre

4.- Use the OE rubber dampened front sprocket

5.- Grease the engine rubber dampeners (numbers 41 & 43 at the pic) with red rubber grease and torque the engine supports to the correct torque settings specified at the workshop manual. Don't over tighten!

6.- Check the rear tyre alignment and grease the rear wheel transmission dampeners with  red rubber grease (or change if those are too old and have to much play inside the case)

7.- Check the wheels bearings and regrease. Simply with a blade carefully lift up the plastic tap without damage it, insert bearing grease and refit the tap. I don't know why it look like in Japan there is no much bearing grease available

8.- Fit a neoprene washer in each bodywork screw


Even then, if you continue suffering a tiny vibrations, think that the hefty OE silencers dampen engine vibrations, so think about refit your OE exhaust system


Lets go with the Robert trick

By removing and replacing the left solid aluminium front engine mount (very carefully by drilling, and NOT by hitting out with a hammer) to a rubber one will reduce (to a fair degree) the vibration on the machine. It helps to reduce the handle bar vibration and should be kinder on the fairing with less cracking. I have done this and I am pleased with the results with no significant issues with engine/frame flex on the 3CV which has been upgraded to a good degree... RECOMMENDED


I have checked the parts microfiche diagram for the crankcase  and the solid aluminium mount is no. 40, and the part no. Is 90387-100L4. Yamaha call this a collar (located behind the engine stay bracket no.5 in the -FRAME- diagram)....this is what needs to be removed and replaced with another no.41 engine mount rubber damper you mentioned.

There are a total of 5 engine mounting rubber dampers, and 3 solid mounts (collars) fitted as stock to the early FJ doing this mod you will have 6 rubber and only 2 solid mounts  (which are located at the top rear of the engine casing).

The purpose of the solid mount no. 40 is to reduce the twisting of the engine in hard acceleration, but as I have said, I have not had any significant issues with this after replacing it with a rubber damper. This original solid mount was a push fit in the engine crankcase, but after 25 years on the bike you will find that it has seized, and to remove it will require great care so as not to break or damage the crankcase mounting point (by hitting or drilling).




Hi Alf, having some problems with my 1987 FJ. I have fitted a set of green dyna coils and Taylor ignition leads. The bike idles fine but starting off from a road junction at say 10mph in 2nd gear the bike misses and coughs unless i back off on the throttle. If I load the bike by turning the throttle more the symptoms are worse. This does not happen on light throttle openings or above 3000rpm even when loading the bike in a high gear. I have nice big sparks and the coils check out ok. The bike runs great on the motorway. The bike did not do this on the standard coils, but have  the old worn out coils been masking this problem.  Best regards



It sounds more a carb problem: the rpm range of your problem is just where the transition between pilot circuit and needle action occur. First of all check if there is any debris in your low speed carb circuit and if the needles are fitted ok and these are in good shape. Check your slide diaphragms looking for a little holes and check if they are fitted ok. And I would change the 37,5 OE pilot jets for 40 sizes: the FJ is set up too lean at the low down and the ignition curve is too sharp. This, in conjunction with a better and hotter spark from the new coils, could cause that the typical FJ low end surge is even more notorious. I hope this helps.

Keep me informed


Thanks for your email, I too think I have made a carb problem with the new coils. My diaphragms are ok, and I can make the bike stumble on the centre stand by blipping the throttle hard. The carbs have been cleaned, they were ok.



I am going to tell you my experience with my ex-FJ 1100, because I think it could help you

The bike was tuned with advancer, stage III kit, individuals and Muzzy exhaust. Then, I changed the coils, fitting a Dyna ones (the old model) with HT leads

The nightmare started: the bike has the same symptoms than yours, but worst, and worst of all, sometimes did it and other not, normally when the day was hot

So first, I think that the deposit was dirty, or the carbs, or a needle bad fitted, or the advancer.... after thousands of tests I surrendered ... until I fitted the OE coils again

Sorry, but I think that if you fit Dyna coils, the typical FJ low end surge is aggravated, and you are right: you made a carb problem where there were none. Try to calibrate the carbs to solve the low end surge (3-4 turns out pilot screws and 40 pilot jets)


My bike has an O&O exhaust which is free flowing so I was running with the pilot screws at 4 turns out, which made the bike idle smoother than just two turns out. I think my 1tx should already have 40 pilot jets. I have checked the mixture screw settings with a colour tune and can make the plug go rich at about five turns out. When the problem occurs you cannot open the throttle to drive past it as this makes it worse, backing off cures the problem. If I accelerate very slowly the fault does not happen. My Dyna coils give a very strong spark, so are they also escaping under load? or maybe it is just the carb. the bike runs great at above 3000rpm at any load, better than with the old coils. i have tried new ignition leads and this did not help. diaphragms are ok. I thought lots of FJ owners had fitted Dyna coils without problems



I have been looking at the parts catalogue and your 1TX has 37,5 pilots. Check it

It is clear than your problem is in the transition zone between pilot circuit and needle circuit, if this helps


Hola Alf, Have set my pilot screws out to five turns, and this has reduced the stutter to a small amount at 2500rpm. So looks like I will need to change my pilot jets, should I go straight to 42.5, do I need to move my needle up a notch?. The bike runs a lot smoother with the Dyna coils


Try 40 pilots first. I don't think that you are going to need more.

Exactly, what are your carb settings? (needle position and mains); a notch is too much, I think.

And go step by step. If your problem is between idle and around 2500 rpm is the pilot circuit. If it is between 2000 and +/- 7000 is the needle circuit and if it goes from around 7000 to the redline is the main jet... so change those pilot jets first of all, set your pilot screws around 4 turns out and test it

Second stage (if you have the correct needle setting) is fitting different air jets in order to improve low down driveability, but this is other history

And 3er stage is shim the needle with the OE air jets, but I think it will not be necessary

Please, keep in touch


I've found the problem, which is the point at which the carbs change from the pilot circuit to the needle circuit at about 2500rpm.The Dyna coils are working ok! I've set my screws out at five turns at the moment and this has nearly cured all my problems. The bike has an o& s free flowing exhaust so this has upset the base settings. Now may need to change my pilot jets and shim the needles. Do you use thin washers to shim the needle?


Yes, 4 thin washers are ok. Simply dismount 1 needle, go to you hardware store and buy 4 thin stainless steel washer that fit the needle




Hola Alf!! Hope you are keeping well... I was having a look on your site for any reference to gear box problems, but found none. an odd thing has started to happen ( which started 2day) whilst changing down through the gears, there is the "click" (or Klunk) of the gear change, then when I take my foot off of the leaver it makes a "ting" sound, it sounds like a spring, but Im not to sure. do you have any idears? Many thanks


Hola. Yes, there're no references about the gear change problem. This is due to I have no one in my 3 FJs. included my 1st-165.000 km-ride FJ 1100. The vastly documented problem appears if you abuse of high rpm 1st.-to-2nd gear change and with the FJ 1100 and the 1st 1200 (1986-1988). The problem appears too in FZ 750 and FZR 1000 models. The gearbox cog selector gets rounded and the 2nd gear slip away. Well, I have never liked traffic-lights GPs, so I never abused of the gear change. Yamaha claimed a gear selector revised in post 1988 FJs, but I think the only thing that changed was the FJ niche of market: those previous 1100s and 1200s was bought by people that buy R1s today, with a lot of abuse, and the last 1200 was targeted at the sport touring market, with more mature owners... hey!, it must be you because I´m still young jejejejje ! But there are not previous noises. Simply one day the problem appears, so your FJ noise comes from a different source. The gearbox spring is at the other side of the motor, so it is not a tick from this spring (and you couldn't heard it because is sump in oil). Are you sure the noise comes from the left side?, because the noise could come from the clutch: whit the use, the clutch discs or pressure plates can "tick" due to these are not perfectly flat Please, listen carefully and I will try help you better And to eliminate the CRACK noise fit a braided hose, clutch pressure plate or FJR 1300 clutch pump (I'm looking for one) (well, you can not eliminate it completely: at the morning I need to jump a little my FJ with 1st gear and clutch engaged to unglued the clutch discs) Regards


Hola Alf, Traffic light gps tried a couple of times, found that the bike didn't like it much (it wouldn't go into 2nd gear causing a roar of the engine shooting up max rpm and me looking like an idiot :-0 so from then on just didn't bother) it is very rare that I push the bike over 5000 rpm through all of the gear changes.

So your gearbox will live ages ;)

Anyway, the noise is coming from the left side of the engine, it really sounds like it is coming from the clutch (the bike has 80.000 km on the clock) the problem is knowing what to replace (the whole clutch??)

The clutch is at the RIGHT SIDE, so don´t worry, it is not the clutch. And even if anytime you have a problem with your clutch, change the plates and ready

I shall look at getting the hose changed, I also need to change the chain and sprockets (what do you recommend?

 Ajá! jejejej I think all your noises could come simply form your chain. When the engine tractions form the chain, it sounds, but if you push the clutch, there is less traction, so there is less noise. Clearly most part of your gearbox clunk and cracks com from a bald chain. First of all, change your transmission (chain & sprockets)

I have seen the IRIS kits on eBay going for 80, which sounds very ?cheap and nasty?)

Definitely not. Buy a good (and expensive) top-notch DID X-ring ZVM (not VM only). It is the most reliably and at the long term, it is cheap because it can last 80-100.000 km, not around 30.000 like cheap replaces

The growl of the drive chain you mention, does this happen at low rpm? I have found that when pulling away at low rpm there is a nasty growl of the engine which can be avoided by slipping the clutch (not always though) is there a solution to this?

There no solution and is normal. Think that a air-cooled motor is not silenced by a water system around. Have you listened a Ducati engine at idle? (even the water-cooled ones) or a Yamaha Exup?. After this, the FJ is sweet and quiet!. 




I’ve had my FJ1200 for eight years…and I love it.

I started having a intermittent clanking sound from the engine. It sounds like possibly the chain or front sprocket. I believe the sound is coming from the left side of the engine.

I put on new sprockets and a super good chain on three years ago. I’m guessing about 20,000 miles.

Here’s the symptom: When I am riding I hear a clanking sound, that doesn’t seem to be RPM, or load dependent. It does not do it at idle or when its rev’d.

When it occurs, I can pull in the clutch and it goes away sometimes. I noticed when I changed brakes on the center stand, and cranked it and let it idle in 1st gear, I would get an occasional clunk, which sounded like the chain/gear section. At the time I was also spraying the chain with WAX…on the road it performs and handles great, but I’ve lost confidence in riding off far from home.

Any tips on how I can easily check this? Do you know of any other causes of such a noise? I lost my job, so a good mechanic is not an option.

BTW, I have a Barnett Clutch plate and 3 year old clutch assembly; it works great and still has most of the lever travel


David Holland



My 1st impression is that the problem resides at the chain. Check the rear wheel alignment or look for a hard link on the chain. Is it the chain too tight? check the chain tension with you on board, around 10 mm) not on the mainstand (so say a friend to check it, of course ;-) I hope it helps. Keep me informed, please.


I don’t think the chain is too tight, but I will check it, I would guess it’s close to the 10mm suggested. The biggest reason I feel it could be the chain because of the occasional sound when running at idle in 1st gear on the center stand. Like, what I believe you are calling a “hard link” . Does that mean that a ling is seizing up and causing difficulty conforming to the sprocket? If so, that could very well be the problem. So, do you think I can rule out valves or timing chain?


Be sure that it is not the valves or the timing set. (well, 99.99% )  :-)
Yeah, It could be a seized link. Check it turning the chain by hand and move each link with your hand. If one is solid, clean it with querosene or gasoil until it moves again



I put the bike on the center stand…you are correct – it is a bad link. It pop’s when in gear at idle. I wonder if the primary sprocket is still alright….the rear looks good. Both sprockets have about 15K miles on them. I am searching for a decent chain that doesn’t cost $120+…..any recommendations? When I had the chain and sprockets replaced they used a 530-120 chain


sorry, I can't recommend you a cheapo chain. Our FJ needs a DID ZVM chain. Any other is a false economy, like you see on yours. Clean it with gasoil each 1000 kms and regrease it with a chain grease NON-teflon chain grease, mount it with the proper slack, and the chain will last +50.000 kms. Mine is fitted about 60.000 kms ago and I've not even tensioned it
NON teflon chain grease like Castrol chain-wax or Krafft cheap motorbike grease in your supermarket. The teflon actuate like a glue with the road debris, glueing the little particles to the chain, and mixed with the grease it actuate like a valve grinding paste
If the sprockets are not too bad you could keep it. Anyway, I would change the rear and I would only keep the front


CLUTCH SLIPPAGE (click on the pics to enlarge)



    I thought you might be interested with the findings I have discovered with the FJ springs, after a few years of trying to sort the clutch slip I have been suffering, which in that time I have been changing friction plates cleaning plates, trying different oils, doing your mod for more friction area and even putting a EBC spring in. the clutch slip still came back. Then I read your article about springs going weak, at this point I sorted 4 springs out which I had in my garage and in the bike, so I could take them to work to have them load tested, the findings were interesting, the used FJ1200 spring had done about 95,000miles the EBC spring 20,000miles the R1 / FJ1100 millage unknown

     If you look at attachments you will see the load on the vertical axis and the movement on the horizontal axis, (read the higher reading on the graph that is the upward stroke the lower reading is the spring releasing)  the  load difference between the FJ1200 used spring and the new spring is about 30 newton, both these loads happen at 2.8mm, when I checked the clamp load on my spring it was at about 1.7mm (this was easy to check, by evenly  finger tightening the 6 bolts on to the cover plate to spring, then counting how many turns it took to tighten the bolts down, 6mm bolts have 1mm pitch 1 turn = 1mm) at the time I was using the EBC spring which as you can see has the worst load rating and goes flat after peak load, I am sure this was better when new. Although its quality is know where near as good as the Yamaha springs. 

     To get the stack height back to where I needed it, I had just under 0.5mm ground off 2 spare steel clutch plates I had, so when I put these in to replace 1 steel plate they gave a thickness of  just over 3mm instead of 2mm, when the load height was checked again with the used FJ1200 plate fitted it came to just over 3 turns about 3.1mm which is slightly over peak, but if it wears to 2.4mm will still give the same load, when I tried the bike the clutch slip was gone and the big advantage I now have, is as you pulled the clutch lever in, the leave load goes down slightly, as can be seen on the graph, this reminds me of how my FJ1100 clutch felt when I bought it brand new in 1984, and I am sure the way Yamaha intended it to be, unfortunately small amounts of wear on plates pressure plate and hub faces will lose you the correct clamp load 

      I hope this makes sense, as it is a reasonable easy way of checking spring load, personally I would never use a EBC spring again, I will try to get hold of a FJR1300 spring and get that load checked see if there is any difference,  


Thanks for your comments, William. Very interesting!
The curious fact is the maintained slippage on your clutch. You wrote that you used lot of oils and with the mod done, and, of course, with the EBC spring
Using API SG 20-50W oil and with the mod the are not Spanish owners with that problem, (as far as I know, we are more than 60 in our whatsupp chat)
Maybe did you use "Motorcycle oil" instead of a basic, cheap 20-50 SG oil?. We have experienced slippage with various JASO2 oils
And about the EBC quality... I've tested different EBC pads and clutchs along my life in various bikes, mainly from friends. And it is not a brand that I can recommend, you're right
Thanks again


       Thank you for the reply, also I forgot to say you have done a very good job on your website, the gear change lever moving one spine works very well. I have managed to get hold of a FJR1300 spring and load check it, the load is up again as can be seen on photo above, these are the same spring as the XJR1300 see web hyperlinks below, this is a very good website for checking part numbers


On to oils I have tried the last few years is Motul 5000 and 5001 10/40, Motul 3000 20/50, Millers 20/50, and at the moment I have Westway 10/50 fully synthetic oil in, (it has the worst oil in for clutch slip, and it is not slipping, I have fitted the FJR1300 spring now know it has more clamp load)

My bike is run all year round mostly backwards and forwards to work clocking around 7,000 miles a year, it does see a certain amount of stop start through Town on my commute to work, as well as triple carriage way, where speeds can vary,  oil temps are well down on what you see where you are!, a hot day here UK oil just tops 80c in winter with oil cooler tapped over, it gets to 40c, if it is snowing it stays in the garage, coldest I have used it is -9c 
One thing to be careful with when check clamp load measurement is that the clutch push rod is pushed all the way back into the slave cylinder so the spring in the slave cylinder is not pushing on the clutch pressure plate, or unbolt slave cylinder while checking spring clamp load measurement 

The spring does not degrade it is the wear on the clutch plates clutch hub face and cutch pressure plate face that drops the amount the spring is compressed, unfortunately a diaphragm spring has a small amount of movement for its best clamp load, unlike a coil spring  (that is why the Barnett conversion works so well) does this make sense.
   where I work we supply clutches to most F1 teams and a lot of other high end race series, you normally set a stack height just over peak load so a bit of wear it is still in spec, unfortunately 125,000mile FJ there was too much wear even though the plates were still in spec according to Yamaha’s limits!!! Any more questions please ask 

Sorry another reply for you I have found this website which explains how a car diaphragm clutch works, difference with a motorbike clutch is we have 8 friction drive plates to wear as well as hub and pressure plate faces wearing




hi alf, I followed your suggestion:

- changed the front tire with michelin pilot road: too early to judge;

- ordered the k&N air filter (but what's that "fairy" you told me to use for cleaning? a sort of soap the kind you use to clean the kitchen?! maybe in italy it's got another name, because I don't really know it. so you spray it on the filter and polish it up with a piece of cloth? no water?)

- replaced the oil (finally I chose elf semi-syntethic 10w-40, as they didn't sell any sg semi-sint at the supermarket; maybe in the summer I will go for a less expensive sg mineral);

- bought the dr. spock windscreen :-). as the new one costs 214euros, I looked for someone who is selling the bike in order to exchange his screen with mine plus an amount of money. finally I've found a man that had both sport and touring, so I've kept mine and paid 80euros for the taller, shipping included. ok, it's not new, but it's in good conditions as the bike has only 25.000km and has always been garaged, and I think the saving is good. 

now it leaks oil from front forks; it already did a little when I bought it (but as I paid 600euros for the whole bike it was an acceptable problem), but now it really needs a therapy ;-)

I've read your section about suspensions with great interest, and I wonder if your considerations about progressive springs being too hard compared to hagon's and fork oil density give the same results when applied on my bike (91 1200abs), which is heavier than yours. should I go for hagon and 7.5w oil too?

what else should I replace besides oil seals? you know, as the fork is already dismounted I want to do a definitive job!

do you think it's the right chance to replace steering bearings? do they need replacement after 12 years and 60.000km ? I've found a guy that worked in a yamaha team in superbike competitions, who repairs motorcycles in his garage during spare time, and he ask only 15euros per hour handjob ... how much do you think I'm going to add for the bearings work, included new bearings? 

I also want to change spark plugs, because I see that they're rusty outside, and moreover I want to know how old they are when I do maintenance. should I use the same ngk dpr8ea-9 suggested by the owner's manual? is there anything better for the fj engine? 

thanks a lot and cheers

meo :-)



Yes, I clean my dishes with Fairy or KH. Any light degreasing soap is useful: soak your dishes with water & soap until the rest of spaghetti are eliminated. Then, eliminate the soap with clean water and leave the dishes dry. Don't use compressed air, because you could break your crystal cups.  Well, with the KN the same process.

Good purchase. The Mr Spock 91 on windscreen was designed by Yamaha in the wind-tunnel, so it is the best aerodynamically.

If you have to change the seals, change the bushes too and the dust seals, of course. After all these years, they must be shot and your damping force inexistent. Nº 7.25 at the microfiche. If you can find the ones at the inner fork leg (10.28), buy them too.

Finally, I think the SAE 7,5 w is too light, with little damping even with the hardest setting, so I am trying now SAE 10 at OE quantities and I think this time is ok. And your model don't have damping adjustment, so use SAE 10. The Hagon fork sprigs are superb. And even with 2 up and lots of luggage, they are at the minimum preload setting in my FJ, so I don't think  that 20 kg more are a lot of difference. And with my weight only, the static sag is a little in the hard side, so If I eat a lot of cakes there will not be problems.

Check your head bearings: if they are not pitched or corroded, and they are sweet, grease them with a good bearing grease and leave them alone. And if you have to change them, leave the job to a good mechanic. To fit them, you need to torque the upper nut to 5 kgm (nº 4 at the microfiche, the one just on the bearing), then loose it and re-torque to 0,5 kgm.

Spark plugs: use the recommend items by Yamaha, colder NGKPR9EA9 in summer. And sync the carbs too.



Thanks to: Rogier van Well

Hi fast Jota,

I've read your FJ site and it is a great inspiration for me. Me too, are a fan of the FJ1100 and I'm restoring one right now. Lots of work, but great fun to see the material come back to live. What you wrote about changing the head bearings is oh so true. It is a terrible job, but I got it fixed at the end.

What I did was this: I put a cork in the down hole of the steering pin, then I put water in the steering pin, put a cork on top of the steering pin so the water can not come out.

Then I put the whole inner head in the freezer.

After a while the water becomes ice. When that is the case, I heated the bearing with a flame torch. You have to "know" when you've heated the bearing enough and start working it with the screwdriver and hammer so that it comes off. 

The idea is that because the steering pin is filled with ice it stays colder than the heated bearing. The bearing expand (just a little bit) and the steering pin not (yet). so it can come of just that little bit easier. 

Hope this information will be useful to you, but better still, hope

you do not have to do this work ever again. 

Greatings and many thanks for the great site.




Hi Alf, Have just bought a 1988 FJ, good condition with dream machine red paint job, wheels have been painted which i don't like.....can you advise me on sourcing either original alloy second hand wheels or alloy equivalents that both do the job & look good!! Many thanks Paul Docherty


I don't know exactly what is your model, because the European 88 version had 17" front wheel, and I think not the US model So if your FJ is a 16" front, you don't have a straight on fitting: you have to update the fork legs to a 3CV model (89-90) If your FJ is a 17" front, the 3,5 " FZR 1000 wheel 1987-1988 is a direct replacement of the OE 3" and the modern front tyres sit better in the wider rim (120/70/17). If you get an Exup front (1989-1995) you must only change the bearings and the inner axel tube Rear: if you want to keep your OE 16", any FJ rear fit. Anyway, if you want update your rear to 17", you must work a little more and any kind of work conversion is involved. You could fit FZR 1987-1988 18" rear, or Exup 17" or YZF 600 or GSXR rears. Each one takes additional work involved If you are interested about this conversions, let me to know and I will mail you where get the details I hope this helps Best regards



Hi, Alfredo

Great site, I always check it when I'm going to do some work on my FJ.  I was wondering if you have any idea if forks from an '89 with the 17 inch wheel will fit on an '86 with the 16 incher?  I'm considering buying some with much better chrome than mine and the added benefit of no more anti-dive.Thanks.



Thanks for your compliments, amigo ;-). Be sure that fits straight on. You will have to change the calipers too, of course. Aditionaly I´ve checked the P/Ns to see if you could change only the outer vases (P/Ns 2, 20 at the microfiche). Even the inner tubes (P/N 10, 26) and the inner hidraulic unit (P/Ns 12, 30) are listed with different numbers between 1TX and 3CV models, I´ve dismantled both forks and all the parts look identical. Check it before to buy a complete fork 
And I´m afraid that the chrome is made of the same (bad) quality 
Please, inform me in order to write in my web, because I think the issue would helpful to other FJ owners. Best regards


Hey Alf, thanks a lot for the response.  I was going to bid on a set of forks off of an '89 that looked really clean and came complete with Progressive springs and transfer the internal parts including the inner tubes over to my outer sliders but I think I'll wait until after the holidays ($$$).  I actually bought a Superbrace forkbrace but when I installed it my forks wouldn't budge, the brace had pushed them apart enough so they wouldn't slide at all so I tried it again carefully tightening it so as to keep everything free but still there was too much sticshon (sorry, I can't spell that).  These Superbraces aren't adjustable like the Telefixes are.  Anyway, I figured my forks were in need of a rebuild-  new bushings and checking the tubes for straight, so that's why I'm looking at a second set.  You mentioned on your web site that you liked the 16" wheel better, didn't you?  A little quicker steering?  I've got other things I need to replace before doing anything major with the wheels anyway.  Hope you have a nice holiday season and thanks again for the help.



If you are not going to change the rims, leave the OE forks. Yes, I like a lot the 16" front feeling. My friends´ 1TXs have a lot more nimble steering than mine. Yeah, my bike is more sure footed at high speed and when loaded, but in the today collapsed and plenty of gatsos roads... well, you decide
If you buy another set of forks, anyway these will need a complete rebuild, so the best option, from my point of view, is rebuild your bike forks (new up & down bushings, anidive rebuild, progressive springs and new oil).
I disappoint of the general advice about the antidive: if it is in a good shape, with braided brake hoses too, it works like a compression rebound adjuster and it works!
About the fork brace: my friend Mingo´s bike fits a Telefix one. The only thing that I can say is that there is no difference at all between  ride the bike with the fork bridge fitted or removed


Cortesy of Chris Halsall

Hi Alf, I have a 1990FJ1200 and had a problem with the flasher unit, on these models there are 2 black boxes that control flashing lights according to most people but when mine finally gave up the ghost I realised that one of these boxes is only a relay controlling the starter moter and a few other electrical connections. For all those people with buggered up flashers who don't want to pay $200 for a replacement here's what you do. Chop off the little black box with 5 wires coming out of it (Mine was a self cancelling unit) then buy a nice cheap 12volt 2 pole car flasher. Connect the Brown wire to "X" which is power and then the Yellow/Red wire plus the Brown/White wires to the "L" connection (load) tape up the ends of the White/Green & the Black wires (Not to each other), so they don't ground, then go and spend the $190 you saved on something else, you might have to uprate the fuse from 15 to 30amp depending on the flasher unit you buy but hey ho, better than making Mr Yamaha even richer!

Best Wishes

Excesive Voltage Output from the Regulator


Dear Sirs:
My Yamaha FJ 1200 (1988-1990)  3 CV fits an Electrex RG 25 bought 2 years ago, with excellent results, but like it has blown 2 headlights bulbs in 2 weeks, I ´ve checked the regulator 
My 1st dude was consulting the regulator specs: Haynes Mannual gives 14,5 v at 5000 rpm and the Yamaha mannual specifies a range between 14,2 to 14,8 v at more than 2000 rpm. And the same mannual says than a FJ1100 reg specs (the same unit) are betwen 13 to 15 v. With the tester on hand I´ve checked 4 times the regulator. Just starting the bike, the tester reads between 14 to 15,03 v. When hot after a normal riding, the tester gives a complete normal reading, following Haynes and the Yamaha 3CV mannual. Is it normal or I must change the regulator?. Best regards from the beach


You probably have a bad connection on the switched +ve which goes from the ign switch to the battery .Peter