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I have owned two Yamaha FJ1200 and both times I decided the bigger the bike the better it would be for me.
The price of the first was £2600 that was in 1986. The next one a 1991 model cost me £650 on eBay in 2008 but needed a £100 new tyre as soon as I got it so was £750
The tyre was in fact so badly worn that driving it down the motorway from Northampton to London was frightening as at the time they were resurfacing the M1 and the top of the surface had been scraped off. There was also a contra flow in operation. The front tyre was following all the grooves in the road it was all I could do to keep it in a straight line. Next day I went straight to the tyre dealer.
It does use a lot of petrol especially around town and if you use its high performance it can easily drop to 30 mpg.
I had 160 mph out of the FJ1200 in 1986 in 2008 140 was the max I could hit and not to be recommended as the four times 140mph was hit a blow out then took place. I limped home from the M25 to Bermondsey the last time it happened and that was a long journey with a flat tyre at 15 mph all the way.
The motor makes a claimed 128 horse power and has also 85 ft lbs of torque which is a lot for a machine that weighs in at 600 pounds.
The first one I had did 26000 miles and it had clutch slip all the time when trying to accelerate fast as no parts were available in 1986 it was never cured. My riding style at the time was flat out everywhere as I was only 26.
In 2008 I covered 5000 miles on my FJ before selling it back to the guy I bought it off he then scrapped it as no one on eBay wanted it.
The engine overheated so as to make the petrol tank very hot if driving around Central London all day that was in 1986. It is totally over the top for London and it is even worse now as speed bumps have been put down my street. These get in the way especially as 70 mph was possible down the street in first gear as it only took about 3 seconds and that's with me counting.
I cannot recommend the rear top box fitted to the 1986 bike by Givi as it snapped all the time and had to welded back on. The 2008 owned bike had Krauser 35 litre hard side cases on both sides and a top box. These got in the way when driving around town so I threw them away. Which was a mistake as I purchased smaller ones on eBay and the seller would have swapped the bigger ones for the smaller ones. I also had to drive to Devon to get them and it was quite an experience driving home late at night on the FJ with no winter clothing on. On the move the adrenalin keeps you warm but once slowed down for petrol and could not stop shaking it was that cold in early March by Stone Henge.
FJ's have a very good reputation for reliability with every one but the police. As you would expect I was pulled over. My rear tyre had only 5 LBS of air in it I accept. Although about to do something about it a ranting traffic copper told me these bikes are to old to be on the road as they could have any number of things wrong with them. He then proceeded to take my Mot away and said push the bike home! This was as he found the fork seals had gone as well. Then I had to spend £100 getting them replaced and having the bike serviced. I could not tell any difference but the changing of the engine oil made the engine seem a lot smoother. The previous owner must then have thrashed it aroung a track which explains the front tyre wear.
When the fork seals went again after 5000 miles I knew it would not pass its soon to be needed Mot. As it turned out the front discs and brakes also needed replacing. It was time to say good bye to the FJ 1200.
Ps when the fuses had kept blowing it turned out to be a fault with the ABS so I told it all off and threw it in the bin.
It was very interesting to read your review.
I purchased an FJ1200 3CV a couple of months ago and am very pleased with the comfort, styling and capacity with the large Krausers and tank bag but have the following concerns.
I agree with you about the slow speed maneuvring and overbalancing, which is disconcerting to say the least. I have dropped the bike three times to date while attempting 'paddle' turn. The bike dips inwards when only a fraction from vertical,as if the rake is too 'steep'? as if the front wheel is slipping from under me.
The bike also fall inwards too easily when pushing around.
There is nothing to do in either case but let it go..and its too heavy to lift alone.....embarassing in the middle of the road.
Something I'm having to be very careful with ....but its unnerving! Maybe its the pannier weight?
Handling over white lines and ridges is a nightmare....on par with my GT380...I am looking for the hinge in the middle! Any suggestions for improvement?
Lastly the handlebars are a little low ....anyone have extension pieces? I am considering the higher seat to help leg room.
I find the touring screen quite good for protection.
Otherwise a good bike with eyecatching looks and adequate performance...for me. I look forward to some longer routes when I have gained the confidence from improvements to the above.
One further point. The headlamp dip blew a little while back.Riding on main lasted until the filaments crossed and blew the light fuses,only using the 30amp spare regained the pilot and tail light...not good for a motorway return journey.....recommend carry a spare headlight bulb and fuses and know how to replace both...its tricky and requires tools!
Having loved this model since they came out,even at the ripe old age of 43 I still didn't feel I was ready for this type of big old sport tourer but then whilst cruzzing through ebay one day my wife just happend to look at the screen as I was reading the right-up for a 1990 FJ1200 3CV."That looks nice,are you getting it" she said and as I nearly broke my wrist tring to hit the B.I.N. button........well she's mine and what a bike.Even with her,(then)83k miles on her the moment I sat on her,she just felt right,like we'd been friends for years.After a week of sorting her because she had been stood for over a year,the MOT was passed with flying colours.The motor is just about the best thing ever.Sitting at 80 fully loaded with 3 givi's and wife twist the throttle and she'll still out-run my buddies Blackbird (solo) right upto 160.In the same vain she'll do 30 in top gear and pull away to. She now has 87K miles on her and regulaly out-runs and upset's the "Power Rangers" on there so called sports bike's.Be brave,tip her in and let HER sort out the corner then slowly twist the throttle and feel that power surge,megga adictive,oh and the P.R.'s still looking for masses of revs and 2 down gears to catch you.....nice,very nice,and boy does it P.... them off.Put her on an Mway sit at 90,and the only thing you'll have to stop for is fuel at the 200 mile mark ish.Ive done 3 tanks in a day and my back lived to tell the tale.I have fitted the 6 pot "Pretec" callipers to the front along with Goodridge hoses, progressive springs (front)and a Hagon rear,stage 1+3 Dyno Jet Kit,K&N,"Viper" race cans,(145 B.H.P.now),heated grips,touring scottoiler,Avon Azaro rubber,Leather K & Q seat,tall flip screen etc etc etc etc.My advice...GET ONE. I wish I would have got one years ago.
I just bought a Yamaha FJ1200 at the beginning of November 2000. I had a suzuki GS500 before. One might say that this is a bit of a big jump! Well I travel to Manchester every day and to do a daily journey of 120 miles, you need a comfortable and powerful bike. I think that this is a good enough reason to purchase such a wonderful machine. Moreover, a friend of mine bought one about a year ago. he was very happy with it. it was fast, powerful relatively reliable and very comfortable. So I set my mind on a FJ1200. I paid £3,000 for my for a 1992 ABS FJ1200 model with 20,000 miles on the clock. I admit that the price is a bit steep (you would pay around £2,500) but wait a minute and I will tell you why. First, I used to live in Manchester. For personal reasons, I moved away from Manchester. As I said earlier on I travel a fair distance on a daily basis. So I needed a FJ1200 relatively quickly. The problem is that this kind of bike are sold very quickly and there are not that many around. So when you see one and you want it, you buy it at the price. Secondly, I can't afford to be stranded on the side of the road because the engine passed away. So I wanted a guarantee in case something serious happened. In fact I spent all my savings and took a loan to pay for the bike. Therefore, I bought mine from a dealer, "Carnell". I will not comment the services provided by Carnell because this is not the point. However, I had some serious problem with the bike. Therefore, my extra-investment of £500 was well spent. After 5 days I bought it, the ABS was playing tricks (the ABS unit costs £1,000) and the alternator passed away . They fixed the bike and lent me a courtesy bike. After 11 days, My clutch was not working any more. Same Game again, I gave them the bike and they lent me a courtesy bike. It came bike with a new clutch cylinder seal. At the same time they changed the Fork seals because they were leaking. But now the bike is running smoothly (f
or now). I have a guarantee of 12 months, so I have nothing to worry about. I have no regrets whatsoever to have paid that price. Now, let's speak about the bike itself. It is a sport-tourer that is very powerful at low revs and offer a reasonable top speed (145 mph). It is a heavy bike, so if you are not very strong, do not bother. you drop it very easily when doing a U turn. and I tell you that when it is falling, do not even try to stop it, YOU WON'T! A piece of advice, buy some decent crash bars. that will prevent from wrecking the fairing when the bike falls. It has a low ground clearance so be aware when you go on the pavement. The handling is excellent a low and high speed. The Fairing offers a good protection against the wind. You can buy a flip up screen but I don't think they are a big improvement. On the latest models you have a ribbed screen and they are excellent. However, if you want to buy one of them, you will have to spend an mere £90+VAT. I know, scary!!! I ride every day with my girlfriend as a pillion and she finds it most comfortable. When we come back home at night she even sleeps on it. she leans on the top box and here she goes, snoring like a pig!! You can buy more comfortable seats but then again, you are speaking of figures over £150+VAT. No thanks my seat is comfortable enough and if I have a numb bum I just think of the money I did not spend on a new seat and I feel better already. It is a very smooth bike. The gear change is a pleasure with the hydraulic clutch. But there is a price to pay for this gentleness of the gear-box. if you have a leak in you hydraulic clutch system, you will ride without clutch and this is most annoying. Moreover, when you stall, you have to restart the bike in neutral. It is very difficult on this bike to find the neutral without a clutch. Just check your hydraulics regularly and you will be fine. As for the fuel consumption, well apparently the best
you can do with a FJ1200 is 45 mpg. however, when you commute like I do, with the traffic and all that, you will only get 35 mpg. I know that it is not much but for a bike of this standard, it is not too bad. I must say that my average motorway speed is quite high. I will not say how much exactly not to incriminate myself. Apart from the consumption problem, I am very happy with the bike so far and I will give a new comment on it hopefully after the new year, just to let you know what the bike is really like.