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General Category => Introductions => Topic started by: DitchDiggrr on February 10, 2019, 04:32:57 PM



Title: New FJ owner from Nebraska intro
Post by: DitchDiggrr on February 10, 2019, 04:32:57 PM
Hello all, thought I would put up an introduction and a few pics.
I've been Lurking for awhile now and really am finding the forum extremely helpful.   

I’m a 42 year old manual laborer and underground irrigation service man, who does a lot of part time mechanic work and also sells car parts at a local store a couple of nights a week.
I have been cursed with a prematurely cranky body that has made doing big miles on a motorcycle problematic for all of my 24 years of riding.

Most of that riding has been for an hour or less each time.
Lots of 10 mile commutes and 30-50 mile rides.
Only two out of state trips in all those years and neither of those were enjoyable for me.

I live in SE Nebraska where the roads are 99% flat and straight. Not a lot of curves or hills too worry about.
Brake pads last forever, and we get awesome mpg on almost everything you drive.

I’ve had an “eclectic” collection of motorcycles over the years with lots of genre crossing and experimenting... ( I don't tend to take it too seriously and just like to have fun with them and am not too concerned with what other people think about my bikes)

I love all kinds of bikes and can appreciate all kinds of radical modification or just nice restored or even original factory motorcycles.
I'm not a snob or purist and am too old to care enough about any of that stuff to fight about it... I like bikes that the OWNERS like.

And if the owner has modified it to fit himself those bikes are always extra fun and fascinating to me.

Part of the reason for that is that I have never had much money and always have to do all the work to my cars/trucks/bikes myself , so I love seeing how other people have personally engineered or re-engineered their stuff.

Some of the bikes I played with over the years:

3 different CB 750 long choppers
1972 CB750 cafe racer
1973 CL360 Honda scrambler
1973 360 Honda ( bump-start only cafe racer )
1975 KZ400
1981 Honda CM400
1974  stock Yamaha XS650
1984 Honda VF700s Sabre "street fighter"
1974 stock CB350
1972 Yamaha XS650 (Jockey shift, kickstart only, rigid frame chopper)
1981 Suzuki GS750 ET (piped and jetted)
1983 stock Suzuki GS550
1992 Honda CBR600 F2 street fighter
2002 highly modified, and very strange Kawasaki 800 Vulcan ..er....umm... rat bike?
1981 XS650 street tracker

Here's a few pics:
(http://fjowners.com/gallery/11/6198_10_02_19_3_48_40_2.jpeg)
(http://fjowners.com/gallery/11/6198_10_02_19_3_48_41_5.jpeg)
(http://fjowners.com/gallery/11/6198_10_02_19_3_48_39_0.jpeg)
(http://fjowners.com/gallery/11/6198_10_02_19_3_48_40_4.jpeg)
(http://fjowners.com/gallery/11/6198_10_02_19_3_48_41_6.jpeg)
(http://fjowners.com/gallery/11/6198_10_02_19_3_57_41_5.jpeg)
(http://fjowners.com/gallery/11/6198_10_02_19_3_48_41_7.jpeg)
(http://fjowners.com/gallery/11/6198_10_02_19_3_48_41_8.jpeg)
(http://fjowners.com/gallery/11/6198_10_02_19_3_51_25_1.jpeg)


And currently I have a another rigid framed  kick only 1981 Yamaha XS650 chopper.

(http://fjowners.com/gallery/11/6198_10_02_19_3_57_42_7.jpeg)
(http://fjowners.com/gallery/11/6198_10_02_19_3_57_42_8.jpeg)


So as you can see I really like motorcycles in general and don't have a lot of rules about what I am into.

This spring I picked up a 1990 FJ1200 3CV with 34,000 miles on it.

It ran but was rough.
It had been laid down possibly more than once.
Missing front fender, had some busted up plastic, scrapes, had many teeth missing from the rear sprocket, shot chain, bad paint, cut up windshield,  bent clip ons, a new seat cover.
But it was very cheap, (500$!!)

(http://fjowners.com/gallery/11/6198_10_02_19_3_15_39.jpeg)

I have always loved  street fighters, cafe racers, sport bikes and sport tourers even though I know I can hardly find a curve to use them on, but... I always wanted to try a sport tourer like the FJ to see if I could make it work as a long term do it all /commuter and see if maybe it could be comfy enough to travel a bit to places with more curves for me to enjoy.

The FJ has always been on my bucket list and so I jumped at the chance.

This summer I got some time to get some work, modification and riding done, but in total only about 800 miles.

I did New tires, plugs, oil change, 18/39 tooth sprockets and chain, did a valve seat and needle on a leaking carb, lights, etc.
The bike is really running great considering how little I paid and how little I have done to it so far, but ... as I feared
It was quickly apparent that i was going to have some comfort issues.

(That's always expected for me, like I said... I have had a history of trouble getting my body comfy on any motorcycle for a long ride. )

The most pressing issue was I ended really having a lot of pain in my shoulders and neck,
I'm very aware of how seat, pegs, bars, and aero can all effect this... But I thought I would just start simple and try to see if I could come up I with a quick and dirty way to try out some different bar locations and bends without a huge investment right out of the gate. I like to experiment a lot so I wanted options.
Since I have a large collection of old tubular 7/8's bars laying around I wanted to get some handlebar risers on asap and start trying things.

My buddy has a mill and he helped me by just punching two holes in my top clamp and machining the rear surface flat for some washers. I am running old XS650 handlebar risers which are designed to go through the factory rubber isolators in the top clamp. They are 3 inches from the flat of the bottom of the clamp to the top of the threads.

(http://fjowners.com/gallery/11/6198_10_02_19_3_22_36_1.jpeg)
Then I have two pieces of bushing stock (currently they are too large and will soon be replaced with the correct size, before i paint the whole thing. ) that I slid them through.
Free, simple, extremely strong.

It worked great and as an added bonus I was able to run the bars at the same time as the factory clip ons and that allowed me to try the various bars out like "highway pegs for my hands".... i would lock my throttle on the highway and grab the bars and try them out.
(obviously for short periods of time only!)
(http://fjowners.com/gallery/11/6198_10_02_19_3_22_36_2.jpeg)
(http://fjowners.com/gallery/11/6198_10_02_19_3_22_37_3.jpeg)
(http://fjowners.com/gallery/11/6198_10_02_19_3_22_37_4.jpeg)
(http://fjowners.com/gallery/11/6198_10_02_19_3_22_38_5.jpeg)

Once I had narrowed in on a bend I liked and thought would be close enough I pulled the clip ons and moved the controls over to the bars.
I was able to get everything to reach without buying anything with some careful re-routing of wires, cables and lines and using a spare brake hose from some brakes I had lying around to get  a longer line from the M/C too spitter tee for my brakes. 
(Once I nail down the bars, and all the details I plan on buying braided steel lines for the works but this was just proof of concept)

Right now I am testing out a set of old Honda CL360 bars  but I actually got the controls switched over right at the end of the season this year so I have very few miles on them and its too soon to tell if they will be right.

(http://fjowners.com/gallery/11/6198_10_02_19_3_22_39_7.jpeg)
(http://fjowners.com/gallery/11/6198_10_02_19_3_22_38_6.jpeg)

I also wanted to have some highway pegs just to stretch a bit,  so while messing around with a buddy talking about potential mounting points he suggested I just try some quick and dirty floorboards to allow me to to try a lot of different foot locations to help narrow in on location without having to make new brackets over and over... So we whipped these up for now.

(I agree that they look ridiculous... But hey, I'm just experimenting and they just unbolt with one bolt.)

(http://fjowners.com/gallery/11/6198_10_02_19_3_34_19_0.jpeg)
(http://fjowners.com/gallery/11/6198_10_02_19_3_34_20_1.jpeg)
(http://fjowners.com/gallery/11/6198_10_02_19_3_34_21_2.jpeg)

I also managed to rustle up an older used Corbin seat from a friend but it turned out to be quite a bit taller than the stock seat, and I have yet to find out what this particular model is while searching on here... I was under the impression that the Corbin was lot lower... so perhaps I just missed that there is a tall model as well... so obviously I am going to have to do some experimenting and exploring with that to see if it offers any advantages at all.   

Just as I got these mods done we got our first big cold snaps and snow so I haven't had a lot of time to try the seat or floorboards but we will see how it goes as soon as I can get some miles. 

I also found some older Shoei bags off of a BMW I think... i will see if i can get them on for some experiments come spring... you can see them here just sitting on a block of wood while I check for general size and fit.

(http://fjowners.com/gallery/11/6198_10_02_19_3_34_21_3.jpeg)
(http://fjowners.com/gallery/11/6198_10_02_19_3_34_21_4.jpeg)

 I've started to fiddle with a lot of the little stuff this winter including repairing some of the plastic damage and perhaps the hard bag mounting... But we will see how warm the garage can stay this year.
 but I'll save  but I will save those for other posts

Anyway, just wanted to say hi and show some pics for fun.
Really enjoying the forum so far!
-Ditchdigger


Title: Re: New FJ owner from Nebraska intro
Post by: Tuned forks on February 10, 2019, 08:09:49 PM
Welcome to the forum.  We'll have to ask some of the more senior members, (looking at you Pat) but that might be a record for longest introduction.  I too suffer from body abuse and RPM's bar risers helped a bunch.  You must have gotten some looks on the road while you have the clip ons and the handlebar both installed.  Your FJ looks much nicer than your description of all the damage.  Enjoy!

Joe


Title: Re: New FJ owner from Nebraska intro
Post by: ryanschoebel on February 10, 2019, 09:13:07 PM
Color me impressed! I love seeing simple, down and dirty engineering stuff like that! Congrats on the purchase, and I hope you can make it fit just right for you!


Title: Re: New FJ owner from Nebraska intro
Post by: ZOA NOM on February 10, 2019, 10:39:19 PM
"I eat glue" ... Shit, you fit in around here for sure.  :good2:  I nominate that for the Epic First Post Award. Outstanding. Welcome to the forum, and to the FJ world.

BTW, your bones are creaking because there ain't nothin but hardtails on your list!  :Facepalm:


Title: Re: New FJ owner from Nebraska intro
Post by: DitchDiggrr on February 10, 2019, 11:41:41 PM
Welcome to the forum.  We'll have to ask some of the more senior members, (looking at you Pat) but that might be a record for longest introduction.  I too suffer from body abuse and RPM's bar risers helped a bunch.  You must have gotten some looks on the road while you have the clip ons and the handlebar both installed.  Your FJ looks much nicer than your description of all the damage.  Enjoy!

Joe

Lol, well... sometimes I find it’s easier to get some of this stuff out of the way quick... saves valuable time later!  :rofl2:

Oh yes, I’ve had people come out of gas stations and cross streets to confirm their eyes weren’t playing tricks on them!
It WAS pretty fun if I’m being honest.  :pardon:


Title: Re: New FJ owner from Nebraska intro
Post by: DitchDiggrr on February 10, 2019, 11:57:32 PM
"I eat glue" ... Shit, you fit in around here for sure.  :good2:  I nominate that for the Epic First Post Award. Outstanding. Welcome to the forum, and to the FJ world.

BTW, your bones are creaking because there ain't nothin but hardtails on your list!  :Facepalm:

You know... the “glue” sticker  was the very first sticker I ever put on a bike and now that I think about it ... it kind of sums up my entire motorcycle history  :sarcastic:

This isn’t my first vehicle with a cult following, so I wasn’t too worried about being the only “weird” one, I know these forums are full of rather questoinable characters! :sarcastic:

Award!?!? Sweet!!!
Do I win RPM gift certificates?!?
Cause lord knows I can’t keep those boxes from Randy coming fast enough!  :i_am_so_happy:

Ha! Aw, come on now... I have tried out a few of them fancy new fangled swinging arm motorized cycles! I’m hip with what the kids are up to these days!
 :flag_of_truce:


Title: Re: New FJ owner from Nebraska intro
Post by: racerrad8 on February 11, 2019, 09:33:36 AM
I know you said the roads don't have many corners, but there are still in town turns...

Do those foot boards drag?

Are you planning on making the hinged so they swing up if the hit the ground like the harley boards?

Randy - RPM


Title: Re: New FJ owner from Nebraska intro
Post by: DitchDiggrr on February 11, 2019, 09:56:20 AM
I know you said the roads don't have many corners, but there are still in town turns...

Do those foot boards drag?

Are you planning on making the hinged so they swing up if the hit the ground like the harley boards?

Randy - RPM

Yes Randy, I did manage to lightly touch the rear corner of one of them mid turn, but one reason why they are so big is we figured we would start large and trim them down a lot as I get time with them to see how they work . I plan on narrowing them some before this spring and getting some more r&d time in before I decide about either re-doing them or replacing them with pegs in the "right" spot... Also, they are pretty low, so I could bring them up a lot if I decide to keep a refined version of them.

In theory I won't need too hinge them if I get them right,  but hinges are on the table for sure.


Title: Re: New FJ owner from Nebraska intro
Post by: FJ_Hooligan on February 11, 2019, 10:13:52 AM
Those front forks are pulled WAY up in the triple clamp.

When you find a front fender, you better have some decent fork springs.  Otherwise the brakeline splitter will have a very good chance of making contact.


Title: Re: New FJ owner from Nebraska intro
Post by: DitchDiggrr on February 11, 2019, 10:23:43 AM
Those front forks are pulled WAY up in the triple clamp.

When you find a front fender, you better have some decent fork springs.  Otherwise the brakeline splitter will have a very good chance of making contact.

Are they?
They were flush with the top of the clip ons, once I removed the clip ons I left the tubes right where they were.
 
Of course I can slide them down easily enough and I have a full set of FZ1 front brakes (including the MC) and will be swapping them over so when I have the it all apart I will be adding longer lines anyway or possibly going too the two line setup.
I'm fairly certain that was just the stock tube height.
Am I wrong?
I guess I need to get out my ruler ...


Title: Re: New FJ owner from Nebraska intro
Post by: FJ_Hooligan on February 11, 2019, 10:43:22 AM
Nevermind, I didn't notice that the clip-ons were missing.  DOH!  Carry on.


Title: Re: New FJ owner from Nebraska intro
Post by: DitchDiggrr on February 11, 2019, 11:22:58 AM
Nevermind, I didn't notice that the clip-ons were missing.  DOH!  Carry on.

Ha! No worries! Sometimes you need someone looking over your shoulder to keep you from destroying something!  :good2: