FJ09. Fourth FZ in two years…

Yeah, you read right.

What gives? Not much really.  Walked into the dealer a few weekends ago to buy a helmet and came out with a bike.  I was batting around the idea of keeping the 7 and trading up to a new gen Super T, but my 2012 is very well set up, sorted, and I can’t find many things wrong with it.  So it stays as my all around bike.  The FJ will be a commuter, road tourer, fun bike.

I liked all my previous bikes, but they had some flaws that I couldn’t fix to fit what I wanted them to do.  Below are my takes on each of the bikes, and mine only.  If you don’t know what they say about opinions, just google it.

I’ll start with the FZ09.

Pluses: Motor, price, look.  Minuses: Stock suspension/ecu, fuel tank size.  Obviously the bike was a steal, so they had to save money somewhere.  I upgraded the suspension (penske shock, front springs and oil matched to my weight), and flashed the ecu with Nick.  Huge improvement.  What did disappoint is the tank size.  At 14L, riding the bike as it was meant to be ridden, I could barely squeeze out 200km to a tank, and then I had to call a friend/push to the pump.  I needed some money for something else, and life got in the way, and a friend of mine picked up the bike, and is pleased as punch with it.

What would I fix about the 9? Tank size…and maybe an ABS option.  That’s it.  They sorted the fuelling a few months after I bought mine.  Oooooooo!!!! offer a FZ09R..tasty suspension right out of the box for a grand more!

2001 FZ01.  Picked this up used.  It needed some love, but overall a nice bike.  Sorted out the carbs, changed the tires, rode it for a bit…not my cup of tea.  Sold it on to another buddy that’s liking it, just fine.

2015 FZ07.  Picked up this little beauty for CDN MSRP (all fees in).  Great bike

Pluses: Motor, fuelling, price, fuel economy (it returned 4.4L/100km/54 MPG riding it as intended around town!! Minuses: Suspension, leg room, wind protection.

Again, another steal of a deal from Yamaha.  This bike has spotless fuelling right out of the box. The motor is a peach.  Yamaha hit the nail on the head with the 7.  It wheelies happily in 1st, and sometimes in second on power alone (I’m at 3500′ so air is a bit thin) The suspension is not as shitty as the stock FZ9, but it still needs work.  Matris emulators, and Yacugar fully adjustable rear shock sorted the bike.  I added a givi screen to help with wind blast, and added a sw motech rack to carry my enormous 45L givi case (for commuting and stuff).  Why sell a bike that you’re happy with? Don’t know..It was a great commuter, but for some reason I felt small on it (both mentally and physically).  It didn’t have the presence in traffic, that I spent 50km in daily.  At 5’9″ I’m not a tall guy, but was lacking in leg room.  And I only did one out-of-town trip with the little guy, as it didn’t inspire long treks (in my mind anyways).

So…what would I fix about the 7?  Offer ABS as an option Yamaha! That’s about it really…It’s a affordably priced naked bike, that has a great motor.  Job done.

This brings me nicely to the FJ09.

Pluses: OEM suspesnion and ECU is much better than the FZ09.  Fit and finish is very good, and I quite like the well put fairing (layer with no screws showing at the front).  Adjustable windscreen is a plus.  The stock potato chip does an ok job, but have replaced it with an ermax that I found second-hand.  Handle bar is stupid wide.  Wider than my Super tenere, which I though was a wide bar.  No complaints, will not be swapping it anytime soon.  Stock seat was ok, again, came across a deal on a used Seat concepts seat, which seems plushier and flatter (less slope).  Motor, yep, it has one, and a good one too.  I’m breaking it in, so left it in STD mode for now.  I’m happy with that.  TC is a bit abrupt, so I simply turn it off, and enjoy the 5k rpm wheelies.  ABS is first-rate, and I’m liking the radial brakes.  Overall, the bike fits me well, goes like stink, and is well finished, with very decent road manners.  I took the sawzall to the pipe, and hacked off at the first weld, then punched a hole in the main pipe, to gain access to the common chamber.  Much better.  When I have time later, i will cut the pipe at the second weld, cut out the restriction, and reweld both OEM welds, to give it the stock appearance/tip but have a nicer deeper sound.  Hopefully a keeper 🙂

Minuses:  errrmmmm…I have all of 400km on the bike, so cannot really comment just yet.  The rear grab handles look like someone bent them over their knees, and it’s odd for a bike not to have a rear rack.  there’s a slight hesitation from off to on throttle, but I’m nit-picking here.  Hoping the stock CCT doesn’t give me grief.  Not worried, as I have 2 yr warranty on the bike.

So what’s planned for this one:

  • contact points to sort (Screen-done, heated grips-done, seat-done)
  • Exhaust mod-half ass done…moar to follow will post pics/findings
  • Givi removable racks on back I can carry stuff without strapping it to the rear seat
  • Yacugar rear shock re-fit from my FZ07.  The length appears the same, but I’ll need to thin up the rear linkage to accept the yac.  I’ll have to get it machined by about 5mm total (2.5mm on each side).  Again, I’ll get into it in the winter, with a follow up
  • SW motech crash bars-on order
  • Skid plate of some sort…yep, a skid plate on a FJ.  I would like to do the odd fire trail with this bike-read: smooth gravel.  It’s unlikely that anything might happen, but it’s a possibility.  I’m pretty sure I can do better than the current SW motech offering.  If I fail miserably, I’ll go for the SW motech offering 😛
  • Enjoy the bike.

    2015-08-17 20.28.02

    bye bye FZ07. Had fun! Off to a new home.

  • 2015-04-19 12.40.37

    I’ll be fitting this over the winter. The OEM shock is ok, but on fast bumps, it has a tendency to jolt you out of the seat. With a little massaging this should fit right in. Might even order a hydraulic pre load collar

    2015-08-18 13.02.07

    A gray FJ. I’m glad I went with this color. Good looking bike

    2015-08-18 13.03.33

    The cleanest it will ever be 🙂

I’ll post up, as things get added on to the bike.


Moar stuff for the FZ…the not so cheap bits.

Ok, so I’ve been busy riding, and not writing. I’ve put on a few accessories on the FZ07. Yacugar rear shock.  The OEM suspension is cheep and cheerful on the 7.  It’s not bad, but it’s not great.  It had to go.  Ted at the beemer shop helped me out with a fully adjustable Yac minus hyd. preload for just under a grand.  Yes it’s not cheap, but it transforms the bike.  The low/high speed comp adjustment had to sit on the front of the frame, a bit odd, but what can you do.  The difference is profound.  Bike handles nicely, and you can make good corrections mid corner without upsetting the bike.  No more bob and weave either.

Quality piece of kit

Reservoir towards the front of frame.

2015-04-19 12.54.43


Yoshimura Fender Eliminator.  The stock tail is ugly.  and the big turn signals don’t help.  I ordered through Motostarz and it went well.  The stuff showed up in 3 days. I ripped the tail off, and went to work.  All connectors are plug and play, and the Yoshimura fender eliminator is well put together.  One gripe is for Canadian plates, the yosh bracket will not work.  I ended mounting it behind the plate, and making some custom holes in my license plate.  No big deal.

2015-05-13 15.39.13

And off it goes

2015-05-13 16.48.50

The yosh bracket went behind the license plate. The bracket is too small for Canadian plates

2015-05-13 17.07.45

Job done. Looks good

Next up…handlebars.  The stock bars suck.  The sweep on the is huge, and they forced me into an akward riding position.  First up were renthal lows…an imporvement, but not exactly what I was looking for.  Too much sweep again.  I then ordered the renthal ultra lows.  That was the meal ticket.   I bought a largish tap, that matched the thread on the bar ends, and had a friend machine off the excess fat on the bar ends so they could slide into the renthal bar.  Magic.

2015-05-11 16.53.29


2015-05-11 16.47.31

Threading in process

2015-05-11 16.49.13

Machined bar end

Givi screen.  Nice screen.  Helps with the wind blast a bit.  It’s not super tall, but I think it flows well with the bike, even with the ginormous turn signals.

2015-05-11 19.20.06

I like!

2015-05-11 17.01.45

screen shot 🙂

OMGS!!!!! MY ZARD IS HERE…ok, got home, tore into it.  Stock pipe weighs 16 lbs.  Zard weighs 8 lbs.  Instructions? errrmmm…no, there was none.  After some head scratching it went together nicely.  Looks great.  I’ll post links to the boob channel shortly with baffles in, one baffle in, and two baffles out.  I’ll keep the baffles in.  It sounds great (I wear molded ear plugs, and can hear them over the plugs).  Fit and finish is excellent.  The metal Zard sticker will eventually fall off as it’s glued on, and not riveted.



FZ-07 first impressions. Mods: Matris, Sw Motech, other cheap mods


Update on the exhaust, and bike.  Weather has been decent as of late, and I’ve been able to put on a few k’s to break in the bike.  My first run was roughly 50km with some steady roll ons, and lots of compression braking.  Went home and dumped the oil/filter, and replaced it with my break in oil of choice, rotella 15w-40 dino oil, and a new filter.  The next 50k were spent in coldish weather, so not too much fun could be had.  Overall impression is very positive.  Bike pulls great, handles nice (especially with the new matris cartridges/pre-load adjusters).  Muffler sounds good.  It’s deep and not too loud, so I’m happy with the mod.  Can’t wait to put more miles on this bike.  Right…so I have a pleasing 200km on the bike.  Weather’s been ok, so I get out for a blast as often as I can.  Motor…honestly hand on heart, it’s all the power I need.  The FZ09 was quick, stupid quick.  This can be thrashed pretty much to the throttle stop and the gearing is nicely laid out.  Transmission doesn’t have that clunk like th 9 or my tenere for that matter, and shifts are smooth.  Suspension, and brakes are very decent.  The front end re-work improved the bike immensely, as the dive is non existent, and brakes work that much better.  Ergonomics and instrumentation.  I felt a bit cramped on the bike.  My air hawk sorted that  out.  It gave me an extra 1-1/1/2″ of extra leg room.  The dash is easy enough to follow, and Yamaha have relocated the horn button, so it’s a bit out of the way.  This way, when you use the turn signal, you’re not honking the horn at the same time.  I’m waiting on my givi screen, and my rear shock will be arriving shortly.  More thoughts, as I put more miles on

Matris Preload cartridges.  Right, so I found these on the www through PJ’s Parts.  Nice folks over at PJ, quick to get back to you, answered all my questions as needed.  Now…this is mostly my fault, but I was convinced I was buying fully adjustable cartridge fork drop ins (comp/pre load on one leg, and reb/preload on the other leg).  What the kit actually consists of is two preload adjusters on each fork leg, and pre calibrated drop in cartridges as specified through your order.  Paige read my gripe on their FB page and updated the description on their site to make it clearer, and gave me a small refund!  Score… oh ya.. linky here:

Install was dead easy.  If you have a front end stand this will make your life very easy.  I don’t but do have a hyd. lift, with a clamp.  So I backed the bike in, clamped the rear wheel, and lifted the front by using the muffler as support.  I cracked all my bolts prior to lifting the bike (pinch bolts/axle nut).  Take care with the front fender.  It’s a three piece affair.

Once the forks are on the bench, disassembly is straight forward.  The instructions with the kit are clear, and easy to follow.  Everything you need is there, and of very good quality.  Entire install took about 1.5 hours.

Ride time is very limited so far, but the front end is firm, with preload all the way out.  I’m told that the spring will settle a bit over time.  The added benefit is that the brakes work very well with zero dive.


Everything is here. Preload adj. spacers, new spring, cartridges, oil and instructions


Preload adjusters are nice quality, and stickers!!



El cheapo mod…fender extender for the rear mud flap.  First ride, the bike was absolutely covered in shit.  I decided to do a mud guard extension.  Went down to the local parts store and picked up some unmarked mud flaps (truck flaps).  They were about $18.  I got one set, which leaves you a spare flap.  Remove the stock flap, and use some card board as a stencil.  I made the flap sit inside the oem one, and then proceeded to cut the mud flap from the store.  Turned out well enough, and I used rivets to attach the two pieces of plastic together.  The rivets didn’t hold all that well, so I eventually switched to bolts and nuts.  I also took my heat gun to the new flap to give it a bend in the middle, so the tire and new flap have more clearance.  Easy with the heat, as the oem flap will melt just by looking at it


Black mud flap.. if you want yours to say Chevy on it…those are available too 🙂


Rivets and soft plastic do not mix…




Different angle


SW Motech rack, and tool tube.  This just showed up in the mail.  Same rack I’ve used on the 9, so looking forward to the install. Instructions are easy to follow with a couple of omissions, that are not deal breakers.

While I was there, I removed the rear passenger pegs.  I wasn’t going to two up this bike at any point, so to offset the weight of the sw motech rack made out of pig iron, I ditched the rear pegs.  I also used a small horn bracket that I had kicking around to hold the brake fluid reservoir, for FREE!!!

Rack looks great, without the adaptor plate, and my ginormous givi 45L case.  Now the bike will be a useful riot.

Sw motech rack…made out of solid steel…very solid steel


Holes opened to 17mm

Naked tail..

Rear plastic cut back so it can be re-used. SW makes no mention of re-using this

Rear peg delete. Brake fluid reservoir relocation bracket. SW Motech Rack. Tasty!

Finished product. Much better looking than the Yamaha aftermarket rack



FZ-07 Mods


Let the mods begin.  I tore into the bike a few nights ago.  Plastic comes off without too much problems.  I did have to use the Jedi force at one point since I had no idea how the side panels/tank cover was attached.  I removed all the visible bolts and gave it a careful tug.  As you can see from the picture below, it’s simple enough, once you know what you’re looking at.  All in all there was three piceces that needed to come off (two side pices, and one center piece that goes over the tank cap filler.  Yamaha was nice enough to leave a shelf on the right side of the bike, guessing this is where the ABS pump goes, if it was so equipped.  This will leave tons of room for my ballast, and other HID bits and bobs, plus the various other wires that will end up being there.

First on the list, electrical bits.

The 55w HID kit went in without much fuss.  Oxford grips, were a doodle, and will share space with the GPS ram ball mount.  Radar plug in and warning light to be mounted.  Update.  Since I rode the bike, the light is damn bright..not sure if it’s annoying to other drivers, but I haven’t got hi beamed yet.  Will report on how it works at night, when I errmmm….ride it at night.

I’ll be stealing switched power from the rear tail light wire, which will power up the relay for all the accessories.


Lots of pins and nipples 🙂


Not the best looking thing without plastics. But lots of room to work on things, and most things are right at hand.


Great place for sandwiches!

2015-02-28 15.39.00

front close up of radar LED light and holder

Rear close up of Radar holder and LED, plus GPS


Stock muffler mod.  Right, here we go.  I’ll attempt the same mod I did on my fz09.  Yamaha has a single outlet pipe on the under muffler, but on the 9 when the pipe was cut back a ways, it exposed the common chamber, thus giving the bike a slightly deeper sound, without totally messing with back pressure.

I unplugged the O2 sensor (cover needs to come off first), then I unscrewed the bolts holding the foot pegs, to gain access to the two rear bolts holding the muffler.  Loosed those off, and undid the 4  nuts holding the pipe on to the cylinders.  Whole job took about 2 hours.  If anyone is interested, I’ll get you pipe size, hole saw size etc…

20150207_115131 - Copy - Copy

So here’s the stock pipe cut back. Common chamber exposed. We took a dremmel tool to the inside of the pipe to cut 1/1/2″ into the inside of the muffler


Side shot



Finished product prior to paint


Inside shot of pipe. Not the best welding in the world…but the gaps were huge between the pipe and new muffler


I pulled the rivets out of the stock pipe, holesawed the tip to fit the new bigger pipe, and then repainted the tip black, and re-installed new rivets


looks good methinks!

20150207_162823 20150207_162814

New bike, new post. Yamaha FZ-07. Here’s the plan so far..

Well, it’s crappy out, i’m getting over the flu, so I have nothing better to do but plan my next build.

I have a deposit on a brand new gray 2015 FZ07 (aka 7).  It will be here mid January with some tasty add ons that will get here right around the same time.

Obviously, I will not be doing a ride review anytime soon (march/april if I’m lucky) but I’ll update the blog as new things show up for the bike.

It’s been a strange year to say the least.  Last November I picked up a brand new FZ-09 (aka 9), with great plans for that bike, I set about bolting bits and pieces to it to address various issues of the stock bike.  As I mentioned in my other posts about the 9 the most obv. offenders were: suspension, ecu stock tune, wind protection, seat comfort and tank size.  I was able to rectify all the issues except the tank capacity, or lack thereof.  Long story short, I enjoyed the 5500km or so with my 9, but money was needed somewhere else, and the bike went to a new home, to be much enjoyed.

Fast forward to September this year.  I was bored yet again, and came across a deal I could not refuse.  A decently kept 2001 FZ01 (aka 1) found it’s way to my garage.  I’ve ridden these before, and rather liked the look of them, and overall execution.  I put a couple thou km on the bike, along the way fixing some things that were overlooked by the previous owner (carb clean/sync, tps adj, exup adj/check, valve adjustment-the worlds tiniest valves, i’ll have you know, new rear tire, etc..etc.. Since I do all my own work, the only real costs were the rear tire, oxford heated grips, stainless front line, and a few odds and ends.  Now to the bike.  The 9 was quick, instant really.  The torque, and when the torque came on was stupendous.  The 9 wheelied all the time (Nick’s ECU flash was prob. the best $250 anyone could possibly spend on this bike, why it wasn’t sorted from the factory was beyond belief) The 1 was different.  A bit soft down low, but once the needle reached 5k rpm…oh my, they were not kidding about 130 or so hp, with probably 75 ft lb of torque showing my ass down the road.  Such an easy motor to go fast, 2nd gear passing someone from 60 km/h, quickly saw the needled nudging 200 km/h without ever trying.  Yet, it was very civilized if you wanted to putter at the speed limit too.  So why the hell is it not sticking around? Cheap, paid for, reliable, great brakes, vg stock suspension…mostly the carbs.  I’ve had plenty of carburated bikes, but during riding season, I go to work early..very very early.  I’m usually out of the garage at 545 am.  So for me to sit there, faff around with the choke, and get the thing running just right is a pain.  Yes by pulling the slip on akropovic pipe, and replacing it with the stocker, made things better, I simply missed the EFI of my 9, but not much else about it.

The thing is, having been on two wheels since the age of 15, I’ve had my speed phase, and I’m very much over it.  It doesn’t blow my skirt up to go balls to the wall all of the time.  I enjoy corners, taking a nice line etc.. Now in days my riding mainly involves commuting, touring, dual purpose touring (see any or all post with my trusty Tenere-aka XT) and the occasional fun outing.  Saying that, the 1 or 9 no longer fit the bill.

This brings me to the 7.  I was curious about this bike when it first came out.  I had a chance to test drive one for roughly half an hour.

My ride impression were as follows:

  • Nice fit and finish.  It’s a smallish bike, but should fit me fine (5’9″, and 180lb suited up)
  • Great stock thorttle manners, compared to the on/off of the 9
  • Very decent brakes (R1 calipers-conventional, and FZ08 disks)
  • Light
  • Great every day motor.   It’s very wheely happy if you want it to be
  • Stock suspension…much in line with the 9, cheep and cheerful, but not as bad as the 9
  • with a few tweaks, it should fit the bill nicely for what I intend to do with the bike.  Commute, have some fun, and do the odd short trip on it

So in no particular order, here are the things that are coming from the post man.

1:  Zard full system pipe.  My buddy Kevvy at Blackfoot Motors put me on to this pipe.  To me the fit and finish is first rate, and looks amazeballs!  Should be here mid January, so I’ll fit that up as soon as the front end is sorted.  No carbon cap for me, just plain jane. Link: Update on pipe.  This will not materialize.  The cost of bringing this thing over in too high. Looks like I’ll be modding the stock pipe.  Failing that, Yoshimura is my next choice

Video link:

2:  Matris drop in cartridges.  I found these from PJ’s Parts.  PJ and Paige were very helpful with anwsering questions, but it’s a fairly straight forward install, comp and pre load in one leg, and reb and pre load in the other.  Springs are set to your desired weight, and the whole kit comes with the right weight oil.  I’ll report on the ease of install, quality of the parts, and of course the ride quality once, I’m able to get the bike on the road.


3.  Oxford heated grips.  I’ve used this on all my bikes, and quite like them.  The controller has improved immensily over the last two years.  The heat spread of the grips is universal, and they seem to wear well.  My XT now has about 45km since intalling the grips, and they have worn very little, and work well.  $89 bucks locally, or from Twisted Throttle.   Link:

4.  Screen.  I will go cheap here first.  I have a leftover MRA screen from the 9 that was replaced under warranty, including the mouting brackets.  I’ll see how well it fits (if it actually does) and go from there.  Update.  Not going to work.  Givi it is. Link: or the MRA screen specific to the 7, Link:

5.  Electrical bits and bobs.  This will be a weekend undertaking.  I’ll be wiring in my 4500 lumen 55W H4 HID lights, Stiebel air horn, garmin GPS, Oxford grips, possibly my TPX Radar and LED warning light, Gerbings heated vest plug in, and battery tender lead.  I usually wire everything off a accessory 30 amp relay to prevent the battery from draining out (obv. except the battery tender leads) I’ll be interesting how the 7 comes apart, is for room (the HID kit takes up a bit of real estate, but is doable with time and patience)

6.  Luggage.  I will be using the bike to commute, so will need some sort of easy and secure way to carry stuff.  I’ll probably go the back pack route for the first few months, and then move on to the only real solution that will work for me.  SW motech rear rack, and givi adaptor plate.  I’ve used the same SW motech rack on my 9 and rather liked it.  Yes the 45L givi rear case looks huge on the back, but I quite frankly don’t care.  For the utility, it’s simply awesome.  It will fit my helmet, gloves, and other crap easily, and securely.  When the adaptor plate is off, the 9’s lines were actually better IMO.  hope the same goes for the 7.  Link:

So, once all that tastyness is on, and the weather allows me to go for a ride, i’ll be break in time.  I use the motoman method with good results.  Load the motor, with steady acceleration, and more importanly compression breaking.  I find an empty straight road, and load and compress the bike for roughly 50km.  I drain the oil, and replace the filter with rotella 15W40 diesel oil (It’s high in detergent, and excellent for this sort of thing).  Link:

I’ve had great luck with this oil, with zero clutch slipping issues.  I usually continue the load/compression riding till about 1000km, when I drop oil and filter again.  Rotella back in, ride normally, until 3500-5000km. At this point a good synthetic motorcycle oil goes in.  My current choice is AMS oil’s 10w40 oil, and a yamaha filter, or good aftermarket stand in.  Link:

Once past the initial synthetic change, I follow Yamaha recommendations for change intervals.  The only one I don’t follow is for my XT, which I think calls for 7 km intervals, and I do it every 5 km due to the amount of shit, abuse, and dirty conditions the bike sees.  Again at 51 thou km, the beast shows no signs of slowing down.


Owen from OJ’s leisure products was kind enough to drop it off at my house.  Bike looks great in person.  I was a bit worried about the gray paint, but seeing it in my garage, well, I’m glad I went with it.

20150129_195719 20150129_174343 20150129_17451220150129_195651 20150129_195733