Monthly Archives: January 2015

Blankety Blank FJ1100

No doubt there will be a few expletives flying around before this refurb is done but I have n’t reached that stage yet. Nope – the blanks I’m referring to are to stop the ingress of degreaser, muck and whatever else is going during the cleaning and painting process.

The exhaust ports were the first to get blanked after stuffing them with rags and bubble wrap —

Blankety Blank 001 - Copy

Then it was the turn of the 36Y inlets —

Blankety Blank 004 - Copy

followed by the two little oil gallerys in the sump where the oil cooler lines fit —

Blankety Blank 002 - Copy

I’ve never actually done anything like this total refurb before but having said that – I hadn’t made marmalade either until these past few days and it worked out ok —

Blankety Blank 007 - Copy

At least that ol’ motor is looking fresher today than she was yesterday —

Blankety Blank 006 - Copy

I hope to do a better job of the paintwork than the previous owners did and by the looks of things ——————–

that won’t be difficult 🙂

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Posted by on January 30, 2015 in Yamaha FJ1100



Yamaha MT09 Tracer

I’ve felt the need for a change of bike coming on for two or three years now but for various reasons have been undecided as to which way to jump —

Mulberry Harbour 002

The Tenere (above) was bought new for Long Distance Touring plus a bit of simple off-roading six years ago. She is still in excellent condition and there are certain aspects of her abilities that I would miss if I were to use her as the ‘make-weight’ in a deal for her replacement.

As time wears on my needs are changing and this might just be the fiesty ‘all-rounder’ to do the trick  —

Tracer 3 cyl

I have followed the various incarnations of the MT09 since the Yamaha triple first appeared on the scene eighteen months ago but felt there was nothing much it could do that my Suzuki GSX-R 600 Streetfighter couldn’t do better —

gixxer at Wigton 020

Thankfully Mr Yamaha appears to have seen the light for in addition to the original street focussed MT09 he has introduced a sharp Sports/Touring version and managed to keep the sale price below that of the direct opposition —

Tracer on the road

With useful bits like a centre stand and a range of luggage to suit the engaging triple available from the manufacturer she could be the bike for every occasion that I have been looking for —

Tracer in matt Grey

Just a matter of choosing a colour really. The red showing off it’s panniers below doesn’t do a lot for me —


and the plain ol’ Matt Gray is in pole position at the mo’


but the Silver bike with Blu bits might be difficult to pass by in the flesh —


With 113 honest little ponies in that sweet triple I have no doubt a top box will be in order for two up riding  🙂

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Posted by on January 26, 2015 in Uncategorized



FJ1100 – Heating and Beating

Little did I realise when I bought the FJ to have something to wrestle with in the chicken shed over the winter months that she would turn out to be such a challenge —

FJ frame

But – today I had a willing helper. Not only does H make a better job of cleaning the frame than I do.

She takes clearer photos too —

FJ frame2

Too good in fact. That frame doesn’t look quite so pristine in her pics – and the motor is showing every one of the five previous owners and thirty one years —

FJ motor 2

I was able to leave the frame in the capable hands of my sidekick and lay the motor on it’s back —

FJ motor

Where the stubborn cap screws fixing the lower oil cooler feed lines to the sump soon surrendered to a bit of heating and beating and unscrewed nicely without further drama.

Fj before stripping

First intentions were just to refresh the old FJ cosmetics and show her off at some of the local vintage events in the summer but once she’s stripped down it’s difficult not to go overboard and poke and prod even further.

Time will tell 🙂

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Posted by on January 25, 2015 in Yamaha FJ1100



Blanket On The Ground

After another few hours spent cleaning parts it was time to lay the blanket on the ground —

on a blanket 001

At least I shouldn’t lose any parts this way and it didn’t do Billie Jo any harm either 🙂

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Posted by on January 23, 2015 in Yamaha FJ1100



FJ1100 – Shiny Bits

FJ1100 Shiny Bits – I wish. There’s a long way to go but it’s early days but I have made a start and she’s coming along nicely —

FJ 1100 Shiny Bits 004

I’ve got most of the diamond hard chain lube residue off the affected bits and it’s the rusting frame tube joints where the paint has peeled from the weld that need my attention now —

FJ 1100 Shiny Bits 001

but not half as much as making that old motor look respectable. A previous owner has had a go at painting her and she’s neither one thing nor t’other —

FJ 1100 Shiny Bits 002

The oil cooler should come off out of the way before I go much further but there’s a couple of stubborn bolts on the lower oil line fixings that will need persuading before I can separate it from the motor —

FJ 1100 Shiny Bits 003

The motor is original and looks rather sad but I’m sure I’ll find a way to spruce her up a bit. It can’t be that difficult —

Can it 🙂

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Posted by on January 22, 2015 in Yamaha FJ1100



Bush Mechanic in the Chicken Shed

I spent ten years of my life as a bush mechanic involved in building roads – power stations – dry docks and all the ancillary work that goes with major construction projects in Darkest Africa and the Middle East —


In those sort of places you don’t do things by the book —


you use what you’ve got to hand —


Today the deck chairs came in useful although it wasn’t exactly deck chair weather outside where it was blowing a hoolie carrying winter rain with it —


The book says to drop the motor out of the frame but working solo without jacks or lifting and lowering tackle it was easier to put blocks under the motor —


and lift the bare frame off after undoing all the engine mounting bolts —


A piece of cake really —


Reminds me of playing Musical Chairs in the village hall as a kid but they might prevent nosy parkers knocking my hard won motor off it’s pedestal in my absence as I’m off to spend a few days round the Glasgow hospitals next week for more tests and assessments. Once the medics get their hands on you they don’t seem to want to let go 🙂

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Posted by on January 9, 2015 in Yamaha FJ1100