Category Archives: Yamaha FJ1100

FJ1100 Frame

I slapped some more paint on the old FJ motor today then left it to cure —

mot 003

while I tackled the frame —

mot 004

The purists may shudder but with costs in mind this was never planned as a nut and bolt restoration – just a good clean then deal with the rusty bits before freshening the paintwork. I have never used Hammerite before and I hope I don’t live to regret my decision to use it on the frame —

mot 005

Time to take a break from painting —

mot 006

and with an MoT due on the Tenere it wasn’t too difficult to move her front and centre where she will get the once-over ready for a dry day for the trip to the Testing Station —

mot 007

I will be surprised if I find anything wrong with her as I’ve overhauled the rear shock linkage bushes since the last MoT —

mot 008

When I see her up there looking so good it’s all I can do to wait for spring before getting the maps out and heading off some where.

Come to think of it – I never did get to Corsica —

Tiree 213

But there’s time yet 🙂

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Posted by on February 4, 2015 in Yamaha FJ1100



FJ 1100 – Paint it Black

Paint it Black – or bits of it. Painting frightens me – one of the few things apart from snakes that does. Being colour blind doesn’t help and ruins the confidence.

No worries – even I can see this is BLACK —

paint it black 003

or Satin Black to be more precise —

paint it black 007

I played safe and started with the sump as it will be hidden by the plastic belly pan which should cover a multitude of sins. And if the belly pan doesn’t hide my mistakes – I’ll leave her in the box —

paint it black 002

We’ve just had our coldest night of the year – eight degrees of frost. Luckily I stumbled over that cardboard box while rooting about in the dark next door this morning. Coupled with my electric fan heater it made a perfect auto-clave to warm the motor before painting and to cook the paint afterwards to help it cure —

paint it black 008

I even found an old duvet cover to help hold the heat in after switching the power off and heading home for the night. I will decide tomorrow in the cold light of day whether the runs are bad enough to make me start all over again 🙂

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Posted by on February 3, 2015 in Yamaha FJ1100



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



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



Sold a Pup

I went out to buy a bike the other day —


but  for once I arrived home wishing I had been sold a pup —


Wee Toby was the star turn – just a few weeks old and so full of fun and mischief. Here he is sloping off towards the forest in disgrace after getting a rollicking from his master for pulling old Bracken around by the ears 🙂


Sold a Pup

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Posted by on November 26, 2014 in Yamaha FJ1100


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Yamaha FJ1100 1984

FJ1100The FJ1100 was a short-lived sensation when introduced by Yamaha back in 1984. Not for the first or the last time Mr Yam was caught with his pants down when his very nice air cooled four cylinder machine was quickly overtaken by more modern oil and water cooled fours from the Suzuki and Kawasaki stables.

But that was back then. Believe it or not even now – thirty years later  – that air cooled four cylinder motor is still produced and sold in the current XJR1300 roadster where it has a strong following amongst knowledgeable bikers.

‘So where am I going with this?’

Right here —

Let haggling commence

Deep in a Dumfries and Galloway forest where the current owner and his dog appear to be decidedly unimpressed with my starting offer for the FJ1100 which he has up for sale.

No worries – coffee drank — deal done – it is time for me to wrench the bike from the previous owner’s adoring grip and hit the highway —

jump start

I would have taken his shiny boots as well if he had let me but in the end I had to be content with the FJ —


Yes she’s tidy for a thirty year old bike —

FJ 911

But I see plenty in need of my particular brand of TLC to keep me busy over the coming winter months 🙂



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Posted by on November 24, 2014 in Yamaha FJ1100