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Posts Tagged ‘motorcycle’

1990 Yamaha FJ1200 Sold

July 25th, 2011 No comments

The last of the true sport+touring bikes located in Vancouver, Canada.

The seat is narrow and the bike has been lowered for a smaller rider, but the shocks can be adjusted to suit any rider quickly.

I love my FJ1200,it is like a flying couch, so smooth and comfortable for rider and passenger.

DSC_0001_01It will be more practical for me to have a bike that I can pick up if it falls over.

If you know about this fine motorcycle, then you are aware that it is one of the last of the air-cooled giants. That makes it a little lighter compared with the water-cooled 4 cylinder bikes. This machine is a daily ride in excellent mechanical shape.

I have added engine guards and a rear rack imported from the UK.

The amazing thing on the bike is the custom luggage — two pelican cases hold a lot of stuff. Waterproof – lifetime warrantee.

One key opens both cases and an extra lock that I keep to lock my helmet to the bike.

Heated grips are an installed custom item with a choice of two heat ranges – switch located near left hand grip.

I am asking $3300. but will consider negotiating a trade – I need a smaller, newer bike with luggage.

Contact me vixmedia (at) gmail (dot) com

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Yamaha FJ1200 throttle stuck open

September 11th, 2009 No comments

Today I took the bus with my Pelican case full of tools and motorcycle apparel to where I left my motorcycle after it took me on a very wild ride.

I had some difficulty early Wednesday morning after I finished editing a draft CD for a client at Waterlou Studio, it was 3 am. I went out to ride my Yamaha motorcycle home, but I found the choke was stuck closed and the bike would not start. Not wanting to annoy the neighbours with repeated attempts I got off the bike and pulled on the choke knob as hard as I could, until I finally felt it slide out.

This was not the first time I had this problem, so I felt confident enough that once I started the bike, I could slide the choke in and out a few times and the choke would return to normal operation. This time the ride did not go so well. The choke was stuck on and no amount of sliding in and out was going to change that fact. The revs kept climbing until the gas was wide open no matter what I did with the throttle. An FJ 1200 with the choke stuck wide open gains speed rapidly. A few moments of excessive speed followed — as the throttle had no effect on the full on feed of gasoline into the carburetors. I killed the engine.

I managed to get the bike into neutral after a few very quick minutes. I could coast down the hill with the revs climbing out of control and me frantically pumping the choke lever and snapping the throttle. When it got so bad that I feared for my engine, I used the kill switch and cut the power to the motor. I tried all of the controls I had and started the bike again. The revs climbed to a dangerous level so I killed the engine again. After a few of these sessions, I decided that the bike must be parked, so I found an out-of-the-way spot with no signage and carefully backed and pushed the bike to a stop.

0158-FJ-parkedI was lucky to get a ride home as it was raining and cold and my friend, who had kindly given me a ride, took my waterproof  cover back and carefully covered the bike to keep off the pounding rain . . .0160-case+tools

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Categories: Inspiration, Uncategorized

November in the Rain

November 12th, 2008 No comments

Vancouver has settled into the “rainy with cloudy periods” weather pattern that will sustain until the spring. On November 13th my motorcycle insurance expires and the Big Bike goes into the carport for a long nap. Meanwhile, I have engine bars and a carry rack coming from Renntec Motorcycle Accessories and I am still trying to figure out the luggage system. My goal is to have a working system in place by spring so I can start to test it all out with local trips before leaving town.

I am trying to wait until the last possible minute to buy a video camera to mount on the bike. Technology is advancing so that anything I buy now will be outdated by spring. I will have to take the plunge at some point, just so I can practice with the machine before actually mounting it on the Yamaha FJ1200. I am sure there will also be mounting and vibration problems, but I hope to get everything worked out before next summer.

Cell phone companies are now interested in assisting me with streaming video off the bike, for a fee of course. The streaming would be limited to areas with cell phone coverage, so the mountains and more remote areas would be off the grid. I would still like to stream to a satellite, but the concept will take more development.

With the dark days and fewer distractions, I am sure the book will advance exponentially and I will keep you all posted on the progress of the project.

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Respect For the Big Bike

July 17th, 2008 1 comment

It all comes down to respect for the bike. I am realizing that the wonders of the big-bike are only now beginning to unfold to me. Although I am an experienced rider, I have not yet fully understood how different this bike is from any other that I have owned. Riding a large street-bike is an inspirational experience, but I realize that I have not been recognizing the extent of the difference in riding style and the maintenance required to minimize danger to the rider. I have been riding it like an overweight dirt bike; bouncing over the bumps and flying with very little patches of tire on the road.

FJ with video mount

After falling down, I took the FJ 1200 to Simon to check the brakes and to try to help me understand what happened. We returned to the scene of the first left-hand slider on the third day after the accident. The pavement at 16th and Cambie is very uneven due to Skytrain construction. The place I fell has a split pavement with each side of the lane a different height. The scraped ridge followed a manhole cover pavement mound, bulging from the road right after the bumpy intersection. The deep scratch, where I bent the foot of my centre stand on the pavement and the patch of gas where I had landed, were mute evidence to how much ground I covered on my side while I fell. I was going slowly and braking lightly, not stressed and hauling in the brake.

It felt like the bike had bounced up in the air, then lay down, and originally, I had thought that the bike had rebounded off of a neglected side-stand. Simon and I agreed that I had come too far from where I last parked to have left the side-stand down unscraped. So what could cause this effect? It was succinctly explained to me that if the front wheel locks up the rider can no longer steer the bike as the front wheel is not turning. The bike will slide in the direction it chooses based on tilt of pavement, direction of travel and other factors. Suddenly, I was really scared.

For some reason, I had never really pictured sliding on my FJ with the front wheel locked and not being able to steer. Read more…

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Categories: 1990 Yamaha FJ 1200

Night of Broken Bikes

June 28th, 2008 1 comment

This is an unusual tale of mechanical mystery, charming chivalry and late-night suspense. Friday night was my last shift as Crew Chief at The Ironworks, a beautiful venue that has been my home at the Jazz Fest for 4 years. Although the Ironworks studio, an artistic space in an actual converted metal-working shop previously known as Burrard Ironworks, is sophisticated and beautiful inside, it is located in the worst part of Vancouver. The neighbourhood is one of the poorest postal codes in Canada and many homeless people wander the streets in company with drug addicts and mentally ill individuals. The area is starting to gentrify, behind security barracades, but the streets are still mean and inhabitants are unpredictable — it is the Downtown Eastside.

I went down to The Ironworks early, as the venue manager had requested that I be there at 6:30pm. I complied and helped organize the other volunteers by orienting and assisting the hospitality volunteer and making sure everyone else knew what they were supposed to be doing. My job as Crew Chief is to keep the volunteers happy, make sure they have water or soft drinks and get a break when they need it. I also keep an eye on the venue and support the venue manager.

While I was changing my boots for shoes, I left a message with Simon that my red+white loaner FJ motorcycle was developing the same clutch problem that my blue+black FJ had last year. I had noticed him leaning it over at angles I cannot achieve without becoming completely horizontal, and pumping the clutch to remove the air from the lines. Somewhere in the clutch system, which is supposed to be full of a pressurized oil, there were air bubbles getting in.

1660-1100w1200top2_sm.png Read more…

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Motorcycle Camera Mount Research

December 2nd, 2007 No comments

There are many people recording video from moving motorcycles, so I decided to post a few links to show some of the mounting technologies that I might use to attach a video camera to the Yamaha FJ motorcycle.

This is a Suzuki motorcycle, but my Yamaha has the same type of gas tank fill cap. I don’t have a grab bar on the back similar to where the second camera is mounted.

Videos made by pashnit.com to promote their group tours in the U.S. are edited well and show the group riding safely. Jones Helmet camera system has made videos of racing motorcycles, sailboats and even hot air balloons. Youtube and other video sites feature countless video clips taken with helmet cams and other video capture devices, but the quality is extremely uneven. I have not yet found anyone who is streaming directly from a motorcycle except for GP and other races that feed to a nearby truck, not directly on to the internet.

European motorcycle riders also have posted video of rides in the Alps, but they are not for the safety oriented. They are definitely in the sport bike category, with tips on penalties for speeding around the world. Don’t speed in Norway or you will loose your license! Fortunately, Canada is listed as one of the most reasonable on this topic, however, my license is completely clean and I intend to keep it that way. I may tour though Montana on my way home to make some “need for speed” video footage as there are no speed limits outside of certain zones there. That is definitely outside the scope of this tour.

These video examples give you an idea of the good quality of video production that can be obtained using consumer grade video equipment. One of the major writers of the pashnit site is a former Yamaha FJ 1200 owner who claims to have ridden over 30,000 miles on the bike before he sold it.

Here is the most economical mount yet …. the $5. camera mount. The sound on his video is mostly wind noise as he has no windshield. Great idea though. Unfortunately, my FJ has a very different system for the handlebars. Another problem is my windshield is so opaque that I don’t think I should take any video through it. That brings me to the idea of mounting a camera on my helmet.¬† Read more…

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