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bwringer last won the day on February 9

bwringer had the most liked content!

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    2015 FJ-09

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  1. Well, I'm 52 and still airing it out... maybe one day I'll grow up, but I hope not. I'm 100% with you on the luggage, though. I am highly skilled at two-wheeled grocery getting, and know exactly when to stop filling the cart.
  2. I'm a bit strange in that I universally despise and detest windshields on motorcycles. A nice, smooth flow of air against my upper chest and around my helmet is my ideal. Add a wee bit of forward body lean to counter the wind pressure, and I'm a happy clam for monster mileage days in the saddle. If you like windshields, great. I'm not gonna yuk your yum. Just not my moto-taste, and I do understand that I'm the strange one here. Anyway, as I fervently hoped when I bought this bike, it looks and works GREAT in naked mode. I scrapped the horrible stock windshield on my V-Strom many years ago, and have been happy with the results, but the FJ-09's smaller front end works even better naked; no turbulence at all. I removed the Madstad barn door and hardware that came with my bike (make ya a helluva deal...), installed the stock plastic windshield support plate, and added some hole plugs to make it look a little less unfinished. At some point, I might try to fabricate something a little cleaner looking. So are there any other FJ nudists around here? Or did they all just buy an MT-09? I'm honestly not a fan of those giant weird pointy plastic hand guards, either... but that's another discussion.
  3. The glaciers covering Indianapolis finally receded just enough to haul my FJ-09 to the BMV and get legal Tuesday morning (for some damfool reason they need to look at the VIN in person for an out of state purchase, and the cops won't do this stupid "inspection" in the city). Anyway, that pain is over, and I've put on a couple hundred miles in the last few days. So far I'm impressed... I added the Givi racks last week for a set of E21 bags I had lying around. And today I just received a Givi top case rack and engine guard setup. A Givi top case should get here in a few more days. You can't really see it in this photo, but the PO let a drunk orangutan apply reflective tape to the wheels and in a stripe in that black "waist" fairing bit. Apparently that stuff uses some kind of nuclear space glue because I can't get it to budge under attack from heat or chemicals. Makes me a little crazy whenever I look at the bike, but I'll need to find a safe way to get that crap out of there. I'm also very well pleased with how well the bike works stark raving naked. Nice smooth flow of air at all speeds. (Yes, I'm a weirdo who positively detests windshields.) It came with a Madstad I removed for the turbulent trailer ride home, but I sincerely doubt I'm ever going to re-install it.
  4. Weird how the manual for this bike is full of ridonkulous torque values like this. Just replaced the chain and sprockets on my 2015 (and yes, I used new OEM nuts as specified in the manual) and 70nm (58 foot-pounds) is just plain nuts. I have no doubt one or more of the studs would have stripped at full torque. I stopped at the spec used by Suzuki for my V-Strom DL1000, which is 60nm (44.25 foot-pounds). That was very, very damn tight, and I have absolutely zero concern. This seems to be a thing on every bike I've owned; somewhere in the manual is a ridiculous torque spec or some other error that will break stuff if you blindly follow it. This bike has its share, that's for sure. And no, I definitely did not tighten the rear axle nut to 108 foot-pounds... The front sprocket nut did get a new nut and the shockingly reasonable torque as called for in the manual; in looking at that wee sprocket nut it's obvious that it's a one-time item. Very fine threads and not a lot of material, not to mention it's staked into place. Not what I would have designed, but it seems to work well enough.
  5. Yes, I've used the Nealey plugs WAY too many times on cars and tubeless motorcycle tires. Fantastic stuff, truly next level sticky strings. And you don't need glue. FWIW, the last usage was less than a week ago when my wife was stranded with a flat 40 minutes from home in the middle of nowhere. It was 7 degrees and late at night, and not a soul stopped to check on her until a couple of deputies stopped while I was inflating the tire with an electric pump. The Nealey plug worked just fine in extreme cold. We carry these Harbor Freight inflators in the cars; too bulky for toting around on a motorcycle, but they'll easily inflate a car tire in maybe five minutes: 12v 100 PSI High Volume Air Inflator 12V 100 PSI High Volume Air Compressor
  6. I've had several punctures in motorcycle tires, and helped friends deal with quite a few. One of the guys I ride KLRs with regularly has had punctures at least three times; once we found both a piece of a broken off key and a screw in his tire. I think the key hadn't made it through the tube yet, but it was poking through. After some gravel road fun in southern Indiana, I once pulled a huge heavily corroded square hand-forged iron nail out of my rear tire. It had to have been 100+ years old. Probably fell out of someone's Conestoga wagon or something. On a bike with tube tires, you're in for a wee bit more effort... it's best to try and arrange your punctures for a shady location with a bit of a breeze. Overall, I'd say a flat is a once or twice a year thing for me or someone I'm riding with, so I always, always, always carry the stuff to plug a flat and air up the tire afterwards. BTW, I tried the CO2 cartridges... no bueno. You need a lot of them to fill up a motorcycle tire, and if the repair fails or has a slow leak (sometimes it's not just a clean puncture), you're stuck. Best to just carry an electric pump. A small hand pump wouldn't be a bad idea if you're headed way off the beaten path by yourself, or make sure someone else in the group is carrying a second pump.
  7. I can unequivocally and with 100% certainty tell you that those stupid "Stop-n-Stay" rubber mushroom plugs do NOT work on motorcycle tires. I think I was cheering at the end of this video. FINALLY someone is calling the bozos out for selling this dangerous crap. I spent the money. I carried the stuff for years. When I got punctures, I tried, oh how I tried. They just do not work. Well, they do work, but only if you don't ride the bike anywhere after installing the plug. They're fine for static display of pneumatic art, I guess. I once had a simple puncture 50 miles from home, and barely made it into the driveway with five failed "Stop and Stay" mushroom plugs bouncing around inside the tire. As noted, the good old sticky strings are the safest and best by far. And they're cheap and easy to find anywhere. The finest of the finest of the sticky strings are Nealey kits. They're a little thinner and they install a little differently than regular sticky strings, so read the directions. They're installed without cement, so you don't need to depend on that little dried-up tube. What you end up with is a knot on the inside of the tire and four thicknesses of sticky string in the repair. I carry a Nealey mini kit in every vehicle, and always had great results. Repair Kits | Tirerepairkit For a tire pump, I carry a cheap, simple compact "Slime" brand electric pump.
  8. Welcome, not-a-stranger! Or, "fellow V-Strom convert". I keep running into people I know here... My reasons for buying an FJ-09 were much the same as yours. Hopefully things will thaw out soon and we can meet up for a ride!
  9. Over in the vintage Suzuki and Kawasaki world, where shims are huge and sitting on top of the buckets, over-revving by a significant amount back in the racing days was know to spit out a shim occasionally and cause all sorts of expensive havoc. And it can still happen these days if a rider misses a shift badly enough. No rev limiters on these olde analog bikes, ya know... Redline on those engines was 9,000, and you were taking a big chance if it zinged over 10,000. The shims are basically only glued into place via the surface tension of the oil. This works perfectly well, but only to a point. So yeah, shim under bucket is light, durable, works great at high RPM and with steep cam profiles, but... yeah, it's kind of a pain in the ass to check and adjust. Although there are plenty of bikes that make this a LOT more difficult than the Yamaha triples. And most require checking more often. Go fight with the cam chain tensioner on an ABS V-Strom 650 for a few hours, and you'll adore the straightforward stone-axe simplicity of the Yamaha triple. As noted above, there were some Toyotas that used shim over bucket. I had a couple with well over 250,000 miles, and never once saw a valve clearance out of spec. The manuals told of an exotic tool for compressing the bucket and swapping the shim, but it may have been only a legend... Later on, Toyota started skipping the shim entirely and using buckets with tops of different thicknesses. I never saw one out of spec, and I don't think anyone ever has. Obviously, low-revving grocery-getter engines are a whooooole different world and are apparently quite gentle on their valvetrains.
  10. One of the frustrations of life down here in Indianapolis is that we get snow and crappy weather a-plenty, but we hardly ever get enough snow to have any fun. It just screws everything up for several days, then things get all mushy and slushy and most of it melts, rinse and repeat... Still, there are many years where I've been able to ride the seven miles to work almost every day from Valentine's Day through Thanksgiving. My motto is that you can put up with almost anything for 20 minutes...
  11. After spending some quality up-close time with the OEM chain, which is pretty shagged, I've ordered a much higher quality EK 525 chain, sprockets, and sprocket and countershaft nuts. The clearances under the sprocket cover between the sprocket and the chain guides are mighty tight on this bike, so I'm not sure whether a bulkier chain would cause problems; 530 chain uses the same link spacing, of course, but the chain plates are thicker and beefier. I'm also not sure a thicker front sprocket would work out OK; the nut on the countershaft seems to sit exactly flush. In any case, I won't need to think about it again for a good long time now. The stock basic DID chain has two failed o-rings at just under 22,000 miles, so as long as the EK beats that I'll be happy.
  12. Thanks! I did some more rummaging around and found some hints in an ancient forum thread showing shims in the 1.75 - 2.05 range. I might just order up the next "refill pack to cover 1.80-2.05 and I suspect that'll do the trick.
  13. What do all y'all usually find in there, anyway? The set of 7.48mm valve shims I have only covers 1.50 - 1.75mm, which is the range usually found in the Suzuki V-Strom 650. They're pretty consistent; I've done valve checks on several Wees and never needed anything outside this range. Do I need the big set for the FJ-09? Or would a "refill pack" in a different range work? Or is it all over the place? Refill packs are available in different segments of the range: 1.50 -1.75mm, 1.80-2.05mm, 2.70-2.95mm, etc. with five of each shim for $35. The full set goes from 1.20 to 3.50mm with three of each shim for $65 - $80 (depending on where you buy). I like getting things done without extra trips or going a-begging at dealers.
  14. I live in the frozen hellscape that is Indianapolis. If we ever see the sun again, I have fading memories of beautifully twisty roads that begin not very far south of the city. Southern Indiana is crammed with hills and fantastic riding.
  15. The right side vibrates a bit more than the left on most motorcycles because the throttle grip needs a little space to turn. That decouples the weight of the grip and your hand from the bars, so you get a little more buzz.