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Unsatisfied with my FJ-09


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Felt like making a post about my FJ-09 after almost 2 years, my apologies if this is rambling a bit, so...
[strong]TL;DR[/strong]: my FJ-09 seems overly rough, I'm getting sick of it, no one else complains about the issues I have, QQ.
I purchased my FJ-09 brand new sight unseen back in May 2015; I live in Hawaii and the only Yamaha dealership on the island wouldn't bring any FJ-09s in unless you put a deposit down. I test rode a FZ-09, and really liked the engine, shifting, etc. I wanted a bike for daily riding, so I opted to go for the FJ-09 as I saw it as being better for commuting (not much touring to do when 30 miles in any direction puts you in the ocean!, but mounting a 58L Givi Trekker Top Box on it is easier). I now have a little over 12k miles on the bike, and I'm starting to get annoyed at how rough this bike is.
My first impressions were alright; wasn't super impressed with the looks, but I felt like this bike would get the job done. Initially, this was fairly true. The engine was very smooth, but the transmission was very disappointing to me. It is VERY clunky, when shifting both up and down, it really feels like it is slamming into gear. Not to mention that at times when shifting from first to second, it would float into neutral instead of getting into second. Then, when I shifted up to second, it would make a bad grinding sound before getting in. It hasn't done this much recently, but it was pretty annoying when this happened.
I had the shifter shaft recall done and this didn't affect it much (didn't expect it to). I tried using different brands of synthetic 10w-40 oil (Yamalube, Silkolene, Castrol), but it only made the transmission feel smoother for a week or so before it started to get more "clunky." I've tried "pre-loading" before shifting, but it really doesn't help much.
Now, the engine too is starting to get less than thrilling. I swapped out my spark plugs a couple weeks ago, and the engine felt smoother for a while, but it too is starting to get rough and anemic (maybe I'm just used to the power now with the bike.) Something that has been bothering me is when the FJ-09 first fires up, there is an almost knocking sound coming from the engine that goes away once it has been warmed up for 5~ minutes. It sounds worst than the normal sewing machine sound, but the fact it goes away means this is probably nothing and I'm worrying too much. And when I drop it into neutral at a light, the transmission itself starts to make a louder "rattling" noise until I shift it back into gear...not sure what to think of that.
Anyways, the nail in the coffin with my FJ-09 is because of my brother's old 2013 Triumph Street Triple R. That thing is buttery smooth in all aspects, especially the shifting. It's quite a stark contrast to me how it glides into gear and doesn't feel like the transmission is going to drop out below me. I'm not a stranger to notchy shifting, but my FJ-09 drives me crazy with its unpredictable transmission. Sometimes it is smooth, other times it clunks hard. I tend to rev match pretty well most of the time, but maybe I need to perfect this more?
Do I simply need to "man up" and enjoy the roughness? Am I over thinking this? I don't necessarily have a problem with it, but this bike is my daily ride and it gets to be annoying after a while. I would have traded this long ago for a Triumph, but depreciation on brand new bikes is fantastic (that's another post in the making about never buying bikes brand new if you expect not to instantly lose 40% of its value...). My old '07 Ninja 650R was smoother than my FJ-09...
Anyone else feel the same about their FJ-09?
 
 
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combining this post with your other post about tyres, why not treat yourself to some new rubber and open the throttle a bit more - 12,0000 miles on the OE tyres is a lot and suggests you must ride very conservatively. Get that engine working and it will sound a lot better. It must be in desperate need of an Italian tune-up...
This signature is left blank as the poster writes enough pretentious bollocks as it is.
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I love my FJ and don't have these problems. I bought the bike used, and it had already been flashed. The fueling is very accurate and smooth, you might consider a relash for about $300. The other thing is; the bike rode poorly on the stock tires which had only 6,000 miles on them. Changing the tires made a big difference.
 
 
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I'm impressed you manage 6000 miles a year - you must ride in a lot of small circles...
Pretty much just ride to and from work (15~ miles each way), not much point otherwise as there's a ton of traffic and not many interesting roads out here to ride on. I'm from Colorado, and used to enjoy canyon carving, but there's barely anything out here. As for the tires, yup definitely very conservative. That's due to it mostly being flat long highway riding where the highest speed limit is 55mph, and at night the traffic to get home is usually crawling at 20mph. Granted, I do open it up quite a bit, but there are so few corners...
 
 

I love my FJ and don't have these problems. I bought the bike used, and it had already been flashed. The fueling is very accurate and smooth, you might consider a relash for about $300. The other thing is; the bike rode poorly on the stock tires which had only 6,000 miles on them. Changing the tires made a big difference. 

 
Thanks for the tip. I have to decide if I want to put more money into the bike trying to make it something I enjoy (better tires than stocks, flash, want an arrow exhaust system as well...), or cut my losses and get a car...
 
 
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only had mine a couple of months, but can't say i'm impressed with the gearbox, i was surprised they would build something so mediocre,  sometimes it clunks, sometimes its notchy, sometimes just touch the lever and it seems to drop into gear....it feels remote, which i suppose it will given the strange and lengthy linkage.....riding a friends Tracer is similar....most of the time i can forget it, but is annoying in some situations, 70k mls on my previous bike and never gave the gearbox a thought , hopefully it may smooth out a bit, 2500 mls at the moment, i'll try full synthetic oil shortly 
 
 
if you watch Tracer reviews on you tube, you can hear them clunking through the lower gears......
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only had mine a couple of months, but can't say i'm impressed with the gearbox, i was surprised they would build something so mediocre,  sometimes it clunks, sometimes its notchy, sometimes just touch the lever and it seems to drop into gear....it feels remote, which i suppose it will given the strange and lengthy linkage.....riding a friends Tracer is similar....most of the time i can forget it, but is annoying in some situations, 70k mls on my previous bike and never gave the gearbox a thought , hopefully it may smooth out a bit, 2500 mls at the moment, i'll try full synthetic oil shortly 
Same experience; every time I ride it seems different. At times its perfect and I never think about it; other times it feels like armageddon and the bike is going to rip apart when I down shift from 2nd to 1st. It has gotten marginally better after 10k miles, but it's still no where near consistent.
 
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Sounds to me that you might have the CCT = Cam Chain Tensioner problem and your clutch may be adjusted wrong. Obviously just guessing from NC.

Brick
2015 Yamaha FJ-09 "Red Molly"
2014 Yamaha Super Tenere' ES
1999 Suzuki SV650

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Sounds to me that you might have the CCT = Cam Chain Tensioner problem and your clutch may be adjusted wrong. Obviously just guessing from NC.
mines a 2016, only 3 month old, ive ridden 2 other 16 models, 1 was a bit better than the other 2, but i wouldnt say any of them had a nice gearbox.....however, the engine has smoothed out since new, so fingers crossed for the gearbox.... 
 
 
 
 
Paddington, ive come off a Versys 650, i was fed up with the vibes after 70k mls, but the Tracer is just as vibey, albeit in different places...lol
 
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Sounds to me that you might have the CCT = Cam Chain Tensioner problem and your clutch may be adjusted wrong. Obviously just guessing from NC.
Damn, reading through the various threads on here about issues with this. I didn't even realize this was happening, and apparently Yamaha still hasn't fixed it properly. http://fj-09.org/thread/3043/3rd-cam-chain-tensioner-update?page=1&scrollTo=36220 - this guys experience really is worrisome.
Think I'm going to look at taking the hit and selling this thing...
 
 
 
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Sounds to me that you might have the CCT = Cam Chain Tensioner problem and your clutch may be adjusted wrong. Obviously just guessing from NC.
mines a 2016, only 3 month old, ive ridden 2 other 16 models, 1 was a bit better than the other 2, but i wouldnt say any of them had a nice gearbox.....however, the engine has smoothed out since new, so fingers crossed for the gearbox.... 
 
 
 
 
Paddington, ive come off a Versys 650, i was fed up with the vibes after 70k mls, but the Tracer is just as vibey, albeit in different places...lol

Funnily, the Versys 1000 was on my interest list as being a bike that is more smooth :P
 
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mines a 2016, only 3 month old, ive ridden 2 other 16 models, 1 was a bit better than the other 2, but i wouldnt say any of them had a nice gearbox.....however, the engine has smoothed out since new, so fingers crossed for the gearbox.... 
 
 
 
 
Paddington, ive come off a Versys 650, i was fed up with the vibes after 70k mls, but the Tracer is just as vibey, albeit in different places...lol

Funnily, the Versys 1000 was on my interest list as being a bike that is more smooth :P

it is smoother, ive ridden a couple, although its an inline 4, it does have a bit of high frequency vibe here and there, but 70lbs heavier than the Tracer was a no go for me....felt like a bus after the Tracer, i'll forgive the Tracer some foibles, fundamentally i like its character 
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A lot of people complain about the same issues you have (except the power the engine makes.. never heard that one). As for the knocking, I would get that checked out. Roughness maybe associated with throttle body sync. The clutch case does rattle when a bit although not as bad as some, could also be a bad CCT as someone else mentioned. The transmission is slightly clunky, but I don't think it's out of the ordinary. I feel like it's the same as my old FZ6 and less clunky than my old Ninja and Versys.
 
Ok, having defended the FJ enough... Owning a motorcycle is as much subjective as objective. When it comes down to it, you need to enjoy the bike that you own. So if you are unhappy with that many things about the FJ, regardless if they can be justified or explained away, maybe it is time for you to move on to something you will be more satisfied with. Go test ride a variety of bikes that interest you and see what you think of then when compared to your FJ.

'15 FJ-09 w/ lots of extras...

Fayetteville, GA, USA

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I've only test ridden an FJ a couple times (50 miles total?) across 2 bikes and at least one was flashed, and I agree it is needlessly rough. My SV650 is slicker than snot and the FZ07 does a very nice job too. Throwing money after it without any guarantee of improvement is not appetizing but I would start with a chain tension and condition check (OE spec on the FZ09 at least is idiotic), TB sync, cam chain recall, a reflash, and then XSR slipper clutch. The first few are inexpensive and might address most of the angst.
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A lot of people complain about the same issues you have (except the power the engine makes.. never heard that one). As for the knocking, I would get that checked out. Roughness maybe associated with throttle body sync. The clutch case does rattle when a bit although not as bad as some, could also be a bad CCT as someone else mentioned. The transmission is slightly clunky, but I don't think it's out of the ordinary. I feel like it's the same as my old FZ6 and less clunky than my old Ninja and Versys. 
Ok, having defended the FJ enough... Owning a motorcycle is as much subjective as objective. When it comes down to it, you need to enjoy the bike that you own. So if you are unhappy with that many things about the FJ, regardless if they can be justified or explained away, maybe it is time for you to move on to something you will be more satisfied with. Go test ride a variety of bikes that interest you and see what you think of then when compared to your FJ.
well, the power it makes frightens the sh*te out of me...lol, its 4lbs heavier than a Versys and has 50hp more.....i'm having to adjust slightly.....such  a pita, sure i'll manage though....in fact i may have addiction issue's..... 
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