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HID Lights     XM Radio     Bar Risers    Audiovox Cruise    Seat Mod

06FJR1300A

The FJR1300 has been changed for 2006. I ordered mine from D&H Cycle in Cullman, Alabama. Yamaha estimates June 2006 for deliveries of the new electronic clutch FJR1300AE model. The bike is the same color as my '04, Cerulean Silver. The seat and handlebars are now adjustable, the grips are heated, all models get linked  ABS, the windshield is reconfigured to reduce wind back pressure on the rider, and the swingarm and wheelbase are longer by about 1 inch.

Regrettably, the weight has gone up slightly, too, as well as the price. And still no factory cruise control on this Super Sport TOURING bike. Oh well, I have an Audiovox CCS-100 already on hand to install. I just hope my AE gets here in time to break it in and farkle it before the big Reno trip late in the summer.

The coolest innovation on this bike (although some diehards hate it) is the electronic activated clutch. Ala Formula 1. There's no clutch handle. And the gear pattern has been changed to 5 up with neutral at the bottom. You can shift through a toe shifter in the usual place, or thumb and finger shift with your left hand. There are 3 computers linked to the shifter. The electronic controller will slip the clutch and disengage the gears as necessary based on the conditions. Reports state that you can take off in any gear and the clutch will keep the engine going. Of course you can burn out the clutch doing that. There are safeguards built in to, to help keep you from crunching the engine. Evidently, you can hammer the throttle and the clutch WILL engage VERY quickly (quicker than humanly possible..) and you CAN break the tire loose (and probably get the front wheel in the air if you so choose). But it's going to take some getting used to. After 35 years of using a clutch lever, my left hand will be searching for the lever for a long time... old habits are hard to break.

I don't NEED to get rid of my clutch lever. I just thought that this was a pretty cool innovation. And speaking of cool, they redesigned  the fairings, the gas tank, and the radiator to facilitate getting the heat out of the bike, not on the rider. That should be a big plus.

The wait continues....

My '04 FJR1300A:




In 2003 I sold my HD FatBoy and thought riding my Road King would be good enough. The RK is a sweet machine, but on the highway there's just too much wind on you, even with a shield. And the darn thing was so heavy, it was hard to back it out of my garage. I decided I needed a touring bike, but I didn't want an Ultra or a Gold Wing. I wanted a BMW. So I went to the dealership on a rainy day to buy a K1300GT, which is a sport touring machine. A sort of hybrid.

The BMW was a beautiful machine. I looked it over closely, and the salesman spent a lot of time going over it with me. I sat on it, and became skeptical. I couldn't touch the ground, except one tip toe. I asked it the bike could be lowered, and the guy said it would settle quickly during break in. Hmmmm...  I told him I wanted to ride it, but not in the rain. It was brand spanking new and not a spot on it. I told the salesman that I would come back next week for a test ride.

This was November 2003. Not much action that time of year.  I didn't even have to ask, and they knocked $1500 off of retail on the 2004 retail price!  That got me going. I was REALLY planning on buying the bike. But I didn't that day. I decided to come home and look into it some more on the internet.

Once I got  home, I jumped on the box and googled K1300GT to read some reviews. What I found were comparisons to something called an FJR1300.  And the reviews said the BMW was a good bike, but bang for the buck, an FJR was a better deal.  So I looked into that. And of course, I was hooked!

The Yamaha FJR 1300 is a SUPER Sport Touring bike.  It is reported to have 125 horsepower and over 90 foot pounds of torque. It has hard case bags,  movable windshield, adjustable suspension and may other features. Sounds good so far. And it's $5000 less that the BMW!!!  That was the clincher, IF this thing panned out.

I searched the web to find one for sale. Nada. I emailed dealerships. Nada. I drove around looking. Nada. The only place I didn't go was the Yamaha dealer closest to me. They are not known for keeping a lot of road bikes, let along sport/touring  bikes, so I didn't bother checking with them.  Three weeks after I sent emails, I got one back that said they had a bike on the floor and that I should come check it out. Sure enough, it's the dealer less than 10 minutes from my house.

The owner of the dealership special ordered the bike in his own name supposedly. They are a special order item, which is why they are very hard to find. Well these guys were trying to sell it for over retail and there were no takers. I walked in and sat on the bike. BEAUTY! I sat on it. I CAN TOUCH both (tip toes). Lemme take it for a ride? SURE!  WOW!  What a ride! Smooth, quiet, balanced, powerful, easy, comfy.  What's not to like?!  So when I got back to the dealer, I jumped through the hoops of dealing and finally bought the bike for $500 under retail. No set up, no delivery, no fluff. I had them service it and took it home the following Friday.

That's when the fun began. Now this bike is great just the way it is. Sure, it has quirks and problems just like anything else. Overall, it's a terrific machine.  But I found this website: FJR 1300 Owners Association and learned what you can do to these bikes to make them more suitable to your needs. It's a great community, with lots of good advice and links to other FJR sites, especially the ever helpful FJRTECH.com , and FJR.INFO . These sites really helped me with my bike.

Delphi SkyFi XM Radio

The SkyFi has since died (actually, the cradle went bad... twice..), and I have modified the mount and replaced the unit with a RoadyXT, which has a built in FM transmitter and more functions, and the unit is smaller to boot! There are a couple RoadyXT  pics below this area.

SkyFiMounted.JPG


The SkyFi has since died, and I have modified the mount and replaced the unit with a RoadyXT, which has a built in FM transmitter and more functions, and the unit is smaller to boot!

I made an aluminum bracket out of .025 T6 and shaped it to screw down over the hydraulic clutch reservoir lid. Originally, I had the SkyFi cradle mounted on the swivel, but it broke, so now it's glued with GOOP.

I use "in the ear" ear phones from Radio Shack. I even farkled them. I took off the factory foam and cut the tube that fits in your ear to about half it's length. It was hitting the inside of my ear and hurting. After I chopped it down, I replaced the foam plugs with the hightest db reducing plugs I could find.  This works great. I have the audio output set on level 3 in the Delphi unit and that seems pretty good with or without a helmet under nearly all ride conditions.

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Noitice there's a bracket on the bars to the left of the XM setup. I had to grind and move the left switch cluster a bit to put that bracket on there. That's for a Garmin RINO 120. That's a FMS/GMRS/GPS. Personally,  after using it a few times, I think it's a piece of shit. I own 5 Garmins, and this one is worth very little. Perhaps that's due to the fact that no one else I ride with has one, therefore the radio is pretty useless. the GPS is fine, but it only has major roads. And it sucks up batteries like crazy. I used a splitter and plugged a power cord in for it, and it functions fine. I just think this whole getup is a bit before it's time, and not really intended for motorcycle use.

RoadyXT XM Radio

My Delphi SkyFi finally bit the dust, so I bought a RoadyXT. It has a built in FM transmitter. Now I listen to XM music through my Creative Zen Nano Plus 1GB MP3 player and my Etymotic ER6i earplug phones. Now I'm not tethered to the bike.

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The pic above shows the cradle mounted to my home made aluminum mounting plate (which needs repainted). Note the excess antenna wire wrapped around the cradle swivel. You CAN shorten the antenna wires, but I'm too lazy, and I'm also getting ready to switch to a different bike. The mounting should be nearly the same, but I won't know until I get the bike, so Ieft the wire full length.

The mount I used is the same one I used for the SkyFi, and there are more pics of the aluminum mount above.

RoadyXTMount2.JPG   

Escort 8500 X50

After years of riding and driving without a detector, I finally decided to try to use a detector when riding. I read the reviews and was leaning toward a V1, but decided to go a little cheaper and more available X50. The Escort X50 is a laser and radar detector. I bought the blue LED model on eBay, so I have no factory warranty. The seller, however offers a 6 year replacement warranty, and hopefully I will never have to consider it. A bit risky for the bucks I saved, but what the heck.

I formed a mount similar to the one I made for the RoadyXT. This one is .032 aluminum, and fashioned like a box to sit over the right side brake reservoir. I countersunk two holes in the aluminum and used the factory screws to hold the detector over the brake res lid.

EscortMount1.JPG

I formed the box to be open at the aft end, and closed at the front. I trimmed the box to the shape of the X50 and  then cut it down for the receivers at the front and the switch and jacks on the sides. A little super duty Velcro (yes, the real $tuff) and I'm good to go. Between the rigidity of the mounting box (due to the sides) and the extreme adhesion to the Velcro, the X50 should stay put very nicely. The box is mounted square to the brake res lid, so the detector angles to the side a bit.. perhaps 10 degrees or so. A slight offset may be desirable to increase visibility to laser detection from a static source on the right side of the road, but this is highly subjective. I essentially made it that way because it was easy.

EscortMount2.JPG

Note that I removed the two suction cups from the window mount provided with the detector. The mount is steel, and the little XM antenna magnets itself to the mount nicely. I moved my XM antenna to the top of the detector, and my reception is a little better than behind both the RoadyXT and the Rino on the left side.

So here's what the bars look like on my '04 FJR:

FJRHandlebarFarkles.JPG

I bought a blue LED hardwire kit for the Escort X50. I am temporarily using the coil cord for the detector for now, since I am supposed to get the AE model '06 FJR in a couple weeks. Then I get to transfer all the handlebar farkles over to the new bike. THEN I'll do some serious rewiring. May have to remake a couple mounts, too.

Risers

I double stacked Lenker adapters and  D&D pullback risers. Had I to do this again, I would by Wild Bill's mondo pull back, angle change risers and be done with it. Changing the angle with the Lenker Adapters wasn't really helpful.

One of the first things I did to my FJR was to get a set of handlebar risers. The bars are a little low and too far forward for my 5' 6" stature, so I got a set of D&D risers to bring the bars up and back. That wasn't quite enough, and I decided to try and change the angle of the bars to help the numbness that I was occasionally getting in my right arm. So I stacked on some Lenker Adapters, too. Better. But the angle didn't seem to make any difference in my numbness.  I finally rotated the Lenkers forward so that my fist and wrist were perpendicular to the long axis of the bars. IOW, my knuckles and therefore my palm sit flat against the throttle grip, not cocked or canted. Now it's just a matter of training myself to not cock my wrist anymore. Deflecting my hand up or down surely can't help any carpal tunnel problems that I might have. I sure do like having the bars up and back, though.


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Audiovox Cruise Control
So the next thing to do is get a cruise control, not only for cruising, but to rest my arm. A throttle lock (vista cruise) can do the same thing, but I wanted real cruise. Yamaha makes  a system for the FJR, but I think it's about $700 to add it. I bought an Audiovox system that hooks into vacuum ports in the engine for about $100. It took the better part of a weekend to install it, but it was pretty fun. It gave me a real sense of accomplishment when I got it going. A note on the Audiovox: you are well off to add an additional vacuum canister to aid in the stability of how the cruise operates. I made one, but did not install it, and my bike cruises just fine. There is a bit more lag, especially on hills. Should I ever decide to go mountain cruising, all I have to do is unplug a line and attach the canister under the seat. It would take less that 5 minutes.

FJRCCRouting.JPG

I ran the vacuum hose and most of the wiring (in a corrugated sleeve) up to the front along the right frame rail. The Audiovox cannister sits in the tray under the seat... barely. The auxiliary cannister sits right next to it, although some installers have put it in a cavity lower on the left side.

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1.) the Audiovox CC cannister and wiring bundle. The CC is secured by locking down the seat.
2.) the brake light splice location to shut off the unit when you touch the brake lever or pedal.
3.) the auxiliary vacuum cannister.  Mine is not installed and the CC works fine, but there is a bit more lag.
4.) the vacuum line "T's" here and runs to the front.
5.) I grounded the unit to the frame here.


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The pic above shows the location of the coil and wires I used to operate the Audiovox Cruise Control. There is a gray wire behind the red wire. The gray wire is the RPM source for the CC. This is located outside the black panel on the right side, just under the color (Cerulean Silver) side panel. Note the battery ground "bus" and the positive "barrier strip" power bus. Had I to do this over, I would have installed a Blue Sea 6 gang  box, instead of the separate buses. They weren't available when I did this install.


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I put my CC control pad on the right side. Many riders like the left. I was used to the right. I cut a bracket out of aluminum and bent it to mate with the back of the kill switch housing. There's enough screw there to use the stock length screw, and you don't have to mangle anything to do this install.

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You can see above how I bent the bracket to conform to the shape of the rear part of the kill switch housing.

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The above is the finished install. I used some clear RTV on the back of the control module to seal it.  If I wanted to bother with this, I might move the control pad to the right about another 1/4+ inch for a little better reach with my thumb. You can also see my stacked Lenker Adapters on top of my D&D Risers. Another thing you can barely see here is the power switch and the power outlet in the black panel (#4 panel). The switch is not waterproof and prone to shorting out. I need to change it for a marine switch.

Factory Seat Mod
Another thing I decided to do was lower the seat. I have some "astronaut" foam and decided to install it in the stock seat pan. I looked into a custom or after market seat, and concluded that I didn't have much to lose. I removed the pilot seat (the passenger pillion is still stock), removed the staples and folded back the cover. I used a serrated bread knife and started slicing off the foam. I cut it down to the pan and took a sizable chunk out. Then I cut my Temperfoam, and put it in place. When I test rode the bike, Man, was I flat footed! GREAT!  But as the Temperfoam gave in, I could feel the hard seat pan on my ass. I went back to the garage and cut about 1 inch of foam out of the plug I removed and put a base layer of the original foam back in place. This raised me back up, but I can touch flat on one side, tip toe on the other, and my ass is happy. Good enough for me!  I stapled the cover back on (with some help) and never looked back.

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Barrier Strip and Electrical
In order to get some power to the added electrical accessories, I installed a fused power strip. I also added a ground block to the negative terminal of the battery, which is essentially just a metal plate with quick connector tabs.

MVC-103S.JPG

Note the red wire in the center of the picture. There was an unused quick connect 12v positive spade connector here, so I used it for one of my auxilliary power sources. Be sure to fuse all of your new positive power wires, and use a gauge heavy enough to keep the magic smoke in the wires!

The horns on most motorcycles are pitiful, and the FJR is no exception. I could not find the recommended MAGNUM BLASTERS, but I did find HIWAY BLASTERS. Not quite as loud as the Magnums, but nearly, at 2 db less (I think). I removed the horns per the FJRtech instructions, installed a relay between the horn button and the fused heavy gage new power wire to the horns. This was an easy replacement, except for a bit of wiring. I didn't have to cut or trim anything. And MAN, do you get noticed with these horns. Here are two MPEGS of me testing the horns before and after. Not a great comparison, but it gives you an idea.

 A note here: The instructions recommend a relay to keep from frying the contacts of the stock horn button. That's an expensive (read entire harness) fix. I first wired it without the relay and played with the horns a bunch. I think if you don't lay on the button, you'd be OK. But I installed the relay anyway, using heavy gauge wire (12, I think) and found the Blasters to be considerably LOUDER!  So even if you aren't worried about frying anything, use the relays for maximum effect!

Here's a couple MPEGS of my horns. They are about 600K each:        Stock Horn           Hiway Blaster Horns

More Farkles:

Released and removed one throttle return spring.
Fused battery minder waterproof plug under right side tupperware. Unswitched and direct to the battery.
LED license plate hooked into the brake lights.
Heated hand grips with Heattroller. Wired for "normal" heat, not maximum. Believe me, normal heat is plenty, unless you ride sub zero.
Gel grips. The stock grips are lousy. Cut yours off and change them.
Jastek dual outlet receptacle under the left side of the seat for heated clothing aux power.
Power Commander III - did not install it yet. Don't think I need it. Wanna buy it?
Fenda Extenda. Every FJR owner should install one of these. Cheap and easy.
Radiator Guard. I made my own out of a static guard furnace filter. Not as strong as steel, but with the plastic fiber filter mesh underneath, it's stone 'resistant".
Sylvania HyperBrite replacement headlight bulbs. Get the light of a 60 -100 watt bulb (depending on model you choose) for the juice of a 55 w bulb. VERY bright.
FZ1 mirrors. Not installed. I got used to the factory mirrors. Now I have "wide body" spares.
XM radio. I installed a bracket on the left side for a Delphi SkyFi  unit. I use mine with foam in the ear phones.
Garmin Rino 120. I made a harness to hook up 2 way comm and GPS on the bars. This unit is a POS! Don't get one.
Super Brace. Man, I could feel a difference in the front end after I installed this baby. Easy and worthwhile, even for a modest rider like me!
Removed 2 of 4  throttle springs. This is more like disconnecting one spring, but I actually removed mine. Warning, the throttle does not snap back, esp. with CC!
Cee Bailey flip lip windscreen. The flip doesn't help that much, but this shield is a bunch taller, and THAT makes a BIG difference. Very nice product.
Foot Guards.OEM (Euro). I bought them from FJRGoodies. Not cheap. Not installed. I may put them on with double back tape. Wasn't ready to cut bodywork.
Moko Sliders. One of those things you hate spending good money on and hope you never have to use them.
Mag Knight tank bra. Doesn't fit perfect, even after sitting in the hot sun several hours and repositioning. But looks cool and will keep me from wearing the tank paint.
Carb tuner. I bought the cheapo from CaSportTouring and sync the throttle bodies myself. Easy.
Garmin RINO 120 GPS/FMS/GMRS radio navigation. Don't buy one. Two thumbs down

Wilbers
Here comes a new farkle!!  In '05, WarChild of the FJR1300 Owner's Association EZBoard fame put together a group buy for Wilbers suspension parts. I bought the rear shock setup with adjustable height and high and low speed damping. I also ordered a new set of Wilbers progressive fork springs. Word is that these parts are World Class, not only in quality, but also in performance. Now the FJR is one of the sweetest riding bikes I've ever been on. But after adding these new products I should be able to keep all that torque and horsepower on the ground through the twisties much better. And the ride quality should be improved too. The tweakablility of the Wilbers setup is supposed to be phenomenal. My order is in to WilbersUSA, and hopefully in March '05 I'll be receiving my setup. Hope to be able to install the parts myself over a weekend. We'll see how it goes.

My Wilbers shock and springs came. The shock was pretty easy to install, only took a little over an hour. Man, that was nice right out of the box! Coupled with me reducing the rebound on my stock forks, the bike rides immensely better. That was money well spent!


Engine Bay Blanket and Fairing Insulation


I was riding the other day in about 95 degree heat. The humidity was very high and the air seemed very stagnate, even at 65 mph. I was wearing shorts. I could not touch the tank. Usually I wear jeans and really don't notice the heat, but when I slowed down, the FJR kept hitting four bars. The heat was just pouring out and roasting my legs. And I could barely touch the tank, even when there was a bunch of fuel in it.

As some of you may know, I'm building an airplane. I bought scads of different types of heat and sound insulation for the project. I figured, what the heck, it'll work on the bike, too. I had read many posts about guys gluing new insulation to the bottom of the tank to at least keep that more under control. Well, I tried a bit of a different tack. And it worked quit well.

I had some aluminum faced, fire retardant, thermal insulation matting. You can get this stuff for cars. It's got fairly thick cloth matting behind the metal film, and there is stitching in the fabric. I used 3/8 inch thick material.

I popped off the black plastic tank skirts and took the tank bolts out. I put a stool on the left side of the bike and then flipped the tank over on it's side onto the stool. Poor thing looks like a drunken turtle over there! Anyway, I left everything hooked up fuel and electrical line-wise. The wires to the tank weren't run conveniently for what I was doing, so I disconnected them and re-ran them with the left main fuel line. Not a big change, but significant. The fewer cuts in the insulation, the better...

I cut some cardboard for a template and got an idea how much matting I would need. This matting is not rigid, but holds it's shape well. I shaped the carboard template on the bike and then sheared the insulation matting to match the shape I chose. I had to mark it and cut both a few times, but I finally got what I wanted.

I decided I did not want to glue parts, I just decided to make an engine bay "blanket". My goal was to cover everything over the engine and under the tank from the seat pan to the front of the frame where the tank bolts down. Well, I couldn't really cover everything and leave the ugly blanket sticking out, but I did get it to cover the vast majority of the places where heat was getting to the tank and out to my legs.

This idea is pretty simple. Start with a flat piece that is actually too big, then cut it back so it doesn't show. I did have to make 4 slices in it to get around the fuel lines and wires, and the rear tabs for the long bolt holding the tank down.

Once I got the general shape, I cut slots in the insulation for the fuel lines and fished the sheet of insulation through the middle. Surprisingly, it sits there quite well. NOTE: The left fuel lines are slightly aft of the right fuel line, so the cuts are not directly across form one another.

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I thought about taping these slices closed, but I think there will be some overlap as well as the tank mashing them down. I want the blanket to be easily removable, too. I want to sync my throttle bodies again pretty soon, so I gotta get that thing off easily. Also, in the winter I WANT the heat!

With the flat sheet of insulation rough trimmed in place, I flipped the tank back into position and simply mashed it down. I worked the tank back to position and loosely bolted it back down. Then I marked the matting for trimming again. Much of the trimming could be accomplished with the tank in place.

I left the rear corners of the insulation matting square. I then folded the corners and tucked them down and a bit under the painted panels that are under the black tank skirts. I trimmed the matting so it would not show under the black tanks skirts and re-bolted everything. Worked like a charm! took about 1 hour.

In addition to the engine bay blanket, I also closed off a bunch of the gaps in the rear upper area of the fairing. It looks kind of silly, but it was just a test. I bought $2.17 worth of 1/2 inch hot water pipe insulation. There were four of those thick foam tubes that you tape over the pipes in each package. I used two of them. Now the packaging says the stuff works to about 240 degrees F, so I was concerned about the stuff melting. So far so good, but you may not want to try this, it could be disastrous!

Again, I wanted something just to test, and something removable. First thing I did was cut a piece to put between the fairing and the bike along the upper rear boarder of the fairing. The insulation tubes are slotted, so I just slid the slot along the fairing and the round tube insulation is held in place nicely. It shows and looks a little geeky, but its just a test. Next, I fed more pieces up under there to close off as much airflow back to my legs as possible. I used three additional cut sections of the foam behind the fairing to block the airflow to the rear area escaping to my things as much as possible. All the pieces are at the top and kind of in the rear "apex" of the fairing, aft of the vent slots. Once I had the insulation pieces tucked into place, I went out for a 100 mile test ride.

The results of all this is excellent. Pros: cheap and easy, removable, and it works. Cons: the pipe insulation looks dorky where you can see it (which you do have to look for it), and the engine does get to 3 bars a little easier. I did not block the side vents, the air can still go from the radiator to the engine, then out the sides and bottom. But it is substantially blocked the heat to my legs.

The frame still gets very hot. Those black rubber covers under the lower sides of the tank at the level of the frame are still extremely hot. I notice hot airflow from them. I will remove the tank again and try to get some matting or something else under there to improve that situation.

HID Lights

Guess which is the Silver Star Halogen and which is the HID?  Yep the left side of the picture is Halogen and the right (The bikes left beam)is HID.

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This is the high beams. The HID is on the left side of the wall and the Halogen is on the right.  Yes, there is only one capsule  and one halogen connected.

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The picture below is still high beam, but I took a 1 foot long board and held it between the beams as a divider. The board was completely parallel to the bike directly between the beams.



HIDSingleHI1.jpg

Now for a better comparison, I canted the board to the left and blocked about half the HID light. Compare the HID left to the Halogen (Silver Star) right.

HIDSingleHI2.jpg



Now for the Low Beams. The pic below is HID left and Halogen Silver Star on the right.


HIDSingleLow.jpg



Ok, now I put the board between the lights:


HIDSingleLow1.jpg


In the pic below, I canted the board to the left and blocked about half the HID beam:

HIDSingleLow2.jpg

Not a great pic, but you can see how I was blocking the light with the board. See the amount of light on my dirty concrete garage floor?!!


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Jestal's HID High Beam Mod

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FJR Favorite Links:

FJRForum.com   - The PREMIER website for owner information on the FJR1300.

FJRTECH.com  - WarChild's awesome DYI tech site for the FJR!

California Sport Touring    - Great source for Sport Touring and FJR specific aftermarket accessories, parts, and supplies.

University Motors - Gary McCoy - The best prices for Yamaha OEM parts I have found.

New Enough Motorcycle Leathers - More than just leathers. Best prices I've found on just about any riding gear.

MotoXtreme  - A great site for buying helmets. Not the best service, but great prices. Just know EXACTLY what you need when you order.

Matt Throckmorton Matthew Throckmorton M. E. Throckmorton DDS FJR 1300  FJRocket