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by: Wild Rice

Here are my modifications to date. I performed all of these mods myself with zero shop time. Please see the photos of my bike showing some of these modifications at the bottom of this page.

  1. Stripping the FZ1 Down to Bare Essentials. Removed: radiator guards, aluminum frame plates around swing arm pivots, and passenger foot peg weights. The bike looks better and weighs less.
  2. Saddle bags: Converted camera equipment bags into saddle bags.
  3. Radar detector wired into high beam circuit.
  4. Poor Man's Jet Kit. shimmed the carb needles at zero cost. This is the most important mod you can make. It corrects so many problems: starting, surging, low end lumpiness, excessive engine heat.
  5. Made my own tank prop.
  6. Replaced stock exhaust with a Yoshimura slip-on.
  7. Corrected misrouted throttle cables which were hitting the instrument cluster at full left lock.
  8. Adjusted throttle position sensor to improve starting.
  9. Installed frame sliders to protect the engine. Also work as highway pegs and front jacking points.
  10. Reshaped saddle: allows use of entire pilot seat instead of just the front part. Cures butt burn.
  11. Replaced tool bag with a carpenter's nail pouch. Much handier.
  12. Ordered special tools to be more self reliant: Carbtune II for synching the carbs, 19mm Allen socket for front wheel removal, oil filter wrench, etc.
  13. Installed a fan indicator light. The FZ1 does not have a temperature gauge. The fan light tells you when the engine is hot, long before it overheats.
  14. Shortened rubber stopper on center stand for better cornering clearance.
  15. Re-angled instrument cluster to eliminate glare.
  16. Routed a plastic covered wire cable between the tail light and rear body work to make a tail mounted helmet locking loop.
  17. Cut off rear fender reflector bracket and relocated the reflector under the license plate.
  18. Made an aluminum tax decal bracket for the swing arm.
  19. Rerouted the protruding drain hoses.
  20. Made my own windshield wider and taller than stock.
  21. Moved grips/levers inward for better hand position and protection.

Stripping the FZ1 Down to Bare Essentials

The first stage of customizing is to remove all excess material. The idea is to strip off all unneeded trim and weight while retaining major functional aspects. I removed about 7 lbs from the bike.

  1. Passenger foot peg weights have to go. These are dead weight and look lousy. They are easy to remove, but you need to buy (4) 5mm x 16mm metric machine screws and #10 lock washers to reattach the foot peg rubbers. They serve to decrease passenger foot peg vibration.
  2. Rubberized weight behind the right passenger foot rest guard. This gets in the way of my saddle bag strap and adds weight. Simply unbolt. There is no corresponding weight on the passenger left side.
  3. Radiator side guards must come off. These are plastic (not aluminum). Removing them makes the bike look much slimmer and meaner from the front and shows off the engine better from the side. Simply remove the three Allen bolts on each side. Do not screw these bolts back in without the guard since over tightening may puncture the radiator. The major function they serve is to keep you from burning your skin on the hot radiator. They might help protect the radiator in a bad crash. However, the bike looks so much better without them.
  4. Swing arm pivot plates must come off. Large aluminum plates cover the frame at the swing arm pivot. Simply remove the three Allen bolts and remove the plate on each side. Reinstall the three bolts (without the plate) to cover the screw holes. Hint: these bolts are identical to the dreaded front tank bolt, so if you are stranded with a missing front tank bolt, you can use one of these as a spare. I expected the frame under these bolts to be unfinished with gnarly welds, but in fact the frame looks really good and well finished under here. The throught-the-frame gear shift linkage is a thing of beauty once you remove the ugly aluminum plates. The large plastic cap in each plate can be removed and placed into the now exposed swing arm pivot hole. The fit is loose but can be fixed with a few wraps of electrical tape around the inserted portion of the cap.
  5. Using a rear track stand is easy, so the center stand optional if you want to drop some serious weight. However, I am keeping my center stand on the bike. One tip is to trim the rubber stop on right side of the center stand for a little extra ground clearance. This is required modification for the FJ1200 but may not be needed for the FZ1.
  6. The rear end looks cleaner without the passenger grab handles, but they make using the center stand easier and are needed if you carry a passenger. I am keeping my grab handles for now.
  7. A weight on the inside of the left foot rest guard may actually decrease foot peg vibration, so it stays.
  8. Plastic covers inside the front fairing hide and protect some ugly wiring, so they stay. It's a shame, Yamaha could have made storage compartments here.
  9. Plastic covers below the seat hide and protect more ugly wiring, so they stay too.
  10. Plastic covers over the air box serve no purpose, but they look better than the unfinished air box, so they stay too.
  11. The tool bag stays for obvious reasons. To it I added a tire plug kit and a spare front tank bolt.
  12. The rear fender is too long and can be trimmed. The best way is to cut off and relocate the rear reflector.
  13. I replaced the big and heavy handle bar end weights with light aluminum bar ends. Much lighter and no extra vibration.

Converted Camera Bags into Saddle Bags

I have made a very nice pair of soft saddle bags by converting camera equipment bags. These are made by Lowepro (www.Lowepro.com) and are the Nova 5 model ($77 each retail). Each bag has two loops in the back made for an optional belt strap. These loops accept webbing to mount the bags to a bike. Before mounting bags, it is important to protect the paint on the tail section. I use stick-on number plate adhesive plastic.

I first removed the shoulder straps from the bags' "D" rings. I removed the seat and ran one piece of webbing through the belt loops, joining the bags together and laying the webbing across the rear section. The webbing was joined with a quick release buckle. The rear part of the webbing goes through the bike's grab handles. This webbing carries most of the bags' weight. I also ran webbing across the rear section to the bags front "D" rings, and more webbing across the rear section to the bags rear "D" rings. This webbing keeps the bags from sagging and allows 2" of clearance over the exhaust can. The seat is replaced over the webbing, thus "locking" the bags in place.

A test ride revealed that the top flap pockets were flapping in the wind. To solve this, I cut some thin Lucite in the shape of these pockets to serve as stiffening inserts. This worked great.

These bags are cool because they are designed to protect camera equipment so they are padded and waterproof. There are many pockets: flap pockets, map pockets, multiple compartment pockets, and outer mesh pockets. The main compartments are 14" x 6" x 8.5" which is modest in size. Lowepro makes larger bags for video equipment. There are Velcro dividers in the main compartment that I removed and threw away.

I like this system because in keeps all of my gear organized instead of jumbled together at the bottom of a conventional saddle bag. They look good and are very well made.

Radar Detector Installation

You need this accessory. It is easy to hard wire a radar detector on your FZ1. I have my detector patched into the high beam circuit so when my high beams are on, the radar detector is on. There is no cutting of wires on the bike.

Materials:

Instructions:

  1. Remove wind shield, the front fairing can stay in place. Ignition in the OFF position
  2. There is a wire connector attached to the back of the instrument cluster by a rubber hanger. Loosen this connector from the rubber hanger, but do not unplug the connector.
  3. Observe how the wires insert into the connector. The solid yellow wire is the high beam circuit. The black wire is ground. DO NOT cut these wires.
  4. Prepare the female electrical socket by stripping the end of each of the two wires attached to the socket. Solder the wire ends to the telephone prongs. Bend the prongs into a fork shape.
  5. The power wire for the socket will usually be black with a white stripe, ground is black. Insert the power wire prong into the connector where the yellow wire enters. Insert the ground wire prong into the connector where the black wire enters.
  6. Plug in the radar detector, turn the ignition ON and hit the high beam switch. The radar detector should turn on. If not, reverse the prongs where they plug into the connector. Wrap the wires and connector with electrical tape to keep the prongs from backing out. Put the connector back on the rubber hanger.
  7. Mount the radar detector. One place is the small vertical space between the head lights. Push the detector into this space under the instrument dials. It must point forward with the indicator lights pointing back to the rider. Secure with Velcro. Route and secure wiring with zip ties. There is room forward of the instrument cluster under the wind shield to stow the wiring. Another place is the angled area on the instrument cluster bracket below the speedometer. This space is small, so I removed the detector from its case and wrapped it in shrink wrap. It squeezed in place with a friction fit. I had to temporarily undo the left instrument cluster nut to slide the detector in place.
  8. When riding, the detector indicator lights should be visible just below the idiot lights.
  9. The radar detector can be turned on and off with the high beam switch.
  10. Reattach the wind screen. Warning: do not over tighten the plastic screws. You can break the screws or damage the rubber nuts. The screw tips should only protrude a little from the inside of the rubber nut.

Installing the Poor Man's Jet Kit

The FZ1 has awesome midrange and scary top end, but the low end is too lean. This means slipping the clutch in stop and go traffic, a slight low-end lean surge, and lumpy power in low speed parking lot maneuvers. For a large displacement bike, the FZ1 should have better low end power.

I corrected this by shimming the carbs needles. Except for tools I already had, the cost in parts was nothing. This applies to FZ1's with a stock exhaust. It may even work well with an aftermarket can. If do you get an aftermarket can and do not shim the needles or buy a jet kit, you will only make the low end leaness worse.

Materials:

Instructions:

  1. Put the bike on its centerstand. It is best if the tank is less than half full, since you are going to prop it up. Allow the bike to cool for 30 minutes. On some other bikes the engine needs to be stone cold to make it easier to position the carb diaphragms, but on the FZ1 the bike can still be warm.
  2. Remove the seat and lay a large towel across the rear sub frame, so you can place tools and parts there.
  3. Using the 5mm wrench, unbolt the front of the tank. Prop the tank up with the tank prop (see later post). You will have enough room without having to unbolt the rear of the tank. The tank lines do not have to be removed.
  4. There are 4 carbs numbered #1 to #4 as you go from left to right. Stuff white paper towels in front of the carb tops. If you drop any small parts, they will land on the paper towels. The #2 carb is easiest to access so I suggest you start there.
  5. Clear some room by moving the plumbing out of the way. I did not have to unplug any electrical connections, but I did unplug the large diameter rubber tube going to the air box (crank case breather tube).
  6. Unscrew the two screws on the #2 carb top. As you remove the last one, hold the top of the carb top down (it is spring loaded). Gently lift off the carb top. The World's Smallest O-Ring (WSOR) is just in front of the carb diaphragm. It may be stuck to the carb top or else laying in a round depression at the front carb edge. Remove the WSOR and put it in a safe place. Remove the large spring. Remove the diaphragm/needle assembly.
  7. Bring the assembly indoors to a clean work surface with paper towels laid out. There are tiny parts that you must not lose. Remove the white plastic needle holder by reaching in and pulling it out with the needle nose pliers. It does not unscrew, it pulls right out. Pull gently so the tiny attached spring does not go flying.
  8. Slowly remove the needle. The needle has the following things on it, starting from the bottom (pointy end): a thin metal shim, a white plastic spacer, a "C" clip, and another thin metal shim. To shim the needle, you just need to move the shim from above the "C" clip to under the other shim. Both shims stack together under the white spacer. This raises the needle about 0.5 mm to enrichen the low end.
  9. Reinsert the needle. Using the needle nose pliers, hold the needle holder (with the tiny spring attached) and plug it back in until it clicks. The needle should spring a little if you depress it meaning the tiny spring is in good position. Addendum: A better way to make sure the tiny spring is captive on the top of the needle is to hold the needle half way out as you slip the tiny spring (mounted on the holder) on to the blunt end of the needle as you push the holder down. ***
  10. Slide the assembly back into the carb body. The needle and diaphragm should seat with little effort. Put the large spring back in the diaphragm assembly. Carefully place the WSOR in the small round depression at the front edge of the carb.
  11. Replace the carb top, making sure the spring seats in its center. The round tab on the carb top points up front and covers the WSOR. Don't put the carb top on backwards, this has been known to happen. Slowly lower the carb top making sure the diaphragm is seated all around. The carb top indexes with little pegs near the screw holes on the carb top. Replace the two carb top screws.
  12. Carbs #1 and #4 are only a little more tricky because they are under the frame rails. This is where the right angled Phillips head screw driver comes in handy. Also, various cables must be moved out of the way by undoing their retaining clips. The front screw on the #4 carb secures the Throttle Position Sensor wire holder and also has a brass sleeve around the screw, so don't lose it.
  13. Carb #3 is by far the hardest. The front screw holds the choke cable bracket. This screw is stainless steel and cannot be picked up with a magnet, so don't drop it. Remember to use the paper towels packed in front of the carbs. This carb is hardest to access and it is tough checking on the diaphragm seating as you make sure not to lose the WSOR.
  14. After all 4 needles are shimmed, remove the paper towels, reconnect all plumbing, secure all cables, remove the tank prop, apply blue Loctite to the front tank bolt, and bolt down the tank.
  15. Go for a test ride, making sure the bike does not bog down. If it does, you most likely pinched a diaphragm.
Seat of the Pants Results

The Poor Man does not have access to a Dyno, so he uses the seat of his pants.

First of all, I did the installation right. The bike starts, idles, and revs great. No bogging under power. This means the needles, springs, and diaphragms are all seated properly.

There is no exhaust smoke at idle or revving the bike in neutral. If you shim some bikes, you end up too rich and get black smoke from the exhaust.

The bike runs much much smoother at low rpm's. This is most evident when pulling gently away from stop lights. I don't have to slip the clutch to make a clean get away. During low speed 5-10 mph parking lot turns with the bike leaned over, the power is smoother and steadier without surging or hunting. Therefore, it feels much safer in low speed maneuvers.

The power curve from low end to mid range is seamless (like buttah). Top end is as insane as ever.

I recommend this no cost modification for any stock FZ1.

Needle Holder Tip

There is a better way to replace the needle holder. The way I did it was to have the needle all the way in and push the needle holder in with the tiny spring mounted on it. It seats with a click. I then checked to make sure the needle had a little spring recoil.

The key part is that the tiny spring must be captive on the blunt end (top) of the needle and the end of the needle holder.

To be 100% certain that the spring is captive, there is a better way. Insert the needle into the piston only half way. Hold the needle holder (with attached tiny spring) in your fingers. Slip the tiny spring over the blunt end (top) of the needle as you push the needle holder down. Seat the holder by pushing down with your finger tip. check for springiness.

More Test Ride Results After Shimming

I commuted into work on the FZ1 today. The improvement is like night and day. The bike cold started with no choke with a quick stab at the starter button. This has been the easiest cold start ever. The bike warmed up into a smooth idle very quickly (I still always warm up a cold bike before riding off).

My drive way has a steep uphill grade to the road, so pulling out was a chore on the bike prior to the needle shimming. I had to slip the clutch just right. Now the bike pulls out strong and smooth without needing to slip the clutch.

Once on the road, the transition from low to mid range is seamless, almost like an electric turbine. Pulling away clean from a dead stop and leaning over in low speed traffic turns is much much easier. I don't have to concentrate on the clutch and throttle as much, so I can pay more attention to the traffic.

There are three traffic lights just before I get to work, so the radiator fan usually comes on by the time I park the bike. But today the bike ran cooler and the fan stayed off. Overly lean bikes run hot. Enriching the low end may make the bike run a little cooler. This procedure only shims the needles a small amount (about 0.5 mm). You are right in that it enrichens over a wide range, but the effect is more at low end. You must take into account slide/needle lift when the vacuum increases as you open the throttle. When the needle has risen only 5 mm (cracking open the throttle slightly), the shim gives you a significant 10% (0.5/5) higher needle lift and a higher fuel to air ratio. When the needle has risen 30 mm (near Wide Open Throttle), the shim gives you only 1.67% (0.5/30) higher needle lift. At WOT the size of the main jet takes over for fueling, and the shim as no significant effect.

EPA emissions testing occurs at low midrange. Manufacturers know this and tune new bikes from the factory to run lean in the low midrange to pass EPA testing. This also happens to be the range where shimming the needles has the most benefit. All of the bikes I have done this procedure on have shown better low midrange throttle response. The FZ1 has shown the most dramatic improvement.

From my seat of the pants, I can feel no performance decrease at high RPM. The bike continues to have a totally mental top end. Start up, low speed maneuvers, and low midrange are so much better, I would never think of going back to the stock setting.

My check for over-richness is to ride up the nearest mountain (for me it's the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia). Altitude (thin air) makes carbs run richer and exaggerates overly rich carb settings. This is how I found out I had too large of a main jet on another bike, the bike bogged down at WOT as I was climbing a mountain pass. I plan to ride the FZ1 up to the mountains this weekend. I do not expect any problems.

High Altitude Testing

When I enrichen a bike's carburetion, I like to test it by riding to the mountains. The thin air exaggerates a too rich mixture that may not be noticeable at sea level. I rode up to the Blue Ridge Parkway on my FZ1 (stock exhaust, 0.5 mm shimmed carb needles, no other carb adjustments). The Parkway is high enough to pop your ear drums about half way up.

The bike was smooth and strong as a turbine in the low end and midrange. Top end was insane as ever. At the top of the mountain pass at the steepest part of the grade, I down shifted to test the bikes pull at high RPM. I rocketed to 11,000 rpm with no signs of too rich throttle hesitation. The sports car along side me was a tiny dot in the mirror by the time I crested the mountain. Throttle response in the twisty sections was spot on.

I have ridden other bikes up the same pass which bogged down severely due to too rich top end (too large main jets), even though they ran OK at sea level. So this is a reliable test. The shimmed FZ1 passed with flying colors.

If you live a mile high in Colorado, then you may need different tuning than what I have.

How to Make a Tank Prop

You can do a lot of carb work by just propping up the tank and leaving the back of the tank bolted. Therefore you do not need to undo any fuel lines. But you need a secure means of propping up the tank.

Materials:

Instructions:

  1. Cut a 45 degree bevel on one end of the baluster
  2. Drill a 1/4" hole into the beveled end of the baluster
  3. Insert the dowel half way into the hole. This end will hold the front of the tank by the bolt hole.
  4. At the other end of the baluster, screw the two wood slats so they over hang the edge by 10mm or so. This end goes on the horizontal cross member of the frame under the tank. The slats keep it secure on the cross member.

***Addendum: I put Velcro on the frame cross member and the bottom end of the tank prop. The Velcro does not stick to the wood baluster end so I nailed it on with small nails in the sides.***

To use the prop, put the bike on its centerstand, remove the seat, unbolt the front tank bolt, and lift the front of the tank up. The tank should be less than half full. The dowel in the beveled end of the prop inserts into the bolt hole on the front of the tank, the other end braces against the cross member. The slats and Velcro keep the bottom end from slipping.

The tank prop looks like a big Phallic symbol, so don't wave it around the neighborhood.

Yoshimura Slip-on Installation

I just received my Yoshimura TRS Trioval Zyclone Slip-on exhaust in stainless steel. I installed it myself during my lunch hour. It is one sweet piece.

Installation notes:

Lay out large towels to kneel down on and to lay down the old and new exhausts. After you open the end of the Yosh shipping box, remove the big copper staples so you don't scratch the can. The new can has a thick plastic wrap to protect it, but you can reuse the box to stow your old can, and you don't want to scratch it.

Put the bike on its centerstand. The bike will then be vertical to better align the can, and the centerstand will be out of the way.

The front bolt for the drilled rear brake strut sticks out. You may want to stick a piece of tape or Velcro on it so you don't bump the pipe on it.

Removing the old can requires an 8mm Allen "T" wrench or socket for the foot rest bolt and a 12 mm socket wrench for the front pipe-to-pipe attachment. Do yourself a favor and work on the bike after it has cooled overnight or you risk getting burnt or damaging the gasket between the pipes. I rode my other bike into work this morning so the FZ1 would be nice and cool.

The old gasket will come off with the old pipe. Leave it inside the old pipe, you don't need to reuse it.

The Yosh pipe is gasketless.

The stock system was not as heavy as I expected. The stock can on my ZX6R seemed to weigh twice as much. The stainless steel version of the Yosh is not as light as a titanium or carbon version, but it is less expensive, shiny (if you like the shiny stock look), and lighter than stock. The Yoshimura web site photos with the light background don't do the polished stainless finish justice. In real life, it is quite dazzling. The metal is not super thin so it should be durable and dent resistant.

Fitting the rubber inside the can clamp was the only tedious part of the procedure. Take your time to fit it correctly.

The new Yosh pipe slips on the outside of the bike's pipe without needing a gasket. It has an outside band clamp. The fit was excellent. Make sure you advance the Yosh pipe far enough until you feel the thunk-like stop, meaning it's fully seated. Then attach the can clamp and the stock foot peg bolt. Rotate the can so the inside surface is vertical. Secure both clamps. The bolt on the front clamp was too long for my socket so I needed a flat wrench to tighten it all the way.

The instructions tell you to drill the stock pipe to match a hole in the Yosh pipe and slip a supplied rivet into the hole. The clamp goes over this to lock the pipe-to-pipe junction. I think this is optional and might be good for racing. I did not do this step. I don't think the pipe is going anywhere, I don't want to create an air leak, and I hate drilling stock parts.

Make sure you wipe the exhaust with alcohol when you are finished. You need to remove finger prints and grease before starting the bike.

Yoshimura Review

The can looks awesome. Nice and shiny like the stock system. The unique shape is functional; it has better swing arm and ground clearance, allowing it to be tucked in closer to the bike. The rear of the can rides higher than stock, I have about an inch less clearance under my right saddle bag.

There is a stop plate welded on to the Yosh pipe to serve as a centerstand stop. The stop plate was centered on the centerstand rubber stopper perfectly. If it isn't, you may not have seated the new pipe fully. I had previously shortened my rubber stopper 50% to improve centerstand cornering clearance. This caused no problems with the Yosh system

There is a pipe joint right before the exhaust can, held together with removable springs. Hmmmm....does this mean I will be able to fit a Yosh 4 into 1 header system using the same can?

The bike starts, warms up, and idles great. There is a slight burble at idle that tells you it's an aftermarket can. This can is very quiet for an aftermarket can. The trioval Zyclone is the quietest can Yoshimura makes, and is probably the quietest aftermarket can you can buy. This is exactly what I wanted, not too loud to wake the neighbors or to get the cops on my tail. Yoshimura makes a louder race version of this same exhaust if you desire more sound.

The sound when riding moderately or blipping the throttle in neutral is a strong healthy sound, full of potential power barely restrained. This is a big improvement on the anti-septic quietness of the stock can.

The only jetting change I made was to shim the stock needles 0.5 mm to improve the low end (with the stock can). This worked beautifully with the stock can. The Yoshimura seems very happy with this modest jetting tune. The low end and midrange seem perfect so far with the Yosh. No signs of being too lean (i.e. no surging, hesitation, back firing, or lumpy low end power). I could experiment by shimming a little more, but the bike is not begging for it like the stock bike. The awesome midrange seems even more smooth and powerful if you can believe it.

I have not tested top end yet. Most tuners say the top end stock jetting is a little rich, so with this freer flowing can, the top end should be just right.

More test ride notes:

Last night I waited past rush hour to get out and test the bike at speed. The bike is just as controllable and docile at low speed while commuting in traffic. But it really wants to stretch its legs. Once I got out onto some back roads, I had a hard time revving the bike out in any of the top 4 gears. The bike was like a rocket in the midrange (definitely improved), and I quickly ran out of road before tasting the top end. I am too chicken to the rev the bike out in first gear, I don't want to loop the bike. To test the top end of the tach, you really need a lot of road in front of you. I found an long straight and ran the bike up past 11,000 rpm in 4th gear and found that accelerates through the mid range like a rocket and keeps pulling hard well past 10,000 rpm. I think there is an improvement (top end was Bonkers to begin with). There is certainly no problem with the top end tune with the stock main jets and the Yosh exhaust. I almost ended up in the rear of the pickup trunk in front of me. Good thing the FZ1 has good brakes.

When pulling away from a stop in slow traffic, there is the slightest dip in off idle power. This is barely noticeable (most times it is not noticeable at all) and easy to ride around. I could try to tune this out with shimming the needles a little more, but I am going to leave the carb tune as it is for now. If I shim the needles more, I will probably lose some gas mileage. But first, I will perform the first carb synch on my bike as soon as my Carbtune II arrives.

I highly recommend that you shim the needles before adding and aftermarket exhaust to correct the stock low end leaness. This will improve the low end using the stock can. If you buy this quiet Yosh can, this may also be all the tuning you need. If you go for a loud race can, you may need a full jet kit.

Cable Routing Problem

My throttle cables were misrouted. Turning the bars fully to the left made the throttle cables bend against the instrument cluster (against the right side of the fuel gauge). The "S" bend made in the cables at full left lock will eventually bend and wear out the cables. Locking the bars with the ignition key at full left lock is made difficult by the cables hitting the instruments. The problem is that the throttle cables were incorrectly routed in front of the brake hose.

There is a metal retaining loop bolted to the underside of the right side of the top triple clamp. But this is occupied by the brake hose from the master cylinder.

The correct way to route the throttle cables is as follows: the throttle cables should go behind the brake hose. The brake hose and the handle bar switch wires should go in the brake hose guide (retaining loop). A zip tie goes around the fork tube and brake hose. Instead of detaching the throttle cables, I found it easier to unbolt the front brake lever assembly to bring the brake hose in front of the throttle cables. To replace the brake lever assembly there is an "up" and an arrow on the clamp. This means you place the clamp right side up and tighten the upper bolt first, then the lower bolt.

The throttle cables are now tucked out of the way.

Fix for Hard Starting....Adjust Throttle Position Sensor

My new stock FZ1 has a strange start up procedure. Whether the engine is hot or cold, I do not need any choke, but I do need to crack the throttle. This is annoying and is bad for the starter and engine. I don't want to wear out the starter and I don't want to over rev the engine at start up.

I noticed that the throttle position sensor (attached to the #4 carb) allows for adjustment. The "holes" for the mounting screws are actually oval, allowing for adjustment by turning the sensor a few degrees. Mine was set 3/4 of the way clock wise. The two sensor mounting screws are tamper-proof special fasteners. I had to remove them with pliers and replace them with 4mm x 10mm Allen head metric machine screws (plus #8 flat washers and #8 lock washers). Do not loosen the silver colored Phillips head screws (they do not have to be removed).

The sensor was set at 3/4 full clock wise from the factory, so I reset it to full counter clock wise and tightened the screws. This only amounts to about 7 degrees of rotation.

Now the bike starts up with no choke and no throttle. It starts up faster so I don't have to hold the starter button nearly as long. The bike runs fine with no bad side effects. It idles smooth and makes good power (I am not claiming that the bike will run better, only that it now starts better). I just made the adjustment today, I will get back to you after a few dozen more starts.

I think this alters the ignition timing and/or cracks open the EXUP valve, but I am not sure. All I know is that it now starts like a normal bike.

Rubber Baby Buggy Bumpers (Frame Slider Installation)

I just installed frame sliders on My FZ1 and they look Goooood! I modified frame sliders for a Honda CBR600F4 and attached them to the upper of the two front engine mounting bolts. I could not find longer metric bolts so I went with 3/8" standard nuts and bolts.

Materials:

Instructions:

  1. Put the bike on the center stand with cool exhausts. You will remove two engine mounting bolts (one at a time) and you want the engine weight evenly distributed on the remaining mounts. You will be working near the exhaust headers so they must be cool.
  2. Modify the F4 sliders. They are too long, but have a narrow diameter stem that can be cut off with the hack saw. You do not have to be really neat since the cut end will face in and not be seen. The remaining wide diameter slider is 2 1/2" long. Note: F2/F3 sliders are without stems and would not require shortening with a hack saw. I only used F4 sliders since they were in stock at my shop.
  3. Using the 14mm wrenches, remove just the upper of the two mounting bolts on one side of the bike. Once the nut was removed, the bolt should slide out easily with no binding. I chose the upper mounting bolt because it is thicker and stronger, and it results in better ground clearance with the 2 1/2" slider. Do not loosen or remove any other mounting bolts while one is removed. This bolt is 5" long. You will use the new, longer 6" bolt to attach the slider.
  4. Put the following on the 6" bolt: 3/8" lock washer, 3/8" flat washer, the slider, and 3/8" flat washer. Slide this assembly into the mount hole. Slip on a flat washer, lock washer, and finally the nut.
  5. Tighten with the wrenches. The 14mm wrenches will fit the standard hex heads. The slider has an aluminum insert so it is safe to torque down firmly.
  6. Repeat for the other side.
  7. Stand back and admire your work.

Eye balling the bike, my foot peg feelers will touch down long before the sliders, so they should be safe for cornering. However, if you drag your knee or pegs on a regular basis, this modification is not for you and could make you lowside. I would not go longer than 2 1/2" for cornering clearance and if you can find shorter sliders, they should work just fine. They should protect your engine cases and radiator. You may be able to "catch" a tipped, non-rolling bike before serious damage occurs. However, as low mounted sliders, they could act as a fulcrum and make the bike tip tank side down. Hopefully I will never see this in action.

They work as highway pegs, but you will look silly using them as such. As stunt pegs, they are too short and slippery.

Jacking up the Front End

I went out and bought a pair of automotive jack stands to jack up the front end by the sliders. I put the bike on its centerstand and raised each jack stand about 1/2" higher than the bottom of each slider. Hoisting up the front wheel by hand, I used my foot to push each jack stand in place. This was a little awkward, so next time I will get an assistant. The bike can be a bit unsteady when the bike is on the centerstand and only one jack stand is in place. The jack stands must be placed under the inner portion of each slider, as close to the frame as possible. The lower engine mount bolt protects the frame from being scratched. Do not jack up at the outside end of the slider or you could damage the slider or bend its bolt.

Lower the bike by hoisting the front end and kicking the jack stands out of the way, then slowly lower the front end. Do not undo the jack stand release levers to lower the bike or the front end could come crashing down too fast.

Alternatively, you can use a pair of screw-type car jacks and tighten each one a little at a time.

Now I can work on the front end and remove the front wheel. I just received my 19mm Allen socket from Snap On for the front axle. Although the bike is very stable on the jack stands, It would be a good idea to loosen the axle with the front wheel still on the ground.

This is part of my plan to keep the bike out of the shop as much as possible. Most shops would jack up the front of the bike with a wood block and jack under the header pipes. This could dent them. It is cheaper and faster to get a tire changed if the wheel is already off the bike.

Seat Reshaping (Making Your Own Custom Corbin)

The stock saddle is too sloped at the rear of the operator's seat. Only the front half of the seat is comfortable for me. I followed someone else's suggestion and reshaped my stock seat. My goal was to dish out the rear of the operator's seat ala Corbin.

Materials:

Instructions:

  1. Remove the saddle. Using the flat head screw driver, remove the staples from the front to about the level of the locking latch, making sure not to tear the cover. Throw the staples away, they are not reusable. Peel back the cover so it is folded back over the passenger seat.
  2. Lay the saddle on a high table over a large towel, it will get messy. Prop up the rear to simulate the saddle angle on the bike.
  3. Decide what area of foam you want to remove. I removed about 1/4" thickness to flatten the rear slope and create a Corbin-like dished seat.
  4. Sawing with the bread knife, remove 1/4" of foam from the rear area. You cannot add material, so do not remove more than 1/4". It is OK if your cut is rough, you will smooth it out later.
  5. Using the rasp, shape out the area and blend it smooth with the uncut front area. The foam is crumbly and easy to work with. Just keep the rasp level with the surface. If the end of the rasp digs in, it can gouge a hole in the surface. A small gouge will not be noticeable once the cover is replaced.
  6. Using your sense of feel, check for any high spots and smooth them out. Finish with the sand paper using long strokes one direction at a time.
  7. Vacuum all of the crumbs off the saddle. Clean the under side too. The air box intake lies under the saddle, and you don't want foam crumbs going into your air box. Stretch the cover back over the saddle.
  8. Reattach the cover using the thumb tacks. The trick is to use the same staple holes in the cover and in the seat pan. That way the cover will be lined up perfectly and you can push in the thumb tacks with no tools. Just apply a dozen tacks for now.
  9. Take a test ride. I think you will find that removing just 1/4" makes all of the difference in the world.
  10. If you are happy with the reshaping, place the remaining thumb tacks, one per old staple. If you ever decide to reshape again, the thumb tacks are reusable. By the way, Velcro sticks to the seat pan but does not stick to the cover (I tried).

A Better Tool Bag

I am not happy with the standard Yamaha tool bag. The thin plastic can tear, the bag cannot be overstuffed with extra tools, the snap is unreliable, the tools can rattle after hitting a large bump, and to get one tool you have to dump them all out on the curb.

I just replaced my tool bag with a Carpenter's nail pouch. This is a canvas two-pocket pouch that can be tied around the waist by its straps. The tools are divided between the two pockets and laid flat along the bottom. The pouch is folded so that the two pockets are laying side to side. The top of the pouch is folded down (so the tools don't fall out). The straps wrap around the folded pouch to keep it tight and secure. There is plenty of room for extra tools. The cloth material prevents rattling.

In use, the tool pouch is unfolded and tied around your waist. You have instant access to all tools while they are still in the pouch. You can place loose fasteners in the pockets so you won't lose them. You can even use it to wipe grease off your fingers when you are done.

It is nice to have an empty one in your tool box at home, since it comes in handy for regular bike wrenching too.

Essential FZ1 Tools

Here are some must have tools for the FZ1. I am assuming that you have a basic tool set already.

Shop tools:

  1. Pivot head 3/8" breaker bar with a 5mm Allen head socket. Used straight, it is good for spinning out the front tank bolt. Pivot to torque the bolt tight.
  2. Blue (medium) Loctite. Needed for the front tank bolt and bar end weights.
  3. 32mm socket on a 1/2" long handled socket wrench. More leverage for the rear axle nut.
  4. Pair of 12mm open end wrenches for the rear axle adjusters.
  5. Prop for the tank. I made my own from a 17" baluster. You can adjust and synch the carbs with the tank tilted up keeping the fuel lines intact.
  6. Carb synch tool. My Carbtune II is on order. The easy access carbs and tilt up tank make synching your own carbs possible. It could keep your bike out of the shop until the 26,000 mile valve adjustment.
  7. Special Torx driver to adjust the Throttle Position Sensor. It has special anti-tamper bolt heads. I could not find this tool, so I used pliers and replaced the bolts with Allen head bolts (requires a 3mm Allen wrench).
  8. "T" Allen wrenches for spinning Allen head fasteners.
  9. Black electrical tape and zip ties. A piece of electrical tape on the center of the handle bar protects the bar from being scratched by your key fob.
  10. Offset Phillips head screw driver for removing the carb top screws on the outer carbs. (they are under the frame rails)
  11. Yamaha oil filter wrench. The factory filter is always too tight and hard to remove without this tool.
  12. Large (19 mm) 1/2 drive Allen socket for front wheel removal (Snap On Tools)

Tool Kit:

  1. Replace stock tool bag with a carpenter's nail pouch.
  2. Tighten nut on the kit's pliers (or else it will fall off)
  3. These are not tools you will use frequently

Emergency kit:

  1. I used the stock tool bag and strapped it in front of the main tool bag.
  2. Mini MagLight (comes in blue or black!). Just in case you have a break down at night.
  3. Swiss army knife
  4. Butane lighter
  5. Tire plug kit. Some say you always need to plug from the inside or replace the tire, but the plug kit will keep you from being stranded.
  6. $20 bill

Saddle bags:

  1. Foot air pump. Good for emergency flats and also maintaining proper air pressure.
  2. Tire pressure gauge
  3. Allen wrench set (pocket knife style). The tool kit only has one 5mm Allen wrench. The bike has 3mm, 4mm, 5mm, 6mm, and 8mm Allen head fasteners. Used enough to keep it handy in the saddle bag.
  4. Windex spray bottle and paper towels for face shield cleaning. My wife has these little spritzer bottles. I wash them out and fill them with Windex.
  5. Padlock for my tail mounted helmet cable
  6. First aid kit

In pocket:

Swiss Tech mini tool has Phillips head screw driver, flat head screw driver, mini pliers and wire cutters. It folds and clamps onto your key chain. I've used mine a million times. Keeps you from having to dig out the tool bag.

Running Hot? Install a Fan Indicator Light

Yamaha forgot to put a temperature gauge on this bike. There is a temperature warning light at 13,000 rpm on the tachometer, but this will turn on too late when the bike is already overheated. If it turns on, you need to stop, pull over, and shutdown. I wanted to know when the bike was hot, but long before it overheats. The easiest way to do this is to have an indicator light turn on when the radiator fan is on. You may hear the fan at a standstill, but it would be nice to know when it is running while you are on the move. I just installed indicator and it works great. Instructions to follow.

The FZ1 lacks a temperature gauge. When the engine temperature gets high enough, a temperature sensor signals the fan switch to turn on the radiator fan. You can hear the fan turn on when stopped at idle in hot summer traffic, but how do you know if the bike is still hot with the fan on when you are on the move? Since I installed the fan indicator light, I now know when the bike is hot and the fan is running.

When the fan indicator light is on, I need to get the bike moving at low rpm to let the radiator and engine cool down. The fan indicator light (and fan) will turn off once I get the bike moving again and the engine temperature drops back down. Now I know when the engine has cooled and the fan has turned off (the fan indicator light will turn off). I can now safely apply more throttle. This is an example of mechanical sympathy. I only run the bike hard when it's in normal operating temperature. This will help prolong engine life.

The stock temperature warning light on the tachometer only turns on if the engine is Extremely hot and at risk of causing overheating damage to the engine. I want to know when the bike is hot, long before the stock warning light turns on.

Note: the engine will run much cooler in traffic if you shim the carb needles to correct the too lean low end.

Materials: (source: Radio Shack)

Instructions:

  1. Put the bike on its centerstand. Remove seat, remove right inner fairing panel, unbolt front of tank, raise and prop up front of tank. Note: the square nut for the Allen bolt on the fairing is not captive, so don't drop it.
  2. Locate the fan circuit connector. The fan lead travels down from the connector under the front of the tank to behind the fan. There is a solid dark blue wire (power to fan) and a black wire (ground) coming out of each end of the connector. Do not undo the connector at this point.
  3. Cut the plug off the extension cord, split the cord wire a few inches, and strip each end 1/2". I folded back the wire ends and twisted them to give the crimp-on prongs a better bite.
  4. Crimp on the telephone prongs. Bend the two prongs on each wire to form a fork shape.
  5. Jam the prong/fork of one wire into the fan connector where the blue wire enters on the right. Jam the other wire's prong into the connector where the black wire enters on the right. This is the trickiest part. The prongs must have metal to metal contact with the wire ends inside the connector. The prongs must not contact each other. The prongs must be snug and well seated. You may have to reshape the prongs a little with pliers. One trick is to flatten the prong tips a little with a file.
  6. Note: you did not need to undo the fan's connector when you inserted the prongs. It does not matter which cord wire connects to which fan wire. The lamp bulb filament works either way.
  7. Wrap electrical tape tightly around the extension cord wire's ends, the prongs, and end of the connector. It is easier to do this wrap job with the fan connector undone, so now you can disconnect the fan circuit connector. The tape keeps the prongs from vibrating out.
  8. Reconnect the fan connector, or else your fan will not work and the bike could overheat!
  9. Route the extension cord through the right frame near the radiator cap, along the right turn signal wire, behind the right headlight, and up to the instrument cluster.
  10. Cut the extension cord to length allowing some slack. Split and strip the ends.
  11. The lamp has two short wires preattached. Strip them a little more. Use the screw on connectors to connect the lamp wires to the cord wires. Again, it does not matter which is which.
  12. Mount the lamp with Velcro. The best spot is the notch in the instrument cluster between the fuel gauge and the right turn indicator. I mounted the lamp recessed in the notch to shield the bulb from the glare of direct sun light.
  13. Zip tie the cord to the right turn signal wires and the instrument cluster bracket.
  14. Make sure the fan connector is connected. Lower and rebolt the tank.
  15. Test the lamp circuit. If you start the bike in neutral and let it run for a minute, the fan and light should come on, until you shift into first gear.
  16. If every thing is OK, replace the inner fairing panel and the seat.

The light will go on when ever the engine is hot enough to trigger the fan switch. The lamp is very bright, so you definitely know when the fan is on. Good to know.

Trim Rubber Stop to Raise the Centerstand

It is possible to touch down the centerstand at extreme lean angles, especially on the left side because of the arm. To create more cornering clearance, the rubber stop on the right side of the centerstand can be trimmed. Place the bike on the centerstand and remove the rubber stop by sliding it carefully to the side. Do not pull on it hard or the small rubber nipple may tear off. Trim the height of the rubber stop by about 1/2. Replace the stop. I found that if the rubber stop is removed completely, there are no interference problems, but some rubber is needed to prevent metal on metal contact as the center stand hits the exhaust stop bracket.

Simple Solution for Instrument Glare

Are you bothered by instrument glare? For me, the sky fills the top half of the speedometer and the glare makes it hard to read the small speedo numbers. If I am wearing a shirt and no leather jacket, the shirt's reflection flaps around and can be a distraction on the dial faces. The problem is the angle of the instrument cluster. If it was more vertical, your chest and shoulders will block out the sky. This is more of a problem if you are short. I am 5'10". If you are 6'4", you may not have a problem with the glare.

Materials:

Instructions:

  1. Put the bike on its centerstand so you can sit in riding position to test the instrument angle.
  2. Using the screw driver, remove the windshield screws and place the windshield someplace safe. I wear a carpenter's nail pouch to hold tools and small fasteners.
  3. There are three rubber insulated nuts that hold the instrument cluster to the instrument bracket (two at the bottom and at the top). Using the 10mm wrench, remove the top nut and its metal washer (you do not have to touch the lower two nuts). Leave the rubber bracket grommet in place.
  4. Tilt the top of the instrument cluster towards the tank and slip the neoprene washers onto the bolt one at a time. Neoprene washers work best here since they will damp vibration and won't rattle like metal washers. They are better than a single thick spacer since you can adjust the angle with the number of washers, and you do not have to tilt the instrument cluster very far back to slip on each washer.
  5. I used a total of 5 washers for 8mm of spacing. If you are taller, then you will need fewer. The bolt is too short to use more than 6 washers.
  6. Replace and tighten the 10mm nut. To tighten the nut, I had to forgo the metal washer, so the nut now snugs up to the rubber grommet.
  7. Sit on the bike and see if it eliminates the sky glare. Adjust by adding or removing washers.
  8. Replace the windshield. Make sure not to over tighten the plastic windshield bolts or you can break them or tear their rubber mounted nuts. The bolt ends should just stick out a little from the inside of each rubber nut.
  9. Make sure all cables clear the instruments at full lock to lock. If your throttle cables are correctly routed behind the front brake hose, there should not be a problem.
  10. Take a test ride. I think you will see an improvement.

For me there is now no glare and less distraction. There is more of a gap between the instrument cluster and the inner fairing panels, but this is no problem for me.

A Better Helmet Lock

There is a helmet lock built into the seat lock, but it is hard to reach and useless if you have saddle bags. I made a cool helmet lock for the tail end of the bike.

Materials:

Instructions:

  1. Remove seat
  2. Thread each end of the cable between the right side of the tail light and the tail body work
  3. Create a cable loop (about 2" diameter) so it sticks out below the right side of the tail light.
  4. Trim the ends of the cable to length and strip the plastic off each end (about 1/2")
  5. One end goes over and the other end goes under a rear subframe rail.
  6. Crimp the cable ends together with pliers

I can now padlock my helmet to the cable loop. The helmet hangs down and rests on the rear fender/license plate. It is simple to use since it is easy to access without bending down. Of course if someone really wanted your helmet, they could cut the cable with wire cutters or cut off your D ring strap with a knife. This keeps dirtbags and kids from walking off with your lid. The thickness of the cable determines how much security this offers.

You could put a cable loop on each side of the tail light for two helmet locks, but the rear fender may not support two helmets.

Rear Fender Trim

The rear fender is too long. It is out of proportion and hides too much of the rear tire. A fender hack job across the bottom of the license plate usually looks just like that....a hack job. Some riders have just cut off the rear reflector, so I tried that and relocated the rear reflector. It looks like it was meant to be this way. From a couple of car lengths back you can now see almost all of the rear tire. The fender is still long enough to keep rain off the back. The reflector remains for night riding safety.

Materials:

Instructions:

  1. Using the 8mm wrench, remove the red rear reflector, nut and washer. Save these for reinstallation.
  2. Using the coping saw cut off the rear reflector bracket following the duck tail line of the bottom of the rear fender. For me it was easiest to make one rough cut 1/4" below the line, then come back and make a fine cut along the line. The closer you cut the less sanding you have to do later. Save the reflector bracket.
  3. Sand the edge of the cut smooth.
  4. Four vertical reinforcing struts molded to the inside of the fender may stick out their corners under the fender edge. Use the wire cutters to snip the corners off at 45 degrees. This is easy....snip, snip, snip, snip.

  5. The reflector will be mounted horizontally under the license plate. My license plate ends above the plastic stop in the center of the fender. I used this stop to brace the top edge of the reflector to hold it at the right angle (near vertical). The back of the reflector has one center bolt and a peg to the side to keep it from rotating.
  6. Use the cut off bracket as a template and mark the two holes with the pencil about 1/2" below the plastic stop. The bolt hole is centered under the stop, the peg hole is to one side. Make sure the bracket/template is level with the fender/license plate while marking.
  7. Drill the two holes. Start the drill bit slowly and press firmly to keep the bit from walking. The fender is very thin and easy to drill. If you mess up, don't sweat it, you will be hiding this area with the reflector. The bolt hole is a little bigger than the peg hole.
  8. The peg on the back of the reflector is very short, so I had to shorten the fender stop enough to allow the peg to enter its drilled hole. I removed about 1/2 of the fender stop with a flat rasp. Be careful and hold the rasp parallel to the fender to prevent scratching the fender.
  9. Reinstall the reflector with the washer and 8mm nut. Do not over tighten the nut or you could deform or crack the plastic fender.

I think it looks sharp with no loss of function and a very finished appearance.

Tax Decal Bracket

Where I live, bikes need to have a yearly inspection sticker and a city/county tax sticker. Both are supposed to be mounted on the left fork leg. On newer bikes there is not enough room (larger front fenders and USD forks). So we can get away with mounting decals on the left swing arm.

The shop had already stuck the inspection decal on the left fork leg, but I needed a spot for the tax decal. If I put it directly on the swing arm, there would be glue build up. So I made a tax decal mounting bracket.

Materials:

Instructions:

  1. Remove the tire pressure decal on the left swing arm. Do this by picking at one corner with your finger nail, then using pliers to grab the corner to peel the decal off in one piece.
  2. Using white paint, paint the tire pressures you like on the valve stems (for example: 40 for the rear, 36 for the front)
  3. With the tax decal in hand, find a glass or other cylinder slightly larger than the decal (my decals are round)
  4. Scribe a circle on the aluminum sheet using the cylinder.
  5. Cut out the circle with the tin snips, but leave a rounded tab on one end. The bracket will look like a tear drop.
  6. Through the tear drop tab, drill a 1/2" hole. Use a scrap piece of wood behind the aluminum sheet while drilling.
  7. Using the 10 mm wrench, unbolt the side chain guard bolt (the one along the left side of the swing arm)
  8. Slip the tear drop tab under the side of the black chain guard and line up the 1/2" hole with the bolt mounting insert.
  9. Rebolt the chain guard bolt.
  10. Apply the tax sticker.
  11. If the aluminum sheet is too thin and flutters, apply a small piece of double sided tape to the back of the bracket to make it stick to the swing arm.

This bracket is so simple to make, it is easier to just make new bracket each year, rather than peel off last year's sticker.

Drain Hose Reroute

This is a minor cosmetic modification. One feature that sticks out like a sore thumb is the location of the three drain hoses on the right side of the bike. These are routed through a wire retaining loop just above the exhaust pipe. When the bike is on the sidestand, these tubes protrude even more.

I rerouted the hoses to the left side. There is a smaller wire retaining loop along the left side of the centerstand bracket. It was unoccupied. I ran the tubes through this loop. The tubes are now "invisible" and the right side of the bike looks cleaner.

Warning: any drippings will be closer to the rear tire. If this bothers you, just switch back to the stock routing.

One other minor cosmetic mod was removing the zip tie along the left bottom frame rail. It disrupts the continuity of the frame (especially if you remove the ugly aluminum side plates). This zip tie holds the sidestand switch wire. This wire was not slack and was not in danger of snagging, so I removed the zip tie (you can undo the zip tie "tab", you do not have to cut it).

Homemade Windshield

It has been a little cooler during my morning commute and I am starting to notice that the FZ1's windshield is too small. My shoulders and hands get cold. Wind whistles under my helmet. I made my own taller and wider windshield. Much more protection for my shoulders and hands. No more whistling, much quieter. I think it looks better than the stock "toe nail" shaped windshield.

Materials:

Instructions:

  1. Cut a template for the new windshield with the poster board and scissors. I made my new shield 3" wider on each side and 2 3/4" taller.
  2. Lay the template on the Lucite sheet. Trace the outside edge of the template with the exacto knife. Remove the protective film outside of the shield area on top. Leave the protective film in place on the bottom side. This will prevent scratching the shield during the cutting process.
  3. Cut the shield using the RotoZip bit in the router table. A hand saw will take forever, the RotoZip cuts it like butter. Wear gloves, long sleeves, eye protection and ear protection. Hot flakes of plastic spray up and out during the cutting. Cut with the shaft of the RotoZip bit, not the tip (for less bit vibration/deflection)

  4. Shape as needed with a file. The tricky part is the bottom were there are "points" on the lower corners.
  5. Remove the stock shield. Remove the protective film on both sides of the Lucite (you are about to heat the shield).
  6. Curve the Lucite to match the stock shield using a stove top. Keep the Lucite moving to avoid heating one area too much. Stay about 8" above the stove top. It is easier to curve the thinner grade of Lucite without distorting it.
  7. Hold the new screen up to the empty screen area on the bike for final filing and fitting. Mark the six bolt holes with a magic marker.
  8. Drill the holes with a 1/4" drill bit. Use a backing block of wood and drill SLOWLY. The first time, I pressed too hard and drilled too fast, cracked the shield, and had to start over.
  9. Attach the shield with the six plastic bolts. Do not over tighten. The bolt threads should only protrude a little from the inside of the rubber nuts.

I just tested the shield at 100 mph. Much quieter with no whistling. Much better shoulder and hand protection. The extra width diverts the air around most of my hands. No clearance problems lock to lock when parked. The thinner grade of Lucite flutters a little at speed but is not objectionable. This may have to do with the extra width on the sides. There is a little distortion in the curved area below the instruments, but no distortion in the "viewing" area. This will make the bike much more comfortable in the Winter. I may spray paint the lower inside of the shield to obscure the instrument wiring. Latest Version of Home Made Windshield

I just finished making a new and improved version of my home made windshield. The first version was made with thinner Lucite (about 2.1 mm) and was 2 3/4" higher than stock and 3" wider on each side (total of 6" wider). In gusty conditions, there was some mild flutter (not too bad and no cracking). I could not go larger with the thin material without increasing deflection.

The latest version is with medium thickness Lucite (about 2.5 mm) which is much stiffer than the thin Lucite. I went larger: 3 3/4" taller and 3 3/8" wider on each side compared to stock.

I cut it using the RotoZip bit in my router table. This is the best set up for cutting Lucite (cuts it like buttah). You can cut with the protective film on both sides of the Lucite to prevent scratches. It is important to put a radiused concave corner at the transition between the mounting part of the screen and the wide part of the screen. A sharp corner could be the source of a crack.

This time I use a piece of wire coat hanger to bend the wide part of the screen during the heating phase. This gave a more uniform bend. Heating the Lucite is a real art. You must keep the electric stove top red but not bright red. You must keep the piece moving to avoid heating one spot too much. I was able to bend the shield with zero distortion this time.

Be sure to drill slowly when drilling the mounting holes. If you drill too fast, you can crack the shield. A variable speed drill works well here.

I bought some black door trim from Pep Boys to use as edging. It makes the shield look very finished and eliminates the need to file a clean edge on the Lucite. You only have to file down the high spots.

A test ride revealed even more protection and no significant flutter or deflection.

Bars Too Wide? Move the Grips Inward

The bars/grips on the FZ1 are too wide for me. With my new home made wide windshield, the outer parts of my hands are still in the breeze. So I moved the levers, switch gear, and grips inward.

Materials:

Instructions:

  1. Loosen the clutch lever and front brake lever clamps and slide each lever 7/8" inward.
  2. Unscrew the left and right switch gear housings. There is one index peg in each housing that fits into a hole drilled in each side of the bar. This index system keeps the switch gear/throttle from rotating. DO NOT cut off these pegs or else your switch gear could rotate and you could lose control of the bike.
  3. Remove the bar end weights.
  4. Measure 7/8" inward from each hole and drill new holes with a 13/64" drill bit. You may need to start the hole with a small drill bit if the 13/64" bit walks. Bevel each 13/64" hole with a 1/4" drill bit. Use a towel to catch metal shavings. Blow out each new hole with air in a can so the shavings come out the bar end.
  5. Lube the throttle and choke cable ends while you are at it. Reattach the switch gear, indexing with your new holes.
  6. Slide the left grip inward flush with the switch gear housing. I was able to slide my left ProGrip with some effort. The stock grip has a little glue, so you might have to buy new grips.
  7. Use blue Loctite on the bar end weight threads and reattach them.
  8. Test ride and adjust lever angle if needed.

The bars now feel "normal" and not too wide like before. It is easier to turn the bars full lock (less of a reach) when parking the bike. With my wide windshield, my hands are now in the calm pocket and out of the cold breeze. There are no clearance problems lock to lock. There may be a little less vibration. I may buy longer grips to hide the exposed bar ends. I will not cut the bars ends short since there are inner threads for the bars end weights, I can go back to stock later, and the "long" bar ends may prevent tank and lever damage in a tip over.