2013 Trip out west

I am currently out riding out west, in somewhat of a repeat of the ride we did in 2008. Riding with Dad, Kyle Hayes Sr, Joe and Steve. We’re traveling a more northernly route, and Joe and I will turn around somewhere after Montana, while Dad, Steve, and Kyle Sr. will ride out to Salem, Oregon to the BMW MOA Rally.

I”m not blogging and posting like I used to but our location should be tracked below using my iPhone and Google Latitude which is about to be kicked to the curb by Google in August. Which is sad.

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As I write this we’re in day two of 10 or so days. Currently in Buffalo, MN.

We’re headed to Bismark, ND then on to the good riding.

Avon Storms

At the last tire change I put on a pair of Avon Storms.

I decided to try the Storms because many folks claim the are “the @#$@$”. Outstanding handling and performance as well as reasonable life.

I had to replace the first rear right at 6k, which considering I got a good 7k out of the previous Metzlers wasn’t what I had in mind. The front still looked ‘great’ although the handling was starting to deteriorate. I mounted a new rear and marched on.

We’ll 5000 miles later I was very sorry. The front went to hell at about 8000 miles total, but we were on our way to the Void Rally and didn’t have time. The tread still looked good but it had started to wear really lopsided.

After the rally I ordered up a new set of Pilot Road 2’s. Now weather and other factors meant it would be about 3 months before I’d get those mounted.

The following are photos of the Storms:

2nd Rear after 5k miles. Well into the wear bars but probably has another 2k left in it. Somewhat flat spotted in the middle but I’d venture out of those 5k miles, only 1200 are slab, so I’m not impressed.


The front:


I didn’t like the Storms and won’t buy them again.

  1. They took a crap load of weight to balance.
  2. I didn’t like them on tar snakes and painted lines. Very, very slippery.
  3. I felt their wet weather performance was only mediocre, not outstanding.
  4. Life is poor in my opinion. To me there were a step backwards from the Metz Z6’s

Let the fun begin [FJR 1300 Final Drive Seals]

This starts back here at “My FJR thinks it’s a Harley”, or better yet a BMW.

I received all the seals that I ordered from University Motors in Fargo, ND. (Whom I highly recommend. They saved me almost $40 in parts after shipping.)

Tonight I started tearing into it. I drained the final drive (oil was still pretty clean), then proceeded to remove the rear wheel and take the pumpkin off.

Since it was leaking from the weep hole, I really expected to see a LOT of fluid in the swing arm. I at least expected a good amount. I didn’t find that. I know for a fact it was leaking from/through there as it was dripping.


I also expected to see the inside towards the final drive at the end of the drive shaft good and lubed. It was, but not as much as expected.

It almost looked like it was leaking between here as the bottom of the entire final drive was pretty nasty too, but I think that’s only because it ran to the bottom.

You can see the bottom half (not on the towel) is dirtier around the plastic shield but it’s not as nasty as I’d expect if it was leaking from here.

I’m a little torn at the moment as to which seals to replace. I have them all 🙂

Seal #34 is easy, #12 not so much, as I’m going to have to find that ‘special’ tool.

I’m going to post up on the FJRForum and see what the consensus is.

Update: Well, after inspecting all the parts, I can’t really see where it’s leaking from.  I still think #34 or #12, others on the board thing I have an issue with O-Ring #20 but I’m not convinced.

#34 was ‘dirty’ so I cleaned everything backup and reassembled it.  Did the normal maintenance for this time of year, greased the splines and changed all the fluids.  We’ll see if it continues to leak.

After putting it all back together I came in to find that I’d received the ECU recall notice.  So if I’m taking it in for that, might as well have them fix the seals under warranty at the same time.

We’ll see how it goes.  I really haven’t had the altitude surging issue that others have noticed or had issue with.

Run for the hills…

This morning I had to run down to La Grange, KY to meet a fellow FJR rider. He recently put in a bulk order for oil filters, crush washers and spark plugs. I needed to meet with him and pickup the stuff that I ordered.

$11 for a Yamaha oil filter is obscene, $6 from University motors is much closer to reality.

I left at 0-dark thirty and hit the slab. Riding through a sunrise is still one of those simply awesome things you have to experience to understand.

After the I-75/I71 split I got off the highway and hit some of the more fun roads on the way down.

We met for breakfast at the Cracker Barrel, then proceeded to wear out some of Southwestern/western Kentucky’s better roads.

380 miles later and I’m home, with parts in hand.

Twas a good day.

EOM Days 1 & 2

The 2007 EOM trip is well underway…

We all met up Thursday at 7:15am at Bob Evans, had a great breakfast than hit the road. Participants in this ride were Dad, myself, Joe, Adrian, and Nate from Indiana.

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4 FJR’s and a BMW. We headed out on the calculated route, hitting twisties where ever possible.

We made good time and stopped in Gauley for lunch at the Glen Ferris Hotel. It was interesting to say the least. Lunch was OK, and they were sssllloooowww. It was a quaint little place, a lot like the golden lamb in Lebanon, but without the class. After lunch Adrian split form the pack to get his tires changed at a dealer in Princeton.

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From there we stopped at the New River Bridge… We started to ride down to the bottom but Mr. Garmin kept routing us in circles over gravel roads so we bagged that idea and headed for the Briar Inn.

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We got to the hotel around 4:30pm or so, checked in, relaxed a little bit, BS’d with a few folks then headed out to dinner at the Ruby Tuesdays.

After dinner, there was plenty of bench racing and chit chat. We turned in with a plan to hit the short route on Friday because the weather showed rain moving in. 🙁

We hit the parking lot at 8am and rolled out around 8:15, heading west and north hoping to hold off the rain as long as possible.

We ended up running up 220 north to Hot Springs then back down the mountain.

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220 was awesome!. On the way back down the hill just as we started heading towards 311 it started to rain, just a sprinkle but it was coming.

18 was a good road but with the wetness it wasn’t in our interest to ride hard so we took it easy. The longer we road the more it rained. We got to 311 and decided to press on up and over the mountain. Towards the top of the mountain we ran into some pretty intense fog. Down the other side in New Castle, we decided we needed a break from the rain and decided to get lunch. We asked a few locals where we should eat and they directed us to Pine Top restaurant. We all had the buffet which wasn’t too bad all in all.

The ride back to the Briar Inn was horrible, constant rain. The Frog Toggs worked great, the only part of me that got wet was my hands. Both set of ‘water proof’ gloves turned out to be not so water proof. Time to order some Aerostitch triple digits.

More later…