My motorbike history

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I was born in Madrid and when I finished my Economic Degree studies I came to live to Tenerife, where now I live, because I like the sun, sports and beaches and the life in a big capital like Madrid is very hard to me: a lot of traffic, stress, and not free time at all.

I was 14 when I bought my first… errs… motorbike: a 49 cc Puch Condor… well, my grandfather bought it to me. I only want a bike because I saw you could know the prettiest girls with it. And It was true ;-) but then is when I got the motorbike fever. I changed the Puch for a second-hand Vespa 200 when I was 17 and , after a pair of big travels, trade it for a Laverda 500, which oozed oil and which I had my first approach to the italian engineering: it broke the clutch cable in the middle of nowhere in my first travel with it. Refusing to learn anything, and with no money for nothing else, after six months I changed for a Laverda 1000 Jota. (Yes, Laverdas were very cheap because nobody wanted them. Live and see!)

Ohhhh!, a big Jota – you think – well, what S*** a of motorbike!!!!. I was introduced in the knowledge of  the marvellous Italian engineering and its “character” (Ducati owners talk a lot about it, you see): when the old rubbish didn't start each  morning (the battery it was always dead and you had to push the 300 kg monster ), the rest of the day it was dropping oil, eating bulbs, breaking clutch cables or throwing itself to the floor, so I moved myself on Subway to the University and to do a lot of a student jobs to pay the endless breakdowns. I will be forever grateful with Laverda : when my Jota decided its self-destruction (2 valves broken, piston perforated and a lot of delicatessen more) I had to learn mechanic because I had no money to pay the reparation. Thanks to my father help (he owned a car repair service in Madrid) in six months of weekend’s job I was riding again, and with a lot of mechanic knowledge baggage and a decision in my life: no more Italian gimmicks (my father could tell a lot of stories with Italian cars).  

And when the BITC$##$%^ decided auto-destroyed again (the left rod wanted fresh air so decided to go through the crank) I realized that if the old monster wanted to rest in pace, who was me to contradict it? So I threw to the bin and bought a second-hand Katana 1100. What a difference!: not only started every morning and there were no problems. Too Its look was astounding and people were attracted for (well, young female people jejejejje) .  Bad things: monster motor with bicycle wheels and wire chassis was a terrifying experience to ride on.

So when I travel to GB in 1988 and I test a Yamaha FJ 1100 immediately I bought it: wonderful and endless power, armchair position, great suspension and brakes, and it was fantastic in its Randy Mamola’s colours.  I kept it even although I owned a RD 350 in 1990 and a FZR 600 from 1991 to 1993 at the same time

 

After 165.000 km and five years of fantastic experiences and endless mods (compare the OE photo with the evolved one) I sold it in 1993 to buy a great bargain: a 1990 FJ 1200, stock resale in the Yamaha dealer in Tenerife. 

I kept it 3 years and ride it for about  40.000 km (if you think those are not too much kms. see at the map and look for Tenerife: it is a little island in the middle of nowhere) and like I wanted something more sport orientated and not to maintain 2 bikes (remember, I still kept the FZR 600) I purchased a second hand 1989 FZR 1000 with 3.500 kms. in the odometer.

 

Of course, my FZR 600 was a little tweaked too: Goodridge brake hoses, Micron exhaust, ignition advancer, Dynojet, WP fork springs & rear shock, KN air filter, Barnett clutch... The bike was excellent with this mods, far superior to the CBR 600 of that era. The only flawless were the brakes, common to all that Yamaha lineage until the blue pots appeared, even although you could live with, because of the tiny weight of the bike.

The KN, Dynojet & F1 exhaust in my FZR 1000 got 126,49 rear wheel hp at 10.592 rpm!!!! Amazing !!. And even more outstanding, 10,58 kg/m maximum torque at 5.400 rpm, keeping more than 9 kg/m until 10.000 rpm... so immediately surged the Yamaha big problem then: the brakes.

In fact, playing with brake compounds, disc, pads and master cylinders I suffered my had my 1st road crash: in a 90º left hander I lost the front wheel, and the beast finished at the ditch. See the 2 different paint schemes. Being tired of fight with brakes, I sold it in 2000 and bought a FANTASTIC FZS 600 FAZER.

The Fazer is near the perfect motorbike for me: it is a mix between a tourist comfort motorbike like FJs and sporty attitude like R6. Think that here in Tenerife all the curvy roads are 2nd and 3rd gear, and you are changed all the time from left to right with virtually no straights and a lot of 90, 180 and 270 degrees decrescendo radius twisties. And, for example, in 20 km you go from the level sea to more than 2.000 m. above level sea. So anything flick7able, with raised handlebar, good brakes and not too much power is the perfect tool to humiliated more power bikes. I fitted with brake hoses and a Micron can and KN  filter. And nothing more.

But all this speed and sensations in open road  (think hard braking in a curvy and bumpy road, at 1000 ms. above level sea, looking at the 500 m. high precipice;  frightened!) took its bill: on February 2nd I had a big crash where my Fazer was near disintegrated an myself got left rear  4 ribs broken, my right scapula in 3 parts broken too and left ankle and left shoulder dislocated .

So after my recuperation, I have come back to my origins, because now I am taking my life in a more sedate and template way: no more raced-style riding in public roads. So to buy a FJ was an obvious choice: very cheap (1.500 €), comfortable, competent bike, and easily tuneable motorbike.

In a comparative in May 2002, in the Spanish mag motociclismo there was a bike to bike test in the Jarama circuit between a 16 year old Yamaha FJ 1100 and a new Yamaha FJR 1300. How do you compare a 16 year old bike with a new one? Think that the bearings, carburettors, bushes, cylinders… all of them are 16 years old, so even changing the suspension and updating the brakes (and the 1100 was on original auto ventilated - single piston - shit brakes) the FJ 1100 was a little tired… And surprised! The old dinosaur worth in about 1.500 € was faster and lighter than the spatial tech better braked 14.000 € FJR 1300!

Then by end, last June I bought a mint second-hand FJ 1200, 1989 model, with a great pair of Krauser suitcases to travel around

In 2008 I bought a 3XW model in order to keep it on mainland Spain to travel there. I sold it in 2010 because really I wanted a bike to restore.

Previous to buy my Katana in 1987 I tested a Honda CBX 750 F. It was fantastic experience, and more if you think that my next reference was my death old monster Laverda Jota. I was near to bought it, but there was no compression at cylinder nº3, so I bought the Katana. But I've always in love with. So, looking in internet I saw a BolDor model, I think the only one in Spain, so on June 2010 I travel to the opposite part of Spain, to La Coruña, to bought it. The bike started at the first time, the bike seemed a card man, the suspension looked ok and there were only a rumbling noise from the motor, that I though that it was the cam chain pushrod. More info on the CBX section. Its a keeper.

When my new baby born in March 2.015 I started to consider that I was not able to loose 7 days going and coming to mainland Spain in ferry, so I started to look for a bike to have it in Madrid ready for travel. Then I bought my Yamaha FZ 750 1991, great buy and excellent bike.

June 2.017: I´ve bought a Yamaha FJ 1200 1TX model and make a trip of 4.000 km. in a week in Mainland Spain and Portugal, with only a light revision in a 30 years old motorbike, proof of the hard bomb reliability of the FJ series. It will have its own place at the menu with all the mods and particularities of this model