Why I Don’t Wrench II

So, everyone says that removing the stock throttle tube from the FJR and replacing it with the G2 tube and cam is a 30-minute job.

They are wrong. it’s a 3-hour job. At least, it is for me. I start the job off at about 6:15 this evening. But what I don’t know, is that the things I do know, are wrong.

First misconception: The heated grips on the AE model are heating elements that are wrapped around the throttle tube. Wrong. They are integral parts of the grip itself. I did not know this. I learned this the hard way.

Second misconception: The throttle grip is a discrete piece that does not go into the throttle assembly housing. Wrong. The electrical cable for the heater connects to the grip via a rubber bushing that is an integral part of the grip, is about 1/2 inch in height, and is housed in the throttle assembly housing.

Third misconception: The grip can simply be pulled right off the tube without disassembling the throttle assembly housing. Wrong. See first and second misconceptions.

These misconceptions arose from the fact that I couldn’t find any detailed instructions for removing the grips of the AE model.

So, after various attempts to pull the grip off, and getting some advice from FJR Forum members, I purchased a couple of bottles of compressed air, and jetted some air under the grip while pulling. No joy.

So, I begin to wish for a long, thin Philips screwdriver to stick under the grip, to roll it around and try to loosen it. I go inside the house and tell this to Chris. She suggests I get a wire hanger, cut a piece off, and use it, instead.

Aha! I grab a wire hanger, get my fence wire cutters, and snip off a 12-inch section. Then I get a file, and file one end smooth and round, and bend an “L” into the other end. It slips right in. Now, I can slide the plastic tube from the compressed air way up under the grip.

I give it a good spritz of air, and pull hard. The grip started to come off. It moved off about 3/4 of an inch…then stopped.

It stopped because the rubber bushing inside the throttle housing was now jammed into the edge of the housing. And, I couldn’t push it back in either.

After much futzing around, I pull off the throttle housing, at which time my problem becomes apparent. Also apparent is that I’ve torn the insulating cover on the heater wires. I suspect that I no longer have grip heaters on the right grip, due to excessive wire stretching.

So, I cant get the grip off, and I can’t reseat it on the stock tube, so I pull the throttle cables off and try to remove the whole tube. But, of course, since I’ve moved the grip about 3/4 of an ch off the tube, there isn’t enough slack in the heater cable to pull the whole throttle tube off.

At this point, I call “Neil in Vista”, who is a regular commenter here. His only suggestion, now that I’ve totally fracked it up, is to shoot some WD-40 under the grip, and try to move it. Too bad, I tell him, that I have no WD-40.

Well, I’m two hours into the “30-minute job” at this point, so I decide to hang it up for the night, since it’s 8:30.

At this point Chris comes in, and I commence to whining about the whole deal, and musing about how much it sucks that we don’t have any WD-40. She points to a shelf 10 feet in front of me in the garage, and says, “We have a brand new can right there. In plain view.”

Once again, I stick the hanger into the grip, Chris sticks the WD-40 tube in and squirts it a couple of times, and the grip slides right off!

Holy smokes, maybe I can do this!

And I can. It’s all downhill from there. The grip slides right on to the new throttle tube. I slap it on the bar, hook up the clutch cables, and begin the tedious job of sticking the throttle housing back on.

Neil calls again and asks if the bike isn’t rideable, if I need him to come over to the house and bring his air compressor. Thankfully, I don’t have to inconvenience him with my massive incompetence.

After a while, I get the two throttle cables seated in their respective halves of the throttle housing slap the hex screws in, and, voila! I’m done!

It’s 9:30 pm.

I have to say, though, it appears that the change was really worth it. I took off on 20-minute test ride, and the throttle response is now perfectly smooth, linear, and predictable. No more throttle surging. It vastly improves the ability to handle the bike at low speeds, and makes throttle usage in cornering 1000% more predictable.

Oh, and I still have two heated grips.

It’s really a very effective mod, and I highly recommend it to anyone with an ’06 or ’07 FJR. Just be sure you know what you’re doing before you install it.

To sum up, this eveing I learned, once again, that being a mechanic just isn’t my calling. I think it may be Chris’, though.

Author: Dale Franks

Dale Franks is the former host of The Business Day, ”a daily, four-hour business and financial news program on KMNY Radio in Los Angeles. From 2002-2004, he was a contributor on military and international affairs for TechCentralStation.com. Currently, he a publisher and editor of the monthly political journal The New Libertarian, as well as an editor of the popular web log, Q and O. Dale served as a military police officer in the United States Air Force from 1984 to 1993, in variety of assignments both in the United States and Europe, where he also was assigned to the staff of the Headquarters of Allied Forces Central Europe. In addition to broadcasting, writing, and speaking on various topics, Dale has also been a long-time technical training instructor on a variety of computer software and technology subjects. Dale has also long been involved with information technology as an accomplished web designer, programmer, and technologist, serving as the corporate knowledge specialist for Microsoft Outlook at SAIC, the nation's largest employee-owned corporation. Additionally, he is the author of a number of software user guides used for classroom training by one of Southern California’'s premier computer training and consulting firms. His book, SLACKERNOMICS: Basic Economics for People Who Find Economics Boring, is available from Barnes & Noble.

3 thoughts on “Why I Don’t Wrench II”

  1. Hi Dale,

    Glad that you got the bike back together but sorry to hear it was such a problem. Sounds like the G is going to work for you. Maybe you can send Chris to motorcycle mechanics school. I hear there are some pretty good mail order courses out there. 😉

  2. There’s a scene from the movie “Stripes” that fits you to a T Dale.

    The new recruits are all sitting in the barracks having a round-robin where each guy tells about himself. One guy says he likes “fast cars, and fast women,” which is why the guys in his car club call him “The Cruiser.”

    John Candy elbows the guy next to him, leans over and says, “Shoulda called him The Dork!”

    Candy’s dead so he was spared meeting you, but if he had of, that’s what he would’ve said!

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