Boy, Am I Glad Today Is Over…

So, it’s about 6:45 this morning when I go out to get the bike out of the garage and head off to work.  I put on all my gear, threw a leg over, turned the ignition key, and for a brief moment, while the key was turning between the off and start positions the dashboard of the FJR lit up.  Then, when the key clicked into the start position, everything went dead.

The dreaded FJR ignition problem strikes again.

This happened once before, and stranded me in the middle of the road on my way to work.  Fortunately, this time, it was in the garage.  But, I was still pissed.

I stripped off all my gear, went out to the truck, threw my tank bag in the passenger seat, and started her up.  As I pulled away from the house, knowing there’s no way I’m gonna make it to work in time driving my diesel truck, I notice that the fuel tank is almost at the empty mark.  So, now I’m gonna be later.

Well, I thought, as I was putting 35 gallons of oil in the tank at the gas station, I guess I’d better call and let someone at work know I’m running late.  That was when I noticed that my cell phone was dead.

It was not a happy morning.

Fortunately, when I got to work, my insurance’s raod-side assitance line was ready to help me, and North County House of Motorcycles could fit my bike in.  Not only that, but they had the ignition switch for the FJR in stock.

As it turns out, my FJR had never had the recall fix for the ignition switch done.  for some reason, I thought that the new ignition switch I got last year when this happened had taken care of that.  Turns out, it didn’t.  It was one of the pre-recall ignition switches.

So, in addition to free towing, I got a free ignition switch repair.

As I was on my way home from work, I got a call on my freshly recharged cell phone saying that the bike was ready.  I called Chris to tell her we needed to go pick it up.  When I got home, I loaded Chris, our dogs, the grand-daughter who’s spending the summer with us, and her dog all into the truck.  I tossed my riding gear in the bed, and, at 4:30Pm we were off on the 16-mile trip to the dealership, up CA-78.

And, about 1.5 miles up the 78, traffic came to a dead stop.  All lanes.

Unfortunately, because there are some inconvenient mountains and lakes in our area, there are very few ways–and no direct ones–from Escondido to Vista except the 78.  And it was shut down.

So, we had to go to the GPS, get off the highway at the next exit, and take the most tortuous route of surface streets you can imagine.  And, because 78 was jammed, the surface streets were jammed, too.  It took us an hour to go the last 10 miles.

Happily, we arrived at NCHM at about 5:40, and I was able to pick up the bike before they closed.

The east-bound side of the 78 was pretty clear so I took that back home, and saw that the traffic problem on the eastbound side was that a fire had started by the freeway, so the fire department and CHP had essentially shut the highway down, except for allowing cars to trickle through one at a time on the shoulder.

I’m glad this day is over, let me tell you.

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.

1 thought on “Boy, Am I Glad Today Is Over…”

  1. Sorry to hear of the failure. Alot of FJR riders are putting a relay in line with the ignition switch, so the only power the main switch line pulls is enough to run the relay. I did this also, mostly because I don’t completely trust the fix that Yamaha came up with. They went from one hot wire to two hot wires that should handle twice the current. But the ground wire is unchanged, i.e no extra capcity.

    Someone on the “evil” fjr board makes and sells a plug-n-play relay that takes about ten minutes to install (look up “Brodie” on the board). If you want to do this, I’d be happy to help. Then again, a new R1200 might just be easier all around…

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