I’m not sure that the guys at North County House of Motorcycle;s came up with a permanent fix for my FJR’s electrical problem. I was in a parking lot this afternoon when I lost all electrical power. Fuses and battery are OK, so the problem is elsewhere. So, NCHM is picking up the bike tomorrow morning to take it in and fix it.
On the bright side, I’ll be going to pick up the GT650R in Orange County tomorrow, so I won’t be bikeless while the FJR is being fixed.
I finally got the FJR back from the service department and North County House of Motorcycles today. It turns out that it was a grounding problem in the electrical system. They found four bad grounds in the main wiring harness. Rather than replace the wiring harness, they have a service tech who’s a pretty good electrician, and who rewired it himself. Seemed to work OK, and saved me a couple of hundred dollars.
I also bought a Tourmaster tail bag. I’ve been keeping the hard bags on the bike, even when commuting, because I needed the space to carry my laptop, etc., but with the tailbag, I can leave the hard bags off. The FJR looks really good without bags…or, at least it’s supposed to. What makes it look good are the six plastic covers that conceal the mounting holes for the hard bags. They’re color-matched to the bike, so the FJR without bags looks like it’s supposed to be without them.
Sadly, I can’t find the mounting hole covers. I know where they used to be…which turns out not to be helpful. On the way to get some groceries, I stopped off ay North County Yamaha to order some. Each of the three covers for each side has it’s own part number. So, one set of covers is in California, and can be here in a couple of days. One set is in Georgia, and can be here in about a weeks or so. The third set of covers…well…there are none currently in the United States, and none are expected until March 14.
Oh, and each of these little plastic rectangles, they cost $15. So, it costs $100 to buy 6, 2 inch-long pieces of plastic.
I didn’t want to order them, but I ripped the garage apart and can’t find the originals, so I didn’t have much choice. I’m sure I took them out of the garage to put them in a safe location…and now I’ve forgotten the safe location. Which, in one sense, means that they’re as safe as can be.
Yesterday, when I was picking up a prescription at the drive-through window at my pharmacy, my FJR died. The engine quit, and everything went dead except for the instrument panel, where every light came on, and the fuel level LCD started flashing. Turning the motor off and taking the key out did nothing. Everything stayed lit up. Then a few minutes later, everything turned off, and I was able to re-insert the key, and start her right up. No further problems yesterday or for the first part of today. Then, this afternoon, as I was driving home, it happened again at a stoplight. So, I crossed my fingers and headed directly for the motorcycle shop.
Once I got there, they played around with it, and were able to reproduce it several times.
So, the bike is in the shop, and I they won’t even be able to look at it until Monday. They will be taking $100 just to diagnose the problem, so I’m bikeless until sometime next week.
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.