Fred Greenlee's 1989 Yamaha FJ1200

A Craigslist find that fulfilled a dream from years past

Fred Greenlee and FJ1200
Fred and his FJ1200. After installing a big bore piston kit bringing his FJ1200's displacement to 1297cc's, he had the FJ1300 decals custom made to look like they were straight from the factory.Fred Greenlee

NAME: Fred Greenlee
AGE: 50
HOME: Wichita, KS
OCCUPATION: Machine Tool Electrician

My introduction to the Yamaha FJ series began as a 22 year old in 1988. I purchased a used 1985 FJ1100. The motorcycle was everything I dreamed it could be: touring bike, commuter bike, saturday night drag strip missile, and much more. Sadly I totaled the FJ on Angeles Crest Highway east of Pasadena, CA in 1990. I replaced it with a 1984 Honda Interceptor 1000. After 6 years and roughly 60,000 miles of riding, the Interceptor spun a rod bearing.

Fast forward 16 years. I had been wanting to get back into motorcycling for a few years. On a whim, I got on Craigslist, and the very first motorcycle listed was a 1989 Yamaha FJ1200. I test rode it and bought it. When Yamaha came out with the White and Silver FJ1200 in 1989, I lusted after it. After 23 years, I finally had one. Four years of ownership with this FJ has been pure magic. Thanks to the help of online forums, and the availability of aftermarket parts online, I did the teardown and rebuild in my garage January of this year, and increased the displacement to 1297cc’s.

I have been able to convert this old tired FJ1200 into an everyday rider that I won’t give a second thought about jumping on and doing a 1000 mile ride. In fact, there are now 8000 miles on the 1297 engine without a hiccup. I was able to achieve one of my goals this past summer: I rode this FJ on an Iron Butt Saddle Sore 1000 ride with success. Literally, 21 hours with a grin on my face. The old FJ begs to be ridden and I am always happy to oblige.