Winter is Coming ... Who Cares!

By Bruce Ente, Cleveland Shul Boys

By this time most riders in the northern latitudes are prepping their bikes for the winter season. So am I, but instead of cleaning, adding Stabil and hooking up the battery charger, I just had new tires and a replacement rear shock installed on my 2005 FJR1300 in order to enjoy being out on the road whenever the temperature is above 20 and traction isn't compromised by snow or ice. A Hotwired jacket liner and gloves from Cycle Gear extend my two-wheeled season in comfort to year-round.

The single shock absorber blew a seal at "only" 160,000 miles (piece of junk?? truth be told, most shocks give up around 90K miles), and the Yamaha OEM replacement costs $922! Happily I found a used shock with only 15K miles via for $90 incl. shipping -- that's my kind of price! I mounted my fourth set of Dunlop Roadsmart 3 sport touring tires; no surprise there since the last set lasted 24,438 miles. (Truth be told, the front wear indicators showed up at 17,500 miles and the rear at 22,500 miles, but I kept going until I got the replacement shock.)

Yesterday the odometer passed 163,000 miles, or 113,000 miles since I bought the bike 6-1/2 years ago, an average of 17,500 miles annually. The best news is that the owner at Pro Yamaha Service said my FJR still starts better than many new bikes, sounds great and runs like a dream! I just have to wear out two more sets of tires over the next two years and I'll reach my goal of turning over the odometer yet again at 200,000 miles -- fingers crossed!! See you down the road, hopefully at the San Diego R2R next year...

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