Yamaha FZR 600 Mods: First adventure back on the road…

Those oil spills aren't mine!

Those oil spills aren’t mine!

After a stretch of dormancy while painting and completing some performance mods to the 1993 Yamaha FZR 600, it was time to fire her up and get her back on the road.  Of course, nothing goes as planned, and I noticed that the oil was looking a little milky through the sight glass.  Following some research, I determined it was either condensation from sitting and the temperature drop, or a more serious head gasket leak, allowing coolant to seep into the oil.  Good times…

Yamaha FZR 600 Mods:

Back into the shop she went, drained the oil and the coolant, and began a complete fluid swap.  After sacrificing some oil to flush the system, I topped her off, and hoped for the best.  After running the engine for a bit, I allowed the oil to settle, and it looked good through the glass.  So far, so good.  Time for a test ride.

She started up easily, and I pulled her out of the garage to the sidewalk, to let it warm up.  As I waited, the slightest bit of rain began to fall.  Figures!  I am not very confident on this bike in the rain.  The slicker tires (compared to the Honda CB 550 with Dunlops) make for a hairy ride, and I was not looking forward to concentrating on the performance of the bike, while also worrying about skidding down the road.  But i was too curious about how this would all play out – and proceed anyway.  The bike ran normal, and the rain held off long enough for me to put it through its paces.

The FZR 600: Nice and clean in front of the graffiti

The FZR 600: Nice and clean in front of the graffiti

After not riding her for over a month, getting used to the raw power of this bike was a chore.  I have described to friends how this bike makes you think about your riding style, and this jaunt instantly proved that you need to be fully aware of every aspect of your technique.  The slightest throttle twitch, the flow of the clutch release, all make this bike buck and jive, and a smooth ride is only had by sheer force of will.

Maiden Voyage:

The maiden voyage was telling, giving me hints about the changes I will have to make.  Suspension tuning is top of the list, and I am anxious to get it dialed in.  There will be a few more test rides before I can sign off on all the changes I have done.  Typically, I try to make changes one-by-one, but this bike requires near full-disassembly to reach parts, so I had done many fixes at once.  New adjustable clip-ons, R6 brake caliper and Master Cylinder swap, R6 rear shock swap, fresh Progressive fork springs, and of course the new paint.  Little by little, I will have this beast tamed, and hopefully a little more fun to ride…

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