by: Wild Rice
Here are my modifications to date. I performed all of these mods myself with zero shop time. Please see the photos of my bike showing some of these modifications at the bottom of this page.
The first stage of customizing is to remove all excess material. The idea is to strip off all unneeded trim and weight while retaining major functional aspects. I removed about 7 lbs from the bike.
I have made a very nice pair of soft saddle bags by converting camera equipment bags. These are made by Lowepro (www.Lowepro.com) and are the Nova 5 model ($77 each retail). Each bag has two loops in the back made for an optional belt strap. These loops accept webbing to mount the bags to a bike. Before mounting bags, it is important to protect the paint on the tail section. I use stick-on number plate adhesive plastic.
I first removed the shoulder straps from the bags' "D" rings. I removed the seat and ran one piece of webbing through the belt loops, joining the bags together and laying the webbing across the rear section. The webbing was joined with a quick release buckle. The rear part of the webbing goes through the bike's grab handles. This webbing carries most of the bags' weight. I also ran webbing across the rear section to the bags front "D" rings, and more webbing across the rear section to the bags rear "D" rings. This webbing keeps the bags from sagging and allows 2" of clearance over the exhaust can. The seat is replaced over the webbing, thus "locking" the bags in place.
A test ride revealed that the top flap pockets were flapping in the wind. To solve this, I cut some thin Lucite in the shape of these pockets to serve as stiffening inserts. This worked great.
These bags are cool because they are designed to protect camera equipment so they are padded and waterproof. There are many pockets: flap pockets, map pockets, multiple compartment pockets, and outer mesh pockets. The main compartments are 14" x 6" x 8.5" which is modest in size. Lowepro makes larger bags for video equipment. There are Velcro dividers in the main compartment that I removed and threw away.
I like this system because in keeps all of my gear organized instead of jumbled together at the bottom of a conventional saddle bag. They look good and are very well made.
You need this accessory. It is easy to hard wire a radar detector on your FZ1. I have my detector patched into the high beam circuit so when my high beams are on, the radar detector is on. There is no cutting of wires on the bike.
The FZ1 has awesome midrange and scary top end, but the low end is too lean. This means slipping the clutch in stop and go traffic, a slight low-end lean surge, and lumpy power in low speed parking lot maneuvers. For a large displacement bike, the FZ1 should have better low end power.
I corrected this by shimming the carbs needles. Except for tools I already had, the cost in parts was nothing. This applies to FZ1's with a stock exhaust. It may even work well with an aftermarket can. If do you get an aftermarket can and do not shim the needles or buy a jet kit, you will only make the low end leaness worse.
The Poor Man does not have access to a Dyno, so he uses the seat of his pants.
First of all, I did the installation right. The bike starts, idles, and revs great. No bogging under power. This means the needles, springs, and diaphragms are all seated properly.
There is no exhaust smoke at idle or revving the bike in neutral. If you shim some bikes, you end up too rich and get black smoke from the exhaust.
The bike runs much much smoother at low rpm's. This is most evident when pulling gently away from stop lights. I don't have to slip the clutch to make a clean get away. During low speed 5-10 mph parking lot turns with the bike leaned over, the power is smoother and steadier without surging or hunting. Therefore, it feels much safer in low speed maneuvers.
The power curve from low end to mid range is seamless (like buttah). Top end is as insane as ever.
I recommend this no cost modification for any stock FZ1.
Needle Holder Tip
There is a better way to replace the needle holder. The way I did it was to have the needle all the way in and push the needle holder in with the tiny spring mounted on it. It seats with a click. I then checked to make sure the needle had a little spring recoil.
The key part is that the tiny spring must be captive on the blunt end (top) of the needle and the end of the needle holder.
To be 100% certain that the spring is captive, there is a better way. Insert the needle into the piston only half way. Hold the needle holder (with attached tiny spring) in your fingers. Slip the tiny spring over the blunt end (top) of the needle as you push the needle holder down. Seat the holder by pushing down with your finger tip. check for springiness.
I commuted into work on the FZ1 today. The improvement is like night and day. The bike cold started with no choke with a quick stab at the starter button. This has been the easiest cold start ever. The bike warmed up into a smooth idle very quickly (I still always warm up a cold bike before riding off).
My drive way has a steep uphill grade to the road, so pulling out was a chore on the bike prior to the needle shimming. I had to slip the clutch just right. Now the bike pulls out strong and smooth without needing to slip the clutch.
Once on the road, the transition from low to mid range is seamless, almost like an electric turbine. Pulling away clean from a dead stop and leaning over in low speed traffic turns is much much easier. I don't have to concentrate on the clutch and throttle as much, so I can pay more attention to the traffic.
There are three traffic lights just before I get to work, so the radiator fan usually comes on by the time I park the bike. But today the bike ran cooler and the fan stayed off. Overly lean bikes run hot. Enriching the low end may make the bike run a little cooler. This procedure only shims the needles a small amount (about 0.5 mm). You are right in that it enrichens over a wide range, but the effect is more at low end. You must take into account slide/needle lift when the vacuum increases as you open the throttle. When the needle has risen only 5 mm (cracking open the throttle slightly), the shim gives you a significant 10% (0.5/5) higher needle lift and a higher fuel to air ratio. When the needle has risen 30 mm (near Wide Open Throttle), the shim gives you only 1.67% (0.5/30) higher needle lift. At WOT the size of the main jet takes over for fueling, and the shim as no significant effect.
EPA emissions testing occurs at low midrange. Manufacturers know this and tune new bikes from the factory to run lean in the low midrange to pass EPA testing. This also happens to be the range where shimming the needles has the most benefit. All of the bikes I have done this procedure on have shown better low midrange throttle response. The FZ1 has shown the most dramatic improvement.
From my seat of the pants, I can feel no performance decrease at high RPM. The bike continues to have a totally mental top end. Start up, low speed maneuvers, and low midrange are so much better, I would never think of going back to the stock setting.
My check for over-richness is to ride up the nearest mountain (for me it's the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia). Altitude (thin air) makes carbs run richer and exaggerates overly rich carb settings. This is how I found out I had too large of a main jet on another bike, the bike bogged down at WOT as I was climbing a mountain pass. I plan to ride the FZ1 up to the mountains this weekend. I do not expect any problems.
When I enrichen a bike's carburetion, I like to test it by riding to the mountains. The thin air exaggerates a too rich mixture that may not be noticeable at sea level. I rode up to the Blue Ridge Parkway on my FZ1 (stock exhaust, 0.5 mm shimmed carb needles, no other carb adjustments). The Parkway is high enough to pop your ear drums about half way up.
The bike was smooth and strong as a turbine in the low end and midrange. Top end was insane as ever. At the top of the mountain pass at the steepest part of the grade, I down shifted to test the bikes pull at high RPM. I rocketed to 11,000 rpm with no signs of too rich throttle hesitation. The sports car along side me was a tiny dot in the mirror by the time I crested the mountain. Throttle response in the twisty sections was spot on.
I have ridden other bikes up the same pass which bogged down severely due to too rich top end (too large main jets), even though they ran OK at sea level. So this is a reliable test. The shimmed FZ1 passed with flying colors.
If you live a mile high in Colorado, then you may need different tuning than what I have.
You can do a lot of carb work by just propping up the tank and leaving the back of the tank bolted. Therefore you do not need to undo any fuel lines. But you need a secure means of propping up the tank.
***Addendum: I put Velcro on the frame cross member and the bottom end of the tank prop. The Velcro does not stick to the wood baluster end so I nailed it on with small nails in the sides.***
To use the prop, put the bike on its centerstand, remove the seat, unbolt the front tank bolt, and lift the front of the tank up. The tank should be less than half full. The dowel in the beveled end of the prop inserts into the bolt hole on the front of the tank, the other end braces against the cross member. The slats and Velcro keep the bottom end from slipping.
The tank prop looks like a big Phallic symbol, so don't wave it around the neighborhood.
I just received my Yoshimura TRS Trioval Zyclone Slip-on exhaust in stainless steel. I installed it myself during my lunch hour. It is one sweet piece.
Lay out large towels to kneel down on and to lay down the old and new exhausts. After you open the end of the Yosh shipping box, remove the big copper staples so you don't scratch the can. The new can has a thick plastic wrap to protect it, but you can reuse the box to stow your old can, and you don't want to scratch it.
Put the bike on its centerstand. The bike will then be vertical to better align the can, and the centerstand will be out of the way.
The front bolt for the drilled rear brake strut sticks out. You may want to stick a piece of tape or Velcro on it so you don't bump the pipe on it.
Removing the old can requires an 8mm Allen "T" wrench or socket for the foot rest bolt and a 12 mm socket wrench for the front pipe-to-pipe attachment. Do yourself a favor and work on the bike after it has cooled overnight or you risk getting burnt or damaging the gasket between the pipes. I rode my other bike into work this morning so the FZ1 would be nice and cool.
The old gasket will come off with the old pipe. Leave it inside the old pipe, you don't need to reuse it.
The Yosh pipe is gasketless.
The stock system was not as heavy as I expected. The stock can on my ZX6R seemed to weigh twice as much. The stainless steel version of the Yosh is not as light as a titanium or carbon version, but it is less expensive, shiny (if you like the shiny stock look), and lighter than stock. The Yoshimura web site photos with the light background don't do the polished stainless finish justice. In real life, it is quite dazzling. The metal is not super thin so it should be durable and dent resistant.
Fitting the rubber inside the can clamp was the only tedious part of the procedure. Take your time to fit it correctly.
The new Yosh pipe slips on the outside of the bike's pipe without needing a gasket. It has an outside band clamp. The fit was excellent. Make sure you advance the Yosh pipe far enough until you feel the thunk-like stop, meaning it's fully seated. Then attach the can clamp and the stock foot peg bolt. Rotate the can so the inside surface is vertical. Secure both clamps. The bolt on the front clamp was too long for my socket so I needed a flat wrench to tighten it all the way.
The instructions tell you to drill the stock pipe to match a hole in the Yosh pipe and slip a supplied rivet into the hole. The clamp goes over this to lock the pipe-to-pipe junction. I think this is optional and might be good for racing. I did not do this step. I don't think the pipe is going anywhere, I don't want to create an air leak, and I hate drilling stock parts.
Make sure you wipe the exhaust with alcohol when you are finished. You need to remove finger prints and grease before starting the bike.
The can looks awesome. Nice and shiny like the stock system. The unique shape is functional; it has better swing arm and ground clearance, allowing it to be tucked in closer to the bike. The rear of the can rides higher than stock, I have about an inch less clearance under my right saddle bag.
There is a stop plate welded on to the Yosh pipe to serve as a centerstand stop. The stop plate was centered on the centerstand rubber stopper perfectly. If it isn't, you may not have seated the new pipe fully. I had previously shortened my rubber stopper 50% to improve centerstand cornering clearance. This caused no problems with the Yosh system
There is a pipe joint right before the exhaust can, held together with removable springs. Hmmmm....does this mean I will be able to fit a Yosh 4 into 1 header system using the same can?
The bike starts, warms up, and idles great. There is a slight burble at idle that tells you it's an aftermarket can. This can is very quiet for an aftermarket can. The trioval Zyclone is the quietest can Yoshimura makes, and is probably the quietest aftermarket can you can buy. This is exactly what I wanted, not too loud to wake the neighbors or to get the cops on my tail. Yoshimura makes a louder race version of this same exhaust if you desire more sound.
The sound when riding moderately or blipping the throttle in neutral is a strong healthy sound, full of potential power barely restrained. This is a big improvement on the anti-septic quietness of the stock can.
The only jetting change I made was to shim the stock needles 0.5 mm to improve the low end (with the stock can). This worked beautifully with the stock can. The Yoshimura seems very happy with this modest jetting tune. The low end and midrange seem perfect so far with the Yosh. No signs of being too lean (i.e. no surging, hesitation, back firing, or lumpy low end power). I could experiment by shimming a little more, but the bike is not begging for it like the stock bike. The awesome midrange seems even more smooth and powerful if you can believe it.
I have not tested top end yet. Most tuners say the top end stock jetting is a little rich, so with this freer flowing can, the top end should be just right.
Last night I waited past rush hour to get out and test the bike at speed. The bike is just as controllable and docile at low speed while commuting in traffic. But it really wants to stretch its legs. Once I got out onto some back roads, I had a hard time revving the bike out in any of the top 4 gears. The bike was like a rocket in the midrange (definitely improved), and I quickly ran out of road before tasting the top end. I am too chicken to the rev the bike out in first gear, I don't want to loop the bike. To test the top end of the tach, you really need a lot of road in front of you. I found an long straight and ran the bike up past 11,000 rpm in 4th gear and found that accelerates through the mid range like a rocket and keeps pulling hard well past 10,000 rpm. I think there is an improvement (top end was Bonkers to begin with). There is certainly no problem with the top end tune with the stock main jets and the Yosh exhaust. I almost ended up in the rear of the pickup trunk in front of me. Good thing the FZ1 has good brakes.
When pulling away from a stop in slow traffic, there is the slightest dip in off idle power. This is barely noticeable (most times it is not noticeable at all) and easy to ride around. I could try to tune this out with shimming the needles a little more, but I am going to leave the carb tune as it is for now. If I shim the needles more, I will probably lose some gas mileage. But first, I will perform the first carb synch on my bike as soon as my Carbtune II arrives.
I highly recommend that you shim the needles before adding and aftermarket exhaust to correct the stock low end leaness. This will improve the low end using the stock can. If you buy this quiet Yosh can, this may also be all the tuning you need. If you go for a loud race can, you may need a full jet kit.
My throttle cables were misrouted. Turning the bars fully to the left made the throttle cables bend against the instrument cluster (against the right side of the fuel gauge). The "S" bend made in the cables at full left lock will eventually bend and wear out the cables. Locking the bars with the ignition key at full left lock is made difficult by the cables hitting the instruments. The problem is that the throttle cables were incorrectly routed in front of the brake hose.
There is a metal retaining loop bolted to the underside of the right side of the top triple clamp. But this is occupied by the brake hose from the master cylinder.
The correct way to route the throttle cables is as follows: the throttle cables should go behind the brake hose. The brake hose and the handle bar switch wires should go in the brake hose guide (retaining loop). A zip tie goes around the fork tube and brake hose. Instead of detaching the throttle cables, I found it easier to unbolt the front brake lever assembly to bring the brake hose in front of the throttle cables. To replace the brake lever assembly there is an "up" and an arrow on the clamp. This means you place the clamp right side up and tighten the upper bolt first, then the lower bolt.
The throttle cables are now tucked out of the way.
My new stock FZ1 has a strange start up procedure. Whether the engine is hot or cold, I do not need any choke, but I do need to crack the throttle. This is annoying and is bad for the starter and engine. I don't want to wear out the starter and I don't want to over rev the engine at start up.
I noticed that the throttle position sensor (attached to the #4 carb) allows for adjustment. The "holes" for the mounting screws are actually oval, allowing for adjustment by turning the sensor a few degrees. Mine was set 3/4 of the way clock wise. The two sensor mounting screws are tamper-proof special fasteners. I had to remove them with pliers and replace them with 4mm x 10mm Allen head metric machine screws (plus #8 flat washers and #8 lock washers). Do not loosen the silver colored Phillips head screws (they do not have to be removed).
The sensor was set at 3/4 full clock wise from the factory, so I reset it to full counter clock wise and tightened the screws. This only amounts to about 7 degrees of rotation.
Now the bike starts up with no choke and no throttle. It starts up faster so I don't have to hold the starter button nearly as long. The bike runs fine with no bad side effects. It idles smooth and makes good power (I am not claiming that the bike will run better, only that it now starts better). I just made the adjustment today, I will get back to you after a few dozen more starts.
I think this alters the ignition timing and/or cracks open the EXUP valve, but I am not sure. All I know is that it now starts like a normal bike.
I just installed frame sliders on My FZ1 and they look Goooood! I modified frame sliders for a Honda CBR600F4 and attached them to the upper of the two front engine mounting bolts. I could not find longer metric bolts so I went with 3/8" standard nuts and bolts.
Eye balling the bike, my foot peg feelers will touch down long before the sliders, so they should be safe for cornering. However, if you drag your knee or pegs on a regular basis, this modification is not for you and could make you lowside. I would not go longer than 2 1/2" for cornering clearance and if you can find shorter sliders, they should work just fine. They should protect your engine cases and radiator. You may be able to "catch" a tipped, non-rolling bike before serious damage occurs. However, as low mounted sliders, they could act as a fulcrum and make the bike tip tank side down. Hopefully I will never see this in action.
They work as highway pegs, but you will look silly using them as such. As stunt pegs, they are too short and slippery.
Lower the bike by hoisting the front end and kicking the jack stands out of the way, then slowly lower the front end. Do not undo the jack stand release levers to lower the bike or the front end could come crashing down too fast.
Alternatively, you can use a pair of screw-type car jacks and tighten each one a little at a time.
Now I can work on the front end and remove the front wheel. I just received my 19mm Allen socket from Snap On for the front axle. Although the bike is very stable on the jack stands, It would be a good idea to loosen the axle with the front wheel still on the ground.
This is part of my plan to keep the bike out of the shop as much as possible. Most shops would jack up the front of the bike with a wood block and jack under the header pipes. This could dent them. It is cheaper and faster to get a tire changed if the wheel is already off the bike.
The stock saddle is too sloped at the rear of the operator's seat. Only the front half of the seat is comfortable for me. I followed someone else's suggestion and reshaped my stock seat. My goal was to dish out the rear of the operator's seat ala Corbin.
I am not happy with the standard Yamaha tool bag. The thin plastic can tear, the bag cannot be overstuffed with extra tools, the snap is unreliable, the tools can rattle after hitting a large bump, and to get one tool you have to dump them all out on the curb.
I just replaced my tool bag with a Carpenter's nail pouch. This is a canvas two-pocket pouch that can be tied around the waist by its straps. The tools are divided between the two pockets and laid flat along the bottom. The pouch is folded so that the two pockets are laying side to side. The top of the pouch is folded down (so the tools don't fall out). The straps wrap around the folded pouch to keep it tight and secure. There is plenty of room for extra tools. The cloth material prevents rattling.
In use, the tool pouch is unfolded and tied around your waist. You have instant access to all tools while they are still in the pouch. You can place loose fasteners in the pockets so you won't lose them. You can even use it to wipe grease off your fingers when you are done.
It is nice to have an empty one in your tool box at home, since it comes in handy for regular bike wrenching too.
Here are some must have tools for the FZ1. I am assuming that you have a basic tool set already.
Swiss Tech mini tool has Phillips head screw driver, flat head screw driver, mini pliers and wire cutters. It folds and clamps onto your key chain. I've used mine a million times. Keeps you from having to dig out the tool bag.
Yamaha forgot to put a temperature gauge on this bike. There is a temperature warning light at 13,000 rpm on the tachometer, but this will turn on too late when the bike is already overheated. If it turns on, you need to stop, pull over, and shutdown. I wanted to know when the bike was hot, but long before it overheats. The easiest way to do this is to have an indicator light turn on when the radiator fan is on. You may hear the fan at a standstill, but it would be nice to know when it is running while you are on the move. I just installed indicator and it works great. Instructions to follow.
The FZ1 lacks a temperature gauge. When the engine temperature gets high enough, a temperature sensor signals the fan switch to turn on the radiator fan. You can hear the fan turn on when stopped at idle in hot summer traffic, but how do you know if the bike is still hot with the fan on when you are on the move? Since I installed the fan indicator light, I now know when the bike is hot and the fan is running.
When the fan indicator light is on, I need to get the bike moving at low rpm to let the radiator and engine cool down. The fan indicator light (and fan) will turn off once I get the bike moving again and the engine temperature drops back down. Now I know when the engine has cooled and the fan has turned off (the fan indicator light will turn off). I can now safely apply more throttle. This is an example of mechanical sympathy. I only run the bike hard when it's in normal operating temperature. This will help prolong engine life.
The stock temperature warning light on the tachometer only turns on if the engine is Extremely hot and at risk of causing overheating damage to the engine. I want to know when the bike is hot, long before the stock warning light turns on.
Note: the engine will run much cooler in traffic if you shim the carb needles to correct the too lean low end.
Materials: (source: Radio Shack)
The light will go on when ever the engine is hot enough to trigger the fan switch. The lamp is very bright, so you definitely know when the fan is on. Good to know.
It is possible to touch down the centerstand at extreme lean angles, especially on the left side because of the arm. To create more cornering clearance, the rubber stop on the right side of the centerstand can be trimmed. Place the bike on the centerstand and remove the rubber stop by sliding it carefully to the side. Do not pull on it hard or the small rubber nipple may tear off. Trim the height of the rubber stop by about 1/2. Replace the stop. I found that if the rubber stop is removed completely, there are no interference problems, but some rubber is needed to prevent metal on metal contact as the center stand hits the exhaust stop bracket.
Are you bothered by instrument glare? For me, the sky fills the top half of the speedometer and the glare makes it hard to read the small speedo numbers. If I am wearing a shirt and no leather jacket, the shirt's reflection flaps around and can be a distraction on the dial faces. The problem is the angle of the instrument cluster. If it was more vertical, your chest and shoulders will block out the sky. This is more of a problem if you are short. I am 5'10". If you are 6'4", you may not have a problem with the glare.
For me there is now no glare and less distraction. There is more of a gap between the instrument cluster and the inner fairing panels, but this is no problem for me.
A Better Helmet Lock
There is a helmet lock built into the seat lock, but it is hard to reach and useless if you have saddle bags. I made a cool helmet lock for the tail end of the bike.
I can now padlock my helmet to the cable loop. The helmet hangs down and rests on the rear fender/license plate. It is simple to use since it is easy to access without bending down. Of course if someone really wanted your helmet, they could cut the cable with wire cutters or cut off your D ring strap with a knife. This keeps dirtbags and kids from walking off with your lid. The thickness of the cable determines how much security this offers.
You could put a cable loop on each side of the tail light for two helmet locks, but the rear fender may not support two helmets.
The rear fender is too long. It is out of proportion and hides too much of the rear tire. A fender hack job across the bottom of the license plate usually looks just like that....a hack job. Some riders have just cut off the rear reflector, so I tried that and relocated the rear reflector. It looks like it was meant to be this way. From a couple of car lengths back you can now see almost all of the rear tire. The fender is still long enough to keep rain off the back. The reflector remains for night riding safety.
I think it looks sharp with no loss of function and a very finished appearance.
Where I live, bikes need to have a yearly inspection sticker and a city/county tax sticker. Both are supposed to be mounted on the left fork leg. On newer bikes there is not enough room (larger front fenders and USD forks). So we can get away with mounting decals on the left swing arm.
The shop had already stuck the inspection decal on the left fork leg, but I needed a spot for the tax decal. If I put it directly on the swing arm, there would be glue build up. So I made a tax decal mounting bracket.
This bracket is so simple to make, it is easier to just make new bracket each year, rather than peel off last year's sticker.
This is a minor cosmetic modification. One feature that sticks out like a sore thumb is the location of the three drain hoses on the right side of the bike. These are routed through a wire retaining loop just above the exhaust pipe. When the bike is on the sidestand, these tubes protrude even more.
I rerouted the hoses to the left side. There is a smaller wire retaining loop along the left side of the centerstand bracket. It was unoccupied. I ran the tubes through this loop. The tubes are now "invisible" and the right side of the bike looks cleaner.
Warning: any drippings will be closer to the rear tire. If this bothers you, just switch back to the stock routing.
One other minor cosmetic mod was removing the zip tie along the left bottom frame rail. It disrupts the continuity of the frame (especially if you remove the ugly aluminum side plates). This zip tie holds the sidestand switch wire. This wire was not slack and was not in danger of snagging, so I removed the zip tie (you can undo the zip tie "tab", you do not have to cut it).
It has been a little cooler during my morning commute and I am starting to notice that the FZ1's windshield is too small. My shoulders and hands get cold. Wind whistles under my helmet. I made my own taller and wider windshield. Much more protection for my shoulders and hands. No more whistling, much quieter. I think it looks better than the stock "toe nail" shaped windshield.
I just tested the shield at 100 mph. Much quieter with no whistling. Much better shoulder and hand protection. The extra width diverts the air around most of my hands. No clearance problems lock to lock when parked. The thinner grade of Lucite flutters a little at speed but is not objectionable. This may have to do with the extra width on the sides. There is a little distortion in the curved area below the instruments, but no distortion in the "viewing" area. This will make the bike much more comfortable in the Winter. I may spray paint the lower inside of the shield to obscure the instrument wiring. Latest Version of Home Made Windshield
I just finished making a new and improved version of my home made windshield. The first version was made with thinner Lucite (about 2.1 mm) and was 2 3/4" higher than stock and 3" wider on each side (total of 6" wider). In gusty conditions, there was some mild flutter (not too bad and no cracking). I could not go larger with the thin material without increasing deflection.
The latest version is with medium thickness Lucite (about 2.5 mm) which is much stiffer than the thin Lucite. I went larger: 3 3/4" taller and 3 3/8" wider on each side compared to stock.
I cut it using the RotoZip bit in my router table. This is the best set up for cutting Lucite (cuts it like buttah). You can cut with the protective film on both sides of the Lucite to prevent scratches. It is important to put a radiused concave corner at the transition between the mounting part of the screen and the wide part of the screen. A sharp corner could be the source of a crack.
This time I use a piece of wire coat hanger to bend the wide part of the screen during the heating phase. This gave a more uniform bend. Heating the Lucite is a real art. You must keep the electric stove top red but not bright red. You must keep the piece moving to avoid heating one spot too much. I was able to bend the shield with zero distortion this time.
Be sure to drill slowly when drilling the mounting holes. If you drill too fast, you can crack the shield. A variable speed drill works well here.
I bought some black door trim from Pep Boys to use as edging. It makes the shield look very finished and eliminates the need to file a clean edge on the Lucite. You only have to file down the high spots.
A test ride revealed even more protection and no significant flutter or deflection.
The bars/grips on the FZ1 are too wide for me. With my new home made wide windshield, the outer parts of my hands are still in the breeze. So I moved the levers, switch gear, and grips inward.
The bars now feel "normal" and not too wide like before. It is easier to turn the bars full lock (less of a reach) when parking the bike. With my wide windshield, my hands are now in the calm pocket and out of the cold breeze. There are no clearance problems lock to lock. There may be a little less vibration. I may buy longer grips to hide the exposed bar ends. I will not cut the bars ends short since there are inner threads for the bars end weights, I can go back to stock later, and the "long" bar ends may prevent tank and lever damage in a tip over.
Last Updated: 04-08-2003
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