Fixing up an old FZR with some changes

Hello, all!

I have a 1996 high-miler FZR. It’s the common type you see a lot with the red and white “genesis package”.

I have mild tendonitis in my wrists and I have been thinking about having an FZ II, basically the same thing but with a more upright riding position and no fairings.

Can I legally change my Fzr to an FZ2 (pretty easy to physically do) or should I just sell it?
If I do change it, what legal modifications can be done to maximize the performance?
I’m looking for a low budget option, if possible.

Just junk the fairing, then swap the following parts from the Breeze:
top yoke
handlebar and risers
headlamp brackets*
front flashers*
any old mirrors you like

*FZ parts are the same

A little modding to the wiring harness is needed to lose the second headlamp bulb fitting, and IIRC the flashers have different connectors so you need to splice those. The wiring to the clocks isn’t plug and play either. As I recall the clutch and throttle cables will work if you route them carefully. You might want to get the left switch cluster from the FZ or Breeze with the choke lever on it, rather than leave the stock FZR item where it is. Then you need the longer cable as well. The remote front brake master cylinder fluid reservoir looks very funky and I’d swap that for an FZ or RZX item, though it’s not strictly necessary. The piston diameter is different so it will make the stroke a little longer, but it works fine.

As to performance, the only worthwhile mod is dropping the SRV250 crank and rods in. Search for FZR and vibration, you’ll find some guff I wrote about this :wink:
Outside this I’d look at changing the gearing to get either better acceleration off the line, or lower revs at cruising speed, whichever you prefer.

Hopefully Joesax will also kick in with a few ideas.

[quote=“canucktyuktuk”]I have mild tendonitis in my wrists and I have been thinking about having an FZ II, basically the same thing but with a more upright riding position and no fairings…
If I do change it, what legal modifications can be done to maximize the performance?
I’m looking for a low budget option, if possible.
Smashy[/quote]Hi Smashy, you’re right, the FZII is a bit more comfortable.

As regards legal mods. that will improve performance, that’s a tricky one. A strict interpretation of the law, and one that is sometimes enforced, is that ANY non-stock parts, including fancy blue lights, are illegal.

Many FZs and FZRs that are around have non-stock, aftermarket mufflers. On their own they won’t make a great deal of difference but one guy told me that coupled with an increase in carburettor jet size they can give a noticeable although not dramatic increase in performance in the higher rev range. He told me that he had to get somebody to drill out the jets for him though as bigger jets aren’t available.

As to the legality of that for on-road use I’m not sure.

If you’re in Taipei, Bikefarm is definitely worth a look;

Thanks for the info. I just spent a little money on better rubber, suspension and brakes so I guess I’ll keep it for a while yet. So, I’m going to throw away the fairings (even replace the rear ones which are ratty anyway) . I was taking a good hard look at it the other day and noticed that most of my cables and wires were looking ratty. Turn signals are intermittent, and the guages aren’t too bright. Gonna replace all that. The Switch clusters are ratty from years in the sun and rain, too. I don’t think Iwill bother making the engine bigger. When it’s tuned up it has enough juice for me and a girl in the mountains, and I’m not really a speed freak. I was wondering about changing ignition parts, spark plugs, carberator intake, Different jets (like you said) and other small modifications that will give it a little more snap off the line. Putting in a different tranny would be cool, too.

Is there a bike shop in Taipei that coulld sell new fairings and lights and stuff like that for it? I’ve been to a few junkyards out here in the counties but haven’t seen very much that looks any better. The scrapyard guys don’t like to chop on request, either.

I took it to Mr. Chen a few weeks ago and he gave it a nice tune up, seemed to do some good work. So far so good. I think I’ll check out Bikefarm too, next time I’m in town. I’m looking forward to spending a lot more time in the mountains, with my new FZ!

[quote=“canucktyuktuk”]Putting in a different tranny would be cool, too.
II think I’ll check out Bikefarm too, next time I’m in town.[/quote]Hi Smashy, not sure that different gearing would improve things. The dilemma is that the engine’s pretty gutless below 6-7000 rpm so you need fairly closely spaced gears. But then you have to change gears all the time which is annoying.

As Hsiadogah has pointed out elsewhere, the FZ engines are based on the SRV250 ones which have a longer stroke and wider, more even power delivery (but vibrate like hell which is why the SRVs apparently had rubber engine mounts).

I think the most important “modification” you can make in connection with an FZ/FZR is the mental one you have already made! That is – resolve to enjoy the thing for what it is and don’t expect too much.

But definitely contact the Bikefarm guys. I believe they have a lot of experience with these bikes.

Ok. So I practically have all of the parts that I need for my conversion.
I take the FZR to the shop yesterday for maintenance (oil change, Lubrication, air filter, and some other things) and while the guy is adjusting my chain (bastard always gets loose), we both notice that the problem isn’t with chain tension, it’s the swing arm bushings worn out badly. Grrr. There have been enough mechanics who could have noticed this, or even GREASED the darn thing.

It’s my own fault through lazyness, actually. In Canada I refused to pay mechanics and had lots of tools and was OK about getting things done myself. Here, There is somebody on every corner that can get dirty for almost no money. I am a reluctant mechanic, I guess.

The shop guy said that swing arm bushings could not just be replaced. The hole needs to be honed out and new bushings inserted, and it’s a big job and he doesn’t know how to do it, or it can’t be done. I’m not sure exactly what he said.

If I’m going to go through the trouble of replacing swing arm bushings, and probably paying a real machinist, etc, I am wondering if I could replace the swing arm with something that has a little more weight and attack on the road. The kind I mean has a nice curve to it, and looks to me like it might improve the rear suspension and help keep that back wheel from skittering around too much when I have to stop fast. I’ve seen them on Yahoo auctions TW, and I think It would work. But I always ask for a second opinion.

I’m basically trying to recycle my first Taiwan Motorcycle. Keep the old girl on the road with a new face. When things break or wear out, I go for better quality.

But I’m getting sick of spending money…

smashy crashy


To hell with it. I’m buying a Majesty tomorrow or Sunday. As much as I like the old bike, I’m getting sick of it, and I need a solution for the ton of stuff I carry everywhere as well. It’s just worn out, and I have enough projects on the go. R,I,P.

The fzr is very reliable, and has many new or reconditioned parts, and I have a shop that is willing to make it good with recycled parts. PM me if you want it. Going cheap.