It’s Christmas time 1989, I’m sat on a bus that’s bound for Romford and all that I have for company is a motorcycle mag. My motorcycle licence was enjoying an enforced holiday in Swansea, a nice judge had handed me a two week ban, a hefty fine and a good finger wagging after I’d stupidly overtaken an unmarked police car at an alarming rate of knots. Looking back that geezer in the weird wig probably done me a major favour with his reality check, my licence is cleaner than an OCD persons whistle these days.
Thumbing through that magazine on the 175 bus all those years back had me dreaming and drooling about becoming a custodian of the 1989 Yamaha flagship motorcycle that figured hugely within the pages.
I have owned a few FZR1000 EXUP models since then, but with prices for pretty much all 80s and 90s motorcycles increasing in value the chances of me taking another FZR fasand home grew less with every year that I get nearer to the grave.
The best time to find something is when you aren’t looking for it, that’s exactly the case with my new bike.
Ironically back in 1989 an EXUP would’ve set you back thousands, at the time I was working my way through the useable supply of RD350 YPVS models that were on offer in Essex. You could pick them up at will for around £500, how times change. You will now need to fork out thousands of quids for a Power Valve, yet this mighty FZR1000 came my way for a mingy £600.
Let’s not get too excited though, this FZR is going to need some cash and time spunking on it before she can go anywhere near the MOT man.
It had been left in a shed for a few years, the layers of undisturbed dust backed this up. Beyond the dust you can see that this black beauty had been loved in the past.
Up front there’s some R1 blue spot calipers fitted, a straight forward, cheap and effective mod.
The paint is actually fairly good, other than some naff stickers stuck on the flanks it’s mostly stealth.
The original grips tie in with the digits on those once cutting edge dials, less than 20,000 miles from new? Further investigations will reveal if that’s straight up or not.
A combination of stale fuel, knackered battery and suspected blocked carbs means it doesn’t run.
On the plus side there’s a posh Maxton shock fitted and a period Micron silencer, sadly some muppet decided to chop it down, gutting!
A soapy bucket of water is all takes to remove years worth of dust and decaying creepy crawlies. I step back and smile. Simple things!
The wheels look like they’ve not had much use since being repainted, even better the tyres are both like new!
I put my fingernails to work and pick the shitty EXUP stickers off the seat panels, they fight me at first but eventually peel off without too much swearing.
The V5 reveals that it was registered new in August 1989, that’s the same month that I overtook that unmarked Vauxhall Senator on the A12. This means that this EXUP will be 30 years old this summer! Wouldn’t it be ace if I can get her back on the road by then? I will keep you posted via the website and Facebook page on how we progress!