Almost immediately after taking delivery of a 2003 Yamaha FJR1300 (#509), I started to look at those upper arms that hold the screen and the location of the pivot that is just behind the screen. I raised the screen and removed the bolts in the pivot so that I could play around with it, and I was convinced that it should be possible to make a new hole for the pivot bolt, just to the rear of the original one. When I picked up the taller Yamaha screen, I decided that it was time to give this a try. I was well aware of the chance of messing it up and not being able to get replacement arms, but I felt confident enough in my visual assessment to proceed.

I studied the original hole location repeatedly over a number of weeks and eventually decided that the optimal placement of the new hole should be about 3mm behind the original hole, edge-to-edge. I felt that any more narrow spacing would weaken the arm, and if set any further back, the wide head of the pivot bolt and the nylon spacer collar would bump the fairing in the down position. This proved to be the optimal location of the new hole as it does in fact just barely bump in the fully down position.

I used the Vernier calipers and marked the center of the new hole by measuring from the end and made a cross mark with a sewing needle. I don't own a drill press so I started with a small drill bit and then used the cutting bit, that you see in the Sears tool, to widen the hole and paid careful attention to the location. When it was about 5.5 mm in diameter, I finished it with a rat tail file, which just happened to be barely less than 6 mm.

The picture above shows the tools that I used to make the new holes, although I forgot to include the rat-tail file in the photo. When I was done the variation in the diameter of the hole was no more than .2 mm, with a similar variance from the desired 3 mm spacing from the original hole and the centering from the arm edges. The part that concerned me most was done and essentially perfect.

When I re-installed the arms, I realized that because of the way that the pivot collar hole tab is welded to the rear bracket, the tip of the arm would rub the rear bracket unless I cut it short or else ground it some. I decided that the arm would retain the most strength if I ground it down as you see in the above photo, although I did this a slight bit more than was necessary as you can see in the photo below.

I am quite pleased with the result, both aesthetically and functionally. You can see what the tilt angle looks like in the fully down and fully up positions in the composite photo below.

I think that the fully down position creates a more aesthetic line than stock, and especially improves the look of the taller screen. Even in the fully up position it blends because it now extends from the line of the two humps. The functional difference in reducing the turbulence was more than I had expected. The stream of air over the edge is much smoother in all positions and in the fully down position there is essentially no turbulence, which was a pleasant surprise indeed.

The photo above shows what the modified arm looks like now and also what the stainless steel cap bolts look like up close. They are 20 mm and easily start threading into the threaded insert of the rubber grommet. These screws need to be screwed in far enough to compress the rubber grommet between the threaded insert and the rear bracket so that the grommets do not pull through and out the front.

I decided to paint the front bracket a silver color matching the bike, so I found some suitable paint at a hobby shop (Tamiya color TS-30 "silver leaf") and lucked out on the color, which seems to match perfectly right down to the size of the metal particles. Sometime this winter I will take it apart again and paint the arm, rear bracket and the minor metal parts all with the same silver paint. (I also want to get those black wheels painted silver!)

Another change that I wanted to try was to darken the space between the two headlights (shown in the photo above), using 3M reflective tape. I thought this might have the effect of making the dual lights sort of blend together, possibly reduce the alien eye effect (which sort of "bugged" me...). I first made a template from plain paper and after I had it about as perfect as I could get it, I cut the reflective tape in upper and lower sections so that I could use a piece of masking tape for alignment of each section to get it on straight.

I also didn't care for the look of the rather plain but obvious "YAMAHA" lettering on the taller fairing, so I covered it with a piece of the aluminum weave sheets that I had ordered from Motrax in the UK. (The "AREA 51" was temporary and has been replaced with same-size black lettering "FJR" in Bookman Bold Italic font.) I cut a template for the aluminum weave before I cut it and then I taped the template to the underside of the screen and re-positioned it several times because I would have only one shot with the sticky-back aluminum weave.

This is probably the most interesting and unique among the several things that I have done with the FJR since I took delivery on July 19. Marc has graciously agreed put some of these pictures on his excellent site. I am very grateful to him for this and I hope that others will find what I have done interesting and maybe useful or informative.