FJR Top Gun
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Australia No fixed address
Hi Jimm, I've ridden FJR's continuously since 2001, and I'm now on my fifth new model. I've owned an 01, 03, 06, 09, and now a 12 bike. I commute daily on the bike, and most of my leisure time and holidays are spent on the bike, so I do a lot of miles.
I think you've hit the nail on the head with your comments on Bridgestone tyres. I dislike Bridgestones so much, that when I ordered my latest bike, I insisted that the dealer take the new OEM Bridgestones off and fit Michelin PR3's before I took delivery of the bike.
The FJR is particularly sensitive to tyre wear, especially of the rear tyre. As soon as the rear tyre starts to square off, the steering becomes heavy, the bike doesn't want to lean and has to be forcibly held down in bends. It also wont track straight, it bump steers and wanders around the road like you are drunk.
Bridgestones are OK when brand new, but will exhibit the above symptoms strongly within 2000 miles. Michelins are OK for at least 10,000 miles.
The other problem is with the front suspension. When the suspension is set to the factory settings, which is all adjustments at the middle of their travel range, the front spring preload is too soft, and the compression damping too hard. I always set my spring preload to maximum hard, and the compression damping to 4 clicks softer. This gives you more suspension travel before hitting the stops, and less damping gives you a more compliant ride, the bike doesn't jar you so much over bumps. At the back, I leave the shock set to hard, and the damping in the middle.
Hope this helps.