Riding a buddy's FJR - Page 2 - Yamaha FJR Forum : Yamaha FJR Owners Forums
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post #11 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-05-2020, 01:25 PM
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post #12 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-05-2020, 02:11 PM
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post #13 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-05-2020, 02:40 PM
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I just installed the Helibar riser on my 2016. I'm hoping this will make it closer to the more upright position of the BMW RTs. Haven't had a chance to ride yet but sitting on it feels better. Mark
Mark I installed the Helibar Plate that mounts the bars 3" or so more towards you and up about a 1" or so. Huge difference for me I set straight up now no lower back pain. Hope your plate works for you too.

I also added a Sargent Plus heated seat, Murphs front lowering pegs block and Gauarlds Hiway pegs mounted on the engine. Being tall with the Cee Bailey plus 2 reverse flip windshield made my Gen II a DIFFERENT bike to ride out of state. Wish we could purchase a Gen III AE here in the states (arthritis) I would be on a red 2014.

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I almost purchased a red 79 CBX in 1983 but rode a new CB110F (metallic red/white) and purchased it with a Freddie Spencer Arai helmet . Loved the CB1100F after riding a 1980 Suk GS1100 (ugly) but stock Suk was a bit quicker then the Honda. I rode that Honda for 7 years sold it in 1990 to buy a friends 86 red/white FJ1200 I still own. That CBX was owned my ole friend Dave Rash he owned D&D Performance Exhaust it had a trick 6 in 1 exhaust that was LOUD and the carbs had been jetted. Fast CBX vs stock but they were bad about slipping clutches when hammered on at the Drag Strip. I met Dave at Green Valley Drag Strip (DFW Tx) in 1974 when I was racing a Honda CB750K4 lol, Then in the 90s Dave hired me to run Tech Support for the web site my wife designed and help in the Dyno Room until 2000 or so . Fun times back then.
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post #14 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-05-2020, 03:31 PM
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I think that goes with past bikes too. Before getting the FJR, I rode an ST 1300 for 11 years. I loved that ST 1300. I'd ride it to a Yamaha demo days, test ride an FJR, then be glad I was riding my ST 1300 home. It just fit me and suited me. After 110,000 miles I decided to buy a new bike, but Honda wasn't making a new ST and I bought the FJR by default. It's been tough getting to love the FJR. It's just so different than the ST. Taller, higher center of gravity, different ergos, but after a year and a half and 26,000 miles it's beginning to grow on me. I think todays was one of those break through days. Temp was about 60, the bike was running and handling great, clutch pull was feathery light, the trans was shifting like butter and the cruise was very handy. It felt really good to ride the FJR today. I've ridden the bike every day this year, except for 4 days, and todays ride was the most rewarding. I felt really comfortable riding it today. The bars still bother me a little, but not horribly, and I'm still considering cutting the seat down a bit, but overall I'm beginning to appreciate the FJR more and more. Will I learn to love it like I did the ST 1300? Check back with me in another year or so. A bunch of days like today would go a long way.
I had been riding Goldwings since 02 and even though I could load them up and take long trips I always felt it was just too big for the kind of riding I like to do which is hit the twisties as soon as possible. For a bike of its size its is no slouch especially with Traxxion suspension upgrades but she's still a beast. I rarely got a buzz knowing it was in the garage and hardly ever took it out for a day ride even on a nice day so I bought a 2017 Kawi Z900 to satisfy that need. Great bike and fun as can be but not a touring bike so I still felt a void as I love to plan, gear up, and take multiple day trips.

I had always loved the look of the FJR and it was constantly in the back of my mind as I bike I might like to own. Like many things in life it just hit me as I was almost home from a Wing trip and realized I was over the Wing. Like many things in life you just know when its time. I almost immediately started searching for FJR's close to me and found one nearby the same day. Within a week I had the check in hand, trailer on the back of my Jeep, and was heading to hopefully after a test ride take her home even though I still had a Wing to sell.

After a test ride I was so disappointed. The bike handled terribly, sat so much higher than the Wing, and the engine though fast just felt so different. At first I told the seller sorry then looked at the tires. Very old, worn and under inflated. My first question was, how can you sell a bike like that especially knowing I was going to test ride it? Besides the tires the bike was in immaculate condition, that 2016 blue. Man you have to admit that is one sweet looking color. I pumped the tires up, took one more spin and it still felt so different but I took a chance, threw her on the trailer, and headed nervously home. First thing I did was put new rubber on and was hoping for the best.

Like you coming from another bike, it took quite awhile to really get comfortable with it plus even with new tires it had the dreaded wobble which the Traxxion Wing never had, rock solid. For awhile I really thought about licking my wounds, selling the FJR, and keeping the Wing. Before giving in I wanted to make the best effort I could to make it right so I was happy. I installed Heli Bars and tapered bearings as soon as possible. The addition of those 2 things really changed the bike. Now the handling was rock solid and more comfortable. I have owned the bike now for 10 months and have logged many miles. There is a perma grin on my face knowing it is in my garage just waiting for me to take her for a ride. It truly has brought excitement back to riding more so than the Z900 did or the Wing ever could. Now when I ride the bike it just fits perfectly, feels like a part of me. Even with the stock seat I can ride all day without issues. Man am I glad I took a chance. The buzz is back and I am always planning and looking forward to my next ride and trip on this fantastic motorcycle.
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post #15 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-05-2020, 04:49 PM
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The RT is designed as a more upright bike from the get go. You can even tell by the shape of the fairings. Not better not worse just different. You can make the FJR fit you better but there are some things you cant change.

There are many things I like about the FJR but it will never fit me like my Multistrada. The good news is the bikes are so dissimilar I have no thought to try and change either.
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Last edited by Donk; 03-05-2020 at 05:03 PM.
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post #16 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-05-2020, 05:08 PM
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I just installed the Helibar riser on my 2016. I'm hoping this will make it closer to the more upright position of the BMW RTs. Haven't had a chance to ride yet but sitting on it feels better. Mark
I set mine as far back as it goes, then the bars angled as far forward as they go. I didn't notice that they were much wider but 50,000 miles later I rode a friend's 2014 which has simple spacers under the bars and noticed a huge difference in the width and angle of the grips. Mine is wider and less rearward sweep. I had carpel tunnel release surgery in 2011 which was successful enough that I usually don't think of it, but I remembered riding the 2014.

The 2014 has stock seat, I have a tall Laam. Had to stop and lift the 2014's set to high position because the bend in my right knee was killing me.

The 2014 with 93,000 miles has the original steering stem ball bearings. It doesn't wobble/shake like my 2016 did at 14,000 miles. Won't say it was perfect hands-free at 45 MPH but what it had was very slow and very low amplitude of a wobble that you won't notice unless you were looking.

Am spoiled as I haven't had a tire try to "stand up" during its last half of life since the Shinko 016 debacle. The 016s "stood up" from new. Required force to lean into a turn. The 2014 is wearing PR4s front and rear, and required force to lean into a turn. This definitely has not happened to me with T30 Evo GT, T31 GT, Z6, or RS3. My last PR4GT was 3 years ago, and I have had this happen as tires wear but not certain which tires. Currently have a T31 GT on front with 3,000 miles and new PR4GT on rear. New PR4GT front waiting until needed.
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post #17 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-05-2020, 10:52 PM
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Generally speaking in I agree with you. But I got rid of my first FJR in 2010 and for the next nine years I had a Concours 14 and two BMW 1600 GTs. During much of that time my friend had FJRs (he is on his third). We have swapped bikes many times and every time I got on one of his FJRs, even when I had not ridden one in 2-3 years, I felt like I was “home” again.
Jim, just like you I was fortunate enough to enjoy multiple bikes at one time I had these three beauties until Oct 2018. Even though they are all "sport and touring" class I loved them all for different reasons, but after 6-7 years of ownership I decided to get something newer. Sold all three and after extensive test rides (RT, 1600GT, Wing DCT, FJR ES) I picked up '17FJR ES mostly because I really liked it more then the bmw's and the new Wing, money was not influencing my decision, RT and 1600GT both very impressive and top notch ergo, DCT Wing also excellent but it was the first year of production with some gremlins. I remember I liked the RT handling better (but not the Hippo look and engine vibrations and sound), 1600GT nice design and engine sound and power, to dye for. I almost kept my '14. C14 it was excellent bike but a small gas tank.
Currently I am thinking of getting a second bike, maybe an ADV class this time, but wondering how do you decide who will be leading in the group ride on a very dusty gravel roads and how many air filters do you need to pack if you are last in the group ride?

Question to you: "why did you have two 1600GT's were they that good?"
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Last edited by Damir; 03-06-2020 at 12:20 AM.
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post #18 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-06-2020, 12:08 AM
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post #19 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-06-2020, 04:59 AM
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The gen III/IV helibridge has only one axis of adjustment. Of course, regardless of how you have them set, the bridge puts the bars higher and further back. Adjustment merely sets the degree of the change.

Fully forward is wider than stock, with a flatter grip angle. In the middle approximates both the distance between and the angle of the grips on a stock bike, and is, hands down, the most comfortable setting for me (and the one closest to the position I enjoyed on my RT). Fully rearward puts the grips closer together than stock, with a more severe grip angle than the stock configuration. If I had to give up all farkles, and could only choose one, it would be helibars. Though a real windscreen would be close behind.
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2018 FJR1300ES Stealth Model

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Last edited by Bill Lumberg; 03-06-2020 at 05:02 AM.
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post #20 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-06-2020, 07:49 AM
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As Bill said above,,, for me the fjr wind/rain coverage is lacking, not a big deal 90% of the time (warm & dry weather) but it really is not very good in the rain or cold. I have the Yamaha touring screen on my 14a which is a huge improvement over the oe screen. But in any rain you’re gonna get wet, good rain gear is a must if you really ride your fjr. And your hands despite grip heaters will get cold in colder weather. I bought “hippo hands” from Home Depot thanks to a tip here from the Ferret that should fix that for under $50, thanks ferret !

This is all very different from my 86 gl1200 Sei wingthat I sold to buy My fjr which had a very quiet & still pocket behind the barn door windshield it had, if you could maintain 35mph & above on it you would stay warm & dry, great protection but it was a full touring bike that was a good 150lbs heavier, but the Cg was much lower making it feel not top heavy at all. I really liked that bike and probably should’ve kept it but the fjr sure is a lot more fun with a sexy sound. The fjr wind protection doesn’t suck but it ain’t great either,,,, but that motor !!!
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Ride more,, worry less !

Last edited by passx; 03-06-2020 at 07:52 AM.
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