Is the FJR the right bike for me? - Yamaha FJR Forum : Yamaha FJR Owners Forums
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-12-2020, 11:11 AM Thread Starter
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Is the FJR the right bike for me?

Hello all! I'm Brian and i'm new around these parts!

I'm considering a FJR or possibly a goldwing for my next bike and just looking for some advice on these bikes.

A little background from me. I'm currently on a Moto Guzzi Norge 1200 and while I loved the bike when i got it about two years ago i've really come to hate it. What initially peaked my interest in the Guzzi was the styling, No bike, aside from maybe the Ducati Diavel and anything MV Agusta, even comes close to the beautiful lines of this bike. Everything else just had, in my eyes, dorky styling (Honda nc750x) or were obnoxious over the top eyesores (KTM superduke)

After riding the Guzzi I've found some unforgivable sins of the bike. It is a half assed attempt at making a sport tourer. It's like they took there standard v7 cruiser, slapped some hard bags and some fairings on it, and called it a day. No attempt was made to improve handling, or power. This bike will not turn in without pushing the front end or wallowing disconcertingly. I also cannot stand the vibrations of this bike. My hands go numb after about 30 minutes of riding. The handlebars vibrate so much at highway speed that the mirrors image is just a blur. It does sound good though, but again its more like a muscle car from the sixties. Lots of noise, will not corner.

I did have a chance to do a demo ride of a new FJR and while i was impressed with the bike, I wasn't blown away. Granted i was on a dealer demo ride and could only use maybe 2% of the bikes potential. My girlfriend wasn't with me at the time so i didn't have any input on passenger comfort.

To summarize my ramblings, I need the bike to do these specific things
1. Have lots of power so when i decide to ride like my hairs on fire it wont be a let down.
2. Must handle well, Im aware that this bike isn't going to handle like a supersport,but i also cant deal with the hunched over position of a sportbike.
3. Must be all day comfortable, or at the very least all day bearable.
4. Cruise control would be nice but not necessary. ABS is mandatory. Also must be fuel injected.
5. I'm tall (6'2) with a tall torso. The ergo's need to work for me.

I would love to hear some insights on this bike or possibly other bikes that would work for me.
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-12-2020, 11:51 AM
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Was your test ride with hard bags on/off and in tour or sport mode. Throttle response varies significantly from tour to sport. And the FJR has quite natural lines with bags on or off. Also, I don't think you'll find hair on fire performance and handling on a gold wing. Unfortunately only you can decide which bike is right for you. I'm 6' 2" and 230 and find the FJR to be one of the overall enjoyable and versatile bikes I've owned. It can have a dual personality depending on what your riding intentions are.

2016 FJR 1300 A. cobalt blue metallic..Delkevic 13" tri ovals,Yamaha comfort seats, Yamaha touring windscreen, Mich PR 4 Gt's.

Last edited by RobertO2016; 08-12-2020 at 12:02 PM.
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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-12-2020, 12:15 PM
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I traded my 120K-mile GL18 for my FJR.
I'm shorter, 5-9, so that will alter a couple of perspectives.
I no longer needed to carry a passenger, since the Missus got her own bikes, so the Wing became sort of superfluous. My other bike was a GPZ1100 with Givis and covered my solo work fine.
Getting old, and tired of shoving around 900 pounds, even though the Wing's design brilliantly disguises most of it, I wanted to downsize.
The Wing's performance is very good. The FJR's exceeds it by a large margin in every way except carrying a passenger. The FJR can do it; the Wing was built from the ground up to do it.
While indeed the FJR is no supersport, don't tell the guys here who ride theirs in that manner; they won't listen anyway. It will do very, very well when shown a mountain road.
The motor on the FJR is outstanding. I would hazard many if not most FJR riders would call it the best thing about the bike. It will do many things extremely well, including accelerate at near-eyeball-flattening rates.
The ergos are well-suited to taller riders. For me, the two main ergonomic issues were the width between the knees making it relatively "tall" for my shorter legs, getting to be more of a problem with age.
The other is the handlebars are too far forward for many of us, at least for longer rides. The stockers are fine for shorter, more intense blasts, but to cover more bases, risers or replacement top triple clamps or other adaptations are fairly common. Additionally, since I see a fair amount of traffic in these parts, I also extended my stock bars 2" each side, a total of 4", for more leverage during lower-speed work. It helps a lot and doesn't really have any negative effect that I can tell at more rambunctious speeds.
The windshield is unliked by many. I installed a Rifle.com one on mine and it's a vast improvement.
The GL18 is an extraordinary, and incredibly competent, motorcycle. It borders on the unbelievable, how it can do so many different things so well. The quality is beyond reproach. It can tow your Jet-Ski down Lake Shore Drive (I saw a guy doing that!).
But I would not go back, not at this point. The FJR is 200 pounds lighter and goes right well. The weather protection is sufficient, especially with a screen change. My thousand-mile days are in the past, so the comfort is fine.
Hope that helps.
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Bill

2009 FJR1300
2000 ZRX1100
2004 V-Strom 650
2020 Ninja 400 in the hands of the Missus
2004 Suzuki SV650S, also Hers
2008 BMW F800ST, mixed.
In the avatar: 1966 Velocette Venom Thruxton and 1967 BSA Royal Star.
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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-12-2020, 12:32 PM Thread Starter
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Now that you mention it, it was in tour mode. When I finally figured out how to change riding modes it was like the bike changed completely. For the minute I rode it in that setting it hauled ass! Hard bags were on.
Do the older models have switchable riding modes?
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-12-2020, 12:45 PM
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Not sure what year throttle mode selection was introduced. My 2016 has it.

2016 FJR 1300 A. cobalt blue metallic..Delkevic 13" tri ovals,Yamaha comfort seats, Yamaha touring windscreen, Mich PR 4 Gt's.
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-12-2020, 01:01 PM Thread Starter
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Is the engine smooth on long trips? No vibrations?
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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-12-2020, 01:44 PM
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I find mine to be quite pleasant at highway speeds and predictably acceptable at higher rpms. I personally don't feel any vibration on mine worth mentioning. Longest day drip I've run to date though is a mere 200 miles. Otherwise there are a host of seat, windshield, handlebar, and foot peg modifications others have pursued to make longer trips more bearable. I'm one of the few that find mine to be suitable for my needs right out of the box, notwithstanding a pair of Delkevic slip-ons and a pair of mini bullet LEDs to replace those two hideous out of place round side reflectors located aft.

2016 FJR 1300 A. cobalt blue metallic..Delkevic 13" tri ovals,Yamaha comfort seats, Yamaha touring windscreen, Mich PR 4 Gt's.
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-12-2020, 02:04 PM
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Vibration in the grips- I forgot that one.
Mine was very buzzy when I got it. Hands to sleep at 75 in less than a half hour. My handlebar mods cut that down a bit, plus the passage of time seems to have worked out the kinks.
Since my bike apparently sat for a couple years if not more before I got it, it may well just have partly been crud in the fuel system that worked its way out.
But handlebar extensions adding weight and the old-style Heli replacement top triple clamp quelled the buzz to where I don't mind.
But it will never equal the smoothness of that darn ol' GPZ. At 80 you could not feel a vibe anywhere except the barest tingle in the footpegs. What a bike.
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Bill

2009 FJR1300
2000 ZRX1100
2004 V-Strom 650
2020 Ninja 400 in the hands of the Missus
2004 Suzuki SV650S, also Hers
2008 BMW F800ST, mixed.
In the avatar: 1966 Velocette Venom Thruxton and 1967 BSA Royal Star.
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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-12-2020, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by euginesparadox View Post
Is the engine smooth on long trips? No vibrations?
I think the engine is very smooth. A throttle body sync is a scheduled maintenance item that in my situation smoothed out the engine when a vibration is detected. You will probably want a different seat, but that’s true on the Goldwing and many other bikes. Russel day long and Laam are the top choice of many owners. There were a number of updates starting in 2013 the beginning of the Gen lll models. I believe that was when the sport/ tour mode was added, but I could be wrong on that. For the difference in price if you’re buying used, I think it’s worth it to get a Gen lll model.

Last edited by kej1953; 08-12-2020 at 02:22 PM. Reason: Grammar
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-12-2020, 02:20 PM
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If you're OK with more dated dash and no cruise control then another option to consider is Concours 14.

2016 FJR1300A
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