Eric, I had the much the same story as you back in 2017 when I bought my new 2016 FJR...I'll give you feedback on my experience:
Hello to the group,
I have mainly ridden cruiser types such as my Rocket, as well as a 1700 Nomad, and two Valkyrieís.
I am considering downsizing from my Rocket to maybe the FJ. I have been having more of a hard time handling my bike as time goes on mainly at slow speeds due to the extreme weight.
I came from a long line of cruisers as well, but could not do the feet-forward position anymore due to a lower back that shot lightning up my spine each time I hit a bump, and, bumps or not, ached for hours after. I also wanted to trim a bit of weight off my ride. My last cruiser was a 2012 Triumph Thunderbird 1600.
Moving to the Yamaha would trim about 200 pounds off of the bike weight that I have now.
The FJR trimmed about 50 pounds off the Thunderbird, but I have to say it felt like more...pretty surprising how even a slight reduction in true weight translates to felt savings.
I am also looking at the more upright and taller seating position that the FJ offers compared to my Triumph. With the feet forward casual position that I have now, there is a lot of weight on the tailbone area, and basically nothing on the legs. So of course, the back comes into play too.
That was, as mentioned above, the primary reason for my moving to the FJR, and it certainly had the desired effect. That slight forward lean with your hips pivoted slightly forward and your legs beneath you in a standard position makes all the difference. You're on the right path to correct that issue.[/QUOTE]
So, I am asking here what anyone thinks about my concerns that I have now, and if switching to an FJ may be a better path forward for me. Between the weight difference, and seating position, I am thinking that this would be a good move.
I am not worried about the different performance qualities between the two bikes. I have a lot of experience, and Iím sure that I can adapt. My Rocket is a beast load of torque, and is quite a bike. Thanks for any responses, Eric
Here is my advice, coming from the same situation as you and having four years on my 2016 FJR *but* having just switched to another bike (a R1250R, a naked roadster w/ pannier option): IF your plan is to tour long-distance or otherwise focus on rides that incorporate a great deal of highway riding, the FJR cannot be beat. I found, however, that most of my riding was winding back country roads, carving corners on two-lane roads on sunny afternoon...for that, I ultimately found, after three years, that the top-heavy, 650(ish)-pound FJR is a bike that is significantly less suited for such riding as it takes -- for me -- far too much effort and input from the rider. Had I to do it over again and truly ensured that my bike choice matched my riding preference, I should have gone with the Tracer or similar...I would have received the same forward-lean benefit and the use of panniers, but the weight and handling would have been far more conducive to the type of riding I do 95% of the time.
The FJR is a great bike (though apparently it's being discontinued after this year, or so the rumor mill says) and I don't regret the saddle time I had on one, but do be aware that it's still a heavy bike and carries that weight high. If that suits the type of riding you do, then you'd be challenged to find a better bike for the money, but if weight savings is as much as a priority (as it seems to be, based on your OP) as slightly forward ergonomics/lean and handling, then I would suggest you may want to look at either the new Tracer GT or BMW F900XR, as both offer the touring/pannier capability, but are significantly lighter in weight and handling. Do note, though, that both are chain driven...don't know if the shaft drive of the FJR was a driver in your decision.
Good luck in your decision, and as someone mentioned above, you may want to give the Thinking of Going Lighter thread a read...some good info and thoughts in there: https://www.fjrowners.com/forums/15-...g-lighter.html