11,000 miles on FJR after Harley Road Glide - Yamaha FJR Forum : Yamaha FJR Owners Forums
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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old 10-27-2018, 10:28 AM Thread Starter
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11,000 miles on FJR after Harley Road Glide

Hi everyone. I'm writing this for those that may be in a similar situation that I was in a year ago - those thinking of a switch from a big touring cruiser to a FJR.

For just over 10 years, I had been on a 2006 Harley Davidson Road Glide. Before that, a smaller 650 Yamaha Vstar cruiser. Prior to the vstar, my experience was all off road and many years ago. When I made the decision to shop for a new bike, I still loved my Harley but after 80,000 miles, riding was starting to feel a little stale. I swapped bikes with a friend for a short ride to try his FJR and was amazed. Obviously, there is no way to fairly compare these bikes but after less than an hour on the FJR, when I got back on my Harley, I thought something was broken! I guess I had grown so accustomed to the vibration of the rubber mounted v twin of the HD, the FJR felt like I was riding on glass. In addition to how smooth the FJR was, having what felt like unlimited power at my finger tips was a completely new experience.

After this short ride, I knew I wanted a change but feared the body position would exacerbate my lower back pain issues. The Harley, with back rest and my feet up on the highway pegs, was like riding a Barca Lounger. The FJR scared me - not the speed or power but the ergonomics. I was discouraged by other riders comments about pain in their wrists and lower arms. I knew that risers were an option and that would help with my wrists but what about my back?

With a reasonably good offer on my Harley, and a good deal on a new FJR-es (a crated 2016 - the color I wanted), I pulled the trigger and found myself on what was a rocket compared to my beloved Road Glide. 1 year and 11,000 miles later, I grin everytime I see her!

With risers, my arms and wrists are fine. The more upright position afforded by the risers also helped my back. Now, with a custom seat and a Backline back support, I can ride all day and my lower back issues are mostly resolved. I managed about 5,000 miles with the stock seat but am more comfortable in the Laam custom and Seth was a pleasure to work with. That said, if you weigh 160 lbs or less, you should be able to manage with the stock seat for a good while and there are other pieces of priority farkle you may want to consider.

I have read many comments and reviews about the FJR and from time to time, someone will say the bike is heavy. I would just say that everything is relative. Coming off of the Harley, which weighed about 100 pounds more, the FJR feels like I can fling it around effortlessly. Well... that may be a bit of an overstatement because I can't fling any motorcycle around - with or without some effort, but you get my point! When your carving turns in the twisties, the weight disappears entirely and when your slabbing at serious speed to get to those lovely roads, the bike is as stable as a rock. For me, the weight is just right. At 5'8" and 158 lbs, I am not a big guy but have no problem flat footing.

When I first got the bike, I experimented with the seat in the higher of it's two positions and liked the more relaxed positioning of my knees. But after getting accustomed to the geometry -so very different to the Harley Road Glide, and recognizing that I didn't love just having the balls of my feet on the ground, especially with gravel or other uneven road conditions, I switched back to the lower seat position. Now, after just over a year with the bike, I am perfectly comfortable. Hellio risers - I think I have them close to their middle position, keeps my back and shoulders in line. I also installed highway pegs for those 300 plus mile days when you need to just stretch from time to time. At first I thought that highway pegs on the FJR were silly. Who puts highway pegs on a sport touring bike? Well... lots of people! I don't use the pegs the way I did on my Harley. On the Harley, it was really about luxurious comfort. On the FJR, it's more about giving your foot a place to hang out while your stretching. On the Harley, I could ride on the highway pegs all day. I couldn't do this on the fjr and wouldn't even if I could. The bike is much too much fun to ride aggressively and feet up on the forward pegs is not where they should be when the fun starts!

Bottom line - if your on a big cruiser and looking to change it up, don't hesitate! I do not think there is a better value - a more impressive machine for your buck, then the FJR!

Full disclaimer - I mentioned my weight at 158 lbs. My buddies and I just came off a 2,200 mile, 6 day tear through Virginia and West Virginia - Smoky Mountains and the Shenandoah Valley. I'm sure I burned plenty of calories but not more than I consumed. A week later and I am at 170 lbs - still comfy on the FJR even if not so comfy in my own skin! I hope this helps someone make the right decision. Don't order the fried mac and cheese - but get the FJR!




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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old 10-27-2018, 10:53 AM
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Morning Paul, I agree with everything you said although I can't relate to a Harley as I've never ridden one let alone owned one having ridden pretty much nothing but BMWs for 45 years. I think the FJR is about the most cost effective motorcycle out there. I still own a BMW but most of my riding is on the FJR. I will also say that if the FJR went away I'd most likely go back to BMW but never would I buy a new one. Last spring I found a 2016 R1200RT with every option there is with only 3800 miles for $16K and I almost went for it but I would have had to part with the FJR and I just couldn't do it. The beemer even had a leather Russell Day Long saddle with the quick shifter option and I couldn't do it.

Color me hooked on the FJR.
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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old 10-27-2018, 11:10 AM
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Agree. I don't have as many miles on my FJR as you (yet), but I came off a HD Ultra Classic. I found the UC to be extremely comfortable on the highway. But at some level it became "too comfortable." I had a Concours several years back, and after a while I began longing for another sport tourer. When I realized the FJR had cruise control, I made the trade. Only been on my FJR for a couple of months now, but I love it!

The bike is totally different, for the many reasons you eloquently state. It's just much more fun to ride.

However. That said. I will someday own another HD, to sit side by side with my FJR in the garage. There is something attractive about that big V-twin throbbing away. But it's going to be one without a full fairing. Not sure which model yet, or when, but I can tell already I'll need one...
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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old 10-27-2018, 12:20 PM
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I'm going through the same process myself. And I switched for the same reason, boredom. I came off a 1700 Kawasaki Voyager (900lbs) and although I do miss the stereo, self cancelling turn signals and 6th gear, that's all I miss.

The Voyager is powerful like a school bus, the FJR is powerful like a fast motorcycle
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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old 10-27-2018, 02:35 PM
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Similar story here. After owning a line of cruisers, the most recent of which was a 2012 Triumph Thunderbird 1600, the combination of boredom and, more so, lower back pain exacerbated by the upright seating and feet-forward position of the cruiser prompted me to change over to the FJR. No regrets whatsoever, it looks like it’s going 60 miles an hour when parked and is a joy to ride every time I hop on it.
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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old 10-27-2018, 02:49 PM
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Great post and couldn't be more timely for. Eighteen years on Harleys, currently a Heritage, and looking VERY seriously at the FJR.
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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old 10-27-2018, 03:46 PM
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You guys fail to mention you canít ride an FJR dressed like a Harley rider!
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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old 10-27-2018, 04:38 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N4HHE View Post
You guys fail to mention you canít ride an FJR dressed like a Harley rider!
That is so true! I think I was the last guy amongst my riding friends that was still in leather. Had to ditch the half helmet too! Lol.

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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old 10-27-2018, 04:50 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by CanadianBiker View Post
Great post and couldn't be more timely for. Eighteen years on Harleys, currently a Heritage, and looking VERY seriously at the FJR.
Thanks CanadianBiker! I think I should mention that I used this forum as a resource many many times - before I pulled the trigger on the fjr and many times since. Some really helpful and knowledgeable people! Just reading old posts and browsing the farckle threads was an incredible help and I am thankful a friend had mentioned this forum to me!

Anyway, whatever your decision, enjoy the ride!

Gil

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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old 10-27-2018, 05:13 PM
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Amusing post gilpaul. Thanks for the smile
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