Opinions on stepping up to an FJR from the FZ6 baby brother. - Yamaha FJR Forum : Yamaha FJR Owners Forums
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post #1 of 44 (permalink) Old 08-10-2019, 12:38 AM Thread Starter
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Opinions on stepping up to an FJR from the FZ6 baby brother.

Hi All,
So here's a very quick backstory. I took the MSF about 7 years ago and never rode a motorcycle before that. After I passed the class, I rode with friends on and off for a year or so before I stopped riding altogether until November 2018. That's when I picked up my first bike which was an 08 FZ6. Being that it was my first ride, I had no issues at all with it being a 600cc thanks to it's de-tuned R6 throttle response and, now that I have 9 months under my belt, I can ride it with no issues. On top of that, I've been riding two-up since the first week I got the bike which I know isn't recommended with basically zero real world riding experience but I rode smart and very careful.



The whole point of getting into motorcycles at 47 years old was to have something to do with the wife as the last kid just entered high school. Two things kept me from getting something better suited for touring with the wife, budget and riding experience. I knew I could step right into a 600cc for my first bike but wanted the FJ-09. The FJR? I was too scared back then to even get on one. My budget was about $3500 for bike and gear. I ended up getting a smokin' deal for the FZ6 at $2600 with only 7000 miles. I chose an FZ6 because I loved the looks and it was one of very few affordable 600cc bikes that had a usable and roomy passenger seat. So now you're basically caught up.


We ride all the time and usually head out with friends on the weekends for 3-6 hour rides in the mountains and curvy back roads. The FZ6 is doing an okay job for both of us and I even got a Corbin seat with a real backrest for her but, we definitely don't last as long as our friends do on their touring/sport touring bikes. I'm 5'10" at 190lbs and the riding position even with 1"up & 1.25" back handlebar riser. it just starts hurting my upper back and, the Corbin seat for me, kills my nether regions to where I go numb. I had Corbin re-shape the seat for her because she was going numb after 30 minutes. They scooped out the seat so it supported her more and now she's fine for hours. Basically they gave me the FJ-09 style seat that fits my bike. My part of the seat however has too much of a hump in it and the foam is too rigid which they claim is intentional until it breaks in. When I'm riding alone, I put the stock seat back on as it's near flat in the crotch area and I can go for 2-3 hours before I need to take a break.



So now we're looking at the FJR1300 because we know it's the right bike that will suit our travel/riding style now and in the future. I don't want to look at any other make as the second I jumped on my FZ6, I was an instant Yamaha fanatic and the FJR looks like the fatter big brother of my bike. I've ridden my friend's 2016 solo and even though it's a couple hundred pounds heavier, holy crap is it comfortable and smooth as silk on the road. I'm not flat-footed on it but I'm not on mine either. Plus, it's the same exact color blue so outside of the bulkier fairings, I felt like I was still on my bike. My friend has been riding for almost 50 years and has been with me since I first took the MSF class so he knows my riding skill and potential. He says I can handle an FJR once I adjust to the weight and power. I don't ride hard anyway and have thick chicken strips prove it. I'm all about relaxing rides through the mountains and farm lands.



He says I need to get at least a 2014 but he's got a 2016 so he's used to the newest features. My FZ6 doesn't even have ABS or traction control so I'm pretty sure I'd be very happy with an older year and whatever it comes. I've seen a ton of YouTube reviews and I like the 2008 range.



Now let the opinions fly.



Thanks.
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post #2 of 44 (permalink) Old 08-10-2019, 03:08 AM
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I had a 08' FZ6 for a few months as a commuter before I got a FJR. You will find the FJR much more relaxing to ride (I found the revs needed to keep up with freeway traffic tiring on the FZ6). I had a tail rack/hard case on the FZ6 but I find the FJR's side cases more convenient to use (and they fit more stuff). The icing on the cake is the shaft drive. No more chain maintenance!
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post #3 of 44 (permalink) Old 08-10-2019, 03:40 AM
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The FJR is a great bike from 2002 onwards just depends what electricery you want on it. The bike is still the same.

A gen 1 with fork internals and decent aftermarket shock takes some beating.

Just spend the amount you are happy to spend.

05 FJR Silver & Blue
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post #4 of 44 (permalink) Old 08-10-2019, 06:13 AM
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The FJR is far better suited for 2-up riding than your FJ6 but yes, it will require some new skills. My daughter recently became a fan of riding, ergo my recent purchase of the FJR and we're both exceptionally pleased w/the bike. 'Course, I've been riding for 40 years so our experiential level is different but certainly nothing you can't learn and adjust to. The weight and higher center of gravity are the 2 issues you'll learn to deal with. Everything else is icing on the cake.
Good luck!
Lee
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post #5 of 44 (permalink) Old 08-10-2019, 08:39 AM
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Power is proportional to how fast the throttle is twisted, I have found the FJR to be very polite. The weight, that is something you will notice especially up high, but you will very quickly get used to it. Two up riding, well that is what it is designed for.Enjoy it, you have already rode one and know its capabilities.
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2016A
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post #6 of 44 (permalink) Old 08-10-2019, 09:29 AM
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Greg, welcome !
Couple of things to add, please add your location and year/model once you get one to your signature/avatar. It’ll be a big help for when you have questions.

Secondly, Corbin Sucks ! Terrible seats and terrible customer service, my opinion ! They are pretty though and the “let it break-in” is Corbin code for we don’t want to do anything to help you. Again my opinion.

As far as the fjr goes, I have a 2014a model and will advise to buy as new as you can afford as they have updated it with many upgrades through the years. The heat issues on the gen 1’s are a big problem for many and the electrical “spider bite” and cam chain tensioner issues through the mid gen 2”s can be problematic.

Cruise control started on the 2013 gen 3 and is the thing that really sent me down the fjr path along with The 2014 red (fastest Color 😁 ) really put me over the edge. Add in the excellent abs and traction control and it is a great ride. The Gen 3.5’s (2016) on have the 6th gear and excellent led lighting. I’m sure there’re a lot of things i’m Forgetting. But it is an excellent ride.

Downsides,,, it is heavy and tall and it carries most of its weight high which makes it easy to get over center and drop it. I am 5’ 10” with a 30” inseam and lowered my bike 1/2” front and back withno Ill effects for me. Some will complain about the loss of ground clearance but I haven’t found it to be an issue. It is a very top heavy bike.

If you buy keep in mind that you need to budget for several upgrades of probably a seat ( just go Laam or Russel) ,, I have a Laam and am happy with it but they tend to add some height.

Windshields and bar risers are also things you’ll probably look for. If you go for a topcase there’s a lot of info here on it and keep in mind you’ll need a givi sr357, Shad tubular rack or what I ended up with is the Yamaha heavy aluminum rack, anything less may end up with a broken subframe, I did,,,, $700 part.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions here, there’s a lot of really good people willing to advise and help, really good group !
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post #7 of 44 (permalink) Old 08-10-2019, 10:38 AM
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I have owned 2 FZ6s and on my second FJR. As you noted, the FJR is heavier and carries the weight higher than the FZ6. The FJ is a torque monster compared to the FZ. The GenIII is a good choice for the cruise control and sport/tour modes for throttle response. You will probably want a different seat for both rider and passenger. A riser plate may be in order as well.

The FJR is definitely better suited for 2-up riding and long trips.
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post #8 of 44 (permalink) Old 08-10-2019, 11:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Gelber View Post
We ride all the time and usually head out with friends on the weekends for 3-6 hour rides in the mountains and curvy back roads. The FZ6 is doing an okay job for both of us and I even got a Corbin seat with a real backrest for her but, we definitely don't last as long as our friends do on their touring/sport touring bikes. I'm 5'10" at 190lbs and the riding position even with 1"up & 1.25" back handlebar riser. it just starts hurting my upper back and, the Corbin seat for me, kills my nether regions to where I go numb. I had Corbin re-shape the seat for her because she was going numb after 30 minutes. They scooped out the seat so it supported her more and now she's fine for hours. Basically they gave me the FJ-09 style seat that fits my bike. My part of the seat however has too much of a hump in it and the foam is too rigid which they claim is intentional until it breaks in. When I'm riding alone, I put the stock seat back on as it's near flat in the crotch area and I can go for 2-3 hours before I need to take a break.
You've been riding two up. You're used to a high center of gravity, so don't let anyone scare you about that.

What do your friends ride? I'll commit heresy and say that if they are on something less sporty than an FJR, that you might consider other options, such as the 2012-2017 GL1800. The back seat on that is so comfy that your wife will fall asleep, and safe enough that it won't matter. 0-60 in 4.5 seconds is still Corvette territory. It will lean further you are likely comfortable with. Yes, it is heavier. Yes, you lose a bit of the sportiness. But you get La-Z-Boy comfort and enormous cargo space "out of the box" to make long two-up rides enjoyable. You might find yourself arranging weekend trips...

FJR - 2014 or later. 2013 cruise control maxes at ~82mph. Get a Russell Day Long seat. If you get a top box, make sure it is comfortable for your wife and doesn't push her forward. You'll want risers - search to see which will move the handlebars the way you expect to need. New windshield as you feel fit.

Any motorcycle - ABS. It's saved my bacon half a dozen times, most of which I didn't expect to need ABS but there was something on the ground.... Tip-over bars will save your plastic.
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2005 Yamaha FJR1300 ABS
1981 Kawasaki KZ1100 - Gone
1974 Kawasaki Z1 - Gone
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post #9 of 44 (permalink) Old 08-10-2019, 11:49 AM
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I totally agree with Ludwig’s comments for the most part. Being a longtime wing-man the 1800 Wing is-nothing but fantastic but for me the weight is a problem. 900+ lbs, but it feels way lighter due to the Cg being so low. The newest “smaller” wing while a bit lighter is really not much different size wise than the FJR in the storage area but still weighs nearly 300lbs more, ride one, they are nice bikes, just not my cup-o-tea at this point in my life.

Totally agree on the ABS thing, Yamaha did a really good job on it with the fjr, i’ll Never buy another “newer” bike that doesn’t have it.
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post #10 of 44 (permalink) Old 08-10-2019, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by passx View Post
The newest “smaller” wing while a bit lighter is really not much different size wise than the FJR in the storage area but still weighs nearly 300lbs more, ride one, they are nice bikes, just not my cup-o-tea at this point in my life.
All I can think when I look at the new Wings is that Honda is going after the BMW K1600 market, and dropping their own. I expect the next version will go back to the Winnebago we all know and love.

Greg - don't feel too attached to Yamahas. All the Japanese brands are solid. I'd stay away from the BMWs on that count.

2005 Yamaha FJR1300 ABS
1981 Kawasaki KZ1100 - Gone
1974 Kawasaki Z1 - Gone
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