2,000 Miles Later -- My Obsevations
I started my FJR journey about 18 months ago by purchasing a 2007 Cerulean Silver FJR1300AE with 12,000 miles on the clock. I have been riding on the street since I was 16 (I am now 64. You do the math, I don't want to). Over the years I have had bikes from 70cc to 1300cc including a Honda Trail 70, Honda 350, Honda 750, (2) Goldwings, (2) Ninjas, Honda Sabre V65 (loved that one), an FJ1100 and a FJ1200. I now find myself sitting on the FJR1300 that i have put 2,000 miles on since I bought it. I am 6'6" and I added a taller California Scientific windscreen, a Seth Laam seat, the Garuald backrest/stiffy kit/highway pegs, a Givi Monolock trunk and a throttle tamer. As configured, I will list some of my observations in no particular order. Please note that I am not trying to start a war of words or state that my perceptions are your perceptions.
plenty of muscle
sleek design/looks like a new bike
shaft drive/water cooled
lack of vibration at any speed
plenty of storage
large fuel capacity
reputation of dependability
good value for the investment
no self cancelling turn signals
no on board compass
no cruise control
low speed erratic throttle response
totally inaccurate fuel gage (half tank = 2 bars)
instrument cluster hard to read if the sun is behind you
passenger area is a little small (wifey is 5'10")
having to turn the paddle shifter on at every start-up
shifting from 1st to 2nd under hard acceleration is not as smooth as I would like (maybe me/maybe the bike or possibly a little of both)
Disclaimer: I completely understand some of my CONS can be corrected but I am speaking to the bike as it is sitting in my shop today.
Overall assessment: As you read, my bike is the AE model. I had no idea what that was when I rode it for the first time. I will admit it has taken me some time to get used to shifting with my fingers but I think I like it just fine. I will say that I have honked the horn when trying to shift and I have tried to shift without the paddle shifter being engaged (embarrassing/frustrating). Once underway, I find the bike to be very responsive and easy to handle, except at very low speeds when making a u-turn (erratic throttle issue). The fuel usage is about what I expected for how heavy the bike is and how I drive it. After the 1st to 2nd gear shift, the other gear shifts are smooth and the transmission/engine performs well. I run 93 octane so detonation in the hot Texas summer temps is not an issue. Although I do look for the A/C switch on occasion (let me know if anyone has found theirs).
Would I recommend the FJR1300 to a novice rider -- no way. Would I recommend it to a seasoned rider -- yes with explanations. I would think most older or smaller riders would find the bike a little hard to handle from a weight standpoint. I also would not recommend it to someone that wants to do extensive touring with a passenger. I think there are much better choices for that type of riding. However, if the rider is looking for a bike that will handle the twisties, has a beast of a powerplant, will comfortably carry a single rider on a long trip and will look good doing it, then the FJR1300 would make them happy.
Again, my intent is not to start an argument and your experience may not coincide with mine. We all have different expectations, experiences and physical abilities so please take what I have said as just one of many opinions.
Stay safe out there.
72 Honda 350, 75 Honda 750 SS, 76 Gold Wing, 78 Gold Wing, 81 Kawasaki GPZ 1100, 85 FJ1100, 91 FJ1200, 07 FJR1300