2,000 Miles Later -- My Obsevations - Yamaha FJR Forum : Yamaha FJR Owners Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-26-2020, 08:46 AM Thread Starter
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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.

PROS
plenty of muscle
tall stance
sleek design/looks like a new bike
retractable windshield
shaft drive/water cooled
overall handling
lack of vibration at any speed
plenty of storage
large fuel capacity
reputation of dependability
good value for the investment


CONS
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.
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72 Honda 350, 75 Honda 750 SS, 76 Gold Wing, 78 Gold Wing, 81 Kawasaki GPZ 1100, 85 FJ1100, 91 FJ1200, 07 FJR1300
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-26-2020, 08:56 AM
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Lowering rear pegs and adding floor boards was the ticket for my wife for long distance touring. She is a petite 5í2Ē though.
73Kmiles on my 2014 and she has ridden at least half of them. Very little interstate ...


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"Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first and the lessons afterwards"
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-26-2020, 09:02 AM
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I think this is a good, accurate description of the FJR1300. I have an 08 AE and like you, it took some time to really get used to using the paddle and/or the shift lever but now I like it a lot.
These are great bikes for experienced riders.

09FJR1300 AE
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-26-2020, 09:26 AM
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The years have solved a lot of the mechanical issues you list above.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-26-2020, 10:29 AM
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I think you need to ride more 2000 miles in 18 months is pathetic....I put 3 000 on this month
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-26-2020, 01:17 PM Thread Starter
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I will not argue. I do need to get out more. It is a little tougher when the temps reach 100+. However, in the future I will do my best to not let the engine get cold.
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72 Honda 350, 75 Honda 750 SS, 76 Gold Wing, 78 Gold Wing, 81 Kawasaki GPZ 1100, 85 FJ1100, 91 FJ1200, 07 FJR1300
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-26-2020, 05:40 PM
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I would have loved an AE of an '08-'09 vintage as many of the fueling issues of '06-'07 were alleviated. Really was hoping they would import the Gen3 AS (Euro designation) with all the Gen3 improvements, but alas, Yamaha didn't. I'll bet they would have won over many who did not previously adopt the AE.
IF you really want to clear up all the fueling issues, talk to Ivan for his flash... not sure he has done AE yet, but better than all the fixes we attempted (for more money than that) and weren't 100% successful.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-26-2020, 06:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mineolatx View Post
PROS
plenty of muscle
tall stance
sleek design/looks like a new bike
retractable windshield
shaft drive/water cooled
overall handling
lack of vibration at any speed
plenty of storage
large fuel capacity
reputation of dependability
good value for the investment


CONS
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)
I think that's a pretty fair perspective on the strengths and weaknesses of the FJR, though as judgedelta mentions above, some of those Cons -- cruise control and erratic throttle response, in particular -- have been addressed in later generations. On the other hand, its top-heavy weight and some of the others Cons have tended to stick around as part and parcel of an otherwise well-conceived machine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mineolatx View Post
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.
Interestingly, I found two-up on the FJR a bit more difficult and ill-balanced than its recent replacement, a BMW R1250R (naked roadster), I suppose owing to the top-heavy (and heavier) weight to the low-down (and lighter) weight of the boxer roadster. Still, it surprised me...before experiencing both, I sure would have guessed that a bike designed for touring would have been a better two-up fit than a naked bike.

2016 FJR1300A
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-26-2020, 10:18 PM
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Started riding at 12 on my 3.5 hp Tecumseh minibike, always looking out for cops as I drove all over town in 1964...still always looking out for cops, as I still drive mostly fast...I've owned at least 35 motorcycles; no euro's no harleys...My new to me '06 ABS FJR with 24k mi. is very nice, though it needs Ivans Flash which I will do after I get back from upcoming trip to the Blue Ridge Mounts.
Without the sidecases and with my added 14" Delkevic cans and Corbin seat, Its Gorgeous!...better looking than my gone 2010 Concours 1400,
I do miss just a bit the xtra hp of the faster Concours, but the 8-9% less weight and size of the FJR make up for that. I Never ride 2 up...just ruins riding for me...Like a kid at Xmas I cant wait to ride up to the mountains again...going out to the garage to marvel at its beauty for the 100th time in the last 3 months...

don't be a nimrod; confound the globalists
1st bike 1964 Honda 305 Superhawk, used $415,2k mi.
2nd bike: 1969 Triumph Bonneville 650 used otd $780
only bike bought new 1974 Kawasaki Z1B 900 otd $2400
Ninja 1000s,Bandit 1200s,Vfrs inbetween...
sold last yr. 2010 Kawasaki Concourse 1400
current: 2006 FJR 1300 Blue , 23k mi. 5/20

Last edited by Bigthaw; 08-26-2020 at 10:23 PM.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-26-2020, 10:19 PM
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Many yrs back over on fjrforum a mod was posted to have shifter paddles on all the time.

Russ
2007A

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