Congratulations. I had a deal made on a GS and was 12 hours away from taking delivery when I changed my mind and bought the FJR instead. I was trading a 1600. But I had an FJR before, and I was two days away from retiring, so the extra cost is what stopped me. I’m not an adventure bike guy (understatement), but I liked it for the same reasons you did.Sorry, long post...I have been following this thread for a quite a long time, and finally decided to go lighter, at least a bit. I live in a place where roads are different than for most of people in here, but some might find my considerations interesting though. I bought my '16 FJR brand new in 16 and has been very happy with the bike, during this time I have learned to maintain it and have been practicing and increased riding skills and have no problem with the handling. But on trips my wife is always with me and we typical ends up in smaller roads between fjords and mountains where the real speed is often quite low due to topography with poor view corners, narrow roads, pavement with holes and bumps and so on. During the last two years I have been gradually realizing the FJR is too much of a speed monster used in a wrong environment and not the right tool for our typical trips, so last summer I sold my lovely bike, and spoiled by the FJR, finding a replacement wasn't going to be easy.
My requirement was...
Size: Big enough for two-up with luggage.
Weight: Less than the FJR, and lower center of gravity.
Engine: Less power than the FJR, less intense, more relaxed engine. I don't care for speed, just happy to ride a bike.
Suspension: Needs to handle poor pavement well, but also cornering and a little sport.
Ergonomic: Getting older, needs better ergonomic and better knee angle.
Height: I am not flatfooting the FJR, cannot be taller.
Saddle: Saddle has to be comfortable for both, passenger to sit a bit higher than on the FJR and be able to look over rider.
Chain/ FD: I don't really want to go back to chain after 5 years with a FD.
Fairing: Weather protection needs to be good, not necessarily FJR level. Easier maintenance and less plastic to get damaged at a tilt-over.
Price: My budget allows me to buy what I want within reasonable limits.
Maintenance: It must be possible to do your own maintenance with reasonable skills and equipment.
Never been a fan of ADV bikes, but with all this in mind, the GS was the only bike that tick all the boxes and it had to be tested. Last September wife and me test drove one at a dealer for 1.5 hour, after 15 minutes decision was made and order placed within following month.
After a cold 420 km 7 hour trip home from the dealer mid mars, with only two short stops, my first impressions are...
Ergonomic is close to perfect, steering, knee angle, both saddles very good ( comfort version, heated), after 7 hours no pain at all. Clutch very light.
Weather protection: Surprisingly good, less buffering and wind noise, but a bit more wind on the passenger on the highway compared to FJR, won't be a problem for our usage.
Height: Maybe a bit taller than the FJR, but not so wide, so foot on the ground - approx. equal to the the FJR.
Weight is approx. 45 kg less than FJR, center of gravity lower and low speed handling feels very much easier. Manually handling in garage is much lighter compared to FJR.
The boxer engine is very characteristic, I really love this 100 year old concept, it just feels right with the longitudinal engine and the two heads out on each side combined with the FD. Less engine noise, nice.
Suspension (electronic version) will be a huge difference on the typical roads with poor pavement. My wife does not longer complains when hitting a pot hole or a bump.
The TFT, menus and the "wonderwheel" is very good, it really works well when getting used to it.
Further I think...
A misstep with your foot on a parking lot on a fully loaded FJR can easily end with a tilt, same with the GS, but with the GS it will not be the end of your trip due to low center of gravity and proper crash bars, damages if any will be a few scratches.
I have read up a lot, will buy the tools I need and will do my own maintenance, seems no more difficult than on the FJR. Panels are done in 10 minutes, the valves are just waiting for you.
Regarding reliability, I know BMW scores less than Yamaha, but I find it a bit difficult to compare the GS and the FJR directly, especially when you see how owners around the world use their GS's off road. Anyhow, I can accept increased maintenance cost compared to the FJR.
The alternatives, considered a few and was at the dealer and had a look at the Yamaha T9. I did not like the split screen, I am not fan of 3 cyl engines (just me), chain was not what I wanted, but could have lived with it if everything else was in place, details and finish ok, but no more, seems a bit to be designed by economists, passenger saddle seems missing height in front, don't like the small headlights, side cases have odd shape, overall size for two-up could work but no more. If you take a look at the Yamaha line-up compared to what BMW have, it seems like Yamaha is giving up big and expensive bikes. Here in Europe, the FJR and the Super Tenere are both gone, seems like they have forgotten the group of 50+ years. If the S Ten have been upgraded, it would definitely been an alternative to the GS.
BTW, I am not trying to convince anyone to follow my choice, I leave it to BMW to sell their bikes.
Here it is, my FJR replacement which I hope will be the right thing for my preferred roads, I felt for the simple white. Except some minor equipment, I will keep it stock, and will always have street tires on.
Some things never change, FD shaft splines needs to be lubed on this one as well
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Two questions. 1). Did you find one without spoke wheels, or did you order it? I could not find one within 2,000 miles without them. 2). What is your gas mileage when freeway cruising? I only ask because of the smaller gas tank.