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Hey Guys, Need A Little Help Here....


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#1 Guest_fjrhawk_*

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Posted 25 June 2005 - 05:11 PM

I posted this over at STN, but since this is an FJR dedicated site, I thought I might see what kind of response I get here as well. As some of you know, I was all set to buy an FJR this weekend. I thought I had made up my mind, but I rode another bike today and need some feedback and comparisons.

I went to the Yamaha dealership with my mind made up to purchase the FJR. When I got there, I had a few extra minutes to burn, so while I was waiting, I asked to take the FZ1 for a spin. I thought it would reasure me that the FJR was the bike for me. Well, I found the FZ to be more nimble than the FJR and still quite comfortable. I don't like the naked look of the FZ1, but Yamaha sells a full Lower Fairing that looks great, and should offer some leg protection, so I think I can overcome that.

I recently sold a Roadstar Warrior in order to purchase a bike that I can tour with, which is why I was leaning towards the FJR. I'm sure there are a ton of bikes that will tour better than my Warrior did, so no matter which way I go, I think I will be happier. Exactly how much long distance touring I will do remains to be seen. I just want to make sure I make an informed decision. I actually liked the feel of the FZ1 a bit more, but I only rode each them about 6 miles.

CRAP! I feel like I am back to square one. I definately decided that I liked the FJR better than the ZZR and VFR that I looked at last week, so when I woke up this morning, I was all set.... until I rode the FZ1. Now it's time to start the process all over. Carbs VS. FI. Chain VS. Shaft. Bags, no bags. $7,900 VS. $12,500. Does it ever end? :shrug:

#2 The_Touring_Professor

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Posted 25 June 2005 - 06:03 PM

I'll try to help, but understand this will be just my opinion, and worth every cent you're paying for it.

Having said that, I do a lot of touring. Usually 3-7 days at a time, usually 375-550 miles/day (not an iron butt rider), depending on scenery and road conditions. Little to no slab riding.

For very long (>4-5 days) tours, I prefer my BMW K1200LTC. Extreme comfort on a bike that rides like a sport bike on steroids.

For other touring, I got the FJR. Traded in a 'Busa on it. Not that this is exactly the same as your comparison, but for me, the FJR is the supreme sport versus luxury tourer. Just did my first tour on it this last weekend (1500 miles of southwestern Colorado), and I have to tell you I am even more blown away by the sport touring capability of this bike than I was before. I honestly think it would give the beemer a run for comfort.

I've added a taller windshield, D&D risers, completed the heat fix mods, have a givi topcase, and even had a T-bag sitting on the back seat tied to the topcase. Hums thru the desert at 85-90 mph, long sweepers at 70 no problem - and safely, BTW. I do use padded cycle shorts with an airhawk covered with sheepskin, but all in all pretty comfortable for 8 hours a day. The pegs must be located just right for my 32" inseam, because I had (to my surprise) no leg aches at the end of any day.

Great fuel mileage, btw, as well.

May or may not be important to you, but you won't see one every hundred yards.

I understand your indecision, but in my opinion, you can't go wrong with this fabuolus bike.

Again, just MHO.
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#3 Rogue

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Posted 25 June 2005 - 06:18 PM

Just from what I've read on the forums a lot of people went from the FZ1 to the FJR.
People seemed to get the FZ1, put bags ect on it, the FJR came out and they decided that was what they were trying to make the FZ1 into and they would buy the FJR.
But remember not all people did that... Some got exactly what they wanted with the FZ1. So YOU have to decide what YOU want.
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#4 Butch

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Posted 25 June 2005 - 07:07 PM

fjrhawk - I feel your pain. smile.gif No, after what I've been going through lately, I don't think it ever ends. There's just too many excellent bikes to select from now-a-days.

In my case I wanted a sporty bike, but not necessarily the uncomfortable position of a 1-liter GSXR or R1, and at the time I wanted a bike that would do everything fairly well. That led me to a decision between a ST1300 and the FJR. I went with the FJR because it was less expensive than the ST1300, more sporty looking, and had more performance. I purchased an '05 FJR with ABS early last March. The extras such as motorized windshield (a very useful gadget!), and the nice handling helped seal the deal. The FJR is a great bike, comfortable, powerful, and handles well for it's size and weight. In fact, the FJR does everything fairly well. It's a bit heavy, but for touring I didn't want some feather-weight rocket, only to have the wind blow me all over the road. No, I wanted something sporty, but at the same time, stable. I remember driving my FJR home from the dealership thinking, "Damn! This is one hell a great bike! I'll never need another bike - this is it!"

But a funny thing happened. As I tacked on more and more storage (late arriving side luggage, then the Yam top box, and other fun farkles, my FJR started getting more bulky than I would have liked (dare I say "Goldwing'ish?"). On the flip side of that, I found that for longer rides all that storage area really came in handy. And should I want, the storage pops off easily should I want to slim it down. But taking the storage on and off wasn't in the cards. The storage stayed on and I found myself putting up with the bulk, and thinking "well, you can't have everything."

My troubles (if you can call them that) began when I sat on a Suzuki Hayabusa in a dealerships showroom while waiting for my saleman to find my permanent license plate for my FJR (several weeks after I buying my FJR). I never considered purchasing the Busa because I figured it was just a more powerful and heavier GSXR-1K, with the same uncomfortable seating postion. As I sat there on it, I realized the Busa was much more comfortable than the 1 liter sport bikes. Being a larger guy (6' 200#) the Busa actually fit me well, was fairly comfortable, plus had plenty of sporty feel to it. Then I began to read about it, join Busa forum groups, etc.... OMG... it's a XX-sized sport rocket! I was hooked!

So besides visual appeal, touring capability, handling, and good overall comprimize - another facet of bike buying started becoming a priority... the "fun factor". While the FJR is a great bike, I'd personnally rate its "fun factor" at a 7 or 8 on a scale of 10. It'll rocket off if you dial it on, but under normal use it's mild mannered with nice handling characteristics, and nice smooth power management. Don't get me wrong, I really like my FJR, but after owning the FJR for a few months I came to the conclusion owning something a bit more sportier, might be nice. That led to the purchase of a Busa.

So consider two approaches; 1) Assuming you're only talking about owning one bike, the key to your decision making process might be, - steer your purchase towards the type of riding will you be doing the "majority" of time. Or 2); consider the "fun factor" as a high (or higher) priority, forget logic, and just go with your gut.

If you can afford more than one bike, problem solved! As for me, I plan on keeping my FJR for longer touring runs, and the Busa for sporting around (and no, I won't be adding luggage to it!) smile.gif Some have told me once I start riding the Busa, my FJR will start collecting dust. That's yet to be seen. I'm still very fond of the FJR.

Lesson learned... don't underestimate the fun factor!! biggrin.gif What ever you decide, good luck!

#5 speedjunkie

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Posted 25 June 2005 - 07:08 PM

I came off an FZ1 myself. I LOVED the FZ1, but I needed something that punched a larger hole thru the air, and was a little bigger for me and the ms. when we tour. The FJR is just that. I LOVE the FJR. If I could have both, I would. The FJR is very capable sport touring bike. The FZ is more of a sport bike with a relaxed riding position. If you are a bigger guy, you may find the FJR more to your liking. But as Rogue said, you have to decide for yourself here. Good luck.


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#6 fjrchooser

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Posted 25 June 2005 - 08:00 PM

Hawk,
Try the test in the topic above this one, who knows ? Beats flipping a coin, unless you score a 883. ohmy.gif
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#7 Guest_fjrhawk_*

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Posted 25 June 2005 - 08:18 PM

QUOTE(fjrchooser @ Jun 26 2005, 12:00 AM)
Hawk,
Try the test in the topic above this one, who knows ? Beats flipping a coin, unless you score a 883.    ohmy.gif

That test is crap! I scored the Harley Sportster! unsure.gif

Thanks for the input. I'm still not sure of anything. Maybe I'll just buy a boat. tongue.gif

#8 Guest_MR FJR_*

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Posted 25 June 2005 - 11:54 PM

I totally agree with speedjunkie...I did it for the exact same reason. I wanted something to punch a bigger hole in the air...and decided the FJR was the bike for me. I did love my FZ1...it ran great...was pretty nimble in the twisties...but it came down to wind coverage...and I really fell in love with the color and the looks of the FJR. When I am on the back roads...I have to remember that I am not on the FZ1 anymore...but the FJR has done fine in cornering so far. smile.gif

#9 yanktar

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Posted 26 June 2005 - 04:32 AM

First post:
(whatami, crazy? wink.gif )

I own both, love both. I bought the FZ1 first, then a year later the FJR. They are VERY similar, but different. The FZ1 is a true chameleon of a bike. At the first FZ1 rally there were bikes set up for full blown sport touring, with hard bags, oversize windshields and fuel cells. There were bikes set up for drag-racing, with electronic shifts. There were bikes set up for canyon carving with lowered bars, rear-sets and aftermarket suspensions. And there was Ivan Rovinski's Monster. It looked like an ordinary blue FZ1, but pulled a true 150hp on the dyno. Ivan has re-jet kits and then THIS kit as well. Those who rode it said it was amazingly friendly.

And there were a lot of bikes in-between because there are SO many options available, at least twice what is available for the FJR--aftermarket seats, bar risers or lowered bars, jet kits, exhausts, and soft luggage. People have put thousands of miles on these bikes with few problems. As for carburation vs FI. You put in either Ivan's jet kit, or the Holeshot (I'm partial to Ivan's) and ALL your cold-starting problems and any vibration(if you had it--I didn't) vanish. Plus it adds about 8-10hp--more with a slip-on can. The chain is, well, a chain. You either put up with it or go to the FJR. It's much harder to synch the carbs on the FZ1 than the Throttle Bodies on the FJR because the adjustment screws and the vacuum nipples are harder to get to. But generally, the FZ1 is much easier to work on because you can get to stuff.

The problem with the lowers is one of incredible stupidity on Yamaha's part. There's no way to install them and sliders at the same time. But all they had to do was make the frame mount bracket for the lowers(where the sliders would go) out of heavy billet aluminim and they would be home free.

Yet at a smaller FZ1 rally, I brought the FJR as a kick (it was still a novelty and a lot of people wanted to see it). I was able to keep up with all but the fastest riders in the twisties. Yeah, I think a really fast knee-down peg-scraping rider will prefer the FZ1 over the FJR. But I rode the FZ1 800 miles to Deal's Gap (and 800 miles back) and swore never again. I do believe I could do it far easier on the FJR.

The FZ1 is a bit faster, but less torquey (stock). It makes about the same HP, maybe a tad less, and weighs 100lbs less.

I find I dither back and forth between which bike to ride. If there's a chance of rain, I'll take the FJR. If it's going to be super-hot, the FZ1. Remember the FJR's heat problem? Not an issue on the FZ1. Sure, in a summer traffic jam you'll broil, but that's true of anything bigger than a 500 twin. Cold weather? The FJR has better protection.

Comfort? That's a matter of taste, style and after-market comfort choices. I've been struggling with the perfect FZ1 seat for years. I'm almost there. I have a Russell Day-long, that I just carved a whole bunch of foam out--now I need to make the seat non-slippery.

As for the FJR, I've toyed with a replacement saddle, but so far the SheepyHollow custom fleece (in grey) works really well--but the bike looks like it needs to be sheared.

If you want to mount in switched and unswitched sockets, the FZ1 is much easier to do it on because you can get to everything easily--the FJR is very cramped. However, the battery is under the seat so you must run power forward.

I THINK the stock ride on the FZ1 is better--I have no desire to swap the shock but I'm going to put the Wilbers shock and fork springs on the FJR. You WILL want to put braided brake lines on the FZ1--the difference is extremely noticeable and an improvement--an inexpensive farkle. I am doing the Spiegler upgrade on the ABS lines, with the rotors and pads and I have no damn good reason except I want the braking feed-back I get on the FZ1.

Overall, I really like both bikes and could happily live with just either, with a marginal preference for the FJR--closer to my type of riding. BMW has just come out with an awesome 1200 naked and I find myself going "Hmmmm!" If it's everything they say it is, I might consider trading the FZ1. Might--but not the FJR.

A stock FZ1, or even a mod'ed one can still be very much "2 wheels and an engine", which the FJR isn't. With nothing on it, it's a very elemental motorcycle with that simple appeal of a Triumph Bonneville--but with far greater performance.

An FJR is a bike that gives you 80-90% of what you want on a Gold Wing or a BMW, but without it being so big and heavy and expensive. Shaft drive, relaxed seating, storage and wind protection, in a 600lb package with 125hp and 90ft-lbs of torque. It will out-handle any touring bike and out-run a V-Max.

Oh, why, oh why am I posting?
"Fly, you fools!"

#10 SkooterG

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Posted 26 June 2005 - 05:34 AM

QUOTE(yanktar @ Jun 26 2005, 05:32 AM)
First post:
(whatami, crazy? wink.gif  )


Oh, why, oh why am I posting?

Hey bucko, these things we call motorcycles, and the blasted forums that go along with them are like crack cocaine.

You can't help yourself. Couldn't say no even if you really wanted to

Resistance is futile.

Welcome to the collective.

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#11 yanktar

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Posted 26 June 2005 - 05:37 AM

QUOTE
Hey bucko, these things we call motorcycles, and the blasted forums that go along with them are like crack cocaine.

You can't help yourself. Couldn't say no even if you really wanted to

Resistance is futile.

Welcome to the collective.

Greg


Aw, $#!t--you got me with that! mad.gif rolleyes.gif unsure.gif laugh.gif huh.gif blink.gif
"Fly, you fools!"

#12 Espia4ci

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Posted 27 June 2005 - 10:57 AM

To me, one of the most attractive aspects of FJR is the shaft drive. You never have to mess it. It would be really hard for me to go back to a chain driven touring bike. Having to carry cleaner and lube with me really sucked.
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#13 arkninjazx9

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Posted 27 June 2005 - 11:04 AM

If I didnt have an FJR i would have an FZ1 It was second choice but a wonderful bike also ( I got to test ride a used one at the dealership) But I would pick the FJR 1st out of the 2.... cool.gif

#14 Guest_frogman_*

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Posted 27 June 2005 - 03:34 PM

fjrhawk , buy both...problem solved!

#15 yanktar

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Posted 27 June 2005 - 05:01 PM

QUOTE(frogman @ Jun 27 2005, 07:34 PM)
fjrhawk , buy both...problem solved!

That was my solution!
"Fly, you fools!"