Trying to select an FJR Model

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RollieFree

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I do not own an FJR but I would like to get one. I am a wrench and prefer to do as much as I can myself. That said, I am curious about which model might lend itself to simplicity. I am a bit intimidated by all the bells and whistles and potential issues with them.

I have a Yamaha Super Tenere that I would part with if I find the right FJR. It is a great bike but a bit tall for my wife. Cannot say enough good things about the S10.

Thanks for the advice in advance.

RF
 

RossKean

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Not much choice in "Models". If you are looking at new bikes, there is no choice. Since 2013 (Gen III +) the only choices have been with electronic suspension (or not) first offered in 2014. Some years, no non-ES suspension was available. From 2006 to 2009, a version with an auto-clutch was offered.

Look at the comparison matrix... (linked here)
 

roger dodger

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Rollie, In a nutshell it's about which years (generations) not models.

2003 -2005 are Fast , light and simple (some don't have ABS).

2006 -2012 are heavier, 1 model (AE) has no clutch, but some recalls.

2013 + are current model. Model A has regular (better than usual) suspension. ES has Elec Suspension. 2016 + has 6 spd.

I own a 2003 and a 2013 (flashed to elim CC limits) and love them both. 2003 is quicker and lighter. 2013 is smooth and comfy and a little safer w/ ABS , TC, linked brakes, CC, drive modes, etc.

YMMV
 
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Ludwig61

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I will note that the Gen I (2005 and earlier) are more svelte in the tank/seat interface for the operator. Gen II+ are like straddling a barrel in comparison. I'm switching from a 2005 to a 2016 for rear ABS, cruise, TC, etc. 2016+ also have all LED lighting and the headlights are wonderful.

Getting harder to find Gen I parts. Gen II will eventually go that way, too.
 
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I do not own an FJR but I would like to get one. I am a wrench and prefer to do as much as I can myself. That said, I am curious about which model might lend itself to simplicity. I am a bit intimidated by all the bells and whistles and potential issues with them.

I have a Yamaha Super Tenere that I would part with if I find the right FJR. It is a great bike but a bit tall for my wife. Cannot say enough good things about the S10.

Thanks for the advice in advance.

RF
I once had a reputable moto journalist tell me that he owned 3 FJR's and the 2004 was his favorite. He said it was the fastest and most trouble free. I had one for 14 years and it never needed anything but routine maintenance. It was hot in the summer, but it was fast.
 

Diablo1

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Gen 1 had some issues with ticking valves from rapid wear of exhaust valve guide. Yamaha resolved that issue with the introduction of the Gen 2 in 2006. Gen 2 had issues with ignition switch failures, some failing cam chain tensioners, and wiring harness ground junction failures. Yamaha developed new improved parts to fix those issue. Gen 3 included a 6 speed gearbox and all of those were recalled and required replacement gears.
 

RossKean

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Gen 1 had some issues with ticking valves from rapid wear of exhaust valve guide. Yamaha resolved that issue with the introduction of the Gen 2 in 2006. Gen 2 had issues with ignition switch failures, some failing cam chain tensioners, and wiring harness ground junction failures. Yamaha developed new improved parts to fix those issue. Gen 3 included a 6 speed gearbox and all of those were recalled and required replacement gears.
The CCT issues included all GenI and GenII but just in 2006 and 2007. Fixed for '08 to '12. Some GenI ABS had issues, especially with rear - stopped working although maintained normal braking function. As mentioned, GenI tended to be a bit warm... The main GenII ground junction issues were fixed by '09 but not 100%. Can't remember when the ignition switch issues were fixed by the factory but a recall covered it before then. All non- ES models for all years benefit by suspension upgrades. Every stock seat can be upgraded (all years). Many find better aftermarket windscreen solutions.
 

torch

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Gen 1 also had ignition switch issues. Fixed mine twice. The updated Gen 2 switch fits, so third time's the charm?

The original Gen 1 windscreen angle was too shallow and had limited protection. Later (2004?) arms upped the angle by 5° or so, which helped but the "Rifle tuning block" upped it 7° which really hit the sweet spot.

Early Gen 1 centre stands snapped like twigs. Yamaha quietly superseded those with a reinforced design, but there was no recall.

There was a recall for the early Throttle Position Sensor, which helped resolve twitchy low speed throttle response. Yamaha also later changed the ramp angle on the the throttle to slow the throttle response at low speeds, which contributes to the feeling that later models are slower.

Gen 1 rear luggage racks tend to crack and fall off under any load greater than a lunch bag. The Givi replacement seems indestructible.

In general, Gen 1 models lean towards the sport side of Sport-Touring. Shorter wheelbase, lighter weight, snappier performance. Each successive generation moves further towards the touring side. Adjustable rider position, better cooling, nanny brakes, added sophistication, weight and complexity. The current FJR is a Buick Regal. The Gen 1 is a Buick GNX.
 

RossKean

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There was a recall for the early Throttle Position Sensor, which helped resolve twitchy low speed throttle response.
Forgot about that one. (Also forgot about Gen I ignition switch issues.)

Gen 1 rear luggage racks tend to crack and fall off under any load greater than a lunch bag.
Early Gen II top boxes had problems with cracking. Yamaha addressed it with a recall that added a metal plate to the box. I had the Givi rack (SR357) and V46 top box on my '07 so didn't run into that (same on my 2011).

We are probably getting into far more detail than needed for the OP! Despite everything mentioned, FJRs (all models and all years) are well designed, well built, very durable, extremely reliable and NOT prone to major or expensive failures! Very good support communities on the web (here and elsewhere) and very easy bikes to work on. 100,000 mile life is commonplace and 200,000 miles is not unusual if proper maintenance is carried out.

By far, the most reliable piece(s) of machinery I have ever owned!
 

mophead

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Rolliefree if you are a wrench you will find any model FJR probably the easiest bike to maintain ever. Air and oil filter changes are a snap. The battery is in a unique location but considering you only change it every 6 to 8 years it's no big deal. Wheels come off like motorcycle wheels. Remove calipers and axles and they are off. Seat comes off easy and is adjustable for height so if you are tall or short it helps. You will probably search for replacement windshield and seat from stock but maybe not.
Personally I would look for 2008 forward.
 

Diablo1

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The AE models with auto clutch and electric paddle shift are quite a bit more complex than the standard FJR. The service manual is almost as thick as a dictionary.
 

escapefjrtist

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Echoing others...if you need (want?) to save a few $$$ then hunt for a '08 and up model. If you'd like more improvements then a '13 or newer is the choice up to what you want to spend. Last "A" model with standard suspension was '19. Whatever you choose you won't be disappointed.

Happy hunting!

~G

PS...Keep the Tenere!!
 

Biquer

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I have a 2008 and a 2015 (5 speed). I don't need a 6th gear. My '08 (Ohlins shock and fork springs) handles and rides better than my '15 with electronic suspension. The '15 has more gizmos but less of the electrical woes of the '08, I've had my share of those! Buy a '15 5-speed and upgrade the suspension, that's as good as it gets.
 

RossKean

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Buy a '15 5-speed and upgrade the suspension, that's as good as it gets.
I think the Gen III non-ES models are different from the Gen II models. Different setup with respect to internals (the two tubes are not the same as each other). Before you go that route with a Gen III "A" model, check to make sure that the company providing the springs and valves has a "kit" to accommodate. I do like my Traxxion AK20 setup on my 2011 (and Penske rear).
 

bergmen

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I always admired the FJR but did not consider one until the Gen III introduction (2013). These were the first with "throttle-by-wire" with two modes (T for Touring and S for Sport) as well as integrated electronic cruise control (a must for me).

I was not attracted to the color of the 2013 but bought a Candy Red 2014 "A" model in November of 2013 when they first arrived. Still have it with 45,000 trouble-free miles. Best motorcycle I've ever owned in my 60+ years of riding.

Dan
 
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