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Topic: Should I FJR?  (Read 7081 times)

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RBEmerson
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« Reply #20 on: April 19, 2018, 12:28:51 pm »

As the (co-)owner of two 4-wheeled BMW's as well as now the former owner of one Beemer and extended rider of a few more... meh. Any machine has its different flavor. Of all of the them, I think the KRS was the most distinctive. Tons of torque at the bottom, my nerve runs out at about 120 mph, acceleration can be near violent. The brakes are solid but can be modulated, and most any corner can be done quite well. The stock ergos and saddle don't need tweaking. The tranny, at idle at a light, sounds like there are rocks banging around in there, and shifting isn't as certain as it should be. There's no real hope of getting in behind the windshield in crappy wet weather. The stock lighting was pathetic (too easy to over-run even the high beam) and demanded HID's which were a PITA to install.

My big problem is any major repair would cost a significant portion or close to the bike's value. Buying something all over again is silly. I will admit to doing just that with our '90 Vanagon, but's a collectable vehicle. Book value sucks, but in the collectable market we would be able to do much better. The KRS isn't in that category yet and I'm not waiting until it is.

BMW parts prices are silly. $1000 for the frame that supports the nose panel? $2000 for a new ABS modulator than can be rebuilt for $600?. It's enough. I'm done with a BMW bike. If I had my way, neither of the cars will be replaced with new BMW's. There are just too many good alternatives.
- - - -
OTOH, a friend who owned a Bentley said that the flat fee for periodic maintenance was too much - $10K per visit.
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« Reply #21 on: April 19, 2018, 12:49:23 pm »




I designed a survey of FJR owners last month, posted it to both FJR forums, and here are the results from ~ 35 respondents...hopefully these numbers will at least give you a starting point of constructing your own suspension recipe:

Front pre-load: 2 lines with 30% of the vote. Next was 3 lines with 27%.

Front rebound damping: 7 - 8 clicks with 27% of the vote. Next was 5 -6 clicks with 23%.

Front compression damping: Now a tie! 7 - 8 clicks with 30%. Next was 9 - 10 clicks with 30%.

Rear rebound damping: 5 -6 clicks with 27%. Next was 11 - 12 clicks with 23%.

Rear spring preload: Soft with 67%.
I'm surprised that there was no specific winner for any setting. I gather that 20+% is a plurality (less than 50% but bigger than any other number) in the first four settings. I'll give the suggestions a try.

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As far as FJR-or-no-FJR, I would say Absolutely Yes.  I picked up a leftover '16A last spring to replace a Triumph Thunderbird 1600 cruiser (and several cruisers before that one, so this my first sport tourer / non-cruiser), and could not be more pleased.  Budget a grand+ for a replacement seat, risers, and probably the Touring screen.
I've ridden a Thunderbird as a loaner. It was utterly useless on the PA Tpk in the 70 mph zones. Wind blast and generally trying to get it to stay around 70 was a fight.

IMNSHO changing a bike before putting a couple of thousand miles behind is ill-advised. If the ergos are still not happening after that, changes are probably a good idea. Before that, out of the box changes cover up what may turn out to be pluses. Besides, waiting for a while gives the bank account a chance to recharge.  Wink

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As far as the A vs. ES, I had the same decision to make, and I ultimately decided on the A model ,  because 1) I knew I was a set-it-and-forget-it kind of person, 2). even if I weren't the kind of roads I ride on 90% of the time are similar in nature, i.e. I'm not going from tight switchbacks to a straight highway to urban driving, so the useful utility of the ES was limited at best and definitely not worth the extra $$, and 3). I ride solo 98% of the time, so the necessity of quickly/easily changing one-up and two-up loads is virtually non-existant.  So if I was a tinkerer who cruised a wide variety of roads and often had a passenger...yeah, I can see why an add'l $1500 would be a good investment...but otherwise, it seems like that $1500 could better go toward covering those three upgrades I mention earlier.
I do tinker long enough make things right, but then I'm done. But it does matter to me to get closer to "really right". "If a thing's worth doing, do it right".  Smile

My riding does vary from interstate to the basic average not a straight road to twisty. I'm not a knee-dragger or track day terror (never even been to a track day and don't feel called to do one). But it's not enough just sensing going forward "briskly", side-to-side is in the mix. And there's the challenge of "how do I do this so I feel like I'm on rails through the turn". Bottom line: I want to do a mix of riding. A bike that can do that well is to the good.

I don't ride two up - SWMBO has zero interest. I almost always ride alone, with the exception of occasionally with one friend. Again, a bike tuned to what works for me and supports my pace is where I want to end up.

Although it's a small thing, those progressive side lights really get my attention. Yowsah!
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« Reply #22 on: April 19, 2018, 01:22:47 pm »


I'm surprised that there was no specific winner for any setting.


If my survey and, as well, my time reading on those forums the threads on suspension settings had any basic take-away, it was that folks' setting preferences are inherently discretionary and wildly variable, and about as numerous as the math allows it to be.  I had pictures posted of the graphs that broke down the percentages, but imagepost seems to have dropped them, so can't provide those for you.  However, if you go here:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/R2DNWYM

...and take the five-question survey, at the end it'll show you the graphs (with your responses now included) with the breakdown...you'll get an idea of how the spectrum for each setting ran.  There was a bell curve for most, but it was still a fairly wide range of responses.
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« Reply #23 on: April 19, 2018, 01:39:24 pm »

Er, I'd contaminate the results to take a look? There's no "jump to the end"?

Anyway, I suspect there's a mix of "feels good to me" as much as setting according to specific weight, etc. empirically derived settings. I certainly am not the sort of rider who who could spot minuscule errors. OTOH, I don't find it that hard find smallish errors, even if I haven't a clue as to what's doing it.

I recently tested a Triumph Trophy SE. There was a lot to like about it. It's more touring than sporting, but it does go when the throttle gets a hard twist. I broke off the test ride about 10 minutes in; the handling was just wrong. The tire pressures were in spec, but the bike resisted (hand pressure where none should be) big turns and smaller radius turns were worse. But at the same time it would do little wobbles for no apparent reason. Fail.

BTW, I found out later that Triumph has dropped the model. Also, I found two used TTSE bikes, with almost no mileage, at dealerships. Not a good sign...
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« Reply #24 on: April 19, 2018, 02:04:32 pm »


Er, I'd contaminate the results to take a look? There's no "jump to the end"?



Unfortunately not...and, as well, it closes access to the survey once you have taken it, viewed the results, and exited the page (i.e. you can't go back again to look).  Not an ideal format, I'll grant you, but as a free user of it for this survey I guess I got what I paid for. If you want to see the graph, just take that consensus breakdown I provided earlier, plug those winning percentages in, and you'll be able to see the graphs AND not "contaminate the results."

R.e. the Trophy:  Yes, big, heavy, and discontinued.  I'm a Triumph fan, but when I was shopping around all the various sport-touring models, it only took me a couple of minutes of sitting on one to determine it wasn't the model for me.

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« Reply #25 on: April 19, 2018, 02:57:14 pm »

On the survey - Drat.

On the TTSE - I was surprised that it didn't feel as scary, standing still, as I expected. One review made the point that the front looks big and like a Gold Wing, but from the tank back it's not as big as the front suggests. In terms of forking the TTSE, it felt a little narrower than the FJR. The controls look overwhelming, but a lot of it is tied to the radios (includes Sirius XM). However, the stuff with more immediate use are somewhat awkward to use. But almost anything is better than BMW's "wonder wheel"! But, as I said, the steering was a fail.
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« Reply #26 on: April 26, 2018, 10:35:27 pm »

Woohoo! I be FJRin'! I picked up my shiny black bike this afternoon. See my comments in STO.  Bigok
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« Reply #27 on: April 26, 2018, 10:47:39 pm »

Sorry, I don't go over there.
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« Reply #28 on: April 26, 2018, 11:54:06 pm »

OK, cross-post time...

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At last! I am FJRed! I'm the happy, happy, joy, joy owner of a seriously black '17 ES.

I'll whinge elsewhere about the process of getting the bike.

First impressions:
After my KRS' relatively narrow bars, the width of the FJR grips feels a bit funny. The front of the seat is markedly wider than the KRS' seat. The result is my room of motion for flat footing is somewhat limited because my feet are further apart to begin with.

The motor definitely has good grunt at the low end, and up through the gears, without feeling the need to really wind the motor up. This is similar to the KRS. What's a little odd is, even in sport mode, the motor seems to need a little time to gather itself and launch. Tour mode, of course, enhances that.

It's possible to change throttle modes on the roll, briefly roll the throttle to zero, push the Mode button, and ride on.

I can't quite figure out the clutch. Taking off from a light, it certainly gripping. As far as I know, the only place where slipping shows up is upshifting without pulling the clutch in. I thought downshifted that way, but it must have been a fluke because the shifter firmed up enough to suggest I was about to do something stupid.

The '16 A I demoed had a grabby front brake. This bike's front brake is easy to modulate. Whether that's a change between the '16 and '17 or just the '16 being weird...  Shrug

Linking is, IMHO, an evil thing. If I want the rear brake and no front brake, make it so. I guess I don't mind the front brake activating the rear, too.

I'm still trying to find my way through the suspension settings. I opted for "one up w/ luggage" which seems to be OK except there's a lot (IMHO) of rebound. That's an open question for now.

I like the steering, or as much as I can test on new tires. The wear marks are widening but have a ways to go yet. Doing scrubbing weaves feel good, as does rolling into moderate sweepers. I've sampled some tighter turns, but not at the speed I'd usually use. However, even with the wider bars, steering feels a little on the "heavy" side. While the KRS is a heavy bike, it felt more nimble than the FJR. I'm sure that, over time, I'll get used to it.

I'm still trying to sort out the ergos. I'll try moving the handlebars around a bit (three locations possible) to see what works better for me.

I'm not sure where I am on the saddle. I thought I was starting to feel a hot spot/pressure point this afternoon, but maybe not. I suspect this is a saddle that needs to break in to fit the rider's contours. The front of the saddle is wider than I'd like. I can flat foot but my feet are well away from the bike. But maybe that's a good thing?

The switches... I need to spend more time building some muscle memory but, for the most part,on the clutch side they suck. Oddly, the menu switch is the one that most readily "falls to hand". The turn signal switch isn't too bad, but after that, there's simply no way a normal human's thumb is going to reach most of the switches on the clutch side. On the brake side, where the starter button is, within reason, doesn't matter a lot. The Mode switch fairly easy to reach. But why, why, why does it have a long travel.  Headscratch

The button for the four-ways is buried at the bottom of the switch housing. Since it doesn't get used a lot, I guess that's tolerable.

For the most part, I like the displays. The bar chart for fuel level strikes me as bigger than needed. Some of that real estate could be given to water temp bar. Instead, it takes some menu flipping to bring it up in the screen to the right of the speedo. Having the numbers is a good thing, but a temp. bar strikes me as important.

The info screen does its job well enough. The three rows of detail numbers are, IMHO, less that good at a glance. This is probably also a function of getting used to the display.

I guess there isn't much choice in the matter, but it strikes me as a bit odd to have to cycle through displays to get to "OK, now you may change windscreen".

As I suspected, the panniers' odd shape and volume are disappointing. They almost force having to use a top box on a trip. The compartment to the left of the bars is almost a dead loss. With nothing in there, my Samsung S7 simply doesn't fit in the box. Add a USB adapter and not much else will fit. I guess it's OK for the paperwork and some money, but otherwise it's a disappointment. Since there's no relief to sneak a USB cable out to service a handlebar mount, the box becomes little more than a place for stuff to disappear into. One possibility is to use the plug for trickle charging the battery. There's a "one pin is male, one is female" connector. I have a USB adapter that uses that type of plug. I'll plug the phone into that.

The headlights are disappointing. For LED's they're just not all that great in low beam. High beam is better. Maybe I need to tweak the aiming screws.

The ES' special turn lighting lives up to reviewer's comments. They work pretty well in turns to the left. Going to the right, the lights shine anywhere but where it would help. For some reason. turns to the right are slower to turn any of the lights on. At the moment, "nice try, but it needs more work".

All of that being said, I really am a happy camper. The upcoming trip to near Annapolis (160 mi each way) will be, I think, enlightening.
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« Reply #29 on: April 27, 2018, 09:19:43 am »

Thank you for the post.

Sounds like you are not as happy as you'd like to be. Don't know if this will help, but, it's a motorcycle. There is no motorcycle made anywhere that is perfect in fit, size, shape, weight, or you name it.

I don't like twitchy bikes that handle like a razor, I don't like cruisers that won't go around a corner, I don't like top end bikes where to pass a car you have to tap dance on the shifter for 8,000 rpms or a torque monster that is done at 5,000 rpms. How about a suspension that glides over everything until you get to a corner where you drag everything or a track hard suspension where you can feel the ant you just ran over? I still live by the old creed of 70/80% rider and 20/30% bike. In modern times riders are thinking toward most bike and less rider.


I have loved my FJRs. Just last Monday at 6:00a I left and at 11:30a I was 405 miles away. Set-up. Had lunch, walked around 3 or 4 miles got back on bike to look around where I was then had coffee over my fire. Next morning took it easy with several coffees at fire then did three hours of business and was back home at 6:00p for dinner at home. For that kind of riding I would not have chosen any other bike that I know of.
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« Reply #30 on: April 27, 2018, 01:00:06 pm »

I am happy with the bike. It's 95% what I expected from the 90 minute test ride.

My intent in the post was to write up my initial impressions. There are some, to my mind, problems with varying degrees of severity. The "no cell phone" box is annoying, because I might want to stuff the phone in there in case of heavy rain. The switches are just plain strangely laid out. A beta tester should have said something about it. Compare them with the Triumph Trophy SE. They have a bunch of additional functions to support an "entertainment center". NTL the switches that matter are more readily accessible.

The Mode switch strikes me as over-engineered but ...meh... it works.

Two things that I didn't mention are "why aren't the turn signals self-canceling?" and the screen sure is narrow. The former is close to, but not as bad the Concours without cruise control. For all of the toys the ES has, why no self-canceling? The windscreen dimension is a tricky thing to get right and still fit the bike design. I have a near horror of add-on clear flap things, but I might suck it up at some point. The BMW RT and K1600, among other bikes, has a notch or depression in the top edge of the screen. It allows not looking through the screen while still getting protection.

Some people will notice this stuff and not care, or not even notice it. My post was "here's what I see - YMMV".

Do I like the bike? Hell yeah!  Bigok

Agreed about razor's edge bikes. The KRS, with fresh tires, was like that. A side wind at 70+ could be memorable. The FJR, with "still scrubbing them in" tires is nowhere near that. Color me relieved.
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« Reply #31 on: April 27, 2018, 02:25:23 pm »



                                         Thumbsup



Sorry if I came off a little hard. I tend to complain about people complaining too much.            


I just finished polishing the FJR up and loaded it up for this weekend of riding. I'm going to the mountains.
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« Reply #32 on: April 27, 2018, 05:38:16 pm »

Seriously, fair enough. My comments tried to hit pluses and minuses. I'd like to think I went into this with my eyes open. I haven't found anything that leaves me second guessing myself.

Enjoy the ride. I don't have to polish my "black is better" bike. The dealer did it for me. Bwahahaha...
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« Reply #33 on: April 27, 2018, 08:25:15 pm »




                                         Thumbsup



Sorry if I came off a little hard. I tend to complain about people complaining too much.            


I just finished polishing the FJR up and loaded it up for this weekend of riding. I'm going to the mountains.


You loading the FJR up on a trailer?   Cool
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« Reply #34 on: May 20, 2018, 08:17:16 pm »

It usually takes me 3-6 months to settle in to a new motorcycle. My 2014 A FJR was no different. Some things were noticed right away (handlebars), others took some time. After 4 1/2 years and 40,000 miles I have this bike dialed in like no other that I've owned. Been riding since 1961 and the level of crudeness of bikes of that era defy description. Most of my mods are minor, generally (Laam seat, Yamaha Touring Shield, Hawkshead TPMS system and some homemade brackets, etc.).

The suspension, while maybe not meeting the requirements of the perfectionist, is in my opinion outstanding. The owners manual is pretty good at recommending settings. I started at the soft end, transitioned to the middle setting and have slightly tweaked from there after a year or so to add a bit more damping. Solo rider here.

I never have to do anything on the bike (except regular scheduled maintenance). Climb on, turn the key push start and in 3 seconds, it is purring like a kitten - every time. The FJR has built a reputation for granite-like reliability and durability and failures are extremely rare. Yamaha has always favored strong mid-range torque in their big irons and the FJR is king in that regard. I am never in a position where I wish I had more power. It has excellent after burners.

Dan

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« Reply #35 on: May 20, 2018, 09:29:51 pm »

In my cross-posted critique of the FJR, I said the pannier volume was disappointing. What's disappointing is to find I'm doing a colonoscopy with my Mk I eyeballs.  

Unlike the KRS, I can actually stow my Shoei Air GT in a pannier. That's more than I can say for any recent BMW, including K1600 with top box, that I've ridden. It helps to take the grey liner thingies out before trying to fill the pannier directly. At the moment, one of the liner bags is carrying what was previously in my tank bag. All of this sorted out. the bags are deceptively bigger than their shape suggests.  Bigok
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« Reply #36 on: June 05, 2018, 11:09:01 pm »

My FJR and I getting to be good friends. Even though it spends too much time waiting for me. I've pretty much decided that "grocery getting" isn't worth gearing up for. If the whole trip is under 20 miles, I'll take four wheels.

Anyway... I've finally figured out how to make the ES suspension really work. Once I understood how the suspension settings worked, and how to them change on the fly, I'm really happy I have an ES.  Bigok
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« Reply #37 on: June 06, 2018, 10:39:38 am »


My FJR and I getting to be good friends. Even though it spends too much time waiting for me. I've pretty much decided that "grocery getting" isn't worth gearing up for. If the whole trip is under 20 miles, I'll take four wheels.

Anyway... I've finally figured out how to make the ES suspension really work. Once I understood how the suspension settings worked, and how to them change on the fly, I'm really happy I have an ES.  Bigok



Glad you are liking the bike. I am glad I don't have, nor want, an ES. I ain't smart enough for all those buttons and doohickusses! Heck, I can barely ride much less figure out what to do to get going!!!!!!!
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« Reply #38 on: June 06, 2018, 09:44:28 pm »

The path to enlightenment was arduous but becoming one with the ES suspension is well worth it. Running up the PA Turnpike, I dialed up super-cushy (two riders plus luggage - soft setting -3) so I could laugh at the ridges in the road. Coming to the exit, I switched to Standard (half way between Hard and Soft) to get a little more grab in the clover leaf turns. Woohoo! If I know I'm headed to serious twisties, I can drop down to single rider set to Hard -1 and bang through the turns. Gotta love it. The setup, once enlightened, isn't difficult. Once that's down, it just leafing through the settings dialed in earlier. In short, it ain't that hard. Smile
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« Reply #39 on: June 18, 2018, 08:46:38 pm »


The path to enlightenment was arduous but becoming one with the ES suspension is well worth it. Running up the PA Turnpike, I dialed up super-cushy (two riders plus luggage - soft setting -3) so I could laugh at the ridges in the road. Coming to the exit, I switched to Standard (half way between Hard and Soft) to get a little more grab in the clover leaf turns. Woohoo! If I know I'm headed to serious twisties, I can drop down to single rider set to Hard -1 and bang through the turns. Gotta love it. The setup, once enlightened, isn't difficult. Once that's down, it just leafing through the settings dialed in earlier. In short, it ain't that hard. Smile


You should change the picture in your avatar (so we can see what your new FJR looks like).

Dan
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