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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Impressions after 6000 miles

I know no one is waiting by their computers greatly anticipating my next post but, I do want to apologize for not posting for a month.  Life kept me busy and away from posting or reading many of the blogs I follow.  Hopefully I will be more consistent.

I have now ridden the Yamaha FJR 6,000 miles since I got it in September.  I posted my first impressions of the FJR shortly after buying it.  Now I can give a more informed and experienced review of the bike.
Waiting for the start of a toy ride in November.
Having ridden a Yamaha VStar 1100 and a Yamaha Venture prior to get the sport tourer it took a while to get use to the more aggressive riding position.  My knees being bent more and the added weight on the wrists took some time getting use to it, but it did not take too long.

The most impressive aspect is the sheer power.  I went from nearly 100 horsepower on a 860+lb Venture to a 144 horsepower on a 644lb bike.  The acceleration and speed is amazing and addicting.  Passing someone is a breeze.  Most time I don't even have to down shift.  I just roll on the throttle and the power is delivered smoothly and effortlessly.  I love it! If I had been on the FJR instead of the Venture I would have gotten out of the lady who ran the red light and hit me.

I quickly changed to seat to the Corbin. This is my first Corbin seat.  It lowered the sitting position about 1.5 inches.  The seat is comfortable and the pillion had a very noticeable improvement.  The leather on the seat is tightly pulled and is high quality.  I have found the seat to be comfortable, stylish, and well made.  No complaints.

The handling is amazing.  Low speed maneuvers are easy, especially after getting use to the large Venture.  A quick U-turn is very manageable.  Cornering in the twisties is awesome - now.  I say "now" because it took me a while to get comfortable with the capabilities of the FJR, the greater ground clearance, and the different riding style.

This past fall I enjoyed a great weekend ride in Arkansas with some friends.  (Previous post concerning Arkansas -Talimena Drive, Mena Mountain Top Cabins, Pig Trail, Country Store, Blanchard Springs Caverns)  I was still learning the bike so I did not push the bike on the curves.  After I got more miles in the saddle and I began to ride more aggressively.  I really enjoy the twisties!  The handling of the FJR is great!  Drop a knee, shift a cheek, and press the handlebar - the bike eats up the corners with stability and smoothness.
Checking out the fall colors at an overlook on the Talimena Drive
I quickly discovered that I had to do something about the grips.  My hands went numb quickly.  After some research I decided to purchase and install Grip Puppies.  The extra foam covering really made an impact.  The bigger diameter of the grip and the extra vibration absorption alleviated the numbing.  I also installed the ThrottleMeister throttle lock system.  The added weight on the end of the handlebars reduced the vibration.
Grip Puppies and ThrottleMeister
The detachable lockable luggage is very convenient.  They are so easy to remove and attach.  With the twist of the key the bags are unlocked and can be lifted by the handle and removed.  When in place and locked the saddlebags are also securely fastened to the bike.  When feeling really sporty and I don't need to haul something with me I will leave the bags at home and show off the sexy design of the bike.  (I need all the help I can get. :) )
Without the saddlebags
video
The detachable luggage is so easy to use.
The adjustable windshield is a nice feature.  Passengers tend to like to have it at maximum height.  I like that feature at times although I leave it down most of the time.  The wind buffeting is great reduced when the windshield is at full height but, so is the gas mileage.  The windshield goes down when the key is turned off which I don't mind but some riders would like it to stay at its current position until they manually change it.
video
The adjustable windshield allows for wind protection customization.
I have purchased some risers that will allow a more upright riding position but, I have not installed them yet once I do I will let post about them.  I am not for sure I need them but, I do think they will make long rides more comfortable.

I am completely satisfied with my purchase - no regrets.  I love riding the FJR.  My biggest challenge is keeping my speed down when leading some cruisers on a ride.  Not that I am running 100 mph but, I don't have to squeeze the breaks as much when approaching corners and acceleration comes so easy.  I have to keep an eye on the mirrors to make sure they are still back there. :)