Maybe the finest sports touring machine made
Nothing. Flawless. Nary a hiccup in 24,000 km, including nearly a month in the saddle during summer 2008.
This review is for the 2006 FJR1300AE. Bought in the crate in Jan 2008 for $9500 Cdn.
I had never really considered this bike, had my eyes on an ST1300. This bike is a better fit for me, and is also lighter, handles better and has better performance than the ST.
I've done several 1000+ mile days on it and can still respect myself in the morning.
Stock seat is OK, I added an Airhawk prior to doing a 15,000 km tour last summer, which was very much needed. Custom saddle has been added this winter, just because of the sort of very long distance riding I do.
The stock windscreen produced a lot of buffet regardless of positioning. Replaced with a Givi screen, which was better but still not ideal. Looking at a Laminar Lip this off-season, which combined with the stock screen will (hopefully) give both myself and passenger the air capsule we want. Note that among FJR owners, the windscreen seems to be the biggest complaint.
Heat was a problem on the earlier bikes, but redesigned fairing and ducting on the '06 + models seems to have solved this problem.
Lost of spare juice from the electrical system for all the goodies you may want to add. I have rider/passenger intercom, outlets for rider/passenger electric vests, and GPS. Considering aux lighting to improve an already pretty good system.
The AE clutch system has been fantastic. I was somewhat leery of this when I bought it, but would definitely get another one.
The bike is 650-odd lbs with a full tank, which is very noticeable at low speed. Low-speed handling without a clutch to feather is a new skill that needs to be learned and practiced before you can get really confident in parking lots and confined spaces. Once at speed, it is very nimble and smooth, and the linked ABS brakes are superb.
Suspension adjustments are probably necessary to get the bike to handle "just so", but these are easily done. The FJR owners group (FJRforum.com) have helped me a lot in getting the bike set up just the way I want.
Looking forward to many, many more enjoyable miles on this bike. At the price I got it, I should have bought 2. A phenomenal bike even at the regular price... and this one was about 50% of the cost of new with zero miles on the clock.
Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 18th January, 2009