So I find myself with a 2007 Yamaha FJR in my garage tonight after a whirlwind weekend adventure. It had 480 miles when I bought it, has 825 after the trip home, so here's my 345 mile test ride review...no new pics yet but here's one I posted earlier just to set the stage...
This is the first full fairing bike I've owned, and the largest displacement at 1298cc. Also the heaviest, at 582lbs dry weight, the most horsepower at 145 and the most torque at 99ft/lbs. First driveshaft bike, and first with ABS, so I guess it holds the record for most firsts as well.
It holds 6.6 gallons of gas so that puts "wet" weight in the 625lb range. You can definitely feel the heft when walking it and backing up, but once moving it feels perfectly balanced, even from parking lot speeds. I thought the Honda ST I rode felt heavier, as have several cruisers I've tried, not to mention a Goldwing.
The engine is pure refined power, just a bit of trans whine, a low powerful hum from the exhaust, and instant response in any gear. It's a 5 speed, but no issues with missing a 6th gear as 5th will pull strongly from 1500rpm to a supposed 154mph top end. It's a jet express on the highway, I had a hard time keeping it to 70mph, liked to creep up to 80 and beyond. Twist the throttle open at 60 and in a short breath you're pushing 100. The stock exhaust is fairly quiet, you can hear it but it's secondary to the experience, might consider aftermarket slipons eventually, but I don't want to lose the stealthy sound, loud pipes just wouldn't seem right on this bike.
The transmission is very precise and exact, I wouldn't call it silky smooth, more of a solid mechanical engagement. First gear is low, decided that it doesn't like to downshift to first when moving, have to come almost to a stop before it engages without a major clunk and jerk. The driveshaft was totally non-intrusive, quiet and no backlash, guess they engineered that out of shaft bikes in the many years since I rode my last one.
The suspension is adjustable front and rear, forks were dialed to medium and the rear has a two position "soft" and "hard" lever, which I left set on soft. The ride is firm but compliant, bumps that would have kicked me out of the seat on the 919 were soaked up easily with no drama. I didn't get a complete feel for the handling yet, it was raining for the first 150 miles so I took it very easy, the second half of the trip was all freeway so I only got to experience on and off ramps and a few high speed sweepers. My initial impression is that while it certainly isn't tossable or flickable like my 919, it handles very well for its size and negotiates high speed curves like it's on the proverbial rails. I weaved and swerved a bit when I had open road with no traffic, it doesn't respond instantly to a push on the bars like the 9'er, it more just goes where you point it, takes a line and follows it without question.
The brakes are very strong, has a "unified braking system", I'll let the spec guide describe that:
Standard equipment Unified Braking System w/ABS: The front brake lever activates six of the eight front braking pistons; the rear brake pedal activates two rear pistons and the other two front pistons — for balanced anti-lock braking in all conditions.
Can't really feel the unified braking action, just stops very well for a big bike.
The cockpit and controls are excellent, instrumentation is outstanding with an analog tach and speedo, reading to 9000rpm and 180mph respectively. The speedo starts with 0mph at the 6pm position, 70mph is at 9pm, with 180 at about 2pm, so when you're going 55 it looks like you're going about 30 compared to my 919, and feels like it too. The other gauge pod is digital, very legible even in bright sunlight and includes a clock, odometer, two trip odometers, temp gauge, ambient temperature, fuel gauge, real time mpg and average mpg. I felt totally spoiled with so much info in front of me, kept watching the mpg and how different speeds affected it, got 44mpg for the whole trip averaging 70-80mph. The brake and clutch lever are adjustable, strong pull on the clutch lever, and equally strong return spring on the throttle grip. A cruise control will be added in the near future.
The windshield is electric and the first owner had installed a National Cycles V-Stream windshied, it's a few inches taller than stock and several inches wider. I enjoyed the electric function, controlled by a thumb switch on the left side next to the high/low beam switch. With the windshield all the way up I could look through it, although I had to hunch down just a bit to not have the top edge split my view. The top position on the highway makes a totally dead air pocket, in fact a bit of a vacuum that pulls you forward slightly and keeps air from circulating through your helmet. It was useful for hunkering down in the rain and passing semis through dirty air but I got hot and had to crack my visor when the sun came out. All the way down gave full blast and pushed me back, most of the time I kept it a few inches from the top, which allowed me to look over it, created a neutral air pressure zone, gave me some airflow through my helmet but still kept most the pressure off my body and helmet. I'm going to try the stock windshield for comparison's sake, just to make sure it's not better suited to my height than the V-Stream.
My legs and hands were protected by the fairings and mirrors, felt a bit of heat from the engine in slow traffic and 90 degree heat, but not as much as I expected, really not an issue. The mirrors are large, mounted well out to the sides and provide a clear view behind and to the sides. Some vibration in the mirrors at higher speeds, 80+, but all in all quite good. The foot pegs are rear set, fairly sporting position, but comfortable and roomy. The seat is two pieces, the rear lifts off first, then the front. The front section has a high and low setting, I kept it on low for this trip, will experiment with the other setting but I felt comfortable the way it was set. The seat has a firm cushion, not cushy, but supportive, way better than the 919 of course.
The bags are great, all open with the ignition key, when unlocked the side bags lift right off and don't leave any mounting hardware visible. The side bags swing down and have retaining straps inside, also came with nice liners that can be used for duffle bags. The top trunk is huge and nicely hinged, really feels like a trunk when you open the lid. It mounts to the rear rack and comes off readily as well. Haven't tried it yet but it looks easily capable of holding a full face helmet. Gin also says the trunk backrest is quite comfy, she only got a short ride between rain storms, but says the rear seat feels luxurious compared to being on the back of our other bikes. There's also a storage box on top of the left front fairing which has a power outlet inside for accessory power.
The "Black Cherry" paint is beautiful, deep metallic burgundy/merlot color, really glimmers in the sunlight. Fit and finish is outstanding, body seams are straight and true, no major squeeks or rattles. I've already removed the helmet sticker on the gas tank and the "Grim Reaper" tank protector that the first owner applied. It needs a good detail after a rainy trip home, I removed the bulk of the bugs from the paint and windshield, will give it a good wash and wax as soon as the weather allows.
That's about all I've got for now, I'm sure I'll add more as I gain experience, looking forward to that task!
I LOVE THIS BIKE!!