I have 52k on my 01 and it has never given me a bit of trouble. I bought a demo set of hepco becker hard bags through holeshot, and they are very well put together. Have done several 1000+ mile days, the longest being Morris Manitoba to Laredo Texas (1675miles).
It is a really comfortable bike with good power and decent handling. It has seen a few trackdays with the guys from work, and I am able to run with a lot faster hardware.
I am on the fence about buying new this year, and have considered a bunch of different bikes. I really would like a 990 adventure, but realize there is no chance I will have the same experience reliability wise. I will probably buy a new FJR. Mission wise, it is the same bike, for a lot more money. I would really like a low maint. shaft drive for my primary long haul bike- I have went through 6 chains on the Bandit, and am tired of adjustment and replacement.
I have sorted the carbs on the Bandit, and the power is perfect with smooth delivery, but the mileage isn't great. I pull about 35mpg at 80 with the bags on, which isn't terrible, but I get tired of thinking about gas at 150 miles on the trip meter. The FJR will do 250 comfortably.
It has been a great bike- I would recommend it to anyone. When I bought it, I was just out of school starting a new job and the price was right. It has treated me well.
In fact, if the FJR doesn't work out, it won't be a bad thing. I feel I am a long way from wearing this bike out- and in tough times, that is a good feeling.
"You plant potatoes, you get potatoes."