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Old 08-19-2013, 07:10 PM   #1
double_entendre OP
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Joined: Aug 2008
Location: Huntington Beach, CA
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FJR1300 to GSA camhead

So I bought Raven Rider's 1200GSA. Been wanting a GS since I first saw one in the 1980s and fell in love with the bumblebee PD.


First impressions:

Damn. This thing is loud. I'm used to an FJR1300 and not two big thumpers fighting each other. (My wife pointed out that it's no louder than the FJR, just has a much deeper exhaust note. She's probably right--she usually is.)

The upright seating position is awesome. I think he's fiddled with risers and aftermarket bars, but they're great. After a few unpleasant get offs as a young immortal, it's nice to have something that doesn't make my back hurt.

Pretty cool how the bike kicks to the right with the flywheel when I hit the start button. Gives the bike character.

He's put shorter springs on it, which is probably good, though I suspect I'll have to change those springs out at some point. I'm spotting him 100 pounds.... But the bike rode well from Phoenix to Seattle to Huntington Beach, so no rush.

In addition to the Sargent seat, I got a stocker and one other of unknown provenance. I used the Sargent for my ride to Seattle & home. Color me not impressed. The rim between the passenger and rider seats was constantly digging into my backside. There needs to be a backrest there or the lip needs to be higher or not there. Something. That seat is going into the garage cabinet until I sell it.

The mirrors are ....... great at seeing past my shoulders into the Rorshach test that they turn everything behind me into. Sure hope I don't have to fish out a cop from that. (Good news: No pull-overs for my whole trip.)

The bags are great, but I need some liners. The aluminum is good at staining everything it touches. I wish I could remove those plastic lips on the bags and have them powder coated. That'd be perfect.

Guess I'm gonna have to buy a GS911 to do maintenance. That's vaguely annoying. I kinda liked being able to just jump a couple pins to reset the service light on my M3, but that's not in the cards, I guess.

Need to mull getting a couple of spare wheels with knobbies for the bike, but I'll wait and keep my eyes out for a deal. Maybe a 21" for the front, but we'll see. Probably be a bit weird to bounce back and forth to the 21" depending on the riding I was going to do.

Overall? Very pleased. Fun bike to ride, nice sounding exhaust, very different from and complementary to my FJR. I may someday trade the FJR in for a Wing, but for now I'm gonna sell my XR and the Ninja 250 and clear some garage space.

And maybe join the SoCal NOOB dirt rides.
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Old 08-19-2013, 08:03 PM   #2
FBB
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did the same

I went from an 2008 FJR to a 2011 GS.

It sounds like you are a diy type. You will love how simple the valve clearance check and TBS are in comparison to the FJR. That and the fact you don't have to remove 2000 square feet of plastic to do anything.

On the other hand changing the final drive oil requires removing the rear wheel which is easy, but ridiculous you have to do it in the first place.

You may also be pleasantly surprised how easy the beast is to ride quickly through the twisties.
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Old 08-19-2013, 10:42 PM   #3
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Still working on the twisters, but becoming very fond of the ESA.

Not sure about the valve adjustment. The FJR's valves are a pain to get to, but that 26k interval is awesome. Not sure I get that since they're both shims, right?

That said, what is this strange sixth gear thing? I sure wish the FJR had it, but the FJRForum guys tell me I'm a whiner and the bike is perfect as is.
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Old 08-20-2013, 07:09 AM   #4
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"That said, what is this strange sixth gear thing? I sure wish the FJR had it, but the FJRForum guys tell me I'm a whiner and the bike is perfect as is."

Funny Stuff! I always thought it needed a 6th gear as well. Closer ratios through the first 5 gears and an overdrive 6th would help take better advantage of that wonderful engine.

The valve check interval does seem a bit conservative. Fortunately they are very simple to do and from what I have read rarely need new shims.

If you haven't done so already get the excellent JVB maintenance DVD. VERY useful for performing maintenance.

I also have ESA and love it! Some here do not like it at all, but I love being able to switch on the fly depending on the terrain.
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Old 08-20-2013, 12:11 PM   #5
rdcyclist
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Quote:
Originally Posted by double_entendre View Post
That said, what is this strange sixth gear thing? I sure wish the FJR had it, but the FJRForum guys tell me I'm a whiner and the bike is perfect as is.
LOL...It's so funny how the FJR is the perfect bike over there and the GS is the perfect bike over here, to the point of absolute stupidity on both sides. The [insert make and model of choice] doesn't have any failures or shortcomings, you're just a [insert competing make and model] rider and don't know what you're talkin' 'bout...

I had an FJR in 2004 when I got my first GS as did my best friend. We both sold our FJRs and have only bought GS's since (four for me and two for him) because: The only thing the FJR will do the GS won't is go 150 mph. We all know what the GS will do that the FJR won't; I just don't have time or space to list it all...
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Old 08-20-2013, 02:53 PM   #6
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I swapped my 2012 Kawasaki Concourse for a '13 GSA 90th edition...

no regrets thus far...

i know, not FJR but sport tourer.....lol
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Old 08-20-2013, 07:00 PM   #7
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Well let'a be honest here. After riding it a bit, it's clear it needs a seventh gear. It's winding out way too much at 90+mph. And the oil cooler being where it is makes it a bug magnet. What rocket scientist decided to put it front & center where the air comes straight at it? And I'm lucky Raven put shorter springs in it. Speaking as a five-foot-eight-American, I think the bike discriminates against averageish Americans. I should start a class action suit.

Ok, tongue less in cheek, the turn signals are asinine. Teutonic bloody-mindedness. C'mon, really. Do they do it that way to get revenge on the Japanese for fucking up the Pearl Harbor attack? I'm gonna just assume it has no horn because the odds of me hitting that in a panic situation are, well, slim and none. And Slim is on an NSR250 heading for Fairbanks.

I remember many years ago a BMW reviewer talking about impotently flashing his left signal at a car. I completely understand that now.

But that aside, I'm not selling the FJR, but loving the GSA.
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Old 08-20-2013, 07:29 PM   #8
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Don't blame you

If I had enough space and money I may have kept the FJR as well as they are a great bike.

The money I may have been able to scrape up.

Getting the space would have required I either move her car or her R1200R outside.

No point in tempting the gods with a suggestion of that...
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Old 08-20-2013, 09:43 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by double_entendre View Post
Ok, tongue less in cheek, the turn signals are asinine.
Yeah, the turn signals on the new wethead do indeed suck. What was wrong with the push with the left thumb to go left, push with the right thumb to go right that I'd been using the last 15 or 20 years.



You'll get used to them. You might even come to like them (I did). It was mostly reviewers who never rode the same bike for more than a few days in a row who hated them. As for the horn comment... it goes both ways. The first three weeks with the wethead I kept hitting the horn to signal a left turn.
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Old 08-25-2013, 09:45 AM   #10
johnny80s
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I moved from an FJR to a GS and had a lot of complaints when I moved. Then after riding the GS more and more I have found I like most of the things that bothered me when I first got it.

Now my FJR is up for sale in the Flea Market.
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Old 08-25-2013, 02:32 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by johnny80s View Post
I moved from an FJR to a GS and had a lot of complaints when I moved. Then after riding the GS more and more I have found I like most of the things that bothered me when I first got it.

Now my FJR is up for sale in the Flea Market.


Not sure I'm ready to sell the FJR. It's a great bike with two unforgiveable flaws: No sixth gear and poor heat management.

But it is a great bike other than that. Top notch shaft final drive.








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