FJR corner carver: buy Traxxion or sell for FZ1/etc?

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by superkram, Feb 11, 2013.

  1. superkram

    superkram Church parking lot rider

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    Hello all,

    Love my '06 FJR1300A, I've added 12K miles in 7 months of ownership, including a 5,500-mile trip to Calfornia and back over the holiday break. Pros: fast, comfy, good looking. Cons: fat, heavy.

    Now, the FJR is a great bike, and it's probably more capable than my skill levels. However, I find myself wanting something lighter and easier to carve corners with. Should I plunk down the money for a full Traxxion suspension with AK20 cartridges and a new rear shock? Would I still be dealing with the on/off characteristic of a shaft-drive mid-turn?

    Or sell it and go for another sport-tourer (2nd gen FZ1, VFR800 VTEC) or a sport-bike with hard-luggage and LSL/Spiegler handlebars? Recently rode a Bandit 1250 with Givi luggage, wasn't impressed with handling. Loved a Gen1 FZ1, prob would love an Gen2 FZ1 with suspension & hard luggage.

    No comments about setting up a collection of bikes, please. Only room for one motorcycle at a time in my life right now, with a one-car garage that already has a ton of tools and stuff stored in it.

    Thanks!

    Tags: FJR FJR1300 FJR1300A
    #1
  2. Mr_Gone

    Mr_Gone The Lejund!

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    I've owned an VFR800 and currently own an FJR.

    If you think you'll be doing more corner-carving, get a lighter sport-tourer like a VFR800, which you can take on longer trips if necessary. I had Givi cases on mine and they worked very well on long trips.

    If you think you'll be doing more long distance touring, stick with the FJR.

    I've found that I can carry just as much speed through corners with my FJR as with my VFR. It just doesn't seem like as much speed. And trust me, I do not have MotoGP skills. At best, I'm an average rider. I just trust that the FJR will take those corners at the same speed as my VFR, and it always comes through.

    Pick the right bike for the style of riding you think you'll do the most. Just my $0.02.
    #2
  3. superkram

    superkram Church parking lot rider

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    Good points, keep 'em coming.

    The power and smoothness of the FJR are fantastic on the open road. With tax season, I can afford a Traxxion suspension and maybe a new Givi V47 top case to match the FJR's angular looks. But will I be happy? Does anyone else bitch in the morning and wish they had something lighter/narrower for commuting?

    Or am I just a whiny, overfed, overpampered dolt?
    #3
  4. superkram

    superkram Church parking lot rider

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    By the way.... my shop called and told me my FJR needs a new rear rotor due to warping at 24.5K miles. Could a warped rotor have any effect on fuel economy? I can never seem to get better than 36-37 average

    My riding is a mix of slab, commuting, city errands, and backroads. Slab or state highways at 75-90mph (you gotta ride to hit the twisty stuff) makes up about 70-75% of my overall miles. Rarely go above 5K except when accelerating onto onramps.
    #4
  5. Mr_Gone

    Mr_Gone The Lejund!

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    Well, I don't know if you're whiny, overfed, overpampered, or a dolt. I doubt you're any of those things.

    I've been commuting to work on my FJR since I bought it, and I don't even notice it's size or weight. The bike just does everything I want it to do. Now, my needs might be different from yours, but I commute, run errands, do my grocery shopping, and take long trips on my FJR.

    Every bike has trade-offs. With every bike, you'll find that it doesn't do something. The question is: can you live with what it doesn't do?
    #5
  6. madeouttaglass

    madeouttaglass The AntiHarley

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    I also have an '06 FJR. I've owned a few older VF Hondas and loved them. Last summer I swapped bikes with a friend's VFR800 for a morning. It certainly felt lighter but at 50 years old I wouldn't ride it 500-900 mile days like I easily do on the FJR. The 1300 is also much faster than the 800. I expected less of a performance difference with the weight difference of the bikes. The FJR could smoke the VFR.
    I get about 43 MPG average with 10% ethanol. It used to get 48 with 100% gasoline.
    #6
  7. madeouttaglass

    madeouttaglass The AntiHarley

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    I'll also add that I've been riding for 40 years but do not consider myself a sensitive rider. Anyway, I met a guy who did those mods to his FJR suspension and swore by them. Unlike a great rider, I probably wouldn't notice.
    #7
  8. Dranrab Luap

    Dranrab Luap E-Tarded Super Moderator

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    I enjoyed my FJR for what it was and the vast majority of the time weight wasn't an issue. I had it in some seriously tight twisties crossing the Sonomas in CA. The road was rough and the often did 180 switchbacks. By the time I got across I was exhausted. That's one of the few times I wished for a lighter bike.
    #8
  9. Blakebird

    Blakebird r-u-n-n-o-f-t

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    My '07 FJR was one of my favorite bikes because despite it's heft, it was a pretty sporty ride. I come from a long line of sportbikes and used to tour on them.... the FJR was a great bike that brought a little excitement to owning a bagger.
    I ended up having mine's suspension resprung and revalved, but not until I put 34,000 miles on it in a bit less than 2 yrs. It was an improvement.

    Hard to judge anyone's skill level and make a suggestion - but if you want a lighter bike, I'd suggest a Ninja 1000. I've had quite a few bikes....VFR, Blackbird, ZX-14, RSV Mille, CBR1000RR, etc....and the new Ninja is an awesome combo of comfort and sportbike. Will leave a VFR for dead, and I loved the V4, it just wasn't as strong as I'd have liked.

    The Ninja motor is purpose built for two bikes, the Z1000 and Ninja 1000....and it comes on strong in the midrange. You won't be disappointed in the motor.
    #9
  10. Jimmy the Heater

    Jimmy the Heater Tilting the Horizon

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    If your riding is 70 to 75% slab and highways I don't see any point in getting rid of the FJR.

    If it was the other way around at 25% slab and the rest city and twisties then yes I would trade off but you'd be hard pressed to do better with a single bike.

    The suspension mods will help quite a bit with mid corner bumps and other pavement related problems but with shaft effect, not so much.
    I ride a shaft driven bike in the twisties and have noticed it quite abruptly in some instances but was able to take care of it by smoothing out my throttle inputs. Which is a very good thing mid corner anyway in my opinion.
    #10
  11. Jetpilot5

    Jetpilot5 Been here awhile

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    I spent a year on an 07 FJR after riding a BMW K1200S for the previous five years. I thought at age 50 I was ready for a more touring oriented bike. The FJR is really nice and a great long distance machine but it was just too big and heavy to suit me on a daily basis. I never got it out of the garage unless I was going to be out on an all day ride.

    Last fall I picked up a lightly used K1300S and I'm much happier on it. Sporty but comfortable, stupid powerful and still capable of taking a trip. That said, my longest tour so far has been 4 days and 2200 miles (on the K1200S), less than half of your trip to the west coast. If big road trips like that are going to be common, you might want to stay with the FJR. In my case, I just need a bike that can eat up a few hundred miles of slab to get me to the fun roads and yet still works as a run around bike.

    What's most important to you?
    #11
  12. chadhargis

    chadhargis Too tall for sportbikes

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    I had an FJR and put a Wilbers shock and fork springs on it. It made a huge difference.
    #12
  13. richarddacat

    richarddacat high on honeysuckle

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    I'd go with a Traxxion upgrade. As far as on/off characteristic of a shaft-drive I've never noticed it but
    I also keep my revs up when polishing the pegs. :1drink
    #13
  14. richarddacat

    richarddacat high on honeysuckle

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    :scratch

    I guess the extra money spent on the bimmer along with the 90lbs of weight savings made that big of a difference to you.
    I find the FJR will eat up a few hundred miles of slab to get me to the fun roads and yet still works as a run around bike. :dunno
    Enjoy the S.
    #14
  15. Jetpilot5

    Jetpilot5 Been here awhile

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    It did. All my other bikes have either been the same weight or lighter. For me, the K bike is as heavy as I really want to go.
    #15
  16. BanjoBoy

    BanjoBoy Been here awhile

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    I doubt your rear rotor's warped OP, maybe the shop bent it while change'in a tire? If it doesn't pulse/vibrate whilst brake'in, I wouldn't worry 'bout it.
    I had me a 1st generation FZ1 w/ stage 3 Muzzy. :D Even though it's a lot lighter than the FJR, the weight is carried higher, and the lap times on mah favorite twisties would be purdie close. With the FJR be'in long 'n low, you can brake harder, later, 'n accelerate harder in 'n outta corners. :evil It took me 'bout 30K, butt I've really warmed up to the linked ABS brakes. :deal

    Sounds like maybe you just need fresh rubber or sum air in yer tires? I run PRIIs (though I like Avon Storm IIs better) 42psi R , 'n 40psi F, and the bike handles great. I rail goat trails, 'n dirt roads on mine.
    If yer not running out of ground clearance, and ya have fresh rubber w/ air in there, maybe ya just need someone to tweak yer suspension? I guess everyone likes the "Ash" setup over on fjrforum.com
    ^THIS^ worked fer me.
    Ya don't have to go balls out Traxxion right away, get a rear shock 'n sum proper fork springs, 'n change the fork oil. Then in a year or two do Traxxion or a Gold Valve thingy. :thumb
    #16
  17. richarddacat

    richarddacat high on honeysuckle

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    +1, just did my fork upgrade at 60k and about ready to reinstall them so no report yet. Did the rear shock at 20K. Probably waited too long on the front.

    Too many underestimate the difference that tire pressure makes, especially on the FJR.

    I tried the Pilot Powers and fell in love with them.
    #17
  18. Worroll

    Worroll Been here awhile

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    Take a test drive on a Triumph Sprint GT. They are heavily discounted, as fast as a FJR, better MPG, bigger factory luggage, but lighter with sharper steering geometry. Take a test ride and see if it suits you.
    #18
  19. superkram

    superkram Church parking lot rider

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    With 24.5K on the original pads and rotors, I wouldn't be surprised. Front is great, rear no idea why. I trust my guy here in Orlando though, as he only installs parts & doesn't order them for me. Would make sense though, I kind of remember getting 40-41 on my 1st trip up to St. Louis when I first bought it, then never getting more than 37-40 average after getting new PR2's installed by a local shop in St. Louis. I just chalked up the lower MPGs due to extreme heat and a heavier throttle hand as I got used to the FJR through Texas & back.

    Might as well get it done right the first time. I don't like half-measures. :ear

    Pretty bikes yes. I have an irrational no-British/Italian policy. Totally arbitrary, nothing personal. Ze Germans und Nipponese only.
    #19
  20. nevermind

    nevermind sLOW Rider

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    In flatland FL, you need the FJR to get to any real twisties! :D I know about the little hills and a spots with a few consecutive bends in the orange groves around your locale. IMHO, based on those I've ridden, the FJR should eat them up!

    My vote is to send your suspenders off to Max and get 'em done or upgraded. Good suspension is worth every penny if you want to push the limits.
    #20