K1600GT vs FJR1300: Handling

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by GeoAggie, Apr 8, 2013.

  1. GeoAggie

    GeoAggie Adventurer

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    I am back to riding after totaling my 2012 K1600GT in an at-fault accident. I was attempting to pass multiple cars and hit the lead one turning left on to a dirt road. Lessons learned and fortunate to be back in the saddle after 5 months.

    I am wondering whether to purchase another K1600GT. The bike was amazing in so many ways but very large and heavy. The updated FJR appeals to me as a smaller, lighter (slightly?) and certainly less expensive option. Anyone have seat time on both to compare the handling characteristics? I know both are exceptional tourers but I'm interested in the fun factor in the twisties. The motor on the 1600 is intoxicating and it handles in a way that defies its mass but I'm curious about a direct comparison in riding the curves. Thanks,

    Jeff
    #1
  2. ddddd

    ddddd Adventurer

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    What year model did you say your K1600GT was, and how many years did you have it ??
    #2
  3. stripple

    stripple Runnin' Hard

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    I believe that the K1600GT has only been out for one year...
    #3
  4. roadstar

    roadstar Been here awhile

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    I'm thinking he ment K1200GT :puke1 But he did say large , so maybe a K1200LT
    #4
  5. Blue&Yellow

    Blue&Yellow but orange inside...

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    At any rate the FJR is hardly a canyon carver, very slow to flick. And I mean syrup-slow-motion-slow to flick.

    If he wants that he needs to look at something like a Tiger 1050 with aftermarket windscreen.
    #5
  6. GeoAggie

    GeoAggie Adventurer

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    2012 k1600GT, sorry for the typo in my initial post.
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  7. 20valves

    20valves Yamaholic

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    :huh Complete nonsense. "Flicking" bikes is a great way to crash anyway.

    FJR's have very stable, responsive handling and broad, smooth, torquey power. For anything you can do on pavement, an FJR will do it very well and in comfort. And they are bulletproof. :deal
    #7
  8. GB

    GB . Administrator

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    I've owned both.. and prefer the '13 FJR, very stable in the curves, in sport mode, hold on tight....good wind protection, cruise control is great to have and it's about 100 lbs lighter and thousands $$ less and will be more reliable in the long term. It has just the basics for electronics without lots of whiz bang gizmos that make you dread owning the bike out of warranty. Glad to hear you're doing well and ready to get back in the saddle. Good luck with your new purchase :thumb
    #8
  9. Haroon

    Haroon RIDE for PASSION

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    GB- Since you mentioned above, a small query on the new FJR. I am torn between an FJR & GTR as my next bike. However, there is no Yam dealer here, but my mechanic friend at Kawasaki is brilliant & works on all the Kawi bikes, so I guess he can do the service/repairs (if any). If I were to import an FJR, does the FJR also need any of those specialized Diagnostic/Service reminder resetting tools etc.....(like BMW) or can it be serviced/repaired by any mechanic, without those specialized stuff?

    Thanks
    #9
  10. GB

    GB . Administrator

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    Buy the shop manual so you have all the torquing specs and maintenance procdures. There's no need for any specialized dealer computer (like bmw) to reset anything. The fuel tank on the bike is hinged at the rear, so it makes accessing the top of the engine to check the valves at 42,000 km easier. The valve check procedure on the GTR14 requires a lot of labor to reach the valves. There's nothing fancy about the valve adjustment either. Accessing the air filter is very easy too and the final drive has easily accessible filler and drain bolts.

    The only gripe some Gen III (2013 and newer) have is that the US bikes are limited to a top speed of 82 mph when using the electronic cruise control, i.e. you cannot set the cruise at a speed higher than that.. For me it's not an issue. It's not prudent to use the cruise when traveling at high speeds anyway. European FJR's have a much higher cruise control set limit.

    The bike has been around for 10 years, Yamaha has continually tweaked it. Gen III has flawless throttle by wire (unlike the super touchy one used on the K1600), some engine components have been changed for a more efficient operation. Traction control is a great plus for a bike that makes this much power, I'm not crazy about the way the linked brakes operate, I prefer the BMW way: the lever operates front and back.. the pedal only operates the rear.. The FJR, the brakes are linked and for full braking power, you need to operate both.. but the brakes are super strong.

    I really like the digital speedometer, very easy to read and the extensive bike computer in the right LCD display allows you to customize the appearance of menu items on the 3 screens. Off the top of my head, the bike computer shows air temp, coolant temp, trip 1, trip 2, odo, liters / 100 km, or KM/liter, current fuel useage, average fuel useage, tank range, there's a timer which I don't care for and probably something else. Also, the heated grips have 3 settings which you can customize their power output.
    #10
  11. waveydavey

    waveydavey happy times!!

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    I bet more crashes occur because of running wide into the dirt than "flicking" (which can save the inattentive riders ass sometimes). :1drink
    #11
  12. Mr_Gone

    Mr_Gone Innocent culprit

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    I own an FJR and I've spent a day on a K1600. So I'm biased toward the FJR, and have only limited experience with the K1600.

    If I were going to do 600-700 miles days, or rack up a ton of miles per year on longer trips, I'd take the BMW. Or if I was riding with a passenger, because the BMW seat is better, overall, IMHO.

    For anything else (a couple long trips per year, weekend rides, commuting, buzzing around town), I'll take the FJR. As far as handling, the FJR is very capable in the twisties. Not CBR1000 capable, but it will take corners at just about whatever speed you dare.

    Hope this helps.
    #12
  13. roadstar

    roadstar Been here awhile

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    If you go to the Iron butt results , you will see that the FJR is a super popular bike to do long distance on (one also won the 2011 IBR). It`s all in the setup & i`m pretty sure non are even close to stock. The K1600GT is too new to tell if it will be a reliable LD ride. Also alot of K1600GT owners are buying GTL handle bars to help with the reach ($800 bucks for the bars) Ken Meese has a GTL with about 30K miles on it & i`m sure he will do the 2013 IBR with it.
    #13
  14. BalancePoint

    BalancePoint Mucker

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    I've owned neither bike. I have owned BMWs and while I loved them, my experience tells me this guy is giving you excellent advice.
    #14
  15. GeoAggie

    GeoAggie Adventurer

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    I appreciate all of the advice so far. In terms of maintenance, I have had absolutely zero problems with BMW's in ~20 years of riding. So, that's simply not a factor for me. Value though is a different issue.

    My one experience on the FJR was a 2nd generation model and it seemed to be stable but slow to turn in. The GT was easy to turn and remarkably agile for its weight but I have not had the luxury to ride the new FJR model or ride these two sport tourers back to back. GB's perspective is very interesting and much appreciated.

    Jeff
    #15
  16. Mr_Gone

    Mr_Gone Innocent culprit

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    I agree with you. Undoubtedly the FJR is a fantastic long-distance bike. IMHO it just needs a tweak or two to be truly great for long distances... like an improved seat, to start. Maybe that's just me, though.

    "Out of the box" the K1600GTL is just a little more comfortable during those really long days (I loved the seat on the day I rode one), which is not to say the FJR can't be set up that way. :D
    #16
  17. donutrider

    donutrider Been here awhile

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    The new FJR is a nice bike, and even a better value since they added cruise control. However, I wouldn't give up my K16GT for the $10k it would save me to own an FJR.. I'm not really sure that I know of many who are switching bars from GTL but I do know of some GTL guys wanting GT bars.

    What's really sad is that the Japanese are allowing their products to go stale. How long is it going to take for Honda to make needed improvements to the ST13 and how long will it take Yamaha to give the FJR a 6speed tranny?? These are the main reasons why I went with BMW, they are innovative and creating fresh, dominating motorcycles.

    To the OP, I'm over in Stillwater if you need a K16GT fix to help you through the decision process let me know :thumb

    I honestly can't see the FJR ever out handling a K16GT.. Mine made me feel like a rock star running up the coast of northern cali, I was riding far beyond my abilities due to the bike being so good.
    #17
  18. scotty918

    scotty918 Been here awhile

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    It might be partially about money? The Japs are trying to keep bikes affordable? :confused

    It's not like a 6th gear and cruise control are technological leaps?
    #18
  19. rockmurf

    rockmurf IBA #31100

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    I have an 06 FJR and I still don't understand the lobbying for a 6th gear. It is an absolute bullet proof bike and cheap to keep. Now if money is not in the equation then go for the bmw. ps you can always upgrade the suspension.
    #19
  20. scotty918

    scotty918 Been here awhile

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    Well said. I sold a 2010 Concours last year and I felt the same way about it. These Jap sport touring machines are a hoot to ride for a lot less money than the BMW.
    #20