Saturday, February 28, 2009

Photo Shoot

It is a gorgeous 80F day today in Southern California. I rode down to the dealer and had the Battery Tender leads installed, and then rode around the foothills for a while. When I arrived home, I pulled the bags off and took some beauty pics. Enjoy!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Taking Delivery

I took delivery of my FJR on Wednesday. I was hoping that I would be able to witness the complete assembly of the bike, but as it turned out it was assembled at the warehouse. I was able to take pics of the dealer prep.

My first impression was right as they pulled the bike off the truck: it is not black! The bike is actually a metallic charcoal color that is absolutely spectacular.

They wheeled the bike into the shop for dealer prep. They basically check the entire bike, fill it with fluids, make any adjustments, and attach all the extra bits. The dealer was terrific to work with (Pasadena Yamaha).

The side bags come in a separate box, and include a 3rd lock cylinder matched to the rest in the event that I get a top case later on. A set of soft bags are also included that fit inside the hard bags. A set of clear stickers gets attached to the parts of the bike that might get scratched due to the bags. The dealer spent about thirty minutes making sure that the stickers were perfectly placed. I love that kind of attention to detail.

I had them adjust the bars to their farthest back position. There are four possible positions. It is important to note that you have to loosen both sides before you can move them -- they are attached underneath by a common bracket.

I had them install a set of frame sliders. I've been told that just dropping the bike at a standstill could result in $2K in damages, so these seem like cheap insurance to me. Fortunately you don't have to cut into the fairing to install them -- they just bolt on.

And here is my FJR's first ride. I was both delighted to see it speed off, and also jealous that it was the mechanic and not me doing it. But my turn came soon after.

My next post will cover my first impressions on actually riding the beast!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

It's FJR Day!

Today is the day! My FJR will be traveling from the warehouse to the dealer and I will get a call (hopefully soon) to come on down. My digital camera is ready, my riding gear is in the trunk of my car, and I am as excited as an eight-year-old on Christmas morning.

I admit to some trepidation. Until you twist the throttle for the first time, you really have no idea just how powerful the bike will be. It's like lighting the fuse on an explosive you cannot see, and hoping that you are standing far enough away.

My sense of excitement has vastly overtaken my fear. Today is the day that I officially begin my grand experiment: trading a perfectly good automobile for the motorcycle equivalent of a cruise missile. No more wimping out because a few drops of rain are falling from the sky. No more filtered climate control. But I gain the pure, concentrated joy that only being out in it all can bring.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Before I get things rolling, I want to give a shout-out to a forum that has helped me tremendously in the process of deciding on the FJR: I highly recommend this community -- there is a ton of well-organized information, and a very friendly and welcoming group of people.


Welcome to FJR Life -- a personal blog about living with a sport-touring motorcycle as the primary method of transportation. I take delivery of a brand new 2009 Yamaha FJR-1300AE tomorrow that will replace my Mazda RX-8 for all daily commuting and regular travel. Southern California is handy in that it offers a 12-month riding season. The downside is that all of this sunshine attracts a lot of people: traffic congestion is a fact of life.

In the coming posts, I will be covering such topics as why I chose the FJR, motorcycle gear, experiences commuting in LA, travel, pros/cons of giving up my car, family impact, and more.

So fasten your gear, secure your helmet, and join me as I begin the adventure.