Monday, March 2, 2009

I Love This Bike

This post is long overdue, but as you can imagine, it has been hard to find time to sit down and write; I have a brand new FJR afterall! As a teaser for my next post, I'll just say that I did not ride at all on Sunday -- I was busy purchasing the most important farkle you can get. More to come on that later.

Ergonomics. I have spent four months sitting on FJR's at various dealers. Seeing where the controls are, how comfortable is is to reach the bars, and imagining how it would be to be riding down the highway on one. You learn more in 30 seconds of actual riding than you can possibly learn in a lifetime of sitting on a static bike, though. I am delighted to say that in those first dynamic thirty seconds, I learned that the FJR is fantastically comfortable, and matches my personal ergonomics perfectly. For reference, I am a fairly average 5'11", 180lbs. My concerns before purchasing the bike had been largely whether or not I would be able to comfortably handle the weight (I had nightmares about dropping the bike at the dealer!). Would the bike be easy enough to back up and maneuver when parking? Again, my fears were instantly put to ease as I gained personal experience with the bike. I have no issues with the weight; I pull into the parking garage at work and back into the motorcycle zone without incident.

Performance. Holy crap. Even babying the rpm's for the break-in period, the bike pulls from any speed with a vengeance. The power is incredibly smooth, controlled, and vast in scope. The bike handles like a dream. It falls naturally into corners, holds a rock-solid line, and feels 150 lbs lighter in motion. Braking is solid and sure; I have yet to have to brake hard enough to engage the ABS -- again, trying to be careful during the break-in period -- but the bike has no qualms stopping on a dime. The nose does not dive very much even during aggressive braking; I think some of this may be due to the linked nature of the brakes.

Amenities. Between the up-front storage with 12V socket and the underseat storage (both rider and passenger), I have been able to store my Cardo Scala Rider pod, ear plugs, maps, Rok Straps, Cycle Pump, real tool roll (ditched the included one), manuals, and complete tire repair kit. Adding the side bags is pure luxury! At the moment I use them to store rain gear and my helmet while parked, and still have tons of room left over. The seats are very comfortable. My wife likes the grab rails that surround the pillion seat -- they stick up about 1.5", and provide just enough support that she doesn't feel like she is going to fly off the back of the bike. Heated grips are a wonderful luxury. The ability to pull the side cowlings out, drawing engine heat toward your legs is also a nice winter touch; close them and the heat is directed away. The adjustable windscreen is really nice; it isn't perfect -- at freeway speeds the highest position does not shut the wind completely off for me -- but it does a decent job of deflecting the elements under most circumstances.

Issues. The only issue I have had so far is that on occasion when accelerating from a dead stop, the autoclutch seems to engage/disengage a few times in a "chunk-chunk-chunk" manner, as if it is momentarily confused. Most of the time the clutch is completely smooth from takeoff. And I have no issues when shifting into other gears or downshifting. I will take it in and have the dealer look at it if the problem persists.

Conclusion. I am completely smitten by my FJR. It is a fantastic bike: powerful, comfortable, flickable, convenient, gorgeous, and economical.

No comments:

Post a Comment