2016 FJ purchased in December 2015.
I am riding year round - commuting in NY city, weekend and cross country touring. 10% two-up.
New York potholed roads and traffic certainly puts some extra strain on the bike...
Oil changes 4-6000 miles - zero oil consumption
Chains: 6 - replaced between 16-23k miles (one chain changed after only 5k miles - maybe faulty or due to worn rear shock)
Major service every 25-30k miles: valve adjustments (exhaust valves always tight), spark plugs, throttle bodies, KN air filter cleaning - no issues.
Tires: 22 rear / 14 front tires - best mileage (10200) and favorite tire: Dunlop Roadsmart 3, lowest milage (1500): Dunlop Q3; best for winter riding: Metzeler Tourance Next
Brake pads: 6 sets front; 3 rear
Cam chain tensioner: noise on/off, not replaced
- 41k miles: stock rear shock worn out; NY city potholes & two-up touring certainly shortened the life of the shock - replaced with Öhlins shock;
- 45k miles: replaced front forks with Öhlins cartridges (great upgrade)
-96k miles: Ohlins rear shock leaked oil; replaced with K-tech shock
- 97k miles: left front fork seal broke - seals on both forks replaced
Foot pegs: broke off several times in parking tip-overs (NY city driving standards...); replaced with adjustable set. (I carry a spare set on the bike).
Crash protection: sw-motech crash bars (perfect design); good protection of the bike in combination with the factory hard bags, except for the foot pegs.
Radiator: leaking at 60k miles (due to winter riding & gravel); replaced the water pump with the radiator and added a fender extender
Skid plate - oil pan protection: the oil pan and exhaust are quite exposed due to low clearance (and undersprung stock suspension). I added a no-brand skid plate at about 20k miles. At 68k miles the oil pan cracked when I rode over a piece of wood - the skid plate bent and cracked, but saved the headers and probably prevented a hole in the pan; replaced with a sw-motech skid plate (solid)
Aux lights: added PIAA LED aux lights (great upgrade)
Wind protection: the stock windshield is not sufficient for colder temperatures; the hand guards deflect air, but are more designed for optics than protection. I added a v-stream tall windshield + an MRA deflector - perfect for long-distance riding. Replaced the stock hand guards with off-road hand-guards.
Clutch cable: required lots of lubing - every 1500-2500 miles
- 27k miles: cable snapped, replaced
- 50k miles: cable replaced with the updated 2017 design (still lots of lubing, but held up fine);
- 91k miles: installed Magura hydraulic clutch (great upgrade)
Instrument cluster stand: broke at 65k miles (unit is too flimsy for tall windshield & NYC potholed roads)
Steering and wheel bearings:
- 91k miles: steering and wheel bearings replaces with Allballs sets; steering bearing worn out.
- 97k miles: bearings front wheel replaced
Observations and overall assessment
When it comes to bikes and riding, tastes and perceptions vary, thus this is just my 5cents, nothing more. Also, the road conditions in and around New York City are not Yamaha’s responsibility.
The FJ09 has been a very solid touring bike. It's light and nimble, with a good power band.
Two-up riding is doable on the FJ, but there are better bikes if you ride with a pillion - the rear shock just copes with the weight and the pillion seat is a little too far back (this should be improved with the 60mm longer swing arm on the 2019 Tracer900)
- brakes: solid Yamaha / Brembo standard ware. The ABS is simple but works fine in my view.
- traction control: the TCS regulates early which is fine for touring and city riding - saved my skin quite a few times on oil, gravel etc.
- electric system - no problems whatsoever. The FJ always starts on first click; excellent LED lights and good alternator output (heated grips + jackets and gloves for two no problem)
Yamaha should have recalled and replaced the clutch cable on the 15/16 models with a hydraulic option - the clutch pull is too heavy. The 2017+ models with the assisted/slipper clutch solve the issue.
The suspension is sub-standard in my view - Ohlins was an expensive but great upgrade - still, the 130mm travel of the rear shock is too short for US north east “quality” roads. Clearance is low for a touring bike and the oil pan is vulnerable - a skid plate is a good investment. Dirt roads are not the FJ’s playground...
Would I buy another FJ09? Short answer: no. I will change to a bike with more suspension travel and clearance. If I’d buy another sport touring bike, I would forego some of the cost and maintenance advantage of the Yamaha and chose between the KTM1290 Adv S, BMW S1000XR, Ducati Multistrada 1260S - and probably regret it 😉