Jump to content

The Not so Budget FJ-09


Guest

Recommended Posts

Some of you may remember I had an FJ-09 about a year ago and wasn't that thrilled with the bike.  It was a nice bike but I thought it lacked the fit and finish of my R1.  It did everything as well as advertised, I had fun riding the twisties in WI but somehow I was never wowed by it.  Well about this time last year I was finishing chemo from a second round of cancer and about to turn 60.  I figured "if not now when?"  It was time to buy a top of the line "premium" bike.  Went out and bought a BMW R1200RS and sold the FJ-09 shortly after.  Well maybe I'm too blue collar to enjoy spending near $20K on a motorcycle but I did and as I did it I imagined I felt just like a john in a house of ill repute.  The RS is not the quality one imagines when one thinks about a premium bike.  Overall it is not the equal of my old FZ1.  It does not go or handle very impressively, not bad mind you but really about the same as a FZ1!  The dash is impossible to read and polarized so you can't see it with sunglasses on.  The windshield, designed in a wind tunnel, is next to useless.  The clutch and brakes have the feel of a wet sponge and worst of all the bike shifts like a John Deere tractor.  I'm not sure that statement is fair to JD either!  When I complained about the shifting they told me I didn't know how to shift or know how to use a quickshifter.  Only been riding 40+ years, never had a problem shifting with either foot and me and the quickshifter on my R1 got on just fine.  I'm one of thousands of customers that have complained about the way the bikes shift.  Their attitude was to simply deny the bike had an issue.  I had heard about this with final drive failures but never thought it could be this bad!  Well anyone who says BMWs hold their value has never tried to sell one!  Not to worry my friend owns a Ducati dealer and he gave me a great deal on a leftover '15 Multistrada, the BMW sat in the garage looking for a new home.  The first thing my friend told me was, "learn how to shrug your shoulders and say, "its Italian."  I thought it was funny I never realized it was a warning!  The Multistrada is a nice bike but an unfinished product.  Every time you touch something it breaks, adjust the windshield it breaks, take a bag off it breaks, take it into the shop and they, the Ducati dealer, cant get the bodywork back on because...it broke!  Don't worry Ducati will send new parts in a couple of weeks.  On top of all this it was a bit temperamental about starting, always did but some days were better than others and the keyfob and bike didn't like talking to each other.  Fortunately my friend owns the dealership so I was able to trade it back..  At this point I have learned that premium brands aren't so premium.  I guess if you think issues should be part of the "experience" of owning an expensive bike then maybe these bikes are for you.  They are not for me.  So here I am looking for another FJ-09.  I finally sold the BMW last week.  I don't want to think about it too much but I've gone through a bunch of money to prove the FJ-09 is a pretty good bike and being wowed if not just overrated is pretty damn expensive!  In the end I expect I will be right where I was, on a FJ-09 because I can't think of a bike I rather own.  Hopefully a bit wiser for sure a bit poorer. 
 
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 43
  • Created
  • Last Reply
  • Premium Member
Donk, I hope you are doing well. That is quite a story of your bike woes. Maybe take a look at the Yamaha XSR900? Same engine as the FJ09 with that retro flair to it. Just a thought...
A Motorcyclist's Church is the open road....
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Premium Member
Donk - Thanks for sharing your post!
 
I met a really nice guy this past summer and we have been riding a few times. He has the BMW and has been constantly telling me how much better it is than my FJ-09. I'm not a bike snob, and not interested in arguing, so I just let it go. I always figured everyone has a bit different wants/needs/desires for their personal bike, so it shouldn't be surprising that there are a wide variety of bikes on the market. I have been extremely happy with my FJ-09. It's not perfect, but I'm pretty sure no bike ever will be. But for me, the FJ-09 meets 98+ % of my needs and the warts are not even something I notice. Every once in a while someone here will complain about something and I'll go "yeah, I have that problem too, but it really doesn't bother me"
 
Glad you are back with us here on the forum, and sorry it took a few more $$'s for you to find what you wanted. Now just go ride and enjoy!
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey @donk... hope you are doing well..
 
That's quite a story. I've found myself "oooh-ing and ahhh-ing" over the BMW R1200GS and the Multistrada.... good to know that the FJ-09 fits right in with these. I always thought it did, but hearing that someone went with both and is now coming back to the FJ gives me a good feeling about my decision to go with the "budget" bike of the lot. I honestly have no serious complaints about the FJ and plan to keep this bike indefinitely. Also, going the "budget" route allows you to pick and choose what upgrades are important to you and still be way under the BMW and Multi in terms of total investment. Plus I can only imagine that maintenance on the BMW and Multi would be easily 2x as much as the FJ.
 
Anyway, good luck on your search for another FJ..
 
 

'15 FJ-09 w/ lots of extras...

Fayetteville, GA, USA

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Welcome back. I hope you are feeling well.
 
My FJ is collecting dust while I am in the police academy. 600 miles, ecu refresh, nitron r3 shock, andreanni fork kit, seat concepts seat. I am thinking of selling as I tend to ride my super tenere when I get any free time. Unfortunately, It is in Hawaii.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Premium Member
Years ago I too thought I really needed a Ducati. I fell in love with this 52c5852669bd7d467409f2919c971b9c.jpg A 1991 907ie the year was 1994 I was in Ohio the bike was just outside of San Francisco, CA. A deal was struck a plane ticket was purchased. I flew out was met be a friend who lived there. We went to the bike and I bought it even though we had trouble getting it started. Remember it was love! ? I timed my trip to coincide with the 1994 USGP at Laguna Seca race track. I attended the race got autographs, tshirts and even rode the track ($10 to Ride for Kids) on the Ducati. An epic ride back home to Ohio. The bike was backed into in a motel parking lot in St Louis, MO. The lady stuck around and had insurance and the repair parts cost were amazing! Aluminum gas tank was $1,300 alone! ? Everything about the bike was a pain in the ass... except when it ran right it sounded like music from the gods. My wife still says she misses hearing that bike start. I learned how to adjust the desmodromic valves. And paid and paid and paid as parts were very hard to get and very expensive. Then a keyway failed and valves and pistons met in what my friend Tom called Brick's Boom! Many dollars and months later after repairs my love was up for sale. It didn't take long to find someone else who fell in love too. My love was gone. Yippie! I compare it to having a supermodel as a girlfriend... WOW... but what a pain in the ass!
Two months later Honda came out with a Japanese Ducati and I bought a shiny red VTR1000F! Dependable, reliable, great fit and finish Honda. I really liked that Honda but never really fell in love with it.
That is my experience with the exotic side of motorcycles. I love my second Yamaha Super Tenere' and am loving this FJ-09 the love is good but not the heart tearing lusty love I had for the 907ie! Now I love riding again! As many miles a year as I can. ?

Brick
2015 Yamaha FJ-09 "Red Molly"
2014 Yamaha Super Tenere' ES
1999 Suzuki SV650

Link to comment
Share on other sites

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for sharing. I've owned 3 BMW's and didn't want to go down the road of pain and pleasure again so I bought the FJ. I upgraded it immediately and now I love it. The other day I was thinking "Gee, I could have bought a multi strada" and your post was exactly what I needed to get my head straight.
 
Upgrades:
 
[ul type=disc][*]Ohlins Shock with remote preload adjuster
[*]Ohlins fork cartridge kit[*]MC Cruise electronic cruise control[*]Premium tires[*]CEE Bailey windscreen (on the shelf, I'll only use it when its really cold)[*]ECU reflash[*]Yosh fender eliminator[*]Top case rack and case[*]NEEDS: Heated grips[/ul]
Again, thank you for the head check and go get a great deal on a left over new bike and upgrade it or buy a used one "pre farkled".  You won't regret it and if you do, just re-read your post here!
 
 
15350600_10154735127862170_7388086013570140375_n.jpg
 
 
 
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Premium Member
Hello again.
 
I have had a Tracer (FJ09) since March 2015 and completed over 16,000 miles. Quite happy with the bike but felt flush enough to buy another bike so I mainly use the Tracer for commuting now.
 
My other bike is the R1200RS, SE Sport variant. Owned just over 2 months and I've done about 1500 miles so far.
 
I've been riding both bikes recently, sometimes in freezing conditions. On Sunday, for the first time in those 2 months, I took the Tracer out for a Sunday leisure ride. It's a good bike but I prefer riding the R1200RS on bumpy, country roads as the electronic suspension is so much better and I think the latest version of the boxer engine is very good. I've got used to the brakes - they work very well in my view, but the initial bite is different - BMW was criticised for over-eager servo brakes and I think the system works well now, but you have to recalibrate. I think the RS is a very good looking bike in Lupin Blue. The quickshift is excellent on downshifts, not so good from 1 to 2 or 2 to 3 so I use the clutch for those.
 
I know the Tracer is a competent touring bike as I have done several long trips and with the powerbronze screen, puig spoiler and Bagster seat, the ergonomics are much improved.
 
I have yet to find out if the BMW is comfortable on a long trip. I find the screen okay (perhaps you need to be shortish) and the seat very good after one 250 mile day running the bike in. It will be a while before I string a number of 250-350 mile days together so the jury is out on long touring potential. I have fitted a peg lowering kit to give a bit more knee comfort.
 
Perhaps I'm easier to please as neither bike is without flaws but they both have great strengths and are probably keepers. I don't like the depreciation on bikes so tend to keep them for many years as the losses are less painful.
 
Anyway, I hope you find the FJ to your liking this time.
This signature is left blank as the poster writes enough pretentious bollocks as it is.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Welcome back Donk! Sorry about the money lost but I certainly have cycled some bikes. TBH my 2007 FZ6 is still my favorite. I did many a senseless thing on that bike and it took it all in stride. The FJ is certainly an extremely close second.
 
I too had heard all that BMW owners said and usually felt like they were justifying the cost. When I am getting ready to purchase I research the crap out of the bike. I look at comps, and I lurk in the forums seeing what the people have to say. The Triumph bikes were a strong pull but they have all the problems of other Euro bikes, expensive maintenance and parts that break the bank. So I knew getting into this bike exactly what I would be purchasing to make it right. The funny part is it's pretty close to the same list I see BMW/Triumph/Ducati buyers wanting. Suspension upgrades, seating improvements, bash plates, luggage and the shiny bits we all love so much.
 
Plus my love of all things Yamaha knows no bounds. I started riding in 2006 after 20 years of not looking at a bike and only limited YZ/RM 80 experience. 3 of my 4 bikes have been Yammies. The Suzuki V Strom is as solid a bike as anyone could want. Will go most anywhere with panache. But after all the fun off-road when you hit the pavement the smile falters. The ride is pedestrian and no amount of farkles would fix that. My FJ handles almost as well of road with my upgrades and realistically I am 80-90% on road these days.
 
As I was selling the V and my WR250R at the same time I knew I had to get this one right, mostly because buying new and selling used is somewhat painful! I figure I am ~3500 in farkles in. I have a new suspension and every other part under the sun to make it right. With the 9k OTD I'm under 13. There is no other bike in this class that you can do that with. Yes, there are still little things that bug me. Even with Kevin's )2 mod there is still some slow speed wonkiness and I don't like the speed limiter. I will most likely resolve that by spring.
 
All this rambling said, when I twist my throttle and leave my buddies (V Strom, BMW Dakar, Ducati Monster) eating the bits of tarmac the FJ rips up, I'm grins from ear to ear.
2015 Red FJ 09
2013 WR250R - little boy blue - sold
2012 DL650 V Strom - sold
2007 FZ6 - sold
1986 FJ600 - sold
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wessie,  Best of luck with your RS.  How has your experience been dealing with any warranty issues?  Honestly I thought the electronic suspension was overrated.  I didn't care for the way they only adjust one fork and the other fork has no adjustment whatsoever.  That's about the same as the FJ-09!  I believe this is a byproduct of the RT and GS only having one shock with the telelever front suspension.  The Multi with the base model suspension was a far superior ride when the roads got bad, in my opinion.  Of course there were parts flapping in the breeze!  But regardless I'm not trying to rain on anyone's parade.  I genuinely hope that everyone is happy with what they ride.  For me the premium brand thing didn't work.  I honestly thought the bikes were no better and a lot more money.  I have a '15 Triumph Trophy in the garage.  Lots of people may not care for it, I love it and I didn't pay a lot for it.  I've always had good experiences with Triumphs and Yamahas so that's what I'm sticking with going forward.  If other people have good luck with other brands I am happy for them.  Makes it more fun when we all get together on a Sunday morning.    
 
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Premium Member
So far, the only trip back to the dealer has been for the 600 mile service.
 
I was dubious about the RS coming without the telelever. I had an R1150GS and thought the telelever was excellent. The RS seems to work well in my view, as confirmed on a long test ride before purchase. I ride mainly rural roads in the Cotswold Hills of England and Brecon Beacons of Wales plus the bits in between which consist of forests and river valleys. The RS is like my Super Tenere in that the front brake is linked to the rear. This reduces fork dive and I like the system on both of those bikes.
 
I am a little anxious about failures but you get a 2 year warranty in the UK. My R1150GS was bullet proof but BMW went to ratshit when the R1200GS came out, but show signs of improvement looking at a couple of busy forums. I have a very good dealer nearby and that always influences my buying decision. They are building new premises even closer to my home, so I will be a mile south of my Yamaha dealer and a mile north of the new BMW complex. I guess in the UK, our geography and demographics mean we get a lot more choice with dealers as the gaps between our population centres are small. We don't seem to get as many crap dealers as you lot get in USA due to competition and less complacency.
 
It was almost inevitable that I would end up with a big twin as I love that engine format. I tried the Africa Twin and was underwhelmed. KTM makes fantastic engines but nothing else about the marque does it for me. Nothing made by Ducati floats my boat. I really like Moto Guzzi but they are not making anything that I like, with their target of the hipster market. It's a shame Guzzi have not made a sportier version of the Norge with >130bhp. The BMW boxer, especially in the new LC 125bhp format is a great engine so BMW got my cash.
This signature is left blank as the poster writes enough pretentious bollocks as it is.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey Donk, your story resonated with me and it seems we've shared a common path. Like you, I've been riding forever and have never been without several bikes (My 72nd motorcycle, a 2017 Husky FE 450 arrives soon) At age 62, I also thought I would try a "premium" bike (a KTM 1290 SA)....I didn't really care for it I and resolved to never again spend nearly 20 grand on a bike. The KTM was also "an unfinished product" and I sold it fairly quickly. When I got the FJ09, I found it only lacking a little attitude and needing a few mods to alleviate what I felt were short comings. So, I invested a couple grand into it and the result is a very satisfying (for me) motorcycle that I suspect I will have as long as I did my venerable FZ1. Motorcycles are such a subjective matter and maybe that's part of what makes riding such a fascinating activity.
 
I hope you have beaten your cancer....if your'e like me, age and health issues make one increasingly aware of his time on earth, and how much of it you have left to do the things you live for. Ride Safe!
Link to comment
Share on other sites

... TBH my 2007 FZ6 is still my favorite. I did many a senseless thing on that bike and it took it all in stride. The FJ is certainly an extremely close second...
 
I owned a 2008 FZ6 (not the FZ6R)... Loved that bike.. the engine was so smooth and the ergonomics were great. Nearly as much top end power as the FJ, but not as much torque. Overall they have a lot of similarities... but I think the FJ has a little more potential as an all around bike.

'15 FJ-09 w/ lots of extras...

Fayetteville, GA, USA

Link to comment
Share on other sites

... TBH my 2007 FZ6 is still my favorite. I did many a senseless thing on that bike and it took it all in stride. The FJ is certainly an extremely close second...
I owned a 2008 FZ6 (not the FZ6R)... Loved that bike.. the engine was so smooth and the ergonomics were great. Nearly as much top end power as the FJ, but not as much torque. Overall they have a lot of similarities... but I think the FJ has a little more potential as an all around bike.
Absolutely and no question. But, there is always a but, I did an 8k mile trip on the FZ that was just less physically demanding than the 3k I did this summer on the FJ. Am I getting old and creaky? Well yes, however the FZ would ride a straight line while riding a ton and steering with my knees, the FJ has a shorter wheelbase and turns way easier but doesnt hold the line nearly as well.  And I feel more cramped on the FJ which is counter-intuitive. I think the longer lines let me flop my ankles around more which I do a lot on long trips to move into different riding positions. 
Oh well, when the FJ is gone I will probably wish i still had it instead of my electric, flying bike of the future.
2015 Red FJ 09
2013 WR250R - little boy blue - sold
2012 DL650 V Strom - sold
2007 FZ6 - sold
1986 FJ600 - sold
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have been pining for a S1000XR. Over the next couple years, I wouldn't be surprised if I'm stupid enough to buy it. Until then, I'm pretty happy with the FJ. For me, an even bigger issue than the premium bike experience (maintenance, high part costs and what not), the closest BMW dealership is over 100 miles away from my house. I'm jealous of @wessie
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.


×