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Back from first trip.

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Just got back from my first trip with the FJ. Love it. Noticed some of the same gripes documented here. Crooked bars, trouble shifting into third with my boots on... But I got it all figured out and love the bike. The shifting thing is a pain in the ass when in traffic because 30 years of riding a motorcycle it's like old dog new tricks to back off the lever completely as I have never had this problem. I adjusted the shift lever up a bit and it helps. 
I got my skid plate fitted before I left and spent an afternoon and a tank of gas burning some back roads around my property in Oroville WA. This thing handles this stuff just fine. It's not a KLR and I am thankful for that when I hit the paved stuff again. The positioning works good so you can stand up for the rougher terrain. You gotta take it slow but it will get you there. I like ripping gravel roads but I am not sure days on end of it are in my future. I have dirt bikes to get my offroad kicks.
I did the first oil change on the road at a mechanics shop in Valemont BC. I called ahead to see if they would do the oil change and he said he was too busy, so I asked if I could borrow his parking lot and an oil tray... "yeah sure no problem bring it down" I left him $20 on his bench while he was at lunch and carried on my way. I also met a guy at the parts shop I bought the oil from that offered me space in his garage to do it, seeing I was traveling on a bike. People in the north have a gruff way about them but they sure are good people at heart. 
The gas gauge is a right pain in the ass as well. There is no way that half tank is half tank. Has anybody tested this? I need to start using the old trip meter technique again at least till I get a true feel for the gauge. Almost left me on the side of the road a couple times. "full tank... cool keep on moving... what only 1/4 tank!" it could just be the anxiety watching the blocks dropping off the digital gauge but I don't think there is half a tank in the last half.
The return trip from Prince George BC to Vancouver I had 2up company. My lady flew to PG on airmiles to meet me and we road back together. It took a bit of time to get both our gear strapped down in a good way but after a few adjustments we were comfortable. It was just my luck that my rear rack showed up the day before I headed out. The bike handles quite well with a passenger. I think I would ad some preload to the rear end next time and probably should have done so earlier but all in all she handled quite good. We are going to go to Austin next spring to see the Moto GP races and I think with a few tweaks the bike will work good for that. 
Puig Racing Screen = better than stock by far but still some buffeting, I would guess that the screen chop would be as good. I might compare them since there is no way the stock one is going back on unless I can improve it.
Barkbusters = just the sheer number of bugs collected say they are doing some good. None on the gloves. The stock ones are toys in comparison.
SWMotech Skid Plate = I like the look. The brackets seam like the week point for sure. I think all in all it would displace the pressure of a blow and save the oilpan but would mean pounding the brackets back into shape afterwards and you would only get away with that a couple times. Bike is not going to fair well in serious off road conditions anyway so I think the plate gives a bit of piece of mind.
Aliexpress Rack = I got on review from someone on this site. Yes it works great. I use Kriega bags and Rok straps to tie my load down and the rack works good and looks good enough with no load.
Thanks to everybody on the forum that has contributed, I did allot of reading before getting the bike and the upgrades. 
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If you are planning on riding 2-up, especially halfway across the country to Austin, I would seriously research suspension upgrades, at a very minimum install the correct springs.
If you haven't already adjusted the chain, the manuals recommendation is way too tight, set it for 1 - 1.25"
Also, I highly recommend some sort of radiator guard, you dont want a rock or road debris ruining your day.
Enjoy the new ride.

***2015 Candy Red FJ-09***

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I will be doing some suspension set up in the winter. However it will be dialled in for my weight plus bags. We will have to make due for our little trip. I do way more miles alone than I do 2up. Besides I think in March we might be trucking the bike part way. Still getting used to the bike and so far I like the suspension when I am alone on the bike. I have a few other bikes, 2 I set up for aggressive riding. I want to find a balance in this one to keep it comfortable.
I am curently looking at the aliexpress rad guards. I did notice a few dings in the rad after my little backroad excursion.
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