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Story Time: From '15 FJ-09 to S1000RR (a WAY too long comparison and thoughts)

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Great write up; I really enjoyed reading it.  Far better than a "professional" write up in a motorcycle magazine where they regurgitate the manufacturer's press release.

8 hours ago, superfist said:

If ever I'm not wary of the capability of this machine, it will be time to end the relationship.

I chuckled at this.  I suspect if you lose respect for the bike, you will end up in a hospital at best.  

 

8 hours ago, superfist said:

The FJ-09 is more comfortable and very capable on its own, but it's a bit like comparing a sporty 4 door sedan to an actual race car that's been made street legal.

On the BMW F800GT forum, a member there today compared his S1000RR to a F800GT.  And of course, the S1000RR comes out ahead.  Gosh, what would anyone expect?  The S1000RR was designed to compete in the Superbike World Championship and has only gotten better.  (You bought a great bike!)  The FJ-09 and F800GT are designed to a price point.  The F-09 does a phenomenal job, but it is like comparing apples to oranges.

 

I do find comments about the F800GT having lackluster performance amusing.  Back in 2016, I tested both the FJ-09 and F800GT before buying the BMW.  The BMW fit me like a glove (I'm short) and I didn't see me riding in stop-n-go Seattle rush hour traffic with the FJ-09's throttle.  It seemed "snatchy" to me.  It's just personal choices, and the Tracer GT is on my short list if I ever need to replace the F800GT.  I do find this forum great; it's like "window shopping".  Maybe someday...  :)

Back to performance.  Soon after buying my GT, I took it up to Hurricane Ridge.  For those not familiar with the area, you end up passing through a town called Sequim.  It's known for it's radar traps.  I was riding with a Ducati owner and saw two state patrol vehicles off on the side of the road.  I glanced down at my speedometer thinking I was doing something like 60 in a 55...and saw I was doing 90 mph.  The bike was so smooth at that speed that I had no idea I was going that fast.  I'm just lucky they weren't interested in pulling us over that day.

I think a lot of the impression the bike is lacking in performance is simply that nothing stands out when riding it fast.  It just does what it does without any muss or fuss.  The Michigan State Police tested the bike for their fleet and it clocked at 139 mph.  It can't be that underpowered.  :)  But compared to the engine on the FJ-09/Tracer GT...yeah, it isn't as powerful.  :)

I did a lot of riding this summer with riders on bikes that are putting about 150 hp to the rear wheel.  They rode faster than anyone I've been with before on some little traveled backroads in central Oregon.  I had no problem keeping up, or even catching them when I slowed to look at the scenery.  It just took dropping a gear or two and keeping the throttle above 5000 rpms.  I came to a conclusion that there's a limit to how much hp you can use in corners and even how much acceleration you want to do on the straights.  The excess is just great for marketing brochures and bragging rights.

Back to your review.  Again, I enjoyed it a lot.  It is excellent.  I think there are some S1000RR forums that will give you more details on the maintenance.  You'll probably want to pick up a GS-911 or the new Motoscan tool.  There are different models of the GS-911.  You'll want to make sure if you buy one that it will connect to your RR.  The new wi-fi version will work.

Good luck on the new bike!

Chris

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19 minutes ago, daboo said:

I did a lot of riding this summer with riders on bikes that are putting about 150 hp to the rear wheel.  They rode faster than anyone I've been with before on some little traveled backroads in central Oregon.  I had no problem keeping up, or even catching them when I slowed to look at the scenery.  It just took dropping a gear or two and keeping the throttle above 5000 rpms.  I came to a conclusion that there's a limit to how much hp you can use in corners and even how much acceleration you want to do on the straights.  The excess is just great for marketing brochures and bragging rights.

^^Very True^^  When ridden correctly, its amazing how capable a smaller bike like a CBR or Ninja 650 is in the twisties.  


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

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I agree and think the total bike is important.  There was a video on YouTube that I saw a couple years ago with a rider on a Kawasaki adventure bike, I think.  About a 650, if I remember right.  Just looking at the specs, he was totally outclassed.  But he passed bike after bike that had far more power than he did and better specs.  He just knew how to ride.

Edited by daboo
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@daboo and @betony : So true about bikes with less horsepower.  (I was also looking at getting the GS-911 wireless when I get close to the 6k service interval).

 

Raw horsepower is for the straights.  I went on a group ride in the mountains today with a group of mixed riders.  They were on a Ninja 300, 2x FZ-07's an MT-10, a Ninja 650, CBR600RR and a CBR500.  The fastest rider?  Yeah, it was the guy on the Ninja 300 who also happens to run a lot of track days.  I've ridden with them before and I'm middle of pack on the FJ-09 and I actually expected to be quite a bit slower on the S1000RR (and I was, at the beginning of the day). 

 

I put it in Rain mode this morning on the way up to north Georgia because of wet roads, and I completely forgot about it.  Rain mode only gives about 60% power at full throttle  (more with the "coding plug" installed that I JUST read about... and the coding plug IS installed.  It lets me select "Race" and "Slick" modes...).   So THAT'S what the red capped bit plugged in under the seat is.

 

In any case, I didn't feel that I ever needed more power.  The "chilling and taking it easy today" vibe of the entire group got quietly set to the side after lunch when the roads dried and the sun was out.  See exhibit below with Left and Right "Max" lean angle indicator.  We had just a little bit of fun. 

303518829_Leanit.thumb.jpg.0058d21fda1ea93ae75a0b19cf6883d7.jpg

Yes, there's a "Current lean angle" that's top middle and a "Current Braking Force" that shows up next to the bar that you can see for "Max Braking Force."   These guys aren't much for heavy brakes or heavy gas, which I appreciate.

 

 

 

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Thanks for the fantastic write-up, I enjoyed it from start to finish. I've got so much in common with you on what appeals to me in a bike and my approach to riding; I lean toward bikes that can fulfill a few roles well, since I too am restricted to a wife-approved budget and N+1 is more likely a retirement pursuit. But dammit, man...now I want an S1000RR! Great find, enjoy your new brand of crazy 😎 

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Great write-up. I won't rehash what everyone else has said, but I chuckled at your comments about maintenance and the S1000RR fairings using all the same fasteners. WTH is Yamaha's problem? I dread doing any maintenance in my FJ-09 because removing the fairings was such a pain. Six different kinds of fairing fasteners on the FJ that I can think of off the top of my head. Come on, Yamaha.

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3 hours ago, keithu said:

Great write-up. I won't rehash what everyone else has said, but I chuckled at your comments about maintenance and the S1000RR fairings using all the same fasteners. WTH is Yamaha's problem? I dread doing any maintenance in my FJ-09 because removing the fairings was such a pain. Six different kinds of fairing fasteners on the FJ that I can think of off the top of my head. Come on, Yamaha.

Yes!  I was surprised that the fairings on the new bike are easier to get off and easier to work with than the FJ-09!  I always thought "if the FJ-09 with half fairings is this bad, then those full fairing sport bikes must be nightmares!"

 

I don't miss the multi-panel puzzle Yamaha built into the FJ-09.

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17 minutes ago, superfist said:

I always thought "if the FJ-09 with half fairings is this bad, then those full fairing sport bikes must be nightmares!"

Full fairings don't necessarily mean difficult to work on. My Triumph TT600 - a fully Tupperwared sportbike - was easier to work on than the FJ-09. There was only one type of fastener, and the panels came off quickly. The radiator was on a hinge so I could check valves or change sparkplugs without draining the coolant. Triumph even put a little cutout in the belly pan for the oil drain plug, so I could change the oil and filter with the fairings in place. It was a really nicely engineered machine. 

The FJ-09 fairing is... as you say, a puzzle. 

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