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Old 11-08-2012, 01:26 PM   #1
Marius
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Default Who's owned a sports tourer? (like FJR, etc.)

I want to get into long distance touringÖ

And my priorities consist of: Agility, Speed, nimbleness, basically a bike I donít have to manhandle on every turn.

So Iím thinking swapping one of my cruisers for a sports tourer. The FJR1300 is probably one to look at, if I can find one used, but Iím willing to consider anything really. Just want something nimble and comfortable.

So, has anyone here had or have a sports tourer? Am I in for a complete shell shock coming off a cruiser?
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Old 11-08-2012, 02:30 PM   #2
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I want to get into long distance touring…

And my priorities consist of: Agility, Speed, nimbleness, basically a bike I don’t have to manhandle on every turn.

So I’m thinking swapping one of my cruisers for a sports tourer. The FJR1300 is probably one to look at, if I can find one used, but I’m willing to consider anything really. Just want something nimble and comfortable.

So, has anyone here had or have a sports tourer? Am I in for a complete shell shock coming off a cruiser?
Not at all. They do sit you higher off the ground, so if you have short legs, you may have to get used to not being able to flat foot both feet at stops.

The FJR is considerably more powerful than a stock cruiser, but it is totally docile so long as you don't get silly with your throttle hand.

Comfort wise, I didn't find the stock FJR very good.

The windscreen was too little and aerodynamically poorly designed. I bought a V-stream for mine that is phenomenally good.

The handlebars are too sporty for a bike with a windscreen (no airblast in the chest to take the weight off your wrists). I put a set of Helibars on and they too are fantastic. Inline engines are inherently buzzy. The mass of the Helibars along with some weighted bar ends all but eliminate that too. Also, the right bar end also acts as a throttle lock.

The footpegs give you a one position choice for your legs. I put a set of highway pegs on mine.

The suspension wasn't that compliant, but very stiff. I put Hyperpro springs in the forks and $1000 Hyperpro rear shock on it. Very competent now.

The centerstand lift was in the way when I'd put my toes on the pegs during aggressive cornering. I ended up having to saw it down and reapply the foot pad with JB weld. It's held up just fine after several years, though it does require a little more effort to get it up on the centerstand now.

The stock seat was alright, but I put a Corbin on mine because it is much smoother when making side to side transitions on the bike when riding the twisties.

The fueling on my year model was not too good and resulted in jerkiness during on/off throttle application. I added a Power Commander to smooth that out. It had the side benefit of giving it a much stronger feel in the meat of the powerband.

The trunk they sell for it was junk. Mine broke off with nothing in it with only about 1000 miles on the bike. I put a Givi on mine and never had another problem.

But are they great bikes, yeah, they're pretty fun:

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Old 11-08-2012, 03:00 PM   #3
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Oh man, thats outstanding input, SB!

I kind of hoped that suspension mods would not be necessary given that these are "touring" bikes. I guess stock is minimal in most cases on most bikes.

So let me ask this: if you were to go on a 1000 mile trip tomorrow, in this rather cool weather, would u take the xr or the fjr?
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Old 11-08-2012, 03:17 PM   #4
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Oh man, thats outstanding input, SB!

I kind of hoped that suspension mods would not be necessary given that these are "touring" bikes. I guess stock is minimal in most cases on most bikes.

So let me ask this: if you were to go on a 1000 mile trip tomorrow, in this rather cool weather, would u take the xr or the fjr?
The stock suspensions are fine, I'm just a performance junkie. That's not to say I'm a power junkie. The XR is plenty fast for riding our country's byways. But I love a bike to be as compliant and confidence inspiring as it can be.

What's wonderful about the XR is I don't need any of the crap to make it work right. Victory engineers have my utmost respect. They built the bike about as well I could hope they could.

1000 mile trip is only a two or three day jaunt. Either bike would be fine.

Comparing the two, the XR is more comfortable as the day wears on and better on/off throttle manners.

The FJR has better wind protection, three large, hard, locking, waterproof bags, more power, and a little better ground clearance.

I'd say the FJR is probably the more practical of the two. I plan to do a trip out to Colorado on the XR next year, so I guess I'll get to test out the luggage then. Mama loves the comfort of the XR.

Here's the FJR shock. Ain't she sexy?

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Old 11-08-2012, 03:52 PM   #5
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That sure is purty...

Its interesting that every time I try to find an alternative to a big heavy cruiser-tourer, I end up right back where I started. From what you're telling me and looking at the picture makes me think that the forward lean and knees being bent will get old real quick for me. I can't imagine this being a very relaxing seating position. It makes sense that you're saying that towards the end of a long riding day you might be more comfortable on the XR. I guess I need to go sit on one and see for myself.

BTW:

Found a very interesting site that shows you what your ergos might be like on many different bikes, based on your hight and waist size. Check it out:

http://cycle-ergo.com/
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Old 11-08-2012, 04:16 PM   #6
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hmmm... based on that site the BMW K1600GT would give me a 0 degree forward lean angle... That site is pretty cool!
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Old 11-08-2012, 04:25 PM   #7
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I've been looking more at sport-touring bikes for my next motorcycle, or maybe an adventure/tourer.

The BMW 1600 and the FJR as well are pretty heavy. I'd want something a bit lighter and more sporty.
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Old 11-08-2012, 04:35 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Marius View Post
That sure is purty...

Its interesting that every time I try to find an alternative to a big heavy cruiser-tourer, I end up right back where I started. From what you're telling me and looking at the picture makes me think that the forward lean and knees being bent will get old real quick for me. I can't imagine this being a very relaxing seating position. It makes sense that you're saying that towards the end of a long riding day you might be more comfortable on the XR. I guess I need to go sit on one and see for myself.

BTW:

Found a very interesting site that shows you what your ergos might be like on many different bikes, based on your hight and waist size. Check it out:

http://cycle-ergo.com/
Keep in mind, I'm acting "racy" for the camera and that was a pre-Helibar photo. It actually sits quite upright now. The reason I give the nod to the XR is that it's suspension is plusher, the seat fits me perfectly, it has cruise control and much less stiff throttle springs. I get considerably more buffeting on the XR which would be tiring on long highway rides, but on either bike, I try to avoid highways when we travel when it's practical.

I was thinking about the bag thing. The XR's luggage actually is hard plastic covered with vinyl/leather. I did ride home in about a 4 hour storm from eastern Ohio shortly after I got it and nothing got wet. I've since added a lock to my trunk to store the GPS and other valuables in when we stop to eat or sight see.

And yeah I love that website except when it reminds me I'm too short for adventure bikes.
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Old 11-08-2012, 04:58 PM   #9
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I've been looking more at sport-touring bikes for my next motorcycle, or maybe an adventure/tourer.

The BMW 1600 and the FJR as well are pretty heavy. I'd want something a bit lighter and more sporty.
The BMW does seem rather hefty, could be too big once I see it in person. An fjr1300 parks next to me at work, and it's size seems fairly manageable.

Curious what models you are considering?
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Old 11-08-2012, 05:15 PM   #10
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Keep in mind, I'm acting "racy" for the camera and that was a pre-Helibar photo. It actually sits quite upright now. The reason I give the nod to the XR is that it's suspension is plusher, the seat fits me perfectly, it has cruise control and much less stiff throttle springs. I get considerably more buffeting on the XR which would be tiring on long highway rides, but on either bike, I try to avoid highways when we travel when it's practical.

I was thinking about the bag thing. The XR's luggage actually is hard plastic covered with vinyl/leather. I did ride home in about a 4 hour storm from eastern Ohio shortly after I got it and nothing got wet. I've since added a lock to my trunk to store the GPS and other valuables in when we stop to eat or sight see.

And yeah I love that website except when it reminds me I'm too short for adventure bikes.
Plush suspension is very important. That is what keeps bringing me back to the big cruiser tourers. But, wind buffeting is something that I can't see liking to deal with on a long trip, so it's also the achilles heel of this type of bike. All this information is very very helpful, glad you chimed in, because you typically can't take bikes on 300+ mile test rides before buying them, lol!
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