Author Topic: 2013 Yamaha FJR......nah the Concours is still awesome  (Read 8727 times)

Offline wrichstrom

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2013 Yamaha FJR......nah the Concours is still awesome
« on: March 03, 2013, 02:34:06 pm »
I was previously an owner of a 2007 FJR"A" which was great in my opinion.  But in my late mid-life crisis stupid brain I got bored last year and bought a 2009 FJR AE with the auto-clutch. 

The FJR AE was awful!!  Through a combination of the AE version not shifting up or down unless rpms were at least around 2000 rpms (which made riding in town stop and go traffic just darned near impossible) and a simply unacceptable lack of response by Yamaha customer service + the dealer owner being more than a bit patronizing,  I quickly turned from a very loyal Yamaha customer to one who was disgusted last summer.  On a whim I happened upon a separate dealer who was willing to do a trade of a 2009 AE FJR for the 2012 Concours + cach, so count me happy again. 

The one thing in the discussion the last few months is the now standard cruise control on the 2013 FJR.  Separately, I know I am in a minority but I think the FJR 5 speed with the fifth being a true overdrive having a drive ration of 0.929 (reference the FJRForum bin-of-facts for Gen II) , to the Concours 6th gear overdrive with a drive ratio of 1.074 http://www.totalmotorcycle.com/motorcycles/2012models/2012-Kawasaki-Concours14ABS.htm  are so very close in real life riding to make the riding experience nearly the same.  Some of the comments are misleading to the reader, portraying that the final drive ration of the FJR 5-speed is "more" than the Concours sixth gear.  The lack of a sixth gear transmission without understanding the final gear ratio is enough for some in the commentary to dismiss the FJR platform.  Both the C-14 and 2nd/3rd gen FJR have a final gear ratio nearly the same to make negligible difference in real life riding. 

So I rode 80 miles yesterday to Moses Lake, WA  with my 2012 Concours with only 5000 miles on it expecting to trade in the Kawi for a bright new shiny FJR.  I had the checkbook and title ready and was going to move back to Yamaha.  But just after a few miles of riding after a long winter break, I found the more miles I rode the more I was really connecting with the Kawi again.  After a short look and discussion the dealer wanted $5900 + plus the trade to get into a 2013 FJR!  Then I really fell back more in love with my 2012 C-14!!

If I really need cruise I can get the McCruise for around a $1000 that even a limited mechanic like me can handle.  I am not sure either motorcycle is superior to the other in handling, and with a set of riser blocks I can be more upright in the saddle (I am 5' 11") on the Concours.  And factually the FJR "overdrive in 5th gear" is so very similar to the gear ratio of the Concours in 6th gear that I can live with either powerplant.  The FJR is easier to work on than the Kawi that is for sure, but for $5900 I can pay for a lot of service appointments that lets someone else do the hard stuff like (i.e. valve checks/adjustments).

Count me again as one happy Concours owner!! ;D

2012 C-14

Offline DenverC-14

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Re: 2013 Yamaha FJR......nah the Concours is still awesome
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2013, 09:28:30 am »
I've also read, from the last issue of Motorcyclist, that the cruise on the FJR cuts out at 82 MPH... That's quite the deal breaker for me, if I were considering the swap. They didn't say if that was indicated or GPS, but either way, I cruise on a 75 limit road at at least that much, if not a few more. 

Offline jayke

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Re: 2013 Yamaha FJR......nah the Concours is still awesome
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2013, 10:04:10 am »
I bought a '13 FJR.  The cruise tops out at an actual 80 MPH, 82 MPH indicated.  Just picked it up Saturday, I've only had it to 75 MPH on cruise so far.  The cruise works great.  I live in Indiana, ride 80 MPH+ for long on the Interstate and I'd get a ticket anyway.

I can see it being a problem if you live out west.


Offline Rhino

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Re: 2013 Yamaha FJR......nah the Concours is still awesome
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2013, 11:17:38 am »
I bought a '13 FJR.  The cruise tops out at an actual 80 MPH, 82 MPH indicated.  Just picked it up Saturday, I've only had it to 75 MPH on cruise so far.  The cruise works great.  I live in Indiana, ride 80 MPH+ for long on the Interstate and I'd get a ticket anyway.

I can see it being a problem if you live out west.

 :o That would be a problem for me. My Rostra on my C14 has no such limit.

Offline roger dodger

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Re: 2013 Yamaha FJR......nah the Concours is still awesome
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2013, 03:34:53 pm »
OP, (Most) everyone agrees that the AE is slower, heavier, and more difficult to modulate @ low speeds. (POS)

Otherwise, both the C14 and FJR are awesome bikes! ;)
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Offline wrichstrom

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Re: 2013 Yamaha FJR......nah the Concours is still awesome
« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2013, 08:24:04 pm »
Yes, rogerdodger I agree both platforms are awesome. ;D 

I wish I had talked to you before purchasing the AE which worked ok on the road but was crap in town :P.  I love how you say modulate at low speeds, you hit the nail on the head. 

Funny how a couple hundred of miles makes me fall in love with whatever motorcycle I own at the time!  Thanks everyone for letting me comment about how great our Kawasaki's are and I will always have a soft spot for the FJR.  But not $5900 to $6500 different to make a change right now.

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Offline eng943

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Re: 2013 Yamaha FJR......nah the Concours is still awesome
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2013, 06:37:41 am »
I bought a '13 FJR.  The cruise tops out at an actual 80 MPH, 82 MPH indicated.  Just picked it up Saturday, I've only had it to 75 MPH on cruise so far.  The cruise works great.  I live in Indiana, ride 80 MPH+ for long on the Interstate and I'd get a ticket anyway.

I can see it being a problem if you live out west.

How about some detailed impressions of your new FJR compared to the C14?
2017 C14 - AST Risers / Peg Lowering kit / mccruise /Garmin 595/Shoodaben MR / Area P / Kawi Touring Seat.
Second Bike 2017 BMW R12R

Offline eng943

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Re: 2013 Yamaha FJR......nah the Concours is still awesome
« Reply #7 on: March 23, 2013, 06:46:37 am »
I was previously an owner of a 2007 FJR"A" which was great in my opinion.  But in my late mid-life crisis stupid brain I got bored last year and bought a 2009 FJR AE with the auto-clutch. 

The FJR AE was awful!!  Through a combination of the AE version not shifting up or down unless rpms were at least around 2000 rpms (which made riding in town stop and go traffic just darned near impossible) and a simply unacceptable lack of response by Yamaha customer service + the dealer owner being more than a bit patronizing,  I quickly turned from a very loyal Yamaha customer to one who was disgusted last summer.  On a whim I happened upon a separate dealer who was willing to do a trade of a 2009 AE FJR for the 2012 Concours + cach, so count me happy again. 

The one thing in the discussion the last few months is the now standard cruise control on the 2013 FJR.  Separately, I know I am in a minority but I think the FJR 5 speed with the fifth being a true overdrive having a drive ration of 0.929 (reference the FJRForum bin-of-facts for Gen II) , to the Concours 6th gear overdrive with a drive ratio of 1.074 http://www.totalmotorcycle.com/motorcycles/2012models/2012-Kawasaki-Concours14ABS.htm  are so very close in real life riding to make the riding experience nearly the same.  Some of the comments are misleading to the reader, portraying that the final drive ration of the FJR 5-speed is "more" than the Concours sixth gear.  The lack of a sixth gear transmission without understanding the final gear ratio is enough for some in the commentary to dismiss the FJR platform.  Both the C-14 and 2nd/3rd gen FJR have a final gear ratio nearly the same to make negligible difference in real life riding. 

So I rode 80 miles yesterday to Moses Lake, WA  with my 2012 Concours with only 5000 miles on it expecting to trade in the Kawi for a bright new shiny FJR.  I had the checkbook and title ready and was going to move back to Yamaha.  But just after a few miles of riding after a long winter break, I found the more miles I rode the more I was really connecting with the Kawi again.  After a short look and discussion the dealer wanted $5900 + plus the trade to get into a 2013 FJR!  Then I really fell back more in love with my 2012 C-14!!

If I really need cruise I can get the McCruise for around a $1000 that even a limited mechanic like me can handle.  I am not sure either motorcycle is superior to the other in handling, and with a set of riser blocks I can be more upright in the saddle (I am 5' 11") on the Concours.  And factually the FJR "overdrive in 5th gear" is so very similar to the gear ratio of the Concours in 6th gear that I can live with either powerplant.  The FJR is easier to work on than the Kawi that is for sure, but for $5900 I can pay for a lot of service appointments that lets someone else do the hard stuff like (i.e. valve checks/adjustments).

Count me again as one happy Concours owner!! ;D


I am sonsidering the same move, but have reservations because I think Kawi will at some point make changes to the C14. Plus, the FJR cruise not working beyond 80mph is a problem for me, though I wonder if someone like Guhl could remove that from the ECU?

So, ultimately I may do the same as you and add mc cruise until other options get vetted out. Namely the new BMW RT due next year, the new Trophy, and possibly a fix for the FJR cruise limitation by then.

Both the FJR and C14 strike me as being very comperable bikes in terms of comfort, wind protection. Where the FJR seems to be better in my opinion aree the bigger fuel tank, no F*$%ing kipass, better linked braking system, and nicer dash. Is that all wirth $4,900 ( adding cruise to C14)........maybe.

Next time I tap the rear brake a little in a corner on my C14 and it responds by throwing my cornering into a crisis management exercise, I may run to Yamaha with checkbook in hand. 
2017 C14 - AST Risers / Peg Lowering kit / mccruise /Garmin 595/Shoodaben MR / Area P / Kawi Touring Seat.
Second Bike 2017 BMW R12R

Offline ugocon

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Re: 2013 Yamaha FJR......nah the Concours is still awesome
« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2013, 08:17:27 am »
So I rode 80 miles yesterday to Moses Lake, WA  with my 2012 Concours

So this place exists for real!!!  :o
You won't believe, but in my World Tour on Flight Simulator (been lasting for more than 6 years now...) I flew to Moses Lake airport in Washington State YESTERDAY NIGHT!!!
Unbelievable!

I'm atheist, but sometimes these coincidences make me think... ::)
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Offline Pokey

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Re: 2013 Yamaha FJR......nah the Concours is still awesome
« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2013, 09:13:47 am »
Cruise not working past 80 mph is a problem........WTF?  :o
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Re: 2013 Yamaha FJR......nah the Concours is still awesome
« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2013, 12:08:33 pm »
Cruise not working past 80 mph is a problem........WTF?  :o
Kinda like mandatory seatbelts.  Good idea for sure, but part of a nanny state in control of all we do.

Offline eng943

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Re: 2013 Yamaha FJR......nah the Concours is still awesome
« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2013, 06:20:19 pm »
Cruise not working past 80 mph is a problem........WTF?  :o

Are you kidding? That isn't even the legal speed limit on certain Texas Interstates. Ever set your car cruise over 80 on a long interstate trip? 80 mph on an interstate is a guarantee that you will have people crawling up behind you.

Typical Japaneese "we don't want the liability, let's post a warning sticker on every panel of the bike" mentality. BMW and Triumph do not regulate their CC systems this way.

an 80 mph CC is almost useless.     
2017 C14 - AST Risers / Peg Lowering kit / mccruise /Garmin 595/Shoodaben MR / Area P / Kawi Touring Seat.
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Offline Pokey

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Re: 2013 Yamaha FJR......nah the Concours is still awesome
« Reply #12 on: March 23, 2013, 07:20:27 pm »
Are you kidding? That isn't even the legal speed limit on certain Texas Interstates. Ever set your car cruise over 80 on a long interstate trip? 80 mph on an interstate is a guarantee that you will have people crawling up behind you.

Typical Japaneese "we don't want the liability, let's post a warning sticker on every panel of the bike" mentality. BMW and Triumph do not regulate their CC systems this way.

an 80 mph CC is almost useless.   


No I have never set my cruise on 80 mph and no there is no place in Ohio "legally" where putting your CC on 80 MPH or higher is a good idea. Ohio State Troopers are some of the finest in the country, and they are everywhere and will bust your ass. And to say that an 80 mph cc limit is useless is stretching it a bit. If people are crawling up behind you in any other lane "regularly" other than the passing lane, I would love to see proof of that. Of course I tend to avoid the interstate like the plague when I am on 2 wheels, so cruise for me most times is not needed or important.
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Offline eng943

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Re: 2013 Yamaha FJR......nah the Concours is still awesome
« Reply #13 on: March 24, 2013, 10:21:43 am »

No I have never set my cruise on 80 mph and no there is no place in Ohio "legally" where putting your CC on 80 MPH or higher is a good idea. Ohio State Troopers are some of the finest in the country, and they are everywhere and will bust your ass. And to say that an 80 mph cc limit is useless is stretching it a bit. If people are crawling up behind you in any other lane "regularly" other than the passing lane, I would love to see proof of that. Of course I tend to avoid the interstate like the plague when I am on 2 wheels, so cruise for me most times is not needed or important.

I get that, but on a broader level, a sport touring bike will likely see significant time on Interstate roads, and 80 mph on an interstate is not enough for a lot of riders. Hopefully there is a way to take that out of the ECU for those that need more cruising speed.

Nevertheless, I respect your opinion and see why it would not be that important for your needs.
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Offline Pokey

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Re: 2013 Yamaha FJR......nah the Concours is still awesome
« Reply #14 on: March 24, 2013, 11:19:24 am »
I get that, but on a broader level, a sport touring bike will likely see significant time on Interstate roads, and 80 mph on an interstate is not enough for a lot of riders. Hopefully there is a way to take that out of the ECU for those that need more cruising speed.

Nevertheless, I respect your opinion and see why it would not be that important for your needs.


Agree with ya!   :chugbeer:
2006 DL1000  2006 SV650
08 C14 "gone"

"All we have to do is decide what to do with the time given to us". Gandalf the Grey