Motorcycle No.10

Continuing the series about my motorcycles this is my current machine. The tenth and only bike I have purchased by trying to be rational rather then emotional but with motorcycles I think the latter is just as important.

Riding in Japan is superb however not something I can access on any Sunday like when living in Australia. I have the choice of gridlock traffic for a couple of hours to and from the nearest riding area or expensive tolls to escape Tokyo. Then there is the climate. Summer is rainy season, like every day. Winter is snow. Autumn is typhoons. You have a narrow window to ride which is one reason I chose this bike.

Touring rather that day tripping in cool to cold temperatures made many bikes less practical. I like standard bikes best, now being up sold as Naked bikes by the same gurus that invented the term Adventure bike to double the price of what was formerly just called dual purpose. Fortunate for me whilst everyone is trying to look like Ewan regular touring bikes have fallen out of vogue.

The FJR is further below the radar here where people who are buying tourers choose things like Honda's Super Bol D'or 1300 and Yamaha have to pitch the FJR against that style of big four not the Tourer from BMW. So you end up with the R1200RT sitting off in stratospheric pricing for Japan of $30,000 while the FJR was can be had for just over $13,000. The money saved has paid for all my touring in Japan the last 5 years.

It has not been all rosy however. I initially had a difficult time adjusting to such a big heavy bike. I have excessively wordy long term review posted elsewhere and the saga of making the bike turn better - short version is it's still heavier and slower steering than the BMW but I have bridged some of the gap and when I factor in how much I like a big four compared to a boxer twin then I feel it's not too bad.

I have never owned a bike longer than 2 years. Always had something new tug my heartstrings and the cash. I was going to change to one of the retro bikes that came out but being money conscious have held it longer which allowed me to adjust and appreciate a tourer does fit much of my riding here. I'd like a smaller lighter tourer but maybe that is an oxymoron and in any case while ADV remains the most popular trend nobody is going to develop that sort of machine. So I plan to be riding this for a long time yet, probably until I can access my retirement fund and shout myself a new machine. Good thing they are one of the most bulletproof bikes on the road.


Well that didn't work

I had reflector tape on front and back because cars bump into the bike in hotel car parks. This happens after sunset so I though maybe try something but it was as effective as chewing gum. Good thing the FJR is a solid heavy bike not easy broken. I'm not really bothered about the scratches. Besides already having little to no residual value (in Japan) as I alluded to in the intro this bike was chosen purely on function, I never much liked it's looks and remain detached. Still I was never one to give any of my bikes names like some people do. There all just bikes.

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