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Thank you Bob for saying things so much more diplomatically than I ever could. I've got many 500-600 mile days under my belt on my ST4 and have had no problems whatsoever. The Sargent seat and helibars made it all day comfortable.



On a recent trip up to Monterey my friend and I were pulled over near that crazy bridge on highway 1 next to a dozen ST1100 riders who immediately came over to check out the Ducati. I had to sit there and rev the throttle just so they could listen to it. I eased down the road with a wheelie and a wave as I left.



Later at the entrance to the Hearst Castle, a Japanese tourist came running up to me and asked if he could take a picture next to my bike because Ducatis were his favorite. I'm sure that one would have left KP speechless.



I'm a huge admirer of Eagan who I believe recently set a NY to SF record.
 

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Re: FJR Heat Problem?

One of the knocks against the FJR is that its engine generates a LOT of heat. You may have appreciated this warmth during the snow storm, but I wouldn't want to experience it while waiting for a light in full leathers in D.C. in mid-August. This heat problem, if it exists, would be particularly irritating since you have to order the bike without having an opportunity to test ride it. So whats the deal with the heat, JB?
 

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Theoretically you have a point. Practically, what if we've already ridden the R1150RT, K1200GT, ST1300, Triumph Trophy and Concours enough to know the FJR would make wasabe out of all of them, no contest?
 

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Re: FJR Heat Problem?

I give up. what is the deal? I'm not feeling it myself, and have ridden the FJR on hot days in stop and go traffic too. Are you thinking of the ST1300, now with new/improved insulation according to Honda?
 

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Re: FJR Heat Problem?

No, I meant the FJR. I've read a few posts on an FRJ owners website about excessive heat and some home-grown attempts to alleviate the (alleged) problem. I understand all engines generate heat, but I really hate to buy a motorcycle on faith. Can anybody else confirm/deny the excessive heat shots against the FJR?
 

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I guess I am not ready for this crowd.

Nice review love the pictures. The closest thing I would get to these bikes is a VFR. I am suprised that the Ducati is included but the VFR is not. Ooops I remember why now. :) The Aprilia is a cool bike but it has that V-Twin thing going against it. 60 degree with counterbalancers ouch. The Yamaha seems large to me.
 

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Re: FJR Heat Problem?

Yes, this is a concern, but it is not as hot as the ST1300. Honda is still trying to deal with the heat issue. Depending on where you live this might not be an issue at all, but if you are dealing with severe stop-n-go traffic, then you might want to speak and maybe ride one owned by someone else (if they are amenable). But all of this set aside the last day to put down your $500 is coming up for this year's models. My son works at a motorcycle dealership and they have had no complaints with with FJR1300 customers. Customers have backed out of ST1300 deals after reading talking to some other ST1300 owners.
 

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Re: I guess I am not ready for this crowd.

I suppose you have ridden the Aprilia Mille, Falco, Tuono or Futura and thus have first hand knowledge upon which your negative bias of the V-twin is based. Please enlighten us so that we will know why I-4's or other configurations are superior.
 

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Re: I guess I am not ready for this crowd.

With KP the explanation is simple; Harley has a V-Twin and its "Price to Performance Ratio" is unacceptable. So every V-Twin on the planet is of the same character. Same motor just different chassis no matter who makes it, water-cooled or not. Performance orientated or cruiser makes no difference, its all lies in his eyes. Yet I believe an 883 is the only twin he has ever ridden. With extensive motorcycle knowledge like that who wouldnt listen to him?

Now speaking of twins, MO when are you going to get your hands on a KTM Adventure 950??? Inquiring minds want to know!!!
 

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Stop! Don't go there!

Please don't ask for any of KPaul's explanations. He knows not of what he speaks. He probably thinks your Aprilia has a vibration problem.

Don't get sucked into any attempt at logical reasoning with him. You've been warned.......
 

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This test comes at a good time for me because I'm in the market for a new touring/crappy weather bike. I've pretty well narrowed it down to a new Trophy 1200, mainly because I like the total package, For me an ST4 is too spendy to buy and maintian. New ST2's might be hard to find anymore. I love HD's but the T-sport is spendy and I don't like playing games trying to get one at MSRP. The ST1300 Honda doesn't really grab me. And I already had a VFR. My house re-fi thats paying for the bike isn't going to close till mid May so I don't want to pay a deposit on FJR and have to back out if there's a problem. That leaves the Sprint and the Trophy, I already have a sporty toury bike with my Bandit so,,,,looks like the Trophy is it. Plus since the weather up here blows 8 mos. out of the year the bigger fairing will be cool. Nice reveiw on the FJR, I just don't know if my timing would work with it. And really I just like the Trophy better.
 

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Re: One thing that's wrong...

I don't mind seeing tests with performance enhancing goodies on the bikes because most of us will add those anyway.

The ST4s is notorious for being geared way too tall (I believe to pass Euro noise regulations). Most owners drop a tooth on the countershaft sprocket immediately and the bike really wakes up.
 

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Re: I guess I am not ready for this crowd.

I test-rode a KTM 950 Adventure yesterday. The clutch and throttle action is very light, and the handlebar position is comfortably close. Low end power is decent but this motor loves to rev -- spin it past 6 grand and it really starts to haul the coals. And it feels like a featherweight compared to my 1100gs. Even at a walking pace it feels lithe and light, and at higher speeds you can fling it about like a motard. The firm suspension is top shelf. I have a feeling even hardcore offroad guys won't feel the need to do any upgrades. The seat is hard, but it's wide and has plenty of room for a passenger.

The downsides? It's not a bike for short arses. Even with my 30" inseam, I can comfortable ride my GS with the seat in the high position, but the KTM left my legs dangling in the air. And adding a passenger didn't make a difference. A 10 minute ride through city traffic with temps in the 70s had the fan kicking in constantly. And then there's the price. For an armchair adventurer like me, it's too high for this barebones bike. But those who want bike that can be pounded hard offroad and still cruise interstates will probably won't mind ponying up the bucks.
 

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You might want to speak with your dealer as the FJR doesn't sit on the floor and my son tells me that others quickly step in when others leave their position. The deposit is refundable at my son's store, but he just got off the telephone with me and said that there are always several buyers who missed the deadline looking for people backing out to take their place. However, each dealer might be different and you need only look at the fine print that your dealer will have you sign before laying out $500. Here is Yamaha's basic terms (without the fine print):

http://www.yamaha-motor.com/products/mcy/media/vr/04/fjr1300/04fjr1300_promo-mcy.html

Also, each state has different consumer rights and laws and your state might forbid "nonrefundable" funds, entitling you to all your money back.
 

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Great article and very well written. I too wanted to get that aprilla but when I saw the george jetson futurist design it completely turned me off. Looks like it was made for batgirl. Thats too bad because I'm partial to v twins. These are all good bikes when you compare to everything else out there.
 

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- Passenger comfort and wind protection does matter on any type of touring bike.



- While I'm sure that Ducati, Aprillia, and Triumph parts are widely available at every gas station in California.....I wouldn't want to get too far from civilization on them anywhere else.



- I think BMW is the gold standard in this category but it is just as well you did not include it because you would have knocked it for being heavy and slow (but you would have fought for it when the weather was less than perfect).
 

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Re: Second on ABS

Exactly. Any control intervention that saves us from panic reaction without preventing us from doing it ourself is justified, that is worth the money.

Purists may risk their nether parts, but they shouldn't criticise the prudent among us.
 
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