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Pre-EICMA Leaks Continue

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Looking exactly like the copyright images filed in Europe recently, the production Yamaha FJ-09 has been revealed in all its glory by none other than … Yamaha! Sloppy control of its media website resulted in Yamaha posting the FJ-09 image above, and then quickly removing it. Of course, given the nature of the Internet, the image was grabbed and distributed worldwide nonetheless. Follow the link at the beginning of this paragraph to see the production model from various angles.  The official launch should be at EICMA in early November.

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MV Agusta has already revealed that a Dragster RR is coming at EICMA, and here is one of several official images circulating on the web. At this point, we don’t expect the performance specifications to be much different than those of the Brutale 800 Dragster, which was announced back in January, expect for uprated suspension and other components.

Yamaha’s new R1 is one of the most anticipated EICMA unveilings, but all we have at this point are a few teaser videos, Here is the latest:

110 Comments

  1. xlayn says:

    Audi laser headlights everywhere

  2. Matt says:

    83 comments, and only 1 about the MV (I think).

    Obviously Yamaha has struck a nerve with this crowd that a 140HP, 370lb naked couldn’t.:)

  3. MG3 says:

    I think Yamaha has a great bike here. Can’t wait to sit on one in the showroom. Yamaha seems to be making all the waves lately. Have to admit I was floored by the ‘new’ SR400, that is until I heard the price. Over $6K for a 30 year old design??? WTF are they smokin over there? But it really looked and felt great. Oh well guess I keep riding what I have and maybe check out this new FJ 900.

  4. Michael H says:

    I, for one, and saddened by Yamaha’s movement away from tank seams.

  5. RichBinAZ says:

    OK, I’ll ask then – How does the rear wheel work on the MV?
    The spokes appear to reach over to one side of the rim, without a lot of triangulation.
    The rim ferrules look really odd looking.
    and it has to handle 140HP, more when you consider the gear reduction

  6. Gronde says:

    This is an “FJ”, not an “FJR”. Some might not be old enough to remember, but the original FJ1100 was not a touring bike like the FJR. It is actually what YAMAHA calls it…an FJ. Look it up and stop whining.

    • Bob L. says:

      Not “whining”…..this doesn’t look like the original FJ, either. Look it up.

    • Blackcayman says:

      Cooments from other online Magazines/Blogs

      “Street only ADV Bike Styling”
      “capitalizing on the ADV Bike craze”
      “ADV Bike styling”
      “ADV Bike for the street”

      We’re not whinning – WE know what and FJ looks like. This is a TDM for the street.

      Stil holding out hope for an FJR

  7. red says:

    I agree with the Versys comparisons. That means its sporty, tour worthy, upright and gravel capable- whats not to like?

    If are an old school rocketeer in search of a modern lightweight FJ1200, Kawasaki is already making it and calling it a Ninja 1000. get a blue one and scribble fj on it. 🙂

    • Gronde says:

      From the spec chart, the NINJA 1000 makes a better distance machine than the little FJ-09. The FJ-09 offers little wind protection with a light-weight chassis….not the best combo for eating miles.

      • dinosnake says:

        It could have been – the F800GT seems to be a great mileage-eater, and what a lot of us were hoping that an “FJR-900” would be in competition to. Looks like BMW has the ‘real’ middleweight sport-tourer market all to itself.

        Again.

      • red says:

        Disagree.. I’d rather tour on a weestrom than ninja 1k.

        • mickey says:

          Really? Can’t imagine why?

          • red says:

            are you pulling my leg? in case not, here are top 4 that come to mind.
            1 comfort (I like to sit up)
            2 range
            3 mpg
            3 bad roads/gravel

          • mickey says:

            I think the problem is we tour differently. The bad roads I ride might have a pot hole or two on them, I will go around, and only time I am in gravel is turning around in an unpaved parking lot. The SV holds .3 gallon more gas but either will go 200 miles, the SV only weighs 35 pounds less, and I don’t want to ride 500 miles a day on a 66 crank horsepower motorcycle. Judging from the response to the FJ09 no one else does either. The Ninja will be a lot more fun on the curvy roads than the Wee, and you won’t have to worry about passing a semi or motorhome uphill in the mountains on the Ninja. The Ninja is hardly uncomfortable. The fairing provides good protection. The saddlebags don’t look like left over army surplus ammo cases. Like I said, sounds like we tour differently. I can’t imagine touring on a Wee Strom. It’s just a Gladius with a fairing.

          • mickey says:

            Uh sorry about the Gladius with a fairing comment, that was uncalled for.

          • Hot Dog says:

            I just put 4000 miles on a Wee in a little over a week and my observations are:

            It’s very comfortable, lot’s of leg room and a wide saddle for moving around on.

            There’s enough gas range to pull 225 miles easily, more than enough to exceed my bladder or thirst.

            Gravel roads on a Wee are a cakewalk. It’s the 2 foot deep water crossings and boulder strewn paths that I have a hard time with.

            66 ponies is enough to cruise a 90mph all day long, and sure is nice to burble along on a gravel road.

            My only gripe is the Wee needs cruise control. I want to relax my throttle hand, check to see if my billfold is still back there and maybe adjust the boys a bit.

            All this said, I think Yamaha has hit it out of the park on the FJ-09. I hope it’s got a big tank, cruise and somewhere to strap on a camp stove.

          • mickey says:

            Had a guy tell me the exact same thing (only it was 80 mph all day long) about a Ninja 300. I don’t want to tour on one of those either.

          • Hot Dog says:

            Ok, when the gravel road get wet and muddy, you better turn around, go back and stay with the women and children. We’re going to keep going and find somewhere to camp.

          • mickey says:

            Camp? That’s why they make Holiday inns with pools and Jacuzzis…so you don’t have to lay on the ground when it gets wet and muddy…or anytime for that matter.

            See we DO tour differently

          • Hot Dog says:

            You probably don’t even have to take the bike off the trailer when you go nighty night at the Holiday Inn. Gosh, what’s it like to have your riding suit washed, pressed and delivered to your suite after your morning brunch?

            Ok, I’ll stop, we’re all different and that’s probably a good thing. I get to ride where I won’t see another person for hours on end and you get to do your thing. At least we ride.

          • Bob L. says:

            Why would I work hard all week, only to pretend I’m homeless on the weekends? I like riding, where I see other people. Mickey and Hot Dog, you guys crack me up!

          • Jeremy in TX says:

            Sounds like I “tour” like Hot Dog but “camp” like mickey.

          • mickey says:

            Been touring seriously since 1977. 37 states, 2 provinces of Canada, 5 countries in Europe.Quit laying on the ground when I turned 50. That was 7 months shy of 15 years ago.

            Smartest man in the world invented motorcycles, second smartest invented the hot shower, 3rd smartest invented good motels lol

            Touring doesn’t have to mean torture

            Glad you are having fun out there Hot Dog. That’s what it’s all about. Would love to hear how you are touring when you get my age, but I’ll probably be worm bait by then.

          • Hot Dog says:

            I’m 61, and I can’t wait to pitch a tent in a blizzard. I’ve been riding since 1969. I’ve had 25 bikes since then. I’m an old dog Mickey, as you are, we’re riders. That’s a good thing.

          • mickey says:

            Wow Im impressed HotDog. Good on ya man. laying on the ground at 61. Some guys are just tough. You are one of them. I can’t even get up off the floor in my living room anymore lol. Ride safe my friend.

  8. Sam says:

    The Yamaha looks very odd without the obligatory BEAK.

    Sam:)

  9. kjazz says:

    The new Yammer is a great looking Moto-SUV. Upright, comfy ergos, probably decent power (hopefully tuned to torque (early and flat), carrying capacity. What’s not to like. These are the future of motorcycling for the next few years.

    • VLJ says:

      No need to “tune it to torque,” or to change the tuning at all. The FZ-09 is plenty punchy already. Leave the motor alone. Just sort out the fueling and give it halfway decent suspension. That’s all the FZ-09 needs. If Yamaha manages those things with this new bike, they’ll have one of the most fun, functional bikes on the market.

  10. Blackcayman says:

    I’ve been blathering on endlessly about how I hoped Yamaha would bring out a new
    SPORT-touring middleweight bike based on the FZ-09 Triple. That it needed to be light weight, have an emphasis on SPORT riding,have the upright ergos of an ST for all the aging sportbike riders but also have the wind protection and hardbags of an ST. ABS, cruise control and heated grips apeal to me as well.

    I was disapointed that the FJ moniker was used on an obvious Psuedo-ADV bike in the vein of a Tiger 1050. I lamented that they could’ve / should’ve used the TDM moniker for such a machine.

    Styling wise; they seem to have drawn the bodywork to accentuate the tall forks.

    Like a sucker / optimist; I am holding out hope that they could still make such a bike and call it the FJR.

    • Curly says:

      Re: “Tall Forks”. If you draw a line through the front and rear axles on profile photos of the FZ/MT-09 and the FJ-09 you’ll see that the suspension height of the two models is exactly the same. The extra height is in the seat padding (about an inch or so?) and mostly an illusion. This is for all purposes a new TDM850 (with a lot more power and a lot less weight) which was really just a somewhat tall Sport-Tourer with no off-road pretension. It’s clearly not meant to be a fully equipped XTZ ADV bike but by the obvious bag mounts it will probably have some touring accessories and not cost a lot more than the FZ-09 to start (under $10K let’s hope). So, the FJ name doesn’t seem so wrong for a what is really a standard with a quarter fairing that you can hang bags on and go touring if you like.

      • Curly says:

        For those worried about this bike being too tall, just scroll down to the photo of Dirck on the FZ-09 at the unveil and add an inch to the seat. OK, we all don’t have a 32″ inseam but Dirck can “easily flatfoot” the bike.

        http://www.motorcycledaily.com/2013/06/yamaha-unveils-2014-fz-09-850-triple/

      • Blackcayman says:

        “a line through the axles”????

        Wouldn’t that only determine the height of the rims?

        You seem pretty sure that the height of the bike is mostly an illusion – lets see the specs when they come out.

        Looks like a Triumph Tiger 1050 rather than an ST

        • Curly says:

          No, the line passes through the same spot on the crankcases as on the FZ-09. The tires look to be the same size on both bikes too. That means the crankshaft is the same height above the ground on both bikes hence they have the same suspension height.

          • Blackcayman says:

            OK, Good point – lets see how this shakes out.

            I am put off by the obvious way they styled the bike to look like an ADV Bike, rather than an ST.

            The motor might be so good, it could make up for a lack of ST style.

  11. takehikes says:

    I’ve decided that I am never buying another bike again unless it has a huge beak and some kind of weird looking thingy hanging down for the license plate AND a space between the rear tire and fender large enough to crawl through….man now those are what I want in a bike! they have nailed it! It will be a classic!

  12. Garrett in ct says:

    Looks like one fine machine, only they forgot a rear rack.

  13. Bones says:

    Looks great to me, except that it’s likely too tall. For bikes that clearly have no off road intentions (unpaved roads, sure, but not off road) it’s silly to make them so freaking tall. Not every motorcyclist is 6 foot 5.

  14. Lenz says:

    How does the design brief for a real world adventure bike that can function across road/dirt/sand/mud become acceptable at 200kg+ (440lb+)?

    My recipe:

    * engine 600cc – 650cc in either a 270deg twin or 120deg triple – liquid cooled – fuel injected
    * dry sump for low centre of gravity engine position
    * 6 speed transmission – 1st gear very low, 6th gear very high / overdrive
    * separated oil volumes between transmission/clutch and piston / crank like the Honda 450crfx
    * electric start and kick start
    * lightweight frame of aluminium or finite element analysis chrome moly trellis
    * suspension travel ~ 200mm front and rear – fully manually adjustable – not electronic
    * tubeless spoked wheels 21 front preferable 19 minimum, 18 rear
    * no traction control or engine management mode electronics
    * high output LED lighting
    * centre stand standard
    * ABS standard
    * exhaust light – not high mount
    * ~ 20lt plastic translucent fuel tank ( fuel gauge back up)
    * bike weight without fuel not greater than 150kg ( 160kg max)
    * low windscreen similar to the KTM 1190 Adventure R
    * chain drive with dedicated lube system similar to the Pro Lube system

    • Lenz says:

      I meant Pro Oiler not Pro Lube for drive chain maintenance.

      • Aussie M says:

        Agree with you Lenz, but ABS is a safety hazard when off sealed roads, so very important for it to be switchable or adjustable. Very important to be able to switch off the rear ABS when riding on gravel or dirt roads.

        • Dave says:

          Good thing this is a street bike then…

          • Curly says:

            +1 Comment of the day. Thanks.

          • Lenz says:

            Dave – I have no idea what you’re talking about

          • Dave says:

            Re: – “Dave – I have no idea what you’re talking about”

            I don’t think we know what you’re talking about either. The FJ-09 is a street bike. Why must any bike that is taller than a UJM become an “adventure bike”, the majority of which never see a gravel road?

            It’s the same bad logic that’s driven the SUV market.

          • Lenz says:

            Kinda think there is some agreement here. This particular setup looks like it might be more upright / less knee bend / some wind protection in comparison to the initial model.

            My list defines the inclusions required to fit the bill of a bike that can operate in a broad range of environments ie sealed roads / unsealed roads / basic tracks / mud / sand. The weight spec I’ve given is based on a reasonably fit male being able to right a downed bike without assistance in less than ideal conditions.

            Obviously this Yamaha model does not come close to the specs I’ve suggested – it’s a road bike in the same vein as the Triumph 1050.

  15. Tommy see says:

    I cannot go out and buy one of these little rockets. I would be crazy to spend my money. Oh well I will just stay home and play grumpy old man and check out M/C daily and complain and whine and wait for Norm G,s comments.

  16. andy1300 says:

    I like it, I just wish it had a shaft drive on it like my FJR 1300 does.

  17. skybullet says:

    Maybe we ought to ride the FJ-09, then decide. It looks like the closest thing to an all around better performing, more comfortable, tour capable, LIGHT bike than anything else close to it’s size or price. We might be fumbling for our checkbook.

  18. Sean says:

    I agree with most here that this is more like a Versys than an FJ and for me thats somewhat disappointing as there are plenty of wanna be adventure bikes out there already but lightweight performance oriented sport tourers are sorely lacking.

    • Matt says:

      I owned an FJ1100 and I loved it, but was bummed having to turn around when I got to gravel and dirt connector roads.

      I rode a versys 650 and it was just a little too heavy (454 lbs) and a little short on power (59hp). I liked everything else about it.

      If the specs stay similar to the FZ09 this FJ could be up to 40lbs lighter (414) with 56 more HP (115).

      Wow. Perfect. I even like the looks.

      • Curly says:

        Add 10-15 lbs. for the fairing, handguards and centerstand. Then you’ll probably want to change tires and add a belly pan if you really want to do some gravel so figure a few more pounds there too. So, let’s say about 435 lbs. ready to ride and another 10-15 if you add a pair of bags.

  19. Austin ZZR 1200 says:

    More sub-1200 cc adv bikes is a good thing. Bring it and bring the downward price pressure that the competition creates. Just make a 19″ front wheel version…a deal-killer without it

    • Dave says:

      What does a 19″ wheel do that a 17″ doesn’t? This is a road motorcycle.

      • Mark says:

        Handle dirt roads a hell of a lot better!
        Make it 19 and the Tiger 1050 us for sale and I buy one…… Maybe

        • Matt says:

          In my 30 year of dirtbike experience I have found that weight becomes a limiting factor of off-road ability long before wheel size.

          I currently have down-sized to a WR250X with 17″ wheels that I put knobbies on. The only place I wish I had the 21″ front of my dirtbikes is when the rocks get really big.. and I don’t like those trails much anyway.. and I definitely wouldn’t be taking a 400lb + triple on them..

          I find that with 17″ the street part becomes more enjoyable, and the dirt part I hardly notice, in fact I like them much more on gravel, they don’t wander as much as the 21″.

          Where this bike will tread, for me at least, 17″ with some Shinko 705’s will be just perfect.

          Although a 19″ front is a good compromise too. I really enjoyed the Tiger roadie with that combo, but 17″ will work fine.

      • Matt says:

        In my 30 year of dirtbike experience I have found that weight becomes a limiting factor of off-road ability long before wheel size.

        I currently have down-sized to a WR250X with 17″ wheels that I put knobbies on. The only place I wish I had the 21″ front of my dirtbikes is when the rocks get really big.. and I don’t like those trails much anyway.. and I definitely wouldn’t be taking a 400lb + triple on them..

        I find that with 17″ the street part becomes more enjoyable, and the dirt part I hardly notice, in fact I like them much more on gravel, they don’t wander as much as the 21″.

        Where this bike will tread, for me at least, 17″ with some Shinko 705’s will be just perfect.

        Although a 19″ front is a good compromise too. I really enjoyed the Tiger roadie with that combo, but 17″ will work fine.

  20. Gabe says:

    FJ-09: It looks like a stylish Versys. Actually, it looks like a stylish Versys with an extra cylinder and 30 more hp. It’s probably noticeably lighter, too. Sign me up.

    • Gham says:

      Kind of reminds me of a Triumph Tiger “Roadie” and I like that style.Seat height is a factor with me.

    • zuki says:

      Comparing to Versys 650 it’s 46 more hp if it has the same power as FZ-09. What’s remarkable is it will likely be significantly lighter than the Versys 650, considering the FZ-09 weighs in at 414 lbs. wet! This will be an awesome touring machine.

  21. Todd L. says:

    I have to respectfully disagree with Bob L. – this bike is right on the money with the “adventure” styling as opposed to sport touring styling. What is practically the first thing a buyer of an FJR (or Concours or ST1300) does to the bike? They put on handlebar risers. Next is usually lowering the pegs. Why? They want the upright ergos, if not the style, that you get with an adventure bike.

    An FZ-09 already has ergos very close to a BMW R1200RT – a very comfy, sport touring bike. Put some wind protection, bags and ABS/Traction Control on the FZ-09, and it’ll be a great tourer and sell way better than a down-sized FJR.

  22. reniram says:

    sorry…..no drive shaft….no sale!… just another ujm

    • iliketoeat says:

      Eh. So just buy a Yamaha Tenere – problem solved. Not everyone wants the added weight and expense of a drive shaft.

      • reniram says:

        This has the FJ moniker..Touring.. Get it?..Who wants the mess and daily cleaning of a chain after days of distance riding in wet weather..I am not a giant, so the ST or other high saddle height will not cut it.My current rides..Triumph Bonneville and Honda Deauville Guess which one I have many thousands of miles on and have never ever had the need to lube or clean or blame for the black spotting on my Kilemjaro jacket?….yessir..the SHAFT drive Honda….now do you understand?

        • mickey says:

          I get where you are coming from, MY ST 1300 has 50,000 miles on it and requires 5.2 oz of oil in the rear end once a year. On the other hand, modern chains are much better than they used to be, and do not require “daily maintenance” even if ridden in the rain (the lube is sealed inside the rollers). I also have a CB 1100 and have taken two multi-day multi state trips on it and on neither one did the chain even require adjustment. As a matter of fact at 7,600 miles, it is still in spec from the factory. I do clean the chain every couple of months with a rag with WD40 on it and then wipe 80 weight gear oil on the side plates with a rag to keep the rust at bay, but it has never been “traditionally lubed” as in spraying the heck out of it with spray can chain lube.

          I also suspect as when compared to my ST 1300, at 50,000 miles on the CB it will be getting ready for it’s second set of replacement chain and sprockets to the tune of about $300 per set, as I expect about 25,000 miles out of a set of chain and sprockets. So $600 compared to say $9 worth of final drive fluid.

          Shafts may be more expensive initially, but cheaper to run on a year in year out basis as long as nothing goes wrong with it.

          • Mike says:

            “Shafts may be more expensive initially, but cheaper to run on a year in year out basis as long as nothing goes wrong with it.”

            Yes, that’s the big ‘if’. One final drive problem will cover a LOT of chain and sprocket sets. My 2013 Moto Guzzi Stelvio had it’s CARC rear drive replaced under warranty at 8500 miles. If I would have had to pay for it, that would be at least $2500. An aweful lot of chains and sprokets, for sure.

          • mickey says:

            Mike, it’s not that big of an if, there are zillions of Goldwings, St 1300s, BMWs, FJRs with millions of miles on shafts with no issues. Even the fabled BMW final drive failures encompass only about 5 percent of the BMWs I’ve read.

        • Dave says:

          Re: “Who wants the mess and daily cleaning of a chain after days of distance riding in wet weather.”

          Evidently not enough people who are willing to pay $1,000-1,500 more for the bike with shaft-drive. Honda tried really hard by offering many competitive, shaft equipped models in the 80’s (Nighthawk, Ascot, Saber, etc), back when chains were worse. If they had been adequately rewarded with sales then there would be more today.

    • Mark says:

      My 2007 has 24k miles. Stock gearing and original chain and sprockets. Anticipate another 10 k miles
      Why the obsession with shaft drive? Limits your options like no other choices!

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “no drive shaft… no sale!”
      re: “the added weight and expense of a drive shaft”
      re: “yessir..the SHAFT drive”
      re: “Shafts may be more expensive initially”
      re: “the bike with shaft-drive”
      re: “shaft equipped models in the 80’s”

      Q: Why the obsession with shaft drive?

      A: we’re just talkin’ about shaft…

      • dinosnake says:

        I’ll settle for a belt, that’s OK. I’m riding my first shaftie now, and I must admit it is REALLY nice to not have to adjust/lube it every week (when I was doing 13K a year)…

  23. Norm G. says:

    re: “Yamaha’s new R1 is one of the most anticipated EICMA unveilings”

    BRING IT…!!!

  24. Norm G. says:

    re: “Sloppy control of its media website resulted in Yamaha posting the FJ-09 image above, and then quickly removing it.”

    yup, that was an accident. get it, “accident”…? (wink wink)

  25. Bob L. says:

    Just don’t care for the “Adventure” style of many of the new bikes.
    Once again I say…..please Yamaha, give us an FJR-09 that looks similar to the current FJR1300. Nothing tall and “transformer-ish”….
    Give us hard bags and a reasonable passenger seat and make it around 550lbs. max.
    Horsepower around 110 will be ample. Build it, and we will come.

    • dinosnake says:

      We can wish all we want, but these [Japanese] manufacturers don’t care about us. They, the manufacturers especially the Japanese ones, are too buy chasing one another’s market and are only looking at each other for what they should do.

      The R-GS has been a perennial best-seller, so what are all the other manufacturers going to do? Why, copy it, of course – why would you expect otherwise? Why should we stretch our necks to try something new when we can/should be going after a piece of [proven] pie, fighting to take over an already established market demographic?

      We TOLD them what we wanted BEFORE they started working on it – the FJ-09. We discussed it, we posted about it, some people even worked up Photoshop mockups of what they hoped it would be.

      All dismissed, the manufacturers know what we want better than we do, it seems. I realize now that the European manufacturers have seen a tremendous surge in business these past number of years because they are the only ones willing to step out from behind the box to try new things (ABS, traction control, ADV’s, fully power hi-po streetfighters, etc.) leaving the Japanese to play their very old, very known game – copy the headliner.

      We’ll be keeping my money in my pockets for a few years more, I guess, me and at least a few other guys I talk to. Many bikes that have come out in the past few years have always missed the mark at some point – no ABS, not enough range, too high seat, too heavy, no hard luggage options, etc. – and at least (thanks to you and people like you who post) I know that I’m not alone in feeling this.

      I guess I’m old fashioned (but yet I’m not old!!) – I like to sit “on” my bikes and not “in” them. Until Guzzi makes a Griso with more range and ABS (their only model WITHOUT ABS now…), BMW (or Hepco-Becker) brings out hard bags for the R-NineT (one of their few R bikes without that option), Polaris sees fit to add ABS to all their products (the new Indian Scout, but it also needs more range), or someone else makes a compact reasonably powerful bike under 550 pounds in a shorter-than-my-rib-cage height that is meant for travel and has a range greater than the local biker bar, I guess I’ll just keep what I’ve got thank-you-very-much.

      • iliketoeat says:

        Huh? Ummm… the FJ-09 is “a compact reasonably powerful bike under 550 pounds in a shorter-than-my-rib-cage height that is meant for travel and has a range greater than the local biker bar.” Where is the problem again? Did you not see the bike, or are you complaining just for the sake of complaining?

        • Michael says:

          Exactly. Nice comment. We have such great choices today!

          • dinosnake says:

            No, I and others like me do NOT feel that “we have such great choices today”. Most of the “choices” are all in the SAME paradigm – tall bikes, most of them weighty, usually in one of a very fixed set of designs (ADV, streetfighter, supersport, cruiser, tourer). The ADV’s are all tall, the streetfighters are all very naked and almost always too bent over, the supersports are definitely too bent over, the cruisers are heavy and the tourers are even heavier still.

            Indian has (finally!!) broken the cruiser mold with the new Scout and has a LOT of us talking. BMW has broken the mold with the R-NineT as is sold out at my local dealership. Triumph’s Classic series is their best seller, even though they have brilliant engineering in their triples. And Harley. Harley. Perennial best-seller, why exactly?

            Because I’ve realized something: the largest majority of people want accessible fun. Some parts of the market want certain things – power and speed, luggage capacity, etc – and are willing to sacrifice something to get it (comfort and range, weight and cost, etc.). But I think the largest portion of the motorcycling public just wants a bike that they will have FUN on, in a variety of situations they may find themselves in.

            Motorcycling is a luxury sport for us, not required transportation as in developing countries due to lower cost of admission, so we just want fun. Fun is different for every person but it seems for a good majority of us, we don’t want something that takes so much commitment that it sucks the fun out. Some people commit to the penalties of some designs but more and more of us are not – many riders going to high performance ADV’s to get back that comfort whilst keeping that power kick is a great example. But a lot of us aren’t built for an ADV, or a lot of us can ride one but we just don’t want to commit to that size [height] or implication of off-roading (because we won’t) in order to get the other stuff.

            I talk to a lot of riders as I occasionally ride with 2 different riding groups, plus I park in a 100+ bike-only garage. A lot of people around my age are NOT exactly thrilled with the bikes we are being offered, too focused on focus-group objectives. There are few bikes that are reasonable, comfortable, versatile, non-penalizing in commitment and “accessible”, a quality that can’t exactly and instantly be defined. Harleys seem, believe it or not, “accessible” to people – the Harley riders I ride with find them comfortable, excellent travelers within the range of use that they put them to, versatile in that they can make or change things they want on a whim or a necessity, and overall dependable. It hits their targets.

            The FZ-09 and FZ-07 is raising a lot of eyebrows with the guys I’m with and is getting a LOT of talk, so we’ll see. But from here, the FZ-09 fairing seems bulbous yet lacking in coverage due to that narrow windshield (note the hand guards rather than proper fairing airflow control), an ode to ADV design rather than a proper sport-tourer fairing that could have had integrated mirrors with good airflow control. Your saddlebags are going to get nice and dirty with that ADV-inspired shorty rear fender, and for all that added fairing hype the lower leg protection still sucks – and no discernible way to correct that, either, thanks to that carryover radiator shroud design. THIS is why people tell you that they wanted an “FJR-900”-like design, it addresses those issues while this…doesn’t. If you don’t travel far, you wouldn’t understand.

          • Bob L. says:

            Dinosnake…..you nailed it! +1

      • Dale says:

        Actually, I think the new 2014/2015 Ninja 1000 ABS with hard bags fits this bill? Might need an electrical outlet to plug in your vest….

        • dinosnake says:

          Ninja 1000? Tried it, and as a previous owner of the original ZX900 Ninja, I had high hopes for it. Too tall, it left me with that “sit in” feeling that I realize (now) puts me off faster than a leaking crankcase on the showroom floor.

          I don’t like feeling locked-in and the modern paradigm of motorcycle design, tall tank and passenger seat with lowered rider seat, leaves me feeling exactly that way. As I was on the Ninja 1000 I was trying to move around, as you must do whilst you are in the middle of an 8-hour ride, only to find…you can’t. The seat is so sculpted and cut-out that you have almost no choice but to sit in one spot and take it. Yes yes, you get off to fuel up and for breaks, but when you must get back on to *exactly* the same bum spot, because the seat doesn’t allow for anything else, it doesn’t matter – you are going to hurt. THAT’S why I prefer “sitting on” rather than “sitting in”, you can move around; it’s important as the miles rack up and when I can tell a bike is made for day or backroad hops or is actually meant to go somewhere.

          • DCE says:

            If the Ninja 1000 was too tall for you, I don’t think you know the definition of “tall”. From someone 6′ 2″ tall and cannot find many bikes that fit comfortably (except the taller-framed dual-sports).

          • dinosnake says:

            It’s not necessarily that I found the Ninja 1000 “tall”, I found it “restrictive” for that height. Tall bodywork, squished seat area that seems awfully small considering how big the rest of the bike was, surprised (not in the good sense) me. They make you sit “in” bikes now, and I just find that uncomfortable for the long run (experience).

      • Norm G. says:

        re: “We’ll be keeping my money in my pockets for a few years more, I guess, me and at least a few other guys I talk to. Many bikes that have come out in the past few years have always missed the mark at some point – no ABS, not enough range, too high seat, too heavy, no hard luggage options, etc.”

        pardon me for saying, but sounds like a lot of whining and excuse making to me. a whole bunch of reasons NOT to splash cash on the industry you clearly seem to love. come off the dime and you could get pretty close to ALL those targets LOONG before any OEM ever gives it to you. what are waiting for, the ebola to hit…? how much riding you think you’re going to be doing then…?

        re: “some people even worked up Photoshop mockups of what they hoped it would be.”

        some people don’t know from Photoshop and can only work in 3 dimensions. now this is what i call SolidWorks…

        http://tinyurl.com/nyxm3ds

        get it…? “Solid, Works”…? see what I did there…?

        • Lenz says:

          SolidWorks being the name of a very capable brand of engineering design software

        • dinosnake says:

          An “excuse” not to spend money on bikes, “a whole bunch of reasons NOT to splash cash on the industry you clearly seem to love.”

          Damn straight. I don’t see why I have to put down my money on something I really don’t find to my liking, or even worse to MY REQUIREMENTS, just because the industry has told me that these are “the bikes to own”. No. When the industry makes something that suits my purposes, makes something that I / we (the other guys like me, for example in my biker garage) like, we’ll spend – I don’t see a damn good reason to plunk down money ‘just because” it’s the thing to do, to say to someone “Look, I spent”.

          That’s actually the WORSE thing to do – what about that “perfect market” theory that they keep telling us to trust in? You know, the one where the market is efficient and gives the consumer what it wants and demands due to competition pressures? What kind of “pressure” is there when you buy ca@p that you really don’t like just because other people are telling you it’s the thing to do?? There are enough suckers buying stuff they don’t really want, or don’t need, because they’re being told to do it – they don’t need my money added to make it all work. There’s plenty of people lining up for 10 days to wait for the new iThing even though their current model is only 1 year old.

          That FZ-09 “fully kitted”. A new seat, a screen, a tail trunk and a (small) tank bag is “fully kitted”. [sigh] I go across 4 states to visit friends, 2 states to hang out at a bar night and 2-3 states / 200 miles to try out a different lunch joint. I used to ride over 300 miles round-trip to hang out with friends at a bar, then ride home at the end of the night when it all broke up. When I told my fellow riders that I HATE going out for a ride that is less than 4 hours minimum as I consider it “A waste of my time”, they told me “What?! You’ll miss so many great rides that way!” Then I read off all the places I’ve been to, they added “Oh. You’ve been everywhere great around here already…”.

          I ride. I moved 2 years ago and it has dragged me down, getting out of this metro area and back again can be a 2-hour ordeal never mind the actual distance of the trip. I used to do 10,000 to 13,000 miles a year, and I always hated myself because I thought I should be doing more than that. 13,000 miles a year seemed like a cop-out – don’t real riders do better than that? I’m really down on my mileage this year, health problems and other things, but if the trip isn’t 150 miles-plus, when I get back I wonder why it was worth it to fight the stupid traffic and stupid-high tolls just for that short of a ride. If I’m going to pay out through the nose, and pay through the butt in the pain of dealing with these cr@ppy roads, the ride had better be worth it. The 600 mile round-trips for a dinner with friends was just too much of a pain (pun intended), as the trip back always turned into hell somehow (3 hours sitting in traffic was the worst!), but otherwise I’m up for any good ride that leaves the rider of lots of bikes not set up well with a nice case of bum-burn.

          • Norm G. says:

            re: “Damn straight. I don’t see why I have to put down my money on something I really don’t find to my liking”

            re: “When the industry makes something that suits my purposes, makes something that I / we (the other guys like me, for example in my biker garage) like, we’ll spend”

            (cough)excuses(/cough) (cough)12th of never(/cough) (cough)dealbreaker(/cough)

            re: “what about that “perfect market” theory that they keep telling us to trust in? You know, the one where the market is efficient and gives the consumer what it wants and demands due to competition pressures?”

            ok, what about it…? lol you mean the theory you (and others) hide behind hoping to conceal what is really just “individual greed” at the consumer level…? like that’s somehow economically better than the greed exhibited by CEO’s on high…?

            re: “I ride.”

            apparently… nothing you actually WANT.

          • Jeremy in TX says:

            The fact that nobody makes a bike to your requirements on the mass production market is proof that the market is efficient – the point is get as desirable a bike as possible into as many people’s hands as possible. Efficiency commands compromise.

            The fact that you could also find a builder to inefficiently build a bike to your requirements (for a commensurate sum) is also proof that the market is efficient.

            Until custom motorcycles start falling from the sky like manna, these are our options. Of course, you don’t have to spend the money, and that is also a cue the efficient market will take into account for the next round of product planning.

            “it has dragged me down, getting out of this metro area and back again can be a 2-hour ordeal never mind the actual distance of the trip.”

            I definitely feel your pain on that one! I ride much less since moving to Houston. Sucks!

          • xlayn says:

            @Jeremy in TX
            “the point is get as desirable a bike as possible into as many people’s hands as possible”
            while doing a nice profit… you are right sir.

      • Dave says:

        I see so many options out there and not sure about your complaint. Ninjia 1000 is the closest bike that meets sport touring for those who prefers light weight (only 510 lbs wet), nimble, powerful, and hard lock bag or top box. I rode one from my friend and it is super fun on mountain twisties, and touring long distance with comfort. My 2009 bandit 1250 SA is also great light sport tourer. If I go on long trip by myself I’ll take it any day over my FJR1300. And I’m sure there are more choices out there. This FJ-09 is sure another great sport tourer to the market but it is not the only one.

        • mickey says:

          The Bandit 1250 SA has a curb weight of 560 pounds without luggage. That kind of weight will get it placed in the heavy turd category in this crowd.

          Personally I think thats about right for an I4 liter plus bike, but around here they want that under 500 pounds.

      • Norm G. says:

        re: “so we just want fun”

        ooh so close…

        free lunch.

    • Curly says:

      You may not like the styling (I do) but this FJ-09 should come in at around 450 pounds full up with the optional bags (see the mounts?) and it already makes 115hp.

    • Mugwump says:

      Ninja?

    • Mike Simmons says:

      Yeah…. and build it with a driveshaft please! Thank you very much!

      • mugwump58 says:

        I’ve gone to a chameleon chain oiler for my chain drive bikes. I don’t consider myself lazy; I used to commute 400 miles a week for 8 years and would’ve rather spent my time doing other things with my time. That being said I do love my FJR but smaller bikes would get better mileage and still provide the potential for a “performance award” at the twist of the wrist. 🙂

    • Bo knows says:

      I agree with Bob, the looks of the newest bikes turns me off, which is a shame since there is some amazing engineering under all that ugly!!! There is a place for transformer styling and there’s a place for something more graceful… Something that doesn’t look like it was magnetized and driven through a scrap yard…

  26. Gham says:

    They may have botched the intro but the bike looks very appealing.

  27. VLJ says:

    Never sucks to have Valentino Rossi pimping your ride.