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2015 Yamaha FJ-09: MD Ride Review, Part One

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After being extremely impressed by Yamaha’s new lightweight, three-cylinder sport tourer at the press launch, we got our hands on the bike for a longer term evaluation on familiar roads near MD’s offices.  This is the first part of our report, so expect at least one more update.

I’m going to talk about a ride out to meet MD photographer Chris Rubino last week, where we got to sample the FJ on high speed open highway, as well as numerous twisty roads. The first thing I noticed was the fact that the suspension, as delivered to me by Yamaha, was much softer than the set-up at the press launch. This is not unusual, because the manufacturers will frequently set the launch bikes up for experienced journalists anticipating a high pace. Before we report back to you in Part Two, we will play with the suspension settings.

Initially, the softer suspension made the FJ-09 feel a bit more reluctant to react to rider input on the first canyon road, where I ultimately met Chris for some photos.

Those softer settings did work well on the freeway trip out to that canyon, however, and illustrated some versatility built into the suspension system used by Yamaha. Although all of the chassis details are available in our earlier stories (begin with the link above), as a reminder, the FJ-09 features spring preload and rebound damping adjustments on both the fork and the shock. Fairly generous travel is offered (5.4″ in front, and 5.1″ in back).

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We continue to be impressed by the ergonomics of the FJ-09. There is no forward lean or “roadracer pretense” when you sit on the FJ. You are bolt upright, unlike most other sport tourers, and similar to most adventure tourers. No complaints from us on this choice. The seat/handlebar relationship, in particular, is really outstanding, offering relaxed comfort together with good leverage. The seat height is adjustable, so you can add, or subtract, from the seat-to-footpeg distance, which is adequate for longer rides for riders of average height. Taller riders may find more dedicated tourers that better suit their inseam length. The seat offers both good support, and comfort.

The three ignition maps selectable by the rider, including “Standard”, “A” and “B” can come in handy for a number of reasons. Although Yamaha has dramatically improved the fueling on the FJ compared to last year’s FZ-09, the motor still has a very light flywheel effect, and revs very quickly. If you are simply tired or need to warm up, mode B is a perfect option. Still with plenty of power and response, it takes the edge off the more immediate throttle response that can be found in both the Standard and A modes.

The saddlebags are a convenient addition to our test unit (which also features the optional, heated hand-grips). The bags offer pretty good storage capacity, but are not deep enough to hold a typical full-face helmet. We also found the bags a little “sticky” when trying to rotate the handle upward and remove the bags from the bike.

All-in-all, the 2015 FJ-09 continues to impress us with its versatility, offering one of the best combinations of comfort, practicality and fun we have encountered. This was underscored by my trip back to MD from the photo shoot where I stayed on twisty roads (bypassing the freeway) the entire way. Despite the softer suspension settings, I had a blast. Stay tuned for more.

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86 Comments

  1. pgf says:

    Remember that when you sit on a bike at a show or a dealership, you rarely know (and I never remember to ask) where the pre-load is set, or the seat height, or the bar height, whatever. I might never have bought my ’02 V-Strom if I’d decided based on the first dealer-sit. They must have had the preload cranked way up for some reason, because I could barely touch down. Tried a test ride at a different dealer, and fell in love.

    Hoping to try a friend’s FJ-09 as soon as the weather warms enough…

  2. Rusty says:

    Dirck, Any chance during testing for second part of your road testing that you can explore the top speed electronic limit as reported in FJ owner forums? It is reported that acceleration stops around 114/115 mph. While that seems plenty fast enough for most any riding situation it may come as a surprise if you’re hurrying to get around a long line of traffic. Maybe you can give some insight as to why Yamaha does that.

    Please folks, no dog piling me for asking. It wouldn’t be an issue for me. I have my FJR if triple digit travel is needed. Just trying to get educated on why.

    • mickey says:

      I can tell you the Honda CB 1100 is electronically limited to the Japanese Domestic law of 180 KMs/hr or approx. 112 mph, but reflashed units with restrictions removed have run in the neighborhood of 132 mph.

  3. sebrad says:

    +1 Snake
    This bike is neither fish nor fowl, as all current ADV styled bikes are. Please give us a better, lighter, KTM Super Enduro or a FJR09.

    • epan says:

      Pick up a KTM 950, carbeurated, approx, 430 pounds dry, remarkable bike, if you can get past the looks 🙂

  4. Mike says:

    FJ-09 Two Up….a few answers

    There are a few motorcycle measurements for pre-production or new models bikes not in dealer showrooms that would be good for the “us” riders/passengers to know….. and only take a minute or so for Motorcycle Daily to consider doing while testing/viewing motorcycles that can be ridden two up.

    Measurement 1: a. Seat length in total. b. Rider seating area length and width c. Passenger seating area length and width

    Measurement 2: Passenger seat to footpeg distance

    >>>>>>

    Our local dealer actually has a FJ-09 in stock (I did not take the above measurements)

    My conclusions for the “us” (wife and I) riding part:

    Summary: This bike will fit two with average or below heights and weights. If the passenger is taller, bigger or both….this will be an issue in my view.

    1. Rider ergos and seat are very good………great actually

    2. Passenger ergos are somewhat lacking. The passenger seat area is smallish and the seat to footpeg distance is closer to sport bikes than tour bikes which could be an issue with some passengers ….and a certain issue for taller passengers and/or older passengers which is our situation. You can see this in the first picture.

    >>>>>>

    I sort of see the FJ-09 as a toned down mid engine size Adventure Tour bike without the seat height issues or biased dirt look. We both liked it alot

    Hope this helps convinces everyone that riding together on one bike is important…. to give this bike a look….but most important to go on down to your Yamaha dealer that allows test rides to makes sure it fits both of you.

    Mike

    • Just Plain Bill says:

      They http://cycle-ergo.com/ use, (but don’t provide) measurements for a large number of motorcycles, so that after selecting a specific bike (FJ-09) and inputting your and your passenger’s height and inseam, you can see how a rider and passenger would appear on your bike of choice. And, by selecting “Vehicle Customization” you can see how changing the seat, foot pegs, and/or handlebars would affect the rider’s ergos on that bike.

      One of the most useful sites when you’re in the market for a new bike and wonder how you would “fit” on it.

      Bill

      • Mike says:

        What an amazing application.

        Thank you for posting the link, in my view the absolute best application for showing solo and two up riding…. bike relationships ever!!!!

        I tested it by inputting my wife’s and my inseam and height on the last four bikes we owned and it was spot on related our helmet relationships, her knee location and also pointed out my inseam challenged issues with the Adv Tour we had.

        It also clearly shows another item that greatly effects passenger comfort = angle of the rear seating area…steeper the angle = passenger constantly sliding forward into the rider.

        Thank you for posting the link, in my view the absolute best application for showing solo or two up rider to bike relationships ever!!!!

        You are hereby nominated for the Motorcycle Daily rearder contributor of the hour, day, week, month or year….take your pick!!!

  5. Richard says:

    Dirck, can you comment on the quietness of the engine, any excessive cam chain noise evident on the FJ? As Yamaha is on their 3rd generation CCT on the FZ-09, and still issues, does the problem persist?

  6. TunaPete says:

    Dirck, I hope you have a chance to ride the bike while the ambient temperature is high. I’d like some idea about how much of that radiated heat gets back to the operator. I live in southern Florida, so that’s a real potential deal-breaker for me. I owned an old BMW K-brick a couple of bikes ago, and the heat would roast your inner thighs on a bad day. Another reviewer brought up this issue about the FJ-09, so now I’d like your opinion. Thanks for producing one of the best digital bike mags!

  7. Josh says:

    Seems like a decent bike.. but I still haven’t found anything that makes me want to replace my ZRX1200.

  8. Blackcayman says:

    I hope its wildly successful, so that Yamaha will greenlight the FJR-09.

    A real SPORT-touring bike with:
    SPORT-tour styling rather than a TDM wannabe
    better wind protection up front
    31″ seat height
    sorted supension bits

    Think Midsized Motus for the everyman.

    Then they could drop this bike and make a TDM; having one bike in each category rather than one that compromises.

    If not……someday I could be an owner, I would want to slide the fork tubes up a bit though, install the wider windscreen and add a Corbin / Sargent Saddle. It would be a very useful bike, but I wouldn’t be turning around to admire it as I walked away each time.

    • Bob L says:

      Hey Blackcayman – I couldn’t have said it better. For now, I’ll just keep riding my 05′ FJR.

      • Blackcayman says:

        Two of us….

        That’s not much of a business case I’m afraid.

        Last Night I watched the local unveling of the new Multistrada with it’s 32.5″ seat height (in the lower of the two settings). Its an inch lower than the FJ-09. Its an odd looking beast….with 160HP

    • DaveA says:

      Why would they drop this bike and make a TDM? Or to put it another way, how would the new TDM be different/better than the FJ-09? I _love_ the TDM, and this bike seems to me to be an excellent 2nd act in the genre.

      • Blackcayman says:

        its been widely reported this bike has no off-road chops, only the ADV Bike stance.

        • Curly says:

          It’s listed as a “Supersport Touring” on Yamaha’s website not an ADV Touring bike. The TDM was on road only too. I know, I have one. The 750 Super Tenere was another matter but we never got it in NA.

          • Snake says:

            “It’s listed as ‘Supersport Touring’ on Yamaha’s website not an ADV…”

            Then stop making it look like an ADV.

            Stop making it have the stupid-high seat height (34 inches in high position) AND useless {excessive} suspension travel of an ADV.

            Stop giving it ADV bodywork {inadequate}, with stupid things like handguards and a sliver of a potato-chip windscreen, rather than a proper “Supersport Touring” full coverage fairing with REAL leg protection.

        • DaveA says:

          I owned a TDM and it has no off-road chops either. They’re the same bike from a use/function perspective.

  9. mechanicuss says:

    ehhh (yawn). they won’t sell.

  10. Bill says:

    Agreed, this a tall bike with too wide handlebars and not enough upper fairing, better option to buy the stock triple and fit a decent screen – this has gone backwards if you want a sports tourer

  11. david says:

    Thing that always bugs me are touring bikes that won’t allow you to use a top case and side bags at the same time, like this one.

    • MGNorge says:

      I’d bet you could lash a duffel bag on top and in league with the side cases be just fine. This is not a full blown touring bike although some may want to use it that way.

  12. Boscoe says:

    Still prefer the Ducati ST2, 3 or 4.
    Oops. They don’t make them anymore.
    But you can find one and save about $10,000!!!!!

  13. Random says:

    Please review the passenger/pillion ergonomics too! I can even wait for part II for that! 🙂

  14. Tommy See says:

    Should this be better to own than a 650 V-Strom ? I sat on one at the M/C show and found the FJ more compact and pegs back to far. The V.Strom was a more stretched feeling. Confused on my next new ride.

  15. Motonut_1 says:

    For the life of me, all 68 years, 53 on motorcycles, I can’t understand why the universal test of a side case is whether it will hold a helmet. Did I miss something? Is that where people put their helmets instead of wearing them? Personally, I use mine for packing clothes and other gear when I’m traveling. Put the soft gear in the bags and hang your helmet in a different place or take it with you. Thanks, I’ve wanted to get that off my chest for many years.

    As to the motorcycle, it sounds like Yamaha made improvements to the FZ-09 when they made it into the FJ-09, but, did not completely fix the issues. Every test I’ve read indicates the bike is still no joy to ride in the standard and A mode and the suspension is still too soft. Too bad. I have an ’08 FZ6, so I know Yamaha can get it right.

    • deadhead says:

      You stop somewhere, don’t want to lug your helmet around with you, don’t want to hang it on the bike where it can be stolen or messed with, so you put it in a lockable saddlebag.

    • MGNorge says:

      As a 61 year old and not nearly as many bikes, I believe I can demystify this for you. Yes, some people use their side cases and trunks for their helmets simply because they don’t want them to walk away. They don’t want to hang them on their handlebars, dangle them from an external holder or have to carry them with them. Some people have come back to their bikes only to find that they are now the proud owners of what’s left of a chin strap!

      Another reason to use a helmet as a measure of case volume is it’s something familiar to most of us. It gives us a reference to what can be placed inside, helmet or not. Obviously, if one’s cases are jammed full of other stuff a helmet isn’t going to fit, time for another plan.

      • Scottie says:

        Steal a helmet? I’d rather steal toothbrush.

      • Gham says:

        I just carry a bicycle style lock and use it for helmet,jacket and tankbag (magnetic style)…works fine,but I understand why someone might like larger saddle bags.

      • DaveA says:

        I have to agree with you, MGNorge. I’ve got maybe 15 years and a coupla hundred thousand miles on bikes with hard bags, and as far as I can remember,I’ve never even tried to put a helmet in one. We must be in the minority, since ‘will a helmet fit’ is asked every single time.

    • Tim says:

      If I’m not on a long trip, in other words when my luggage isn’t full of other things, I do find it convenient to be able to lock my helmet in a side case. I don’t feel especially comfortable leaving an Arai or Shoei just sitting on the bike. Those are hefty investments. When I travel I take a cable lock for the helmet but, when I’m not, it’s just much easier to throw it in a side case rather than fool with a lock. Besides, if it will hold a helmet, that means it is likely large enough to hold more clothes, camping gear and gadgets For a long trip.

      • Jonathan says:

        the bags ARE THE SAME as on any yr FJR1300 [that is all 12 yrs},,,,just with thinner outer lids!!!!!!!
        stop crying and get on Ebay,,,there has got to be used FJR bags out there……THOSE will fit my Aria XL noggin protector…..

        • Tim says:

          I’m not crying, just explaining to Motonut why I like having side cases that will swallow a helmet. He commented, “I can’t understand why the universal test of a side case is whether it will hold a helmet”. I already have a touring bike with side cases that will handle full face helmets.

          • Bob L says:

            Tim, I agree with your comments. I don’t understand why Yamaha would not have just made the same size side case as my FJR. It seems that for the $900+ they’ll cost us, they could have done that. Hey Jonathan, are you saying the cases from the FJR fit and lock on too?

          • Curly says:

            Yes the mount points are the same. The FJR bags are just wider at the cover side.

    • Neil says:

      HONDA NC700. 🙂

    • mickey says:

      I have to admit I have never stuck my helmet inside of a saddlebag. I’ve put jackets in there, but never a helmet and I ride around 90% of the time with the saddlebags empty on my Honda ST. Couldn’t even tell you if my helmet would fit in there. I use a helmet guardian on the rear of all my bikes, but most times I don’t even lock that, just hang the helmet on the hook. Sometimes I just sit my helmet on the ground by the foot peg if the area looks safe, or carry it in with me if I think I am in an area I’m not sure of. And I have thrown my jacket over the bars and tank bag on occasion too and gone in a restaurant to eat. I know one day I could come out and find my stuff gone, but knock on wood, 49 years doing this and I’ve never had anything stolen yet. heck the other day I came out from a restaurant and found my key still in the ignition.

    • Vrooom says:

      Here in the Northwet, having a dry place to stick a helmet while we’re off the bike at work or wherever we’re going is pretty critical.

    • todder says:

      Helmet Guardian

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “Every test I’ve read indicates the bike is still no joy to ride in the standard and A mode”

      right about now, what I said about this topic should be hitting everyone like a ton of bricks.

    • dfh says:

      Indeed motonut_1, this has long baffled me. Why would you ride a bike with empty panniers, incurring weight, aerodynamic & width penalties just to have somewhere to put your helmet when you have stopped. Really how hard is it to carry about or lock onto the bike?

      • mickey says:

        Speaking for nearly all Honda ST 1300 owners, the bike looks hideous without the bags, and no one I know ( except me occasionally) will ride a Honda ST 1300 without bags. Even though my bags are empty I don’t put my helmet in there. it never really occurs to me to do that.

        • mickey says:

          Btw I just walked out to the garage and checked and yes my size L full face fits inside the saddlebag.

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        “Really how hard is it to carry about”

        It is easy to carry about if you leave it on your head, but that is only convenient during riots and street brawls. Gets a bit warm and makes conversation difficult otherwise. It rather sucks to carry one around in your hands if you are going to be walking about for a while or actually intend to use your hands for something besides carrying the helmet.

        I have a helmet lock and use it pretty often, but sometimes it is raining or threatening to rain. Then, it goes in the case. Ever had a bird shite in your $700 Arai while it is hanging from the helmet lock? I have. If I am anywhere where I might suspect Tweety and friends to be in abundance, case. Or perhaps you’ve had some douche use the helmet as a personal trash bin? I have. If I spy a lot of douches in the vicinity of the bike, case. I also have a hi-viz helmet, so the less time it spends in the sun, the longer the hi-viz paint remains effective. Case.

  16. mariner says:

    meh..just another universal sporting adventure bike..BMW 800..Triumph..Versys..V Strom there is very little to choose between them..however..if just ANY one of them had a Shaft drive…that would make me open my check book..Damn!!

    • xlayn says:

      question: how much better becomes the bike by the addition shaft drive weight and complexity? or said in another way, what terrible problem would it fix? (take out extra price variable)
      I’ve neglected my chain for almost 20k (with maintenance every once in a while) and still there…, I’ve adjusted the chain just once… and I do kinda like the sound of chain when you drive close to walls.

      • xlayn says:

        note to myself, the more you edit and re-phrase stuff, the more typos and omissions you do….

      • todd says:

        My old ’82 Seca 650 has shaft drive. I have no problem out accelerating a Ninja 650 and SV650. The bike is nearly 500 pounds though – due mostly to the iron pipe frame and steel tank/fenders. My old BMW is shaft drive and it weighs around 400 pounds. I don’t think it matters much. I just prefer the cleanliness and maintenance freedom of the shaft. We are now getting the shaft from motorcycle manufacturers in a different way…

        • Dave says:

          Re: “My old ’82 Seca 650 has shaft drive. I have no problem out accelerating a Ninja 650 and SV650.”

          It’s only a race if the other guy is trying too. 😉

        • xlayn says:

          Seca 650, an uncle of mine had one, everybody in the family lusted for that motorcycle, smooth as hell engine.

        • Vrooom says:

          But you wouldn’t out accelerate the same bike with a chain (you’d lose that race). Shafts are maintenance free, I get it, but weigh more, and are less efficient transferring power. Choose your poison.
          In reality you probably couldn’t out accelerate yourself on those other bikes, you just tend to be more aggresive on the throttle than the riders on the other bike.

          • mickey says:

            Dynamic Bicycles claims that a drive shaft bicycle can deliver 94% efficiency, whereas a chain-driven bike can deliver anywhere from 75-97% efficiency based on condition

            I have heard similar numbers for motorcycles. Chain drives provide better efficiency if properly adjusted and lubed, wheras the shaft delivers the same level of efficiency all the time.

            The weight, expense and complexity I would give you, plus the ability to change ratios would go in the chains favor.

            The cleanliness and less maintenance goes to the fellow who likes the shaft.

            Until a belt wears out, as long as it has a tensioner wheel it beats them both except its more expensive and harder to change ratios

            All systems have pluses and minuses.

          • Dave says:

            “Dynamic Bicycles claims that a drive shaft bicycle can deliver 94% efficiency”

            The power has to make two 90* turns between the cranks and rear axle. No way you get away giving up just 6% in that. Under zero load, maybe. Under load, no way (nevermind the losses that occur in internally geared hubs).

            Efficiency is why the chain/derailleur system has ruled the race market for so long despite all its other flaws.

            Motorcycles have sealed o-ring chains so outside condition is far less of a factor.

          • mickey says:

            If the crankshaft of the engine is longitudinal and parallel to the frame as in BMWs Guzzi Honda STs, only 1 90 degree turn is required.

            Not the case with an FJ though. It would indeed have to make 2 90s

        • DaveA says:

          Not to rain on your parade, but a stock Seca 650 Turbo won’t even outrun an SV650, let alone an N/A model. Now the turbo with the optional/accessory ‘power-up’ kit would do the job, but we’re an entire orchard away from apples-to-apples at that point.

          • todd says:

            My bike is not a turbo. The turbo had over 90hp. My bike is rated at 74hp, a little more than the SV and Ninja. Regardless, we were giving it all the bikes had. They did say they didn’t realize such an old bike could be so fast. I guess no one else here does either.

          • DaveA says:

            I’m not a Seca 650 hater mind you, it was a fabulous bike. But it simply isn’t true that they made that much hp stock.

            Your bike is ‘rated’ at 74 hp, but the only place a stock 650 Seca ever made 74 hp is in the brochure. The reality was about 63hp, which was respectable for its class. To compare, a stock (not w the ‘power-up’ kit) turbo made high 70’s on a dyno, while a second gen SV actually makes mid-70’s hp and weighs about 60 pounds less than a Seca 650 (again, in reality, not in the brochure). If you out-dragged an SV on that bike that result is all your superior riding and has nothing at all to do with the bikes.

  17. Bob Loblaw says:

    So I’m guessing that the FJ9 would beat the 1K Vstrom in a bake-off.

    • Vrooom says:

      Different pros and cons. HP FJ, torque V-Strom. Handling I’d guess a toss up. Weather protection, FJ (probably). Dirt road, V-Strom. Stock luggage, probably FJ. Maintenance, probably V-Strom. That’s my guess anyway. I’ve put 100s of K on Strom, and only a few hundred miles on the FZ (not the sport touring version).

    • Blackcayman says:

      Those comparos will be done by all the mags, look for the Versys 1k as well

  18. Hot Dog says:

    I made the mistake of sitting on one. I have a 36″ inseam, so most of the time I’ve got to wad myself up to sit on a bike but not this one. It was super comfortable, lots of room to move and upright sitting at it’s finest. The only thing I wish Yamaha had done was give it more fuel capacity. Direk, if you ring it’s neck into a stiff wind, how far before you start to worry about the next gas station?

  19. Nick says:

    I was very close to buying one, but got a used Multistrada 1200 S for less money, with more options, top bags, side bags, heated grips, warranty, electronic ohlins, etc for significantly less than an FJ09. If I was stuck on a new bike I would have got one, but a lightly used MTS1200 was too hard to pass up and a much nicer bike.

    • xlayn says:

      “used Multistrada 1200 S for less money, with more options, top bags, side bags, heated grips, warranty, electronic ohlins, etc for significantly less than an FJ09”
      Sounds like you got a deal… probably the decision most of people would take.
      MS looks nicer and more refined (and you got the un-even nice rumble with it).
      “If I was stuck on a new bike I would have got one (FJ09)”
      with you again

    • Vrooom says:

      You got a deal on the multi.

    • TF says:

      I bought the one that my wife and I were most comfortable riding two-up on. Fortunately for me it happened to be a used MTS1200S with a top box. I did pay a bit more for it than this Yamaha would have cost but I don’t think the Yamaha would be the two-up bike that the Multi is. Love the Mutli……..we put about a thousand miles a month on it last summer.

      I am anxious to see and maybe ride the Yamaha as I have always been a fan of the brand, and an occasional owner.

  20. Wayne says:

    I am curious about the wind protection. How would this bike be to ride across Wyoming or Utah where the posted limit is 80 mph riding at 5 over into a headwind?

  21. Rick says:

    I sat on one when it was here at the Progressive show in Scottsdale and was quite disappointed as the suspension felt so limp (and I’m only 170ish). Maybe an easy fix, but I grow weary buying bikes that have things I have to fix.

  22. Dennis says:

    I’d been waiting patiently to see and it on this bike for some time. Finally got the chance at this years New York bike show at the Javitts Center. While I’m impressed overall with the bike, once I sat on it, I was very disappointed. This thing is way too tall for what it is. I fail to see why they had to make it taller than the FZ-09, a bike that I fit on well.
    David, you must have some long legs supporting your 5’5” frame. I’m 5’7″ and I’m not comfortable tip toeing this thing.
    Perhaps I was sitting on the taller version(a stated 33.9″ seat height) and you sat on the lower one(33.3)? I don’t think .6″ is going to make that big a difference.
    The FZ is a better fit for me at 32.1″.
    I’d love to know where the extra inch and a half came from. Longer shock/forks?
    Bummer, I was really looking forward to this new reborn TDM. A lowering kit is in order perhaps?

    • Blackcayman says:

      from what I’ve read, its in the seat cushion.

    • Snake says:

      I am sure the issue of conflicting reports on personal fit – on most modern bikes – considers rider WEIGHT.

      A heavier rider will sack the suspension more and therefore a heavy rider of average height will still report “I fit this bike great!”, regardless if the seat is high. A light rider on a tall bike, OTOH, will find the bike unmanageable – and this is where the problem and conflict of the currently-popular ADV designs arise, they have long-travel but generally soft suspensions, great for heavy riders of any height but misery for lighter (and more fit 😉 ) folk.

      And the industry just doesn’t get that.

    • david says:

      Initially I was hesitate to sit on it since it looks tall but when I did, I was able to tip toe. My shoe has about an inch sole so that could help. Most of my bikes are on the high side for me (can’t flat footed) and I learn the balance technique pretty good. Still the disadvantage at the parking lot or uneven road surfaces so I need to watch out for those and avoid at all cost. Perhaps the FJ-09 I sat on has lower seat. Yamaha specs also calls for a lowering kit. Not sure how much that even lowers the bike. I don’t feel intimidate with this bike because its lightweight offsets the minus of the height.

  23. david says:

    Great more report Dirck! I am now convinced more and more that this is the all-around bike that can do mountain twisty, long distance, daily work commute, all with great fun and light weight. I have FJR1300 and love it but I always wish it is lighter. The FJ-09 is a real replacement though its styling still does not warm me up. I have a chance to sit on one at a nearby dealer few weeks back. It looks tall but I was able to tip toe with my small stature 5’5. The build and finish is excellent, typical of Yamaha. One day I just need to get rid of my the other two bikes and replace with this one!