Twelve years and 75,000 miles later I finally sold my 2005 Yamaha FJR1300. My “Baby Blue” as I referred to her was very good to me over the years and we had visited many places together. Destinations like Canada, West Virginia a few times (see pic), Indianapolis for a MotoGP race, Vermont, New Hampshire as well as many miles of daily commuting and weekend rides throughout New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania. It was indeed sad to say goodbye to her but it was time to downsize a bit to a bike that is lighter and thus more nimble. Us riders need all the help we can get whilst dodging the ever-increasing number of cellphone-wielding cagers out there. Dropping some horsepower was also fine with me because my FJR was deceivingly fast and I’d be lying if I said I had not gotten into trouble on a couple of occasions as a result of pure velocity that was deceivingly controlled and comfortable but definitely above legal limits.
Enter: “Black Beauty”, my 2015 Yamaha FJ09 that I purchased from my loyal and amazing column sponsors F.W. Speer Yamaha in Passaic, NJ. Speer Yamaha is truly the last of the “real” motorcycle shops amidst a wasteland of NY metro area boutique-style dealerships. I’ve been on an FJ kick since I purchased my very first 1986 red and white FJ1200 from Speer’s Vito, Joe and Ray many years ago. That was followed by a 1990 slate blue FJ1200 and then fast-forward to the aforementioned 2005 FJR1300. And now my FJ09 which has the same famed 847cc, three-cylinder, crossplane crankshaft technology engine which debuted on the FZ09 a few years back. There is an absolute abundance of seemingly endless torque from that powerplant! The FJ09 also features ride-by-wire throttle, ABS brakes, traction control, (that you can turn off if you so choose) and three adjustable riding modes. It also has an accessory port for charging your devices. I added a second accessory port for convenience as well as a bunch of other custom items to truly make the bike my own.
Firstly, those ports power my iPhone and Valentine One radar so I mounted two Ram Mounts X-Grip device holders to my handlebars to accommodate them. I then added axle and frame sliders, a heated Corbin saddle, a larger Puig windscreen and a fender eliminator kit to clean up the rear end. I also got a new tail light that integrated the turn signals into the actual brake light itself. My old Givi trunk was still usable once I got the rack kit mounted to the frame. The same went for my SW-MOTECH tank bag that attached with ease once I transferred the gas tank cap mount from the FJR.
With a definite nod to that outgoing FJR, I swapped in FJR footpegs because they have sturdy, rubber tops unlike the stock FJ09’s thin, metal pegs. I also added a new set of FJR hard saddlebags which miraculously fit the FJ09 too! I’m not even sure if Yamaha corporate knows about that but the Speer guys did! God bless those dudes. Not just because they have sponsored my moto-musings for many years, but simply because they offer that long-lost bike shop experience where the staff know the intricacies of moto riding and mechanics. Plus, they won’t BS you when you ask them anything relating to motorcycles. You may not like their answer on occasion, but at least you’ll get a straight one! If you are looking to pull the trigger on a bike purchase this spring, I highly suggest you pay the F.W. Speer peeps a visit. You will not regret the experience.