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New bike time

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' at netrider.net.au started by Wreckaotik, Apr 10, 2013.

  1. (take two)
    So I'm down to 3.
    Honda St1300
    Yamaha FJR1300
    Kawasaki GTR 1400
    (well, they seem to tick the most boxes for the cheese 'n' kisses and myself)
    I currently ride a Yammy XVS 650 Classic. It hasn't missed a beat in the 3 years I've had it. It's been a daily rider, mid distance and long distance tourer, couldn't ask for a better bike.... or could I? (or more to the point, could she)?
    I've been researching pretty heavily (on the interwebs, and in the shops) and it still seem to come down to these three choices. I mean, I'd love a Nightrod, or an R1, but it's not the most practical solution. It'd be a daily rider (well,, when I'm home) but it will also do some mid length runs (3-400 km) and some longer runs 2-3000 km) pillion comfort is important (or so I've been told) as is fuel economy, saftey, gadgets, blah, blah, blah... etc. Any one here ride one of these bikes? Anyone got any other suggestions?
    To be honest, I'm leaning toward the FJR ATM,

  2. I'm currently looking at the GTR1400 or the ZX14, the Yamaha is more of a warmed over update rather than a major update (unlike the GTR1400).

    The reason I'm looking at the ZX14 is the purity of handling and I found the GTR to be less nimble (no surprises there).

    Having ridden the GTR a couple of times my impressions are;
    • Great engine and gearbox
    • Fantastic shaft drive (my current ride is also a shaftie but the difference is huge
    • Noisy screen at any position - but effective
    • Very comfortable
    • Best panniers in class (waterproof, secure and easily removed)
    • Probably not worth the price but $$'s aren't the major decider for me, if $$s are a biggie for you the Yamaha represents better value

    @Viscera99 rates the ZX14 and recently quoted 1300K's traveled in a weekend on his.
    Check you-tube a lot of people are calling the ZX14 a top notch sports tourer.
    • Like Like x 2
  3. Yep - zx14 all the way but the only way you'll know for sure is to ride one.

    Eats tires though so that is something to factor in. Sports tires will last as little as 1800km if your going balls out on a s20. I tend to average 3-4k from a rear. Much better with a harder touring tire but you do obviously sacrifice some grip but it doesn't sound like grip is a priority for your purposes. this really is the only negative I've found.

    The few times I've gone 2 up, passengers have also been surprised at how comfortable they've been.

    The comfort is surprisingly abundant. I'm quite tall - 6ft5in - and never feel cramped. Inversly, the seat is surprisingly low so it is genuinely easy for shorter folk to handle too.

    Yes, I'm a bit of a fan boy and completly biased but I believe its with good reason.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Fuel economy - 20km/litre cruising. Better in low power mode... apparently. ;-)
  5. Not that you ever have it in low power mode huh?
    • Like Like x 1
  6. yes, because you need the worlds most powerful and fastest production motorcycle for commuting.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. It helps when pulling away from the lights.
  8. I bought a secondhand FJR
  9. ......dumb fat fingers. Anyway, after researching I came down to the ST or FJR and at the time all the reviews I read were saying the Yam was the better choice,
  10. He said he was touring a bit.

    Comes in handy if you're trying to win the morning commute too ;-)
  11. If you haven't already I'd suggest you ride them all and buy the one that you like the most.

    If you have already ridden them then you already know which one you like the most, so go buy it.
  12. Damnit, that's all I need, another bike thrown into the mix ;) s'pose i'll just hafta test ride em all! booked in saturday for two tests, the FJR and the ZX14. had a squiz at the GTR1400, she's a big bike! Cheers for all the input!!!
  13. Enjoy the test rides.
  14. I've tried out all three, and own a ST-1300 (Pan European)

    In order of preference:

    Yamaha FJR
    Honda ST-1300 (Pan European)
    Kwaka GTR a distant last.

    The GTR is a full 5 inches wider than the ST-1300 which makes it completely useless for filtering. It also feels to big for me. Rejected outright because it can't do what bikes need to do: filter. Since the GTR will be your daily rider, it is useless, useless, useless. It is just totally pointless unless you want to blast around a traffic free open road at full speed.

    The ST-1300 is good but it has some disadvantages: it is heavy and it is unstable at speeds over about 180km/h as it developes either a weave or a handlebar shimmy. It also looks ridiculous with the side panniers off. It is however very comfortable to ride for 12 hours a day without getting tired. The V4 engine sounds like something out of the Jetsons, which is nice.

    That leaves the FJR. More power than the ST-13 and lighter and it still looks good with the side panniers off. The negative is the quality of the fairing is not as good as the ST. It looks a bit cheap in comparison.

    Personal preference, but I'd pick either the ST or the FJR. If you are thinking about the ST, try to find somewhere where you can test ride it at 180km/h and make sure you can live with the high speed instability. 180km/h may sound like a lot (unless you are used to sportsbikes), but it is a powerful bike and you can easily reach 180 on a fast overtake.

    I only ride the ST and I commute on it. You can filter on it unless it gets really narrow. The mirrors are the same height as car mirrors and below the height of van mirrors. For seeing behind you, the ST mirrors are excellent.

    Since you are looking at full faired tourers you can also look at the new Triumph Trophy and the BMW R1200RT.
  15. #15 creampuff, Apr 11, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2013
    Oh I forgot to mention: these are heavy bikes, at some stage you may get clumsy in some carpark and it will topple over. The Honda is the only bike which comes with tip over protection out of the box: the two "wings" on either side of the fairing have crash bars behind the plastic. It can topple over with zero damage. The FJR, you would need to add crash bungs to the fairing, which I have seen a lot of owners do. The Honda mirror housing also pops off with zero damage in event of a tip over and then can but put straight back on.
    • Like Like x 1
  16. @creampuff isn't the ST a run out model now? I think that Honda are pushing theVFR1200 in Aus quite heavily and waiting for the ST to wither on the vine.

    Not sure about Europe.

    Most of the reviews don't rate it against the GTR or the Yamaha, they say it is too old, too heavy (for the power it has) and has had no development in recent years.

    Your point about width and filtering is very useful though, thanks for that I'd not taken it into consideration when I test rode the GTR - before I make my final decision I may have to try a filtering run to see if the Kwak (either the GTR or the ZX14) are too wide to practically filter.
  17. The ST isn't a run out model (ie Honda aren't about to run out of stock) although AFAIK Honda haven't actually manufactured once since about 2010. There is plenty of stock. The one I bought was manufactured in 2009 but was not registered until 2011 and I bought it about 2 months after registration as an ex-demo. The ST has not had any development since the mid-2000s though, so it is old tech in comparison to the competition. They are still very widely used in Europe eg the London Ambulance uses them and the AA (Automobile Assoc) use the Honda. The Yam FJR is used by the French police and City of London police and Birmingham Ambulance.

    Haha, that's because the reviewers don't own one and actually ride it every day. For a day-to-day bike or a bike which you want to ride for 12 hours a day, it just gets the job done. Another thing about the ST for commuting is the twin headlights are really big and really bright and this will eliminate most SMIDSY potential.

    The FJR is noticibly more powerful than the ST, that is almost mental levels of power for a touring bike, but the ST is still powerful. You can still easily lift the front wheel when you accelerate.

    Are you buying new or used? If new, then I wouldn't get the ST13 just because it is getting a bit old and the updated FJR or Triumph Trophy costs about the same. I wouldn't get the BMW RT either new as BMW must be about to fit the water cooled boxer engine to it that they have just fitted to the GS. For used, that doesn't matter.
  18. Thanks for your comments, I'd be buying new.

    I'll stop hi-jacking the thread now.
  19. thanks for all of your ideas, suggestions and input. I will be buying new. The treasury has deemed it appropriate. I'm really looking forward to the test rides on Saturday, will keep you all abreast (fnar fnar) of the decision making process!
  20. Oooh, good luck :) I've got a feeling you will end up with the FJR. Just make sure they give you the 2013 model with a lot of updates including a bit more power ('cos the old 140hp just wasn't enough for the real world ;) ), fly-by-wire throttle and make sure they don't try and sell you the 2012 model for full price!

    And don't get an expensive bike with factory side panniers then put a non-colour matched Givi topbox on, get a factory topbox!