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Yamaha XJR 1200 too much for relative noob?

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by ruski, Sep 13, 2010.

  1. Hi all,
    I've been lurking for a week or so and this is my first post here - I'm a little shaky on the ethics of asking for advice before participating in the forums so I hope this doesn't rub anyone the wrong way :)

    I learnt to ride on an '81 suzuki gn250 which was... gutless... (to say the least) but fine for most of the commuting I used it for. I had to switch to a car a couple of years ago to keep my gf happy but we live together now and don't need 2 cars, so I'm getting back on a bike (with her blessing). I have a budget of around $6,000 which can be stretched to $7,000 if absolutely necessary. It will be used for my daily commute and general riding around.

    I was pretty set on an sv650 or similar but haven't ridden it yet, and whilst at Peter Stevens in Ringwood over the weekend I was shown a Yamaha XJR 1200 which the sales rep said was pretty easy to ride and encouraged a test ride of. It's nicely in the budget ($5,990 inc ORC) but is a japanese import that was never sold locally. I'm thinking of taking it for a test ride this weekend if I can but wanted to know what people thought? I haven't ridden for nearly 2 years and my last bike struggled to maintain 100km/h -- would this be too powerful? It weighs 240kg or something. I just don't want to do a wheelie and fall off the back if I mess up the throttle release haha.

    I'm 6'2 and probably 90 or 95kg, and other recommendations around the price range are appreciated (I'm also considering a Suzuki gs500). The sales guy at A1 tried to sell me on a Yamaha FZ1 but I think it could be a little overpowered for me.

    The bike I actually want is a Triumph Street Triple so whatever I get needs to have some kind of resale value in 18 months time when I can afford the upgrade.

    Sorry for the long-winded post, any advice is very greatly appreciated. I look forward to coming on a Sunday ride with the VIC noobs :)
  2. Hi ruski,

    First and foremost, welcome to Netrider :)

    I'm hoping nobody will see the need to feel 'rubbed up' the wrong way by your very informative and elaborate introduction, which is pleasing to read.
    As we all know, a Motorcycle salesman will sell you a Space Shuttle, if they had one in stock, so consider carefully what bike suits your needs more.

    Based on your height/weight you should be able to handle the XJR1200 nicely, with the GS500, significantly lighter in comparison, also a very capable, reliable and nimble bike to handle, anytime, anywhere ! For any advice/info on the latter, feel free to do a search (top of page) and/or ask the many other satisfied GS500/F riders here in the forums.

    Lots of great advice/suggestions is regularly passed on in these forums, and one of the most significant for prospective purchasers is to test ride all bikes which fall within your budget. On doing this, the bike which suits you most will reveal itself.

    From thereon, we'll only be too happy to hear of the grin that never leaves your face (y)
    Best of luck and please be sure to keep us all informed of your proceedings, with pics upon purchase, in the 'My New Ride' section, half way down the Netrider Forums page.

    Cheers mate & happy bike hunting.
  3. how do you find the z750? Is it a fairly upright riding position? The sv that you linked is perfect but a few weeks too early - need my car to sell first unfortunately :(

    both of the Yamahas you linked are quite nice to look at - there are a couple of the fz6s in my price range but they're at the other end of the country (QLD). There needs to be a moderate pillion provision - something I should have mentioned in the first place. I also considered the Er6n kwaka but it's just so ugly to me :/
  4. The big XJ will be fine.
  5. The Z750 is an upright position bike and quite tall, I'm 6ft so it'll be perfect for you.. I haven't picked my bike up yet, put a deposit on it on Saturday and will get it this week. They have plenty of power and most owners are more than happy with them.
  6. thanks mate, solid advice on riding everything in the budget! I'll definitely take photos of whatever I get haha, I like photography almost as much as riding :)
    thanks for the opinion
    wonderful, there's a 2004 model in my price range at one of the bike shops in town, I'll have a closer look this weekend.
  7. I ride a big, heavy 1200 as well, and came to it from a 400 that was a lot lighter and less powerful. You'd be OK with the big bike - I'd be more worried about the weight than the power to some extent, but that's about balance and starting off easy. And throttle control is something you'd need to focus on even with a 650... the 1200 will just have that low-down grunt.

    Definitely ride more than 1-2 bikes before deciding, but I was looking at 650s when I got the Bandit, and am very glad I didn't rule it out.
  8. I always thought based purely on appearance that these were muscle bikes, power without finesse, but a recent mag retrospective highlighted they're actually wimps, relatively gutless. The FJ1200 which lent the engine to the XJR had 130hp. By the time it got the XJR1200, it was detuned to 96hp in a lardy package. The most powerful factory 1300 only has 102hp.

    With the weight, long and low profile, and average power, it's going to be reluctant to loft a wheel.

    It sounds perfect.

    A ZRX1100 will set you back a bit less and possibly has an additional 10hp (manufacturers quoted figures, who knows?)
  9. tractable power, comes on smooth, short shifting torquey bike.
    it won't be a problem., just don't forget how heavy it is with slow manouvers.
    good tourer, not so great for twisties, but 9 times out of 10 they go where you point them.
    i think later models got better suspension and less weight.
  10. if it's that silver one sitting at Peter Stevens in Ringwood, that's been there forever.
    does look pretty clean though, but i'd offer a lot less than they're asking and see what happens.
    then again, i would'nt buy it ... save some more dough, get something more modern
  11. Thanks for the replies everyone! Monkeyman, it certainly is - I'm a little concerned about the weight of it, nearly as much as my dads old r90s BMW so I'll see how I go on a test. The sales rep said it's been there for 6 months or so. I stopped by Mick hone on my way home from work today and sat on a gs500 :) organized a test ride for saturday morning but it appeals to me, just shy of $7500 ride away with 12 months reg and 2 year factory warranty. If it rides well I'm starting to lean towards it, seems so cheap to run!

    Whoever suggested the z1100 Kawasaki (hard to check on my phone sorry) thanks, I'll have a look into it!
  12. If you can put your feet down flat and you have stocky legs the weight isnt such a big deal.

    Actually if you have to ride it around for transport I like the weight there to make the suspension soak up bumps rather than your body.
  13. if it's a gap bike, the gs500 will be easier to offload and you would'nt lose much on resale, but i'd still try knock the price down a bit, maybe see if they"ll throw in some gear.
    but if you plan on keeping the bike you purchase for a while, something like an sv650 might keep a smile on your dial for longer.
    only you know what's right for you.
  14. #15 Geoff3DMN, Sep 14, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 13, 2015
    This is why you should buy an XJR1200 :)

  15. Well If you go the 1200, really practise your slow riding a lot. Throttle against rear brake. That will take most of the weight out of it.
    Don't use your front brake at the last bit of a stop unless your front wheel is dead ahead. It will want to sit up quickly and over balance you the other way.
    And no matter what keep your eyes up !!!
    Most accidents happen at slow speed. Most embarrassing.
    And yep go find a long winding road and get your confidence with it. It wont take too long if your take it easy.
  16. My opinion is avoid the grey import, boost the budget to 8K and buy a quality second hand bandit.

    you won't look back :)

  17. alright - test rode the GS500 - was a bit of fun (I haven't started a bike in just over 2 years though), and I was thrilled to have made it away from the gutter without stalling. came back with a smile on my face but I think it had more to do with being back on a bike than having an exciting ride.

    Also rode a bike I hadn't really considered - a VStrom 650. That was quite fun, apparently has the same engine as the Gladius but is the whole package is obviously a bit heavier. Nice riding position, the one I rode had hand protectors and a bit of a windshield. My only issue is that it's butt ugly :p
    I came back with a huge grin on my face though.

    last (and unfortunately least) I rode the Gladius - I was too big for it haha. Good power, a little bit too easy to get up to the speed limit, but I came back from a 10 minute ride with a sore ass and sore shoulders. Shame, because I really like the style.

    I'm going to organise a demo on an er-6n and a GSXF 650.

    I was thoroughly impressed by the vstrom 650 though, such a… practical… bike. If I can get past it's looks I'll probably end up on one.

    thanks for the informative post mate, slow speed maneuvering is something I'll have to work on with any bike I get. I used to duck walk my GN250 lol.

    @slik50 - I completely went off the grey when I got several quotes for $1200 or more to insure a $6000 bike :(
    for reference, I got a quote for $1300 to insure a 2006 Daytona 675. The Bandit frightens me haha, maybe as an upgrade down the line.
  18. It's worth getting past the looks. The Wee-Strom is a great motorcycle and the one that if more of us were buying with our heads, instead of our hearts (or worse...), we'd be on. I rode both and liked the 650 much more than the 1000. The weight isn't really an issue as it looks bulkier than it is, the fuel range is excellent, and it can take you on all those other lines on the map when you get sick of the main roads.

    Buy one, fit it with a decent sump plate and a better stone guard for the oil cooler and you'll have a ball on it. ADVRider has plenty of happy owners and great war stories about all the places where the things have gone.
  19. test rode a work colleague's '96 BMW f650 funduro after work today, pretty comfortable riding position but I didn't really like the bike. Felt heavy, had to lift my foot too much to change gear (for my taste anyway) and it absolutely punished me for forgetting to downshift at a slow corner (3rd gear at about 25km/h :whistle: ). Crossed it off my list.

    Bumblebeeman1150 -
    I have spent the last few days taking heed to your advice. I looked at all the positives of the wee-strom and have come to terms with how it looks as well, unless the gsx650f that I hope to ride this weekend blows me away I think my money will be going towards a strom. My car will be listed this Friday and as soon as it goes my deposit is ready :D

    ADVRider is a great resource for someone like me who is on the fence, thanks.