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Sport Tourers?

Discussion in 'Moto Club' started by onemangang, Aug 25, 2004.

  1. onemangang


    Jan 28, 2004
    Jackson, Ga
    Have any of you had any experience with either a Honda ST1300 or a Yamaha FJR 1300?
    I've been looking at lots of new bikes and these two caught my eye. They seem like the might be the perfect bike for me!
    Lots of power, uprightish riding position, hard bags, huge range and did I mention power? The FJR has 145 hp and a range of 246 miles!
    Coming from a cruiser background I would have never guessed I would be looking at bikes like these!
    Sport tourers = Goldwing and an R1's love child!
  2. markos


    Aug 7, 2004
    They are both good bikes, I have had my ST1300 for over a year now with 14,000 trouble free miles. They say the FJR is faster and they are probaly right, the ST is not fast like a fast bike but more like a fast car (0-60 @ 3.5 sec),I'm sure the FJR is quicker off the line and maybe has a higher top speed, but since I have never even tried to see how fast the ST will run, that is not much of an issue for me.
    The FJR is smaller,it looks much smaller when you see the two bikes side by side, so your choice may be determined by your build. I'm 6'3", 195# so the ST fits me well.
    The FJR has more hp,the ST's are getting 110-115 bhp on the dynos. I am 51 and have been riding for forty years,I've had some much faster bikes,I guess I think of the ST as an old man's bike.
    I have the seven year unlimited milege warranty so any major malfunction before May 2010 is Honda's problem, I don't know how long the FJR is covered.
    With a 7.7 gal tank ,the ST has a range of over 300 miles, I usually fill it at around 250 and still have a couple of gallons left.
    Both bikes are hot, but that is a good thing when the weather cools off; for the warm months,I can remove the inner fairing panels for extra ventilation, I'm not sure if there is an easy fix for the FJR.
    I'm not a cruiser sort of guy, I don't just feel comfortable with my legs out front. The more upright and forward position of sport bikes and sport tourers make me feel much more in control, the saddles on these bikes evolved from the English style jumping saddle while cruiser seats originated from the western, cutting-horse style. For me, riding a bike is a lot more like a steeplechase than a round-up.
    You may have a tough time actually finding a FJR, they have a pre-order program and I have never seen one at a dealership for sale, but I am sure they are available. Which bike is best is completely subjective, the right one for you is the one that feels best.

  3. onemangang


    Jan 28, 2004
    Jackson, Ga
    Thanks for the quick and objective reply!
    Sounds like we have similar styles!
    I saw an ad for an '03 ST with 950 miles in the local cycle trader for $10,000. I called the guy and he said he sold it QUICK!
    There are NO used FJR's to be found!
    My local Yamaha dealer had 8 '05 FJR's on Tuesday. He had 3 yesterday! OTD price is $12,003.
    I've read some rider reviews of the FJR that mention a ticking problem. That and the heat issue are the most frequent problems I've seen. Of course the dealer has never heard of such!
    Does the ST have any issues? I know you said yours did not but have you heard of any others with problems?
  4. markos


    Aug 7, 2004
    Some riders of the first models reported a high-speed wobble, they were mostly Europeans who run at autobahn speeds for long distances, I have'nt noticed anything, but I rarely get above 120 mph.
    There is buffeting in the dirty air around big rigs, I usually just come up fast directly behind them then get around quickly, it has to do with a combination of windshield position, fairing and passenger; never been much of a problem for me, just dial in some more power and move ahead of them.
    Most of the owners are obsessed with adding on all sorts of extras; gps, radios, lights, topboxes, radar detectors, ect.; sort of like the way H-D owners like to add on chrome. I saw a photo of a wrecked ST that had so much crap on it I don't see how he got it out of the driveway, fortunately the rider was not seriously injured.
    Mine is pretty much stock, I do use a throttle rocker, but be careful if you get one of those, at first, you may open the throttle with your wrist if you don't watch out. That's another issue,the throttle is sensitive, once again,not a problem for me, just requires more control than most.
    It's a heavy beast, it seems to lose a lot of weight once it gets rolling but it handles great and has excellent brakes, I don't have the ABS, these things are complicated enough for me already, but some riders swear by it.
    The thing sounds more like a turbine than a bike, you can add on aftermarket pipes if you want a more traditional exhaust note.
    The ST is a good road bike, but if you mostly ride around town, you might consider something lighter.
  5. markos


    Aug 7, 2004
    I forgot to mention, there is a wiring problem with some of the 03's;
    a power line to the fuel pump is rubbing against the underside of the gas tank, if it wears through it will short out and shutdown the bike.
    Honda knows about the problem and it is an easy fix even for the mechanically challenged.
  6. HKMark23

    HKMark23 Millennium Member

    Dec 17, 1999
    Chez Bippy
  7. Short Cut

    Short Cut PatrioticMember CLM

    Apr 28, 2002
    Above ground
    I'm with Mark on this one. BMW is arguably the originator of the sport-touring genre and they make several high quality models that fit the bill. Stop by your BMW dealer and go for a test ride, which is something that many manufacturers will not allow.
  8. Catbird

    Catbird loves guns!

    May 21, 2001
    V I R G I N I A
    I agree.

    Mine is a BMW R1100RTL.
  9. LTR


    Nov 8, 2003
    I purchased a 03 ST1300 April of 2003. Came off of a 01 HD Electra Glide. Love the ST. 95% of the time two up. Ordered the Hondaline top box from across the pond and it was worth every penny. Have not had any of the issues that some have had. No heat issues or high speed wobble. I am 48 and figure the antilocks are on the car and truck, might as well have them on the bike. Brakes too complicated to work on? yeah, but so is the rest of the bike other than plugs and oil changes. And finally someone other then Beemer has the electric windshield. Which btw should be standard on all faired bikes as far as I'm concern. FJR I am sure is a great bike (Yamahas comp against the Honda and BMW), but at 6'7" the Honda fit me better. Beemer the intial cost was too high and the lack of Beemer dealers and add'l scheduled maintenance turned me off.

    Yeah I came off a HD. I became allergic to leather. ;) Plus my polymer Glock 34 did not go with the HD. ST/Glock seem to go together. :cool:
  10. bgcc11


    Jun 8, 2003
    N Palm Bch, Fl
    Honda and Glock


    Both Made in America
  11. Bullman

    Bullman Deranged Deputy

    Oct 11, 2003
    SW Virginia
    I would love to have a new ST or an FJR or a BMW, however, I am a poor public servent, so I went the economy route in sport touring and got the Kawasaki Concours. It doesn't have a lot of the neat gadgetry the Honda or the BMW has, and it won't be near as fast as the FJR, but it gets the job done and is about 8000 clams brand new off the show room floor.
  12. F14Scott

    F14Scott Luggage CLM

    Sep 13, 2001
    Katy, TX
    If you are interested in SPORT-touring, you might have a look at the Honda VFR. You can pick up a Fuel Injected 5th generation (98-01) with <10,000 miles for less than $5,000, throw on a set of hard bags, and have a machine that is *very* well regarded by those who like to carve the twisties or spend a day at the track but who also like to ride 500 miles a day with a pillion.

    Here are two other boards I like that have a load of information on the bikes you mentioned and the VFR:
    Sport Touring.Net
    VFR Discussion Board

    Also, you might consider the Honda CBR1100XX Blackbird, a.k.a. the XX. Although it wasn't produced in 2004, many examples abound from 1997-2003 (they got FI in '99). Stable and comfy, they have what has been described as "atomic sewing machine" power: smooooth, linear, and BIG. With a set of bags, they are a very capable two-up SPORT-tourer.

    Full disclosure: I have a '99 VFR and love it.;c