PDA

View Full Version : FJR1300 versus ST1200


Sprocket
11-21-2006, 12:31 AM
Ok, for the record, the opinions expressed herein are mine. All mine. I am not a professional cycle tester, nor am I a professional writer. I'm a mere mortal man who had the opportunity to ride both bikes back to back. You may disagree, or agree. It really doesn't matter to me as I've got my new toy in the garage. :)

Hopefully this comparison will help someone who finds themselves unable to deceide...

Bikes:
Stock 2005 Yamaha FJR1300 with 10k miles
Stock 2006 Honda ST1300 ABS with 8k miles

Me:
35, been riding cycles concurrently since I was 5-6, no formal training, never been on a road track, raced enduros as a kid, still ride dirt when I can. Primarily a sport rider for my adult life, who is ready to slow down a bit and smell the roses. I prefer sport twins to anything for their torque, and love big singles. 5'10", 210 lbs. before gear. I wear 36" waist, 32" inseam, 16.5" neck, 32/33" sleeves, 10 shoe.

Gear:
Aerostich Roadcrafter 1-piece, Shoei X-11, Frank Thomas lined gloves.

Conditions:
Around 50-60F, overcast, mid-day on a Wednesday.

Road:
Typical 2-lane Texas highway with some nice twisty bits and decent straights, a little in town riding.

Looks:
Well, the Yammie looks the part of an aggressive bike. Harder angles, meaner look. The ST seems more rounded, organic, and a bit more polished (like all Hondas).

Power:
The FJR really comes alive as the tach swings past 5k or so, with a definite, pert "power band". The ST simply had linear power delivery all across the RPM range but less of it, but it did have that wonderful V4 sound! Both wheelie quite easily, um, from what I would guess of course... :)

Brakes:
I didn't think I'd like the Honda's linked brakes. An afternoon ride on a loner CBR1100XX back in '99 put a distaste in my mouth for the whole idea. It flat felt weird back then, but it seems it's well sorted on the ST. The ST brakes with control, right up to the ABS (which I rank much more confidence inspiring than that on the BMW R1100S my ST has replaced).

The FJR seemed to have more absolute bite, but at the cost of smoothness. I felt it would stop quicker from speed than the ST (without using the ABS), but not by much and certainly not without some pucker factor.

Suspension/Handling:
Being as I didn't have the time to setup each bike for my exact needs, I ran them as they were. Both worked well in the corners, with the Yamaha feeling more precise and having more feedback. It was definitely stiffer and more sport oriented, while the ST was much more compliant. Not spongy per se, but there was much less road feedback.

Neither wobbled, bobbled, or suffered any oddity. The ST simply took whatever line you gave it and stuck with it. The FJR seemed more willing to allow for transition to new lines as conditions warranted and the steering felt quicker at speed. It also fell into a line easier and felt more flickable (for something it's size). Both bikes felt solid at sporting, 8/10 riding, but I'd give the edge to the FJR if absolute handling manners were top priority.

Ergos:
Both had a reasonable reach to the bars. The FJR's pegs felt higher and more rearward, as a sportbike does. The Honda's pegs almost felt like they were placed on the frame just for me. Maybe a tad high, but only by the slightest bit. The ST also had a less aggressive forward cant of the rider, almost upright, while the FJR had me noticeably leaning forward.

Clocks:
Gauges and related instruments were easy to read on both, with a slight advantage to the Yamaha for readability. Plus the way the tach pegs when the key is switched on always amuses me... :)

Seat:
ST wins here. Period. The FJR didn't feel as padded or right for my rear. Just not soft enough on the edges I think.

Wind protection:
Again the nod to the ST. The FJR's screen seemed much smaller by comparison, as did the cockpit envelope as provided by the fairing. With both screens all the way down, my head was in clean air. With screens up all the way, I was looking through the screen on the ST (zero turbulence) and over on the FJR (still in clean air). There was noticeable pressure on my back on the ST with the screen fully up, but not bad. Wind noise was low enough on the ST that my missing ear plugs weren't so missed, but I would have preferred to have them while on the FJR.

Other:
As they always feel to me, the Yamaha was more exciting. It felt lighter at slow speeds, but the weight of the ST just melts once above parking lot speeds. The FJR was a frisky Cocker Spaniel to the Honda's docile Labrador. One ready to *GO!* at a moments notice and in short spurts, one ready to plod along and put in a day's work. Each was different, and I feel each would satisfy a different rider. Both fit the sport-touring mold, with the FJR as a SPORT-Tourer and the ST as a Sport-TOURER. Storage seemed close to equal on both bikes, but much less than my R1100S bags.

Overall:
Well, I bought the ST. 'nuff said? :) I wanted the "best" all around bike for me and my riding style/habits. Being comfortable was top priority, with wind/element protection in second. Power and handling were tied for third in my mind. Based on these criteria, I felt the ST was the better fit and voted with my check book.


(*DISCLAIMER: Test rides can be hard to swing sometimes, let alone getting free reign with two such bikes. My sincerest thanks to Randy Martin at Cycle Center of Denton/Honda Town (http://www.cyclecenterofdenton.com/) for putting bikes from his inventory in my paws. No, I don't think he'd do it for too many people, so I wouldn't bother asking unless you know him personally (and for quite awhile). Sorry.)

budzrex
11-21-2006, 01:54 AM
Nice evaluation, your opinion seems to run with most I have
talked to about the two bikes

yodersci
11-21-2006, 07:49 PM
Good review, thank you for taking the effort. :clap: Sounds like our ergonomic stats are very similar, so the reach to bars and foot peg height comparison is of real interest to me. Right as the dealer was preping my DL1000 K4 so I could take delivery, they wheeled in a brand new FJR, and for a faint moment, I wondered if I would have been better served getting it instead. Then the reality of having to cough up more cash brought me back to reality and I drove happily away with the Strom. Everything is a compromise. There are sooooo many bikes that excel in different areas... If I could only get a turbo Hayabusa powered GS. :twisted:

1TallTXn
11-22-2006, 10:04 AM
Nice review thanks!

I've only ridden the ST but from sitting on the FJR, ST, and R12RT/ST at the shows, I'm really happy with my decision on the ST.
The R-RT felt like too much of a touring bike compared to my VFR and the R-ST and FJR didn't feel like enough of a change to warrant dropping the money on them.
The ST just fit the bill for me. Course finding one for cheap that I could rebuild made a HUGE impact on it as well.
Had I found any of the other bikes I listed in the same situation as the ST, I would have sprung for them as well.

as always IMHO and YMMV

donroger1
11-25-2006, 07:17 PM
Thanks Jeff for the great review. :thumb:
Thanks also for buying the expensive one. ;-)
I am now the proud owner of the FJR. :rider:
(You're right! My demo ride was a "leash led tour" of the residencial neighborhood. :) )

Gilk51
11-25-2006, 07:37 PM
I am now the proud owner of the FJR. :rider:
Ho Boy! We don't watch him one weekend and look what happens... :eek2:

Congrats, Don! When do we get to see it?

donroger1
11-25-2006, 07:46 PM
Ho Boy! We don't watch him one weekend and look what happens... :eek2:

Congrats, Don! When do we get to see it?
When is the next M&G?

Gilk51
11-25-2006, 10:11 PM
When is the next M&G?
Tuesday night, of course.

Wait! We haven't seen the purple Concours yet... :doh:

donroger1
11-25-2006, 10:18 PM
Tuesday night, of course.
:tab I don't see a thread yet. Location???

Wait! We haven't seen the purple Concours yet... :doh:
:tab To see the purple one, you'll have to visit the Cycle Center in Denton. :mrgreen:

Gilk51
11-25-2006, 10:24 PM
:tab I don't see a thread yet. Location???
Patience, my man. It's only Saturday! http://www.texasarlingtoncs.us/pics/smilies/dutchfleet/icon_rotfl3.gif

Sprocket
11-26-2006, 01:41 AM
Thanks Jeff for the great review. :thumb:
Thanks also for buying the expensive one. ;-)
I am now the proud owner of the FJR. :rider:
(You're right! My demo ride was a "leash led tour" of the residencial neighborhood. :) )

S'okay, sometimes you gotta take one for the team... I'll admit yours wheelies easier than mine... :eek2:

Seriously, congrats on the new ride! She's a nice one alright... :)

donroger1
11-26-2006, 08:55 AM
S'okay, sometimes you gotta take one for the team... I'll admit yours wheelies easier than mine... :eek2:
:tab I'm not sure I needed to know that. :mrgreen:

Seriously, congrats on the new ride! She's a nice one alright... :)
:tab Thanks a lot. Your review was motivation enough... :rofl:

Gilk51
11-26-2006, 12:36 PM
Sounds like Jeff's test rides netted the sale of two touring bikes and the return of an older one. Also sounds like you can't go wrong with either of them... :thumb:

Congrats to both!
Now let's see some action photos! :popcorn:

Sprocket
11-26-2006, 12:49 PM
No action photos yet. My ST has been stripped naked in the garage and getting farkled for the holiday...

Entertainment, Navigation, Countermeasures, Environmental systems all being installed...

In other words, XM, Amplirider, Garmin Quest2, PIAA 1100X, Escort X50, Honda Heated grip kit, Powerlet for heated vest, and anything else I think of. Gotta love a 600w alternator! :)

donroger1
11-26-2006, 06:59 PM
Ergos:
Both had a reasonable reach to the bars. The FJR's pegs felt higher and more rearward, as a sportbike does. The Honda's pegs almost felt like they were placed on the frame just for me. Maybe a tad high, but only by the slightest bit. The ST also had a less aggressive forward cant of the rider, almost upright, while the FJR had me noticeably leaning forward.
Just an observation as the new owner of the FJR: The FJR already has bar risers installed so the standard reach would be a bit farther. :mrgreen:

1TallTXn
11-28-2006, 11:04 AM
No action photos yet. My ST has been stripped naked in the garage and getting farkled for the holiday...

Entertainment, Navigation, Countermeasures, Environmental systems all being installed...

In other words, XM, Amplirider, Garmin Quest2, PIAA 1100X, Escort X50, Honda Heated grip kit, Powerlet for heated vest, and anything else I think of. Gotta love a 600w alternator! :)

ah rats, I thought you meant anti-cager countermeasures, you know, rockets, RPGs, MGs the good stuff :lol:

I've got a StarCom1 on mine.
Heated grips are on order
as are TailBrights
new, non-rashed screen is coming as well.

Now I just need to get the $$ together for a GPS
get a power outlet
power screen (mines the non-power '03)
and of course there's a never ending list of other fun things to do to it :trust:

fjrchik
11-28-2006, 12:01 PM
Its too bad you weren't able to test ride an 06 FJR to make an accurate comparison. From 06 out, they have changed the FJR pretty drastically and the seat definitely improved. New windscreen, new guages and better heat control are also some of the major upgrades. That's why they are now outselling the others.

Hey Don ~ Congrats on your new ride! Be sure to check out fjrforum.com, lots of questions get answered over there. Heck of a group of people and they put on some pretty awesome events too!

Edit - nevermind! I found ya on there already!

Centerline
11-29-2006, 10:57 AM
Nice write-up on the two bikes. Enjoyed the heck out of my '05 FJR. Yeah, it definitely had the afterburners kick in above about 4500rpm to about 8000.
Felt the need for some offroad capability, so moved on to a different mount.

The Feejer now feels dejected, sitting at NTY waiting for a new owner.

Shameless plug: 17K miles, 4 year Y.E.S. warranty, new tires. Only mod on it now, a switched power cable on handlebars.