I’m a "Pilot" Now

“Pilot”, apparently, is the term of art for someone who rides a Yamaha FJR1300.

I traded in the Sportster for one tonight. And here it is, a 2007 FJR1300AE. This was a Yamaha corporate motorcycle that was a factory rep bike.

And, surprisingly, I said “screw it” and picked the AE model for $11.1k. I was worried about the automatic clutch deal on the AE model, but oddly, what decided it for me was a very little thing. I had to drive through a lot of heavy stop-and-go traffic on surface streets, and my hand was aching a little.

I was a bit worried about low-speed maneuvering without a clutch to moderate engine inputs to the wheels, but I did about 20 minutes in the parking lot doing U-turns and figure-8s and decreasing radius circles. It wasn’t that bad. Although, I think I need ,something called a “G2 throttle tube” because the throttle is stiff and…surgey (is that a word?). This G2 throttle tube is apparently an aftermarket add-on to reduce the strength needed to twist the throttle, and reduce the attendant throttle surge.

It’s a different riding experience on the street, but I think my achey clutch hand is actually gonna enjoy the rest.

I was only able to put 18 miles on it, mixed freeway/street, and I never got it above 80. But it got to 80 fast!

I don’t think this a bike I’ll ever outgrow. It’s comfy, and I love the electric shield, although I’m probably gonna need a Cal-Sci shield with a few extra inches in height. I can flat-foor it comfortably, and it’s just amazingly well balanced compared to the Sporty.

Oh, I think I’m gonna have fun…

Author: Dale Franks

Dale Franks is the former host of The Business Day, ”a daily, four-hour business and financial news program on KMNY Radio in Los Angeles. From 2002-2004, he was a contributor on military and international affairs for TechCentralStation.com. Currently, he a publisher and editor of the monthly political journal The New Libertarian, as well as an editor of the popular web log, Q and O. Dale served as a military police officer in the United States Air Force from 1984 to 1993, in variety of assignments both in the United States and Europe, where he also was assigned to the staff of the Headquarters of Allied Forces Central Europe. In addition to broadcasting, writing, and speaking on various topics, Dale has also been a long-time technical training instructor on a variety of computer software and technology subjects. Dale has also long been involved with information technology as an accomplished web designer, programmer, and technologist, serving as the corporate knowledge specialist for Microsoft Outlook at SAIC, the nation's largest employee-owned corporation. Additionally, he is the author of a number of software user guides used for classroom training by one of Southern California’'s premier computer training and consulting firms. His book, SLACKERNOMICS: Basic Economics for People Who Find Economics Boring, is available from Barnes & Noble.

4 thoughts on “I’m a "Pilot" Now”

  1. Dammit Dale. Everytime someone gets a new FJR it makes me want to get one too. I’ll be reading your blog more often now. Congrats, I think you made a fine choice.

  2. Everytime someone gets a new FJR it makes me want to get one too.

    Yes. I used to feel the way you do.

    Congrats, I think you made a fine choice.

    I hope so. This new electronic clutch is gonna be an interesting change though.

    But I certainly have no performance or handling-related complaints!

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