Originally Posted by Big_E
Don't know who I caught it from or where I was when it hit me but, I seem to have caught the Jap Sport Tourer Fever. My computer keeps taking me to the Kawasaki Concourse, Yamaha FJR1300, & the Honda ST1300. Don't know anything about any of them, just know I want one. Anyone here have any opinion on any of them?
I've ridden the FJR1300 and Councours 14, so I have opinions on those. I haven't ridden the ST1300, but have an opinion on that, too.
FJR1300 - Great bike, lots of power with smooth delivery, handles great, stops great, comfortable ergos while being the most aggressive of the group (and they aren't that aggressive compared outside of the sport touring realm). Big saddlebags to carry lots of stuff. Lots of aftermarket options, great online forums and support, and a proven design.
Councours 14 - The ride I took on this convinced me it's not a bike I would buy, mainly due to some wonky handling characteristics (didn';t want to turn in and tended to stand up out of corners on steady throttle). It could have been a suspension setup issue couple with tire pressures being wrong (front had 5psi more than rear) but Kawi people said that was normal (and I think they're stupid because I'm sure it's not). Lots of power and great brakes, comfortable ergos (probably between the K-GT and the R-RT), really big saddlebags. The mirrors aren't position well as I never could get the saddlebags out of the rear view and they blocked a significant portion of the view directly behind the bike, which is a big problem. Also, there is some "cheapness" in some parts. The glove box on the tank, for example, is poorly made, not stable, and the lid feels like it's about ready to break off the first time you open it. The opening was too small for my Treo smartphone in its case, and when I took it out and put it in it bounced and rattled around terribly, meaning it would get the snot beat out if it. And I don't think it seals well either, so anything in there would get wet in a rainstorm.
ST1300 - From all accounts a very sane and sensible bike that will go forever with few problems. But it's just not for me; not enough soul or personality for my tastes. And the ones I've sat on I never felt comfortable with the ergos; just something about where the bars are and the relation of the pegs to the seat felt weird to me. but that's a very personal thing.
If I was to buy Japanese it would be the FJR1300 (if that's not obvious at this point). i'm seriously considering a K1200GT right now, and I still think it beats the rest of these hands down.