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My wife as diagnosed with Progressive Relapsing Multiple Sclerosis almost 5 years ago, and since then it has become increasingly difficult for her to ride with me. The riding position is a little too stressful for her, although she will never admit it. I am considering something a bit more"standard" if you will. My question is, would an FJR be a good compromise? It seems like it would be, with plenty of power for 2-Up riding and a more comfortable & relaxed pillion position for her. What am I missing, if anything? Thanks in advance for the wisdom.
 

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I'd be going Honda F6B. Yeah..one of them Goldwing based machines. Don't think they actual make the F6B anymore, they simply call it the Goldwing (base model) if ya want the full house wing you go with the Goldwing Tour.




T.
 

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Second the goldwing the newer versions are lighter and narrower than the previous 1800. You give up some wind protection but it is a more nimble ride.

The FJR's are a good ride but be very careful the earlier I believe 06 and before have a serious heat issue coming up off the engine. It can actually give you second degree burns. The later are better but from what I have read they can still be a problem in hot climates. So Id do a search on google and find out what years are the best.

If you go wing and don't want new the 1500's are quite comfortable ride. They also have a hydraulic valve train so that maintenance item is deleted. They are big but they carry their weight down low and are surprising more nimble then they appear. The 18's are the same handing wise and will very easily scoot 2 up with a lot of comfort. And they wil handle with a little suspension work. There's a gent on a Canary yellow one that routinely runs the draggon and makes more than a few sport bikes look bad.
 
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Alongside a Gold Wing it maybe worth while looking at BMW K1600s , whilst I have never ridden one, I have sat on one and the ergonomics are fantastic I also know quite a few people that own them.
As for the FJR I alson know quite a few people that have owned them and they all swear by them and personally I have never heard a bad word.
I think you may have a few test rides in the pipe line and I hope your wife finds something that's very comfortable for her too.
PS Dont be put off by the clutch less FJR versions, people say they are excellent.
 

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Currently I have a 1997 Blackbird (love it), 2009 GL1800 Goldwing (just finished a cross Canada 12,000 km trip in 23 days on it), and a 2006 BMW 1200 GSA, I also owned a 2005 Honda ST 1300, and rented a Honda CTX 1300 in San Diego did the Pacific Coast Trail on it. The ST1300 has good legs, good power, comfy with peg lowers and bar risers but is kind of top heavy and prone to tip overs, I had 3, I'm 6 ft with 32 in inseam. The CTX 1300 is really comfy, very upright seating, decent storage and the basic same engine with a slightly different tune than the ST1300. The Gold wing is the most comfortable of them all, especially for the pillion, they frequently fall asleep, heated pillion seat etc, seamless power two up, full tank and pulling a trailer, effortlessly. They handle pretty good, easy to scrape the pegs, single sided swing arm etc. Crap fuel economy with that big 2 valve 1803 cc engine though, 25 L tank, reverse is really nice especially when you are about 1350 lbs with full tank and a passenger, never mind the trailer too. The best wind protection and heated grips, seats, legs too, I have the comfort package. The BMW is very comfy, upright, decent power, handles great with the low center of gravity of the opposed twin, doesn't feel as top heavy as you read about, still far better than the ST1300. Not as good wind protection as the others unless you spend some bucks on after market fairings and windscreen bits. That's all the personal experience I have, hope that helps, throw your leg over a bunch and get your wife on the back and have fun
 

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I've had several FJR's, with proper suspension they handle quite well with more low end stomp than the Bird. Incredible range, adjustable screen and the newer ones have all kinds of features that make traveling a joy. Shaft drive it really nice to have too. I wouldn't touch an ST1300 or Goldwing, I've ridden both extensively. One is old and extremely hot, the other one feels like piloting a school bus. JMHO
 

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The BB feels like a large 600 in direct back to back comparison with an FJR, if the heat issues aren't an issue for you then it's very comfy even comparing it to mine which had flat bars fitted at the time. They feel a little heavy/ponderous but handle quite well (sure footed), very smooth engine, plenty of grunt and ultra reliable if looked after. The sitting position is relatively upright so your wife will, without doubt, feel less stressed/more comfortable on the back (chalk and cheese here really). They have a lovely laid back feel to them but will happily romp along with little effort too...great bike to try out.
 

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After a dozen or so enjoyable years on a GL1800 I wanted something a little “sportier”. So I added an FJR to the stable.

The differences:
The Wing is plush, powerful, and protected in all weather. For a pillion with physical limitations, there is no comparison.
Even solo, it is great. I’ve done several Saddle Sore 1000 rides, 1200+ weekends, and countless RTEs and pie runs.
(last month I did a 4 state, 3000 mile road trip. Averaging only about 400 miles per day I never felt fatigued.
It has a fairly low center of gravity when moving, even two-up. It does tip the scales at nearly1000# and on days in towns it can get a bit tiresome. Fortunately I have a 36” inseam which coupled with the relatively low saddle means no drops.

The FJR is very comfortable, nimble, quick, fast and fun. Compared to the Blackbird its seating position makes it slightly less ‘engaged’ so that, while 200-300 mile days are doable on the Bird, 700+ mile days on the FJR are with reach. 1200 mile solo weekends are as easy as on the Wing - and more spirited.

My bride has developed some physical (age related) limitations and the Wing is really her only option as pillion. After 30+ years she is still the perfect co-rider but the FJR’s more bent knee position and slight forward lean don’t work for her. The Wing allows her to relax and lean back, adjusting her position when needed.

Last year I decided to “thin the herd” and gave the FJR to one of our sons, keeping the Wing & Bird. Both are fun bike and meet my requirements. How can I complain?

I’d suggest that you find a dealer where you and your wife can throw your legs over both an FJR and a Wing - and try to imagine which will fit your mutual needs moving forward. Both bikes have well earned reputations for reliability and ease of maintenance so, if your situation permits, you could buy a pair of 10 year olds for the same money as a new Wing.

Good luck!
 

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while i haven't yet ridden one, several of the guys i ride with swear by their bmw rt's.

having tried keeping pace with better riders on them in the twisty's, i can attest to their performance! i can keep up but, am using more throttle and brake to do so...
 

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Cheers Jmacn31..... sorry to hear about your navigator's health issues........ just a thought....... have you got a top case fitted to your BB?

My passenger/commander..... was perfectly comfortable on my 05 with a top box in place - she could use my rear mirrors and see what I could see and as we had intercom, she could act as another set of eyes and was also able to see over my helmet so was fully engaged in the riding. She had rheumatoid arthritis so she used to get on in my seat and push back onto the rear seat when the bike was on the side stand. Errrr, I had (still have) Ohlins springs up front and an Ohlins RR rear shock....... that set up is 100% better than stock suspension for two up riding...... much more compliant and controlled than the too soft & harsh (when they collapse on bumps) oem springs.

I'd stay well clear of early model ST1300's as they had an electrical issue that crippled their ecu's - the later electric screen models seemed to be ok, but the model was a huge flop here in Aus as Honda didn't seem to fix the ones (including Police bikes) that had the problem. They also weigh over 300kg ready to ride.

The FJR is ok, but very tall and top heavy-ish and has the usual cold draft caused by the barn door screen (I know about it because my passenger told me she didn't like it when she had a test ride on the back of a mates ST1300). I also test rode an FJR and noticed the heavy push from behind, and they are also quite hot around the groin area - later models might have some venting. FJR also weighs almost 300kg wet.

There are many other bikes..... you will have to test them all for ergonomic fit for your navigator....... maybe fitting a top box and back rest is all you need for now?

Best wishes from Aus :)

PS Can't comment on Leadwings..... except that once fitted with better springs and damping they can corner as well as any sports bike :eyebrows: and the rear seat looks very secure for anybody with any sort of balance/body control issue (arm rests to hold torso in place etc). The Wing is of course 400kg and huge, but that doesn't matter on a cruiser.

1100xx local fore shore 6am 10.2.18.jpg
 

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Errrr, just spotted the F6B reco...... I thought they were the bagger versions of the ST1300? Not the GL1800 six? Maybe UK has different names to Aus models...... but the F6B with a top case and back rest would be good (with the ST1300 latest model V4 engine) and smaller than the GL1800........ test ride is in order to verify if suitable for the passenger ;).
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I sincerely appreciate all the input.

Aussie Dave, I think I am going to try your suggestion for the top box on the Bird first - I just can't bear the thought of parting with her. If/when all other options are exhausted I MAY consider changing but for now... every time I look at her I can't see beyond how perfect and reliable she has been for me.
 

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Good thinking Jmacn31....... the biggest issue with most newer bikes is that they are all so bloody tall....... and very awkward for passengers to mount up. The BB is still an easy leg over for either seat...... I have a KTM 1290SDGT and have to 'climb' on board - or mount up like a cowboy - gawrd only knows how a passenger is supposed to gain access.......

The prev bike was a Caponord 1200TP - hopeless for able bodied passengers..... couldn't nudge it off the centre stand while two up as we were both to closely seated - the BB was fine as there is plenty of room and the stands are well designed and easy to use :thumb:.

PS Still have my 05BB...... too reliable to part with - just in case the Austrian bike takes a nap like the Italian bike did in 2017....... :D
 
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