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Which Bike? Comments and Questions on what is the best bike for YOU, for YOUR trip. Note that we believe that ANY bike will do, so please remember that it's all down to PERSONAL OPINION. Technical Questions for all brands go in their own forum.
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  #1  
Old 23 Oct 2017
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Yamaha FJ-09 suitable?

Hi HUBB,

I have a Yamaha FJ-09, I was wondering about the suitability of this bike to go overland in Mexico and possibly Central America? The bike is a great sport tourer, i have taken it on a multistate trip from Canada about 11 days on the road. Its a comfortable upright sitting position with OK suspension travel and fuel range of about 300kms. I dont plan on doing backcountry travel/single track or days of gravel riding as the bike is not meant for that. I would be solo travelling so i prefer paved roads. As of now the bike is kitted for sport touring canadian/US highways. I think i would upgrade from the plastic panniers to aluminum hard cases, skid plate and crash cage, bark busters to start.

I see that most travellers use dual sport/adv tourers on trips like this. Should i just upgrade to an adv tourer is my sport tourer acceptable for this type of travel?
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Old 23 Oct 2017
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Welcome to HU Dan!

Your bike is excellent for the job, it will work just fine. And it's yours, you know it, it works, you probably like it, etc.

I think that for your trip the only advantage of an "Adventure bike" is more ground clearance for topes - and that's really it. DO watch carefully for topes - they can be NASTY and a good way to flatten the exhaust on your bike.

Have a GREAT trip!
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Old 23 Oct 2017
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Thank you for the reply Grant.
As of now the exhaust system is the lowest point of the bike, i have scraped it on a speedbump in Arizona, however a skidplate from Higdonion would eleviate this.
-Dan
PS. really enjoying ARR podcasts. Very intuitive and inspiring, keep up the good work.
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Old 23 Oct 2017
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Topes and the occasional unexpected potholes, construction bypasses, rough tracks carved through landslide debris, snot-slick clay washed onto highways, and (not least) riding up stairs to park in hotel lobbies overnight.

But of course you'll be fine. Just expect that there will be places you want to go which are difficult on your FJ, and others which are merely inconvenient. But of course, that'd be true no matter what you ride.

Mark
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Old 23 Oct 2017
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Mark, yep all of those things to be expected when riding down there. If i was planning a SA trip to Terra del Fuego I would definately want something like the new africa twin. The way i see it is ive backpacked mexico and central america enough to know they have a pretty good network of highways and most of the time in better condition then highways in my home province of Saskatchewan.
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Old 7 May 2018
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Update

I thought i should update my post. I did take my FJ-09 to Mexico. I spent 2 months and over 14000km travelling around. How did the bike fare? Pretty well, zero mechincal issues not even a flat tire.. The skid plate was absolutely essential and made contact with topes over 1000 times. The bike handled gravel and even some mountain roads but definitely not aswell as any proper adv bike.
Would i use this bike again for a trip to Mexico?
Sure but again i am limited to paved roads and curiousity wants to take me off the beaten path now.
All and all with some upgrades the FJ-09 is a fantasic bike for touring and i could see myself travelling all over the continent on paved roads. So i guess i need two bikes one for highways and one for backroads.
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Old 9 May 2018
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Originally Posted by Dan8816 View Post
I thought i should update my post.
Thank you for the rare and appreciated follow-up!
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