Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > Technical, Bike forums > Which Bike?
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.
Photo by James Duncan, Universe Camp, Uyuni Salt Flats

I haven't been everywhere...
but it's on my list!

Photo by James Duncan,
"Universe Camp"
Uyuni Salt Flats

Like Tree4Likes
  • 2 Post By Dan8816
  • 2 Post By SeanF

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 23 Oct 2017
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 4
Yamaha FJ-09 suitable?


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?
Attached Thumbnails
Yamaha FJ-09 suitable?-img_20170803_113451_677.jpg  

Reply With Quote
Old 23 Oct 2017
Grant Johnson's Avatar
HU Founder
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Dec 1997
Location: BC Canada
Posts: 7,241
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!
Grant Johnson
Seek, and ye shall find.

Inspiring, Informing and Connecting travellers since 1997!
Reply With Quote
Old 23 Oct 2017
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 4
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.
PS. really enjoying ARR podcasts. Very intuitive and inspiring, keep up the good work.
Reply With Quote
Old 23 Oct 2017
Super Moderator
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Bellingham, WA, USA
Posts: 3,913
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.

Reply With Quote
Old 23 Oct 2017
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 4
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.
Reply With Quote
Old 7 May 2018
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 4

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.
Attached Thumbnails
Yamaha FJ-09 suitable?-rimg0982.jpg  

Reply With Quote
Old 9 May 2018
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Tucson, Arizona USA
Posts: 108
Originally Posted by Dan8816 View Post
I thought i should update my post.
Thank you for the rare and appreciated follow-up!
Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Yamaha Service Repair Manuals PDF martinanderson Yamaha Tech 0 30 May 2016 23:25
Exp. with Honda, BMW and Yamaha in Latin America Frank on AT Which Bike? 2 6 May 2014 17:31



Thinking about traveling? Not sure about the whole thing? Watch the HU Achievable Dream Video Trailers and then get ALL the information you need to get inspired and learn how to travel anywhere in the world!

Have YOU ever wondered who has ridden around the world? We did too - and now here's the list of Circumnavigators!
Check it out now
, and add your information if we didn't find you.

Next HU Eventscalendar

HU Event and other updates on the HUBB Forum "Traveller's Advisories" thread.
ALL Dates subject to change.


Add yourself to the Updates List for each event!

Questions about an event? Ask here

HUBBUK: info

See all event details

World's most listened to Adventure Motorbike Show!
Check the RAW segments; Grant, your HU host is on every month!
Episodes below to listen to while you, err, pretend to do something or other...

2020 Edition of Chris Scott's Adventure Motorcycling Handbook.

2020 Edition of Chris Scott's Adventure Motorcycling Handbook.

"Ultimate global guide for red-blooded bikers planning overseas exploration. Covers choice & preparation of best bike, shipping overseas, baggage design, riding techniques, travel health, visas, documentation, safety and useful addresses." Recommended. (Grant)

Ripcord Rescue Travel Insurance.

Ripcord Rescue Travel Insurance™ combines into a single integrated program the best evacuation and rescue with the premier travel insurance coverages designed for adventurers.

Led by special operations veterans, Stanford Medicine affiliated physicians, paramedics and other travel experts, Ripcord is perfect for adventure seekers, climbers, skiers, sports enthusiasts, hunters, international travelers, humanitarian efforts, expeditions and more.

Ripcord travel protection is now available for ALL nationalities, and travel is covered on motorcycles of all sizes!


What others say about HU...

"This site is the BIBLE for international bike travelers." Greg, Australia

"Thank you! The web site, The travels, The insight, The inspiration, Everything, just thanks." Colin, UK

"My friend and I are planning a trip from Singapore to England... We found (the HU) site invaluable as an aid to planning and have based a lot of our purchases (bikes, riding gear, etc.) on what we have learned from this site." Phil, Australia

"I for one always had an adventurous spirit, but you and Susan lit the fire for my trip and I'll be forever grateful for what you two do to inspire others to just do it." Brent, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the (video) series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring!" Jennifer, Canada

"Your worldwide organisation and events are the Go To places to for all serious touring and aspiring touring bikers." Trevor, South Africa

"This is the answer to all my questions." Haydn, Australia

"Keep going the excellent work you are doing for Horizons Unlimited - I love it!" Thomas, Germany

Lots more comments here!

Five books by Graham Field!

Diaries of a compulsive traveller
by Graham Field
Book, eBook, Audiobook

"A compelling, honest, inspiring and entertaining writing style with a built-in feel-good factor" Get them NOW from the authors' website and Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Amazon.co.uk.

Back Road Map Books and Backroad GPS Maps for all of Canada - a must have!

New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80G/S.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events all over the world with the help of volunteers; we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, or ask questions on the HUBB. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.

All times are GMT +1. The time now is 13:01.