Hi all, am a long time rider that has owned most every marque; Yamaha XS1100 - 95,000, Honda VFR/ST1100, Kawasaki '70 H1/'89 ZX10, '74Norton 850 Commando , '74 GT750 Suzuki, '01 Yamaha FZ1, '03 Harley Deuce.... with a dilemna. In the market for one of my next to last purchases (yeah right) but am vaccilating between the Guzzi Norge and the FJR. Guzzi qualities: Very unique, won't see a ton of them on the road, cons: support. FJR; Heavy, which is why the ST went away; Plus: Reliabilty beyond belief, plus a support network to match. I love raw power and can use it. I'm turning 56 this month so don't want to do this again next year. Any quips from the gallery? Thanks all.
I went through the same thing a while back. Debated between a FJR, R1200RT and Norge. I went with the Norge because it is such a sexy looking bike. Seat height works very well for me at 5' 9". Brakes are outstanding and it handles very well for its size. Reliability may favor the FJR and I wouldn't be so sure on the BMW. I love my Norge and I have a slightly modified 05 Bandit 1200 that will flat get it done. Got the Norge the very first week of February and have only put 110 miles on the Bandit since. I have no regrets so far. It goes fast enough and I will probably tweak it some in time. Well actually already installed a Staintune exhaust.
Joined: Fri May 28, 2010 8:40 am Posts: 76 Location: Spokane, WA
Have put 20,000 miles and sold 05 FJR.... Very fast very reliable bike but did not talk to me like the 07 Norge does.
07 Norge with custom seat and taller windshield with risers. Much more elegant bike, easier to maintain and very composed on the freeway. Everything just works on this bike. Way more comfy with passenger onboard then FJR. I like you am concerned about support but have had no problems with it up until I sold it. Likely next Italian candidate will be used 8V 1200 sport or 8V Norge..
No wrong choice here but Guzzista's seem to get it more then FJR guys. :^)
You have to sit on one! Sometimes going to a showroom and just sitting on a bike will help you make up your mind.
I have short 28" or 29" inseam and a 36" seat height does not do it for me, especially for 2 up riding. Yamaha FJR, Kawasaki Concourse, Honda ST all have really tall seats. That was a deal breaker for me. I have been totally happy with all that the Norge does and doesn't do. I wanted a twin with down low torque. I don't need a L4 that wraps out 10,000RPM's
I should have mentioned mine is a 09. I can pass on the rush of power for everything else the Norge brings to the table. It is just a blast to drive! Do I wish I had a 8v, yes but not for the extra 5k it would have cost me.
I too was considering an FJR and honda st but as was stated before they have a tall saddle which was prohibitive for my short inseam, with the Norge factory low seat I can put my feet flat on the ground.Be honest how much power do you really need? I tested an fjr and st1300 and found both honestly scary fast and at my age could see all sorts of ramifications with that much power on tap. My Norge can't go from 0-60 in a couple of seconds and isn't as smooth but then I came from a Buell and am used to v-twin querks. I've been on two trips and it does cruise all day long and I had no trouble staying with other bikes if I chose to play that game. You have to decide which part of the sport-touring you want, Yamaha is a little more sport than tour just because of leaning seating position. The Norge is a little more touring than sport with a more upright seating position. Bob
My 2005 FJR was very fast and I enjoyed it right up to the time I totaled it...but I found these issues annoying: Engine Heat (fixed in 2006 I'm told) Turn signals do not self cancel - No gear position indicator - Five speed transmission - "soft" paint (scratches easily) When Mama Yama updates the FJR and fixes these things it will be a better bike IMO. The engine tick issue (check the FJR forums) was a constant threat, but I never had the problem in the 17,000 miles I rode it.
Bottom line is, though I like its quiet, its power, and its sweeper handling, in tight corners the FJR's weight made it want to continue in the curve, rather than being able to turn in easily. That might've been something I'd learn how to handle. But the seat is wider...and at the end of the day, I liked the narrowness of the Guzzi seat. So, the next month, I bought Red Molly (2007 Norge).
Now, I have Red Molly and Raven: a 2012 Norge 8V. Kinda where I ended up.
_________________ 2012 Moto Guzzi Norge 8V "Raven" Richmond, VA
I had a 2008 FJR AE and I loved it but sold it after 1 year for the following reasons - 1. It had too much power, power far beyond my limited abilities to control safely and I concluded that if I kept it, it would probably kill me. This was the overriding reason for selling it. 2. I have short arms and the handlebars were just too far forward. Helibars would have fixed the problem but they cost $500 for the FJR... 3. I have a 30 inch inseam and the seat was just a little too high for my comfort. 4. Its weight combined with my short legs made it difficult to back it up or move it around in confined spaces.
Things I liked - 1. Runs on regular gas. 2. Got decent gas mileage. 3. Looked great
I am soon to be the owner of a 08 Norge. Will pick it up May 19th. Getting excited.
I also have owned a Honda ST 1300 but found that it did not want to go in a straight line without constant attention. It was the first model year so there may have been something wrong with it. It was also very scary on the interstate within 300 yards of any semi.
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