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Discussion Starter #1
This is my 1st bike and I will be tagging along after my spouse on his FJR1300.
We are adding a slightly taller windscreen, heated grips and the new Givi PLX hard cases and plan on adjusting the seat foam to get it a bit 'kinder, gentler' to a long distance bee-hind.
Who has long distance time on an FZ6 and what challenges have you come across? Do hard cases significantly change the way the bike handles? Also, are there any things I should be considering before we head out on our 1st long trip???
Any thoughts and advice would be much appreciated.
Thanks...Barb
 

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The Flying Finn
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Longest I've done in one sitting is about 800 km. Stopped twice to fill up with gas and I was so comfy I didn't even get off the seat, just paid at the pump. I regularily go for 400-500 km rides and when I get to my destination I always feel like I could turn around and do it again right away and have just as much fun.

If you're going in questionable weather, bring extra shirts, etc. I love turtlenecks because it keeps the wind off the back of your neck... earplugs might be something to look into if you're doing any long rides at 110+ km/h

Have fun!
 

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FZ6 Corner Carver
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have fun... i enjoy a camelback...
 

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ThrottleMeister or some type of throttle lock for thoese long days and you need to give your right hand some breif relief.Other than that you sound like you are on the correct path.I use bicycle shorts with good results.300 to 600 miles per day.Just stop when you feel like it and enjoy the view.
 

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Luck Bucket
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You have the important stuff already identified: heated grips, luggage, taller windscreen. Have you considered the dual headlight mod?

How far are you going? The biggest thing for me was installing memory foam in my seat to aleviate pinched nerves due to crooked hips/spine and learning to reposition my feet on the pegs every thirty minutes or so. After doing this I have found the stock seat just fine for mid-distance touring, such as my 1200 mile trip in October.

I have the GIVI V46 and E21 cases and they haven't affected the handling of my bike for sport touring at all -- even when full. Just try to load them up equally, and you'll be fine.

As brainfrz said, bring raingear. If you're not already doing so, ride with earplugs as Poutanen suggested.

You may want to consider some kind of communications, whether it be via Chatterbox or something else. If you read my trip write-up, it was hard to ride and determine if my stepfather was still behind me or if he ran out of gas. ;)

Have fun!! Remember to stop and take pictures!
 

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Another little thing you might want is one of those small headband flashlights and wear it around your neck. Comes in handy when your out in the middle of nowhere at night and need to check your map.
 

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I second a Throttlemeister type throttle lock and bike to bike comm units. I did a 850 mile day and my wrist was sore from having to hold the throttle for so long. And since you have the smaller tank it would be nice to have a way to communicate that you need gas, or how many miles you have left, or if you need a pit stop.
 

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Have you taken any longish rides (say, over 200 miles a day) on it yet? I ask because I initially wasn't crazy about the lack of comfort of the hard seat in my daily commuting and thought about an aftermarket seat. Then I took my first all-day ride, and boy was the seat comfortable! I think the firm seat gives better support that isn't appreciated until you have spent a number of hours in the saddle. So make sure you are really unhappy with the seat before you make changes or spend the money.

I have found the that the bicycle-style compression shorts are nice (I have the Aerostitch ones cut specifically for motorcycling - hopefully you look better in them than my fat butt does!)

Camelback is a good idea in warm weather and when wearing a mesh jacket (the air flow dries your sweat quickly and you can actually get dehydrated, followed by brain fade and a little get off - ask me how I know).

Also make sure the weight of the stuff you are hauling in your bags and elsewhere is evenly distributed so the bike handles the same in any turn. And enjoy!!

jZ
 

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stayin' sucka free
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Everything I would have suggested has pretty much already been covered above, but I would add a tankbag to the list of nicities. It's nice to be able to sort of lay down on a tank bag and rest your back for a while... especially 200-300 miles into your day. There are a bunch of good general traveling tips at the Iron Butt Association's website (http://www.ironbutt.com/tech/aow.cfm), and the AMA has some good tips as well (http://www.amadirectlink.com/roadride/Riderresc/33secrets.asp).

Good luck and have fun! :beer
 

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I rode 9-days last Spring, that was my longest. I regularly go away for a weekend once a month.

My essentials for touring are:
- Throttle lock (I made a simple one from a velcro strap)
- Throttle rocker (buy at Honda Carter in Vancouver)
- Visor wiper that fits over your gloved finger (buy a skiing stores)
- Ear plugs (buy at most large lumber stores for construction workers, Dunbar Lumber)
- Warm clothing
- Leather pants over long johns or jeans.
- Fleese jacket under heavy leather jacket.
- Neck band.
- Rain gear (I carry conventional Goretex jacket and pants bought at MEC, one size larger fits nicely over riding gears).
- Water bottle or thermos bottle.
- Sandwiches and snacks.

COMMENTS:
- Hard luggage is much better than soft for extended trips. They are so fast to remove when entering a motel. Also, they are a wee bit more secure when left unattended.

- I ride with a stock seat. I found it comfortable enough for all my touring days. I often do 800 kms day after day; never with a sore butt. I found the secret is to continually move around on the seat while riding - say every 30 mins move forward or aft.
- I add highway pegs to my bike. This helped allot for the long long rides. See my other posting for how to install them on our bike. They cost me only $30.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Wow, I tuck in for sleep for the night, wake up and WOW. You guys are great!!!!!

Headlight mod is already shopped for, will be done when heated grips go on. Same as a throttle lock addition. My spouse has one on his Vmax, and is currently adding one to the FRJ as his heated grips go on. Rain gear is a staple riding item here in BC. They don't call Vancouver Island a rain forest for nothing...*L*.
Ummm, earplugs I have tried. I love how less tired I am when riding with them. Never knew how much the noise sucked out of a person, but the plugs tend to hurt my ears and they become an annoyance from the pain. I have heard of a company that will custom mold silicone plugs for a more than reasonable fee, and we're looking into that.
Turtlenecks and a camelback...adding those to the list. I tend to rely on a scrunched up hoodie worn under my mesh jacket, but thats incredibly bulky on days you only sorta need some wind protection on your neck. Thanks!

Will definitely do a seat foam mod before too long. I have done one longish ride (put 1000km on the 1st weekend I had the bike) and I have to say we did a number of Tim Hortons pitstops to give my ass and wrist a break. I find the seat comfy as it is, but I do admit there are those pinch points you were talking about. I can stand on the pegs and wiggle or lay down on the tank a bit for relief, but that gets old, fast...Bike shorts, now that is an idea worth a spin. Thanks also for that.
Tankbag also on my shopping list. I don't like the HUGE ones, but Joe Rocket has this low profile one that I quite like. I am cheap tho. I sew leather for a living and I keep thinking I can make myself one, but...(I am more like the mechanic who's car is falling apart), probably less frustrating to buy one...*L*
Light source for night time also goes on the list...Should be a no-brainer for everyone out at night, but I have to admit I have been caught in a car in the middle of nowhere in the dark. Thanks...
Bookmarking the iron Butt and AMA links as well...

This is great, did I mention that already?

1st trip for us will likely be from here, down thru the Olympic Peninsula, Oregon Coast, Norther CA, then back up the Oregon Valley and home. Pics will be posted for sure!
If any of you make up to Vancouver Island, we are on the edge of some of the best rides around. Drop us a line and we can be tour guides, or give you some island riding tips (road conditions, good eateries etc).

Barb
 

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Discussion Starter #15
skeleton said:
I rode 9-days last Spring, that was my longest. I regularly go away for a weekend once a month.

My essentials for touring are:
- Throttle lock (I made a simple one from a velcro strap)
- Throttle rocker (buy at Honda Carter in Vancouver)
- Visor wiper that fits over your gloved finger (buy a skiing stores)
- Ear plugs (buy at most large lumber stores for construction workers, Dunbar Lumber)
- Warm clothing
- Leather pants over long johns or jeans.
- Fleese jacket under heavy leather jacket.
- Neck band.
- Rain gear (I carry conventional Goretex jacket and pants bought at MEC, one size larger fits nicely over riding gears).
- Water bottle or thermos bottle.
- Sandwiches and snacks.

COMMENTS:
- Hard luggage is much better than soft for extended trips. They are so fast to remove when entering a motel. Also, they are a wee bit more secure when left unattended.

- I ride with a stock seat. I found it comfortable enough for all my touring days. I often do 800 kms day after day; never with a sore butt. I found the secret is to continually move around on the seat while riding - say every 30 mins move forward or aft.
- I add highway pegs to my bike. This helped allot for the long long rides. See my other posting for how to install them on our bike. They cost me only $30.

Visor wiper. That goes on the list. Thanks.
Hard luggage is picked out. I SO envy the hard bags on the FJR.
Highway pegs....interesting. Have to think about that *checking out your other post*
Stock seat...Doesn't having to move all the time wear a bit thin after a while?
I've seen a couple of seat mod threads, and will likely try 'something'. I need to shave a bit out anyway as I am short and need some help getting off my tippy toes at stops. Our thought was to shave out hard foam and add a layer of compressable memory foam for the height issue, but that would likely aide the pinch point issue too. What do you think?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
AutoXer said:
Have you taken any longish rides (say, over 200 miles a day) on it yet? I ask because I initially wasn't crazy about the lack of comfort of the hard seat in my daily commuting and thought about an aftermarket seat. Then I took my first all-day ride, and boy was the seat comfortable! I think the firm seat gives better support that isn't appreciated until you have spent a number of hours in the saddle. So make sure you are really unhappy with the seat before you make changes or spend the money.

I have found the that the bicycle-style compression shorts are nice (I have the Aerostitch ones cut specifically for motorcycling - hopefully you look better in them than my fat butt does!)

Camelback is a good idea in warm weather and when wearing a mesh jacket (the air flow dries your sweat quickly and you can actually get dehydrated, followed by brain fade and a little get off - ask me how I know).

Also make sure the weight of the stuff you are hauling in your bags and elsewhere is evenly distributed so the bike handles the same in any turn. And enjoy!!

jZ
So you had better luck with a totally stock seat on a long ride???
Wow, now I'm getting nervous about cutting my foam...

hmmmm
 

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Wow, I tuck in for sleep for the night, wake up and WOW. You guys are great!!!!!

Headlight mod is already shopped for, will be done when heated grips go on. Same as a throttle lock addition. My spouse has one on his Vmax, and is currently adding one to the FRJ as his heated grips go on. Rain gear is a staple riding item here in BC. They don't call Vancouver Island a rain forest for nothing...L.
Ummm, earplugs I have tried. I love how less tired I am when riding with them. Never knew how much the noise sucked out of a person, but the plugs tend to hurt my ears and they become an annoyance from the pain. I have heard of a company that will custom mold silicone plugs for a more than reasonable fee, and we're looking into that.
Turtlenecks and a camelback...adding those to the list. I tend to rely on a scrunched up hoodie worn under my mesh jacket, but thats incredibly bulky on days you only sorta need some wind protection on your neck. Thanks!

Will definitely do a seat foam mod before too long. I have done one longish ride (put 1000km on the 1st weekend I had the bike) and I have to say we did a number of Tim Hortons pitstops to give my ass and wrist a break. I find the seat comfy as it is, but I do admit there are those pinch points you were talking about. I can stand on the pegs and wiggle or lay down on the tank a bit for relief, but that gets old, fast...Bike shorts, now that is an idea worth a spin. Thanks also for that.
Tankbag also on my shopping list. I don't like the HUGE ones, but Joe Rocket has this low profile one that I quite like. I am cheap tho. I sew leather for a living and I keep thinking I can make myself one, but...(I am more like the mechanic who's car is falling apart), probably less frustrating to buy one...L
Light source for night time also goes on the list...Should be a no-brainer for everyone out at night, but I have to admit I have been caught in a car in the middle of nowhere in the dark. Thanks...
Bookmarking the iron Butt and AMA links as well...

This is great, did I mention that already?

1st trip for us will likely be from here, down thru the Olympic Peninsula, Oregon Coast, Norther CA, then back up the Oregon Valley and home. Pics will be posted for sure!
If any of you make up to Vancouver Island, we are on the edge of some of the best rides around. Drop us a line and we can be tour guides, or give you some island riding tips (road conditions, good eateries etc).

Barb
Hey Barb,
I enjoyed reading all of this and found it to be very helpful. I’m curious how the bike worked out? I’m considering getting an older fz-6 and am wondering about how it felt on the highway? Was it buzzy? Did it feel light in the wind? Did the 650 seem up to the task or did you wish for a bit more grunt? My last bike, a 900 ninja was very “unkind “ to my wrists and backside and was a bit of a pig maneuvering in slow traffic. (Mind you at speeds that I rarely got to enjoy it was a joy, if a somewhat painful one!) Anyway, I’m think the Fz-6 would be a good solution. Thoughts?

Phil
PS I’m on Vancouver Island as well 😊👍
 

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Barb might not answer. It's been 13 years since she posted this thread. ;) Vancouver Island is a great place to ride. Years ago I had an un-expected week off work in the summer due to business being slow. Hopped on the FZ1 I had at the time in Portland, road up to Port Angeles. WA, camped in an RV park. The next morning caught the Black Ball to Vancouver Island and rode the full length of the island to Port Hardy and camped there. Next day got a no cabin spot on the Ferry to Prince Rupert and spent all day on the ferry before departing at last light in P.R. and scoring a tent spot just up the hill from the ferry landing. Managed to get the tent up before full dark. Next day I rode to P.G., then home the following day, cutting across at Cashe Creek to take 99 over to Vancouver again before heading South in the 5 to home. Got some rain on the P.R. to P.G. leg, but otherwise a beautiful ride. I've been to Hyder many times since then and far north in the Yukon and Alaska.

The FZ6 I have now is a little buzzy at speeds over 100 kph, but you get used to it. I added some Re-Grip grip covers and they help dampen the buzz a bit. Easy to install and fairly cheap too. They just fit over the existing grips. You want the .79-1.5 size if you do this. Grip Buddies or Grip Puppy also work, but are different textures of foam. The Re-Grip is smooth and I like it better, but tastes vary. FortNine might have some of those or even Canadian Tire.

The bike isn't bothered by wind much. Flows thru just fine. I have a '05, not the R model with full fairing or the Naked model, just the normal every day FZ6. Plenty of power for touring at any speed you want to and some you shouldn't! (It's got 97 Hp!) The FZ6 is more upright than the 900 Ninja, sort of Sport-touring with emphasis on Sport. Power band is higher rpm, but it's completly happy cruising along at anything over 4k rpm. If I recall correctly, 120 kph is about 6500 rpm. 100kph is 5k rpm.

The FZ6 might not be my first choice for a touring steed, but it will do the job just fine. Something like the Honda CB500F or X is more relaxed rpm at highway speeds and more upright ergos for body position. I've done 500 mile days on the FZ6 w/o issues, but I'm used to long days in the saddle from Endurance riding. The seat gets a little butt burn after a couple hours for me, but a short break and it's fine again. If you're wanting a bike for commuting and some touring, the older FZ6 is fine. Especially if you want a bike to carve the corners too. Get a tall windscreen, or better, a Laminar Lip for colder/wetter season and you're set. (I have a brand new Laminar Lip from a warranty return for '04-06 FZ6 if you end up wanting one. I'll give you a good deal, even in Canadian funds.)

The FZ6 is a fun all round bike and capable of touring and spirited riding as well as doing commuter duty. I've put about 1k miles a month on mine since I got it back in Dec of '19. If you have another specific question, feel free to PM or post here.
 

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Diver Down
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I bought my 2005 FZ6 new, still own it and still love it. Its fun and effortless to ride. I've taken it on long trips and it works, but being over 50, it was a bit uncomfortable. Its solid on the highway (I don't find it buzzy), screams like a bat out of hell (loves to rev, redlines at 14K) and solid in the wind. Its great for around town, its really nimble. On long trips I found 3 things I disliked:
  • stock windscreen doesn't block enough wind making my neck tired
  • stock seat uncomfortable after couple hours
  • no throttle cruise control
These are easily fixed:
  • get a better windscreen (I haven't done that yet but plenty out there)
  • get a better seat ( I got a Corbin and big difference, though any seat after all day riding will give you a sore butt)
  • get a throttle lock (I have an Omni Cruise Control, but there are others)
So these are all complaints on long trips, but for short highway commuting, it's fine. If you're young and healthy, these complaints might not be so bad anyway even on really long rides.
I bought a Ducati Multistrada for the long trips and its much more comfortable. Its also a lot more powerful. The Ducati is a beast but much heavier and less nimble. I like it, just don't love it. Every time I get on the FZ6, I say to myself I LOVE this bike! I just couldn't part with it.

The FZ6 is a great bike, it does anything you want and its fun while doing it. You won't regret it.
 
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