Yamaha’s notorious FJR1300 models make for perfect long haul companions as they meet not only the normal requirements of the sport-touring class, but set new standards with advanced development and anticipation. Comfortable, despite the sporty riding position and very fast even though they weigh third times more than your average commuting bike, the A and AE models can’t stay in the garage for long.
The Yamaha FJR1300A is here to help you live for every glorious touring moment. The FJR is a unique synergy of cutting-edge technology, velvet smooth power, deluxe comfort and sports handling that add up to pure sports touring perfection. Great standard features like adjustable windscreen, handlebar and seat, plus heated grips, and easy on/off sidecases make this the bike to take you places in deluxe sports style.
The Yamaha FJR1300AE features all the performance, comfort and refinement from the simple FJR with effortless electric shifting incorporated. Thanks to the clutch, five-speed transmission and electric shift lever enhancement, super sport touring has never been so smooth. The clutch lever is entirely eliminated and its rider can now click off super-smooth shifts using either the left bar-mounted paddles or the foot-operated gearshift lever. Also for 209, the Yamaha Chip Controlled Shifting system has been remapped for greater response when downshifting from neutral.
Indeed, these bikes don’t evolve much as 2009 model years, but stand as evolution itself for the industry.
Yamaha first introduced their sport-touring motorcycle to Europe in 2001. It featured a 1298cc inline-four cylinder engine, five-speed transmission, and three-disc brakes. Colors available were silver, blue, black and red painted.
The Yamaha FJR1300 saw the North American market in 2002 with the 2003 model year designation and only offered in a non-ABS version. Still, it had 298mm front rotors. Even so, customers appreciated the beautifully shaped machine that showed them the way to other states and it did it in complete comfort with power one twist of the throttle away.
Japan produced this bike for both Europe and North America so the models sold on different continents were strongly related, but in 2004, while the European model came in a range of colors (including Silver Storm), the 2004 North American models included both a non-ABS version with traditional blue anodized brake calipers and a new ABS version. This last was Cerulean Silver painted for both markets. Other refinements included an upgrade to the suspension rates, 320mm front brake rotors, and a fairing pocket for small items.
In 2005, the North American market still lived wonderful times on a structurally unchanged FJR1300 with a non-ABS and ABS model in Galaxy Blue. A second batch of 2005 motorcycles was also released.
In 2006 the U.S and World model years synchronized and design significantly changed including trailing arm changes, radiator curving, radial brakes, instrumentation changes, upgraded alternator and significant attention to airflow changes from reported heat issues in previous years.
The base FJR1300A model had ABS and was Cobalt Blue painted while the Cerulean
Silver colored FJR1300AE model features a semi-automatic transmission which Yamaha calls YCC-S (Yamaha Chip Controlled-Shift). This system is a five-speed sequential manual gearbox with a computer controlled clutch so that no clutch lever use is needed by the rider. The 1298cc motor outputs 145 bhp (108 KW) @ 8,000 rpm and 126 Nm (92.9 ft x lbf) of torque @ 7,000 rpm.
2007 brought nothing new apart from a Black Cherry paintjob.
The 2008 FJR1300A got a new ABS system, new scratch-resistant hard windshield coating, a new windshield bracket design and new grips while its fancier sibling, the FJR1300AE added new clutch and transmission design and refined electric-shift lever design for even more convenience while also featuring A’s goodies.
Call it the bike that perfectly fills the gap between Honda’s flagship Gold Wing tourer and their stable of championship winning sportbikes. The ST1300 ABS is designed for the long haul. With sleek, full-coverage bodywork, an adjustable windscreen and removable luggage, this smooth, agile, V4-powered machine – complete with Honda’s Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) – gives an ideal sport-touring experience as it gathers miles in order to beat the Yamaha.
Another bike waits to see how thing will turn out for the first to so as it can make its entry and quickly still the much desired crown. The Kawasaki Concours 14 ABS combines breathtaking engine performance, impeccable handling and a comfortable riding position with clean, convenient shaft drive, locking hard luggage, an electrically adjustable windscreen and a host of other features to create the most impressive long-distance, high-speed machine on the market today.
In order for the FJR1300 to become a great success, Yamaha designed the sharp looking bodywork which talks about the abilities it covers with style. Also, this bike features an ingenious system for cooling herself and the rider, a central vent is situated beneath the instrument panel and this cools the rider and reduces negative pressure. Airflow is also increased so every issue is solved without any problems whatsoever.
You noticed that every detail orientates to perfection and another proof would be the adjustable ergonomics. The seat has the property of going up or down by nearly an inch and the handlebars also feature a three-position adjust possibility by a half-inch range.
The large capacity fuel tank is ergonomically shaped and offers excellent comfort and range. It is also constructed to allow the use of magnetic tankbags.
The 2009 Yamaha FJR1300A is only available covered in a Raven color while the FJR1300AE is Metallic Titanium/Liquid Silver painted.
Looking good and acting like it should. This is how this bike can be described as being.
I finally had the opportunity to test ride my favorite sport-touring motorcycle, the Yamaha FJR1300A. It is my favorite because it offers a much sportier character than the one provided by its competitors and it totally understands the idea of touring.
It invites you to adjust its crucial elements, like the seat and handlebars in order to provide you with a plush ride. I positioned the height adjustable seat at the lowest point, which is 31.7 inches above the ground, but it can also be adjusted into a higher 32.5 inches making room for taller riders. The handlebars are adjustable over an 11mm range via three positions. These two great qualities combined with the pushbutton adjustable windscreen allow virtually all size riders to find their ideal touring position on the new FJR1300A.
I first took it through city traffic (the only solution as I have just taken it from the dealer) and this is where the FJR first touched my heart. The bike is not so much touring oriented as it feels like a fat FZ1 managing to charm its occupants with increased levels of comfort and a more relaxed riding position.
I quickly noticed that I correctly adjusted the seat height as I touched the pavement easily and departures were no problem either. The triangle formed by the saddle, handlebars and footpegs makes sure, with little adjustment, that the machine will fit its rider like a glove.
Since 2006, Yamaha standard equipped the FJR1300 with anti-lock brakes and Unified Braking System, which is the same think as Linked Braking System. The front brake activates six of the eight front braking pistons and one rear piston while the rear brake pedal activates one rear piston and the other two front pistons. This system allows for the use of balanced anti-lock braking in all conditions and it shows. The rider feels truly in charge and this gives it confidence apart from safety.
Disposing of a 1298cc engine developing 145 hp @ 8000 rpm and 99 ft.-lbs. of torque @ 7000 rpm, the Yamaha leaves stop signs and red lights behind like no other as its engine doesn’t lack in low-end grunt. The updated clutch ensures smooth engaging and is definitely less fatiguing on the rider’s fingers than the one on the previous model years.
I was now heading to the freeway and I was anxious to see how the adjustable windscreen works at high speeds. While I did that, I noticed that the bike’s taller gearing reduces revs from 4000 to 3500 rpm at a cruising speed of 70 mph. I didn’t detect any vibrations at that level but if you really want to bring more life into the mighty engine, 4500 rpm would be the vibration’s starting point.
Out on the freeway, I saw the speedometer’s needle up to as much as 150mph and the road behavior was absolutely spotless. This completed the unique experience encountered on the FJR1300 and put a big smile on my face.
Airflow at that kind of speeds was really important and I could notice that Yamaha has implemented a whole host of changes to the management of airflow. Those changes resulted into a better dispersion of hot air from the radiator and engine but most important from the rider.
What completes the FJR1300’s sporty character is the way it handles. The fact that it features upright handlebars provides good leverage and this helped me lean it very quickly. I actually managed to drag the FJR’s pegs while cornering and I felt joy when I started to open the throttle again and again.
Now that I look back, I clearly see how this Yamaha model ended up being such a great performer but my recent experience on it practically overwhelmed me. The bike is that great and its sportier character really makes a statement.
For those who want to experience the true sport-touring feel with a bit more sport than touring, Yamaha offer their best. Under the name of Yamaha FJR1300A, this machine is offered for an MSRP of $14,490 and it is worth every single penny. I advise to put your hands on one and I bet it will become your best road companion. Thrust me on this one!
Riders who feel the need to through their eyes into the future of Sport-Touring motorcycling have the opportunity to buy the “AE” version of the already wonderful Yamaha FJR1300. But everything comes with a cost and the Yammie’s is $16,290.
Personally, I prefer the simple version and I would choose to save the extra money but hey, that’s just me. Yamaha studied the market and probably found out that there aren’t many simple riders left.
Yamaha FJR1300A perfectly fits in the place between performance and comfort as the Japanese manufacturer didn’t sacrifice any of the two. But that is not all. The bike also features sharp styling so it manages to attract customers through these three most important characteristics that blend in together perfectly.
Engine and Transmission
Type: liquid-cooled inline 4-cylinder; DOHC, 16 valves
Bore x Stroke: 79 x 66.2mm
Compression Ratio: 10.8:1
Carburetion: Fuel Injection
Ignition: TCI: Transistor Controlled Ignition
Transmission: 5-speed; multiplate wet clutch; 5-speed; Yamaha Chip-Controlled Shift (YCC-S) on the AE model
Final Drive: Shaft
Chassis and Dimensions
Suspension/Front: 48mm fork; fully adjustable, 5.4-in travel
Suspension/Rear: Single shock; adjustable preload and rebound damping, 4.8-in travel
Brakes/Front: Dual 320mm disc, UBS ABS
Brakes/Rear: 282mm disc, UBS ABS
Tires/Front: 120/70-ZR17 radial
Tires/Rear: 180/55-ZR17 radial
Length: 88.2 in
Width: 29.3 in
Height: 52.4 in
Seat Height: 31.69 or 32.48 in
Wheelbase: 60.8 in
Rake (Caster Angle): 26°
Trail: 4.3 in
Fuel Capacity: 6.6 gal
Fuel Economy: 39 mpg
Wet Weight: 641 lb; 650 lb of the AE model