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Yamaha FJR1300 Touring Motorbike Review

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Yamaha FJR1300 motorcycle review - Riding
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MCN overall verdict rating is 5

The Yamaha FJR1300 is the first from-the-ground-up touring bike the Japanese firm has built. With shaft drive, comprehensive fairing, bespoke hard luggage, massive tank capacity etc, this motorcycle ticks plenty of boxes. From 2006 on it has an automatic gearbox option (AS model) available too, as well as a restyled fairing, adjustable handlebar and seat. All of which means the Yamaha FJR1300 definitely adds up to travelling in style.

Engine

MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

The Yamaha FJR1300's has loads of power and the four cylinder engine makes 99 ft/lbs of torque at 7K revs too. That means grunt and plenty of it, more than enough to help two people, plus loads of kit, overtake safely on A roads. You'll probably get about 40-45mpg from the Yamaha FJR1300's smooth-running, and generally very reliable motor too.

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

For its weight and size, the Yamaha FJR1300 handles well. You won't be dicing with Sprint ST riders on the roads of Provence, but the FJR1300's huge 48mm forks and compliant monoshock can be set up for semi-sporty riding if the mood takes you - the rear preload is adjustable via a jack up lever in a matter of seconds. Loads of pillion room too.

Equipment

MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 4

Panniers were standard fitment on the Yamaha FJR1300 from 2006 onwards, and a small luggage rack, plus ABS braking is standard too. The AS auto version gets heated grips, plus it has adjustable handlebar, windscreen and seat heights as part of the 2006 makeover package. The Yamaha FJR1300 is undeniably a well equipped motorcycle and competes strongly with the cost of a fully kitted Beemer or Pan-Euro.

Yamaha FJR1300 (2001-2012)

Detail Value
New price £13,499
Dealer used prices
£3,500 (2001) - £9,780 (2012)
Private used prices
£3,010 (2001) - £8,800 (2012)
  View full used price info
Engine size 1298 cc
Power 143.5 bhp
Top speed 154 mph
Insurance group 14 of 17
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 5 rating is 4.5
Engine rating is 5 rating is 4.5
Ride & Handling rating is 4 rating is 4.5
Equipment rating is 5 rating is 4
Quality & Reliability rating is 4 rating is 4.5
Value rating is 5 rating is 4.5

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

There is a little bit of a question mark over the auto gearbox version of the Yamaha FJR1300 because it will take time and lots of miles to suss. But every detail on the A and AS models shows Yamaha are determined to produce a genuine class leading touring motorcycle, so it should prove a more durable, low maintenance machine for 60,000 miles of touring fun than many an oddball European rival.

Value

MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

The Yamaha FJR1300 represents loads of motorcycle for the money and ready to head to Spain straight from the showroom floor, unlike some rivals which need expensive additional luggage options. The key factor about the Yamaha FJR1300A is that it looks, feels and rides like it was designed specifically to waft two people in luxury for two weeks of motorcycling leisure. It delivers on all counts. Find a Yamaha FJR1300 for sale

Insurance

Insurance group: 14 of 17

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Model History

2001: Yamaha FJR1300A launched.
2006: Reworked Yamaha FJR1300A and AS models appear; new fairing, wider range of screen adjustment, plus adjustable seat and handlebar height. Luggage now standard, not optional extra, plus AS model has heated grips as standard fitment too.

Other Versions

Yamaha FJR1300AS: Same as standard model but with semi automatic gearbox, button operated on handlebars, or via gear lever [£16,499]

Specifications

Top speed 154 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 11.6 secs
Max power 143.5 bhp
Max torque 99 ft-lb
Weight 264 kg
Seat height 805 mm
Fuel capacity 25 litres
Average fuel consumption 41 mpg
Tank range 210 miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group 14 of 17
Engine size 1298 cc
Engine specification 16v transverse four, 5 gears
Frame Aluminium diamond
Front suspension adjustment Preload, rebound
Rear suspension adjustment Preload, rebound
Front brakes Twin 320mm discs
Rear brake Single 282mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 180/55 x 17

See all Yamaha FJR1300 motorcycles for sale

Yamaha
FJR1300

8520 miles

£8,995

Yamaha
FJR1300

7 miles

£12,995

Yamaha
FJR1300

26000 miles

£7,390

Yamaha
FJR1300

51834 miles

£6,499

Yamaha
FJR1300

49799 miles

£5,799

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 4.5(18 reviews)

  • FJR1300

    CharlieMarine

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    I have been biking for 19yrs and been through plenty of models. The FJR1300 I have owned for three days and out stripes anything else I have ridden. The ride is smooth, suspension perfect. The seated position is spot on. You can not get better for your money.

    16 August 2013

  • Nice bike, but......

    Anonymous

    Average rating rating is 4

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    It's under-sprung and under-damped on standard settings. It wallows and the front end feels vague and remote. Increasing preload and damping at both ends will dial out the problem enough for solo use but, for regular 2-up touring I'd replace the fork springs, go for a heavier weight fork oil and change the rear shock. This, of course, should not be necessary on a high-end bike from any manufacturer. Given Yamaha's recent huge price hikes (now £14K+ RRP for a FJR1300) it's all the more unpalatable. Also, they are set to run lean out-of-the-crate, presumably to pass emissions tests. This leads to hesitation at small throttle openings and pulling away or crawling along in slow traffic needs much clutch slip and care to avoid stalling. Again, this can be dialled out by adjusting the CO settings for each cylinder via the onboard computer (06 models onwards. Dunno if you can on earlier models). How trick is that?!!!! I increased the CO on mine and it's now creamy smooth from idle to redline. I bought mine (58 plate) at 1 year old and with 3000 miles on the clock. I don't ride 2-up and I paid less than half of the RRP, so none of the suspension shortcomings really affect me. I just mention it here for the benefit of new prospective purchasers. Sort the suspension and richen the fuelling , though, any you'll be rewarded with a fantastic bike. I class myself as a fast-ish road rider and the bike takes it all in its stride. Engine is smooth, torquey and poweful. Build quality is very good and reliability seems ok, although I've only just reached 11000 miles. No issues yet, though. It's the first bike I've had where the front and rear tyres wear out together. Previously I always got 2 rears to one front. OE Metzelers (I think they were) lasted 5500 miles, Pirelli Angel ST's lasted 4500 miles and I'm currently on Bridgestone BT023's, which I love but I think they, too, will last only about 4500 miles. How people claim to get 9000 miles out of a tyre on a bike of this type I'll never know. IMHO they can't be riding it as it was intended by Mr Yamaha. Anyway, hope this epistle has been of use to someone. In summary, buy one, sort it and enjoy! Because it (and you) are worth it!

    08 July 2011

  • Fab Bike

    Glenrobert

    Average rating rating is 4

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    Had my FJR over 2 years done loads of touring 2up and its been FAB And on a ride out it keeps up with the sporty boys ( 52 plate done 49k ) Love it

    21 July 2010

  • back home

    joebarton

    Average rating rating is 4

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    Just bought fjr after owning one back in 2002/2004,memories come flooding back,great ride long distance,good fuel consumption. after long ride get of relaxed(had a bmw 1100rt once, uncomfortable to high in saddle etc.) would recommend that owners look at uk fjr,s owners club for good offers on parts etc!. will b buying higher screen and winter hand gaurds (stops those winter wet digits on long runs) probalbly change to bt023s when exiting tyr,es wear out as i have always rated them all year round(all weather) summary good tourer with a sting its it.s tail

    26 June 2010

  • It rocks, but needs a few mods

    Anonymous

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    I've got the facelifted '07 AS model with the fingershifter and auto clutch. This works a treat and allows you to really chill out when riding in town. A foot gear lever is also there but it's so much effort after using the mountain-bike style shifter. The only slight downside to it is that you can't blip the throttle to scare the cars as you overtake and clutch-dump wheelie drag starts are not possible, although I've read power wheelies are possible, I've not tried 'em cos there aren't many spots on the roads where you can safely let this monster rip! Creature comforts include, electric screen, speed/temp sensitive heated grips, 12v socket, ABS linked brakes, locking cubby compartment, standard side panniers with the mounts nicely integrated into the tail section. The engine is really creamy low down for effortless legal speed cruising and turns ballistic after around 5000 rpm. Unfortunately there is a bit of noticeable vibration between 4000-4500, this must be due to the engine harmonics and does disappear outside this range, but this is a minor niggle. The motor does heat up a fair bit when trundling along at low speed, but dual fans kick in when this happens. Fuel economy really depends how you ride it, I've managed mid 60's going granny style and mid 30's when on super high speed cruising. Mostly I get 45-50 mpg. The standard low rpm fuelling is ATROCIOUS however and this bike really needs to be dynojetted, this is especially the case with the auto-clutch version as you can't increase revs and modulate using the clutch at low speed. Fit a PC-III, dyno it and it's totally peachy. Handling-wise - much better than my old Bandit 600, nice low centre of gravity and although no sportsbike really easy to lean into sweeping bends. Steering lock not bad but it's pretty damn heavy to push, you really do forget how heavy it is when you're on it, as it feels quite nimble even at low speed. Braking is effortless and smooth. It's also physically smaller/lower than the other tourers e.g. honda/bmw and suits shorter bods like me: 30" leg. Also looks way better than those whales too, especially with the panniers off, it looks like a sports bike on steroids. Handlebars adjust but not really enough to make a difference. Also should really come with crash protectors as standard on a 12k bike! Overall the FJR is a really superb bike, doesn't feel unwieldy in the city, can blitz across the country in comfort and fun to throw into the bends along the way. It could do with a few minor improvements however: 1) The fuelling, easy to sort but costly. 2) Standard screen noisy at speed, get earplugs 3) tyre valves really tricky to access, could do with remote pressure monitoring 4) Have to remove panels to check brake and clutch fluid. 5) standard exhaust rather quiet, this is no hooligan bike. 6) Panniers are sturdy and good quality but awkward shape inside with limited capacity. yam topbox massive on the outside, tiny on the inside (only one helmet). 7) the plod use 'em, which steals cred. 8) shaftcase/swingarm doesn't look very trick next to BMW/kwak etc but easy to keep clean and no rubber to perish, i'm really nit-picking now.

    02 July 2009

  • best touring bike

    bikerlock

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    nearly 3 years ive had this bike,never missed a beat.i ride it in all wethers.good two up 250 miles to the tank its on 40,000 miles. comfy, fill up carry on,i had honda st better then that.just mind the pegs when pushing it hard,

    27 March 2009

  • Superb all round

    stephen01

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Well I have owned my bike a couple of months now and it just seems to get better. Averaging 50mpg and most of that at legal speed limits? No prblems to date apart from a low idle speed when first picked it up resulting in a couple of stalls and notchy gearchange. Turned up the idle speed to just over 1000rpm no further problems. Excellent finnish on paint and metal work. This is my 17th bike and so far the best. I have tried BMW 1200GT & S (FJR competitor) but the FJR seems a lot smoother and have better build quality.

    09 November 2008

  • Good tourer

    Mjollnir

    Average rating rating is 3.5

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    These bikes are often reffered to as uncomfortable over longer distances, I have had no such problem. Can easily do a tank range in the saddle, and still comfortable enough for more, what more could you ask for. The only down side is it is an inline four cylinder, but hey you can't have everything.

    18 September 2008

  • Does exactly what it says on the tin!

    grb

    Average rating rating is 4

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    Moved the the FJR from a Fazer 1000. Wife reports this is much better for pilions, and we have covered many more miles together as a result. Top box and panniers are easy to remove, and make a great difference to handling once removed. Downsides - Can be fiddly to fit extra's such as GPS and autocom, as electrical connections difficult to access, also the rear shock is not the greatest after 10,000 miles. Overall, it does exactly what it says on the tin, great for munching miles, but quick enough to still embarrass my mates on solo runs. I'm really happy with it.

    23 September 2007

  • Mick T.

    mick7280

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Best engine i have ever had, totally reliable and very good tank range.

    19 September 2007

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dvbview

dvbviewsays

FJR1300 Appraisal

I've tried most of the sports tourers, some over high mileages (like twice across America and back on GL1800s and 80,000 miles on XJ900 Diversions) and the FJR1300 is the best yet for me.  Of course, it isn't perfect and it is irritating to spend 10 grand or more on a bike to find that it needs a different screen, seat and rear shock to work properly.  Most of my riding is long distance, two up and loaded so maybe the solo rider who doesn't spend too long in the saddle won't need to change much.  The biggest change and the most necessary was the rear shock.  The OEM is a soggy disaster for two up riding which reminds me of the Jap bikes of the 70s when the first thing you did was fit European tyres and change the rear shocks.  A good quality (Ohlins, WP etc.) shock with an uprated spring transforms the "sports" side of the specification and cures the occasional complaint of low ground clearance.  I like "spirited" riding and my modified FJR can embarass some sports bikes even two up though the biggest difference in any bike's capabilities is still the rider.

PS  I'm selling one of my FJRs so I have some accessories for sale at half price:

Alloy handlebar pullback/risers £40

Givi Wingrack and fittings (no panniers) £60

Stainless radiator guard £40

Dave 01594 824061

16 October 2007 15:57

zardon

User's Badge

zardonsays

excellent

A great bike and with over 140 horses on tap it proves to accelerate exceptional well, especially considering the weight reductions compared to other tourers like the goldwing (which weighs as much as a small car). Easy to handle, great build quality and good onboard options mean this bike is a fanastic all rounder. I also like the shaft drive. Those who say this bike is hard to handle or are comparing it to an R1, clearly are extremely inexperienced and need to stick to smaller sports bikes.

21 August 2007 12:49

vfarrar

vfarrarsays

Did not like it

Humm!! I do not understand all the good comments. Drive an R1 & Fireblade in the UK. Hired a new FJR in Oz for a month, did loads of miles. But did not like the bike at all. It felt slow unless you gave it loads of revs. It wollowed around in the bends on the Great Ocean road, but the worst bit was the wind flow over the screen. We could not use it over 70, very bad for the passenger, and no amount of fiddling with the screen height made it any better. It also felt very top heavy, scary stuff at slow speeds. had a quick try on a Gulwing, which felt much better balanced.

30 May 2007 17:06

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