YAMAHA FJR1300 AE (2016 - on) Review

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 4.3 out of 5 (4.3/5)
Annual servicing cost: £240
Power: 144 bhp
Seat height: Medium (31.7 in / 805 mm)
Weight: High (644 lbs / 292 kg)

Prices

New £14,799
Used £7,500 - £14,000

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
3 out of 5 (3/5)

Two days of blasting around Spain’s Almeria race track and chasing twirling tarmac through the gorgeous, sun-drenched surrounding mountains wasn’t the test route I’d imagined for the Yamaha FJR1300 launch.

But Yamaha reckon they’ve got touring and comfort nailed, so to show off their 2016 performance focused upgrades we ditched the straights for more twirls than the Cadbury’s chocolate factory.

Yamaha FJR1300 at the launch in Spain

Yamaha has sold over 100,000 FJRs world-wide, and now with bags of extras on the 2016 model for the exact same price as the outgoing machine, the FJR cements its place in the cream of the sports-touring crop.

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Ride quality & brakes

Next up: Engine
4 out of 5 (4/5)

The Yamaha FJR1300 has always been known for its supreme comfort, but the real surprise was the way it handles if you pressed on a little in the corners.

This is also true of the 2016 model, especially the AE and AS variants which get USD forks and electronically adjustable preload, compression and damping.

Engine

Next up: Reliability
4 out of 5 (4/5)

The Yamaha FJR1300 benefits from a new sixth gear, but apart from that the engine remains unchanged. Yamaha managed to squeeze six gears in without changing the crank case.

There was no real need to change the FJR1300 engine, the 1298cc lump produces 144bhp and as a result the bike is incredibly fast for such a comfortable machine.

2016 Yamaha FJR1300

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value
5 out of 5 (5/5)

A 1298cc engine is barely breaking a sweat at 144bhp and the Yamaha FJR1300 will churn out mile after mile without a problem if you look after it.

High mileage shouldn't put you off a used model provided it has a good service history. 

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
3 out of 5 (3/5)

There are still three FJR models to choose from; A (£14,299), AE (£16,599) and AS (£17,099). All three get Yamaha’s Slip and Assist tech and panniers as standard.

However, only the AE and AS model get the adaptive lights, upside-down forks and electronically adjustable suspension.

You can find a quality used Yamaha FJR1300 for sale from around £11k.

Equipment

3 out of 5 (3/5)

The FJR’s biggest update is the long-awaited (and overdue) sixth gear. It also gets Yamaha’s new Slip and Assist clutch technology, LED lights front and rear, adaptive cornering lights for peeking round corners, a redesigned tail unit, tweaks to the dash, a new colour and the model is now set-up for the Dainese D-Air Street System.

The trick was to add a sixth gear to a five speed engine without changing the crank cases. Yamaha has done this by using helical cut gears instead of straight cut and subsequently completely redesigned the gearbox.

As a benefit the shorter gearing over the first five gears makes for quicker acceleration while offering a tall, silky smooth, vibration-free sixth for cruising between mountains, or more likely the M25.

Yamaha FJR1300 has six gears from 2016

Next up is Yamaha’s Slip and Assist clutch technology. The system keeps the bike settled during hard and fast downshifting, helping to stop the rear-wheel from locking up. The new mechanism also equates to a 20% lighter clutch lever action which is good news for left hands everywhere.

The 2016 FJR gets a completely redesigned tail unit complete with LED lights. The front also gets LEDs to help lower the battery draw and posh adaptive cornering lights, which light up progressively the further the bike is leant over. The FJR’s inertial measurement unit (IMU) kicks in at five degrees of lean and lights up three LEDs in total, which are located above the main headlights.

New Yamaha FJR1300 headlight with LED power

The dash has also been tweaked. It now comes with an anti-glare screen and new fonts. The FJR is available in two colours, Matt Silver and Tech Graphite, with silver being the new colour for 2016.

The AS model has the Auto Clutch system, which does away with the clutch lever in favour of thumb and finger paddles for clicking through the gears. It still comes with a gear lever though, just in case your left foot feels left out. 

Specs

Engine size 1298cc
Engine type 4-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC, forward-inclined parallel 4-cylinder
Frame type Aluminium, diamond shaped
Fuel capacity 25 litres
Seat height 805mm
Bike weight 292kg
Front suspension Upside-down telescopic fork, Ø48 mm
Rear suspension Swingarm, (link type suspension)
Front brake Hydraulic dual disc, Ø320 mm
Rear brake Hydraulic single disc, Ø282 mm
Front tyre size 120/70 ZR17M/C (58W)
Rear tyre size 180/55 ZR17M/C (73W)

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption 37.9 mpg
Annual road tax £93
Annual service cost £240
New price £14,799
Used price £7,500 - £14,000
Insurance group -
How much to insure?
Warranty term -

Top speed & performance

Max power 144 bhp
Max torque 102 ft-lb
Top speed -
1/4 mile acceleration -
Tank range 208 miles

Model history & versions

Model history

The Yamaha FJR1300 was launched in 2001 and was an instant success thanks to its supreme comfort, high performance and reliability.

The bike was updated in 2013, receiving a much-needed facelift but, frustratingly, no sixth gear.

The 2016 version finally added the sixth gear along with some new tech, but the bike’s formula still feels quite dated.

Other versions

The Yamaha FJR1300 we tested was the AE model, which sits in the middle of three variants. The standard FJR1300A gets standard forks and shock, rather than the USD forks and electronically adjustable suspension on the AE and AS models.

The AS model also gets clutch-assist which does away with a clutch lever in favour of an automated system. Gears are selected using a traditional left foot gear lever or a switch on the bars.

Owners' reviews for the YAMAHA FJR1300 (2016 - on)

6 owners have reviewed their YAMAHA FJR1300 (2016 - on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your YAMAHA FJR1300 (2016 - on)

Summary of owners' reviews

Overall rating: 4.7 out of 5 (4.7/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 4.8 out of 5 (4.8/5)
Engine: 4.7 out of 5 (4.7/5)
Reliability & build quality: 4.3 out of 5 (4.3/5)
Value vs rivals: 4.3 out of 5 (4.3/5)
Equipment: 4.3 out of 5 (4.3/5)
Annual servicing cost: £240
5 out of 5 Great sports tourer
29 May 2020 by Tony

Version: AE

Year: 2018

Annual servicing cost: £250

The bike that does everything very well - it isn't top of the charts for any one thing, but the sum of the parts makes it a great choice.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

I find the ride quaility excellent. I can easily do, and have done 500 miles a day without any ill effects. It is after all a sports tourer, and it is very happy crossing europe. Pillion comfort is also good, but I don't really use it much two up.

Engine 5 out of 5

With an engine this size you are never really wanting for power. It pulls from pretty much any speed in any gear, but keeping the revs up a little pays dividends. It will motorway cruise if required in sixth and the engine is really only just ticking over. Lots of pull in lower gears. I can't see why anyone would want any more than whats on offer.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

This is my second one and I have never had any breakdown or failures with either of them. General finish quality is also very good.

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

Servicing is not cheap, but the expensive one is every two years and is around £350 - £400. I know many use the FJR club workshop which I am told is much cheaper.

Equipment 4 out of 5

The standard panniers are big enough, and I like the yamaha FJR crash bungs. The dash is a bit old fashioned, and no colour, but it tells you what you need. The menu for the systems is fairly easy once you get used to it. Cruise control is very useful.

Buying experience: Dealer bought. I have had a good deal on both my FJRs, and I must say I am happy with my current dealer.

5 out of 5 Top spec FJR
02 May 2020 by Allan Phenix

Version: FJR1300AE

Year: 2018

Annual servicing cost: £200

Best features:- Overall quality of finish. Good long distance comfort. Size of the bike, not too large. Good handling, feels very planted on the road. The engine, very durable. Gearbox-very slick. Shaft drive is a must! Large tank range. Electronically adjustable suspension. Adjustable screen. Heated grips. Engine mapping-Touring or Sport! The lights give an excellent low and high beam. Worst features:- Panniers are a shade too small. Exhaust system is a little too quiet. Could do with a bit more 'growl'.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

I tend to do short trips in the week, but long journeys at the weekends. South Essex to Manchester is not uncommon. I measure the comfort of a bike by the hour. If I'm still comfortable after an hour, then the bikes fine. I get around 220 miles per tank, so should be able to do this without getting off. The FJR fits this bill, no problems. My wife fines the pillion very comfortable as well, although touring, we tend to stop for a break at about 100 to 150 miles. For general commuting, the FJR is fine. Very well balanced, filters through traffic no problem, the clutch is very light, gearbox is slick.

Engine 5 out of 5

When in Touring mode, the engine's very smooth. Very good power delivery and responds to the throttle well. However, when in Sport mode, it's a different animal! It's very quick for a machine of this size. Yes it's a heavy bike, but the weight distribution of the bike is spot-on. You have to be careful in sport mode - Acceleration is very quick, you can hit three figures without noticing!

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

So far the bike's only done 5000 miles, so hasn't had its 6000 mile service. On checking the service costs prior to its purchase from Mototechniks, they seem very reasonable in comparison to other makes and models. No complaints in this area.

Equipment 4 out of 5

As standard, the adjustable screen is very useful. The digital readout on the clocks is also useful. The ability to scroll through the readout and change settings at the push of a button. Heated grips are a god send in colder weather. The touring tank bag (FJR accessory) is used nearly every day. It's large enough to put your shopping in, is well made and doesn't get in the way. The panniers on the other hand, tend to be a bit on the small size. They could do with being the same size as the BMW RT's, not really a big problem. But when you're on a tip two up, from Essex to Sheffield, then up to Edinburgh, across to Mull, then down to Liverpool to get the Steam packet across to the I.O.M, then the final trip from Liverpool back to Essex, you need the space to carry not just your clothes to last 3 weeks, but the prezzi's you bring back as well! I'm not a top box fan, so would avoid putting one of these on it. Instead, I use a soft luggage pack, which can be easily strapped to the rear carrier.

Buying experience: Bike was purchased from Mototechniks, Stowmarket in Suffolk as their ex-demo bike. The staff are very knowledgeable about the bikes they sell. The sales staff are not pushy at all. If you want to take a bike out to try it, as I did, it's no problem They can't do enough for you. The price I paid for the bike, at 3 months old with 500 miles on it, was a very good price. It came with panniers and the tank bag as well. I had a free bike checkup, just as it was coming out of its warranty. Again, nothing was too much trouble. I would highly recommend Mototechniks Dealership to anyone.

5 out of 5 Love This Bike!
27 April 2020 by Mark Vanderbrook

Version: ES

Year: 2016

Annual servicing cost: £350

Pros: Versatility, power, reliabilty, comfort, weather protection, cruise control. Cons: It's heavy, and it carries its weight up high; it's wide between the legs.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

I appreciate the bike's versatility. I like both brisk canyon rides and 1,000-in-24 Iron Butt certificate rides, and the bike does both well. I don't often take long, multi-day tours -- the wife prefers the car -- but I would certainly have no qualms about doing so. The FJR1300 is a perennial Iron Butt Rally winner.

Engine 4 out of 5

Big power, excellent fueling, easy to live with. But a smidge buzzy at various points on the tach.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Outstanding build quality. I've had three FJRs (a 2010 and two 2016s) and I've never had an issue.

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

Routine maintenance is easy. Valve adjustments will be a complex and lengthy chore, but aren't required until 26,000 miles

Equipment 5 out of 5

Love the cleanliness of the shaft drive, the cruise control, the integrated luggage, the oustanding instrumentation. The ES model is nice if you occasionally have a passenger -- pre-load adjustment is accomplished with the press of a button. Great range from the 6.5-gallon tank. I often get 49-50 mpg.

Buying experience: I bought my current 2016 used, from a dealer in Wisconsin. I was not impressed with them IMO. The bike had 3,400 miles on it, and I paid $12,999.

5 out of 5 The end of a legend...what will follow Yamaha?
04 April 2020 by Leamreject

Version: A with colour coded panniers

Year: 2020

A little higher screen would be great. And quick shift

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5

Still running in, but others I have ridden are great

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 4 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5

Quick shift and self cancelling indicators would be nice.

Buying experience: Dealer, they had what I wanted and the best price in the UK. They even delivered cheaper than it would cost me to collect

3 out of 5 I wouldn’t spend my money one one.
14 January 2020 by Only me

Version: Ae

Year: 2017

Great engine and brakes love the cruise control build quality poor

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

The brakes are great and ride quality is ok.

Engine 5 out of 5

Great engine

Reliability & build quality 1 out of 5

3rd set of head bearings in 18k. I am well........ very progressive on the bike due to my job and others in job have had 2 sets of head bearings in 20k. Paint finish is very poor.

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5

Great equipment but cruise works sometimes you have to stop switch off and on then it works.

Buying experience: N/a

5 out of 5 Yamaha FJR1300 bike review
06 April 2019 by David andrew

Year: 2019

Annual servicing cost: £150

Slightly disappointed by the high seat, and very wide, but once moving bike comes into its own.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

Dealer included the first service in the sale price anyway.

Equipment 4 out of 5

Missing Nav and comms.

Buying experience: Dealer was perfect.

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