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YAMAHA FJR1300 AE (2016-on) Review

Published: 16 October 2018

The FJR cements its place in the cream of the sports-touring crop

YAMAHA FJR1300 AE (2016-on)

The FJR cements its place in the cream of the sports-touring crop

  • At a glance
  • 1298cc  -  144 bhp
  • 37.9 mpg  -  208 miles range
  • Medium seat height (805mm)
  • New: £14,799
    Used: £10,000 to £17,100 See all YAMAHA FJR1300s for sale

Overall Rating 3 out of 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.

Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 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 4 out of 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

Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 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. 

Insurance, running costs & value 3 out of 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

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. 

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2016
Year discontinued -
New price £14,799
Used price £10,000 to £17,100
Warranty term -
Running costs
Insurance group -
Annual road tax £88
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 144 bhp
Max torque 102 ft-lb
Top speed -
1/4-mile acceleration -
Average fuel consumption 37.9 mpg
Tank range 208 miles
Specification
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)

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

No owners have yet reviewed the YAMAHA FJR1300 AE (2016-on).

Review your YAMAHA FJR1300 AE (2016-on)

Photo Gallery

  • YAMAHA FJR1300 AE (2016-on)
  • YAMAHA FJR1300 AE (2016-on)
  • Yamaha FJR1300 has six gears from 2016
  • YAMAHA FJR1300 AE (2016-on)
  • YAMAHA FJR1300 AE (2016-on)
  • 2016 Yamaha FJR1300
  • YAMAHA FJR1300 AE (2016-on)
  • YAMAHA FJR1300 AE (2016-on)
  • YAMAHA FJR1300 AE (2016-on)
  • YAMAHA FJR1300 AE (2016-on)
  • YAMAHA FJR1300 AE (2016-on)
  • New Yamaha FJR1300 headlight with LED power
  • YAMAHA FJR1300 AE (2016-on)
  • Yamaha FJR1300 at the launch in Spain
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