Yamaha pulled the covers off their new-for-2016 FJR1300 at Motorcycle Live today, and while it might not look very different from the outside, the firm has made some key upgrades beneath the skin.
Leading the charge is the long overdue addition of a sixth gear to the FJR’s smooth, but ultimately frustrating five-speed ’box. Rather than simply finding a way to shoehorn an extra set of cogs into the existing unit, Yamaha have completely redesigned the gearbox to give it the full expected complement.
In the process, it becomes the first Yamaha to feature a separate dog clutch with newly designed helical gears. Compared to the current bike’s conventional transmission with a single unit dog and spur-type gears, this new six-speed design is around 400 grams lighter and is no larger than the five-speed unit.
The upshot, beyond curing the annoying persistent attempt to select a gear that isn’t there, should be improved acceleration through the new ratios, and more effortless – lower rpm – touring in top gear, which should also benefit fuel consumption.
Yamaha say that the gearbox’s new dynamism will increase the sport-tourer’s sportiness, but with no increase in ground clearance we think the improvements will be limited to more immediate drive and responsiveness, and an altogether calmer high-speed cruising experience.
In addition to the headline gearbox improvements, Yamaha have added their Assist & Slip clutch, technology that’s spreading though the current range like wildfire right now. The system uses a slanted cam located between the clutch boss and pressure plate that boosts the force of the clutch springs, resulting in the ability to use lighter springs, which in turn reduces the lever pressure needed to activate the clutch.
While giving your left hand an easier time, the slipper element will help to maintain stability and control on more aggressive downshifts, too. During hard engine braking the slanted cam allows the pressure plate to disengage partially, giving around 50% clutch slip and dramatically reducing the likelihood of the back end trying to overtake the front.
The most obvious visual changes centre around the lighting, with new units front and rear. The new twin-eye headlight design features all-new LED light sources and an elaborate new headlight structure to give a greater degree of illumination, with lower power draw.
The new FJR can also see around corners, with the AE and AS models being the first Yamahas to get adaptive cornering lights that illuminate as the bike starts to lean into a corner. Three LEDs are located in an upper compartment above each of the twin-eye headlights which automatically illuminate as the bike’s Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) detects that the motorcycle is banking over.
At low banking angles the innermost pair of LEDs are automatically turned on, and as the bike’s lean angle increases the middle pair illuminate, followed by the outer pair at full lean. This system works regardless of whether the headlights are on low beam or high beam. The FJR also gets an new all-LED light cluster which is slightly wider than the current design, and features a central cluster of LEDs for the brake light.
Cutting a dash
The clocks have also had a tickle for 2016 to improve readability, with the dials getting the same lettering as the R models, a central digital LCD with a block-style bar for the fuel gauge, as well as revised information readouts and a low reflection lens to prevent glare.
All three FJR1300 models are also now able to be specified with the Dainese D-Air Street system. The dedicated FJR1300 D-Air installation kit can be ordered from and installed by a D-Air dealer and then be combined with a D-Air jacket. It will be available in the first quarter of 2016.
The new FJR triplets will arrive in UK Yamaha dealers in February 2016.