Yamaha FJR1300: Comfort and Performance in Sport-Touring

The Yamaha FJR 1300 stands out for its comfort, economy, and exceptionally high build quality with refined finishes. Many experienced riders have reported a revelation when switching from BMW motorcycles, expressing absolute delight with the Yamaha. This well-established sport-touring motorcycle impresses not only long-distance riders with its capabilities but is also quick enough to surprise those on typical sport bikes.

yamaha fjr 1300

FJR1300 Performance and Engine Quality

The FJR 1300 boasts a robust 16-valve inline 4-cylinder engine, renowned for its impressive power delivery and substantial torque, particularly noticeable in the midrange. In its early days, the bike had a minor challenge with its low-rev performance. Navigating through slow-moving traffic often required a delicate balance of clutch control, with riders needing to be vigilant to avoid stalling the bike in such conditions. This was a minor hiccup in an otherwise stellar performance profile.

Recognizing this, Yamaha made significant improvements back in 2008. The result was a much smoother low-speed throttle transition, greatly improving rideability in urban settings and congested traffic. These improvements not only made the bike more user-friendly in slow traffic but also added an extra layer of finesse to an already well-rounded touring machine. This commitment to continuous improvement reflects Yamaha's dedication to rider satisfaction and positions the FJR1300 as a top choice in its class for both touring enthusiasts and daily commuters.

yamaha fjr 1300 engine

Evolution and Upgrades

The Yamaha FJR 1300, first introduced in 2001, quickly established itself as a formidable player in the sport-touring motorcycle segment. Over the years, it has undergone several significant upgrades, enhancing its appeal and functionality. One of the most notable updates came in 2006, marking a pivotal moment in the bike's evolution. This update included a more aerodynamic fairing design, offering better wind protection and a sleeker look. Additionally, the range of screen adjustment was expanded, providing riders with more flexibility to tailor their wind protection according to their height and riding conditions.

The seating and handlebar heights became adjustable, a change that greatly improved rider comfort and ergonomics. This adaptability made the FJR 1300 more accessible to a wider range of riders, ensuring that individuals of different sizes could find their optimal riding position. The AS model, which featured an automatic gearbox, was a standout addition, offering the convenience of an automatic transmission along with heated grips for added comfort in colder conditions.

Another important ergonomic improvement was the repositioning of the passenger footpegs. They were moved down and forward, a change that significantly enhanced comfort for the pillion. This adjustment demonstrated Yamaha's commitment to ensuring that the FJR1300 provided a pleasurable riding experience not just for the rider but also for the passenger. These thoughtful updates solidified the Yamaha FJR 1300's reputation as a highly comfortable and versatile motorcycle, perfect for long-distance touring while also being adept at handling everyday commutes.

older generation sport touring motorcycles

Main Features, Spec and Considerations

Specs - Main Features
ENGINE 1298cc, liquid cooled, DOHC, 16 valves (4-valves/cyl), in-line four
MAX TORQUE 138.3Nm / 14.1kg-m / 102 ft-lb @ 7,000 rpm
FUEL DELIVERY Mikuni 42mm throttle body F.I.
FUEL CONSUMPTION 42.9mpg / 6.6l/100km
FRONT SUSPENSION Electronically adjustable KYB inverted 43mm fork / 135mm (5.4") wheel travel
REAR SUSPENSION Electronically adjustable link Monocross / 125mm (4.8") wheel travel
FRONT BREAKS Dual 320mm discs with 4-piston calipers, ABS & UBS
REAR BREAKS 282mm disc with single piston caliper, ABS & UBS
TYRES (FRONT - REAR) 120/70ZR17 - 180/55ZR17
LENGTH 2,230mm (87.8 ")
WIDTH 750mm (29.5")
WHEELBASE 1,545mm (60.8")
SEAT HEIGHT 805mm (31.7") - 825mm (32.5")
TANK RANGE 230 miles / 370km
WET WEIGHT 291 kg (642 lb)

As you can see, it's not a lightweight bike, making it somewhat challenging to manoeuvre in your garage. However, you'd be amazed at how effortlessly it handles once you're on the move. It's an all-rounder, perfect for daily use, offering miles of enjoyable and fast cruising with an impressive fuel tank range.

Another positive aspect is its shaft drive, which requires no maintenance. Some riders are hesitant about shaft drives, as they can sometimes lose power in the drive system and cause tail twist due to torque transfer. However, the FJR appears to be free from these issues. The power transfer to the rear wheel is smooth, with no noticeable twist or instability. The absence of chain maintenance is certainly a bonus. The excellent brakes are equipped with ABS: the front brake lever activates six of the eight front braking pistons, and the rear brake pedal activates two rear pistons and the other two front pistons. This setup ensures balanced anti-lock braking in all conditions.

Lighting and Build Quality

The headlights are another strong point of the bike and are easily adjustable. The full fairing is also excellent, providing ample wind and rain protection when needed. With Yamaha's reputation, the build quality is exceptionally high, resulting in minimal corrosion issues. It's no surprise, then, that finding a late model with low mileage can be challenging.

Suspension Improvements

Among the few disadvantages we found, it is factual that the rear shock absorber on the Yamaha FJR1300 has been a point of concern, particularly in models before 2013. The rear shock was noted to be soft as standard, especially on pre-2013 bikes, and there have been common issues with rear suspension linkages seizing up due to lack of maintenance. This can lead to more significant problems if not addressed, including the possibility of the rear end collapsing.

fjr 1300

However, these issues were addressed seriously. The 2022 model introduced an electronic suspension with menu-driven settings, enabling riders to finely tune the rear preload and both front and rear shock absorber damping. This sophisticated system incorporates multiple preload settings to suit different riding conditions and loads, as well as offering three damping settings, each with seven distinct adjustments. Such enhancements were welcomed improvements in the suspension system, particularly in adjustability and rider customization. Furthermore, the 2023 model maintains these advancements, continuing to feature electronically adjustable spring preload, rebound, and compression damping for the rear suspension.

Furthermore, the Yamaha FJR 1300 has undergone several updates over its production span. The third generation (Gen 3) from 2013 saw major updates including ride-by-wire electronics, switchable engine modes, traction control, cruise control, and electronic suspension adjustment for the AS model.

Luggage Options

Since 2006, the Yamaha FJR 1300 has come standard with convenient luggage options. It includes two side cases, each offering a 30-litre capacity, spacious enough to snugly fit a full-face helmet in each. This setup is particularly suitable for solo touring, providing a decent storage amount. For those needing more space, especially when riding with a pillion, there's the option to upgrade to a genuine Yamaha FJR 1300 top box, adding an extra 39 litres of capacity. Alternatively, the GIVI V47 top box, offering 47 litres of additional space, is a viable choice. This top box is spacious and integrates seamlessly with the bike's profile and panniers, presenting a more streamlined look compared to the larger GIVI 52-litre variant.

Yamaha FJR 1300: A Top Choice for Enthusiasts and Law Enforcement

The FJR 1300 stands as a testament to exceptional engineering and performance, earning widespread recognition and appreciation from top motorcyclists around the world. Its esteemed reputation is further solidified by its selection as a preferred motorcycle by various police forces globally, including in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Spain, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy and others. This endorsement by police motorcyclists, known for their rigorous demands and need for reliability, underscores the FJR1300's outstanding capabilities.

Its adoption by these professional riders speaks volumes of its quality, reaffirming its status as a top choice for both leisure riding and demanding operational use.

Yamaha FJR 1300 police bikes


In summary, the Yamaha FJR 1300 stands out as one of the most comfortable and high-quality sport-touring motorcycles available. It skilfully blends the attributes of a sports bike - offering all the necessary comforts - with the impressive performance of a touring model. While it comes with a higher price tag, the value is evident in its features and capabilities. Once acquired, it's a bike that many riders are inclined to keep for the long haul.

Yamaha FJR 1300 on road

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Fun Facts

Did you know the world's longest motorcycle was over 26 meters long. It was presented and measured at Lakhota lake, Jamnagar, Gujarat, India, on 22 January 2014. The bike was more than 4 m (13 ft) longer than the previous record holder's.

To ensure that his super-stretched motorcycle would be able to perform like a conventional motorbike, the constructor rode it along a road for 100 m (328 ft) without putting his feet down.

Tip of the week:

Never grab the front brake; squeeze it!

Grabbing the front brake abruptly can cause the front wheel to lock, as it doesn't allow time for the bike's weight to shift forward.This significantly reduces the front tyre's grip on the road and may result in loss of control, posing a serious risk of an accident.

Did you know?

The aerodynamic drag on a motorcycle can increase by up to 40% just by the rider sitting upright instead of in a tucked position. It's a wind-resistance thing—like trying to walk through a pool vs. gliding through it!

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Having the camping gear with you grants the freedom to decide where and how you want to spend your nights, including the option of choosing a hotel bed if desired. Though it's common to camp every day due to the desire for fresh air and the outdoors when you're prepared.

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10 Reasons Why You Should Ride a Motorcycle

Riding a motorcycle is like savouring a five-star Michelin meal when you're absolutely famished. It's an experience that not only satisfies an immediate craving but also leaves a lasting impression. Just like that first bite of an extraordinary dish makes you forget the world around you, so does the initial twist of the throttle. Your focus narrows to the sensation of the bike, the road, and the rhythm of your breathing. It's an immediate way to bring mindfulness into your day.

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So next time you feel weighed down by the demands of life, remember that your two-wheeled 'Michelin experience' awaits you. One session on the road can recalibrate your mood quicker than you can say 'Michelin star.' It's the sort of lifelong journey that never disappoints, always offering new flavours for your soul to relish.

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