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Yamaha FJR1300 Sports Tourer Review

The Yamaha FJR1300 is a sport touring motorcycle that Yamaha motorcycles have been producing since 2001.

It was first introduced in Europe and then it became part of the Yamaha motorcycle lineup for North America in 2002.

The FJR1300 filled the sports touring gap that Yamaha had been missing for a few years since the FJ1200 was discontinued in 1996 (UK) and 1993 (US).

The new FJR1300 motorcycle on its release was a completely different animal to the previous motorcycle.

It was a motorcycle that could genuinely walk the line between sports bike and tourer and be good at both things. With over 20 years under its belt the FJR has stood the test of time as a strong sports tourer, favoured by many riders the world over.

Let’s take a detailed look at the FJR1300.

FJR1300 Review

Yamaha FJR1300

Over the years the FJR1300 has evolved with different model variants, engine changes, modern technology being deployed but at its heart the FJR has always been just a really good, solid, dependable sports tourer.

Much of that reliability and likeability stems from the powerplant, so that is where we are going to start.

Engine and Tranmission

Aside from added technology and the added six speed gearbox from five, little has changed in the engine and transmission department of the FJR, it has always been known for being a powerful workhorse.

Today the liquid cooled DOHC inline four provides superb power with arguably unequaled muscular acceleration. With 144 horsepower the big motor is more than enough for most riders.

The later models received fuel injection with YCC-T which is Yamaha’s Chip Controlled Throttle; a ride by wire system that ensures precise, smooth, quick throttle response.

The YCC T ignition allowed Yamaha to accommodate other useful rider aids such as cruise control, traction and D-mode adjustable engine mapping.

Adjustable driving modes (D mode) means that the rider gets a choice between a T-Mode and S-Mode throttle response. T-Mode will suit those touring focused, as it keeps things nice and smooth; whereas the S-Mode is the sportier mode for impressive performance response opening up the power and torque and unleashing the aggressive sporty nature.

Across the rpm range the masses of power and torque are accessible all the way through. Even loaded with a passenger and full luggage, regardless of gear and where you are in the rpm range you have enough grunt to pull you along with a smile on your face.

The later models are also equipped with an assist and slipper clutch for quick, efficient gear shifts. The FJR1300ES has roughly 20% lighter clutch springs, which equates to a lighter clutch pull on the lever.

Yamaha also chose to use shaft drive for the FJR which not only helps keep maintenance low but aids its smooth nature.

The shaft drive is quiet, compact and built to go the distance, touring riders can rest assured that it is more than capable of high mileage and long trips day after day.

FJR1300 engine

Chassis, Suspension, Brakes, Styling

It takes a very good chassis to contain such a powerful and quality engine and fortunately the FJR1300 has just that.

The Yamaha FJR is a big motorcycle. It has a big frame, big long swingarm and bulky bodywork. The frame and swingarm are constructed from aluminium, they are lightweight but strong and provide the necessary rigidity to provide confident handling.

Electronically adjustable suspension on the ES model lets the rider dial in to set the bike up exactly how they want it for their riding situation. There are four preload settings, three damping settings and seven fine-tuning settings for the damping.

The electronically adjustable spring preload on the later models ensures that regardless of passenger and luggage load the rider can be comfortable and experience confident handling. With four settings you can stiffen things up for a sportier experience by hitting the lowest position on the rear or loosen for extra comfort when needed.

The front inverted fork offers great feedback and feel from the road, with surprisingly precise handling for such a big motorcycle. It isn’t the most agile bike of all time, but if you are looking for urban mobility then a sports tourer isn’t the right choice anyway.

What you can do is undertake endless turns, sweeping bends and confidently crunch miles on the highway day after day.

The rear shock connecting the rear wheel soaks up the bumps and road surface.

Equipped with traction control the system adjusts ignition timing, fuel injection and the throttle valve opening to help stop uncontrolled wheelspin. Regardless of road surface or weather conditions, the rider can be confident that the bike will maintain a good level of traction to keep them right side up.

It is also fitted with a center stand to make maintenance much easier for cleaning, changing tires, and getting to the internals when necessary.

A unified brake system connects the front and rear brakes for smooth, quick, efficient braking in all situations. Unified brakes take the pressure off when stopping as they work together to bring the Yamaha to a safe stop. The ABS prevents wheel lock-ups in quick powerful stopping situations.

The latest model is equipped with high efficiency LED lighting which is lean sensitive, working with the IMU there are six LED lights above the main headlight which light up the road ahead in corners as needed.

When it comes to styling the FJR1300 goes for muscle, sheer raw size and power reflecting the competence of the engine into the aesthetics.

Handling, Comfort, Features

The Yamaha FJR is one of the best when it comes to supersport touring. It is equipped with every nice feature possible to ensure the ride is comfortable and ready for the long haul.

Latest models have an adjustable seat height, heated grips, integrated hard luggage, and a super plush seat; there is also a roomy glove box in the fairing with a USB charging port for electronics.

The riding position is roomy, upright, neutral, bars are raised and within easy reach, there is plenty of space for both rider and passenger and the ergonomics are adjustable.

A large fairing and adjustable windscreen deflect the wind from the rider, when doing high mileage this can be a huge bonus, by helping to keep fatigue to a minimum.

When it comes to comfort, confidence is key, with rider aids like a slipper clutch, traction control, ABS brakes, and throttle modes with the ride by wire system, cruise control, there isn’t much more that Yamaha could do to help enhance the rider experience.


The rear view of the yamaha FZR1300

Touring riders the world over favor the FJR1300 as their go to for a sport tourer. With over 20 years under its belt the Yamaha has stood the test of time and beat off some of the competition over the years with relative ease.

MCN revisited their view of the original FJR and their summary goes as follows:

Although not as glamorous or gadget-laden as some rivals, the FJR has always impressed for its effective, no messing, durable and dependable approach.

In short: it just does it. No wonder it’s lived so long and is so popular with organizations like limo-taxis, the police, rescue services and more.


I think that best sums up the FJR1300, the bike just does the job. Sure, offerings from BMW might be laden with all the latest tech and the Kawasaki Concours might be faster but the fact is you don’t need anything more from the FJR than what you get.

Cycle World wrote:

Rolling proof that big-bore engine performance never goes out of style.


Little changed with the FJR over the years, it was the introduction of the six speed transmission in 2016 that really shook things up, Yamaha just got it right the first time around and you can’t say that about too many motorcycles.

Specs list 2023 FJR1300ES

Engine and Transmission

  • Engine – liquid cooled DOHC inline 4-cylinder; 16 valves

  • Capacity – 1298cc

  • Bore x Stroke – 79 x 6.2mm

  • Compression Ratio – 10.8:1

  • Cooling System – liquid cooled

  • Starting – Electric

  • Induction – Fuel injection with YCC-T

  • Transmission – Six speed

  • Final Drive – Shaft drive

  • Max Power – 144 horsepower

  • Max Torque – 138 Nm

  • Top Speed – 154 mph

Chassis and Dimensions

  • Frame – Aluminium, diamond shaped

  • Front Suspension – 43mm inverted fork, electronically adjustable rebound and compression damping

  • Rear Suspension – Electronic suspension, single shock, adjustable spring preload, rebound and compression damping

  • Front Brakes – Dual 320mm discs, unified brake system with ABS

  • Rear Brakes – 282mm disc, unified brake system with ABS

  • Rake – 26 degrees

  • Trail – 4.3″

  • Length – 87.8″

  • Height – 52.2″

  • Width – 29.5″

  • Seat Height – 31.7″

  • Wet Weight – 642 lbs

  • Fuel Capacity – 6.6 gal

  • Fuel Economy – 36 mpg


2001/2002 – The first FJR was released and the US received an ABS and Non-ABS version.

2006 – Gen II – Updates on the previous bike included: new final drive ratio, new radiator, air flow changes and ABS as standard

The AS (auto-shift) model was also released in 2006 it was designated AE for the US. This version came equipped with a semi-automatic transmission, which gave the rider the ability to shift gears with trigger paddles on the bars.

2013 – Gen III model released. All bodywork was reviewed and LED lights fitted. Outside of the US the AS models received electronic suspension. In 2014 the US received the FJR1300ES model which was the same as the AS model in other countries. The ECU was new and the bike received the YCCT system

2016 – The FJR received the new six speed transmission and an assist/slipper clutch. There were 3 models available outside the US, the A, AE and AS.

The A was the base model, the AS had electronically adjustable suspension and the AS shared the same features of the AE with the added YCC-S system. The US to date retains the ES model only.

Buying an early Yamaha FJR1300

There are very few motorcycles that you can say the prior years model is just as good as the current.

The FJR1300 however, is one of those motorcycles, if you can forgo the extra gear and cope with manually adjusting your rear shock then you can pick up a really great sport tourer for a bargain price.

From as little as $4,000 in the US you can find FJR1300’s in good condition. In the UK prices start from £3,500.

What you need to remember when opting for an older model is that the bikes were built to go the distance with a robust engine and shaft drive, high mileage should not worry you, even on an early model.

Be sure to check it over properly; check for oil leaks, rust and corrosion, any damage it may have been dropped and its general condition.

You will get an idea of how well it has been looked after by simply seeing how clean it is. If the previous owner has cleaned it up, rust is minimal even in the hard to get to places then there is a high chance they have taken great pride in owning the bike.

Asking for paperwork, for any service history, replacement parts is also a good idea and whenever you buy a used bike you should be starting it up and listening to the engine anyway. Listen for any sounds that aren’t quite right, check how much smoke the exhaust is blowing out etc.

Overall, the FJR1300 during its run has had very few known issues with maybe some complaints about the paint finish flaking being the worst of it.


The sports touring category is one that isn’t as sexy as others such as the supersports or cruisers, it is more of a functional category. What this means is that some of the bikes in this segment don’t get the cool labels like icon, legend, game-changer that many other motorcycles get.

However, I am going to change this now, the FJR1300 spans over 20 years.

Riders that have literally gone around the world on will tell you it is one of the best sports touring bikes ever produced. There will be very few places that the wheels of an FJR haven’t travelled on.

For that reason, it is an icon, a practical, well-thought out legend that does its job exceptionally well and for that it should be applauded.

Sure, something like the Panigale will draw the crowds and turn heads and the Low Rider S will do the same but neither is capable of what the FJR is, so let’s give it the respect it deserves.

FZR1300 dash

Related FAQ

Is the FJR1300A good bike?

The FJR1300A is the standard version of the FJR1300. It lacks the electronic suspension and the auto-shift option but aside from that it is fully equipped for anything you can throw at it.
Superb power, torque, hard luggage, heated grips, same adjustable ergonomics and windshield the FJR1300A has it all and is an impressive bike in its own right. The additional features on the other versions are surplus to the already solid foundation.

How fast is a Yamaha FJR1300?

The FJR1300 has an estimated top speed of 154 mph.

How much horsepower does a Yamaha FJR1300 have?

The Yamaha FJR1300 has 144 horsepower.

Is the Yamaha FJR1300 being discontinued?

By 2022 Yamaha had dropped the FJR for Europe, likely with a combination of EURO 5 emissions regulations and the fact the Tracer line is filling the gap for a touring bike being the reasons for it being discontinued.
However, for 2022 Yamaha kept the FJR1300ES in the US and there is now a 2023 model, so it looks like the US will be keeping hold of the model for the time being. How long the FJR will reign as Yamaha’s leading sports tourer? Your guess is as good as ours.

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