Single shock, link-type, w/adjustable preload
and rebound damping; 122mm wheel travel
2x 320mm discs 4 piston calipers
Single 283mm disc 2 piston caliper
2230 mm - 87.8 in. / 749.3 mm - 29.5
in. / 1455 mm - 57.3 in.
1544.3 mm / 60.8 in
130mm / 5.1 in.
Rake / Trail
26.0 / 4.3 in.
805 mm - 825.5 mm / 31.7-32.5 in.
25 Litres / 6.6 gal
When it was released on European shores in 2001,
Yamaha's FJR1300A developed quite a following. The overseas press praised it for
its powerful engine and long-distance touring comfort.
But this "Supersport Touring" motorcycle wouldn't hit American shores until the
That year (2002), Yamaha released the FJR1300A as a 2003 version, the bike not
yet available with ABS. After winning many awards from respected stateside
motorcycle publications, Yamaha offered the 2004 version with optional ABS,
creating an even more appealing platform. The praise continued...
Yamaha then offered the 2006 version as an optional FJR1300AE model with a
semi-automatic transmission utilizing Yamaha Controlled Clutch Shifting, or YCC-S.
The semi-automatic transmission didn't receive as much praise as expected, but
showed Yamaha's energy toward innovation.
Regardless, in 2010 Yamaha scrapped the semi-automatic version in America,
though the model (FJR1300AS) continued overseas. Things then remained dormant;
besides the addition of the semi-automatic transmission model in America, the
FJR remained relatively unchanged since 2006.
But for 2013, Yamaha is offering a revised FJR1300A, the sport touring machine
receiving not only electronic and suspension/chassis upgrades, but also styling
The FJR sport tourer retains its original 1298cc, liquid-cooled inline four, but
receives a host of electronic upgrades, including Yamaha Chip Controlled
Throttle (YCC-T), Traction Control (TCS) and D-Mode (Sport and Touring). Yamaha
says "all these technologies work in unison with an all new Cruise Control
system to ensure an inspired ride."
The YCC-T works in conjunction with a redesigned throttle body and exhaust pipe
to offer crisper response, while the TCS is derived from MotoGP technology,
which detects wheel spin and adjusts ignition timing, fuel injection volume, and
throttle opening to help maintain traction.
The new D-Mode (Drive-Mode) system offers various throttle maps, and works
directly with the YCC-T. The 2013 FJR1300A features a T-Mode (for touring) and
S-Mode (for sportier riding).
The other electronic addition is the push-button cruise control, which is
located on the left handlebar.
Besides the electronics, Yamaha has upgraded the FJR1300A's chassis and
suspension for additional rider comfort. The upgrades include new fork and
swingarm designs, along with bodywork that features an air-management system to
control cooling/heating based on temperatures.
The bodywork has also been restyled for a more modern look, including the upper
cowl, side panels and a new LED front-turn signal/position lights. Not stopping
there, Yamaha redesigned the instrumentation, offering a three-part reading
The 2013 Yamaha FJR1300A also features some additional comfort adjustments,
including a two-position adjustable rider seat, three-position adjustable
handlebars, and a pushbutton-adjustable windscreen.
But if you're in the market for Yamaha's upgraded FJR1300A, don't expect many
color choices; for 2013, the FJR is only available in one color - Stone Gray.
Following are the highlights, specs, color option and MSRP for the 2013 Yamaha
FJR 1300 A.
Yamaha FJR1300A Highlights:
New redesigned upper cowls, with an adjustable under-cowl panel that offers
increased wind protection and can be adjusted without tools
New adjustable windscreen that is twice as fast and holds its position when the
key is turned off
New throttle body design to work in correlation with YCC-T
New Yamaha D-Mode, offering T-Mode for improved touring performance, and S-Mode
for sportier riding
New cruise control adjusts speed via a single push on the switch, or, for larger
adjustments, additional push on the switch. The cruise control shuts off when
the brakes, clutch or throttle are applied, but also features a "resume"
function that returns the cruise control to its most recent setting
New handlebar switches for heated-grip temperatures, electronic windscreen
adjustments, and instrument display panel. The FJR also features a simple knob
for headlight adjustments
New traction control for enhanced traction on wet road surfaces or unpaved
New dash and instrument panel layout; an analog meter on the left, digital
speedometer in middle, multi-dot display on the right
New fork design that includes an aluminum piston rod and plunger, plus a new
spring rate. There's also a new rear-shock damping and spring rate for rider
comfort, especially when riding with a passenger or cargo
The engine's cylinders feature a liner-less design with direct plating to the
cylinder wall for superior heat dissipation
Compact, light 1298cc, DOHC, 16-vavle, liquid cooled inline four
Engine is fully-stressed chassis member, allowing for lightweight frame design
Slant-block design features stacked, tri-axis gearbox shafts that mimize size
while optimizing chassis geometry
Lightweight forged pistons with carburized connecting rods that help strength
and reduce reciprocating mass
Advanced fuel injection for crisp, seamless throttle response
Low-vibration crankshaft with two gear-driven secondary counter-balancers that
help deliver an extra-smooth ride with reduced rider-passenger fatigue
Four-into-one-into two stainless-steel exhaust optimizes engine performance
across the powerband
More modern bodywork and air-management system keeps the bike and rider cool; a
central vent beneath the instrument panel cools the rider and reduces negative
pressure for less buffeting, and fairing side panels with tool-less
adjustability let the rider direct airflow
Longer swingarm provides better ride and handling
Standard equipment with Unified Braking System w/ABS: the front brake lever
activates six of the eight front braking pistons; the rear brake pedal activates
two rear pistons and the other two front pistons, providing balanced
anti-locking braking in all conditions
Ergonomically shaped, large-capacity 6.6-gallon fuel tank that offers comfort
and range, and is built from steel for magnetic tank bags
Rear frame with integrated grab handles, making for lifting the bike on the
Dual catalyzers and an O2 sensor located in the exhaust for excellent fuel
injection control range and low admissions
Heated Grips arrive standard
Subframe fitted with quick-release luggage mounts for standard accessory side
bags that feature a lock fitted to the ignition key
Slim profile with side bags for in-town maneuverability
New suede-look dual seat with different foam densities for rider and passenger
Newly-designed windscreen for better wind protection with little negative
New sharp, two-eyed headlights with daytime LED running lights to add visibility
and modern styling; the lights also feature a knob for easy adjustments
Glove box contains a 12V outlet for phones, GPS units, electric vests, etc.
Standard tool kit located in convenient storage compartment under passenger seat
Now in its 13th model year, Yamaha’s FJR1300A is the
longest-lived sport-tourer on the market. That’s because it’s a good
motorcycle—fast, smooth, comfortable, good-handling and reliable. Many
long-distance records have fallen beneath its radial-shod wheels, including the
mind-boggling 86-hour, 5645-mile Prudhoe Bay to Key West blast of John Ryan in
2009. A capable bike for sure, but in an era when a two-year-old smartphone is
ready for “Antiques Roadshow,” it was time for another mid-cycle update.
Yamaha summoned me from the drab horrors of my everyday life to ride the
re-worked 2013 FJR in Northern California’s wine country, and how could I
refuse? The promise of 300-plus miles on great roads on an improved version of
one of the best sport-tourers made was enough to keep me motivated through the
short tech presentation.
Yamaha wanted us to know that market conditions have changed a little since the
last update. ST buyers are slightly more affluent, slightly older—but also more
frugal, demanding more versatility from their rides. So Yamaha wanted to improve
comfort and convenience features, increase touring capability, make the bike
feel lighter and more sporty and “offer the latest technology.”
The bike looks much the same as last years, but has a huge number of detail
improvements. The motor gets new cylinders, ignition, rings, throttle bodies, as
well as new traction control, exhaust and ECU settings. Styling is freshened up
with new headlights, cowlings, side fairings, switchgear and instruments, and
comfort and convenience is enhanced with a reworked lower-effort centerstand,
cruise control, heated grips, new seat cover and windscreen. Handling is also
improved with changes to suspension spring rates and damping as well as new OEM
Three hundred miles is a pre-breakfast ride for many FJR owners, but it’s a lot
for a two-day press event, as journalists need time for photography, Tweeting
and lavish meals. But it was necessary to really get a feel for the myriad
changes on the bike.
What I remember about the last FJR I rode (a 2009 automatic-clutch equipped
bike, available only in Europe now) was a good-handling, comfortable bike with
some turbulence from the windscreen and a slightly rough motor. Dirck recalls a
stiff throttle return spring as well as the turbulence from his last ride.
After two days on a variety of roads—from divided superhighway to tight, bumpy
two-laners—I can say the changes are noticeable and well done. The motor is
better; it’s smoother and more responsive, with the choice of two mapping
settings, Tour or Sport. Both settings offer full power, but Tour gets you there
a little slower. Throttle response is great, with no abrupt surprises and a
light return spring—even without the very good cruise control Dirck’s delicate
wrist should remain cramp free.
Yamaha claims an increase of three horsepower and three ft.-lbs. of torque, but
what I noticed was the smooth and abundant nature of the power delivery, which
keeps the five-speed gearbox relevant. Second, third or fourth gear work fine on
any kind of road, thanks to the massive amounts of torque and smoothed-out
powerplant. Passing in fourth is fun, a taste of being a comic-book superhero.
Fifth works well as a passing gear, too, but at a .929 ratio, is also a true
overdrive, helping keep indicated fuel consumption in the mid to high 40s at
steady throttle at 70 mph.* That should give the rider a 200-plus mile range
from the 6.6-gallon tank (I was only able to get a little more than five gallons
into the 2009 I tested—I didn’t have an opportunity to fuel the 2013 myself).
I don’t know if the suspension changes improve the bike, as we didn’t have a
2012 to compare, but the bike is still a great performer. It handles better and
feels lighter than any 637-pound (Yamaha’s wet-weight claim, seven pounds less
than the 2012) bike should, and kudos to Yamaha for making suspension adjustment
easy—a lever adjusts rear spring rate from firm to soft, and front compression
and rebound adjustments are all handled in the right 48mm fork leg. Aided by the
specially developed Bridgestone BT-023F tires, the FJR turned easily and felt
planted and secure, even on cold, slippery downhill turns. Nobody felt like
testing the traction control, but it’s there, along with “unified” ABS
brakes—useless until you need them, and then they’re worth everything you own.
Long-distance comfort is impressive. The two-position-adjustable seat, clad in a
new seat cover with Nubuck-esque “high quality” side trim, is wide and
supportive, though the foam started to feel unpleasantly hard after a few hours.
The seating position is close to perfect, and the bars adjust fore and aft so
you can get it perfect-er. The windscreen seems much improved—airflow is
smoothed out, with less buffeting (Yamaha offers a taller, wider screen if it’s
still too noisy for you) and it raises and lowers twice as fast as the old one.
Plus, the screen stays in place when you remove the key, eliminating one tiny
Some improvements I (and many others, doubtless) would like to see haven’t
materialized. While the new rider information display is data-packed and easy to
use, there is no sound system or Bluetooth connectivity, something farkle-addled
hypertourers like, along with portable-generator levels of alternator output
(the FJR puts out 490 watts at 5000 rpm, leaving 325 watts of excess capacity,
according to the Powerlet people, sufficient for most solo touring needs), and
luggage capacity is reminiscent of the closets in Victorian houses—didn’t those
people own more than three changes of clothes? At least Yamaha offers a
man-sized 50-liter top case, complete with backrest to beef up your trousseau.
So while the lack of a total redesign after 12 model years may be a
disappointment for some, Yamaha delivers on the original promise of the FJR—a
light, sporty-feeling tourer you can ride like a sportbike. At an MSRP of
$15,890, it’s just $300 more than last year and is cheaper and lighter (by a
lot!) than Kawasaki’s Concours14, Honda’s ST1300 or BMW K1600GT. Good enough for
another 13 years? Maybe not, but for sporty-touring it’s good enough for me and
it’s probably good enough for you too.
*Yamaha claims 36 mpg based on EPA emissions info. Average reported fuel economy
on Fuelly.com for FJR models is around 40.
Long Term report
After Gabe rode the new FJR at the press
introduction, we wanted to get the bike for a longer term evaluation.
Click to learn more...
As covered in our earlier articles, the 2013 FJR receives a number of revisions
to a platform that is essentially in its 13th model year. After putting a number
of miles on the bike, however, the only thing that really betrays the age of
this platform is the five-speed transmission. Virtually all the competition has
gone to six-speeds.
The first thing that strikes you about the FJR is its powerful and smooth
engine. This is not a bike in need of a heart transplant, and further refinement
of the fuel injection has resulted in very smooth throttle transitions. This
revised model adds two selectable engine maps, including Sport and Tour.
The “Sport” mode offers a surprisingly different feel from the “Tour” mode.
Although both offer full power, while in Sport mode, the rider has a much more
crisp and immediate engine response. The bike just feels like it accelerates
much more quickly and it is more lively. Even with the new traction control
system, the Tour mode offers a reassuring softening of the power delivery for
use in foul weather or when the rider just wants to cruise along in a slightly
less aggressive manner. We did not test whether the Tour mode offers superior
All of the new electronic conveniences operate smoothly, and perform as
expected. Most of the features are controlled from the left hand grip area via a
The redesigned windscreen seems to be a huge improvement both in total wind
protection and turbulence reduction. The screen raises and lowers quickly and
over a broad range that should allow most riders the ability to dial in a
position that works best for them. Frankly, the quality of the wind protection
on a bike in this category is extremely important, and the new FJR scores highly
here. If you find you like leaving the windscreen in the same position at all
times, you will be pleased that it stays where you put it, even when you remove
Utilizing ride-by-wire throttle, an effective cruise control is a natural
complement to the new FJR. Again, it is easy to access and just plain works.
Those of you who travel long distances by motorcycle will certainly appreciate
the reduced effort this feature provides. Indeed, past FJRs have had strong
throttle return springs that could actually be quite tiring on long freeway
The new suspension settings worked well, particularly out back where prior
models have been too soft. The same two-position preload adjustment is easily
accessed at the side of the bike. This makes it simple to dial in more preload
when adding in a passenger, luggage, or both. The fork, on the other hand, was
fine on the highway, but did not provide great confidence through the twisties.
Pushing the pace through corners yielded a somewhat vague feeling in the front
end, but the fully adjustable fork could permit riders of different weights to
dial this out.
The new instrument cluster is very legible, even while riding in bright
sunlight. It is easy, for instance, to use the left hand grip toggle to find the
heated grip control in the far right instrument window, and dial in the amount
of heat required to keep your mitts comfortable on a cold ride. Indeed, the
manner in which Yamaha has integrated all of the electronic functions is
commendable. Plenty of bikes offer a similar level of electronic control
(selectable ignition maps, heated grips, electronic windshield and other
features), but make it more difficult, and less intuitive, for the rider to
The transmission shifts smoothly and positively, but we did find ourselves
looking for a sixth gear more than once. Nevertheless, five gears is really all
the big FJR needs. This motor is plenty powerful, and the spread of power is
huge. Fifth gear is tall enough to make high speed touring comfortable with very
low vibration levels. I think it was just our normal expectation to find a sixth
gear, and the lack of one feels a little bit odd in this day and age.
What this category of motorcycle is all about is high speed, long distance
travel in comfort and style, with sporty handling thrown in for good measure.
Although the basic package has been around a long time, Yamaha’s continual
refinement of the FJR has resulted in a very competitive machine. The adjustable
seat, adjustable handlebar position, adjustable windscreen and redesigned
bodywork all work together to provide an inviting mount for touring. If you
can’t find a comfortable position on this bike, you are likely far taller, or
shorter, than the average human being.
Styling is subjective, as always, but we felt the new bodywork is a big
improvement, and keeps the FJR looking fresh and competitive. The saddlebags
still integrate well, and offer useful storage, if not the largest capacity.
Once again, the saddlebags can be removed and used as luggage with integrated
handle. Yamaha also provides a removable duffle, with handle, if you want to
travel a little bit lighter.
Despite our spirited test riding, we averaged 39 mpg. Not too bad given the
performance level offered by the big FJR.
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