Yamaha FJR1300

2008 Yamaha FJR 1300 AEYamaha has made an indelible mark in the sport-touring motorcycle world with its well-crafted FJR1300.  This is a “purpose-built” sport tourer, meaning it comes factory-equipped with shaft drive, saddlebags, a large gas tank and a fairing.  Here in the USA it comes in two flavors: the FJR1300A and FJR1300AE.

The “AE” version is unique in the big motorbike world with its semi-automatic transmission, which Yamaha calls YCC-S (Yamaha Chip Controlled-Shift).  What that means is you get a 5-speed manual gearbox with a computer-controlled clutch so that no clutch lever use is needed by you or I.  Whether you or I actually need such a gizmo is another story.  Regardless, having ridden a few of these FJR 1300s with, and without, the electric shifting, I can say that the electric gizmo does indeed make shifting easier – although I have no immediate desire to put that on my motorcycle wish list of desired features.  (Call me old-fashioned, but I’ve been using a clutch for so long that by taking it away it, well, it just doesn’t seem to me like that’s the way a motorbike ought to be).

Regardless, with or without the electric shifting, this is fine bike.

When the FJR1300 was introduced in 2001, it was only available in Europe.  (I don’t quite know why manufacturers do that, but the FJR is not the only bike to make its debut overseas).

Anyway, we in North America were able to see the FJR in 2002 (with the 2003 model year).  It was initially available without ABS.  It made a splash that year with Motorcyclist magazine, which named it the 2003 “Motorcycle of the Year.”

With the 2005 North American model year came an option for ABS (and no other revisions).

Other than 2005, for most model years Yamaha has made some minor revision to the bike.  (At least up to the 2008 model year).

However, if you are considering the purchase of a used FJR, one important improvement you should be aware of is that in 2006 Yam resolved some complaints of overheating the rider by including better insulation under the tank and better ventilation around the motor to direct the heat away from the rider.  Hence, if you are looking for a used FJR 1300, you would be better off if you grabbed any one manufactured for the 2006 model year or later.

I have ridden both the 2008 FJR1300A and FJR1300AE models and, as mentioned above, although I find the electric shifting on the “AE” intriguing, my preference is the standard “A” model.

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7 Responses to “Yamaha FJR1300”

  1. cody nowak Says:

    I have a 08 A love the power and am still impressed (after apx 1yr ) when I crack the throttle WFO the bike still gives me an ear to ear!! this is my first Yamaha after apx 17 liter or bigger bikes (Yes I like to have power and speed) And I do get a certain satisfaction on leaving a Crotch rocket rider dumbfounded at smoking him off a light (as I am a little older than alot of them) . The Fjr is pretty nimble as well as powerfull Although I have not had to use the ABS under actual conditions – when I tested it it worked as advertised. I find as of now that I have no use for an Auto tranny but I can understand the usefull aspect of this for someone that has joint issues or arthritis! but not for me (now any way)! For anyone looking for power, comfort and good handling in an atractive package you can not go wrong with the FEEJER!!

  2. tony brown Says:

    i bought my fjr 1300 on 58 plate and i was happy till i read ride magazines article ,how worried should i be. Tony brown.

  3. Woodrow Ellerson Says:

    I’m very pleased with my FJR!

  4. Steve Says:

    Had my 2003 FJR since 2006 and still love to ride it. Had a Concours before which was a great bike with better wind and weather protection but the FJR is faster, handles and brakes better. You can throw it around corners, cruise comfortably as fast as you dare and the way it overtakes always delights me. I can’t believe how many vehicles you can overtake in a few seconds. But all this makes it a wonderfully safe bike. Ride within your limits and it’s the great sports tourer.

  5. BillyFields Says:

    been a beemer boy since I rode down to Panama on an R90/6 in 1980.. always beemers.. nothing else came close.. then on a whim I cheated and got a 06 FJR in 2007 and had it for one summer upon which I traded it in on a loaded R1200GS. Good bike – jack of all trades, does everything well but nothing especially well – took it to Alaska (from Ontario) but could never get the FJR out of my head.. long and short of it I sold the GS this past spring (phone rang off the hook!) and bought an 07 FJR.. IMHO this understated machine belongs in the Motorcycling Hall of Fame.. truly.. sure footed, powerful, diesel torque, ABS safe, comfortable, brilliantly engineered and as reliable as my Toyota..

  6. Quentin Peegloss Says:

    One has had the FRJ1300 from new back in 2001.
    Now with 15000 miles she is still going strong and one can not see why i need to replace the old girl.
    Very reliable indeed and shit of a stick when required.
    The best buy i have ever made and i continue to think so today as the engine sounds as sweet as the day i bought her new from ones local Yamahar dealer.

  7. Ruben Says:

    Hi: I rode tons of diferents bikes,includen the concours 1000,1400s honda vfr1200s st1300s, on 2011 I purchase a 2011 fjr, at first I was not too short about the sport touring bikes,know I have 10.000 km. on this bike, and I’m very happy I’m glade I purchase this bike it’s my #1 bike up to date,know my zx14 ninja sit on the garage with no place to go.the fjr is my pride en joy. best bike ever.!!!!!!!!!5 star ++++++++!!!

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