The 2013 Yamaha FJR1300
benefits from technological upgrades that help it take on the top GT bikes in the world. With the Yamaha Chip Control Throttle (YCC-T), various riding modes, cruise control, and traction control, this latest evolution indeed takes the storied FJR to a new level.
We recently had to opportunity to test ride the 2013 Yamaha FJR1300 on a miserable day where pouring rain and 10°C weather made for awful conditions. Yet, we were able to learn a great deal about the machine. Truth be told: After twelve years of dependable performance, the new FJR1300 will continue to satisfy a very demanding crowd.
Sleek and neatly assembled, the 2013 Yamaha FJR1300 transpires quality. The new LED headlights and front turn signals add an exotic, modern touch, while the completely redesigned, multifunction instrument panel includes average fuel consumption and estimated range indicators, a gear position indicator, and even a 12V power outlet.
The seat is nicely padded and just firm enough, accommodating riders of most body sizes (the smaller ones will love the minimum seat height of just 805 mm). The riding position feels totally natural, with footrests mounted close enough to the back to prevent fatigue in your ankles. My only complaint here is the difficulty to access some of the buttons on the right handlebar due to the excessively large throttle mechanism.
The 2013 Yamaha FJR1300's new front section incorporates adjustable headlights, a power adjustable windscreen, and a small storage compartment. The revised middle cowl increases wind and weather protection in the rider's leg area, with special venting that can be adjusted via tool-less quick fasteners. You'll also find quick-release, lockable hard saddlebags, as well as an improved centre stand with a new pivot point that makes operation about 30% easier.
|The new LED headlights and front turn signals add an exotic and modern look. (Photo: Philippe Champoux)
Smooth and efficient
Powering the 2013 Yamaha FJR1300 is a 1,298cc, 4-cylinder engine with new spark plugs, revised ignition, low-friction piston rings, ceramic composite cylinder bores, and a redesigned air box. The result is increased performance at medium revs (as part of a smoother power curve), with total output reaching 146 hp at 8,000 rpm and peak torque a healthy 102 lb-ft at 7,000 rpm.
The new stainless steel exhaust system utilizes dual, three-way catalytic converters located in the junction box under the engine to reduce emissions, while the curved radiator uses twin ring-type fans for great heat dissipation and to aid in moving the hot air out of the cockpit area,
The transmission on the 2013 Yamaha FJR1300 proves a bit sharper, although the shift lever still requires above-average effort. The light-action hydraulic clutch is much more rider-friendly.
|The FJR1300 is a 1,298cc, 4-cylinder engine with new spark plugs, revised ignition, low-friction piston rings, ceramic composite cylinder bores, and a redesigned air box. (Photo: Philippe Champoux)
The 2013 Yamaha FJR1300's YCC-T system integrates the Yamaha D-Mode variable throttle control, allowing engine performance adjustments based on riding conditions or rider preferences. The "S mode" provides sportier engine response in the low- to mid-speed range (full engine power), while the "T mode" reduces engine response across the rev range. Cruise control is another function of the YCC-T system, and it proves easy to use.
Last, but not least, is traction control. This system backs the rider by pre-emptively altering the YCC-T function, ignition timing and fuel injection to reduce power and eliminate wheel spin. It worked like a charm under the rain, effectively preventing a loss of grip to boost my confidence and fun on the road.
The brakes ensure safe, progressive stops, with transparent intervention by the ABS -- another welcome addition on a motorcycle that's designed to ride in both clement and inclement weather.
|The brakes ensure safe, progressive stops, with transparent intervention by the ABS. (Photo: Philippe Champoux)
The 2013 Yamaha FJR1300 is one of those sport tourers that are not only comfortable and superbly equipped, but also genuinely fun when the road gets twisty. While its smoothness allows for strain-free, long-distance cruising, the all-around balance encourages you to keep that throttle open and dive hard into corners. This bike effortlessly changes directions despite a low ground clearance that limits sharp cornering.
On the other hand, the docile, easygoing 2013 Yamaha FJR1300 doesn't quite match the benchmark performance delivered by its latest competitors. It's just not as lively and athletic as the BMW K1600GT or Kawasaki Concours 14 ABS
|This bike effortlessly changes directions despite a low ground clearance that limits sharp cornering. (Photo: Philippe Champoux)
Staying true to the original, only better in every way, the 2013 Yamaha FJR1300 provides a feeling of overall satisfaction that makes it a safe pick in the GT segment.
- Overall quality levels
- Smooth, rider-friendly engine
- Advanced electronic aids
- All-around balance
- Great fairing
- Shifting requires above-average effort
- Performance doesn't quite match that of the latest competitors