Buyer Guide: Yamaha FJR1300 - FJR owning tips - p2

Two million miles on Yamaha’s supersonic sofa, the FJR1300. Owners give us the lowdown on what the bike’s really like to live with

Posted: 30 September 2010
by Visordown
2001 Yamaha FJR1300
The 2001 Yamaha FJR1300 was the first iteration in the tourer range
For 2006 Yamaha introduced major updates to the latest FJR

Running costs

Average fuel consumption is 46.1mpg with loads of riders getting 50mpg or more on steady runs.
Servicing is due every 6000 miles alternating minor then major with the biggy including valve clearances at 24,000 miles. Average price paid in our survey for a minor service was £143 while a major one was £332. A lot of owners highly recommend FJ/FJR specialists, The FJR Centre (01454 299325) in Gloucestershire.

They only work on FJs and FJRs and do servicing to an exceptionally high standard with ballpark all inclusive figures: 6000 miles; £130, 12,000 miles; £330, 24,000 miles £420. They’re happy to let you stay and watch the whole process. 30% of owners don’t do any servicing themselves, 47% do minor jobs like oil changes and brake pads while 23% do everything.

FJR culture

Repeat purchase is a good indicator of a happy customer. Out of 90 people who completed their survey, 11 were on their second FJR, three were on their third and one on his fourth. We’ve been doing this article based on the survey for about two years and we’ve never seen anything like that degree of model loyalty.

There’s a couple of great forums loaded with model specific info, parts for sale and much more. Check out FJ & FJR Club UK and FJR Owners.

What goes wrong?

Not a lot. Out of 90 owners, 66 had never had a problem beyond normal wear and tear, 20 had one minor issue and five had suffered a few. None had loads. This makes the FJR one of the most reliable bikes we’ve surveyed.

From the problems reported there were four which affected more than one bike. Four owners had their battery die mysteriously. Three had their original shock leak prematurely and four had the ECU replaced by Yamaha as their bikes ran badly, especially at high altitude. Two owners had problems due to valve guide wear, one got them replaced and the other’s living with a noisier engine for the moment. All other problems were one-offs and most were pretty minor except one 2003 bike required a new clutch and gearbox at 12,000 miles and another bike (the AS model) needed its automatic clutch replacing at 2000 miles. That’s excellent considering these bikes have covered about two million miles and it proves what we suspected – the FJR is one of the most reliable bikes out there.

But the rear shock linkage is a worry. If not properly greased as per the service schedule, the rear suspension linkage can break. We’ve spoken to one person this happened to but due to ongoing legal wrangling we can’t mention any details. Ernie at the FJR Centre confirms it’s a genuine problem and also believes some mechanics skip greasing the rear linkage as it’s a time consuming job requiring removal of the centre stand and exhaust.  He told Visordown as long as the linkage is greased every 12,000 miles then it’s not a problem.

Just over half (46) of owners had no complaints about their bike’s finish – which is well above average. The most common grumble was paint flaking off the final drive with 12 owners mentioning it. Four thought the fasteners corroded too easily and the rest were pretty minor or isolated.

We asked owners what they’d look for if they were buying another FJR. As well as the regular stuff and things covered elsewhere here, the points which stood out were: ticking from the engine which indicates valve guide issues, both fuse boxes for corrosion which can cause problems, fork condition as they bend easily and seized rear brakes.

Continue the Lowdown of the Yamaha FJR1300 3/3

Owner Case Study: “I’ve owned four since 2002.”

Alan Sharkey has owned four different FJR1300s, his first being a nearly new 2002 model.

Alan Sharkey bought a 2002 FJR with just 1500 miles on the clock. He sold it three months later as he wanted anti lock brakes and bought an 2004 ABS version and clocked up10,000 miles. When the significantly improved model came out in 2006 he bought one new, kept it a year and did just over 10,000 miles before buying a maroon 2007 model because he liked the colour. He’s since clocked up 22,000 miles.

Commenting on his FJR, Alan said: “The brakes on the newer models are better. The gearing is higher too which makes for a more relaxing ride. The panniers are more inboard, which makes filtering easier. The rear suspension is better on the newer bikes too. The engine in the new models is easier to work. The fairing design is better on the new model. The old one directs all the heat to your ankles - lovely in winter, not so good in the summer.

“There have been two recalls. One to change the instruments because the mpg never got over 17.7. Also one to change the ECU because changes in altitude messed up the fuelling. Both done by my dealer. Apart from that, I’ve had no issues.”

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