Used Bike

Buyer Guide: Yamaha FJR1300

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

Click to view: Yamaha FJR1300 owners reviews, specs and image galleries.

You can’t have your cake and eat it. Either choose a fast bike or a comfy one. That all changed when Yamaha launched the FJR1300 at the end of 2000. It was the first bike to combine the levels of luxury and luggage capacity of a full tourer with engine performance not far off the hyper bikes like Honda’s BlackBird. It even handled well too thanks to being comparatively light.

Not only does it make good power, it has loads of torque in the midrange. Open the throttle on an FJR and there’s colossal drive at any revs. It almost seems weird when you’re sitting so upright and comfy to be propelled that quickly with no effort – like the driver of a Japanese Bullet train giving it maximum power. Touring’s far from boring on an FJR.

Rivals were non-existent when the FJR was launched. Honda’s Pan European was heavier, less powerful and some owners had issues with high speed stability. BMW tried to catch up with their first K1200GT in late 2002 but it handled like a drunken duck and had all the charm of a well delivered head butt.

The FJR remained top class until BMW introduced their new in-line four engine K1200GT in 2006 and Kawasaki launched the GTR1400 in 2007. The Yamaha’s still a very credible choice as a new buy and on the used market it’s by far the cheapest route to that mix of mega engine, business class luxury and decent handling.

A very impressive ninety FJR owners filled in our on-line survey this month, telling us all about their bike. They’ve covered over two million miles between them on these machines and their bikes total odometer readings come to nearer two and a half million miles. That’s a lot of cross-continent missions, tyre changes, services and experiences. We’ve boiled down every owner’s view, their tips and tricks and shoe-horned them (not the owners) into these pages. Enjoy.

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