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2013 Yamaha FJR1300 Review

Not the lightest, but the FJR1300 is the smallest and has the least luggage capacity.

Not the lightest, but the FJR1300 is the smallest and has the least luggage capacity.

Photo Credit: Rich Cox

Greg Drevenstedt
May 6, 2013
Filed under Sport + Sport Touring Motorcycle Reviews, Yamaha Motorcycle Reviews

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Every bike in this comparison has roots that go back decades, from the BMW R100RT in the late ’70s, to the BMW K100RT, Kawasaki Concours ZG1000 and Yamaha FJ1100 in the ’80s, to the Triumph Trophy 1200 in the early ’90s. Engines, chassis, components, tires, technology and features have improved steadily, resulting in today’s amazing, state-of-the-art sport tourers.

When the Yamaha FJR1300 was introduced for 2003, its curb weight was as light or lighter than the competition, but its liquid-cooled, fuel-injected 1,298cc in-line four cranked out 25-35 more horsepower and 18-35 more lb-ft of torque. With its final drive case adopted from the V-Max muscle cruiser, the new FJR took no prisoners. Performance plus touring prowess—standard hard saddlebags, luggage rack and electric windscreen, a 6.6-gallon fuel capacity and available ABS—earned it Rider’s Motorcycle of the Year award in 2003.

Updates in 2006 and 2008 improved engine heat management, fixed abrupt throttle response and refined the anti-lock braking system. For 2013, improvements to the engine, electronics, transmission, handling, instrumentation and ergonomics have made the FJR a better bike all-around, with a styling refresh to boot (Rider, February 2013 and on ridermagazine.com). But all of the model updates over the past decade have left the basic platform unchanged. We wouldn’t be surprised to see a major overhaul within the next few years.

At $15,890, the Yamaha FJR1300 is the least expensive bike in this test, and as one tester put it, offers the “most bang for the buck.” Riding modes, cruise control, traction control and ABS are all standard, as are heated grips. Though not the lightest bike here (at 663 pounds wet, it’s 37 pounds heavier than the BMW R 1200 RT), the FJR looks and feels the smallest, offering the most sportbike-like riding experience and the least wind protection.

Helmet: HJC RPHA 10 / Jacket & Pants: Aerostich / Boots: Firstgear / Tailbag: Dowco

Helmet: HJC RPHA 10 / Jacket & Pants: Aerostich / Boots: Firstgear / Tailbag: Dowco

Updates for 2013 include cruise control, 2 power modes and integrated windscreen/grip heat/trip computer control.

Updates for 2013 include cruise control, 2 power modes and integrated windscreen/grip heat/trip computer control.

2013 Yamaha FJR1300

Base Price: $15,890
Warranty: 1 yr., unltd. miles
Website: yamaha-motor.com

Engine
Type: Liquid-cooled, transverse in-line four
Displacement: 1,298cc
Bore x Stroke: 79.0 x 66.2mm
Compression Ratio: 10.8:1
Valve Train: DOHC, 4 valves per cyl.
Valve Adj. Interval: 26,000 miles
Fuel Delivery: Electronic Fuel Injection w/ YCC-T
Lubrication System: Wet sump, 4.0-qt. cap.
Transmission: 5-speed, hydraulically actuated wet clutch
Final Drive: Shaft, 2.77:1

Electrical
Ignition: Digital TCI
Charging Output: 490 watts @ 5,000 rpm
Battery: 12V 12AH

Chassis
Frame: Aluminum Diamond type twin-spar w/ engine as stressed member & cast aluminum swingarm
Wheelbase: 60.8 in.
Rake/Trail: 26 degrees/4.3 in.
Seat Height: 31.7/32.5 in.
Suspension, Front: 48mm stanchions, fully adj., 5.3-in. travel
Rear: Single shock, adj. for spring preload & rebound damping, 4.9-in. travel
Brakes, Front: Dual discs w/ opposed 4-piston calipers & UBS ABS
Rear: Single disc w/ 2-piston pin-slide caliper & ABS
Wheels, Front: Cast, 3.50 x 17
Rear: Cast, 5.50 x 17
Tires, Front: 120/70-ZR17
Rear: 180/55-ZR17
Wet Weight: 663 lbs.
Load Capacity: 448 lbs.
GVWR: 1,111 lbs.

Performance
Fuel Capacity: 6.6 gals., last 1.3 gals. warning light on
MPG: 86 PON min. (high/avg/low) 48.4/40.8/35.6
Estimated Range: 269 miles
Indicated RPM at 60 MPH: 3,000

Read More

This article was published as part of a Sport-Touring Shootout in the May 2013 issue of Rider magazine. Click on the links below to read the other parts of the series.

Comments

7 Responses to “2013 Yamaha FJR1300 Review”

  1. 2013 BMW K 1600 GT Review | Rider Magazine on May 6th, 2013 2:34 pm

    [...] Mr. Sport: Yamaha FJR1300 [...]

  2. 2013 BMW R 1200 RT Review | Rider Magazine on May 6th, 2013 2:49 pm

    [...] Mr. Sport: Yamaha FJR1300 [...]

  3. Peffley Kevin on January 27th, 2014 9:26 am

    Don’t know if anyone else has caught this but Yamaha’s website lists the wet weight of the FJR1300 at 637 lbs, while this review has it at 663. If there’s a reason for this difference, I suggest that you mention it in your review.

    [Reply]

  4. Rider Magazine on January 29th, 2014 6:01 pm

    Motorcycle manufacturers have a long history of understating motorcycle weights, hoping to convince the world that their bikes are lighter than they actually are. Weights used to be quoted as “dry,” which was without gas, oil, coolant, and other fluids, and sometimes excluding the battery. Even these weights used to be mysteriously low, leading to jokes about test bikes having helium-filled tires. These days, most OEMs quote “wet” or curb or ready-to-ride weights, and they seem to be much closer to reality than in the past. In fact, sometimes the wet weights we quote are actually lower than official specs (when Rider tests a motorcycle, it is always weighed with all fluids, a full tank of gas, and, if applicable, as-tested accessories). We don’t have a good reason why the wet weight we quoted for the 2013 Yamaha FJR1300, using the same, calibrated scale that we’ve been using for years, is so much higher than what is quoted on Yamaha’s website. We suspect they were being optimistic.

    [Reply]

    Peffley Kevin Reply:

    Thanks for responding to my note about weights. So you normally weigh bikes for your reviews? Most of the time when a reviewer lists motorcycle specifications, the specs match exactly that of the manufacturer. This is why I mentioned the weight difference. I thought this might have been the result of a typo. If not, the difference was enough to at least wonder why it came out that way. Thanks again for this information. From now on, I’ll be a little bit more skeptical with manufacturer’s specs.

    [Reply]

  5. Noel on February 1st, 2014 3:26 pm

    I bought my Fjr1300 in October 2001 and kept it for almost 10 years. Great bike but ask any owner from then to now what the bike is missing and they all say: one more gear….. Yamaha listen to your customers please…..

    [Reply]

  6. Len on March 4th, 2014 9:50 pm

    I don’t understand the fascination with more gears, which just equates to more work while riding. Granted, I’ve only been riding for 42 years now, and have owned all types of bikes, but I’ve never once returned home from a trip and said to myself, “Geez, I which I could have shifted more often during those hundreds (or thousands) of miles”. Not once.

    Isn’t riding about taking the perfect line, concise throttle control in a curve, proper weight shifting, appropriate braking, etc? If one still feels the need to practice shifting after a million times at it, then go for it. That’s one riding activity that doesn’t add to the experience for me.

    If the bike can pull cleanly from zero to well into the triple digits with just five gears, then what’s the problem with that?

    To put my comment into better perspective, the last 30+ bikes I’ve owed had 6 cogs, including a BMW K1300S, and I’ve never owned an FJR.

    [Reply]

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