The Yamaha FJR1300 is an icon in the sport-touring world. First introduced in the U.S. in 2002 as a 2003 model, the FJR1300’s development over the years has been evolutionary rather than revolutionary.
2016 is no different, with beneficial new features added to both the standard model (FJR1300A) and the electronic suspension model (FJR1300ES), while retaining the tried and true 1,298cc in-line four engine with shaft drive and familiar FJR styling.
The sport-touring market in the U.S. has changed a lot over the last decade, with much of that change being driven by the ever increasing popularity of ADV bikes. Most of the big Japanese and European manufacturers have shifted their focus to the adventure market, and have either chosen not to update their sport-touring line, or have eliminated it all together.
Yamaha is keenly aware of that fact and continues to actively update their sport-touring machines in what they see as an important market niche. As such, Yamaha has done a lot of research on the desires of its sport-touring customers and found that these bikes are being used less for short rides and commuting and more for full day rides and long touring.
Additionally, their research found that technology is extremely important to the sport-touring rider. With that in mind, Yamaha added a number of new features to the 2016 Yamaha FJR1300 that should enhance comfort and safety, while still retaining the same familiar look and feel of previous generations.
First, both the 2016 FJR1300A and ES versions come with a new six speed transmission with an assist and slipper clutch for easier clutch pull and smoother downshifts.
This transmission is not just the old five-speed with an overdrive thrown on to reduce RPMs. Rather, all of the gear ratios have been changed to enhance touring performance with 1st and 2nd gears now slightly taller, while 4th and 5th gears are slightly shorter.
On both of these models, Yamaha has completely redesigned the twin-eye headlight combination along with the taillight and turn signal assemblies with all-LED lighting.
Additionally, the ES model gets front LED cornering lights – a first for Yamaha. These lights are controlled by a cornering light control unit that is connected to an inertial measurement unit (IMU).
The IMU detects bank angle and successively lights up to three LED cornering lamps, depending on the steepness of bank angle, to provide better visibility while turning.
Both the A and ES models also receive updated instruments for 2016. The tach has been redesigned to look sportier and the center LCD display has an all-new design to allow for easier presentation of information. The coloring of the panel surrounding the instruments has been changed to a “Gunmetal Gray” color.
Besides all of the changes listed above, the 2016 Yamaha FJR1300 A and 2016 Yamaha FJR1300ES still include all of the features that have made this model so popular in the past including: D-mode, cruise control, traction control, ABS, heated grips, an electronically adjustable windshield, adjustable seat and bar positions, and standard hard side cases.
And of course, the ES version comes with an electronically adjustable suspension with a total of 84 available settings.
Sometimes evolutionary development is a good thing. As the FJR1300 has gradually changed through the years, many riders’ concerns have been addressed and performance has improved.
2016 is no different and sport-touring riders should be pleased with the updates Yamaha has made. The 2016 FJR1300A and FJR1300ES both come in “Cobalt Blue” and will be available in dealerships in March of 2016. MSRP for both models will be released in February.