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2011 Yamaha FJR1300A Review


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Bottom Line: An Aging but Effective Platform for Sport Touring Enthusiasts
2011 Yamaha FJR1300

The 2011 Yamaha FJR1300A.

Photo © Basem Wasef
The incremental changes made to the 2011 Yamaha FJR1300A are certainly more evolution than revolution, but those tweaks help keep this $15,490 bike a compelling option in the face of newer, flashier, and pricier sport tourers.

For instance, take Honda's $15,999 VFR1200F; though it's a slicker, higher-tech package than the FJR, to equip it similarly requires adding a 12V accessory socket ($100), a centerstand ($250), saddlebags ($1,399), heated grips ($349), and a windscreen deflector ($250.) At the end of the day, a comparably equipped VFR will run $18,348— though the Honda does, like all other bikes in this segment, have a sixth gear the FJR lacks.

The $15,599 Kawasaki Concours 14 ABS offers stiffer pricing competition and the $13,399 Triumph Sprint GT offers an even stronger value, while the BMW K1200S swings to the other side of the pendulum, with its price starting at $15,850 and jumping to $18,100 for a premium package which adds gear shift assistant, electronic suspension, heated grips, and more.

Though it lacks the more modernist designs and a few of the bells and whistles found among its competitors, the Yamaha FJR1300A is a quick, stable, and engaging long distance tourer with a lengthy list of standard features and an appropriately positioned sticker price.

If you're absolutely fixated on having six gears and are irked by the FJR1300's aging bodywork, you might want to shop elsewhere. But if you still see beauty in its lines and can forgive it for lacking a sixth gear, the FJR1300 should fulfill your sport touring needs with a surprising amount of satisfaction, especially considering this Yamaha is no new kid on the block.

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