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2013 Yamaha FJR1300 Review: Refining the Stalwart Sport Tourer

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Introduction: How Yamaha Refined an Iconic Sport Tourer
2013 Yamaha FJR1300A

The FJR, in profile.

Photo © Basem Wasef

Since it was launched a decade ago, the Yamaha FJR1300 has amassed a loyal following among speed hungry long distance riders. But it's also been a while-- actually 2006, to be precise-- since the sport tourer enjoyed a thorough re-working. How did Yamaha tackle the aging design?

What They Changed: Electronic This, Re-Tuned That

Though the previous FJR never lacked for power, the new bike's mill has been tweaked with sleeveless cylinders, improved heat dissipation with low friction characteristics, and reduced weight-- with the side benefit of an output increase of 3 hp and 3 lb-ft of torque thanks to intake/exhaust tweaks and the removal of two catalyzers. More crucially, an electronic throttle now manages two riding modes: Sport and Touring, while also enabling cruise control and defeatable traction control. The transmission has also been reworked with a new gear machining method and shift shaft which reduces noise, enables smoother shifts, and reduces lash.

... But Wait, There's More!

The new FJR features more than just powertrain changes: beyond its resculpted bodywork and new LED running lights are updates like an electric windscreen that moves twice as fast, newly evolved Bridgestone BT023 tires, improved rider airflow, all-new instrumentation and controls, and sportier suspension tuning. Ergonomic changes also include a repositioned and lighter center stand, and reworked seat covers.

When all those changes are said and done, did Yamaha deliver on its promise of a significantly updated FJR?

Click "Next" to see how it performs on the road.

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