The 2013 Yamaha FJR1300A - First Ride

Riding comfort is probably Yamaha biggest strength when we're talking about the FJR1300A. The Yamaha FJR1300A is a sizeable motorcycle with a real world riding position that allows you to tackle big distances. Personally I like the amount of legroom available, which put a 90º angle on my knees to reach the footpegs below. Even on most touring motorcycles, I'd find myself dangling my legs every now and then to give them a good stretch, but that isn't necessary on the 2013 Yamaha FJR1300A.

My wrists on the other hand took a bit of adapting to the sportier angled handlebars of the Yamaha FJR1300A. They're suitably raised, but their acuteness took me a bit of time to adapt to. In fairness, once getting used to the sportier handlebars and out of dense city traffic the handlebar angle made perfect sense, while reiterating the fact that the Yamaha FJR1300A is a sports-tourer as opposed to a straight tourer. The revised fairings on the 2013 FJR1300A were really protective, although I'd personally liked to have seen the screen raised a few more centimeters. Even at its highest position, the wind blast on my helmet was a bit annoying, especially the noise it generated.

But in all honesty I'm almost 2 meters tall and likely not much Thai riders will have much problems with the screen height, and Yamaha has a taller aftermarket screen as option available which will help people who're as tall as me. With the new 2013 FJR1300A, Yamaha also decided to equipped the motorcycle with an electronically adjustable screen.
If you've ridden the old Yamaha FJR1300A, you'll likely agree that they could improve the fueling? Which is exactly what Yamaha has done on the new 2013 model. The introduction of a whole new intake system and Yamaha's own Y-CCT (Yamaha Chip Control Throttle) has allowed the engineers to perfect the motorcycle's delivery, which is commendably smoother and highly dependable, in either of the motorcycle's two throttle maps – switchable via the D-MODE system between and aggressive delivery in 'S' and a softer map in 'T'. Especially when riding in 'S', the engine doesn't need much to accelerate you to amazing speeds, as you work your way up through the motorcycle's seamless five speed gearbox. The ratios are well set, meaning it's easy to find a gear to suit the type of riding you're doing better than you can on a motorcycle with six gears; because of their longer durations. The shaft drive is pretty much untouched, but that's no bad thing because aside from a bit of whine, you've no clues to suggest it's not a chain driven motorcycle. Even when you try and encourage the system to snatch, it doesn't take the bait.

The new 2013 Yamaha FJR1300A weighs 289 kilograms. By rights, it should be tough to ride through twisty roads, yet it's not. The Yamaha sports-tourer is very easy to ride on twisty roads. Of course I'm not saying that the Yamaha FJR1300A is anywhere near as accurate or flickable as a super-sport motorcycle, but it rolls from side-to-side with surprisingly little effort and feels really panted while it's at it. The geometry feels neutral too, with a good balance of weight between the front and rear wheels. Riding round blind bands at speed, on road you've never ridden before often means you have to make some last minute alterations to line and angle, both of which the new 2013 Yamaha FJR1300A proved up for. It also dealt well with deep trail braking, thankfully.

The nice thing about the Yamaha FJR1300A is that it seems to offer a good alternative for a sportsbike, of course it's a far better touring bike than it is a sportbike. While I've no doubt you could comfortably take the 2013 Yamaha FJR1300A on an around the world trip, it wouldn't be so good for setting a pole position at the local race track... But who wants that...
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