Yamaha FJR1300 Review -
August 2006 - By, Neale Bayly - Images by Tom Riles and Brian Nelson
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Yamaha’s FJR 1300 turned up the heat in the sport-touring category again this year with not one, but two new models.
Designated the 1300A and the 1300AS, the popular FJR’s basic architecture remains the same for both bikes, with some ground breaking new technology known as YCC-S (Yamaha Chip Controlled-Shifting) being used on the AS. The market has liked the changes too as the model has boosted itself into the #1 spot in the touring category according to 2006 first half sales figures.
For our test, Yamaha chose a mixture of city riding, highway crawling, and canyon carving up in the picturesque Palomar Mountains north of San Diego. Presented with a choice of either bike, I decided to spend my day on the new AS to get a full understanding of the new electric shifting. Having tested both previous incarnations of the FJR1300 I have no complaints with the super sport-touring machine, so wasn’t expecting too many surprises from the riding experience.
As a new model for 2006, there are numerous changes to the new FJR, and due to their subtle nature they might be seen more as revisions rather than re-makes.
Visually, the new fairing is a lot sharper and sportier, and the bike presents a narrower target to the oncoming wind. The turn signal lenses are clear this year, and the mirrors are larger for increased rearward visibility, as well as being more aggressively styled. To help with this slimmer profile, the side bags have new mounting points that allow them to sit two inches closer to the bike. Easily detachable, they are lockable with the ignition key, hold a full-face helmet, and are going to make lane-splitting duties a little easier in busy traffic.
Up at the sharp end, the electrically adjustable windshield has had its upward range increased by 25mm, and comes 47mm closer to the rider: Or one inch and two inches respectfully, if you don’t use the metric system. Yamaha say this helps to reduce negative air pressure and buffeting, and in the highest position, it does a great job. As the weather was warm, I mostly left it down for more airflow, which was nice as we dealt with progressively hotter temperatures.
On the bottom of the windshield, there are new air ducts that help channel more air to the rider, and these are complimented by vents underneath the speedometer that get fresh air from intakes either side of the headlights. It is no secret that previous FJRs have been noted for the heat they generate, and Yamaha has listened to its customers and worked hard to address this on the ’06 models. A new curved radiator with twin ring fans is used, and this is mounted in a way that it lets the hot air escape the fairing. To further help things, there is a heat shield between the gas tank and the engine, and the air channel beneath the tank has been raised 10mm. There are also some adjustable louvers on the side of the fairing. We opened them up mid ride, but I can’t say I noticed much difference. Overall, the only time heat was any issue was stuck in traffic when my right leg started getting warm. By that time the temperature gauge was up at 11 bars, and it was very hot with a lot of heat coming up from the asphalt as well.
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