Yamaha FJR1300

27. března 2013 v 4:56 |  led par light
While big-bore fours may miss out on some of the charisma of the twins and triples, there is no argument when it comes to pure seamless strong power delivery, everywhere, big-bore four-cylinder machines like the FJR1300 are where it is at. No current twin or triple can hold a candle to this donk. There is nothing to complain about with this torque-laden motor, it just delivers what you need when you command it. For something better you have to add more cylinders and capacity: cue BMW's more expensive and full-featured K1600GT.

If grip levels are compromised then the new traction control system will step in to save the day. Otherwise unobtrusive, it is there in the background to help save the day should you hit an unexpected slippery patch or get too ham-fisted with the throttle in wet conditions. Get the machine banked on its side out of a low-speed turn, mash the throttle, only for scientific purposes, of course... and you can feel it reign things in smoothly. Riding as hard as we dare, the only time it would intervene is when we provoked it to. The system can also be deactivated should you feel the need for a mono or a skid.

The ride is excellent. Huge 48mm forks sport new more responsive internals, with both ends scoring revised spring rates and damping. Adjustment is simple enough with some thoughtful knobs in the right places to make things easier. The suspension performs remarkably well, softening hard edged bumps, nicely.

Overseas, electronically adjustable suspension is available on the FJR1300 but Yamaha Australia has chosen not to bring the full-spec machine down-under due to cost concerns. The Australian model retails for $24,999 plus on road costs (including panniers), thus it is a premium machine, albeit not as highly specified as found in some overseas markets.

I found ground clearance to be excellent. Chasing much lighter pilots than myself, I did notice them throwing a few sparks from time to time, but I could match their corner speed without dragging a thing. Skinny buggers that have never needed to learn how to ride with a light-on-the-bike riding style to help keep a machine off the deck unlike us, ahem, bigger-bond folk, who learned how to ride 'light' to stop old style suspension from tying itself in knots...

The steering response of the machine felt a little strange at first. It is light and direct enough but at first acquaintance can feel a little vague, that is until you dial yourself into the machine and start working to its strengths.

Braking response is excellent. Strong response with little effort at the lever, backed up by an excellent ABS system. The brakes are linked but a deft touch of the rear brake pedal only while cornering will not activate any front brake at all. Control freaks have nothing to fear, it just works.

In pictures the new FJR does not look all that distinctive from the previous model, side-by-side though the difference is enormous and really does make the previous model look very out-dated. The styling tweaks are not over the top, but clever and really help to bring a thoroughly modern look to the FJR. The new headlights with their stylish LED running lights are a great advance and are matched to cleverly integrated LED indicators. I have never been much of a big fan of LED lights to be honest, but on the FJR they really do look the business, with no touch of fisher-price tackiness that plagues way too many LED lighting systems on the market.

Clever removable louvres in the side of the fairing can be adjusted to keep hot air away from the rider, or in cooler climes direct hot air towards the rider. I never felt any undue heat resonating from the bike, unlike the arse-thigh roasting I copped on the YZF-R1 I rode to Canberra on for the FJR1300 launch!

While better than the last model, the new adjustable screen is still a bit small for my liking. This is not a big sit-in a still air cocoon type machine, probably for styling and sporting reasons. For many riders an aftermarket larger screen will be on their list of wants; the adjustment arms seem man enough to cope with a larger load. In its defence, buffeting, and the dreaded reverse-buffeting is non-existent.

Seating arrangements are excellent, and greatly improved over its predecessor. Adjustable through two positions, 805mm and 825mm from terra-firma, the pew is nicely tailored and well padded. The bars are also adjustable for reach. A generous 215kg load capacity means that the bike is more than capable of taking two large riders and their gear away for the weekend without maxing out the suspension.

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