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Yamaha Refines FJR1300A and FJR1300ES for 2016



Yamaha’s big FJR1300 sport tourer has been around for more than a decade, but that doesn’t mean Yamaha hasn’t made significant changes over the years.

Most recently, big changes were made to the 2013 model year to make the FJR more competitive with more recent models from Kawasaki and others. You can read about our review of the 2013 model here. Immediately thereafter, Yamaha brought over the FJR1300ES with electronic suspension.

For the 2016 model year, Yamaha has again made significant changes to both the standard FJR1300A and the FJR1300ES.  A six-speed transmission finally replaces the dated five-speed unit in both models, and both models also get a slipper clutch to provide smoother downshifts and a lighter clutch pull.



The six-speed allows for better gearing overall, including a significantly higher top gear for more relaxed highway travel, and better fuel economy. Lower fourth and fifth gears improve acceleration, as well.

New instrumentation includes a nice, legible analog tach (pictured) as part of a three-pod instrumentation layout.

Yamaha designed new LED headlights and tail lights for each model, with the FJR1300ES receiving LED cornering lights controlled by an IMU. The cornering lights activate based on lean angle, allowing the rider to see much further through the corner.

The only color available for each model is Cobalt Blue. Yamaha will not announce pricing until February of next year, but expect units to be in dealerships by March, 2016.


See more of MD’s great photography:



  1. Neal says:

    Goodness, I wish we could get the Euro colors. That ice silver and metallic black (especially!) look sick. Blue again? Okayy. I owned a 2nd gen for 8 years and am considering picking up a new one, but not super excited about the blue.

  2. J Wilson says:

    I’ve always admired the big FJR’s: It always seemed to be the child of a marriage between a GoldWing and an R1. More sport/speed, less gadgets/gingerbread. I’m sure the community is saying ‘FINALLY, a 6-speed!’.

    You guys that are owners, answer me this one question: For years Yamaha has offered a matching top box, yet always with the proviso that it was either the top box and no side case, or side cases without the top box, for weight/balance issues. I’m sure lots of guys ARE running all three at the same time. Any issues?

    Thanks !

    • REB says:

      I leave the stock side cases on all the time, even when I use the top case (Givi V47). I have no issues with handling even at triple digit speeds. The stock subframe is weak and there is a limit to how heavy you can load the top case. Stock it is something like 12 pounds. I used the Givi rack for the top case that replaces the stock one and increases the load capacity to 22 pounds in the top case. There is a guy on the FJR forum who builds a stiffener that retains the stock rear rack with hidden reinforcements.

  3. TF says:

    Being a life-long Yamaha fan, I have been intrigued by the FJRs and would love to spend some time on one. I have just two reservations.

    1. The bikes I have sat on felt very cramped due to my height and long legs. I prefer the ADV style bikes as a result.
    2. Everyone I know who has owned an FJR has eventually sold it because they felt it was refined to the point of being boring.

    I am not sure number two would be an issue as I have a real appreciation for product quality and reliability. However, if I could not be comfortable on the bike for long distances, that would be a deal breaker.

    • mickey says:

      Heck yea, more manufacturers should start making bikes that you are not sure you are going to make it home from your ride on. A sure cure for that refined boredom.

    • mugwump says:

      Boring? You’re not riding it right. It can do way more than interstate droning. Go drag a peg. YMMV.

    • daveA says:

      1. It’s understandable that every bike isn’t comfy for every rider, but describing one of these things as ‘very cramped’ is a bit much, unless you’re 7’4″.

      2. Everyone I know who bought an FJR either still has the same one (2 guys, with a total of about 170,000 miles on the 2) or sold one and bought another one (2 others, one of whom has had three of the things now).

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        Same with me. I know four guys here who bought an FJR and haven’t ridden anything else since besides a new FJR.

  4. azi says:

    Seems like Yamaha are now carrying the Japanese torch for the midrange sport-tourer, now that the Honda ST1300 has been unceremoniously dumped. I really can’t make sense of the Honda range right now. All the police forces and emergency services down here are populating their patrols with FJRs and BMW RTs, with Honda nowhere to be seen. (For some reason the Kawasaki GTR isn’t getting a show-in.)

    • MGNorge says:

      Plenty of STs in police duty around here. No FJs that I’ve seen but HD and BMW round out things around here (Seattle area)

      • azi says:

        Whoops – forgot to mention I’m in Australia. Honda AU has stopped importing ST1300s, and are only bringing in CTXs.

  5. North of Missoula says:

    tmwalker69 says:

    November 30, 2015 at 2:07 pm

    would have preferred tire pressure sensors over the six speed gearbox. And throw in a few of the traction control devices from the R 1 series would have done it for me…

    …………I have been saved from extreme heartache by my TPMS on my K1300S twice. Both times a puncture. I install it on all my bikes now if I am going any distance from home. there are a number of after market systems. If you go for the most common type with the external sensors that screw on your tire valves you must switch to steel valves. The centrifugal force of the sensors can bend and damage the rubber valves if you ride at high speeds with potential catastrophic results. They are a wonderful thing.

    • George says:

      Why grouse about Yamaha not installing the TPMS? Apparently their marketing research data shows what you just stated: if the consumer wants a TPMS, he can install one relatively simply and inexpensively, just as you have done.

      Same cannot be said for a 6 speed gear box.

      As for traction control, if you need traction control on a touring bike, I suggest more rider training is a better investment.

      Reminds me of a student I had in one of my motorcycle classes. He angry that we were doing braking drills because he spent $1900 more on his new HD to get the “f*$%ing ABS system” so he didn’t need to “f*$%ing bother learning how to use the f*$%ing brakes.”

      He was a hamfisted fool and totally ignored the fact that 99+% of the braking situations have nothing to do with ABS and if more than that minimal percentage of braking events need ABS, then there is a much larger issue of not applying proper riding skills that needs to be addressed.

      Yamaha could have tossed in traction control but again, I suspect their marketing research showed that the extra cost chased off more consumers than the extra feature brought in.

      IMO BMW has made a huge mistake by throwing every “feature” they can at every bike they make. It has reduced their former stellar reliability numbers to crap and it has unnecessarily driven the cost of their bikes up by 25-40%. I recently considered buying a R1200RS but the baseline sticker was just under $15k but the only ones available started at $19k and most were $21k, all due to add-ons, most of which I did not want. The base model can only be ordered from the factory at a 3 month lead time.

      Yamaha is not stupid and has learned from BMW’s mistakes.

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        “Yamaha is not stupid and has learned from BMW’s mistakes.”

        BMW is selling more bikes than every and at higher margins than ever. I’m sure Yamaha wouldn’t mind making that mistake.

        • George says:

          BWM owners complain endlessly about the unreliability of the bikes and BMW’s ratings in all the ratings areas are in the gutter compared to where they were 10 years ago.

          • Jeremy in TX says:

            BMW’s reliability ratings were in the gutter 10 – 15 years ago as well compared to every other maker – only HD challenged them for most unreliable honors year to year. BMW owners also complained endlessly about reliability back then, too (I was among them). You know what kind of bike most of those guys bought after that? Answer: another BMW. Same with HDs.

            So many of their customers sign up for more (I was NOT among them) because BMW has really perfected the formulas that appeal to their target markets. Their typical buyers overlook the “mistakes” in order to get that perfect bike. BMW isn’t stupid, either. Yamaha can only dream about the kind of margins BMW is yielding from their bikes.

          • North of MIssoula says:

            My K1300S is in my opinion the pinnacle of sport touring bikes. It is 100lbs lighter than the Yamaha, it has shift assist, ESA, TPMS, traction control, and you could comfortably sip a cup of tea at 130MPH all day long. And it has 175 HP and 100ft lbs of torque! I have put 20,000 miles on it without a single issue other than going through a lot of rubber. I have done many 600 mile days on it. The duolever front end provides exceptional stability at triple digit speeds and it can account for itself in the twisties. I love that bike.

            Sure people have issues, however you routinely see BMW’s with 100,000 – 200,000 miles on them. If you take care of them put up with the odd problem they will last far longer than Japanese bikes. The vast majority of issues are not the type that leave you stranded.

          • Dave says:

            Re: ” Yamaha can only dream about the kind of margins BMW is yielding from their bikes.”

            That’s an especially neat trick considering the cost of German labor and the dollar/Euro exchange rate up until recently.

    • Bartman50 says:

      I have been riding many different bikes on the street for over 45 years. For many of those years there was no such thing as a TPS, yet I traveled my way over many tens of thousands of miles with minimal tires issues, especially after the intro of tubeless technology, which greatly enhanced the safety of ‘blowouts’ with tube type tires. Rapid tire depressurization happens whether you have TPS or not and I can immediately tell if either not front or back is going down.
      Yep, I love that they added the six speed, which was one of the reasons I sold my 06. It just fely like it needed another gear that would let it stetch its legs.


  6. Dale says:

    I think what is amazing is this class by itself. We’ve never had it so good when it comes to comfortable, long distance Sport Touring bikes that can actually turn, stop, and accelerate. This entire class continues to refine itself. FJR, R1200 RT, Concours 14, Trophy, etc. All great bikes, with fit and finish, quality, and refinement we could only dream about 30 years ago. I just bought a new Norge, and though it doesn’t have all the “bells and whistles” of this updated FJR, I’m still amazed by the comfort and ease every time I ride it. Fast, great handling, and most of all comfortable. What a time to buy a Sport Touring bike.

    • nickst4 says:

      But sadly, not the time to buy a Ducati sports-tourer.

      Alone amongst the bigger players, Bologna ditched their ST as irrelevant though a good number of us thought it was a superb bike, and still do. More character and emotion than all the Jap bikes put together…

      • TF says:

        The 1200 Multi is great sport touring option. That said, I have always loved the ST2. Wouldn’t it be great to have a new ST2 with the 1100 evo engine?

    • MGNorge says:

      Congrats on the Norge!

      • Dale says:

        Thanks MGNorge. Interesting that one of the things that put me “over the top” on buying the new Norge was Dirck’s video and written write up he put together as Moto Guzzi did their updates. Dirck was pretty dry in his video style (he doesn’t do many), but I appreciated his not using rose colored glasses as he did his evaluation. Now after 4,500 miles, I agree with just about all of his points, especially the comfort of the seat, the fabulous brakes, and the fact that though the windscreen is narrow, the compound curves work exactly as designed. Total comfort.

        Again, what a time for a middle aged rider to be able to choose from a selection of fabulous Sport Touring bikes. My brother bought a new FJR last year with all the bells and whistles, and he loves it – can’t say enough about it (and he came off a 2008 H-D Road King – as he says, “what a revelation”…).

        • MGNorge says:

          I’ve been very happy with my Norge. I recall the two things I had to “accustom” myself to when I first rode it, the 8,000 rpm red line and the very powerful front brakes. I was forever smashing into the rev limiter at first and had to remember to keep the front wheel squared with the chassis before putting on the front binders. After that I found the big roomy seat good for (most) all day rides. Its willing motor just purring along. I’m quite tall at 6’8″ so I do get some buffeting but haven’t found the need to try to take further steps to correct it.
          Only real fly in the ointment was the showing of several small bubbles in the fuel tank caused by the Ethanol fuels I understand. Bike even looks good with the Panniers removed but as soon as I do I wished I had them along. 🙂 Enjoy.

          • Dale says:

            Exactly on the rev limiter! The light was always on during the first thousand miles or so until I too go the hang of not running it so high. Now I am back to short shifting a bit, and even lowered the idiot light to 7200 to remind myself not to get lost in the upper range. I think with the inherent balance of the 90 degree V and the four valve heads, this motor would easily go to nine grand with the right cams (not that one would ever need to go there). I’m at the opposite end of the height spectrum at 5’8″, and I have learned to love the efficiency of the adjustable windshield.

            This is an amazing bike for all the comfort, and it indeed stops “on a dime”.

          • Blackcayman says:

            6’8″ – Good Heavens!

            How’s the weather up there?

            Riding a sport bike would be like holding a tight yoga pose…

            Glad you found a bike to fit you!

  7. KenHoward says:

    ‘Looking again at the LED headlight description, this seems like a true, valuable innovation for any bike with an Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) – which, itself, seems like a valuable innovation allowing lean-sensitive traction control. I think my aversion to any advanced electronics beyond fuel injection and ABS is fading.

    • TimC says:

      Heh, yep, came here myself to ask if anyone else noticed the headlight thing seems like a rather suspiciously-secondary use for an IMU….

  8. Fuzzyson1 says:

    I bought a super low mileage ’07 FJR in 2012. I was looking at something new and came across this bike. I wanted to not like it since I had my mind set on something new. Three years and nearly 30k miles later I can say that this is hands down the best all round bike I’ve ever owned! Everything came together at the right time when they designed the FJR. Other than a few gadgets (cruise and better hand protection would be nice)the bike has it all. Not the fastest off the line (glad they finally dropped another gear in the box), but awesome roll on and top end. Handles like a true sport bike for it’s size but carries two up all day long. At one time I didn’t want to like this bike, now I can’t imagine what I’d ever replace it with except a brand new 2016!

    • Scott says:

      I had an ’03 FJR for about a year. After my then-girlfriend (now wife) got her motorcycle license, she never wanted to ride on the back, so we really didn’t need the FJR any more.

      But I really enjoyed the big Yammy. As Jeremy stated below, it’s a very “athletic” sport-tourer. Being a life-long sportbike rider, it seemed big and heavy to me at first. But I soon realized you could really thrash the thing. We would carve up twisty roads 2-up, dragging hard parts through corners, and it never skipped a beat. It even wheelies!

      We had a few minor complaints – heat from the engine, wind buffeting on the passenger’s head, stuff like that – and they fixed all of them a couple of years later, from what I read. I would imagine the new model must be simply fantastic.

      I think that if you’re in the market for a sport-touring bike, and you tend to be an aggressive rider, the FJR is a great choice…

    • motovate says:

      I bought a 5000 mile ’07 FJR in 2012 for $8000. it was showroom condition and is hands down the best all round bike I’ve ever owned! great updates this year. haven’t missed having a newer model until now.

  9. James says:

    Does it have Cruise Control and self-cancelling indicators? How about HID or LED headlight?

    • ApriliaRST says:

      Cruise was new for ’14, IIRC. Self cancelling, no. Forget HID like a bad dream, go directly to LED.

    • Chris M. says:

      James, Did you read the article?

      “Yamaha designed new LED headlights and tail lights for each model”

    • Scott says:

      Most of the questions being asked here today can be answered by going to Yamaha’s website. The FJR is posted there with all the specs…

      On the self-cancelling turn signals: To this day, I find it odd that EVERY bike doesn’t come with them standard. I had a Yamaha Maxim 550 way back in the day, and it had them! It used some kind of solenoid and timer of some kind, and it actually worked pretty well. It seems like it would be so easy to add it to the programming of any bike with today’s digital technology. I really don’t understand what the problem is.

      One of life’s mysteries…

      • George says:

        I suspect self-cancelling turn signals have been removed from most bikes due to litigation.

        Imagine the argument: I set the left turn signal and was riding along in traffic seeking an opening for about a block. As I moved into the lane to my left, the defendant other driver pulled into the same slot in traffic colliding with me.

        Defendant driver claims to have seen my turn signal was on and then turned off so believed the turn signal was cancelled and that I was not going to make the lane change.

        Thus I am suing defendant motorcycle manufacturer for making a faulty self cancelling turn signal mechanism that did not stay on long enough and miscommunicated my intentions to defendant driver.

        As I recall, the self cancelling turn signals of the early 80’s Yamahas had a simple logic circuit that looked for a given number of turn signal cycles, or a countdown timer, that counted while the clutch was out, the engine running and the bike in some gear other than neutral. Pulling in the clutch lever stopped the turn signal cycle count or countdown timer so that the turn signal would not cancel while you waited to make a left turn…

        • Scott says:

          Sadly, you may be right about that. 😟

          • Jeremy in TX says:

            You can buy a module to retrofit any bike with self canceling signals for $100 give or take.

          • Scott says:

            Sorry, Mickey… I just reported your post due to “iPad Thumb”. 😖🔫

          • KenHoward says:

            I’ve owned one Harley, and the self-canceling signals worked beautifully (the engine was another story). I’m not sure I remember, exactly, the protocol, but I believe the unit detected, first, the bike being upright, then leaning to a certain degree, then upright again, canceling the signal at that time. If the signal was activated, but the bike remained upright past a set number of seconds, the signal was automatically cancelled. The automatic function could, of course, be overridden with a button-push. I never found fault with this system.

          • mickey says:

            Lol thats ok Scott. Done it myself 1/2 dozen times. Not much room for even normal digits on the ipad screen in this format.

        • mickey says:

          I am so accustomed to punching that t/s button after a turn that I’d probably punch it and cancel the signal long before the electronic jobbie would.Still it would be a nice feature if they could ever figure out how to make it work properly. Works pretty good on my truck lol

          • Jeremy in TX says:

            I don’t use signals, so no worries here.

          • Hot Dog says:

            I wore my turn signal switch out on my 04′ Wing after a 110K miles. I’d push it in every time I was through my turn. A little spring that was covering a steel ball broke. My Honda dealer wanted me to buy a new control pod for 3-400 bucks but I found a spring out of a ball point pen that worked just fine. I wanted a FJR but settled for a Wing cuz I’ve got a 36″ inseam and I needed to stretch my legs out. The Wings crash bars worked well for peg attachment.

            I sure think this FJR is beautiful.

          • ApriliaRST says:

            >>I found a spring out of a ball point pen that worked just fine.

            I once fixed a kill switch using the spring from a ball point.

          • Dino says:

            The Pen (spring) is mightier than the sword (dealer prices?)

      • James says:

        I don’t think it’s the litigation. The better motorcycles have them, Harley Davidson and BMW. My ’83 Suzuki had them. I wouldn’t want a bike without them. I’ve left my signal on too many times and nearly killed myself.

        ik s

        • George says:

          It clearly is not cost, nor technical capability nor reliability nor consumer demand so the only thing I see left is because it does not make business sense to do so in that the risk outweigh the benefits.

          The only risk I see in self cancelling turnsignals is the willingness to litigate to defend them.

          Do you have another business case that explains why self-cancelling turnsignals are not on nearly every motorcycle?

          • Jeremy in TX says:

            It could be that the lower margins outweigh the lack of benefits. There isn’t much point of absorbing the cost of something that people don’t care to have or aren’t willing to pay for.

  10. Jlewis50 says:

    Very beautiful bike. I currently ride a Kawasaki Concours1400 and I came close to buying a previous year FJR. The fit and finish of the Yamaha is better than my Concours. Very beautiful bike. May have to test ride one.

    • ApriliaRST says:

      What drew me to the FJR vs its competition is that everything else looks like you have a bike as large as a washing machine between your legs. The Concours is awesome until Kawasaki puts it’s panels on.. with as many screws as my RST. That was fine in the last millenium, but this is the new one.

  11. REB says:

    I had a 2005 FJR and now have a 2015 FJR ES. Wonderful bike for my wife and I. Decent power, comfortable, easy to work on and not too expensive. Not the same level of excitement that riding our KTM 1190 Adventure gives but certainly more quiet and warm on long pavement rides. The 6 speed is a good improvement but the current 5 speed is fine. I was just thinking about upgrading the lights using Cyclops LED products. Nice to see LEDs in the 2016 model. Smart upgrades for a bike that has been refined over the years. The TC system is simplistic, especially compared to the 1190, but works well enough. The power is not explosive enough for me to want better TC on this bike and occasionally I turn it off to lift the front wheel from time to time. Best ST bike there is IMO. We are set. 1300 for slab, 1190 for anything, 500 exc for dirt.

  12. tmwalker69 says:

    Lupo,read up on all the functions that the new R1 system has.The current FJR traction system is like comparing AM radio with digital broadcasts….and Todd,how’s that pocket air pressure system work at 75mph?

  13. Provologna says:

    Google the video of the guy who accidentally rode his FJR1300 right off a pier into the water about 10 feet below. Might have been a reviewer, can’t remember. It’s pretty weird.

    I like this new 1300, very nice.

  14. North of Missoula says:

    If that bike were to shed 100lbs and had sub 60″ wheelbase I would consider it. Otherwise I would go for the Versys 1000 all day long.

    • George says:

      Funny, you want the wheelbase to be shorter where I want it to be a bit longer to give my wife and I more leg room. I am 6’1″, my wife is 5’11” and the FJR does not have enough leg room for either of us when we ride together. It feels cramped in the showroom, can’t imagine being on the bike for 2-3 hours at a time.

      I recently bought a R1200R because it does provide more leg room for both of us than other bikes.

      Strangely enough, the Versys 1000 also offers legroom that is comfortable for both of us in the showroom and it was one of my options.

      The FJR just isn’t the bike for me and my wife due to our sizes. Otherwise, seems like a great bike!

  15. Mr.Mike says:

    Waiting for the scrambler version with knobbies and high pipes.

  16. Ken says:

    Now if they could make the front of the seat a little thinner I could buy one. My legs aren’t long enough to reach around the seat and panels comfortably. If it were a straight shot I could do it easily. I loved riding one at San Mateo last year.

    • ApriliaRST says:

      If all that stands between you and this motorcycle, buy one and put the seat in the low position. If that’s not enough, Sargent will do just about anything you want with the seat. But only choose the FJR IF it suits your needs, it is after all a bike designed with a mission in mind.

    • George says:

      Seat modifications are easy and cheap.

  17. Joga says:

    Might be time to trade 2011 Connie and go with Yamaha that was my only complaint in what I feel is the best sport tourer out there now

  18. Andy1300 says:

    I’m still riding my 2003′ FJR, It might be time to up-grade it this time.

    • mugwump says:

      I’m on an ’04, I’m thinking the same thing, except that the ’04 still does the twisties and travel fine.

  19. Hot Dog says:

    Will someone explain the two different forks in the pictures? Am I seeing a conventional fork on one side and a USD fork on the other? Is this the difference between the two models? What’s the Japanese word for refined development? This bike is beautiful and Yamaha has continued to polish it. Very Nice!

  20. ApriliaRST says:

    It’s nice to see Yamaha continuing to move the bike forward. I’ve had two of them and would like to have the new cornering lights. I’d take the six speed, too, but I was never a member of the got-to-have-six-gears brigade. I like the upgrade to LED tail lights. Well done.

  21. WJF says:

    There seems to be a slight disconnect between the two pictures provided, concerning the front suspension. Are the forks conventional or upside down? It probably won’t matter, the bike is one of the best/comfortable bikes i’ve ever ridden long distances, and carves corners like a train…except the 05 which cooked the back of my calves on the PCH from OC to Laguna Seca…but thats another story…

    • Scott says:

      The “ES” version has the upside-down forks…

      • ApriliaRST says:

        Nice job, Scott.

        I recommend the ES version I put 80k miles on the manual adjust version and IMO virtually every moto-journalist has said the extra $1000 is money well spent. I agree. Still, Yamaha makes the conventional model for a reason: some will prefer it. The choice is yours.

        • mickey says:

          I always take what moto journalists write with a grain of salt because they live with bikes for 3 days and a couple hundred miles for the most part. Then it’s on to the next bike test. They don’t ” live” with the bikes like owners do. They might adjust the suspension once for their test and that’s it. They don’t tour, they don’t carry passengers, what they SEEM to do by reading the 5 magazines I subscribe to, is they get together with a couple other moto jounalists, head to some curvy road, and ” race ” each other for a day, to see which bike is most racer like, some of which is taken up by multiple turn arounds and racing past the camera man. Owners forums give you the real scoop on how bikes are to live with.

          You don’t read about fuel strip failures or rear drive failures or electrical gremlins, or cam chain tensioner problems, in moto journalists reports.

          • Norm G. says:

            re: “what they SEEM to do by reading the 5 magazines I subscribe to, is they get together with a couple other moto jounalists, head to some curvy road, and ” race ” each other for a day, to see which bike is most racer like”

            he said that like it was a bad thing, aw man. 🙁

  22. Jeremy in TX says:

    “When I complain about Honda, you know it’s bad.”

    You know, I’ve seen several die-hard Honda fans defect to other brands over the past three years. And I mean REALLY die-hard in a couple of those cases (we call them the CBRothers). It isn’t just sport touring riders either. These riders I am referring to have been waiting for sport bikes, naked bikes and adventure bikes, too. I can think of eight people – once Honda loyalists – now on other brands. Five of the eight caved this year, too, so Honda fans are really getting tired of waiting. I think most of those guys are true converts, too; it won’t be easy for Honda to win them back.

    At least Suzuki had the good sense to say, “Wait!!! Don’t buy that Yamaha or Kawasaki just yet: the SV650 and GSX-R1000 are on their way!”

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      Supposed to be a reply to Mickey. Not sure what happened.

      • mickey says:

        Yea Jeremy, I have been a Honda fan since my first Honda in 1967. Came off Harleys. What a revelation, even back then. Have had 11 Honda motorcycles and an ATV. Worked for Honda dealers from 75-89. Also started buying Honda cars in 1991, would drive them between 200K and 300K and either sell them for a song or give em to my kids to try and kill. Never a problem with them. Ever. You just cant ask for a better product. Now I have had other bikes as well, including 9 Yamaha’s, a Triumph, a BSA, a Kawasaki, 3 Suzuki’s, an Aermachhi, and of course the 5 Harleys, but as I look hesitatingly to down sizing, the bikes on my radar are an SV650 adv, a Versys 650 adv, an FJ-09 and maybe a NC700 but it’s not the bike the others are, even if it is a Honda. I have a year or four before I have to do something so maybe Honda will come up with something.

        • Jeremy in TX says:

          I downsized my adventure bike from a 1200 twin to a 650 single, mainly because I was getting much more into the off-road part of adventure. No regrets, here. It is a 55bhp single, so it isn’t exactly slow in the way a KLR650 or a Guzzi V7 is slow, but it was still a big change for me.

          I was afraid I would really miss the extra power, and sometimes I do. But those times seem to be few and far between. The lighter weight and the flickability of the little bike provide a different kind of reward. Much to their amusement, I can easily keep up with the “fast” guys in the local sport touring group I occasionally ride with.

        • jimjim says:

          WHAT is that you said Mickey a Versys??? Does jnor know this? lol

          • mickey says:

            Yea, I’ve told him. It would have to be a 15 model with all the rubber mounts though. When I rode his it buzzed. So what does he want now? A Wee Strom lol.

  23. John says:

    Time for an FJR700.

    • Blackcayman says:

      You mean FJR-09

      The 07 motor can’t handle the increased load of wind protection and loaded bags

      • red says:

        So.. 75hp can’t handle a fairing and bags? shh. nobody tell the weestroms or versi

        • Blackcayman says:


          I should have added the following modifier to my last sentence

          ….like and 09 can.

          • jonnyblaze says:

            Soon to be released FZ-09 Tracer will take care of touring duty.

          • Scott says:

            Well, outside the US, the FZ-09 is called the MT-09 Tracer…

            So, jonny… Care to fill us in on what bike you’re talking about?

          • Mick says:

            I rode an MT-09 Tracer this spring. It’s very much like my 2003 Ducati Multistrada which was along for the same ride, we had an MT-07 too.

            The Tracer has about the same ergos, wind protection, and overall feel of the Multistrada. It’s basically an adventure bike, unlike the FZ-09 which is more of a standard. If you Google the images you’ll get the idea.

            The Tracer is an excellent utility motorcycle in just about every way save the engine whine. I do not like that engine whine at all.

            An MT-07 engine in a Tracer bike would work fine. I rode the FZ-07 as my primary ride for the trip I was on. The only thing that caught me out was that it has about the same torque down low as the Multistrada, which I have two of and a zillion total mile between them on, but less as it reaches where the Multistrada shines between 4 and 5K RPM. Once I got used to that, I would just carry a lower gear a bit longer and the thing was a blast. It doesn’t whine and in fact has a really cool exhaust noise.

          • Scott says:

            Okay, my mistake…

            Your MT-09 is our FZ-09.

            Your MT-09 Tracer is our FJ-09. We already have that.

            So again, what’s jonnyblaze talking about?

          • Blackcayman says:

            He’s confused.

            The FJ-09 is already here and its no “FJR”.

        • Randy in Ridgecrest says:

          The first gen Wees I’ve ridden were wacked by the frontal area. The Versys is all around a slimmer bike, as is the 2nd gen Wee. It can be done, but not like the 09 triple.

  24. Butch says:

    Probably the best all round Sports Tourer available.
    It’s almost a sport bike when you remove the bags.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      It is a surprisingly athletic motorcycle. That is a gem of an engine they use in it.

      • Blackcayman says:

        Athletic, YES. The motor is amazing no doubt. The power delivery is like unto a missile.

        The thing it just doesn’t have is a lightness of handling or any much of any nimbleness. Having recently finished a 1000 mile trip and riding it back to back with the BMW R1200RT, I found the FJR, not as much fun when the road became twisty.

        Granted the BMW couldn’t keep up with the FJR in a zero to 150…but when you’re sport-touring….

    • mickey says:

      and as a bonus it actually looks good with the bags removed

      • david says:

        Agreed. I always ride no bags except on long distance trip. I found it look cooler and a tad lighter without bag. In fact, I wish Yamaha does something to shed weight on the bike, and when it does, definitely a blast to ride thru the mountain twisties with other sport bikers.

  25. mickey says:

    Well, that’s more than Honda has managed to improve with the ST1300 which hasn’t been changed since 2003. i’m an admitted Honda guy with 5 Honda vehicles in the garage from atv to motorcycles to car to truck, and can’t understand why nothing is done by Honda for us sport touring riders.great products but they need to update them once in awhile if they expect to keep loyal customers.

    When I complain about Honda, you know it’s bad.

    • John says:

      I remember when I was enamored with Honda. About 25 years ago……..

      I think they should make a Griso-like bike out of that V4. They should also kill off the VFR1200, the ST1300 and VFR800 and replace it with a single, dedicated VFR1000ST.

    • MGNorge says:

      I too have had many Honda products, still do. I think everyone agrees that Honda was off their feed, especially during the downturn of 2008. I had read that a number of Japanese firms lost great amounts of money. Upper brass chose to let motorcycles be status quo and there was a noticeable lack of development in some of their car lines. The automobile division is now seeing a renewed push so if Honda is serious about motorcycles we’ll start to see the old Honda again in bikes.
      Then too, I look at how fickle the market is here and I sometimes wonder if they’ll just let it die on the vine? I don’t think that’ll happen as they do very well worldwide and actually do well here but how discouraging it must be to bring new bikes to market only to find those clamoring for changes don’t buy or believe that the only good motorcycle is a used motorcycle.

      • Dave says:

        I think Honda is very serious about motorcycles but we still may not see the “old” honda again. They have released many new products in recent years but most all are aimed squarely at a different, global audience that is younger and more urban facing than the traditional (and dying) US enthusiast.

  26. tmwalker69 says:

    would have preferred tire pressure sensors over the six speed gearbox. And throw in a few of the traction control devices from the R 1 series would have done it for me…

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