Here’s why the FJR1300 is the best automatic transmission motorcycle on the market
Well say hello to the 20 year Yamaha FJR lineage. Starting in 2021, with Yamaha rightly paying homage to its entire span of legitimate swag, the company decided to roll out one last show with the FJR1300ES Ultimate editions.
Yamaha two-wheelers are generally a feast for the eyes of any motorcyclist. While most bikers won’t like the idea of an automatic transmission, the electric revolution isn’t going to leave anything behind. Unlike how Honda uses a fully automated gearbox, Yamaha decided to let the rider feel a bit real with a clutchless gearbox. The semi-automatic transmission can be operated using switches or clutch pedals.
In early 2001, the Yamaha FJR1300 was introduced in Europe before being released in North America in 2002. Under the 2003 model year designation, vehicles were only featured in a version without ABS. Beginning in 2005, the FJR in North America was refined without altering the structure of the car or its design. Instead, they decided to release an optional ABS model. Another recognizable feature was the adjustable vents present on the FJR1300, which gave the rider the ability to direct air into or away from the body.
Finally, in 2006, the base standard models offered a new unified braking system linked to the anti-lock braking system.
Going back to the last era, the available FJR1300s are:
AE (with electronic suspension and cornering LED)
AS (includes everything an AE has, but also owns and has a YCC-S system replacing the shift actuator and clutch)
Enough about lineage and historical gossip; Let’s get right to the point and find out why we think the FJR1300ES is the best automatic transmission motorcycle on the market.
The specifications of the FJR1300 are truly exceptional
The FJR1300 spec sheet screams how far most of the details and ideologies implemented were way ahead of the thought process of today’s industry.
The FJR1300ES is powered by a relatively large 1,298cc DOHC 4-valve, 16-cylinder engine. The bike produces about 141 horsepower at an 8,000 rpm tire shredding and 99 pound-feet of torque at 7,000 rpm.
As expected from high-end sports tourism, the FJR1300AS has a top speed of 154 MPH and can hit 60 MPH in 11.3 seconds.
The liquid cooled engine is advantageous in two respects. The fluid not only helps dampen most of the mechanical noise generated in situ, but it also naturally contributes to less heat passage past the rider on long journeys.
As of 2016, FJRs come with a six-speed gearbox, a new Assist-and-Slipper clutch or an electronic clutchless transmission system. The main motive behind this was to reduce clutch lever effort while increasing clamping load and limiting back torque.
New helical cut gears with a larger sixth gear in the transmission allow smoother shifting without transmission rattling. Yamaha even goes up to the task of installing Yamaha’s Chip Controlled Throttle (YCC-T). This bad boy handles induction with fuel injected throttle bodies.
The sport tourer offers two different flexible power output profiles. One is for relaxed everyday cruising, and the other is a sportier version with better throttle responses.
Finally, the traction control system reduces fuel input from the injectors by closing the secondary throttle plate in the YCC-T when wheel slip is noticed.
The driving comfort of the FJR1300 is unmatched
Since the FJR1300ES is considered a luxurious and sporty touring car, it is only a matter of time that Yamaha is inclined to integrate the frames of Yamaha mainstream sports motorcycles.
The chassis is an all-aluminum frame that enhances a sturdy, beefy balance of strength and power with flexibility at a wet weight of 296kg to strike the right balance at the core. The extended aluminum swingarm represents a better rear suspension ideology by pushing the wheelbase to 60.8 inches.
Meanwhile, the rake is still in the mid sporty 26-degree range, and the 4.9-inch trail is roomy enough to make the FJR more stable, comfortable, and less bulky for long-distance cruising.
ES came out with an electronic suspension control that showcases the bike. It allows the rider to adjust the suspension through push-button manipulation of four different preload settings and a total of ten damping settings. It is equipped with two 320mm front discs and a 282mm rear disc connected to the calipers of the unified brake system to provide extremely balanced braking with low risk of skidding.
Although the weight of the bike might result in a slight weight on the shoulders when you bend over, the whole frame is well distributed and you wouldn’t even feel its presence.
Our final position
As time grows, the refurbished lighting of the Yamaha FJR1300 gets a boost with precise LEDs placed to symbolize a beast. The cornering lights above the auto-sensing headlights come on when the vehicle is leaning and turning. The harder the lean, the more LEDs light up.
Even after a few hundred kilometers in the saddle, if your back doesn’t hurt and your shoulders aren’t burning, the ergonomics are just plain smooth. Most of it is simply a byproduct of the adjustable seat height and plush seat.
Ultimately, the FJR1300ES, despite being a semi-automatic transmission motorcycle, still competes well with high-priced automatic motorcycles.
In addition to being visually beautiful, the lighthouse can project sharp laser cones that pierce the darkness for good visibility, a legitimate harbinger of hope.
As sad as an ending may be, it is interrupted. At this time, no one knows what the FJR1300 will be replaced with, but we all know it will be sent by God.
To remember some of the best old school cars ever made, we’ve compiled a mini-list outlining the cars we want to see return today.
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