Buyer's Guide for Yamaha's FJR1300 Range
If you're thinking about purchasing an FJR1300 you have come to the right place. Here you will find all the info you need.
Yamaha's FJR 1300 History
Yamaha's flagship tourer started its long life back in 2001. It was, and still is, one of the most powerful and advanced tourers on the market. With spec sheets that read more like the latest sport's bikes but with a large fairing, comfortable riding position and shaft drive, thus combining sport performance in a convenient touring package. In 2020 Yamaha announced the end of production for the FJR. In 19 Years of production the FJR saw 4 major updates, these were in 2003, 2006, 2013 and 2016. Read below for a full break-down of all the years and known issues to look out for.
Common issues covering all FJR models
Yamaha FJR1300 are very reliable and will achieve high mileage with the correct servicing. The biggest problem is lack of proper servicing that will lead to failure of certain components, components that when serviced correctly will last a very long time. We service all motorbikes in accordance with the manufacture service schedule. Look for a bike with FJR centre (Our in house workshop) service history when buying.
A fully stamped service book is NOT a guarantee that the bike has been serviced properly nor is passing a MOT. All servicing establishments should supply a detailed 'work carried out' sheet with prices. If the owner is a club member or seems very enthusiastic and has serviced the bike himself then this is sometimes better than if it had been serviced in a Yamaha dealership.
One of the most common and possibly the worst components to fail due to lack of or poor servicing is the rear suspension linkage. This is to be serviced every 12000 mile, if not the rear suspension linkage bearings will seize and stop the suspension from working properly. In severe circumstances this can lead to failure of the linkage (dog-bone) arms. (See Video below of a catastrophic failure).
Corrosion can affect the finish, especially the rear shaft drive unit casing, but this is just unsightly. The club sells a close match spray paint to bring it back to glory.
Wheel bearings can fail prematurely normally due to the wheel axle nuts being over-tightened by overzealous tyre fitters.
All FJR1300’s come with a very soft rear shock absorber spring. The later models come with a slightly stronger spring, but the effect is negated somewhat by the fact that the later the bike the heavier they are.
ABS wheel sensors seize in their mountings and then corrosion eventually crushes the sensor. When this happens the ABS will shut down and the braking system reverts to a normal set up. The red ABS warning lamp will light up in the dash if this has happened.
Catastrophic rear linkage failure
This video shows the linkage tie rod ends snapping, due to the linkage bearing seizing up because lack of or poor servicing. PLEASE NOTE THIS WILL NOT HAPPEN IF SERVICED CORRECTLY. Picture shows a broken tie rod end.
Yamaha FJR 1300 2001 and 2002 models
Yamaha introduced the FJR1300. A twin-spar aluminium frame, 145bhp fuel-injected engine, mono block four-piston brake calipers and adjustable suspension. Option of hard luggage. Lightest of all the FJR models at 237kg. Three colour choices (in the UK) Silver, Black or Blue.
Yamaha continued the same model in the UK but in Europe there were a few minor modifications. The main one being the front mudguard was extended to reduce the amount of muck thrown up from the front wheel. A new colour was introduced, Red to replace Black. Same low weight of the 2001 model.
Common issues with 2001 to 2002 models
2001 models are by far the most reliable in our opinion but still have a few issues to look out for. The cam chain tensioner is one of them. It can fail at any mileage allowing the cam chain to rattle but is easily remedied by the fitment of a modified version. Listen out for a distinctive rattle almost sounds like an old style wooden football rattle.
The shocks are weak on this model as they are on all models. Can be fixed with a new shock or just a spring upgrade. However if you never go two up with luggage the standard rear shock is acceptable.
Images of some 2001 and 2002 models
Amendments made on 2003 to 2005 models
Saw some major design and aesthetic detail changes. The bike was available for the first time with ABS as an option, and an immobiliser system fitted as standard. Panniers also became standard fitment. The fairing was redesigned and now sported a cubby hole in the left hand inner fairing. The front indicators were redesigned, now built in instead of being mounted on stalks. The petrol tank now had Yamaha's corporate tuning fork logo in place of the Yamaha name. The FJR1300 became available to the American market in this year. These models were imported by grey import market dealers and can be distinguished by their large front indicators on stalks and also they have reflectors on the flanks of the bike and on, the now, standard panniers. They are also devoid of the ignition immobiliser system. Once again a colour change. This time Yamaha dropped all the colours and replaced them with three brand new ones. Weight increases by about 10kg.
2004 - 2005
ABS is now standard fitment. Only other changes are different colours added and some old colours removed from the line up.
Common issues with 2003 to 2005 models
"Immobiliser equipped models" make sure you get all the keys from the selling owner/dealer, but especially the RED master key. Without this key, if you lose the others, you will need to replace all the locks, ignition and the ECU just to get the bike running again.
Yamaha sell blank keys that can be reprogrammed, but only with the red key.
Again, weak rear shocks and cam chain tensioner. Same fix as the 2001 to 2002 models.
Images of some 2003 to 2005 models
Amendments made on 2006 to 2012 models
2006 - 2012
Yamaha completely overhauled the FJR. The basic engine and frame remain unchanged but rest of bike is updated. Nissan linked brake system, curved radiator with twin fans and a completely new fairing. Also fitted was a longer swing arm and slightly uprated rear shock absorber. Bike is now much heavier, gaining 15+ kg weighing a total of 263kg. Some of its sporty characteristics were lost due to the extra weight and the revised gearing. The FJR became much more a tourer than sports-tourer because of its updates but it was still a super fast bike with good handling.
2007 saw heated grips offered as an optional extra, and became standard fitment in 2008.
No real changes in 2009 to 2012 apart from new colours in the line up, plus 2010 saw the black wheels
Common issues with 2006 to 2012 models
These suffer from corrosion affecting the bikes 'Spider earth' system which was subject to a worldwide recall and its very important to check that it has been done (20011/12 models should have been done at factory). If not you can suffer a complete electrical shutdown and a melted wiring loom at worse or a non starting problem at best!
Yamaha UK will confirm if this has been done. Ring them with the frame number to hand, and they can tell you. However in some cases Yamaha will tell you the bike has had the mod done (or this models frame number is not affected) even though, in our experience, when checking the bike, its clear to us that the mod has not been done. In this case you will need to purchase the wiring loom mod and have it installed at your cost.
Once again weak shocks on all 2006 to 2012 models and cam chain tensioners on 2006 to 2010.
Images of some 2006 to 2012 models
Amendments made on 2013 onwards models
2013 - 2020
Yamaha once again completely overhauled the FJR. Most noticeable update was the fairing with it's new distinctive 'Budgerigar' beak.
Yamaha also modernised the FJR with a new fuel injection system sporting fly by wire, cruise control and traction control, all of which is operated though he new on-board menu system that also controls all the extras like heated grips, screen position and all the usual trips and ODO meters. Navigating the new onboard menu system is made easy by new switch gear. Some slight engine updates made for an increase of power and much more refined feel to the engine. Once again the rear shock absorber was updated with a heavy duty spring although the damping unit remains the same. In 2014 it was possible to buy an electronic suspension model which allowed adjustment through the onboard menu system. The 2016 onwards models were now fitted with a 6 speed gearbox and an upgraded clutch. Models with the electronic suspension come with LED cornering lights fitted as standard.
2013 to 2020 models also saw the first ever matt colour scheme for the FJR line up.
Common issues with 2013 onwards models
TPS (Throttle position sensor) has been known to play up causing erratic tick over and severe lurching when held at a steady throttle opening. Recalls on front master cylinder brake switch on 2016 models affects the cruise control. Also a recall on 6 speed gear box models due to a faulty gear.
For ES (Electronic suspensions) models check there is damping on rear shocks as replacement is VERY expensive and these have been known to leak at very low mileage.
Images of some 2013 onwards models