First Look: 2014 Yamaha FJR1300ES: Electronically Adjustable Suspension

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2013 Yamaha FJR1300ES

Yamaha is slowly bringing its 13-year old touring bike up-to-date with the European competition, last year adding traction control, ride-by-wire throttle, and new headlights to the proven platform. Now, the 2014 Yamaha FJR1300ES adds the ability to adjust its suspension at the push of a button.

Despite its age, the FJR remains a top RideApart choice amongst touring bikes thanks to its smooth motor, excellent handling and all-day comfort. While rivals like the Kawasaki Concours 14 and Honda VFR1200 might trump it on paper, they lack the sheer cohesiveness of the Yamaha’s total package. European rivals like the BMW K1600GT and Triumph Trophy match the Yamaha’s package, but do so at much greater cost.

2014 Yamaha FJR1300ES red

This new electronic suspension adjustment applies to the FJR’s rear preload and compression and rebound adjusters at both ends, enabling you to set it up for solo or two up riding at the push of a button, further dialing in damping to suit your individual needs. This isn’t a level of adjustment that wasn’t available before, it’s a new level of convenience, allowing you to make the adjustments without breaking out tools.

2014 Yamaha FJR1300ES

You control the suspension through bar mounted buttons, with the bike providing feedback through the LCD screen to the right of the analog tachometer.

2014 Yamaha FJR1300ES

Along with that ability comes new, UpSide Down forks, which separate compression and rebound damping into individual legs, a la the Yamaha R1.

The FJR1300ES will retail for $16,890; the non-electronically adjustable suspension equipped version, the FJR1300A, is $15,890.

  • Mark Vizcarra

    Sorry that’s crackpipe pricing to me. For that amount it better come with a stereo.

    • augustdaysong

      I think it’s considerably priced. Heated grips, adjustable windscreen, glove box, selectable power modes, traction control, standard cruise control, adjustable rider seat, and now electronically adjustable suspension. That tallies to a couple of more features over a Concourse that’s only $700 less, and a VFR with all that equivalent optional equipment (or an ST) will run up to about $18000 or $19000

    • Benjamin Reynolds

      Seems about right for a touring bike to me. There’s plenty of much more expensive options out there.

  • Jordan

    No word of adjustable panniers with an available ‘French Journalist’ setting? Better keep this thing away from the docks, then.

    But really though, this is a pretty motorcycle. I hope it’s a more complete package than the revisions from a couple of years ago that kind of came up short against the competition. The article HFL did awhile back on one of the journalist going on an adventure with an FJR has made me want one ever since

    • Piglet2010

      French moto-journalists riding on docks should consider the 2014 Ninja 1000 – the optional panniers look to be not much wider than the handlebars.

  • Mykola

    When I see people on Sport-tourers at the gas station, at the store, etc. I will invariably ask/interrogate them about how they like their bikes and any others they’ve ridden. The general consensus among those who’ve sampled the FJR is that it’s more sport-oriented than touring-oriented.
    Now if I were to purchase a bike on what I’ve heard collectively, it’d be the Concours-14. If I took the usual cheap-bastard approach I’d haunt Craigslist for a good deal on a 5-15 year-old BMW RT model. However, no bike hits that irrational “Want” button the same way a cute girl does like that FJR.

    • Wes Siler

      The Concours 14 is a bit of a pig. It’s terribly heavy both to push around and at speeds below 30mph, it dumps heat onto the rider and it’s pretty comprehensively out handled by the FJR.

      • Justin McClintock

        I have not yet had a chance to ride a FJR, but I can confirm the Connie is a pig. A very fast pig with phenomenal brakes, but it’s a chore to change directions on that thing. I wanted one right up until I rode it. No desire for a Connie whatsoever now.

    • KeithB

      I recently rode an ’05 1200RT and, while nice, doesn’t have the smoothness or sportability of my ’06 FJR.
      If I had a ton of $$…a new 1200RT would be nice but it’s really hard to beat the value of a used FJR1300.
      It’s a SPORT touring bike
      All that being said, my ST1100 is still one of the best, all round sport TOURING bikes, I have ridden including the ST1300.

      • Mykola

        You’re the third person to say ST1100>ST1300

  • Kr Tong

    They did a great job on the styling of this bike. I absolutely love the front end. Looks like hellboy on two wheels.

  • OG Havoc E Wade

    I am a VFR rider looking to upgrade from my 05 VFR and I am loving this bike. I would trade my 05 VFR and 04 R1 for this bike. The windshield is ugly but I can live with it. The FJR1300ES is worth the money to me.

    • IRS4

      I went ’94 VFR to ’01 FZ-1, and the FJR has always looked like the next logical step to me.