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Yamaha is bringing the FJR1300A and FJR1300ES back for 2016, and while the bike might appear virtually identical to the previous model in these photos, there are some choice distinctions between old and new.

First and foremost, Yamaha has listened to the demands of its customers, and (finally) equipped both FJR models with a sixth cog in its transmission. Beyond simply adding a sixth gear, Yamaha revised individual ratios: first and second are slightly taller, while fourth and fifth gears are slightly shorter.

The changes don’t stop there though; both models receive an assist and slipper clutch Yamaha says reduces lever effort by about 20%. From there, both models see updated instrumentation and a completely redesigned “twin-eye” headlight and combination taillight/turn signal assemblies with LEDs.

When it comes to putting the Sport in Sport-Touring, the FJR1300 has no problem doing just that. Now that it has a sixth gear, it should be even more competent at the Touring aspect of Sport-Touring, too. Note the three illuminated LEDs above the inside headlight, part of the FJR1300ES’s cornering headlight feature.

It’s not surprising to see Yamaha utilize the Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) first seen on its ground-breaking YZF-R1 on other models, however it’s a little bit of a shock to see the FJR1300ES (but not the FJR1300A) be the next beneficiary of the system. The touring bike is now equipped with lean-sensitive LED cornering lights. As the IMU detects lean angle, a series of three LED lights will activate in successive order to help further illuminate the road ahead.

All models make do with a conventional front fork and rear shock, while the ES is back for another year with its electronically adjustable suspenders at both ends. ES models are equipped with four preload settings, and a total of 10 damping adjustments to suit a rider traveling solo, two-up with bags loaded, and everything in between.

Yamaha’s graphic clearly displays the benefits of cornering headlights while riding at night.

While not new features, the FJR1300A and FJR1300ES retain their traction control system, D-Mode selectable engine mapping, cruise control, electronically adjustable windscreen, ABS, UBS (Unified Braking System), heated grips, and 12V socket to charge accessories.

Of course, power for the FJR1300 comes from a liquid-cooled, DOHC, 1298cc inline-Four that churned out nearly 130 horses and 89 lb-ft of torque the last time we had one on the dyno, during our 2013 Sport-Touring Shootout 1.0.

The Sport-Touring category is stacked with impressive motorcycles. We’re looking forward to seeing how much better Yamaha’s 2016 FJR1300 series really are compared to years past.

You can have either the 2016 Yamaha FJR1300A or FJR1300ES in any color you want as long as it’s Cobalt Blue. Units are expected to arrive in dealerships beginning in March, with pricing set to be announced in February.

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