2014 Yamaha FJR 1300ES
Amazing ride for the moneyBy (I am an Owner) on Nov 16, 2014
My 2014 ES is the second FJR I have owned - I came to the FJR originally from a Kawasaki Concours 1000 in 2006 after my ride was taken out by an oncoming cager who thought that the center line in the curve I was negotiating was a suggestion.
I'd been riding for 38 years back then ... and a friend that had owned a Gen-I convinced me to plunk down my mnoney on a brand new second generation machine, which I rode for some 80,000 miles over the next 8 years and, during the summer, rather than spend money on new tires and a valve adjust, my dealer made me an offer I couldn't refuse on a trade for a shiny new ES.
Having heard all sorts of great things about the model I agreed and rode the new bike home.
My observations were simple; I was initially . . . . I described it as 'whelmed' - neither over nor under. This is not a bad thing, since I've always liked the FJR's performance and handling. And I WAS coming from a bike that, with the exception of the suspension and instrumentation, was almost exactly the same machine I had dropped off in trade. So the fact that there were huge similarities is something that can be forgiven.
My riding is simple; One or two long trips each year and long weekend rides during the season - the season runs from late April to October up here, and I was unable to ride for 2 summers for medical reasons, so my low mileage can be forgiven.
The FJR is neither a ferocious beast, nor it is a lame duck. It has more than enough power and good enough handling that very few riders out there can outrun me in a twisty course.
The fit and finish are impeccable and the styling is excellent.
If I had any complaints, they would be that while they were restyling the front of the machine they could have redone the rear, which remains essentially the same as it was in 2001 . . . . and there really is no reason to limit the number of stops on the factory heated grips to 3 settings out of the 10 possible ones - and what about an option to allow the user to decide if the windwhield will retract or not - ad it it retracts, how about allowing it to return to the last setting when the bike is restarted.
One lack is a helmet lock. How hard would it be to fabricate the mounting points and supply the locks? The side cases are not quite large enough for my helmet and I DID purchase an aftermarket bracket and Yamaha's helmet lock assemblies . . . .
Beyond all this, my only additions are a headlight modulator, auxiliary driving lights, a GPS unit and auxiliary brake lights - and I could not in good conscience expect Yamaha to provide these as standard equipment - so the machine is essentially all I need.
Some have said that the seat is not condicive to long rides - not in my experience, but tere are a large number of aftermarket providers out there if you feel the eet for better butt support.
A work of caution to those would would buy this model - the electronically adjustable suspension is really nice to have, but if (make that when) you need to replace the rear shock, the MSRP for the shock alone is $2400 (yes) and there are no aftermarket units that can be used . . . . so either consider the 'A' model and/or buy YAMAHA'S (not an aftermarket) extended warranty for the machine.
I love my FJR1300ES - I've ridden much of the competition, though few on the list of 28 bikes that this site believes to be in the S-T field (what is it with Motorcycle.com that they allow Honda 700s and Can Am Spydewrs to be rated as sport touring motorcycles, anyway) and I am satisfied that my selection was and remains the right one for me.
It is no surprise to me that 5 of the top 6 finishers in the last Iron Butt Rally rode FJRs.