Years sold: 2002-present
MSRP new: $11,499 (2003) to $15,590 (2012)
Blue Book retail value: $5345 (2003) to $13,375 (2011)
Basic specs: A fully faired sport-tourer that’s equal parts sport and touring—and damned good at both types of riding. Its headline features are quick-detach hard saddlebags, an electrically adjustable windshield and a 1298cc inline-Four engine good for 121 rear-wheel horsepower and 88 foot-pounds of torque, enough to push the 569-pound (dry) FJR through the quarter-mile in just 10.95 seconds at 123.29 mph.
Why it won: Although the very first U.S. edition of the FJR1300 won CW’s Best Sport-Touring honors in 2002, it actually was an early-release 2003 model—so early, in fact, that we were able to test it and give it our Ten Best award in the July, 2002 issue. The FJ wowed us with its combination of superb long-distance comfort, surprising backroad agility and steamroller-class torque. It was fast enough to make any other sport-tourer of the time seem stuck in wet concrete but civil enough to casually putter along without complaint when all that the rider (and passenger) cared to do was kick back and enjoy the scenery. With their Kelley Blue Book values set at between 5 and 6K, an ’03 or ’04 FJR can be a killer buy-in for what remains a fantastic sport-touring machine, even by today’s higher standards.
From the 2002 Ten Best story: “The FJR combines cruise-ship comfort with a motor that would probably propel an ocean liner at a good clip, all wrapped in a classy-looking silver package.”
Useful resources: As with most popular motorcycles, you’ll find all manner of useful—as well as some useless—content about the FJR1300 on the Internet. The FJR1300 Owners Association, for example, is at fjr1300ownersassociation.yuku.com, and you can join a forum just for this bike at www.fjrforum.com. For anyone interested in seeing what kind of accessories might be available for this Yamaha, go to www.fjrgoodies.com. And if you’re really serious about purchasing a used FJR, go to www.cycletrader.com, where you’ll find dozens of them listed for sale all across the country.