Yes, it really has been ten years since Yamaha’s big sporty-tourer came to America, and Yamaha has seriously upgraded it for 2013. Number one in the minds of many long-distance riders will surely be the addition (at last) of electronic cruise control. And while the engineers were adding that function to the Yamaha Chip Controlled Throttle, they gave the bike Sport and Touring power modes, as well as a traction-control system. Yamaha also tweaked and upgraded all sorts of fuel-injection software for smoother running and better throttle response, but if you were hoping for more power or fuel mileage, you’re out of luck. Even so, the 124 horses and 89 foot-pounds of torque pumped out through the shaft drive of the last FJR we put to the dyno are nothing to complain about.
Due to a redesigned fairing and windscreen, Yamaha touts better aerodynamic efficiency for the 2013 FJR1300, which might translate to less buffeting and marginally better fuel mileage at the kinds of speeds the FJR encourages. The redesign also enables the electrically adjustable windscreen to maintain its position when you turn off the key. The view from the cockpit is now cleaner thanks to a new instrument panel with an analog tach on the left, an LCD speedo in the center binnacle and a multifunction trip computer on the right. New switchgear controls everything from heated-grip settings to windshield adjustment and dashboard display options. New LED running lights and integrated LED front turnsignals reinforce the more-modern look.
Finally, to upgrade the ride, we get “more sporty handling character while maintaining comfort” via improved fork internals, different damping characteristics in the shock and revised spring rates front and rear. Available only in Stone Gray, the new FJR1300A will be in showrooms mid-October with a sticker price of $15,890.
Did we complain about the cheap-feeling suspension on the original FZ8 two years ago? Yes, we did, particularly its under-damped shock. For 2013, Yamaha addresses that concern by bolting on a rebound-adjustable shock wrapped in a stiffer spring. Up front, the inverted fork now lets you play with spring preload as well as compression and rebound damping.
A new muffler with brushed-aluminum-looking end cap and trim gives a more upscale look, while a new seat cover with a grippy top texture and faux suede side panels does the same. Sticker price is up $200, to $8890. Available in Matte Gray or Matte Black this coming February.