Tuesday, 26 April 2022



After buying a holiday home I was left feeling a bit strapped for cash, so I sold my lovely CB1000R and decided to replace it with an older, cheaper steed. I wasn't expecting too much, but an exhaustive search led me to a bargain Yamaha FJR1300 over in Cumbria.

I've always had a soft spot for FJR's since buying a brand new top-of-the-range in 2007. Back then they were £11,000 but now they're over £17,000 😮 So what could I expect to find for £5k?

Virtually all the FJR's up for sale on Ebay and AutoTrader were high-mileage bikes with 40, 50, 60, even 90 thousand miles on them. I know these big ladies are built for these sort of mileages, but I was looking for something a little less "used".

Thankfully, I found a 13yr old example in pristine condition with a staggering 10k miles on the clock. I checked on the Government MOT website to make sure the mileage was valid and sure enough, it was. Basically, the previous two owners had done less than 900 miles per year and absolutely NONE during the 2yr Covid period. I couldn't buy it quick enough! It was sat outside my office the very next day.

Apart from the ultra-low mileage, it's also in magnificent condition and it included the full compliment of genuine Yamaha luggage - even the inner liners. The paintwork is spotless apart from some light scratches on the left pannier where a passenger had probably caught their foot.

The bike started up and purred like a kitten. It sounded like a brand new bike!

Sitting on the bike was like, WOW!!! That thing is so damned comfortable! It's the main thing I remember about these bikes - the comfort level. All day riding with no bum-ache. Actually, I do seem to recall a little knee-ache on a very long tour of Scotland & Ireland, but we'll have to see if that was just something to do with me back then.
My first FJR, on tour back in 2007

Moving the bike around on the car-park to get a better photo, I soon remembered how very heavy these girls are. They're awesome on the move, but 650lbs is 650lbs. I once dropped my 2007 FJR in a gravelly car park at walking pace. I'd ridden into a puddle which turned out to be a deep pothole and the bike leaned over - and there was just no stopping it, so I had to lean it down as slowly as my strength would allow. 😰

The seat-height on the FJR is adjustable and it was already on the lowest setting, so I was a little surprised to find the I couldn't quite flat-foot. I'm left wondering if I'd lowered the suspension on my 07 bike and simply forgotten about it? I don't think so. I should point out, I’m a bit of a short-ass. Crash-Bungs are now fitted!

It was nice to recall that the passenger seat is easily removed with a key-turn and then the front seat is removed by the simple press of a concealed lever. Why aren't all bikes made like this? 

Below the seats there's room for bits and bobs such as toolpack, puncture outfit, etc. While I had the seats off, I was struck by the level of cleanliness under there too. Such great condition this bike! 

The only thing that I could fault (considering it has just been serviced) is the tickover is too low at around 8-900rpm but that was soon remedied. Other than that, it's all good. Everything on the bike works well including the electric windscreen and heated grips. Okay, if I'm being picky, the rear tyre (BT32) is ever so slightly squaring off. That might alter once I show her more of a twisty time than she's been used to.

The wife has just seen it and absolutely loves it. Since falling off the back of the CB1000R+ under acceleration, she's been a bit bit nervous, 😂 so this would be perfect for her.

Bank holiday weekend is coming up and I've got 4 days off work to enjoy the bike (in-between doing jobs at the caravan). Need to fit my TomTom mount too!

One thing I remember from my previous ownership of an FJR is the vast number of time that I was asked the same question : ‘What size engine is it?’,  so I’ve left a clue this time, lol…..

UPDATE : Just finished my Bank Holiday weekend and all I can say is - I’M IN LOVE!! This is one amazing motorcycle. Yes, she’s a big lass, but what a ride!! So stable and planted. And so fast! Smooth! Fun!

After a few more days riding I have started to get to grips with the weight again. It was just a big surprise after recently owning a few much lighter bikes. The FJR has the same BHP as the CB1000R+ but because of the extra 175lbs, the Yamaha feels far less aggressive and crazy during hard acceleration. But make no mistake, this girl can run!! 

It's very strange (to me at least) how sedate the FJR can feel and yet when you look down at the speedo, you are routinely surprised at how close you are to your first stint in prison! 

BUT I did notice one negative thing - the bike exhibited a bit of a weave around 110mph (on a private road officer). I instantly recalled something about this issue back in 2007 when I bought my first FJR 😲 

From what I remember, the issue is caused by wind-flow hitting the empty spot between the rider and the topbox. The solution is to fill that gap with a pillion or a seat-bag, remove the topbox or try playing with the screen height.

Needless to say, it's a very scary feeling when it happens, but it is progressive, so as soon as you feel it coming on, you simply reduce your speed. Below 100mph it's perfectly fine anyway. I think this has also happened on a few other sports tourers over the years. Simple aerodynamics - not a fault of the bike. It's like saying "when I press my brakes really hard, I feel like the bike's trying to throw me over the front" 😂

The only other tiny gripe I have is the screen. Yes, it's fully adjustable on-the-fly (at the push of a button), but none of the adjustments make any difference to the noise level. I think I might try fitting another screen at some point. Normally, I probably wouldn't have noticed it but on this occasion I'd forgotten to take my earplugs with me. Moving the screen up and down just moved the wind noise around my helmet.

I've actually ordered a new screen. After complaining that the existing one is noisy, you'd expect me to buy a larger one and I nearly did, but then I just couldn't live with the look of those huge, flappy screens. So I actually ordered a Sports Screen which looks fabulous! My thought process during this purchase was that I normally wear good earplugs anyway, so I might as well have a good looking screen!

Finally, I couldn't resist getting a fancy number-plate. I had to choose between MY09 and the Valentino Rossi (my hero) 58 (year of my birth).


UPDATE 2 : Just had a neighbour from around the corner knock on my door to say how fabulous the bike looks. He'd spotted it on his way home and just had to walk back to have a closer look.

He couldn't believe it was 13yrs old. He actually thought it was brand new bike with an older private registration plate!
 I just found a photo of my old 2007 FJR at my holiday home and it seems weird that I've ended up back at the same caravan-site with another FJR 15 years later :-)




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