The tra­di­tional one

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Road Test -

Yamaha FJR1300AE

Sports tour­ers al­ways used to be sports­bike-shaped, but lower, longer, heav­ier and built for com­fort. Yamaha’s long­stand­ing FJR1300 typ­i­fies the breed. It’s the true mile-muncher of our bunch and knocks at the door of being a full­blooded tourer... but not quite be­cause it’s re­mark­ably handy in the bends when you want to scratch a sporty itch.

Jour­ney­ing north on the A1, A66 and M6 to reach Scot­tish moun­tain road heaven might be mo­not­o­nous, but the FJR1300 co­coons you in com-

fort. Elec­tron­i­cally set the screen just so, dial-in the cruise con­trol, se­lect Tour­ing mode, soften the sus­pen­sion and life is peachy. Un­like the taller ma­chines here, the Yamaha can cramp legs for taller rid­ers, but the FJR has a cos­set­ting, natural rid­ing po­si­tion.

But­tery-smooth power and torque pour from the 144bhp, 1298cc in­line four-cylin­der mo­tor and there’s not a vi­bra­tion or buzz to be felt through your body or ipad sized mir­rors. The 296kg Yamaha stamps out bumps in the road and de­liv­ers truck-like sta­bil­ity.

Our 264-mile hack from MCN Tow­ers in Peter­bor­ough to our overnight stop in Mof­fat in­cludes fuel stops for all of our bikes, ex­cept the FJR1300. Re­turn­ing 55mpg on a steady run the Yamaha’s 25-litre fuel tank (by far the big­gest here) gets you the fur­thest in one hit.

We hit the sin­u­ous A702 to Ed­in­burgh and ex­pect the FJR to be left be­hind, but it punches well above its weight. Switchgear but­tons take you to a hard sus­pen­sion set-up and a sporty throt­tle, trans­form­ing it into an ac­cu­rate-steer­ing sports­bike with su­perb brakes and am­ple ground clear­ance. It sim­ply shouldn’t han­dle this well, but that’s what makes it so im­pres­sive.

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