A new bike, a suprisingly good Yamaha FJR1300AE

I recently traded in my lovely blue Yamaha Super Tenere 1200 for a stunning almost new FJR1300. NEWS FLASH the Super Ten was sold within 2 days! My mate Martin had offered me their demo FJR that he had registered in September 2017 (he is obliged to have six new bikes as demos all year round, which is a bit mad given the severity and duration of the British winter), so it had a grand total of 63 kilometres so perhaps 2 test rides on the clock!

I owned an FJR 1300 a few years ago but I had made the mistake of buying the version with the automatic clutch, which I never really got used to. Setting off from a standing start was always nerve-wracking. This new one instead has the new 6-speed manual gearbox with conventional clutch, this is the AE version with full LED lighting and electronic everything from suspension to ABS to traction control and cruise control and and and. Amazing. Perhaps it even makes the tea??

I went to collect the bike with my trusty Vito van (a 4600 km round trip), as Brian and I had planned a meeting in Germany for a weekend to swop the bikes but the weather was cold, snowy  and impossible. Luckily both the Super Ten going and then the FJR returning both fitted into the van by a whisker, only removing the windscreens (plus mirrors in the case of the Super Ten which is a bit taller). I unloaded the FJR from the van in Roma and refitted the screen, and then this weekend the weather was finally suitable so I rode her down to Amalfi.

Wow. This bike is really like nothing I have ridden or owned before (and I have owned perhaps 20 bikes). It feels very powerful (150 horses) but her muscles are very well hidden. Of course the bike is heavy so not easy to push around the garage, but as soon as she gets moving she feels like a small bike, as the weight is very low down and well balanced with plenty of aluminium (the frame, for instance). The gearbox is sweet, the clutch is very light, the engine is the smoothest I have ever tried and the overall feel of the bike is amazing. And the electronic suspension gives you the feeling that the bike glides over the bumps and deals with everything you can throw at it with ease.

The ride was wonderful and the new 6th gear means that on the motorway the revs are low so the fuel consumption is really good for a big bike (more than 15km per litre, 43mpg) even at really high speeds. At one point I took her up to 225 kph just to try and she still wanted to accelerate and even at that speed she ran as straight as a die. What a lovely feeling, what an amazing bike.

I love this one! Wow.

 

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