2011 Yamaha FJR1300A ABS

Facing off against the Kawasaki Concours 14 ABS, the Honda ST1300 ABS and the Suzuki Bandit GSX1250SEA ABS, the 2011 Yamaha FJR1300A ABS brings plenty of ammunition to the Japanese super sports tourer competition. Indeed were it not for the Suzuki's outlandish price advantage which sees it priced several thousand dollars below the others, the FJR1300A ABS could be named overall best in class.

The Kawasaki Concours 14 ABS and the Honda ST1300 ABS are certainly class acts and considerably more refined than the Suzuki Bandit GSX1250SEA ABS, but they spar mano a mano with the FJR1300A ABS on many fronts.

The motive power for the FJR1300A ABS comes from its 1255 cc four-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC fuel injected motor which acts as a stressed frame member, and what a sweet engine it is. The tractability of the FJR1300A ABS is purely awesome, and the torque curve is easily as generous as any similar displacement V-twin's. However, when you open it up it will howl and rear up a touch while you are rocketed to Mach I. There is little doubt that the Yamaha sportsbike heritage is strong in the FJR1300A ABS.

There are plenty of features that will cause you to fall in love with the FJR1300A ABS. The seat is actually remarkably comfortable for both rider and passenger and the pushbutton adjustable windscreen is a revelation. Various other aspects of the bike are adjustable, including various components of the bodywork, so the FJR1300A ABS is an ergonomic dream come true. The fuel tank holds a generous 6.6 gallons and is constructed of steel so that magnetic tank bags will grip right on. Thoughtfully, the luggage mounts on the subframe use the same key as the ignition to prevent fumbling with a handful of keys on your chain. Although the ABS system on the FJR1300A ABS cannot reach the level of efficacy of the Electronically Controlled Combined ABS on the Honda CBRs, it's still a superlative braking system.

The styling of the FJR1300A ABS has pluses and minuses. It most certainly exudes sport tourer and its aggressiveness simply spritzes from every seam. There are enough racing styling cues to keep the more mature boy racers happy, and fortunately for the rest of us, Yamaha saw fit to keep the handlebars fairly high and set back so that you don't have to ride the FJR1300A ABS feeling like you're caught half-way through a pushup. From the negative aspects, the reverse arrow cutaway in the side lower fairing looks flimsy and badly thought out, and the compound curve and fold festival between the lower half of the tank and the clunky oversized sidecover is a disgrace.

The 2011 Yamaha FJR1300A ABS is an extremely capable and accomplished sports tourer that truly does it all and manages to do it in style. It has some nits to pick, but it's generally to be highly recommended if you're in the market for a topline sports tourer.

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    2011 Yamaha FJR1300A ABS At A Glance

    Base MSRP: $20,199
    Engine Displacement: 1298 cc
    Engine Type: Liquid cooled, DOHC, 16 valve, in-line four
    Bore & Stroke: 79 x 66.2 mm
    Ignition Type: Digital TCI / Electric
    Compression Ratio: 10.8:1
    Transmission Type: 5 Speed
    Final Drive Type: Shaft
    Front Tire: 120/70 ZR17
    Rear Tire: 180/55 ZR17
    Wheelbase: 1,545 mm (60.8")
    Saddle Height: 805 mm (31.7") to 825 mm (32.5")
    Curb Dry Weight: 291 kg (640.2 lb)
    Fuel Capacity (US): 25 litres
    * Specs/pix apply to 2010 model, updates as released

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