"FJR is in the core of sports-touring" says Product Planning Manager Oliver Grill. "We don't follow the general tendency in the touring segment to make the bikes ever bigger and heavier, with an overload of gadgets. Our focus is on the real riders, who want to go long distances while still enjoying the pure motorcycling fun!"
Manager Naoki Koike joins in. "On long stretches, the FJR can maintain high cruising speeds with luggage and passenger. But we see our customers use it also in a very versatile way, for example there is a lot of mountain riding and usage on secondary roads too."
"The touring environment has changed" continues Oliver. "Highways are more busy, people have less time, do less mileage. Faraway destinations like the North Cape or the Algarve keep their ultimate appeal, but closer destinations are getting more into the focus of our customers.
Beautiful secondary roads, famous locations and cities want to be explored. And this is where we set our main development attention: lighter handling and excellent driveability."
How did that affect the FJR?
A sporty ride in the Alps was possible already before. The light aluminum chassis could be pushed to the limits, even with full load and passenger.
The engine with its overwhelming torque, made shifting almost obsolete.
“The chassis of the first generation was so advanced, and the engine so compact, that all direct competitors that came to this class later, were actually heavier. Our power to weight ratio is still unbeaten.” continues Oliver.
"With the new model, the handling will be even more sporty & precise! And to maneuver this FJR through cities like Paris or Barcelona will be easy, even on cobblestones, during rain or in crowded traffic. Our traction control system will prevent wheel spin at start-up. The FJR engine was already a benchmark in smooth power delivery but with the new electronic throttle and the drive modes, there will be a new level of responsiveness and riding fun!"
While riding improved though sophisticated electronics, parking became easier by simple a change of geometry: to lift the bike on the main stand, takes 30% less effort.
Overall, this bike has reached a great level of maturity, being so powerful, yet so easy to use.
It is a Yamaha ‘thing’ to focus on balance. Naoki says: "On a FJR, a TMAX, a TDM you won't find extreme configurations or specification figures. Yet these models became icons in their segments through a perfect balance of the layout: all weight and strength in the right location, all relevant geometric figures correctly chosen. So the bike will deliver a natural performance that is efficient and fun to ride. And all details work well. For example, take a look at the shaft drive construction: go and try to find a better and simpler solution!"
The simplicity & perfection is also the fundament of the FJRs outstanding reliability.
The engine and frame are built to last. Yamaha’s electronic systems reliability is built to very high standards. Such qualities made the FJR also the number 1 choice for police bike fleets in numerous countries all over the world. There couldn’t be a better proof of how well built this bike is…
Yamaha focused on 3 areas:
• Electronic control technologies - to enhance the joy of riding
• Meticulous refinements in engine, chassis and tires - to increase overall performance
• Sharper and higher-quality fairing design - in line with the heritage of the previous FJR but clearly refreshed.
New electronics: what are the benefits?
Project leader Mori explains: "MotoGP racing has shown us that electronics have become one of the main areas for motorcycle development. And in Yamaha's philosophy they should enhance, rather than reduce, the interaction between rider and machine! Therefore, for the FJR we focused on items that clearly improve its driveability and joy of riding in typical touring circumstances."
Which are these items?
YCC-T: Yamaha's electronic throttle translates the throttle input to get the best rapid response from the engine - whatever the situation is. It gives a smooth power delivery at all rpm, and a great 'feel' for the bike. Additionally, because there is less friction by cables and springs, the throttle operation is lighter and more precise.
D-mode: a choice between two types of engine responsiveness.
There is a "T" setting that is very smooth, for example for tricky road conditions, and an "S" setting for a more sporty and powerful pick-up. It's easy to switch between the modes by a button on the right handlebar.
Whatever the setting, it only influences the throttle response itself; the maximum engine performance is not affected and always “full power".
Traction control: Yamaha's “TCS” is already famous by its excellent functioning on the Super Ténéré.
It prevents the rear wheel from spinning in conditions like wet roads by automatically making fine throttle adjustments when the wheel starts to spin. So it provides traction for a smooth pick-up on road surfaces with reduced grip.
Cruise control: Enables the rider to set the cruise speed (in 3rd and higher gears) in the range of 50 km/h to 180 km/h.
Maintaining a constant speed makes long-distance riding more comfortable, improves fuel consumption and helps in “not exceeding the speed limits”. Especially with FJR's engine that delivers its power so incredibly easy and effortless...
Naoki adds: "On a big tour, you can encounter any road condition and any weather condition on any type of road. The rider should feel at ease and in good contact to his machine in all those conditions. That's why we specifically selected those 4 new technologies for the new FJR. They are the most useful ones for a sports touring bike."
Interface: new dashboard and handlebar controls
Electronic settings are only useful if they are easy to adjust.
For that reason Yamaha developed a great ‘interface’, connecting a new instrument panel with fingertip controls at the right places.
User-friendliness was a key in the development!
On both the left and right handlebars there are new switches.
On the left handlebar:
• The cruise control switches.
• A multifunction menu switch that lets you scroll through the display and adjust the electrical windscreen. You can also adjust the heated grip temperature (in 4 positions). You can also use it to adjust the instrument panel display contents to your own taste.
On the right handlebar there is the D-mode setting switch that lets you set the engine response modes.
Oliver comments "All in all, it makes setting the bike to the mood of the moment, or the situation of the road, or the climatic conditions, very easy and user-friendly."