Shifters on the handlebar
Upside down front fork
Controlling the shifting
"The AS version is our flagship model, where we made the interaction with the bike even more direct" says Oliver Grill of Product Planning.
"Shifting with your fingertips is quicker than traditional shifting, and with the electronic suspension setup, you can easily adjust the bike’s road behaviour for the situation at hand!"
The visual differences between the AS version and the normal FJR are in the fine details:
• Instead of a clutch lever, there are shifters on the left handlebar
• There is a YCC-S control mechanism on the engine
• The AS version features an upside-down front fork.
But in actual riding, there is a big difference. Let's have a look at the two key technologies of the AS version:
1. Second generation YCC-S
YCC-S is Yamaha's approach to electronic shifting. It enables manual shifting at any time from the finger-operated shifter on the handlebar or from the foot pedal. Both are valid all the time.
By extensive development of the system, shift times are much quicker compared to the previous generation of YCC-S. The system is also smoother: it is linked to the electronic throttle (YCC-T) in such a way, that already during the shifting process, the engine is prepared for the next gear.
How does that work? When shifting up, the system automatically decreases engine throttle and when shifting down, the system already increases engine speed in the split-second between the clutch engagement and the mechanical gearshift. Something that a normal human couldn’t achieve in this fraction of a second!
"Especially experienced riders will understand that it's more fun" says Oliver. "Controlling the shifting is very important for the feeling of riding fun, while pulling the clutch each time is a relatively useless and time-consuming operation. Also on race bikes there is clutchless shifting."
The automatic clutch is updated to engage exceptionally smoothly and predictably at low speeds.
The shift system also has an optional ‘stop mode’ which automatically shifts down, onto 1st gear when coming to a full stop.
What are the advantages of YCC-S?
• Ultra quick shifting at your fingertips without using the clutch
• Easy and convenient while at the same time giving a sporty feel, a direct interaction with the engine
• Easy acceleration from stand-still because of the automatic clutch
• No worries about engine stalling e.g. in town traffic
2. Electronic suspension adjustment
Product Planning Manager Naoki Koike asks "How often do you actually take the time to adjust your suspension on your bike? Many people don't adjust, they set up their bike once, with an 'average' setting that has to handle all situations. Maybe for a big holiday trip they would take the time to choose a different setting, but then they wouldn't touch it again for a long time. Our new system allows to set up the suspension very conveniently by the menu switch on the handlebar. Which means you can improve the road behaviour easily."
How does this work?
- First you choose the load of the bike.
There are four settings for that:
“One Up with Luggage”
“Two Up with Luggage”.
This corrects the preload in the rear suspension and the damping in front and rear suspension.
- Then there is a choice of “Soft,” “Standard” and “Hard” for damping force adjustment in each load setting.
- If you want you could fine-tune the damping even more, with regulations between +3 and -3 inside each of the soft / standard / hard settings.
Test rider Jeffry de Vries says "We tested a lot on the amount of settings, and found out that these 4 preload settings are enough to cover realistic usage situations. You can still feel clear differences between them and you can still change the damping like you want for each of them!"
So with this system you can set the bike to the load situation and to the road conditions, and also to your mood: sporty when you want it, comfortable when you need it.
And without getting your fingers dirty...