Why do we like some brands more than others? I feel like I’m an equal opportunity gearhead: I’d happily ride a Ducati, or a Triumph for example. They’re both great manufacturers that do different things extremely well. But if you made me choose, I think I’d pick a Triumph. Why? I couldn’t really put my finger on it. I’ve owned a Triumph and liked it, but that’s all the hard evidence I have. I’m sure that psychologists that study brand loyalty would have detailed answer, but I don’t. I have the same thing with Yamaha. Not sure why. I like all bikes, so why if given the choice would I choose an FJR over a Concourse?
Maybe it has something to do with the Yamaha story. They were the last of the big four Japanese motorcycle companies to start making bikes. To this day, Yamaha is the world’s largest piano manufacturer. They have been making pianos since the company was founded in 1887. That’s the reason for the three tuning fork logo, and the company’s obsession with “Kondo” (how music and beauty impact the human spirit). They fold this philosophy into their motorcycle design. In 1984, they signed a contract with Ford to product a high output engine for the U.S automaker. They ended up producing the 3.0-liter high output V6 that was in the original Ford Taurus SHO. If you have the time, the history of Yamaha motorcycles is told in this “Twist the Throttle” documentary:
The Yamaha FJR 1300 was first introduced in Europe in 2001, then brought over to the US in 2002 with the 2003 model year. By 2004 they offered both ABS and non-ABS versions of the bike. The 1,298cc engine produced 145 horsepower, with is plenty even for a larger bike. The FJR and sport touring bikes like it offered an amazing option in the market. A bit of the comfort of a Goldwing, and a bit of the sport from an R1. I love this class of bike, and more and more every day. Age might be a factor, and the increasing torture it is in my lower back to have a heavy back pack on when commuting on my stripped down 600. I don’t want all the bells and whistles, but I want luggage space and some wind protection. I also want enough power to sometimes act the age my lower back reminds me constantly that I am not. RideApart did an interesting write up on the relevance of the FJR in 2011 here.
This 2007 is an excellent example. With only 15,000 miles this tourer is barely broken in. The seller has upgraded the exhaust, just did the for seals, and has the factory top box. The seller has also added a Power Commander unit. It looks to be a great example, of a great bike.
Find this 2007 Yamaha FJR in Phoenix, Arizona for $4,800 here on Craigslist.