Yamaha FJR1300 vs Kawasaki Concours 14: A Clash of Power

FJR1300 is more practical for long-distance touring compared to the Kawasaki Concours 14. The Kawasaki Concours 14 looks better compared to the FJR1300.

In this article, we shall compare the power, performance, and long-distance touring capabilities of the Yamaha FJR1300 and Kawasaki Concours 14 motorcycles.

SpecsYamaha FJR1300Kawasaki Concours 14
Engine1,298cc inline 4-cylinder1,352cc inline 4-cylinder
Power142 hp @ 8,000 rpm153 hp @ 8,800 rpm
Torque103 lb-ft @ 7,000 rpm100 lb-ft @ 6,200 rpm
Transmission5-speed manual or 5-speed automatic6-speed manual
Front Suspension43mm cartridge fork43mm inverted fork
Rear SuspensionSingle shockTetra-Lever linkage
Front BrakesDual discDual radial-mount disc
Rear BrakesSingle discSingle disc
ABSOptionalStandard from 2011
Traction ControlNoKTRC from 2010
Wheelbase1,595 mm1,520 mm
Seat Height800 mm815 mm
Wet Weight261 kg304 kg
Fuel Capacity25 liters22 liters

Engine

The Concours 14’s 1352cc inline four-cylinder engine produces more horsepower and torque compared to the FJR1300’s 1298cc engine.

However, the Yamaha offers a wider powerband that many riders prefer.

Both are liquid-cooled engines. FJR1300’s engine feels much smoother compared to the Kawasaki Concours 14.

FJR1300 comes with a reliable engine.

FJR1300 will give you a pleasant riding experience compared to the Kawasaki Concours 14.

Transmission

Both the Yamaha FJR1300 and Kawasaki Concours 14 utilize six-speed transmissions to deliver power to the rear wheel.

The FJR employs a unique separate engine and transmission design, with the transmission placed in front of the engine rather than behind it.

This allows for improved mass centralization and a smoother delivery of torque through the gearbox.

The FJR’s transmission is known for its reliable, low-maintenance operation over hundreds of thousands of miles.

Maximum Power and Torque

The Concours 14’s 1352cc inline four-cylinder engine generates a maximum power output of 145 horsepower at 8,500 rpm. The peak torque on the Kawasaki is 103 lb-ft at 7,000 rpm.

By comparison, the smaller 1298cc inline four of the FJR1300 produces 138 horsepower at 8,000 rpm and 96 lb-ft of torque at 7,000 rpm.

So while the Concours offers higher maximum hp and torque numbers, the FJR provides ample power for real-world riding and long-distance touring.

Yamaha FJR1300 vs Kawasaki Concours 14

MPG

Fuel efficiency is very similar between the two models.

Both the Concours 14 and FJR1300 average approximately 40 mpg during mixed real-world usage including highway and around-town riding.

Their large 5.8-gallon and 6.6-gallon fuel tanks respectively allow for lengthy travel between fill-ups.

Precise riding habits and conditions can vary mpg in either direction, but these two bikes are evenly matched when it comes to economical cruising range.

Curb Weight

With its large fuel tank filled, the Concours 14 tips the scales at 670 pounds. The FJR1300 weighs in at 648 pounds wet with a full tank of gas.

The minor 9-pound difference is largely unnoticeable from the saddle.

Both bikes strike an ideal balance between power and sensible touring weight.

The integrated luggage, shaft drive, and touring amenities add pounds, but robust steel frames and alloy swingarms keep heft under control.

Comfort

The Yamaha FJR1300 prioritizes long-distance comfort, evident in its upright seating position, adjustable windscreen, and well-padded saddle.

The footpegs are placed for comfort during extended days on the road.

In contrast, the Concours 14 has a slightly more aggressive, tucked-in rider triangle that trades off some touring comfort for sharper handling.

But aftermarket upgrades like a taller windscreen, gel seat, and adjustable ergonomics can enhance its long-haul proficiency.

Reliability

Legendary reliability is a hallmark of the FJR1300, with examples often achieving 100,000 miles or more with basic maintenance.

The engine and transmission are built for the long haul, while the final drive shaft is essentially maintenance-free.

The Concours 14 requires more frequent valve adjustments and belt drive inspections for optimal lifespan.

But proper maintenance will keep it running smoothly for tens of thousands of miles.

Suspension Components

The Kawasaki Concours 14 utilizes inverted 43mm hydraulic cartridge forks up front along with a horizontally mounted shock and swingarm in the rear.

This sportbike-inspired suspension delivers responsive handling and excellent composure when ridden aggressively.

The Yamaha FJR1300 features conventional 48mm front forks and a more touring-oriented rear shock mounted vertically on the left side.

This compliant suspension smooths out bumps for a comfortable ride.

Looks

The Concours 14 features a more radical, angular design language akin to a sportbike.

Its forward-set intake scoops, dual under-tail exhaust, and pointy front fairing cut through the wind for speed.

The Yamaha FJR1300 looks sleek yet subdued, with bodywork optimized for touring. Its integrated side cases and wide front cowl channel air for a smooth ride.

So styling preferences come down to the desired balance between flair and function.

Bodywork and Ergonomics

The Concours 14 has a forward-leaning riding position reflecting its sporting pedigree, with rear-set footpegs and lower handlebars.

In contrast, the FJR1300 prioritizes an upright seating posture for long-distance comfort, aided by a plush seat with lumbar support and an adjustable windscreen.

The Yamaha’s ergonomics reduce lower back strain and wrist pressure during full days in the saddle.

So riders seeking more comfort may prefer the FJR’s touring-focused ergonomics.

Service Intervals

The Concours 14 has more frequent valve inspection and adjustment intervals, with service required every 15,000 miles.

The FJR1300 valves are adjusted less often, at 30,000-mile intervals.

Both motorcycles need regular oil and filter changes every 6,000 miles for peak engine health.

Tire replacement, brake fluid flushes, and other basics follow yearly or biennial schedules.

Yamaha FJR1300 Pros and Cons

Pros:

  1. Wider Powerband: The FJR1300 offers a wider powerband, making it more versatile for real-world riding.
  2. Smooth Engine: FJR1300’s engine is praised for its smooth operation, enhancing the overall riding experience.
  3. Reliability: Yamaha’s FJR1300 is renowned for its legendary reliability, often exceeding 100,000 miles with basic maintenance.
  4. Comfort: It prioritizes long-distance comfort with an upright seating position, adjustable windscreen, and a well-padded saddle.
  5. Low-Maintenance Transmission: The separate engine and transmission design provides improved mass centralization and a low-maintenance, reliable transmission.
  6. Economical Cruising Range: It offers a good balance of power and fuel efficiency, with a large fuel tank for extended travel.

Cons:

  1. Slightly Lower Maximum Power and Torque: While it provides ample power for most riders, it has slightly lower maximum horsepower and torque compared to the Concours 14.

Kawasaki Concours 14 Pros and Cons

Pros:

  1. Higher Maximum Power and Torque: The Concours 14 boasts more horsepower and torque, which can appeal to riders seeking high performance.
  2. Sporty Suspension: It features sportbike-inspired suspension for responsive handling and excellent composure during aggressive riding.
  3. Radical Design: The angular design language and sporty aesthetics can be visually appealing for those who prefer a bold look.
  4. Adjustable Ergonomics: Aftermarket upgrades like a taller windscreen, gel seat, and adjustable ergonomics can enhance long-haul comfort.
  5. Curb Weight Balance: It maintains a good balance between power and touring weight with integrated luggage, shaft drive, and touring amenities.

Cons:

  1. Smaller Powerband: The powerband may be narrower, potentially making it less versatile for some riders.
  2. Reliability and Maintenance: It requires more frequent valve adjustments and belt drive inspections, although proper maintenance can keep it running smoothly.
  3. Service Intervals: The Concours 14 has shorter valve inspection intervals, requiring service every 15,000 miles.
  4. Riding Position: The more aggressive, tucked-in rider triangle may sacrifice some touring comfort for sharper handling.

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