Yamaha FJR1300 Suspension – Shock Absorber, Preload Damping

The Yamaha FJR1300 utilizes proficient suspension that provides an excellent balance of comfort and handling.

Up front, the FJR1300A has beefy 48mm cartridge forks with 5.3 inches of wheel travel, while the FJR1300ES receives upgraded electronically adjustable 43mm inverted forks.

Out back, both models use a linkage-equipped single rear shock absorber with remote preload adjustability and 4.7 inches of travel.

Yamaha FJR1300 Front Suspension

The FJR1300A’s front suspension is a beefy 48mm cartridge fork with 5.3 inches of travel. The FJR1300ES gets an electronically controllable 43mm inverted fork.

The front cartridge design provides exceptional rigidity and responsiveness.

Preload adjustment is available on the left fork tube to fine-tune the spring tension and riding height.

Overall, the front suspension delivers a plush ride while remaining poised in turns with minimal front-end dive under braking.

The hydraulically adjustable preload allows riders to stiffen up the front end for two-up riding or soften it when riding solo.

Yamaha FJR1300 Rear Suspension

The FJR1300’s rear suspension has a linkage-equipped single rear shock absorber with remote preload adjustability and 4.7 inches of wheel travel.

The rear shock absorber features a hydraulically adjustable rebound damping for customizing the rear suspension rebound rate.

Riders can adjust preload with a convenient dial on the left side of the bike to account for luggage, passengers, and personal preferences.

In the FJR1300ES the rear shock absorber has a hydraulically adjustable preload, with 4 settings. The damping can be adjusted while riding, but preload only when stopped.

The rear shock absorber provides excellent compliance and control, soaking up bumps while resisting excessive squats under acceleration.

Yamaha FJR1300ES Suspension Features

The FJR1300ES has inverted front forks and electronically adjustable suspension, upgrades over the FJR1300A model, which has a hydraulically adjustable suspension.

This allows riders to tailor the suspension for different riding conditions.

The ES has a menu system in the gauge cluster to adjust front and rear suspension electronically.

The front forks have electronically adjustable damping with Soft/Standard/Hard modes and 7 levels within each.

The rear shock is adjustable for preload, with 4 settings. The damping can be adjusted while riding, but preload only when stopped.

Electronically adjustable suspension adds convenience, allowing riders to fine-tune the bike’s handling for sporty or comfortable rides.

Comfort and Handling

The FJR1300 suspension system provides an admirable balance of comfort and composure.

The plush suspension ably soaks up road imperfections, resulting in a smooth ride even over cracked or uneven pavement.

The firm yet compliant design retains excellent composure during aggressive riding, resisting wallowing, or loss of traction.

Handling is sporty yet stable thanks to the controlled chassis motion.

Yamaha FJR1300 Suspension Specifications

Yamaha FJR1300 Suspension Preload

To adjust preload on the FJR1300, start by checking the sag, or amount of suspension compression under static load.

Proper race sag is typically around 1/3rd of total travel. If sag is too little, the preload needs to be increased, and if there is too much sag, the preload should be reduced.

Use the convenient hand adjusters to add or relieve preload – turn the adjusters clockwise to increase preload and counter-clockwise to decrease it.

Adjust in small increments and recheck sag until reaching the desired setting.

Comparison to Other Sport Touring Bikes

The FJR1300 suspension compares favorably to other sport touring models.

It provides more comfort and compliance than the tauter systems on some rivals like the Yamaha FJ-09 or Kawasaki Ninja 1000.

The FJR also handles bumps and dips better than smaller sport-touring bikes like the Honda VFR800 thanks to its longer travel suspension.

The excellent balance of ride quality and handling precision sets the FJR1300 apart from other sport-touring motorcycles.

Review of the Suspension

Having owned an FJR1300 for 5 years and 50,000 miles, I couldn’t be happier with how the suspension has performed.

I’ve ridden twisty mountain roads and straight highways in all conditions.

The compliant yet controlled suspension soaks up imperfections, providing all-day comfort.

Handling remains crisp even when fully loaded for touring.

Adjusting preload takes just moments and makes a noticeable difference in ride quality.

After years of hard use, my suspension still feels compliant and well-damped.

For my sport touring needs, the FJR1300 suspension is tough to beat.

Yamaha FJR1300 Suspension Upgrades

While the stock suspension is capable, some FJR1300 riders install suspension upgrades.

Popular suspension upgrades include Race Tech Gold Valves to improve the feel and add high and low-speed compression damping adjustment.

Install lowering links from Traxxion Dynamics to reduce the bike’s seat height.

Overall, though, the FJR1300 suspension is so well-designed that most owners find the stock setup to be more than adequate even for aggressive riding and touring duties.

Yamaha FJR1300 Suspension Maintenance Tips

The FJR1300 suspension requires minimal routine maintenance.

Check and adjust sag as needed. Inspect the fork seals for leaks and change the fork oil periodically.

Keep the linkage bearings lubricated and inspect bushings and pivot points while servicing the rear wheel.

Replace the rear shock fluid every 2-3 years to maintain the proper damping performance.

Follow Yamaha’s advice on suspension service intervals to keep your FJR1300’s suspension in top shape.


In summary, the Yamaha FJR1300 features an exceptional suspension system that balances comfort and handling.

The compliant yet controlled suspension provides all-day riding comfort while remaining poised when ridden aggressively.

Adjusting preload is quick and makes a real difference in ride quality.

While upgrades are available, most owners find the stock suspension to offer an ideal blend of characteristics.

With proper care and maintenance, the FJR1300 suspension will provide miles of riding enjoyment.

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