With these two motorcycles, these are not only two generations of GT which clash, but straightforwardly two philosophies of piloting. Which of the sporting FJR or valiant the Honda Pan European ST 1300 will be essential on the wire kilometers? Answers lay in our test
One decade of development of variation!
The Yamaha 1300 FJR and the 1300 Honda Pan European were born about at the same time (2001 for Yamaha and 2002 for Honda), but only the FJR have just known a cure of youth.
This handing-over on level was deserved, since the FJR had almost not evolved from its exit: it had been satisfied to adopt ABS in 2003 (to read our Assessment Yamaha occasion 1300 FJR) and to propose a semi-automatic version in 2006 ACE (without clutch). The FJR, quite born, brought happiness by providing large wheelers and some administrations, but Yamaha was to react vis-a-vis a competition – German, in particular – increasingly hard!
The least which one can say, it is Yamaha which knew to preserve the original spirit of its Yamaha FJR 1300 2013. One needs even an advised eye to differentiate old grinding from the news! If its poop is perfectly identical, its prow evolves carefully with pretty fires of day and indicators with lads.
But the innovations rather hide under its careen-age, with a re-examined engine which gain inter alia anti-skid and an adjustable cartography of injection on two modes (Touring or Sport). In addition, the proposed equipment goes up of a notch with the appearance of a speed regulator.
On its side, the Honda Pan European ST 1300 is also voted by plebiscite by rolls-always, with its final transmission by gimbals joint and its distribution by chain. It approaches today its quarter century of existence since it appeared in 1989 in a version of 1100 CC.
It quickly becomes a genuine technological window for Honda: in 1992, it is the first motorcycle to propose the anti-skid one besides before-back coupled braking (and of the ABS inaugurated by BMW in 1988). It is in 2002 that the version 1300 DC tested today made its appearance… with more or less of happiness!
New the Honda Pan European ST 1300 knew a little delicate launching, because she suffered from chronic tacking of the nose gear at high speed. Moreover, if the famous anti-skid one inaugurated on the previous model missed certainly softness, Honda could undoubtedly have sought to improve it rather than to simply give up it purely and on its new “Side-Euro”. Especially how this one is placed at the time as one of the florets of the range with its voluptuous V4!
The city, by default
Like any motorcycle, these two GT can of course venture downtown. But taking into account their imposing gauge, especially with the bags, they will not be most gifted to cut through a path in the congestion!
In this exercise and in spite of her handicap of almost 40 kg, the “old woman” Honda buries her Yamaha competitor literally. There one finds the extraordinary facility specific to the machines of the first world manufacturer.
The Honda Pan European shows an incredible ease for such a motorcycle. All is combined to facilitate the life to you: ultra flexible V4, a precise gear box and a soft and progressive clutch. Add to that a nose gear light and neutral and you will quickly surprise yourselves to thread you – almost! – Like a dispatch rider!
While going down from the Side, one has the feeling to pass to a muscle-development exercise while going up on the FJR downtown. Its nose gear is shown much less nimble at low speed and hardly encourages slaloming…
One also regrets a handful of very firm fluid clutch, which claims one crowned comes up. Lastly, the 4-cylinders online almost shows too much nasty piece of work and brutal in Sport mode. One will prefer the Touring mode to him, more resting because quasi feeble…
This table can appear a little hard for the Yamaha FJR 1300 and the many owners who roll with daily downtown will certainly offend some. Nevertheless, it is noted that the latter often withdraw the side bags with the profit of a top-box and are in general not small gauges… (Debatable)
As soon as one has a little space, one can finally benefit fully from the FJR. One raises a little to the windshield, one selects the Sport mode, and ahead the music!
This year 2013 is filled much more with bottoms and semi modes that the precedents. The sonority of the 4-cylinders is aggressive with wish. With regard to the dynamic behavior of the motorcycle, one finds the features of the old model, namely an imperturbable directional stability, to the detriment of certain promptness.
In loutish mode, the Yamaha FJR 1300 2013 remains very physical to take along. One will not have to hesitate to exaggerate its effort over the steering into the skid, while being helped firmly of the thighs and the feet to balance it from one turn to another.
With a lower center of gravity, the Honda Pan European ST 1300 is let take along with a disconcerting ease. Its suspensions, privileging comfort more which the handling, invite more to strolls than with the attack. And that falls well, because its engine is with the endorsement.
V4, monster of approval and flexibility, is not made to be martyr zed but offer all the same of the very correct revivals and agrees to set out again very low in the turns. This very coherent engine-frame unit offers a very pleasant motorcycle for a tourist use.
If, by chance, one lets oneself exceed by the events, our two large GT prove to be the good freeness ones. One could believe that Honda, from the top of its ten years of age, would be exceeded, but it of it is nothing. With its braking combined “Dual C-ABS” (coupling from the front to the back and vice versa), the Side slows down very well, very extremely and flat!
The Yamaha FJR can however be prided on corrosive and a more precise feeling of the front brake. Their two ABS make their job well: they are made forget and do not start with any end of field in spite of the delicate conditions of our test.
Long, broad and not light…
With their immense windshield and their broad bags, both GT are particularly statutory! They fully assume their big-engine car like their aptitudes to travel to the long course. However old one decade, the tended lines of the Honda Pan European ST 1300 are not at all obsolete and remain very elegant. The design recently improved of the Yamaha FJR 1300 2013 is tormented a little more and undoubtedly more sporting than that of its competitor.
Over the years, the principal defect of these motorcycles known as “GT” became their weight, in constant increase because of their (on) equipment. If the FJR manages to remain under 290 kg all full facts, the Side flirts with 330 kg. They are thus intended to experienced motorcyclists and framed rather well, this would be only for the operations cut engine.
Curiously, at the time of these delicate phases, Honda, perfectly balanced, does not show itself really more difficult to handle than Yamaha in spite of its 40 additional kg. But Honda proposes some refinements like the electrical regulation height of the windshield and that of the headlights: practical not to dazzle everyone when one rolls charged and in duet.
Until its recent recasting, the Yamaha FJR 1300 was not either a model of equipment… It will have been necessary to wait till this New Year 2013 to have of a speed regulator, a choice of cartographic of injection or a windshield which do not return systematically in low position when the contact is cut! An order with the handlebar also makes its appearance on the left control unit to control the various information displayed by the computer of edge.
Their height of saddle remains relatively reasonable – and adjustable, in addition. Honda appears most accessible to the small gauges since its base can vary from 775 mm to 805 mm. For Yamaha, longer legs will be needed – the more so as its saddle is broader – since the height can go from 805 to 825 mm.
Rigged out their side bags able to contain integral, our two GT prove quite practical but rather bulky. Integrated “in” the motorcycle, the bags of the Honda Pan European ST 1300 make only 82 cm broad. Of an equivalent capacity, the bags “added” on the Yamaha FJR 1300 exceed a little more with one width of 90 cm.
However, these eight small centimeters of variation can change the life in the congestion! But on the other hand, Yamaha is prettier than Honda when their bags are withdrawn to them.
The saddle of the new Yamaha FJR 1300 2013 does not change: it remains quite as angular and hard that in the past. But if this firm side does not appear very accommodating first of all, it is a pledge of comfort at the time of long stages.
On the contrary, the saddle of the Honda Pan European ST 1300 is as round as soft. If she manages to show herself also comfortable with the long course, one will curse on the other hand against his slipping side, as well on the level of the pilot as of the passenger… Whatever your trousers (leather, Jean or will sanity), the coating of the saddle are a true cake of soap! Perhaps can one explain it by the fact that our motorcycle of test was quasi new, and that this phenomenon will tend to grow blurred with time? Let us hope!
The back is very slightly leaning towards the handlebar which falls naturally under the hands. The wrists do not undergo any constraint. With its saddle regulated with low (that is to say 775 mm), largest the legs really too folded up on the Pan-European will have, but smallest will be quite glad to pose the two feet peacefully well flat!
The invitation with the travel
General-purpose, Honda Pan European ST 1300 and Yamaha FJR1300 2013 must also be able to discharge a use if not professional, at least serious. In this respect, at the time of the long stages, one regrets the absence of a sixth report on the two motorcycles. Without inevitably speaking about an overdrive, that would make it possible to consume less and to roll peacefully.
On the long motorway stages, the Yamaha FJR 1300 2013 seems posed on a rail. With the speed regulator and good protection of the bubble, one is quickly tempted to daydream with extremely prohibited cruising speeds…
In spite of its comfort and its protection, the Honda Pan European ST 1300 hardly encourages with the speeding’s. Passed 150 km/h, its nose gear suffers, under certain conditions, of tacking not really dangerous… but not pleasant either!
So certain motorcycles invite you – or oblige you! – To have regular breaks because of their reduced autonomy or of their comfort Spartan, it is not the case from our two GT. With respectively of the tanks of 29 and 25 liters, the Side and the Yamaha FJR 1300 exceed the 300 front km briskly books. V4 of Honda is a little bit greedier with an average consumption of 6.8 l/100 km compared with 6.2 for Yamaha.
Into good GT, the two motorcycles accommodate a passenger with the honors due to its row. If its saddle were not also slipping, the Side would be much more comfortable for the passenger than the Yamaha FJR thanks to the cream of its engine and its transmission, its suspensions and its saddle soft.
Verdict: conflict of generations
Finally, Yamaha FJR 1300 2013 and Honda Pan European ST 1300 really do not enter in direct competition, so much they propose different services. According to the motorcyclists and their waiting, they will be able to like or reject very quickly…
The Yamaha FJR 1300 2013 remains above all… a FJR. I.e. a motorcycle rigorous, firm, powerful, equipped well but somewhat demanding. Less sporting and growing old, the Honda Pan European 1300 seems a more comfortable alternative, but of which the degree of equipment is less wide.
Like making forgive its some gaps, Honda is displayed however with a reasonable rate (for a GT!) of 15,990 Euros. If one wishes all modern comfort and more sportsmanship, Yamaha FJR 1300 answers present, but it makes it pay: 17,499 Euros…