I could not be more excited to share news with you about the new 2015 Yamaha FJ-09.
My love for the FZ-09 has been well documented, so I'll try to save you from another rant about how excited I was about that bike after its press launch, or how I've always thought Yamaha should use the engine in more bikes, specifically, a touring bike of sorts. Sure, there are sexier bikes, but I felt like the FZ-09 was the most important bike of 2013, because its price point made riding such a grin-inducing motorcycle so accessible.
Here we are, two years later, and the FZ-09 is Yamaha's best-selling motorcycle, which gives me hope for the American motorcycle market (despite its love for silly bikes like the H2R).
If seeing FZ-09s out on the road gives me hope for the American motorcycle-buying public, the 2015 Yamaha FJ-09 gives me hope for the motorcycle industry. Obviously, a lot remains to be seen about how it performs, and you can be sure we'll look extra hard at areas where the FZ came up short, like fueling and suspension, but it's the bike Yamaha should have built next, and I'm really glad to see they have.
As expected, the FJ-09 shares the FZ-09 engine, frame, and swingarm. The FJ is made more distance-ready with a higher, more upright riding position, a windscreen, bar clamps that allow for 10 mm of adjustability forwards or backwards, and a height-adjustable seat.
In addition to the same "D-Mode" throttle maps found on the FZ, the FJ-09 also gets ABS and traction control standard. To help make it more touring-capable, Yamaha increased the fuel capacity by a little over a gallon to a 4.8 gallons. In addition to the windscreen, they also added handguards for wind protection and increased the size of the seat, which should help improve the comfort.
The front fairing and full LED headlights are also new and add to the slightly more premium feel of the FJ-09. The headlight on the FZ-09 was fairly worthless, but I have high hopes for this new setup's ability to throw light down dark roads.
The FJ-09 gets an all-new LCD instrument panel, which comes as a nice relief from the overly styled and somewhat immature-looking one on the FZ. It offers all the information of the FZ, but in an easier-to-read package and is paired with a 12-volt outlet to charge your phone or GPS unit.
Yamaha is releasing touring accessories along with the bike, including hard panniers, a top case, a taller windscreen, grip heaters, and a comfort gel seat. One of the units at the press unveiling had all of these, as well as some protective pieces fitted, and the combination turned the sport-tourer into something capable of doing some serious mileage. The touring windscreen is absolutely massive, but, as the temperatures have finally started to drop even here in Los Angeles, it looks like it would do a wonderful job.
The FJ-09 will be offered in matte grey and candy red and will be available this December for $10,490. Watch for our first ride report sometime in December, as well.