I spent 10 years and 110,000 miles on an ST before buying an FJR. Still an active member on the ST forum since 2008.
Here were my initial impressions I posted
Here's what I can tell you so far. The FJR sits taller and I feel like I am sitting on it, rather than in it. I think the bars are narrower and lower and the footpegs are higher, so it's a sportier riding position. I think the ST was a little bit more comfortable. The FJR certainly has a different sound, but still has it's own space craft sound to it IMO. I think the ST may be smoother motor-wise, but the FJR is pretty smooth as well. I think the ST's windshield was a little better. You can certainly feel the difference in weight when pushing it around and when transitioning thru an S curve. The FJR is WAY easier to put on the center stand. Cruise control is a great feature, and I love the gear indicator. The FJR really doesn't need a 6th gear and there is not a big enough difference between 6th and 5th to make 6th a true overdrive. Still I find myself using 6th a lot.I am averaging 50.1 mpg on the FJR and averaged 47 mpg on the ST. Not having to buy premium gas is nice.
As far as power goes, the FJR may have more, but the way I ride I'll never find out. I'm not a hot road racer and anything over 100 hp is basically wasted on me. My ST was never over 5000 rpm and neither will this FJR. Most of my time is spent between 2500 and 3500 rpms, 45-60 miles per hour +- 5 mph of the speed limit.
My FJR is the A model and the suspension is manually adjustable and to me, it's got really good suspension right out of the box. There are infinite ways to fiddle with it. I won't be fiddling much, maybe a click here or there, because it feels really good as is. There is a lever in the back that switches the rear spring preload from hard (2 UP) to soft. It works really well. I run it on soft solo, and when my wife goes for a ride I flip the lever to hard. Easy peasy. When she climbs off, I flip it back. Takes 2 seconds..if that.
One thing I absolutely love on this new Yamaha is how ridiculously EASY it is to change the oil filter. Right there on the left side of the engine. Right out in the open where you can get to it, yet protected from road debris. I think I changed my oil filter 27 times on my ST and hated doing it every time, made a mess, I think, every time but once. Also the drain, filter, fill and inspection window are all on the same side and within inches of each other. So...no more running from side to side.
Another great thing I've discovered about this bike compared to the ST. Putting it on the center stand. So easy. Guys who think the ST is easy would flip an FJR over backwards using the same amount of effort lol. My ST was a beyotch to heft onto the centerstand, and yes I know the technique having owned 30 street bikes and from working in motorcycle shops for 17 years. I have put thousands of bikes on centerstands. Some bikes are just easier than others. My ST was one of the hardest ones I ever had to hoist up there. When I put it on the centerstand for servicing (the ONLY time it went on the centerstand) I usually solicited my wife's assistance. Don't need her with the FJR. It fairly jumps up on the stand.
Getting rid of the oe Bridgestone tires for some Michelin Pilot Road 4 GT's really sharpened up the handling in the curvy bits and they should last longer. Moved the handlebars to the most rearward of 3 positions. Not much change but a little. I bought some boots with waffle stomper soles which helps reaching the ground, and raised the front fork tubes 3/8" in the trees
A follow up comparison I did after 6 months of ownership for someone
The FJR has had the benefit of continual improvement by Momma Yamaha. The basic bike was already good and they've only made it better with the addition of a 6th gear, heated grips, cruise control, ABS, Traction control, slipper clutch, updated instrumentation, an electronic windshield that stayed in position when shut off, and an additional higher tech model with electronic suspension in the ES model that I don't have. etc. All stuff that the ST 1300 could have used if it were to stay competitive in the market place. The FJR's motor with 146 hp and 106 ft lbs of torque is a beast. It has always been considered the sportiest of the popular sport tourer's. That however has not been a benefit for me. I don't go thru curves on the FJR any faster or slower than I did on my ST. I'm not one of the more aggressive riders on either brand, I just ride...but I ride a lot. 300 days and 25,000 miles a year on average since I retired 5 years ago. It's got to be accumulated snow or ice or an all day frog strangler when I wake up, to keep my bikes in the garage. I ride when it's above 100 and I ride when it's below zero. The ST has a lower center of gravity and lower seat height. Physically it was more comfortable for me with my stubby legs, particularly so with my seat cut down by Greatdaytoride.com. Something I am considering for the taller FJR, although the knee bend on the FJR is already tighter than it was on the ST with the seat lowered so it might not be an option. I have torn meniscus in both knees and don't want to aggravate those. I'm still pondering what to do to get me closer to the ground. There are options, but IMO there are no good options. So far I am managing, but know I'm just an iffy footing situation from another drop (which I never did on the ST in 10 years and 110,000 miles). The windshield range of motion was better on the ST and I've bought a taller shield for the FJR to make up for that. I've also bought another stock shield to cut down to get it lower in the summer (which I also did for the ST). I've moved my handlebars back into the closest position to me out of 3 on the FJR and they feel a little better, but the angle is wrong (too sharp of an angle), and the only way to fix that is with a $ 300 riser kit which also moves them up an inch and back an inch and a half and I'm not excited about that, feeling it would take away some of the FJR's sportiness. I never wanted risers on my ST either. I don't mind a little forward bend. Then again being so small, I'm sitting up against the tank on both anyway and not that far from the stock bars to begin with lol. The oil filter is way easier to change on the FJR...way easier and I like that. rear end oil change is the same. The FJR is 80# lighter than the ST but you only feel that when pushing the bike around by hand. Once moving I can't tell a difference. I think the ST's voodoo is the complicated linked braking system with SMC that seemingly only a few people in the world can properly work on and bleed. My local factory trained mechanics apparently couldn't . Shame Honda chooses to over engineer things like that. Both have superb brakes, great handling and great powerbands, pulling tall gears from low rpms without complaint either single or riding double up. The FJR looks better without saddlebags than the ST did, but I rarely ride without them. . The ST holds a little more gas,but I get slightly better gas mileage on the FJR by about 5 miles per gallon. . The FJR uses regular. I always hated that the ST required premium. Stock seats I'd rate equally and neither bothered me. I can ride on both of them 10-12 hours a day.
I'm now at 13 months a little over 20,000 miles on the FJR.
Be glad to answer anymore questions you might have.
2018 Yamaha FJR 1300A
2014 Honda CB1100 DLX
It doesn't matter what I ride, where I ride, or how far I ride... it only matters THAT I ride...every day. "Ferret"