Back home from my memorable Austrian Alps trip (I hope to have the story and many pictures of it soon in my website), on past Wednesday I picked-up my brand new "silver storm" Yamaha FJR 1300 A/S model (electronically controlled clutch-less shifting device), as far as I know the first A/S model sold in Portugal. 8)
After riding my new FJR for over 300 km in the most diverse conditions, I think I'm able to share with you my first impressions on this new system that, in contrary of what some believes, it is not a similar automatic transmission system already used in maxi-scooters, but an innovative technology, resembling the one used in Formula 1 cars, which I'm certain will be the future of street motorcycling.
I must confess that the first kilometres I rode the bike were quite confusing, even a bit scaring, but I got used to this new and revolutionary YCC-S system (Yamaha Chip Controlled Shift) quite rapidly, which pros and cons I want to share with you:
- The option for the fist (manual) sequential box is the ideal for city traffic, which demands many but not fast gear box changes. It will also be the case for long trips. The system is extremely simple, efficient and, above all, very comfortable.
- The possibility of using simultaneously the sequential hand and foot gear box (without shift, of course) is the ideal for faster and sport riding, that demand fast changes of gear box and the necessary power in the exact moments. I use the left fist gear selector to go up the speeds and the foot selector for the gear box reductions. This technique is the ideal therefore allowing an absolute concentration on the bike's braking and acceleration control.
- When it is necessary to engage a lower or higher speed, because of the engine's regimen, the gear box indicator, very well located in the instrument panel, starts blinking, what it is a very good riding assistant.
- It is not necessary to decelerate when engaging the sequential speeds, what make the new A/S faster than the previous model, because gear box changes are more rapid, either in acceleration or in speed reductions.
- Although it does not bring any advantage for who lives in a temperate climate, like me, the A/S model is equipped with a fists warming system. Having in mind my long Europe trip, I would rather prefer the new FJR equipped with a serial "cruise-control".
- The lack of "cluch control point", in such a powerful and quite heavy bike, can lead to some initial confusion until we find the ideal acceleration point, in order that the bike can start running in a soft and safe manner. I only found this ideal acceleration point after a good set of "stop and go" tests. It also requires some adaptation in snaky mountain roads, when you need to control the engine power at low speeds while passing by a climbing sharp bends.
- The hand reduction gear box button is next to the horn, what can initially originate some unwanted and dangerous "horn reductions"…
Although the instruments panel design and presentation is much better and visible that in the previous model, in my opinion the flashlights indicators are too small. If in the previous model, which the flashlight indicators were enormous, I used to forget it on very often, now it's even worst for me. Perhaps I'm getting too old …
On the other hand the original windshield, at least for my 1,85 meters of height, still not provides the necessary frontal wind protection, so I ordered already a higher GIVI windshield.
Finally, the new designed and greater dimension rear view mirrors provide a much better visibility, which is very important especially in long trips. Now those larger mirrors can also be seen by the passenger, who can help the driver in more delicate situations or even in some distraction.
In brief, I am very much happy with my new FJR A/S. Comparing with the normal model price, I think that it worth paying more 2.500 euros for the A/S model. This revolutionary new YCC-S system, that is already a reality for Yamaha, I'm sure it will be the future for all other street bikes !