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Yamaha FJ1100

In 1984, Yamaha reentered the super-bike fray after years of neutrality. The long-awaited FJ1100 was big, last and refined - the first open-class street bike from Yamaha to be taken seriously, an immediate force to be reckoned with by the other factories. There were faster, sharper bikes that year, but none of them had the FJ’s whole-cloth competence. The Yamaha embodies a classic balance of comfort and performance that has lengthened its lifespan far beyond that of the other open-class soldiers it once fought, which have long since faded away.

The motor is a compact, slightly inclined, DOHC, 16 valve transverse four, remarkable only for the amount of sheer, outright power it gives - 125bhp at 9,000rpm -which makes the FJ a king of wheelspin along its rapid path to a blistering top speed. What is unusual about the bike is the way the engine is mounted. Yamaha realized that serious weight-saving on a bike this big was a futile exercise, so they concentrated their efforts on keeping the weight, and indeed the bike, low and compact. Their 'lateral frame concept' consists of a high-tensile, box-section steel frame built along endurance racer lines. There are no top tubes running above the engine. Instead, two huge frame tubes laterally hug the motor's sides. Instead of meeting at the steering head, these two side tubes join in front of it; the steering pivot itself is supported by small-diameter tubing, fully triangulated off these main rails. The aim is to achieve the greatest possible steering head rigidity. Certainly it was a first for a Japanese production bike.

Sitting on 16in wheels, front and back, the FJ1100 feels remarkably low on the road. The seat height is a mere 30.7in yet there is good ground clearance. With a full tank it weighs 5561b yet the weight is hardly noticeable on the move. The bike's low and tight dimensions belie its size and it has none of the dead, top heavy feel of traditional 1100cc monster road bikes. It steers quickly and nimbly as intended. On small wheels with fat tyres, 4.4in of trail, a 30 degree head angle and a trim 58.3in wheelbase, the FJ was the first 1100 to prove as lively as many a middleweight motorcycle. It makes smooth and strong power effortlessly.

The wind-tunnel designed full fairing deflects the worst of the wind and the weather and helps the bike to an impressive top speed. It is so quick and powerful that it can easily deceive the rider about what speed he or she is doing.

Bike Image Description
Yamaha FJ1100 Yamaha FJ 1100 The FJ1100 was the first litre-plus motorcycle to address the problem of all litre-plus motorcycles - how to make something fundamentally big and heavy handle responsively. The FJ is a genuine 150mph superbike, combining a huge and immensely strong engine with a low and fairly lightweight chassis. Until the FJ1200, it was Yamaha's flagship, their biggest and most powerful four-stroke motorcycle.
1984 Yamaha FJ1100 Yamaha FJ1100  
1984 Yamaha FJ1100 1984 Yamaha FJ 1100  
1984 Yamaha FJ1100 1984 Yamaha FJ1100 Early in 1986, Yamaha unveiled the FJ1200, an oversized big bore version with more power everywhere especially in the midrange. It is only a few mph faster at the top end. The chassis spec is virtually identical and only detail changes have been made.

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