Youngtimer test: Yamaha FJ 1200


Youngtimer test: Yamaha FJ 1200

Youngtimer test: Yamaha FJ 1200

Intercity Express

Get from A to B quickly and comfortably – with the ICE train. Or on two wheels and with a lot of driving fun – with the FJ 1200.

Gentle, steady, energetic like an electric locomotive – these were once the compliments for them Yamaha FJ 1200. And rightly so. Everything beyond the town sign and over 50 km / h can be comfortably done in fifth gear without ever feeling like you’re starving in terms of performance. The 1200 four-cylinder actually pulls up from idle and only gives up when the (slightly leading) speedometer needle approaches the 240 mark smoothly and without jerks.

The fairing of the Yamaha FJ 1200 provides good protection against the wind, the chassis doesn’t let you rush, the tank holds 22 liters and ensures a long range. At least when driving at a moderate speed – full throttle bolt costs extra. The engine is not a food lover, you hardly get anything under five liters, six to seven liters per 100 kilometers are the rule. The bulbous fairing and the 259 kilos plus driver want to be pushed by the wind. For its weight, however, the FJ proves to be surprisingly handy – the good balance makes it possible.

The 3CW model (1988–1990) with the 17-inch front wheel no longer shows the bad habits of its predecessor with a 16-inch wheel (standing up when braking, tipping in slow corners) and is generally considered the best FJ variant.

The fairing offers good wind protection, the driver enjoys plenty of space and a comfortable sitting posture, the powerful brake system (from the sports sister FZR 1000) ensures crisp deceleration. The air-cooled motor shines with reliability and durability, but runs rough and vibrates significantly. It doesn’t matter: Even today, the Yamaha FJ 1200 is still a great choice for quick, comfortable tours.

Short judgment


The rear is still impressive, even if the 150 mm rear tire seems ridiculously narrow today.


  • Very powerful, long-lasting motor
  • Good wind protection
  • Stable and very handy
  • Great coverage
  • Very effective brake
  • Offers a lot of space, very convenient


  • Quite high consumption
  • Noticeable vibrations
  • Moderate lean angle
  • Hard shifting gearbox

The ancestors


Yamaha FJ 1100 from 1984.

The Yamaha FJ 1100 was introduced to the world of two-wheelers in 1984 as a sport bike. The image of the heavy, somewhat wobbly FJ with 16-inch wheels quickly transformed into the epitome of the fast, comfortable tourer.


Yamaha FJ 1200 from 1986.

There was even more steam in 1986 with the increase in displacement for the 1200. The modified cladding with integrated indicators gives the new one the typical, unique FJ face.

Data and measured values ​​Yamaha FJ 1200

 engine  Four-cylinder four-stroke / in-line
 Displacement  1188 cc
 Power transmission  Five-speed gearbox / chain
 power  74 kW (100 PS) at 8500 rpm
 Max. Torque
 93 Nm at 6500 rpm
 Front brake  Double disc (Ø 298 mm)
 rear brake  Disc (Ø 282 mm)
 Front tires
 120/70 VR 17
 Rear tire
 150/80 VR 16
 Front / rear suspension travel
 150/120 mm
 Tank capacity  22 liters, normal
 Colours  Dark blue, silver
 Maintenance intervals  12,000 km
 price  7680 euros (original price 1988) MEASURED VALUES  
 Top speed  223 km / h
 Acceleration 0-100 km / h
 3.4 sec
 Pulling speed 60-140 km / h
 8.2 sec
 Weight with a full tank
 259 kg


 189 kg  Consumption highway
 6.8 L / 100 km

City – country road – highway

2 wheels

In the city

The not exactly graceful Yamaha FJ 1200 is not the first choice for the nimble city bustle, but the rather low seat height and the good balance make city trips tolerable even for smaller, petite riders. The wide mirror arms allow a good view to the rear, the relaxed sitting posture is pleasing.

2 wheels

On the country road

With the introduction of the 17-inch front wheel from 1988 (3CW model), there is no tilting or tilting when braking. Because the Yamaha FJ 1200 has always been astonishingly handy for its weight, this model is great fun on winding roads. Especially since the beefy engine pushes out of the corners.

2 wheels

On the highway

Stable straight-line stability, great seating comfort, good wind protection and enough steam for high travel speeds make the Yamaha FJ 1200 a top-notch kilometer eater. With the 22-liter barrel, long stretches are possible without a refueling stop, which benefits the travel cut. Only the vibrations are a bit annoying.


Engine: 4 of 5

The air-cooled 1200 is a rough fellow, but strong as a bear and thoroughly honest. A model of reliability, but not a fuel-saving miracle.

Chassis: 4 of 5

With a 17-inch front wheel from 1988 onwards, the handy FJ shows balanced handling without tilting or standing up and runs steadily in a straight line.

Brakes: 4 out of 5

The same applies here: significantly better from model year 1988. The system with four-piston calipers from the FZR 1000 decelerates officially and reliably.

Equipment: 4 of 5

Solid workmanship and proper, functional equipment without superfluous frills – that fits the FJ. Luggage systems are available in accessories.

Comfort: 5 out of 5

You sit well on the FJ, even tall guys find plenty of space. Sports fans may find the chassis too soft, but the comfort is definitely right. 

Suitability for beginners: 1 out of 5

Without further ado: The FJ is a real bummer. It is big and heavy, gentle and good-natured, but not ideal for beginners. 

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