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Yamaha XJR1300 Naked Motorbike Review

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Yamaha XJR1300 motorcycle review - Riding
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Yamaha XJR1300 (1998-current)



Detail Value
New price £8,099
Used price range View Yamaha XJR1300 bikes for sale to see current asking prices
Engine size 1251 cc
Power 105 bhp
Top speed 139 mph
Insurance group 13 of 17
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 4 rating is 4.5
Engine rating is 4 rating is 4.5
Ride & Handling rating is 3 rating is 4
Equipment rating is 2 rating is 3
Quality & Reliability rating is 4 rating is 4
Value rating is 3 rating is 4.5

MCN overall verdict rating is 4

Ah, the Yamaha XJR1300 is a proper man’s motorcycle with twin shocks, air-cooling, a beefy braced swingarm and a colossal motor. And it’s especially lovely in the SP’s Yamaha speed block colours complete with Ohlins shocks, just the sort of thing that sunny Sundays were made for. A motorcycle to make you feel good.

 

Watch the video to see the Yamaha XJR1300 take on the Suzuki B-King, Yamaha's R1 and the KTM Superduke

 

Engine

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

The Yamaha XJR1300's DOHC air-cooled motor started its life pushing around the sporty-touring type thing that was the 1984 FJ1100. Over two decades later it’s still making bags of thrust, still runs nice and smoothly and still posts a 0-60 time that’s effortlessly faster than a Porsche Turbo. Not bad, eh? For 2007 it finally gained Euro 3 satisfying fuel injection plus a catalyser exhaust without any noticeable change in performance.

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 4

It’s best to remember that the Yamaha XJR1300 is a motorcycle built for cruising, not hustling. Around town it’s lovely – easy to steer and easy to manoeuvre at slow speeds. A-roads aren’t a problem until speeds transcend the national speed limit and then a floaty, weavy, bounciness reminds you to slow down again. The ex-R1 superbike brakes are top drawer, though.

Equipment

MCN rating rating is 2
Owners' rating rating is 3

With the Yamaha XJR1300 you get a centrestand, analogue clocks and... that’s about it, despite the 2007 updates. The older SP gets Ohlins shocks, but you can’t adjust them, so it’s all a bit pointless. The factory sells crash bungs, a hugger and luggage.

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4

The Yamaha XJR1300's build quality is broadly good, providing you avoid riding through winter, when the salt will spoil your chrome, nibble on you fork legs, bugger up your brakes and cause the mild steel section of the exhaust to rot.

Value

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

The XJR1300 represents enormous value for money. However, it’s not the best in its class – that honour goes to Honda’s CB1300. Although the CB costs more it handles better. Bridging the gap between the two is Kawasaki's ZRX1200, which is also conspicuously faster, boasting a genuine 150mph top speed. Buy the Yamaha, but only if the deal’s right. Find a Yamaha XJR1300 for sale

Insurance

Insurance group: 13 of 17

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Model History

1995: Yamaha XJR1200 introduced.
1999: Yamaha XJR1200 bored out to create Yamaha XJR1300. SP version also released (deleted 2002).
2004: Lighter wheels, new carbs, new exhaust and uprated brakes added.
2007: Yamaha XJR1300 gets a fairly thorough makeover to gain fuel injection, revised catalytic 4:1 exhaust and a host of detail mods.

Other Versions

XJR1300 SP: Comes with a yellow/black Yamaha ‘Speed Block’ design and Ohlins shocks. The SP was a £300 premium over the stock motorcycle.

Specifications

Top speed 139 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 12.2 secs
Max power 105 bhp
Max torque 75 ft-lb
Weight 224 kg
Seat height 795 mm
Fuel capacity 21 litres
Average fuel consumption 38 mpg
Tank range 175 miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group 13 of 17
Engine size 1251 cc
Engine specification 16v, in-line four 5 gears
Frame Tubular steel cradle
Front suspension adjustment Preload
Rear suspension adjustment Preload
Front brakes Twin 298mm discs
Rear brake 267mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 180/55 x 17

See all Yamaha XJR1300 motorcycles for sale

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XJR1300

5034 miles

£4,299

Yamaha
XJR1300

1787 miles

£6,999

Yamaha
XJR1300

3036 miles

£6,299

Yamaha
XJR1300

5977 miles

£5,299

Yamaha
XJR1300

7467 miles

£5,299

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 4(16 reviews)

  • My first XJR

    petervoros

    Average rating rating is 4

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    I have had all sorts of different bikes in the last 5 years,never went for Sports bikes because I'm too creaky tried most others though. I can't believe the XJR has slipped under my radar for so long. I bought this one new at a good discount. This bike has just about everything I need. Plenty of smooth up and go, good looking big bike that is more agile than it looks, rides like a magic carpet, good comfort on both seats and plenty of street cred. I'd like a sixth gear and a gear indicator and that would be about it. Reliability and build quality will have to be continued at a further time but look good so far.

    27 July 2012

  • All torque and muscle

    Anonymous

    Average rating rating is 4

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    My first encounter with one of these bikes was when I went round our drummer's house, and there this beast was in his drive. Three years later I had bought one and I haven't been disappointed. Ok, I bought mine when you could buy them cheap (£4K for a 1 yr old bike, bargain), and I haven't stopped grinning since. It has a lorry load of torque in any gear and hits the national speed limit briefly before waving it bye bye :-) It is a proper big muscle bike, a bruiser and badged as a worthy street bike. I love it to bits, even though there may be faster bikes, even bigger ones, but none compare to the aggressive look and that big old headlight comin down the road atcha! I'm 47 yrs old. I should be in a reclining armchair wearing a pair of M&S finest slippers smoking some pipe, reading a sermon, but no, I'm a rock guitarist riding a big, brash, heavy black XJR. Nothing better!

    13 December 2011

  • Big beautifull 'n torquey

    Eldar

    Average rating rating is 4

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    Good looking bike with a beautifull torquey engine , the handlings stable on bendy "A" roads but requires a bit more input on backroads but this adds to the fun !Its very comfortable to ride and my daughter says the pillion seat is one of the most comfortable places she's ever sat!Fuel consumptions good for a big bike 145 miles to reserve 39mpg , then a gallon left after that . Overall its a great bike !

    31 January 2011

  • old but not out

    bubba1968

    Average rating rating is 4

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    As i said earlier had mine 11 yers never ever lay dwn on me , all over europe n the uk n ireland, original sp 1 of 98, best but not the last,

    01 November 2010

  • A real mans bike

    stacexjr1300

    Average rating rating is 3.5

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    I bought my'ne when it was a year old off a guy who said "It scared him to death" and that "I wouldnt have it long before I got shut of it too". Well ya puff I've had it for 6 great years. Its a great cruiser and looks good washed and shiney parked up in any bike meet area. My wife loves the pilion on long rides as the seat is comfy as owt. It aint a race bike and bounces around. You have to treat it with respect when riding at speed. Its not called amuscle bike for nothing. Buy one of these and I can asure you of one thing, all day long biking fun.

    22 December 2009

  • Top speed is Dead Tourqe is King! long live...

    Lodi

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    This Bike is 100% Fun! Easy to ride smooth as a blackbird stops like an R1 What more do you want.It Handles very well at legal speeds with none of that rear wheel twitch ive had form single shocks,sits on the road lovely with very little movement from side winds unlike its competitors .The best bit, crack open the throttle and feel the force luke!the tourqe is addictive!The engine started its life well over twenty years ago but wow what an engine its so simple you will be skipping away from the service bay!Dont worry about the build quality its the same as all the others! Go get one you wont regret it.

    08 November 2009

  • Mods

    oopz69

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Ive an 04 xjr with plenty of mods, dyno stage 1, 36y inlets, K@n, igniton advancer, bespoke carbon race cans etc, but easily the best mod ive done was to the handling by fitting a billet jack-up kit, raises the back end by 40mm making the steering angle steeper thus making it turn sharper. Totally transformed the handling, felt flat-footed b4 now feels as its if on the balls of its feet ! (190 rear tyre too)

    01 September 2009

  • Not a winter bike!

    ChrisTheSheep

    Average rating rating is 4

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    Engine

    I’ve had my XJR for just over a year now, bought it at seven months old with just 2000 miles on the clock and I’ve done 10,000 since then. It’s one of the first with fuel injection, so has a single huge exhaust on the right-hand side. All in all I’m pretty pleased with it – hankering after a change, but that’s me, not the bike. In town it’s great, really controllable in all weathers – including some unexpected sheet ice I found myself riding over. On the open road it’s brilliant fun in good weather provided you’re not after flat-out speed – much more than the NSL and the windblast and handling start to get in the way. Crosswinds don’t bother it in the slightest, but of course you’re pretty exposed when it rains – I fitted a fly-screen which helps a bit. I commute daily, 10 miles each way in 30 limits and I’ve been getting nearly 40mpg out of it – hardly a CG125 but not bad. I also do some longish runs quite regularly and I’ve been known to get 50mpg with no effort – though that involved sticking below 80 on the motorway. In general it’s not that expensive to run, though it does get through rear tyres – the original Dunlops (D208 I think) gave me less than 4000 miles, the Metzeler Z6s I’m running now look like lasting 6000 to 7000 which isn’t bad. The finish isn’t up to winter riding – loads of ACF50 and regular washing help, but inevitably it’s showing some corrosion – though I expected worse. The paint on the tank is thin – sneeze and it rubs off – but the engine seems to be standing up well apart from flaking on the generator cover. I’ve had faults fixed under warranty. First the clutch slave cylinder started leaking – new seals would probably have been enough but they replaced it. This has always been an XJR weak point apparently, probably because it gets covered in filth thrown up by the chain, but it’s a cheap fix and extremely easy. I also got an error from the engine management, which needed a pair of sensors replacing – worrying, as I don’t know how long the replacements will last. Now it’s out of warranty I’ve started servicing it myself, and it really is easy – no plastics to remove for a start, lifting the tank’s easy once you know how! I sometimes find myself looking for sixth gear; it doesn’t need it to be honest, but the difference between fourth and fifth isn’t great – fifth could benefit from being more of an overdrive. For daily use you need a topbox – there’s virtually NO storage space, even under the seat. Strengths: Engine, brakes, looks, comfort Weaknesses: Clutch slave cylinder, finish, no storage, no ABS option

    14 April 2009

  • Average rating rating is 3.5

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    On what you really want in a bike, i did just short of 50 miles and i was very impressed in the bike. heavy and sluggish with a very un sporty riding position, i was worried that the first 100BHP+ bike id ride would be too zaney, but as i found out, it was polite and quite merciful. the engine is one of my faves i think, with all the torque and power from halfway up the rev range, the drive away is smooth and controlled. twin ohlins, although its questionable at what grade on the rear do give great feel with a sturdy planted factory set up for the thin to the big guys. any major gripes are held over the bars (too high and close together) and maybe the resale value. these bikes never sold as many as Yamaha would of hoped, its target market generally get suckered in for the wow and show-off factors of american cruisers like hardly davidsons. but at 22, i liked it, apart from the bars hurting my shoulders (im used to a sv position!) it was a good call, i was often thinking of a ZRX1200 before the sv, maybe i should of, but then again, these arent really what ill want for at the end, but if its a big bike thats got handling to match the heady mix of old school ego and twin rear shocks, XJR is a very good option indeed. fellers.

    07 March 2008

  • Great Town Bike

    mfgrogan

    Average rating rating is 4

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    I bought mine second hand in 2005 from a dealer in South London. Paid a bit over the top but thought the bike felt smooth and rode well having had an FJR1200 for four years. The bike looks great, handles really well on A roads (though the suspension can't keep up with the engine) and through traffic and has been rock solid riding through two Winters. Finish a bit flaky but buffs up well and though it's a cruiser and not a bruiser it's been perfect fun for riding across London and its surrounding green lanes. Top bike.

    14 February 2008

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mozthegreat

mozthegreatsays

XJR1300

I bought mine in September 2011 with only 2090 miles on the clock, a 59 plate for only £4800 from woods in abergele north wales, great on the twisty country roads and around town, offers a comfy saddle for a fair few hours i owned a few bikes before this and i must say this is the sexiest out of the lot and the way it rides i love the low down drive this bike gives you, its fast enough for the type of bike it is, its sure no licence loser though but that's one of the reasons i went for the XJR taking bends fast dose need a bit of rider input as the suspension can get a bit bouncy at high speeds and its a big heavy bugger, all in all i love it and would recommend it to any naked bike lover.

20 April 2012 03:53

BEZANT

User's Badge

BEZANTsays

XJR 1300 2001

Just keeps roling along . I visit the showrooms and see the lastest offerings , they look tempting then I look at the prices and think why part with all that cash to have what i've allready got and ride home with a smile on face a lot richer, The bikes almost 100% origional apart from flyscreen , engine bars and exhaust . I've had it a while, it's done genuine 11k FSH at main agent . And still got the same grin factor 10 years on, Great bike if you like that sort of thing.

24 August 2010 03:26

mlongden

User's Badge

mlongdensays

brilliant

a very nice welcome change from my past 2 R1'S,which get smaller and skinier with each new model.comfy,fast,full of torque,very good looking,always attracts admiring looks at matlock and fantastic value for money.sounds awesome too with the twin race cans.feels solid and beefy,which is what i wanted.only bike that could tempt me away is the aprilia mille rsv r,as i may miss the fairing for long runs,but i only pad £2000 for a 6000mile w reg,so its a bargain for this summer.

13 February 2008 21:34

SHRUBBERY

SHRUBBERYsays

XJR1300SP

Oh yes...that's why I've got one!

18 March 2007 18:29

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