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Yamaha XJR1300 Naked Motorbike Review

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Yamaha XJR1300 motorcycle review - Riding
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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.

Yamaha XJR1300 (1998-current)

Detail Value
New price £8,099
Dealer used prices
£2,660 (2000) - £8,390 (2014)
Private used prices
£2,390 (2000) - £7,550 (2014)
  View full used price info
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

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

Yamaha
XJR1300

8284 miles

£5,495

Yamaha
XJR1300

3025 miles

£5,995

Yamaha
XJR1300

9000 miles

£4,750

Yamaha
XJR1300

1 miles

£7,778

Yamaha
XJR1300

1 miles

£8,099

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 4(16 reviews)

  • One of the best allrounder naked

    Stevecut

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    I bought my XJR new in 2005, I looked at other bikes but decided to go for the Yamaha. Great to look at, bullet-proof and proven engine, handles well for a 1300, good tourer, very comfortable for rider and pillion, all in all effortless riding and brakes to match.

    08 January 2008

  • Best looking naked by far and superbly reliable

    dieffe

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Bought the bike new and rode it constantly for four summers and winters. The finish is not good unless really looked after, but hey, it's a good excuse to strip the bike and do some serious polishing and blinging which makes it look stunning. Plenty of mods available, Akro, bigger inlet rubbers, K&N, clutch spring and airbox mod make it dish out some 125 horses. Change the front springs for Öhlins and put some heavier oil in and it handles pretty well too. Strengths: Strengths are reliability, looks and ease of riding. Weaknesses: The finish is not good and if left it will soon look like a crusty old heap.

    25 September 2006

  • Big , Meaty gorgeous Brute

    paulshenton

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Overall
    Ride and Handling
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    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    This is my second New Xjr. Nothing else compares. With 32 years of riding under my belt I think I know a good bike when i see one. Powerful air cooled motor with plenty of grunt. Only thing missing is the caravan tow bar. Sounds and goes even better with a four pipe laser system. Yep got one of those fitted as well. Goes like a good woman should. Strengths: Engine. Looks. Comfort. Grunt. Reliability. Weaknesses: Top heavy. Suspension.

    27 August 2006

  • My first bike after a 19 year break, and what a way to get back into biking!

    big_coluk

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    I haven't found the bikes limits, which means every ride is a constant thrill. I can go faster, lower, smoother, further... whatever I want, the XJR is brilliant! The upright riding position is fantastic around town and country lanes - no good for motorways, but why have a motorbike and then use the motorway? Strengths: The sheer presence on the road, combined with immediate low down power that just keeps on coming. Fantastic comfort for rider and pillions. Weaknesses: Chrome gets tarnished quite easily, but maybe I should clean it more and ride it less? No!

    24 March 2006

  • Extemely reliable, plenty of grunt, (still) looks good but harsh ride and exhaust balancer box rots.

    willygrosgarcon

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Always performed faultlessly on many continental tours. Last summer in Hungary showed up its only real flaw- poor ride quality. Many Hungarian roads extremely BUMPY!! Strengths: Reliabilty, torque, looks. Weaknesses: Harsh ride on back roads.

    17 December 2005

  • Easy to use, safe at slow speeds, top 12 mph up with no probs, wowwwwwwwww

    BikerGrove

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    In an earlier life, I had four XS1100's, one after the other. On returning I thought 'get the same sort of thing!' HMMMMMMMMMMMM. After owning this for 18 months Yamaha have replaced a large number of engine components and bike parts. Also three sets of clutch seals. Even the shocks and wingmirrors have all been changed due to corrosion caused by "using the bike in inclement weather" dohhhhhhhhhh. There are two types of bikers, those who own a bike, and those who ride bikes. I am rather disappointed that this machine turns out to be an owners, rather than a riders bike. BUTTTTTTTT what fun it is, good speed, (my sons loose me on their 600's though), two up no problems. Wind up the suspension and it gives reasonable performance. Torquey power source, with really good brakes, and a good long legged top end. Only sounded right when I put EVO's on from Blue Flame. Better fuel consumption and more BHP, and OH a sound to die for. (not literaly of course!) Strengths: Easy riding position, but a rather hard seat. Two up just as good. Luggage from GIVI fits well. Full fairing from TSP improved high speed performance and weather protection. Weaknesses: Japanese finish which cannot resist the cheap and nasty salt our councils throw every where.

    08 July 2004

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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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