YAMAHA XVZ1300 ROYAL STAR (1996-2001) Review

Published: 24 November 2006

"Detuned Vmax powered full dresser is truly different"

Yamaha XVZ1300A Royal Star motorcycle review - Riding

"Detuned Vmax powered full dresser is truly different"

  • At a glance
  • 1294cc  -  75 bhp
  • 40 mpg  -  120 miles range
  • Low seat height (710mm)

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

If you want a cruiser because it attracts attention then the Yamaha XVZ1300A Royal Star certainly does the job. With a V-Max motor ( detuned of course ) Tonka Toy bodywork and a gnat's bollock of ground clearance, the Yamaha XVZ1300A Royal Star is something truly different from the typical 90s V-twin Harley tribute act.

Ride Quality & Brakes 2 out of 5

Even for a cruiser, the Yamaha XVZ1300A Royal Star handles like a jelly burglar's swag bag. There's hardly any ground clearance, the bike steers slower than the QE2 and the riding position is akin to a dentist's chair. The Yamaha XVZ1300A Royal Star is great fun whilst posing on Brighton prom, but disappointingly vague on normal roads.

Engine 4 out of 5

The Yamaha XVZ1300A Royal Star has a really soft, lazy old motor, which makes a claimed 75bhp or 98bhp in the full dresser XVZ Venture Star touring model. Peak torque is at just 3500rpm, so you'll rarely need to stir the Yamaha XVZ1300A Royal Star's five-speed gearbox once on the move. 

Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5

The Yamaha XVZ1300A Royal Star is beautifully finished. The chrome glitters, the paint is thick. The Yamaha XVZ1300A Royal Star's engine is so understressed that it's difficult to imagine any mechanical problems affecting it for at least 50,000 miles. Owners tend to use the Yamaha XVZ1300A Royal Star/Venture Star in sunny weather, so used examples often look near mint. 

Value & Running Costs 2 out of 5

If you want a mega cruiser then Harley have street cred and resale values that cannot be matched by any other brand. The Valkyrie is faster, handles better too and a Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 does the same job and costs less secondhand. Hard to see why you'd want a Yamaha XVZ1300A Royal Star, unless someone was virtually giving it away. Find a Yamaha Royal Star for sale

Insurance group: 14 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 4 out of 5

The fully tour kitted Yamaha XVZ1300A Venture Star has all the bells and whistles you'd expect including audio, although it's only a quaint radio/cassette player. Huge fairing will keep a monsoon at bay. The basic Yamaha XVZ1300A Royal Star has less sophisticated suspension, a less luxurious pillion perch, but still boasts twin front discs. 

Owners' Reviews

3 owners have reviewed their YAMAHA XVZ1300 ROYAL STAR (1996-2001) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

We’re currently improving the way this section works, which means we’ve had to suspend the submission of new owners’ reviews for a short period. Please check back soon.

Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 4.7 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 3.7 out of 5
Engine 4.7 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4.7 out of 5
Equipment 4.7 out of 5
5 out of 5

Bagger on steroids!

06 December 2011 by Anonymous

When looking to replace my Kawasaki VN1500 Nomad I looked long and hard at all types of big cruisers (didn't consider Harley as they are too overpriced for me). I narrowed it down to the Honda VTX 1800, Suzuki C109 and Kawasaki VN 2000. All big... Read more powerful cruisers but not quite right. I stumbled in my research across the XVZ 1300. The smaller capacity turned me off until I discovered it was a V4. That really got me interested. Fast forward I did my research and opted for a low km one owner CT version in pearl white. The motor is superb. Mine has slip on BUB exhausts and sounds amazing. The V4 really rumbles like a V8. Sounds much better than a V twin. Comfort is excellent, performance is exceptional for a BIG bike and economy/range is good when not pushed. Remember this is a big and heavy bike but for my 6'4 115 kilo frame is perfect. I find it is easy to handle at low speeds and fast in straights. Remember this is a long distance tourer and not a sports bike. It's not a fan of the twisties. Yamaha build quality is outstanding - period! Before you consider a Harley Road King, Kawasaki Voyager and/or Nomad, Goldwing, Suzuki C109 strongly consider the XVZ new or used.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5

Yamaha Venture Star

30 September 2008 by Anonymous

I have owned this bike since 1999 and have the silver and gold model. I first saw it in a motorcycle magazine and thought it was beautiful. Yamaha obviously borrowed some styling cues from the Harley Davidson Classic and made just enough changes to... Read more make it unique. I love the look and especially the dash which looks like a 1955 corvette dash. What You don't know is that the Engine was designed by Porsche for Harley Davidson!!! Harley passed on it because they were afraid the Harley faithful would not go for the 4 cylinder. Porsche later designed the twin cylinder V-Rod for Harley and it has mixed reviews from the Harley Faithful. The 4 cylinder V Engine Porsche designed was later sold to Yamaha who put it in their 1983 Venture Royale Touring bike. Later the folks at Yamaha thought it was too nice an engine to waste on a touring bike so they added V-Boost and put it in the V-Max in 1985. Yamaha stopped production of the Venture Royale in 1989 but brought it back as the Yamaha Venture in 1999. The Engine in the V-Max makes 145 HP at the crank, in the Venture it maked 98 HP and 89 FPT. This is a lot of power for a touring bike and the bike tops out at 135 MPH!!! What I like about the bike is it can tour like a Gold Wing, but cruise like a Harley. With the aftermarket Bub's Pipes, it sounds like a chevy V-8 small block and I should know because I have owned two - a Vette and a Z-28 so I know that sound!!! I like that the bike looks a lot like the Harley Classic - so much so that the Harley Faithful wave to me all the time!!! I love the smoothness and sound of the engine which gets 45 mpg in touring mode! I love the comfort of the riding position and I added the backrest for even more comfort! I love the paint and the colors that looks like a custom job to me and my friends. I love that Yamaha thinks enough about the bike to provide a 5 YEAR Warrantee!!! The Radio/Soundsystem is excellent and it consists of 18 FM channels, 6 AM channels, cassette tape player, plug in for my Sony I-pod, CB Radio, and I have the Clarion 6 disk CD player!!! I have put on almost 30,000 trouble free miles in the last 10 years and in three years I plan to buy a brand new one to take me through my retirement years!!! What I don't like about the bike is it is heavy (809 lbs) so the handling is rather heavy and slow. It is an excellent bike for cruising and touring on open roads with the same limitations the Harley classic has which is the handlebar mounted fairing (less stable in the wind), the heavy handling (heavyweight), and the limited ground clearance. The pipes and floorboards scrape but it is better when one up and with the aftermarket (Bub's)pipes which are smaller in diameter. As long as you remember that this bike is not a sport bike, or even a sport tourer, You will be fine. What it is is an excellent heavyweight cruising touring bike! When I bought this bike back in 1999, I had a Harley Davidson Classic on order! It was due in in 3 months, but a friend talked me into a test drive on the Venture and I was sold!!! I saved $5,000 over the cost of the Harley and got an excellent bike for my money. What I hope Yamaha does to improve the bike is add fuel injection, anti-lock brakes, heated grips and seats and GPS as options. They might also think of putting a water cooled, fuel injected, high performance twin cylinder engine for better mileage (55 vs 45 MPG), and higher torque. Bottom line is I will probably buy another Yamaha Venture in three years when I retire!!! I think that says it all!!!

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
4 out of 5

goldwing alternative ?

24 January 2008 by andy pandy 1961

IF YOUR LOOKING FOR A BIKE THAT DOES ALL WHAT A GOLDWING DOES AND COSTS LESS, WEARS BETTER,AND LOOKS LIKE A BIKE ,AND NOT A SPACESHIP THIS IS FOR YOU .YAMAHA GOT THE STYLING SPOT ON " WITH SOME HELP FROM HARLEY DAVIDSON.THERE IS AMPLE LUGGAGE SPACE... Read more THE ONLY MINOR GRIPE IS THE SCREEN HEIGHT TOO HIGH FOR SOME RIDERS .APART FROM THAT ITS WORTH A TEST RIDE I THINK YOU WILL BE SURPRISED

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 3 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
Read all 3 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 1996
Year discontinued 2001
Original price -
Warranty term (when new) Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 14 of 17
Annual road tax £80
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 75 bhp
Max torque 111 ft-lb
Top speed 115 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 15.1 secs
Average fuel consumption 40 mpg
Tank range 120 miles
Specification
Engine size 1294cc
Engine type 4 stroke, V4, 5 gears
Frame type Steel cradle type
Fuel capacity 18 litres
Seat height 710mm
Bike weight 301kg
Front suspension None
Rear suspension None
Front brake Twin 298mm disc
Rear brake 320mm disc
Front tyre size 150/80 x 16
Rear tyre size 150/90 x 15

History & Versions

Model history

1996: Yamaha XVZ1300A Royal Star launched.
1997: Yamaha XVZ1300A Royal Star Tour Classic joins it.
1999: Yamaha Venture Star replaces Tour Classic and Royal Star.
2001: Yamaha Venture Star withdrawn from UK market.

Other versions

Yamaha XVZ1300 AT Tour Classic.
Yamaha XVZ1300 TF Venture Star.

Photo Gallery

  • Yamaha XVZ1300A Royal Star motorcycle review - Riding
  • Yamaha XVZ1300A Royal Star motorcycle review - Side view
  • Yamaha XVZ1300A Royal Star motorcycle review - Riding
  • Yamaha XVZ1300A Royal Star motorcycle review - Side view
  • Yamaha XVZ1300A Royal Star motorcycle review - Front view
  • Yamaha XVZ1300A Royal Star motorcycle review - Front view
  • Yamaha XVZ1300A Royal Star motorcycle review - Side view
  • Yamaha XVZ1300A Royal Star motorcycle review - Side view
  • Yamaha XVZ1300A Royal Star motorcycle review - Side view
  • Yamaha XVZ1300A Royal Star motorcycle review - Riding
  • Yamaha XVZ1300A Royal Star motorcycle review - Side view
  • Yamaha XVZ1300A Royal Star motorcycle review - Riding
  • Yamaha XVZ1300A Royal Star motorcycle review - Side view
  • Yamaha XVZ1300A Royal Star motorcycle review - Front view
  • Yamaha XVZ1300A Royal Star motorcycle review - Front view
  • Yamaha XVZ1300A Royal Star motorcycle review - Side view
  • Yamaha XVZ1300A Royal Star motorcycle review - Side view
  • Yamaha XVZ1300A Royal Star motorcycle review - Side view