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