YAMAHA XJR1300 (1998 - 2014) Review
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£230|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
Ah, the Yamaha XJR1300 is a proper motorcycle, with twin shocks, air-cooling, a beefy braced swingarm and a colossal motor.
- Related: Suzuki GSX1400 vs Kawasaki ZRX1200R vs Yamaha XJR1300
- Related: Suzuki GSX1400 vs Yamaha XJR1300 vs Honda CB1300
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.
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
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.
EngineNext up: Reliability
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.
Reader question: mystery error code
Q: I have a friend who has a 2008 Yamaha XJR1300. He has a problem with a code that keeps coming up on the warning panel – when you switch the ignition on, the code that shows up is “20”. If the engine is run for a minute or so and then switched off and then back on again, the error clears. The bike runs OK with the code showing.
Richard West, email
A: The error code on the XJR1300 relates to the Intake air atmospheric pressure sensors, his dealer can clear the codes and then carry out checks to the sensors and the wire system etc.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
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 vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
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.
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.
|Engine type||16v, in-line four 5 gears|
|Frame type||Tubular steel cradle|
|Fuel capacity||21 litres|
|Front brake||Twin 298mm discs|
|Rear brake||267mm disc|
|Front tyre size||120/70 x 17|
|Rear tyre size||180/55 x 17|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||38 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£101|
|Annual service cost||£230|
|Used price||£2,700 - £6,500|
13 of 17
How much to insure?
|Warranty term||Two year unlimited mileage|
Top speed & performance
|Max power||105 bhp|
|Max torque||75 ft-lb|
|Top speed||139 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||12.2 secs|
|Tank range||175 miles|
Model history & versions
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.
More Yamaha XJ family motorbikes
Owners' reviews for the YAMAHA XJR1300 (1998 - 2014)
29 owners have reviewed their YAMAHA XJR1300 (1998 - 2014) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.
Summary of owners' reviews
|Ride quality & brakes:|
|Reliability & build quality:|
|Value vs rivals:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£230|
Good reliable bike. Only downside for me as I get older is the weight of it.
Version: 2001 Sp
Annual servicing cost: £50
Best feature, looks(Kenny Roberts colours)+fantastic motor. A bit on the heavy side,compared to modern bikes. Yes I would recommend to a friend .
Perfect for me and the wife. Put braided lines on a couple of years ago, Went to Cumbria from Norfolk only 1 stop for coffee, very comfy.
Loads of low down grunt,not too much gear changing, unlike my suzuki.
No corrosion, well built, never let me down in 10 years,apart from a puncture.
Always serviced it myself, A bit juicy on fuell, to be expected on old school bikes.
Love the looks as standard but have blinged it up a bit, Best tyres..BT 020
Buying experience: Bought in 2010 on eBay for £2500 with only 2000 miles on the clock,
very comfortable user friendly
perfprmance is good very pleased and good econcomy fuel mileage
Annual servicing cost: £180
Comfy, powerful and loads of grunt. Suspension on soft side, quite thirsty when ridden hard.
Good brakes, comfy ride, great for 2 up.
Wave of addictive torque.
Had bike nearly 6 years and no problems.
Easy to work on
Basic, but old school feel that I like.
Annual servicing cost: £140
What can I say about this bike, well I will never understand why they changed 4 into 2 to 4 in to one, it looks awful, and everyone will say the same it totally ruins the look of the bike it looks unbalanced from the back end, and the size of that muffler, looks rediculous, it totally spoils the look of the XJR, that's one of the reasons I will not buy a new version of this bike the older model like mine is a much better bike by far, looks better and sounds better if I did I would be changing the whole set up of it and put it straight back to 4 into 2
I ha e ridden from Plymouth to Swansea in a oner just stopped to refuel very comfortable bike that was 3 half Hr ride, you couldn't do that on a sports bike.
There is nothing I dislike about the engine, it doesn't miss a heart beat since I have had it, there is enough power it does what it says on the tin so to speak its a great engine
If you look after any bike it will last mine very well built, always under cover, so I don't allow any form of rust to get a hold of my bike, ut like all things metal you will get a little bit example on screws nuts bolts, but that's easy I just changed them all to stainless steel and it looks far better
I take mine to a independent macanic much better than those big shops by far in lots of ways
Every accessories I have got have been fine never had a problem, my favourite feather well the whole bike good looking bike
Buying experience: From a dealer, back in 2004 £5100, THAT WAS A GRAND CHEAPER THAN GETTING IT FROM PLYMOUTH where I live I went to Peterbrough to get that bike
Annual servicing cost: £180
Great torque and acceleration. Easy to ride. Not the best on fuel and suspension a little soft when pushed hard
R1 brakes, so very good. Comfy ride.
Silky smooth, endless torque.
Had for 5 years and no problems. Appears well built and solid.
Mostly I do my own service, easy to work on and spares readily available.
Buying experience: Bought from dealer, think I paid a fair price but the bike had very low mileage, just over 2000 miles and 7 years old, full service record, 1 owner.
Had this bike and sold it to buy a CB1300. Mistake. Now looking for another XJR. Hugely underrated bike which is evident by the price of second hand models (not the plastic newer ugly version). Best thing for me about this machine (asides from the big air cooled motor) is the comfort. I'm 6`3" and I need something that I don't dwarf and feel comfortable on. Owned GSX1400 and CB1300. Yam sits at the top of the tree overall simply as it is better made, more reliable and more comfortable than the others. For anyone looking for a comparison the GSX offers `slightly` more grunt low down. Everything else the Yam is better. The CB felt cramped and it didn't seem to have the go or the character the other two had. Fuel economy is surprisingly good for a big air cooled 4 and the engine looks the business. Sometimes I wished I had another gear but really it isn't too bad a deal. The fuel pump rumbles in the tank (normal) when it primes so don't be thinking there's an issue. Without a can it sounds muted.
One finger braking for most applications and in comparison to other bikes I've owned of this genre easily as good.
Any gear, any revs it just goes. Effortlessly.
Never let me down. Ever. Even after a winters riding through salt and grime it cleaned up sparkling. Well engineered bike of a high quality.
Serviced myself. Easy enough job.
Found the bars a tiny bit narrow but still, just nit picking.
Buying experience: Great. Will be doing it again.
Annual servicing cost: £150
Never let me down, keep it clean and serviced, no issues
I have toured around Europe and several track days including a few trips to the Nurbergring. I replaced the crest shocks with Hagon fully adjustable units and upgraded the fork springs also Hagon.
Powerful (with a few tweaks!), smooth, linear, bags of torque....
You need to keep it clean and protected. I had to remove the fork legs, take off the crap varnish and polish the alloy, looks good and has lasted 8 years with a bit of polish.
I do all my own servicing, fairly straight forward, special kit to check the valves is expensive, but cheaper than dealer prices. I buy good quality oil and change it every 5000 miles.
Basic but all works.
Buying experience: From a dealer brand new in 2001. Not a great experience, but the dealer is gone now (Motorcycle City in Bristol)
Version: The Black Version 2011_XJR1300_01 (like Metallica's Black Album)
Annual servicing cost: £500
Love my beast - her name is Li'l Dragon, and usually after riding for an hour or so, she's affectionately called Tweety by yours truly (thank goodness no one can hear me talking to my motorcycle and lock me up in an asylum!). I'd recommend these motorcycles to anyone who wanted a retro air/oil-cooled muscle bike that is PURE muscle bike - all the way down to the 5-speed gearbox - and a gorgeous engine block that impresses the eye even when the motorcycle is just parked. A Suzuki GSX1400 may have had slightly more presence in terms of engine capacity for some people, but the Zook's 6-speed transmission killed it for me. Muslce bikes aren't really for racing or for long road trips, so I couldn't see the benefit of 6 gears - the extra gear kind of killed the spirit of a pure muscle bike, I thought. I do wish Yamaha Motor Co. had kept the twin exhausts, but no regrets at all - this baby has a smaller engine than the Zook1400, about 5 or 6 foot-pounds less of torque, but pumps out the same 105bhp anyway. Reliability-wise, it's a Yammie - enough said! Good build quality, and reliability is fantastic so far. Wouldn't trade her for anything. You can still buy this brand new in Australia - woo hoo!! Get one before they go out of production (I know they stopped selling'em in Europe a couple of years ago). https://www.yamaha-motor.com.au/products/motorcycle/road/sport/16-xjr1300 I wish the mirrors were bigger and captured more of the road behind me - there're idiot drivers and morons on the road in every country... luckily, I abide by the law and do complete head-checks before I move lanes or do things like that. XJR1300s get a full vote from yours truly - the last of its kind - get one yesterday, people!!
Ride quality is great - I do wish Yamaha had kept the seat lower. I'm 5-feet-4, and I had to get the seat shaven to feel better. Have left the suspension at factory settings, but might consider bringing down the preload since I'm only about 70kg. I'll probably take her to Suspension Smith in Fyshwick ACT to get his opinion before I do anything, though. Brakes are pretty adequate. Bigger and better brakes would always be a plus, however, I've never felt the brakes lacking bite - they do haul Li'l Dragon to standstill quite reasonably for me. Handling is hardly like a Kawi Ninja 600, or a Yammie R6 - but then, it's not meant to be that kind of light motorcycle. If you want one of those, get a wimpy Italian-made scooter, a tough Indian-made scooter, a Hyosung 650GT, a Honda CB600, a Kawi 600 or something that is designed for top-notch handling. A muscle-bike is a muscle-bike. The Yammie XJR1300 handles MUCH better than the Zook GSX1400, has better brakes than the Zook and the stock suspension is much better too. Keeps the smile on my face. When I want pure performance, I'll get a Kawi Ninja 900, ZX10R, or H2. If you want a modern version of a muscle bike, then get the Kawi Z1000 or the Yammie MT9/10. If you want authenticity and a great muscly ride, down to the last cooling fin, get the XJR1300. Nothing else comes close.
In one word, "Whooooooosh!!" This lovely motor produces heaps of torque. This Yammie 1300 is 5 kilos lighter than the Zook 1400, and so 5 or 6 foot-pounds less of torque hardly matters in actual usage. With only 5 gears to choose from, it is a VERY forgiving motorcycle. You can hit 110km/hr on 2nd gear if you want, or you can rider her at 50km/hr on 4th gear (although I'd recommend 3rd).
Since I bought her in October 2016, I've done nearly 4000kms on her till now (May 2017). She's never missed a beat. Runs on Pirelli rubber - I'd recommend sticky-tyres if you can afford'em. She's easily got the torque to pull'em. Even after a week or two of not being ridden, and after being in near-zero Canberran Autumn temperatures, Li'l Dragon starts up effortlessly at 6am when it's 0C after a couple of cranks. When winter hits with sub-zero temperatures, she might need about 3 or 4 cranks to wake up if I haven't ridden her for a week or two, I reckon. On a 35C Aussie Summer day in January, she has never overheated or appeared to be bothered in any way so far. She's parked in a car part, and covered up with a not-very-expensive cover. I also put some lubricant on the chain just before I take her out for my weekend outings. Mine's in factory mint condition except for the Oxford heated grips that help with Canberran winters. Great build quality for the price, and I wouldn't have minded paying more if Yamaha had offered it with a higher grade Ohlins suspension kit and an Acropovic or Scorpion exhaust option (Kawasaki does this for its Z1000 in some countries). There was one factory recall for my VIN# to replace an oil-feed-something inside the motorcycle that was deemed too long. The first owner had barely ridden the machine, so didn't know about it. I rang Yamaha of Canberra (who've now closed down, sadly) in Fyshwick and they carried out the recall fixes seamlessly on a Saturday morn for me. To note that I'd not experienced any problems either before or after the recall-fix. I am miffed that Yamaha Australia never put the recall on the Australian Government's recall listings. Not a great look, Yammie Australia. Reliability-wise she purrs in beauty, and as Greg noted when I went in to Dahlitz Motorcycles next door for my registration renewal inspection (we have those here in NSW), "..that's a beautiful motor, mate". Of course, I agreed happily. Needless to say, Greg passed her through the inspection this month (May 2017) with his eyes shut...
A regular service costs around Au$200 and a big one would cost maybe around Au$300 or so. There's rarely much to fix with these big bore Yammie powerhouses - they're built like tanks. Tyres can wear out pretty fast if you're a furious rider, but with a good set of rubber and normal riding, she's doing just fine on my wallet. Pirellis seem to work great with mine - and have been recommended by most mechanics and fans I've met in Oz and online. In terms of fuel efficiency, the worst she's returned so far is 16km/litre. With a 21L tank, I reckon that'll give me a decent range. Of course, naked bikes are really not for long distance highway travel - being buffetted by Aussie cross-winds is probably not a great idea.
All equipment that comes from the factory is good quality stuff. The tool kit is nice, and while Yammie could've put in a bigger under-seat luggat space like Zook did, I'm not complaining about that. Since it is a heavy machine, if you're a little guy like me, get a pair of sliders fitted so you don't scratch anything if you drop her. Get a frikkin' good helmet, 'cos that's common sense. Heated grips are a must if you live in a cold part of the world - the wind'll hit hard and bite into you on any naked motorcycle. I love the instrument cluster - classic drum shaped analog speedo and tacho, with a useful digital display fuel gauge+clock+odo. The fuel gauge isn't that accurate, though and can be funny depending on whether you've got her parked on the centre-stand or the easier-to-use side stand. I use both, so I can tell. My favourite feature would be the proud black-edition engine, of course. What a beauty!!
Buying experience: I got her in a private sale. I bought mine off its first owner in October 2016 when he told me he was getting too old to ride his beast. She was garage parked, and had done only 10,000kms since he'd bought her in 2011 - so he had effectively run her in. She'd just been serviced by the famous Greg at Dahlitz Motorcycles in Queanbeyan NSW, and had been sitting there doing nothing when my eyes fell on her... "Do they still make these, James", I asked. "They'll stop production soon, but that's one of the last of its kind Anish", he replied. I went to my bank, organised for funds, and bought her off good ol'James. Rode home with a BIG smile on my face. No insects were ingested during the homecoming of my motorcycle. James had kept all receipts of service (all stamped in the factory manual, anyway). If you've gotta buy these, go to a Sydney dealer first - you're likely to get a better price than you can in Melbourne or Brisbane. Might even be cheaper to ship from NSW to other states.
It's big, it's heavy and it's a 'proper' retro bike with a real look to the engine but can still be easily ridden lock-to-lock at slow speed and scrape the hero blobs at higher speeds. I had to trade mine in after repeated left knee problems left me unhappy with pushing it up off the sidestand.
3/5 when fitted with the Dunlop 208s, rising to 5/5 when using Pilot 2s. The 208s don't grip as well as the P2s and wear out quickly. The rear sussies [Ohlins] had the preload upped by 1.5mm and this is the only bike I have ever to have adjusted the forks on. It will scratch if set up well and with a confident rider and two up tour with Givi luggage, but the fuel economy isn't the best.
The acceleration will make you think you have been launched from an aircraft carrier and it will pull from 30 mph in top-uphill!. You get proper performance rather than 200 BHP lunacy.
13 000 miles and no problems, I only give 5/5 to 50 000 miles with no issues.
I can't give a figure for the servicing costs as I don't recall them. Dealer serviced while under warranty then serviced by me.
A pair of clocks and a few idiot lights are all I ask for-and that is what I got. A centre stand as standard and heated grips, luggage and a few other bits were nice. Unless you like your elbows mirror extenders are a must.
Buying experience: Bought from the now-defunct Yamaha dealers in Brackley, good people to deal with.
BEST OVERALL BIKE...just does it all
Annual servicing cost: £400
I'm on my third Yamaha XJR now, miss the older carb' model though as it gives a smoother ride. Does not depreciate much as 10 year old XJR'S are stil 2-3K. Would recommend to any one over a certain age who is not out for sports bike performance.
As with all naked bikes, long motorway hauls can become tiresome. The standard seat is good for 60-80 miles then you get the old numb bum...try a different seat ? overall the ride is comfortable and smooth for shorter trips. The brakes are excellent up front, however I once had the rear brake boil up in the mountains as did my friend on another XJR!
Excellent smooth power, takes two up in it's stride.
Build quality is up with most bikes, but most Yamaha XJR riders tend to be a fussy lot and clean them often so no real issues.
Tyres are due generally every 5k on the rear and 7k on the front. Service intervals are much the norm' every 6k or so.
The engine may be old but does exactly what it says on the tin ! 1250cc...to get the right set up, spend time on the suspension and tyres it's well worth the effort. Weather your going round hair pins in the Spanish Peco mountains or a Sunday ride out.
Buying experience: Crescent Yamaha in Bournemouth could not be faulted, excellent service, my 2nd Yamaha XJR from them.
Sorry to offend but have had one of these for a number of years and found it to be a bit on the dull side. Its a lovely looking bike dont get me wrong and looks great on the drive,and has a reliable engine.You can spend a small fortune tuning and sticking R1 forks on the front but why not just get a different bike all together.This bike nearly made me give up biking as it just didn't give me the buzz and i found it to be a bit to hum drum.Honestly i would get a bandit much better bike and comes with six gears!!
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.
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!
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 !
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,
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.
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.
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)
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.