YAMAHA XJR1300 (2015 - on) Review
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£150|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
The Yamaha XJR1300 has turned into a retro-style café racer, inspired by the likes of Roland Sands and Deus. It's available in this standard version, or you can pay £1000 more for the Yamaha XJR1300 Racer.
They’ve left the basics alone, like the engine and chassis and given it a facelift. It has a smaller tank, a black exhaust, a cleaner subframe design and a smaller café racer-style headlight. Not only does it look great, it’s smooth, fast capable and cracking value for money.
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
The XJR1300 continues with the same tubular steel frame and aluminium swingarm. It weighs a hefty 240kg, but this is a muscle bike and the extra weight flattens-out the bumps and gives an impression of invincibility. The lower subframe rails have been chopped to give the back end a cleaner look.
Twin Ohlins rear shocks are adjustable for preload and rebound damping. Fully-adjustable fork stanchions have a ‘Diamond Like Coating’ to reduce station. It has new three spoke wheels, shod with Dunlop D252 tyres, twin 298mm front discs and four-piston monobloc radial brakes.
It takes everything you throw at it in the corners, despite its weight, so long as you brake, turn and accelerate gently. Steering is on the slow side of neutral, there’s plenty of ground clearance for the road and there’s good feedback through the suspension.
Straight line and cornering stability is superb and braking power isn’t a problem, either, but grip from the OE Dunlop D252 tyres is as retro as the looks, especially in the wet. Fit a set of the latest-generation sports or sport touring rubber and you’ll improve the handling massively.
Weighing a sturdy 240kg, the Yamaha is about as far from a ‘super naked’ as you can imagine and it’s 18kg heavier than the BMW R nineT, if you want to compare retros. But the extra weight actually serves to give the XJR1300 Racer a solid, indestructible feel and a magic carpet-like ride around town and along motorways.
Yamaha has shrunk the fuel tank from 21-litres to 14 (it’s now plastic, not steel), in the name of styling. The engine sticks out from the under the tank now, which is the current café racer thing to do, but your knees now rest on the rocker covers and boy do they roast your thighs in traffic.
EngineNext up: Reliability
Yamaha has stuck with thee XHR1300’s grunt-packed original 1250cc air-cooled, inline-four-cylinder motor. It makes 97bhp and 80ftlb of torque and has a new-style black 4-2-1 exhaust. It’s a peach of a thing and packed with so much grunt you can crawl through town in top gear without any dramas. The power delivery is smooth and seamless all the way from tickover to the 9500rpm red line and the fuel injection lets you accelerate from a closed throttle without any hiccups or snatches.
Gears slice home with typical Yamaha precision, but like the FJR1300 sports tourer you’re always searching for the sixth gear it hasn’t got, so the XJR can feel a bit revvy in top.
Although ultra-refined and free from vibrations the Yamaha engine lacks character compared to a twin or triple. There’s little airbox growl, or roar from the new 4-2-1 pipe at low revs, but it has a nice zing to it when you give it some at high revs.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
Build quality is superb and the standard components are all top-drawer, the paint finish is flawless, controls smooth and those yellow-sprung Ohlins twin-shockers give the Yamaha a racy look. The mirrors are clear and sturdy, as are the two analogue instrument dials. The XJR’s digital display remains, but only shows fuel range and time. There are no reliability problems with the previous XJR1300, so this model should be no different.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
You get a lot of nicely crafted heavy metal for your money and coming in at well below ten grand the XJR1300 is a retro bargain.
It’s pretty basic out of the crate, but the XJR1300 does come with twin Ohlins shocks, lots of nicely made components and attention to detail.
|Engine type||16v, inline four|
|Frame type||Steel double cradle|
|Fuel capacity||14 litres|
|Front suspension||41mm telescopic forks, fully-adjustable|
|Rear suspension||Twin Ohlins rear shocks adjustable for preload and rebound damping|
|Front brake||2 x 298mm discs with four-piston calipers|
|Rear brake||267mm single disc with twin-piston caliper|
|Front tyre size||120/70 x 17|
|Rear tyre size||180/55 x 17|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||-|
|Annual road tax||£93|
|Annual service cost||£150|
|Used price||£5,000 - £8,500|
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How much to insure?
Top speed & performance
|Max power||97 bhp|
|Max torque||80 ft-lb|
|Top speed||140 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||-|
Model history & versions
1995: Yamaha XJR1200 introduced.1999: Engine gets a big-bore and the XJR1300 is born. 1999-2002: XJR1300 introduced, featuring Ohlins rear shocks and Yamaha ‘Speed Block’ paint.2004: Updated with new carbs, exhaust and uprated brakes.2007: Updated with fuel injection, a 4-1 exhaust and a number of other detail changes. 2015: Updated with retro styling a smaller fuel tank and new wheels.
More Yamaha XJ family motorbikes
Owners' reviews for the YAMAHA XJR1300 (2015 - on)
5 owners have reviewed their YAMAHA XJR1300 (2015 - on) 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:||£150|
Fuel gauge is useless starts flashing on empty and starts counting miles you panic get to a garage fill up and still have 4lt left ?
Rides really well and can shift when you ask it to. I have other bikes cbr929 and fz1N which are ridden fast and the xjr still puts a smile on my face, just love it. Cracking Sunday bike. No good for long distance with the 14lt tank but that’s not what I bought it for.
Pulls in every gear will sit at 100mph all day long. I find it clunky from 1st to 2nd gear but rest as smooth as butter.
Build quality is top notch.
Has none ,but that’s how I like it you ride the bike and feel everything. Proper Riding
Buying experience: Cracking bike for the money. Cheaper than the z900 and a better bike.
excellent bike , reliable, great look and feel. I made some changes on mine but I will buy it again 100%. the only small problem is the 14 L tank , nothing else but you'll get used to it :)
Solid well built and seat quite low I am 5ft 9" and can plant both feet on the ground ,No grab rail
Anywhere suits the XJR ,A/B roads ,lanes point it and go ,ride all day ,but petrol decides when you stop,as it does with all bikes
Shame NO six gear as an overdrive but you get to know when you in 5 gear,a great spread of power NO fuel snatching ,smooth as silk engine ,gear box very smooth and positive ,roll on around town in any gear point and go
To soon to say but engine has been going in manufacturer from 1998 no recorded issues,No corrosion
Outstanding value second hand ,solid build quality and an brilliant engine
All the switchs are well built and in the correct place ! , ohlins shocks are brilliant ironing out our poor road surfaces,standard tyres are good ,No gadgets that you don't use ,less to fail
Buying experience: Bought from Honda Bromsgrove ,excellent service and would recommend
It's a great bike. Stable, powerful and fun to ride.
Annual servicing cost: £150
Very comfortable for a big rider (I'm 6ft 6 and 21 stone). Lovely riding position - no back ache at all. Surprisingly quick and very sold feeling. Build quality is superb tho' the wiring round the bars a bit messy.Terrible range (light comes on after 60 miles), useless fuel gauge. Five gear box is a shame - needs six.
great non ABS but heavy bike so caution needed in rain. Ride quality superb.
Battery loses charge quickly. Servicing agent failed to replace a component so bike broke down next day.
not especially frugal
not much! Ohlins but everything else is an extra
Buying experience: pre-ordered so no discount - cheap now