YAMAHA XVS1300 CUSTOM (2014 - 2017) Review


  • Japanese alternative to an American cruiser
  • Muscle bike thrills on a budget
  • Raked out chopper styling

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 4.7 out of 5 (4.7/5)
Annual servicing cost: £150
Power: 72 bhp
Seat height: Low (26.4 in / 670 mm)
Weight: High (646 lbs / 293 kg)


New N/A
Used £7,000 - £8,000

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
4 out of 5 (4/5)

Yamaha’s XVS1300 Custom off-the-peg cruiser motorcycle is a rebadged Yamaha Stryker, originally released in the US in 2011. It mixes ‘American Chopper’ styling with bomb-proof Yamaha build quality. Badge snobs might sneer at its lack of ‘Harleyness’ but it’s a capable machine and superb value for money.

Japanese manufacturers have long realised that in order to crack the American market in a meaningful way, low-slung, large-engined cruiser style motorbikes need to join their ranges. The BMW R18 range represents a similar move by a European manufacturer.

The practice has all but disappeared for the Japanese brands these days, with the Kawasaki 650 Vulcan S and Honda Rebel ranges the last remaining examples, and neither of these are serious threats to the likes of Harley-Davidson or Indian.

Yamaha XVS1300 on the road

Ride quality & brakes

Next up: Engine
4 out of 5 (4/5)

An amply-padded 670mm high seat is comfy and lets shorter riders get their feet flat on the floor at a standstill. But weighing a hefty 293kg it’s not the easiest bike to paddle into a parking space, or to thread through town at walking pace.

It’s well-behaved at cruising speeds and through country lanes, despite those long forks and 21” front wheel. It’s stable and doesn’t run out of ground clearance too quickly. Front and rear brakes are powerful for a chopper.


Next up: Reliability
4 out of 5 (4/5)

It might look traditionally air-cooled but the 72bhp V-twin lump, which makes 76ftlb of torque at a lolloping 4000rpm, is thoroughly modern, liquid-cooled and fuel injected. The smooth motor doesn’t disappoint, has lots of get-up-and-go, but the muted exhaust note is disappointing. Its five speed gearbox is slick but there’s so much grunt on tap, you barely ever move from fifth.

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value
4 out of 5 (4/5)

It might be basic but the XVS1300 Custom is well-built and has lots of nice detail touches, like the chrome and satin black finishes and the ‘Liquid Copper’ paintjob. You have to look really hard to see ‘Yamaha’ emblazoned on the XVS1300 anywhere, but look closely and you’ll see it written subtly on the engine cases and the back lip of the rear mudguard. A really nice touch is the way the speedo needle points straight up at 65mph, giving the clocks a cool symmetry when you’re bobbing along at American cruising speeds.

Yamaha XVS1300 tested by MCN's Michael Neeves

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
4 out of 5 (4/5)

The Yamaha XVS1300 represented great value compared to more authentic American cruisers in the UK. If you're in the market for a used Yamaha XVS1300 now, the closest bike in spirit in the current H-D range would be a Harley-Davidson Breakout 117 (starting at £24,195).

If you're looking at the XVS then you won't be precious about owning an American cruiser, so consider the Honda Rebel 1100 (£9599). Its Africa Twin-derived parallel-twin engine isn't as characterful as a V-twin but the bike itself is a pleasure to ride.

Or looking to the UK, how about a Triumph Bobber (£12,995)? The latest generation of the bike takes the best bits of the old Bobber Black and rolls them into one great-looking package with surprisingly good performance and handling, too.


3 out of 5 (3/5)

You don’t get a lot in the way of bells and whistles for the price. Choppers by their very nature are stripped down and basic. But Yamaha has a vast range of official XVS1300 accessories ready-to-go, including touring screens, custom wheels, belt drive sprockets, seats, engine guards, engine covers, luggage and backrests.


Engine size 1304cc
Engine type 4v, V-twin
Frame type Steel double cradle
Fuel capacity 15 litres
Seat height 670mm
Bike weight 293kg
Front suspension 41mm non-adjustable forks
Rear suspension Single shock adjustable for preload.
Front brake 320mm disc with twin-piston caliper.
Rear brake 310mm single disc with single-piston caliper.
Front tyre size 120/70 x 21
Rear tyre size 210/40 x 18

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption 45 mpg
Annual road tax £111
Annual service cost £150
New price -
Used price £7,000 - £8,000
Insurance group 12 of 17
How much to insure?
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage

Top speed & performance

Max power 72 bhp
Max torque 76 ft-lb
Top speed 110 mph
1/4 mile acceleration -
Tank range 148 miles

Model history & versions

Model history

2014 - XVS1300 Custom launched. Formerly Yamaha Stryker 1300

Other versions

Cruiser-style XVS1300A Midnight Star

Owners' reviews for the YAMAHA XVS1300 CUSTOM (2014 - 2017)

3 owners have reviewed their YAMAHA XVS1300 CUSTOM (2014 - 2017) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your YAMAHA XVS1300 CUSTOM (2014 - 2017)

Summary of owners' reviews

Overall rating: 3 out of 5 (3/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 3.7 out of 5 (3.7/5)
Engine: 4 out of 5 (4/5)
Reliability & build quality: 4.7 out of 5 (4.7/5)
Value vs rivals: 4 out of 5 (4/5)
Equipment: 2.7 out of 5 (2.7/5)
Annual servicing cost: £150
1 out of 5 Expensive ornament
18 May 2023 by Cujo

Year: 2016

An absolute horror of a bike, does nothing at all well and lacks the Harley feeling . Heavy , under powered , turning circle of a petrol tanker . First ride was unsure of the bike / second ride it was up for sale . Hands down the worst bike i ever bought . theres a reason they dont make it anymore . popular on us forums, i have no idea why ??

Ride quality & brakes 1 out of 5

horrible around town , useless on the motorway . happiest at 50 on a smooth road. any bumps in corners and the back end skitters all over the place and is very dangerous and less than inspiring

Engine 3 out of 5

thirsty with a small tank , gearing is appalling and corners are first gear jobs around town or the engine is like a kangaroo. sounds nice on tickover . underpowered for such a big bike

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

Yamaha build quality all good as expected

Value vs rivals 3 out of 5

didn't keep it long enough to fill the tank twice

Equipment 1 out of 5

favourite part of this bike was dropping it off to trade it in after two weeks of miserable ownership and a loss . I recommend a long test ride then a longer look in the mirror . minimal equipment

Buying experience: dealer was top notch cant complain about the sales pitch

4 out of 5 Comfy cruiser
19 April 2022 by Tojo

Year: 2015

Annual servicing cost: £200

This is a great looking cruiser, and sounds awesome.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Brakes are good, have great confidence In them, good comfortable ride.

Engine 4 out of 5

Good power, it's not a sports bike, but gives you what you need for a cruiser.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Well built and reliable. Great torque.

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

Averages 40 mpg, on mainly short runs

Equipment 3 out of 5

Only disappointment is lack of refinement. No rev counter, gear indicator, just Speedo, fuel gauge, clock and mileometer.

Buying experience: Bought from a dealer in 2021, with 10000 miles and 2 previous owners, for £8000.

4 out of 5 Yamaha Stryker version of th XVS1300
21 July 2016 by Hobbit

Year: 2014

Annual servicing cost: £100

I actually own the Stryker version of this bike which I imported in 2011 from the USA. As I am only 5ft 1" I found this to be a great bike for me. I have had to make several adjustments to it but they have improved the bike no end. I would definitely recommend this to anyone wanting a great cruiser at a great price.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Superb ride. I only stop to fill up. I have taken it across USA from East to West doing 5,500 miles and no aches and pains. The only downside as far as I know is that the clutch is not hydraulic. It can get very stiff if you don't keep it oiled. Shame as it's big brother, the Raider, has a much easier clutch.

Engine 5 out of 5

Love how it picks up quickly and effortlessly.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

The only problem I have ever had was the failure of a relay that was mounted right in front of the back wheel. It filled with water (probably due to our climate) and the pins rotted. My husband replaced it and made sure that it wouldn't get wet again. Other than this, in 5 years it has been great. I have done over 20k miles on it.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

Always been serviced at home due to the fact that importing it made the warranty invalid over here. Insurance is cheap but that may be down to my age and years of no claims.

Equipment 4 out of 5

I would recommend changing the rear tyre to a 240mm when it needs it. This improves handling.

Buying experience: I imported mine brand new from the States and it worked out cheaper than they now sell in the UK... The UK version is not as blingy as the US one as they seem to have favoured everything in black.

Back to top