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YAMAHA XVS1300 CUSTOM (2014-on) Review

Published: 13 November 2014

Badge snobs might sneer at its lack of ‘Harleyness’ but it’s a capable bike and superb value for money

YAMAHA XVS1300 CUSTOM  (2014-on)

Badge snobs might sneer at its lack of ‘Harleyness’ but it’s a capable bike and superb value for money

  • At a glance
  • 1304cc  -  72 bhp
  • 45 mpg  -  148 miles range
  • Insurance group: 12 of 17
    Compare insurance quotes now
  • Low seat height (670mm)
  • New: £8,999

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

Yamaha’s XVS1300 Custom off-the-peg chopper 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.

Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 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.

Engine 4 out of 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.

Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 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.

Insurance, running costs & value 4 out of 5

Compared to a custom-built chopper or a Harley, you get a lot of Yamaha bang for your buck. 

Insurance group: 12 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 3 out of 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.

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2014
Year discontinued -
New price £8,999
Used price -
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 12 of 17
Annual road tax £91
Annual service cost £100
Performance
Max power 72 bhp
Max torque 76 ft-lb
Top speed 110 mph
1/4-mile acceleration -
Average fuel consumption 45 mpg
Tank range 148 miles
Specification
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

History & Versions

Model history

2014 - XVS1300 Custom launched. Formerly Yamaha Stryker 1300

Other versions

Cruiser-style XVS1300A Midnight Star

Owners' Reviews

1 owner has reviewed their YAMAHA XVS1300 CUSTOM (2014-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.

Review your YAMAHA XVS1300 CUSTOM (2014-on)
Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 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
4 out of 5

Yamaha Stryker version of th XVS1300

21 July 2016 by Hobbit

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.
Build Quality & Reliability
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 & Running Costs
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.

Photo Gallery

  • YAMAHA XVS1300 CUSTOM  (2014-on)
  • YAMAHA XVS1300 CUSTOM  (2014-on)
  • YAMAHA XVS1300 CUSTOM  (2014-on)
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