Yamaha XJR 1300 Review
The Yamaha XJR 1300, an air-cooled roadster, is a big, fast, (140mph) inline four that seems to have been around forever. That's not a bad thing. It is a bike that has stood the test of time. It's been in production for 13 years, so don't expect a cutting edge state-of-the-art experience. It is, however, a very familiar Japanese motorbike with a lot to commend it.
The Yamaha XJR 1300 is an effortless workhorse of the old school. It will give you 40mpg on the motorway and 30mpg on B-roads, working out at an average of 34 mpg. On this basis a full 21 litre tank will give you a touring range of 159 miles. It's a hefty, (fuelled weight 249 Kg), softly sprung machine with dual-disc, 4-piston callipers on the front and a single-disc, 2-piston calliper in the rear, making for sound, secure stopping.
The ride is luxurious, some would say soft. It's like an old fashioned Rover, with wood-panelling and deep, leather seats. There's something familiar and friendly about it. Everything is where it should be. It's smooth, it's quiet(ish), but it's very pleasing.
The XJR 1300’s gigantic engine is a joy to behold. It has an enormous midrange and will do 0-60 in 3.3 seconds. As for power, 96.8 bhp @ 7900rpm is still impressive. Yamaha’s bikes have a reputation for having a heavy throttle, but it doesn't get in the way of the XJR's smooth, powerful ride.
At low speeds, let's face it, you occasionally have to manoeuvre around a car-park and the Yamaha XJR1300 is responsive and easy to handle, despite its size. Even if you've never ridden a Japanese bike before, it's like getting back together with an old friend.
Much like the ride, the pillion seat is luxurious and there is a good, solid grab rail. Preload adjusters are easy to reach and there's a small area under the seat for tools. It comes with a helmet holder and plenty of places for bungees. The centre-stand is handy, though the mirrors are not wide enough apart. Clocks are simple and clear. The speedo and tacho are analogue and the digital display shows time, fuel and an odometer.
The Yamaha XJR 1300 is a comfortable, familiar beast with a midrange that will blow your helmet off. It's a plush ride, though it may be a bit too smooth for some bikers. It is good value for money, a pleasure to ride and it looks great. As an established, tried and tested roadster, the XJR 1300 will be a tough act to follow.
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