All Tests – 2015 Yamaha XJR1300 Review: tight roadster and extended Cafe Racer – Yamaha wants to ride the vintage wave

2015 Yamaha XJR1300 review: tight roadster and elongated Cafe Racer

All Tests - 2015 Yamaha XJR1300 Review: tight roadster and extended Cafe Racer - Yamaha wants to ride the vintage wave

To celebrate the two decades of its XJR1300, Yamaha has given a little facelift to its big roadster. The Japanese also offer him a more sporty outfit, called Racer. Site tried both versions, under the Australian sun.

Yamaha wants to ride the vintage wave

We are not 20 every day! To celebrate those of the XJR1300, Yamaha organized a small event in Australia to which journalists from all over the world were invited, including Site of course! Direction Sydney therefore, in a garage unlike any other…

XJR1300 2015: availability, colors and price

  • Availability: immediate in the

  • Colors: "Power" blue, matt gray or "Midnight" black

  • Price: 10,999 € (Racer +1,000 €)

Four months after having discovered them at the Intermot show in Cologne (read), the Journal moto du Net finds the 2015 XJR1300 and its "Racer" version in the preparer’s workshop-boutique-restaurant (!). Both motorcycles are in their element: vintage.

"Vintage and retro style touches everything around us now", observed at the end of October one of the people in charge of the product planning of the Blues, Oliver Grill, in the Yamaha:"car manufacturers and motorcyclists are constantly presenting new models that follow this trend". So why not Yam ‘ ?!

After all, the Iwata firm has in its motorcycle range, the department "Sport Heritage", a model which perfectly matches this state of mind: the XJR1300, marketed without interruption and with subtle evolutions since 1995.

"In motorcycle history, the Japanese four-cylinder is a true icon", recalls Naoki Koike who also works in the Yamaha Motor product planning,"and the XJR’s is probably the one that has been in production the longest. It has now changed to 1300 cc after being born in 1200 in the 90s and this engine came from the FJ 1200, which itself appeared in 1100 cc in 1984. Our factory has been producing this engine for three decades.", calculate the Blues.

During the press conference held at "Deus", the head of products at Yamaha, Shun Miyazawa, once again insists on the legitimacy of Yamaha in the vintage segment in which personalization (or "customization") holds a preponderant place.

"We have great respect for the leader of custom, Harley-Davidson, but he only offers one configuration: the V-Twin.", remarks our Japanese host dressed in the quasi-legal plaid shirt."Ditto for the Triumph "Classic" and their Twin".

At Yamaha on the other hand, four different engine architectures are offered: the and its small single-cylinder, the (in France) and its medium-displacement parallel twin, the and its big "4-legged" as well as the and its huge V4.

Updated in 2015, the "Thirteen-cent" (1251 cc to be completely exact) does not know any upheaval from a mechanical point of view but subtle aesthetic alterations are enough to put it back on the front of the stage.

Significantly lightened rear, redesigned saddle, new side plates, refined tank, small headlight, brushed cylinder heads, red spark plug caps, gray crankcase linings, matt black pot … Too bad the injection is not a little better camouflaged because otherwise , the finish is remarkable.

"In terms of style, we took inspiration from the period from the late 70s to the early 80s, with simple, clean lines and authentic materials.", comments designer Stephane Zache.

In a general way, "the XJR1300 also drew on the DNA of competition motorcycles with a long and narrow tank, a contoured saddle and number plates with ventilation holes", continues Mister Zache.

The brushed aluminum plates cleverly match the mounting brackets of the new headlight. The diameter of the latter decreases from 215 to 180 mm, a caliber very popular at the moment in the world of custom. No need to replace it so !

Placed just above, the two analogue meters adopt pretty chrome bezels. Between them, the small digital window is renewed as it is: odometer, trips 1 and 2, time and fuel level are always displayed, but in a bit small…

Unchanged, the Ohlins rear shock absorber assembly and the aluminum swingarm pad see their sporting touches underlined by the new truncated rear loop, ten centimeters shorter than the old one and free of the lower tubes.

The disappearance of the central stand also contributes to the reduction in the weight of the beast: from 245 kg in its 2014 version to 240 kg for the 2015. In return, to maintain the chain, it is imperative to use the workshop stand that any good "customer" has in his garage … or can be bought as an accessory !

Much thinner, the tank sees its capacity drop from a suitable 21 liters to a small 14.5 liters, or as much as a certain CB1100 … Almost a third of the maximum autonomy is therefore sacrificed: 295 Maximum km evaluated by Site on the old model (read our), so we go to "about 200 km", estimates Yamaha. An estimate validated by MNC, since we covered our first 140 km with 7.7 liters of gasoline..

No shorter than the old one, the saddle is however likely to leave – to say the least – thoughtful the person supposed to climb behind: its single-seater style and its thin and drooping rear part does not encourage the duo. Especially since the voluminous back shell has jumped, just like its large handle !

Same story below the saddle: while the old model allowed you to take a U, a combi and some additional tools, the new version hardly accepts the original delivered toolbox. But the most important after all is what’s going on above, right? So in the saddle !

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