Yamaha XVS 1300 Midnight Star test

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The punchy custom

The XVS Midnight Star is the 2007 evolution of the old Dragstar, the custom Yamaha, clearly designed for the American market. With a large 1304 cm3 V-Twin, the new Star displays the latest technologies: liquid cooling, belt transmission, 298 mm disc brakes…. Available in 900, 1300 and 1900 cm3, the 1300 version is the mid-range within the brand with 3 tuning forks but has nothing to envy on paper to its sisters. So, luxury cruiser or sub-version facing the 1500 and 1700 cm3 of Japanese competition without naming the Milwaukee brand ?

Yamaha XVS 1300 Midnight Star

Discovery

The Midnight Star has all of an American style, blending the chrome of the headlight cowl with the rear turn signal support to frame a huge central V-Twin with chrome cylinder heads mounted on a black-tinted engine. Everything is tasteful and well finished.

Yamaha XVS 1300 Midnight Star

Approaching you immediately notice the wide, low saddle, which could accommodate an elephant compared to usual. The huge belt comes out nicely and changes compared to conventional chains. The shock absorber, hidden, is completely forgotten. Huge tubular side exhaust finishes off a ubiquitous engine.

Yamaha XVS 1300 Midnight Star

In the saddle

Literally placed on the handlebars, the analog meter stands out immediately before the eyes, if only by its half-oval, half-rectangular shape. There is just in the center a unique digital screen, simply displaying the trip. No superfluous here: just a speedometer and 4 warning lights for neutral, indicators, engine temperature and full headlight.

Yamaha XVS 1300 Midnight Star

Once the huge saddle is climbed, the feet are flat, even for a small rider.

Yamaha XVS 1300 Midnight Star

The arms wide apart catch the handlebars, limit cow horn. Sitting low, your arms are almost high. For large sizes, it is necessary to make the back round. The knees go up a little – even more for large sizes – and enclose the tank, while the thighs rest largely on the saddle. The XVS gives the impression of being picked up on it and one with its rider, quickly building confidence.

Contact

The 60 ° V-Twin snorts in a discreet high-pitched sound. The mirrors placed well in width offer a good vision without vibration.

It seems easy and light, even for a small size, despite its 303 kilos all full..

Yamaha XVS 1300 Midnight Star

In the city

First…. You don’t have to turn the handle for the Star to start vigorously, almost sharply. We thought we’d come across a small, docile custom, but the XVS turns out to be dynamic, even nervous…. despite its "only" 72 horsepower. Suddenly, the first requires handling the clutch to gain smoothness.

With a center of gravity close to the ground, the XVS proves to be very manoeuvrable in town, while its small size allows it to slip easily between the lines. The flat feet also allow all maneuvers at very low speed, or even at a standstill. You just have to push the handlebars a little and the bike will happily tilt. In fact, even the novice rider quickly gains confidence on his handlebars…. to rub the toe clips from the next roundabout. Because like almost any self-respecting custom, the ground clearance is low and the footrest plates located low. So you don’t have to put in a lot of effort to rub lightly. But even in these cases, the Midnight Star defends itself well and remains controllable without hazardous behavior. And yet, the Yam is far from having the lowest ground clearance of customs and allows more angle than most cruisers.

The pick-ups are really sharp in the first gears, while the first is happy to go up to 80 km / h. The engine allows you to change gears anyway and have excellent times in the city.

Yamaha XVS 1300 Midnight Star

Highway

The Star sets off strongly on the motorway, when at 130 km / h it is only at bottom 2! The 3rd goes without difficulty to reach 150 km / h while each following speed allows to gain 20 km / h additional. But it’s the pilot who gives up control after a few minutes. Because beyond the speeds authorized in France, the driver looks like a flag blowing in the wind; the arms pull and the head unscrews; the legs are difficult to hold against the tank. In fact, it is this model that you have to drive to understand the expression of the extended arms. The position increases the effort required, greater than a naked roadster at the same speed.

Yamaha XVS 1300 Midnight Star

Departmental

The XVS 1300 is revealed on departmental roads. Capable of wrapping up torque on last gear like a big custom, it is also capable of playing on first gear by delivering real, dynamic and rewarding pickups. Suddenly, it offers two faces…. that of the custom that can run on torque and that of a nervous machine pleasant also to play from one turn to another. Depending on the mood and desire, it is thus possible to change the way you drive…. with simplicity and an obvious goodwill on the part of the XVS to comply with the wishes of its pilot.

On the other hand, if the pace really picks up, the footrests start to touch…. slower than many customs but faster than a roadster. However, apart from the surprise of the first "scrapings", the Yamaha remains healthy and unsurprising, allowing for a rhythm that has nothing left flowing..

Yamaha XVS 1300 Midnight Star

Brakes

The 298mm disc brakes, single at the front, double at the rear, perform their role perfectly by providing the good feeling and the power to stop the machine quickly and easily..

Yamaha XVS 1300 Midnight Star saddle

Comfort

The huge saddle offers a good, rather comfortable seat for the pilot. The passenger is worse off with a folding seat without a handle or backrest … to be reserved for very small passengers. In which case, this famous folding seat is surprisingly almost comfortable.

Consumption

Consumption during the test was between 5.1 and 5.9 liters, depending on the speed of travel, in particular at a stable speed on a departmental road. With its 18.5-liter tank, the XVS Midnight Star thus offers an average range of over 300 kilometers, despite a reserve tending to light up around 220-230 kilometers..

Yamaha XVS 1300 Midnight Star saddle

Convenient

No room under the saddle, no original panniers; the rear folding seat does not allow anything to be stowed. The tank without a prominent cap, however, allows a saddlebag to be attached. which will then hide the meter.

Yamaha XVS 1300 Midnight Star

Conclusion

The XVS 1300 Midnight Star is a real eye-opener. Far from being a big custom compared to models over 1700 cm3, or even 1900 or 2300 cm2, it is a good lively and dynamic custom, which will delight even the smallest riders by its ease of handling. . The female riders who had never driven a custom but rather roadsters or sports cars simply fell in love with it and didn’t want to let go, especially compared to the heavier and massive VN1700 in comparison. Real bikers will not despise it because it really offers performance and everyday driving comfort with real sensations. Only large sizes will suffer from the folded position that this model requires from day to day. And at just 10,000 euros, that’s practically a bargain for the category…. Even if the custom is a very small market for France, this model could make adopt the bike by many women, including beginners, with enough fishing to guarantee the pleasure in the long term..

Strong points

  • motor
  • consumption
  • price

Weak points

  • Protection

Competitors: Kawasaki VN 1600.

Midnight Star 1300 technical sheet

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5 thoughts on “Yamaha XVS 1300 Midnight Star test

  1. "Kialaplugrosse" syndrome because we find that something weighing 150 kg with 34 hp is short, especially when we often drive two people? We must stop the delirium a little!

    The nostalgia, which we have been served at length of pages lately on the lair as elsewhere, by trying all these Chinese lego, in mode "the time where took the time", "the essence of the motorcycle" and blablabla c it is all the same to coat with a sacred layer of backwardness of the trestles finally not given and with the objective quality not much higher than their number of ponies.

    It’s well worth giving a fuck about hipsters’ faces …

  2. How you fart on the picture !!!!

    Otherwise, try very nice (text + tofs) which makes you want to go test one in real life V

  3. Swm 440

    My 440 Gran turismo is now 800 kms. The noise is well worked out and we know it is mono. For engine behavior, we will have to wait until the end of the break-in. This one imposes a limitation at 5000 trs, which corresponds to an 80, 90 on the meter.

    At the start, the bike is immovable in the bends, it hops, is steep and seems to bounce on the corner. I blame the rear suspensions, the fork is fine, it absorbs shocks well but the rear suspensions are real pieces of wood. Originally the springs are super compressed, by relaxing them we gain a little in comfort but in compression on small roads it is still not that.

    The motorcycle remains undriveable, I then blame the quality of the tires and yes it is the tires that are in question because I realize that the dealer delivered the motorcycle with tires inflated to more than 4 bars, which is double the recommendations. builder. Things back in order handling improves but not really comfort, the saddle is really stiff. Ha, she’s pretty dull, she’s fashionable. Hop, a trip to the saddler, an extra layer of bultex and finally we can consider taking a little road.

    To stay in charge, disassembling the saddle is a real pain with this fixation by 2 inaccessible nuts. And what is also inaccessible is access to the oil level because the latter is behind one of the side crankcases which can only be removed using an Allen key. Ha why do I want to check the oil level? Hey, because the return hose from the radiator to the sump is oozing oil, a real European. And that’s when you realize that access to the battery and fuses is impossible because they are behind the other casing and if you don’t have the key you want in your bag, hey be must not burn a fuse ……

    Good, among other small modifications on the bike, the installation of a saddlebag to put the rain suit and an anti-theft device. Obviously the fashion is for the indicators at the level of the saddle which prevents the installation of a rear pannier, so hop 2 legs to push the indicators further to the rear. While we’re at it, I put on 2 mud flaps and remove the chain guard. Not to lighten the line of the bike and be fashionable, but because the sheet metal chain guard is very close to the passage of the chain and in less than 1000 km this one marked it. It was not that the most annoying, but the very annoying noise of the chain hitting the metal which is frankly unpleasant, that’s just a detail but hey.

    The braking is sufficient, given the very low weight of the motorcycle. The thing that bothers me is the ABS, I have the impression that you can’t do what you want, you can even take turns by blocking the rear wheel, no, but I’ll tell you. sworn. Anyway, until the pods unplug themselves. But this is not possible because the harness is multiflxed and the wire is used for ABS and for the meter, flute…

    Ha yes another small detail, it is part of the motorcycles where you had better find the neutral point before the total stop and in addition the light does not always come on when you are in neutral, if you want that the green light comes on on the meter, you have to push the selector up slightly for the electrical connection to be made.

    Well in summary, it’s not a thunderbolt but it’s a real mono with its own character, it’s light but it requires some correction to make it a daily vehicle and able to travel with a minimum of comfort. After the saddle, the next step will be to remedy the quality of the suspensions. Well it is true that it is a 440 а only 4000 euros new and that the price allows precisely to adjust the bike by making modifications according to the use which one intends to make of it.

    The rest, Yahoo, I went over 1000 kms. At the first overhaul, the gaskets of the oil hose returning to the reservoir were changed. the bike is no longer incontinent, that’s settled.

    Otherwise the engine frees up and the behavior rounds up and is fuller. On the other hand, by driving above the 5000 laps of the break-in, consumption explodes. It went from 4 liters in break-in and can now approach 6 liters if you drive a little under load and exceed 110 meters. Arf, autonomy suffers …… Here I tested the calibration of the meter and as often on the Italians it is very precise so watch out for the radar, there is no safety margin.

    I was hoping that by running in the gearbox I would be more inclined to come to a standstill at a standstill, but no. The bike has moods, electrical mess register. That is to say that sometimes the electric circuit makes it to its head when starting. The speedometer that does not start, again the engine lights that come on, the horn that is sluggish, the injection that causes engine misfires. Once you know that, just switch off the ignition and restart and everything is back to normal. Hey about the Klaxon, well it’s sluggish, worthy of a mob and more .

    The bike has undergone two other modifications, one minor, the installation of a luggage rack and the other essential. As the day rises later, I found myself at night on country side roads. And one wonders how the front LED headlight, could receive any approval. My first blue mob lit the road ten times better, a catamaran from catamaran. Since the light is led, no way to change a bulb, so I put a Chinese long range led light to survive night driving. It is also at this moment when you plug in the fire that you notice that the circuit is entirely designed for LED technology, with electric wires as big as those of an electric bicycle and a tiny battery. When I saw the battery I was scared for winter starts, but so far it does.

    Last detail, the bike does not support winter driving in the Breton rain, the spoke heads begin to turn into a heap of rust and the chrome on the rocker adjustment caps begins to swell.

    Here we arrive at 2000 kms, and while going to work, when I passed a truck on the 2 x 2 lanes, the motorcycle starts to mess up and the engine stops, luckily it was early and there was no had no throttle exist behind me. Brief emergency lane and the bike starts up again but skips to work. I don’t know why, but I immediately blame the suppressor, I put my hand in the engine and I realize that it is no longer able to hold properly on the spark plug. Brief tour to the dealer who sells me an antiparite at 30 euros, we talk I tell him about the rust that points to various places and he tells me that at this price his customers buy motorcycles for summer use and that it is not really planned to ride all the years. Oh yes, but it was not marked on the manual too …

    I was dreaming of a modern xt 500, that’s about it, almost the same as the original in weight and power. The noise is nice from the outset, but with an engine a little weakened by emission standards and a quality not as perfect as the Japanese. But hey, when we see the price where they dared to sell the sr400, they would have asked for double the Japanese.

  4. the continuation: Today repaired, the motorcycle grazes and exceeds more than 40, return in concession. Oh yes, you shouldn’t drive all year round, the tank cap is not waterproof and the water enters the tank so obviously the injection does not like it, or we should perhaps have changed the spark plug as long as the antiparasitic she may have suffered the candle. And in a nutshell, no, but what did you expect by buying a new motorcycle at this price, to pull the prices like that it is sure that it is not terrible terrible all that. Hello and welcome home on foot.

    How? ‘Or’ What ? ha you think that this motorcycle is a big shit, you want to get rid of it, yes we do consignment but we do not take almost new motorcycles that go nuts, get rid of you with .

    And the email to the importer obviously remains unanswered, In short, a crappy motorcycle with crappy saves .

  5. Frederic Coutant: a big big thank you for this very detailed CR.

    Cr who does not give but then not at all want to buy anyway 5500 pioufs a thing to finish oneself, which cannot roll when it is ugly, which does not light, which is as comfortable as a piece of wood , which consumes more than 6 liters per hundred while driving at 110 km / h and which breaks down even before it is almost finished running in !!!

    These "brands" make the mechanic of shitty Chinese parts bought twice, and then whisper to you "that at this price there, my good man should not expect that it will hold 2000 km without breaking down or in parts" !!!!

    Roughly speaking, you buy a new second-hand motorcycle from the 70s for 5500 euros, no, but help !!!

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