Yamaha revamp the XJR1300 for 2015 | By Trevor Hedge
Yamaha have tastefully tweaked their long-running XJR1300 naked musclebike for 2015 to produce two versions of what is one of the last air-cooled big bore four-cylinder motorcycles still available for sale today, and the largest such engine still in production.
On the market for an amazing two decades the XJR1300 has been tweaked here and there to broaden its appeal and dynamics but this latest round of modifications sees Yamaha step the heritage influence up to another level, while also adding a ‘Racer’ version complete with seat cowl and very retro looking windscreen.
Born from the collaboration Yamaha has undetaken with various well known custom bike builders which resulted in their ‘Yard Built’ series of specials, the XJR1300 has in this latest evolution gained another touch of class to what was already an impeccably finished machine.
As you would expect, there will be a host of Yamaha accessories available for the new models to further individualise them to each owner’s tastes.
There have been some costs with the switch to the new look however with the fuel tank shrinking from the earlier machine’s generous 21-litre fuel capacity to a more modest 14.5 litre tank for 2015. The earlier machine was good for 320km from its larger tank so the new model should still prove ample enough for a reliable 200km+ range between fills. Still, the reduced tank does take some amenity away from the machine but that’s the price of fashion I guess…
The 1251cc engine boasts 96hp at 8000rpm and 108Nm of torque at 6000rpm. Those numbers don’t sound like much but we know from experience that the XJR1300 engine feels quite spritely on the road with a broad spread of power and wide powerband that aids to the sporting appeal of the big retro.
Spent gases now exit via a new blacked out 4-2-1 system terminating in a swept up muffler, also finished in black. This is a stark contrast to the full stainless system featured on earlier machines.
The 43mm fork sliders now feature the DLC (Diamond-Like-Carbon) coating to help reduce stiction while Ohlins continues to supply the dual piggyback rear shocks.
The headlight is now marginally smaller and sits in front of a very cleanly styled new instrument cluster complete with analogue speedometer and tachometer that features a very retro 9500rpm red-line clearly marked on the large faced dial.
There is less rear overhang thanks to a shorter rear sub-frame which serves to make the machine look much more taut and muscular than before.
The XJR1300 Racer takes the XJR1300 firmly down the cafe racer route with a carbon front cowling and short fender, solo-seat and clip-on handlebars leaning the rider further forward on the machine to give the XJR1300 Racer a sportier feel to go with the look. Chassis geometry is marginally more sporting on the Racer with 24° 40″ of caster angle compared to the 25° of the regular XJR1300.
The trail of both machines is 92mm and likewise the fork travel (130mm), rear suspension travel (120mm), wheelbase (1500mm) and seat height (829mm) is identical on both machines.
Both machines roll on 120/70-17 and 180/55-17 tyres and are braked by a 298mm twin-disc front end and 267mm rear.
Both variants of the machine are pictured below but for a further pictorial study of both models we invite you to check out our extensive pictorial gallery of each of the models via these separate links – Yamaha XJR1300 Pictorial – Yamaha XJR1300 Racer Pictorial
Also you might be interested in our 2011 review of the Yamaha XJR1300.
Yamaha Motor Australia are currently evaluating the new XJR1300 models and welcome contact via the website https://www.yamaha-motor.com.au/contact-us/general-enquiries to gauge local interest in the new models