Late last week, in Sydney, Australia, Yamaha held the official international launch for their latest masterpiece– the Yamaha XJR1300– which they’ve been teasing us with for months now.
With a sort of retro-throwback feel to it, the new XJR1300 features a slim racer-style fuel tank and aluminum handlebars, as well as a large displacement air-cooled muscular engine. Reviewers across the board are already marveling at how smooth this bike is between the gears and are even more impressed with the power of the inline-four 1251cc engine (which cranks out 98 horsepower and 80 lb-ft of torque!).
Of course, this power setup should be no surprise to experienced Yamaha riders. Jesse Kiser of Ride Apart says, “Yamaha XJR1300’s powerplant has remained pretty much the same since Yamaha bored out its 1188cc to a 1250cc in 1999. Since then, they’ve added fuel injection and the tuning has changed over the years, but the essence of a 1300cc inline four remains the same.”
Well, when something works, why change it? Right?
Of course, it’s not like Yamaha has gotten all complacent on us. For those that are craving more, the company is also offering an upgraded Racer version for the bike, which features carbon fiber body work, Ohlins shocks in the rear, and slip-on pipes.
Early reviews of the bike have noticed one surprising aspect of the bike… its lack of sound. However, if riders want a deeper growl, the Racer version still offers that road ambiance.
As far as the weight goes, the XJR1300 is very middle of the road. Its standard package weighs in at 529 pounds– which is 44 pounds heavier than the BMW R nineT. However, Pipeburn says the bike holds its weight well; “It didn’t really feel that heavy when riding at speed. Sure, it didn’t feel like a nimble light-weight bike, but it didn’t feel as heavy as a Harley Sportster 883, which weighs about the same but has a very different stance.”
Overall, it appears that Yamaha has put out a sure fire winner. This bike has a gorgeous retro look to it, while incorporating an upgraded performance package into the standard Yamaha setup.
Yamaha, too, believes they have a real monster on their hands, saying, “The XJR1300 is back as the latest offering in the Sports Heritage Range. 20 years of evolution have delivered a stunning take on the iconic machine. Featuring the largest displacement inline-4 air-cooled engine in the market, the raw power and stripped back style commands respect.”