Yamaha V-Star 1300 First Look

The All New V-Star 1300 From Yamaha

With the Road Star and Roadliner, Yamaha has an enviable position in the big-cube metric cruiser category, but its smaller displacement V-Stars have been neglected for several years. Today it was announced that a new V-Star 1300 will arrive at dealers this September to further round out Yamaha’s cruiser lineup.

The rest of the Star line of bikes remains basically status quo, aside from a few color options and price increases mostly between $50 and $100. The Silverado and Midnight Star models take a step back from their cowboy appearance, having lost their seat and backrest studs for a cleaner look. Tank emblems are reduced in size for the same effect. The venerable VMax still remains in the lineup unchanged.

The styling of any cruiser is a critical element, and the new V-Star 1300 holds up this end of the bargain. Its lines are clean, flowing and uncluttered, and its seamless fuel tank is particularly graceful with a chrome accent line running across it. A sharply cut steel front fender is another styling hit, and it frames the seven-spoke cast aluminum wheel that is matched out back by another 16-incher.

With 1304cc inside its 60-degree V-Twin, the V-Star 1300 bridges the gap between the 1063cc V-Star 1100 and the 1670cc Road Star, although we’re hesitant to call it “midsize” as Yamaha does in its literature. This 80-cubic-inch engine is an all-new design that boasts overhead cams, four valves per cylinder, dual counterbalancers and fuel injection. Its pistons and connecting rods are forged aluminum for strength and low weight, and roller rocker arms reduce friction for better performance and reduced wear.

Although it looks like an air-cooled powerplant, Yamaha has cleverly incorporated concealed coolant lines and internal passageways to disguise its liquid-cooling system. Its 100mm bore is actually larger than the Road Star’s 97mm; along with its 83mm stroke, the new 1300 is a less undersquare design that should allow for a revvier mill. The combination of a single-pin crankshaft and a Roadliner-esque two-into-one exhaust system promises “a highly stimulating exhaust note.”

Unlike the V-Star 1100, the 1300 has power routed through a belt to the rear wheel instead of a shaft. Its five-speed transmission can be toggled by a heel/toe shifter.

With its MSRP of just $10,090, the V-Star does without a lightweight aluminum frame like the Road Star Warrior and new ‘Liners, but that’s not to say its steel chassis is underdeveloped. Yamaha has bolted the engine to its cradle frame with four solid mounting locations, including one attached to the front cylinder’s head, for added rigidity and stable handling. According to Yamaha, the V-Star 1300 carries 48% of its claimed 624-lb dry weight on its front wheel, which is an enviable front/rear ratio for a cruiser.

A non-adjustable 41mm fork (with stainless-steel covers) leads the bike down the boulevard, while a single-shock rear can be tweaked for spring preload. We can tell you the 130/90 and 170/70 tires are set 66.5 inches apart, but steering geometry numbers have yet to be revealed. Braking duties are handled by a pair of 298mm brake discs up front and a 266mm rear. A multi-reflector headlight lights up the road ahead while an LED taillight sits out back; turnsignals lenses are clear.

Yamaha V-Star 1300 The V-Star 1300 Silverado

From the bike’s 27.1-inch-high seat, a rider is treated to what Yamaha calls a “retro-modern” set of instruments, essentially a large analog speedometer in a high-tech setting atop the handlebar. The 4.5-gallon fuel tank is narrow where it meets the seat, thanks in part to an auxiliary fuel cell mounted below that houses the fuel pump. Yamaha claims a fuel capacity total of 4.88 gallons.

The V-Star 1300 arrives at dealers this September in three colors (Raven, Galaxy Blue and Candy Red) that retail for $10,090. Mechanically identical Silverado versions with their windshields and saddlebags will follow a month later for a price $1100 higher.

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