A Contender In The Mid-Range Bagger Market

Touted as the only casual (almost) full-dress touring bike in the mid-displacement class, the V-Star 1300 Deluxe from Yamaha’s Star cruiser stable hit the streets with a majority of its technology and style from the V-Star 1300 and V-Star 1300 Tourer. Equipped with a 1,304 cc engine, some nice little pieces of tech, and styling that clearly aims it at the American sector, the V-Star 1300 Deluxe is a strong contender in the mid-range bagger market.

Continue reading for my review of the Yamaha V-Star 1300 Deluxe.

  • 2015 - 2017 Yamaha V-Star 1300 Deluxe
  • Year:
    2015- 2017
  • Make:
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    Liquid-cooled V-twin; SOHC, 4 valves/cylinder
  • Displacement:
    1304 cc
  • Top Speed:
    124 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    14290
  • Price:

Design

2015 - 2017 Yamaha V-Star 1300 Deluxe
- image 728453
It comes with a fully integrated dash and audio system, which features a removable waterproof Garmin® Zumo® 665 GPS.

The chopped-down, fork-mounted bat-wing fairing lends the Deluxe a custom air with minimal coverage and resistance. Much sportier than Harley’s old barn-door fairing, it leads the way with whisker-mount turn signals and pimp lights (passing lamps, whatever) for a look that ties in nicely with the established touring visage. It sits in front of a fully integrated dash and audio system, which comes equipped with a removable waterproof Garmin® Zumo® 665 GPS, and while it protects the chest, hands and arms, the missing material down low leaves the legs exposed. That’s a nice feature for a mid-displacement tourer, especially in warmer climes. Color-matched, hard, lockable bags give you 15.2 gallons of storage; that’s 5.2 gallons more than the V-Star 1300 Tourer.

Since this is touted as a tourer, you would expect ample passenger accommodations; but the pillion, as it comes from the factory, is inadequate. The seat is wide enough, but quite short, offering what I would consider a precarious perch. If ever there was a bike that I’d feel capable of driving out from under me, this is it. Definitely a candidate for a passenger backrest, even though that would ruin some of the Boulevard Bruiser vibe Yamaha was clearly going for.

To accommodate a passenger that you want to stay on good terms with, you’ll have to shell out more bucks for a more complete touring saddle setup including the scooped touring seat and backrest, and passenger floorboards. All in all, there isn’t much in the way of roominess unless your passenger is an undernourished waif and you are average height or smaller and pretty lean. A plus, though, are the real steel fenders. If you are looking for a base to start a customization project, steel fenders are right up your alley.

Chassis

2015 - 2017 Yamaha V-Star 1300 Deluxe
- image 728454
The braced steel swingarm and rear wheel are controlled by a nine-position preload-adjustable, single rear shock vertically mounted behind the engine and tucked out of sight so at least you get some basic ride control.

Front suspension rides on KYB 41 mm telescopic front forks with large-diameter brush-finished fork skirts. Front wheel travel is better than average at 5.3 inches long at the axle, but the forks themselves are rather vanilla with nothing in the way of adjustment. Even H-D is starting to move away from plain front stems, so Yamaha has a little room for improvement here.

The braced steel swingarm and rear wheel are controlled by a nine-position preload-adjustable, single rear shock vertically mounted behind the engine and tucked out of sight so at least you get some basic ride control. Rear wheel travel is 4.3 inches, which once again is more than some of its direct competitors manage to pack on.

The 298 mm brakes discs — dual in front with twin-piston calipers and single in the rear with a single-piston caliper — provide ample stopping power. I like that the rear caliper is mounted to the underside of the swingarm, This not only makes the caliper less in-your-face, but it helps reduce the center of gravity, which in turns makes for better handling. Some may raise an eyebrow at the lack of ABS protection especially given the 717-pound wet weight (plus rider/passenger/gear), but I’m OK with it since such gadgetry would balloon the price a bit.

All this rides on 16-inch seven-spoke cast aluminum wheels with a fat, 130/90 hoop up front and a 170/70 in the back with the whitewalls set to the inside.

Frame: Double Cradle
Suspension / Front: 41 mm Telescopic fork; 5.3-inch travel
Suspension / Rear: Single shock; 4.3-inch travel
Brakes / Front: Dual hydraulic disc, 298 mm
Brakes / Rear: Hydraulic disc, 298 mm
Tires / Front: 130/90-16M/C 67H
Tires / Rear: 170/70B-16M/C 75H
Wheels: seven-spoke aluminum

Drivetrain

2015 - 2017 Yamaha V-Star 1300 Deluxe
- image 728461
Riders can expect about 80 pound-feet of torque at 4,000 rpm and approximately 70 horsepower for a top speed of about 125 mph.

The steel cradle frame has four solid engine mounts holding the liquid-cooled, 60-degree V-twin 1,304 cc (80 cubic-inch) engine so you can expect some vibration to transfer to the frame, but not as much as a hard-mount Harley lump for instance.

You can find the radiator tucked between the front-frame down tubes to make it as unobtrusive as possible and let it breathe freely at the same time, but it still sticks out like a sore thumb when viewed from the front, if you ask me. Star took steps to minimize the visual impact of the liquid-cooling system in profile by tucking the radiator hoses away out of sight and giving the heads pronounced cooling fins for that air-cooled look, at least from the side view. In stop-and-go traffic, an electric fan keeps air moving through the radiator to keep you from overheating, a benefit that ultimately trumps vanity in the liquid- versus air-cooling argument.

A Mikuni dual bore, 40 mm returnless-type throttle body fuel injection system with TPS and idle speed control handles fuel delivery for an average fuel economy of 42 mpg. Engine power feeds through the standard (non-slipper) clutch to the five-speed constant-mesh transmission, and a reinforced belt drive carries power to the rear wheel. Dyno results vary depending on the dyno, but buyers can count on around 80 pound-feet of torque at 4,000 rpm and approximately 70 horsepower for a top speed of about 125 mph. This isn’t quite enough to qualify for the power-cruiser category, but is plenty for most people in most situations.

Engine Type: Liquid-cooled V-twin; SOHC, 4 valves per cylinder
Displacement: 1304 cc
Compression Ratio: 9.5 to 1
Fuel Delivery: Fuel injection
Transmission: five-speed; multiplate wet clutch

Pricing

2015 - 2017 Yamaha V-Star 1300 Deluxe
- image 684483
If you want your passenger to still like you after the first ride, squeeze your wallet a little harder and opt for some touring accessories.

MSRP on the 2017 in Raven is $14,299; just a couple hundred over last year. Yamaha covers your new ride with a one-year limited factory warranty. Don’t forget if you want your passenger to like you after the first ride, squeeze your wallet a little harder and opt for some touring accessories.

Warranty: 1 Year (Limited Factory Warranty)
Color Options:
2015: Rapid Red, Raven
2016: Charcoal Silver
2017: Raven
Price:
2015: $13,790: Raven, $14,090: Rapid Red
2016: $14,090
2017: $14,299

Competitors

2015 - 2018 Suzuki Boulevard C90T
- image 758020
2015 - 2016 Harley-Davidson Street Glide / Street Glide Special
- image 673258
2017 Victory Cross Country / Cross Country Tour
- image 684887
The Victory Cross Country is a nice bike, it really is, but you pay for those features with a price of $19,999 while the V-Star rolls for a mere $14,290.

The V-Star 1300 is clearly made for the U.S. market so I thought it would be fair enough to see how it stacks up against some of the bikes it will be competing against for a slice of the pie. After tossing out the Suzuki Boulevard C90T for being a little too clean and the Harley Street Glide for being too predictable, I settled on the Cross Country from Victory.

Lookswise, they both fit the profile. The clean rear end and chopped-down windshield shifts the visual weight down making both look low and heavy in keeping with boulevard bruiser standards. Batwing-style front fairings lend the rider some protection while managing to not make the rest of the ride look too tourbike-ish. While the Nessy swoop is really pronounced on the CC, the V-Star isn’t without its own character at the upper lines, it just isn’t quite as dramatic. Beyond that, I gotta say that both bikes have a certain aesthetic appeal, and I can’t rule either out based on looks alone anyway, so moving along....

While the skirted, 41 mm forks on the V-Star are sufficient for the job at hand, the inverted forks on the CC look like serious business. Too bad neither offers any sort of adjustment to the ride quality at the front end, but the Star gets a preload adjustment while the Victory sports an air monoshock with a wide range of adjustability. Brake hardware is close enough for government work, but the CC sports ABS while the V-Star has no brake augmentation at all. Victory comes off looking more professional in the rolling chassis department, but we aren’t done yet.

The engine represents one of the biggest differences between the two bikes. Victory runs its 106 cubic-inch Freedom 106/ 6 V-Twin while Star sticks with an 80-cube mill. I know this may seem a bit unfair, but my reasoning is this; looks set the tone and get people’s attention, and these two definitely share a common panache. Besides, not everyone needs 106 inches, and the smaller engine on the V-Star makes it an attractive option for folks on a budget who are looking for a boulevard bruiser. Which brings me to the big win for Star — the price.

The Victory Cross Country is a nice bike, it really is, but you pay for those features with a Harley-like price of $19,999 while the V-Star rolls for a mere $14,290. That’s a pretty big chunk of change, and it sure makes the minor flaws with the V-Star seem somewhat less significant.

He Said

My husband and fellow motorcycle writer, TJ Hinton, says, "Calling this a "casual full dress" touring bike is, in my opinion, just playing word games. For the money, there are other touring bikes out there in the mid-displacement range that compete well enough that I’m not so impressed with the V-Star 1300 Deluxe that I’d have to have one. It’s not a bad bike, but for the money, I’d have to do some shopping. By the time you add the $1,500 or so to make the passenger comfortable, you’re getting close to the price of a Project Rushmore bike."

She Said

"I guess I’m not feeling that barn-door fairing. As a less-expensive alternative and a more sporty look in the mid-displacement range, I might go for a Kawasaki Versys 1000 LT or forgo the fairing altogether in a Suzuki Boulevard C90T. Honestly, though if I’m riding pillion, I’d want to step up the passenger comfort by adding some touring accessories or just go for the touring model to begin with."

Specifications

Drivetrain:
Engine Type: Liquid-cooled V-twin; SOHC, 4 valves per cylinder
Displacement: 1304 cc
Bore x Stroke: 100.0 x 83.0 mm
Compression Ratio: 9.5 to 1
Fuel Delivery: Fuel injection
Ignition: TCI: Transistor Controlled Ignition
Transmission: five-speed; multiplate wet clutch
Final Drive: Belt
Chassis:
Frame: Double Cradle
Suspension / Front: 41 mm Telescopic fork; 5.3-inch travel
Suspension / Rear: Single shock; 4.3-inch travel
Brakes / Front: Dual hydraulic disc, 298 mm
Brakes / Rear: Hydraulic disc, 298 mm
Tires / Front: 130/90-16M/C 67H
Tires / Rear: 170/70B-16M/C 75H
Wheels: seven-spoke aluminum
Dimensions:
Length: 98.0 inches
Width: 41.2 inches
Height: 59 inches
Seat Height: 27.2 inches
Wheelbase: 66.5 inches
Details:
Fuel Capacity: 4.9 gallons
Fuel Economy: 42 mpg
Wet Weight: 717 pounds
Warranty: 1 Year (Limited Factory Warranty)
Color Options:
2015: Rapid Red, Raven
2016: Charcoal Silver
2017: Raven
Price:
2015: $13,790: Raven, $14,090: Rapid Red
2016: $14,090
2017: $14,299

References

Yamaha V-Star 1300 Tourer

2015 - 2017 Yamaha V Star 1300 Tourer
- image 665543

See our review of the Yamaha V-Star 1300 Tourer.

Victory Cross Country

2017 Victory Cross Country / Cross Country Tour
- image 684889

See our review of the Victory Cross Country.

All images featured on this website are copyrighted to their respective rightful owners. No infringement is intended. Image Source: yamaha-motor.com, victorymotorcycles.com, harley-davidson.com, suzukicycles.com

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