Yamaha, the Japanese company, began producing motorcycles in 1955, starting with small-displacement bikes and then a developing a strong line of powerful competition bikes. In 1994 Yamaha established the Star brand, a line of cruisers, specifically for the U.S. market. In 2007 Yamaha introduced the V Star 1300 cruisers, extending its middleweight V Star line with a pair of more powerful bikes, the V Star 1300 and the V Star 1300 Tourer, which were to replace the 1100 models.
Powered by new liquid-cooled, 1304cc, 60-degree V-twin engines with a single overhead cam, four valves per cylinder, the V Star 1300 models have fuel injectors rather than carburetors like the other V Star bikes. Ignition is electric. The five-speed manual transmission, with overdrive, works with a carbon-reinforced belt final drive. A heel-toe shifter is standard. A pair of KYB telescopic forks with 5.3 inches of travel provides the front suspension for both models; the rear suspension is a newly designed cast-steel twin-sided swing. The front brake is a dual 11.7-inch disc; the rear brake is an 11.7-inch single disc.
The Tourer weighs in at 668 pounds dry; the base model is 45 pounds lighter. The two-piece seat on both models is a low 27.1 inches, with the upright rider position typical of cruisers. Its instrumentation is not as barebones as most cruisers’: it has a clock, a fuel warning light, a temperature warning light, and a tachometer as well as a speedometer and an odometer, all nestled in a chrome pod on top of the handlebar clamp. Yamaha doesn’t provide an estimate of gas mileage; the tank holds 4.5 gallons.
The 1300 models come with lockable underseat storage, but a wide variety of saddlebags and tank bags are available, along with a huge selection of accessories to customize the bike and add bling. You can install an optional windshield, which will make highway riding more comfortable; and you can replace the standard two-piece seat with a solo seat if you prefer.
Yamahas are well known for being reliable, durable machines, and the V Star 1300 offers plenty of power, sleek new styling, and a smooth ride as well.