2015 Yamaha XJR1300 First Look

October 7, 2014
Byron Wilson
Byron Wilson
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Byron's sure to be hunched over a laptop after the checkers are flown, caught in his own little version of heaven. Whether on dirt, street or a combination of both, MotoUSA's newest addition knows the only thing better than actually riding is telling the story of how things went down.

Yamaha’s long-running XJR platform continues into 2015 with an updated XJR1300 and XJR1300 Racer, both models announced during the Intermot Show in Germany. While both remain stripped-down UJMs at heart, the 2015 versions of the XJR1300 feature styling influenced by the custom work of builders Keino and Deus Ex Machina.

The changes listed by Yamaha press are primarily cosmetic, with a slimmer tank, a new solo seat, side covers, blacked-out 4-2-1 exhaust, tapered handlebars along with a new muffler tail cap design foremost among the updates. The Racer comes with a handful of additional items to achieve its café personae. One thing appears to remain unchanged however, and that’s the absence of the XJR1300 from American markets.

The XJR1300 got its first life when Yamaha bored-out its old 1188cc air-cooled Inline Four to 1250cc for the 1999 model year and it’s been going strong ever since. In 2007 Yamaha added fuel injection and throughout the years the Tuning Fork brand has tweaked here and there to meet emissions standards, but for the most part the powerplant has remained unchanged. There are a host of other features which remain the same as that 1999 model, from the 5-speed constant mesh transmission, 298mm dual disc front brakes and single 267mm rear to the double cradle steel frame and telescopic fork. The XJR1300’s design consistency and sparse dress have made it a popular platform for customization.

The Tuning Fork brand has been keen on expanding its presence among the custom world of late, and its “Yard Built” project is a prime example of its efforts. Yamaha reached out to a number of builders the world over to have them work over models in its current Sports Heritage line-up. The XJR1300 was one, the SR400 and XV950 others. Keino’s “Rhapsody in Blue” was a product of the “Yard Built” project, as was Deus’ “Eau Rogue,” the two primary inspirations for the 2015 XJR1300 and XJR1300 Racer, respectively.

The slimmed tank, tail section and single seat are features drawn from both of the aforementioned custom projects, with blacked-out pipes appearing on “Rhapsody in Blue” and a minimalist bubble fairing drawn from the front of “Eau Rogue.”
The 2015 XJR1300 Racer makes use of carbon fiber in the tail, front fairing and front fender. Riding position is more forward on the Racer version thanks to the use of clip-on handlebars.

In keeping with the spirit of customization, Yamaha has an extensive list of bolt-on accessories available. Narrower handlebars, various choices of windscreens, slip-on mufflers, a leather fuel tank band, custom rear sets, and luggage options are just some of the options riders have to choose from.

For 2015 the base-model XJR1300 and Racer versions are available in Power Blue, Matte Grey and Midnight Black colorways. The 2015 versions will hit dealer floors starting in December. Price was not included in press material for the 2015 XJR1300.

2015 Yamaha XJR1300 First Look

The 2015 Yamaha XJR1300 borrows some styling cues from Keinos Rhapsody in Blue build. 2015 Yamaha XJR1300. A carbon fairing at the front gives the 2015 Yamaha XJR1300 a cafĂ© racer feel.
2015 Yamaha XJR1300 Racer. The 2015 Yamaha XJR1300 Racer along with its inspiration  Deus Eau Rogue. 2015 Yamaha XJR1300 Racer.