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2013 Star V Star 1300 Deluxe First Ride

Wednesday, March 6, 2013
    



In motion the V Star 1300 Deluxe feels light and is very easy to turn despite its 700-plus pound curb weight.
Whether you’re shopping for groceries, or a new motorcycle, many consumers demand value. Star Motorcycles recognizes this philosophy is more than a trend and entices price-minded motorcyclists with its V Star 1300 Deluxe ($13,690). This all-new bike blends the rugged looks of a boulevard cruiser with the practicality and touring comfort of a bagger. For all the juicy technical details refer to Cruiser Editor Bryan Harley’s 2013 V Star 1300 Deluxe First Look article as this report focuses on its road performance.

Although the V Star 1300 is powered by a smaller displacement 1304cc/80-cubic-inch engine (as compared to other bagger models), it is still a formidably sized motorcycle. Because its curb weigh is in excess of 700 pounds, lifting it off the side stand requires muscle. Still, it’s relatively low mounted seat (27.2 inches off the ground) and wide handlebar make it easier to command in parking lots but it does require a fair berth to get in and out of tight spots. Dial in even the slightest amount of throttle however and its bulky handling evaporates and is replaced with a ride that is responsive and eager to turn. In motion it’s surprising how lithe the bike feels, boosting rider confidence as a result, especially on rough or narrow roads. Steering feel is predictable and step-less with too much lean angle signaled by a scrape of the floorboards. The OE-fitted Bridgestone and Michelin tires are fabulous and offer tall, bump absorbing sidewalls paired to a rounded profile which no doubt aids in the V Star’s excellent side-to-side handling and steering precision.

The suspension has a very supple feel as evident by how much pitch the motorcycle has with even the slightest amount of pressure on the front brake lever. But it works well smoothing out the effects of road bumps or rough, broken pavement. With a passenger or a full load of cargo inside the fixed saddlebags we presume the ride could get too springy and spongy feeling but as long as you show some restraint in the corners and not ride the bike too aggressively it delivers a smooth, compliant ride. Speaking of luggage, the two lockable hard cases provide enough storage for a solo overnight getaway. They also have a pocket and connection cable for your iPhone or iPod.

(Left) The windshield is tall and wide and does a fantastic job of shielding the rider from road debris and wind.  (Center) The V Star 1300 Deluxe offers a streamlined shape that is both functional and pleasing to look at. . (Right) The V Star’s 1340cc engine gets with the program and offers good acceleration, smooth throttle response and great sound and character.

Even though the 1300 Deluxe doesn’t offer ABS, we never missed it. Both brakes—especially the rear that offers strong, fade-resistant stopping power. There is an equally high degree of feel through each lever which makes them easier to apply. The front lever doesn’t offer any position adjustment but it has a pleasing contour making it comfortable to grab and actuate with two or three fingers.

In the ergonomics department the V Star offers little to complain about. Although the saddle looks nice and cozy it was the weak link in terms of all-day comfort. It’s important to note that Star offers a vast line of accessories, including a seat back support that’s designed to improve rider comfort. The position of the handlebars puts almost zero strain on the rider’s arms and the shape of the 4.9-gallon fuel tank and floorboards afford plenty of leg room for rider’s legs. However, it could be a little cramped for those who are really tall (above 6’1”). The shape of the windscreen does a marvelous job of shielding the rider


(Top) The touchscreen Garmin GPS is fully integrated into the cockpit of the motorcycle. It also controls audio sources. It is also removable too. (Bottom) The V Star’s cockpit is accommodating and will be well-suited for all but extremely tall riders.
from road debris and windblast, and we were surprised by just how quiet the cockpit is even at freeway speeds.
 
The V Star 1300 Deluxe comes standard with intuitive electronics highlighted by a Garmin GPS mounted just below the windshield, within the rider’s direct line of sight making it safer to view while riding. A clever hidden mounting system gives the GPS a flush, integrated fit and appears like a genuine OE-component rather than an aftermarket piece. In addition to navigation the GPS controls incoming audio sources (XM radio, AM/FM radio and iPod or iPhone connectivity). Both the navigation and audio functions can be manipulated via the color LCD touch screen and can be used while riding—a tremendous plus compared to other brand’s systems. The menu system takes a few minutes to learn but once you figure out its structure it becomes simple to use. Furthermore a separate volume and track control buttons are located near the rider’s left hand. Despite the V Star’s audio system only employing two forward speakers the sound quality is superb. Not only do the speakers pump out a loud decibel reading the clarity of the sound is excellent. This is one of the best stock performing dual speaker set-ups we’ve ever sampled.

Engine performance was another shining aspect of Star’s latest bagger. The motor offers plenty of get-up-and-go and had no trouble pushing the bike through wind at speeds up to 90 mph. It’ll even do more than that we just didn’t get the chance to push it more. Enough torque is on tap to overtake vehicles without excessive downshifts. The motor has a pleasing and charismatic heart beat and the exhaust note from the right-hand side exhaust is first-rate with just the right amount of growl, but not so much as to piss off neighbors or folks soaking up the sun in their drop top cars. It truly offers the best of both worlds. Annoying engine vibration was also negligible.

For the most part throttle response is also top notch, though it did have a herky-jerky feel during delicate off/on applications in first gear only, most notable when you’re riding through tight, low speed turns. The engine’s fueling in the remaining five gears is near perfect. Drivetrain performance including feel from the clutch and transmission was excellent and the final drive gearing was low enough to climb steep grades but tall enough to keep the engine revving to the moon in top gear on the freeway.
2013 V Star 1300 Deluxe First Look
Introducing the 2013 V Star 1300 Deluxe.
Star Motorcycles, the cruiser division of Yamaha, is staking its claim to the mid-sized production bagger segment. In fact, the company can say it rules the class because according to them it’s the only major manufacturer to offer a mid-sized production bagger in the form of its new 2013 V Star 1300 Deluxe...

Read all about it in the 2013 V Star 1300 Deluxe First Look feature.

Considering its affordable price tag, it would only be logical for Star to cut costs by skipping on the bike’s less obvious details, including the bolts and fasteners, or the spacing between the bodywork and the all-metal fenders. But it didn’t. Instead the 2013 V Star 1300 Deluxe is one of the most well put together cruisers we’ve seen from Star. It’s a testament to its commitment to the American market and a shot over the bow of its chief competitors. Value aside, this is a motorcycle you’ll want in your garage.

V Star 1300 Deluxe Highs & Lows
Highs
  • Crazy affordable price point
  • Excellent quality and craftsmanship
  • Awesome handling and stereo
Lows
  • Heavy at a standstill
  • Abrupt throttle response in first gear only
  • Limited fuel capacity

2013 V Star 1300 Deluxe Photos
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Shoei J-Cruise Helmet
Shoei is an established leader in motorcycle helmet technology. And for the cruiser rider it has released its all-new Shoei J-Cruise Helmet. This open-face helmet features a conventional flip-up style clear shield. Inside a smaller tinted shield can be flipped up or down via a small button on the left-hand side of the helmet. The optical clarity of the sun shield is fantastic and on a comparable with a piece of high dollar eyewear. The helmet comes in seven different colors (Wine Red is pictured) in sizes X-Small through 2X-Large.
Alpinestars Harlem WP Shoes
A sturdy pair of boots is an absolute must when you’re off on a ride. Astars recently released Alpinestars Harlem WP Boots not only looks the part but provides all-season protection, too. This mid-cut boot features a full grain leather construction that is also waterproof. Inside there is a dual density outer ankle cup that provides impact protection and the toe box is reinforced with extra leather giving it an almost steel-toe like feel. An athletic-style insole helps provide all-day comfort when walking in-between rides. The boot comes in black in U.S. sizes 5- 12.5 (38-48 Euro).
Recent Cruiser Reviews
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We stoke the flames of an old rivalry, pitting the 2015 Harley Sportster 1200 Custom against the 2015 Indian Scout in this comparison between American cruiser motorcycles.
Star Motorcycle Accessories
Star offers a full-line of accessories for your motorcycle.
Star understands that for many motorcyclists customization is the name of the game. That’s why it has developed its own line of accessories designed and engineered by the same people who built your Star motorcycle. Each part bolts on to your bike and enhances the look and function. Best of all, the parts won’t void your original warranty. For more information check out the catalog on the Star Motorcycles website
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Comments
deer30084   September 28, 2013 10:43 AM
In 2006 I traded in my 2005 Yamaha V Star 1100 Silverado for a new 2006 FLHRCI, Road King Classic. After tax tag and title the HD cost me over $20,000.00. Here were my problems with the Road King in 7 yrs time: Primary chaincase oil leak, stalling issue (sensor behind air filter), fuel lines and fuel gaskets needed replacing, voltage regulator went out. And the last straw was the fuel pressure regulator went out. Would I have had those problems if I kept my Yamaha? Sold the HD in 2013. I'm not bashing HD; just telling the truth. I am considering Yamaha again. Sorry, I can't call it a Star. They need to drop that name.
motousa_adam   May 6, 2013 06:09 PM
@shadd85: Glad you liked it and thank you for pointing out those errors... Adam
shadd85   May 6, 2013 03:32 PM
Great article, but I feel obligated to point out a few inaccuracies: this bike has a 1304cc mill, not a 1340. Also it has a 5 speed multi-plate wet clutch tranny, not a 6. -07 XVS13
lesterlw   March 27, 2013 05:32 PM
I have an 07 vstar 1300 and they are dollar for dollar one of the best cruisers you can buy.There are so many things this machine does well it feels light,does not vibrate and it is quiet and of course water cooled(even high quality lawn mowers are water cooled).This machine will do 85 mph in 3rd gear so don't try racing it with that road king title for title unless it is heavily modified..I get 44MPG in normal riding and right around 50 mpg on hwy at 70 mph and of course burn regular.I bought used and only have $6K in this machine and these are known to run a long time trouble free.
Piglet2010   March 17, 2013 03:27 PM
The same people that slag on maxi-scoots (and bike such as the Honda NC700X DCT) for having automatic transmissions cannot use their left thumb to cancel a turn signal?
Racer1   March 10, 2013 06:19 PM
LOL Kropotkin - yet again the obligatory Harley praise and bashing any other ride? Don't you get tired of being a cheerleader? There are more manly sports you know! Bashing another brand for being overweight and dragging hard parts is the epitome of hypocrisy if you are shilling for Harley!. Also, what's with the self canceling indicators? Is this really important in the world of motorcycling?! A $40 relay? Personally I hate self canceling indicators on bikes, they are a hazard because whatever time/distance algorithm they work on they can still turn off too soon and leave you without indicators when you think you have them. It's so easy and safe to just be in control.
RENDELL   March 9, 2013 01:15 PM
In '09 I bought a brand new V Star 1300 in white. It was my 8th bike and my first cruiser. My V Star 1300 sounded better than a Harley IMO and a friend of mine who rode it said it handles better than any other cruiser he rode before. Everywhere I went people looked and awed at it. I changed the stock handle bars because they were awkward and put on new grips. I put a power commander on it and the surge in 1st gear was gone. I rode it hard and never had any maintenance issues. Recently, I saw a guy with 64,000 maintenance free miles on his V Star. I needed some cash so I sold it; I wish I kept it. I still have a Honda sport bike that I cherish but that is a totally different type of riding. Someday I will buy another V Star 1300. Maybe not this bagger because I do not listen to music when I ride because I want to be acutely aware of my surroundings. Nevertheless, this bagger looks cool!
motousa_adam   March 6, 2013 10:25 PM
It has cooling fins that replicate the typical 'look' of an American cruiser. But the engine is actually liquid-cooled. Liquid cooling provides better durability as the engine's operating temperature is more accurately controlled. Many Star Motorcycles including the VMax and Stryker employ water cooling... Adam
woodco100   March 6, 2013 07:38 PM
Wait a minute, why does it have cooling fins on the cylinders if it is water cooled? Does this add value? Are they bolted on like other water cooled Star models? Just asking is all.
motousa_adam   March 6, 2013 12:04 PM
@KenC: Hello Ken, this is a nice motorcycle. I hope one day you may ride one so you can experience it for yourself.
bgfsh   March 6, 2013 09:55 AM
Good value. Not everyone yearns for carbs and air cooler. I have the 1300 Tourer. Excellent bike and downright inexpensive.
Kropotkin   March 6, 2013 09:22 AM
All right. I'm sorry for being so negative and always boosting Harleys. It looks like a fine ride, even if it doesn't have SCTSs.
Kropotkin   March 6, 2013 08:41 AM
Let me recap: Curb weight exceeds 700 lbs, supple suspension pitches with minimal braking, floorboards scrape, Bridgestone tires, no abs available - I assume no self cancelling turn signals, either - the saddle (off all the silly things) is the weak link "in terms of comfort," Herky-jerky feel in first gear, but it'll do 90, and MSRP is $13,690. I'm looking forward more and more to my new Road King.
KenC   March 6, 2013 08:14 AM
Adam is really working at trying to sell this bike.