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If I had the cash: YAMAHA XJR1300

A retro muscle bike with undeniable pedigree

‘If I had the cash’ is a monthly feature on the blog where we look at a motorcycle I would buy if I had the means necessary. What would you buy if you had an endless supply of cash burning a hole in your wallet?


With the rise of retro styled cafe racers it was only time before the big manufacturers caught on. Loved for its no frills styling, the old Yamaha XJR 1300 has a cult following. With a simple riding position and a colossal motor the new version is thankfully more of the same.

Whilst the styling may be retro, the performance and technology under the fairing is anything but old school. Twin Ohlins shocks keep the rear end in order, aluminium keeps the frame light and fully adjustable forks mean you should be able to dial the bike in to suit your riding style.

The main event of the XJR 1300 is without a doubt the engine. Yamaha has managed to keep the same air-cooled engine going, albeit with a few tweaks. You now have a 4-2-1 exhaust which is a little on the quiet side, although handsome. Thankfully the engine performs just as well as the previous model.

Punchy and full of torque, the 1250cc 4 pot is happy to rev up to its 9500rpm red line. Cruising around town in top gear is easy and effortless, making for complaint free daily use. The only sticking point is that the engine can be warm between your legs in traffic and you will find yourself reaching for the non-existent sixth gear.

The styling is a solid 10/10 from the Yamaha XJR1300. The classic stripes and lines work well with all the colours offered, although Yellow has to be the most handsome.

Overall the Yamaha XJR1300 is a solid purchase with good residuals, the only question is which colour to choose.