Under heavy braking I could’ve sworn a slight tendency to veer right, but truthfully I didn’t test my luck a third time to see if it was the bike, or the rider. I’d love to hear some reader feedback in the comments section below.
With a rider and passenger the bike grows to over 1,000 lbs. The stop and go of city riding can be physically demanding, but that isn’t what this V-Star is designed for. Once traveling at speed the bike carries the weight well. At this displacement, performance lag with a passenger isn’t particularly significant either in acceleration or in braking.
Average fuel economy is in the low 40 – 43 MPG range (5.88 – 5.47 L/100 km). A 4.9 gallon (18.5 lt) fuel capacity will get you over 300 km, with 10 – 30 km to spare. When I’m travelling, I like to pull over every hour or two anyway just to stretch and have some water, so I never came near running low on gas on the Deluxe Special Edition.
Enough good can’t be said about the 57 litres (28.5 each) of capacity of the hard locking saddlebags. They are color-matched to fit the Yamaha V-Star 1300 Deluxe Special Edition’s rich two-tone grey and blue paint job. The bags offered more than enough storage for a weekend trip to a friend’s cottage, as well as the typical camera equipment and other extras that come with moto-journalism.
The one-handed locking system works well but has one possible downside. Given that you are able to lock the hard bags without a key, it becomes possible to lock your keys inside of the hard bags. This type of goof-up happens every so often with scooters, where keys can be locked in the under seat storage. But a small-displacement scooter and a 1,300 cc middle weight tourer are two different beasts, and one is much more likely to be left stranded hundreds of kilometers away from home than the other.
Yamaha’s V-Star 1300 Deluxe Special Edition is built on a tried and tested platform, but still has room for improvement. The motorcycle delivers consistent, predictable and good power and handling. It does so smoothly. But it also does so without character or personality. It offers good value in the middle-weight touring division, looks rich and does a good job of combining cruiser looks with light touring capabilities, but the GPS is only thing that really sets it apart. This is a very Japanese tourer, built on a very Japanese cruiser platform, and for some, it will be exactly what they want at a price they are willing to pay.
Thanks, Yamaha Canada!
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