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Yamah-V-Star Deluxe 1300 Special Edition Review

Yamaha V-Star 1300 Deluxe Special Edition Review

Is it possible to have cruiser styling in a functional mid-size touring package? Our Yamaha V-Star 1300 Deluxe Special Edition review gives an in-depth examination of Yamaha’s premium tourer. In it we look at price and aesthetics, performance, ergonomics, technology, and storage.

Are you thinking of getting or upgrading your cruiser and/or tourer? Read ahead and see why Yamaha’s Deluxe SE might make sense for you.


“Don’t worry, that’s not yours,” says the Yamaha Canada rep, walking me away from a dirty Yamaha V-Star 1300 Deluxe Special Edition towards a clean and shiny one.

The V-Star 1300 was introduced in 2007, as the successor to the aging 1100. The Deluxe Special Edition version is aimed at the casual tourer who demands a little more than the base model 1300. Long, low, and blacked out for attitude, the Deluxe SE looks the part. “This is your bike,” he says, pointing.

Yamah V-Star Deluxe 1300 Special Edition Review

Hello, beautiful. It’s nice to meet you.

Price and Aesthetics

There was a time when a 1,300cc would be considered a flagship vehicle for a brand. Those days are long past, and Yamaha offers both the Stryker and the Raider in the United States and Canada. Here in Canada, Yamaha simply  calls the V-Star 1300 Deluxe SE a “midsize tourer.” We think of the Deluxe SE as a light bagger, and after reviewing Honda’s Gold Wing F6B we were eager to see what Yamaha could bring to the market for nearly $10,000 less.

In North America, Yamaha offers three V-Star 1300 models:

  • Base – $11,290 USD – US-Only, not available in Canada
  • Tourer – $12,390 USD, $13,499 CAD – Featuring a quick-release windshield and backrest and leather-wrapped hard saddlebags
  • Deluxe – $14,090 USD, $14,999 CAD – Featuring fork-mounted fairing, integrated dash and audio system, iDevice connectivity, Bluetooth, blacked out look including rims and exhausts, and hard bags painted to match

The fork-mounted batwing fairing is extremely attractive in a Harley-Davidson Street Glide kind of way. Blacked out rims and exhaust pipes help to back the V-Star Deluxe SE’s bad ass look, and bump up its curb appeal.

Yamah V-Star Deluxe 1300 Special Edition Review - Side

With a variety of additional amenities, including GPS navigation, satellite radio, Bluetooth and iDevice connectivity, I expect the Deluxe SE to be more than just a pretty face as I ride away from Yamaha Canada’s head office. The bagger represents a slightly lighter, slightly less practical, and slightly less comfortable fully-dressed tourer. Even still, I quickly realize that the Deluxe SE mixes cruiser looks with touring practicality.

Yamah V-Star Deluxe 1300 Special Edition Review - Cruiser meets Tourer


As I prepare to get on to the highway I notice my posture. The ergonomics leave me comfortably upright, a position I would test on a four hour ride later that week. The position is quite comfortable, and the low windscreen keeps the wind off of my arms and chest. However, it offers minimal protection for my face, and I get blasted with wind. In their Yamaha V-Star Deluxe 1300 Special Edition review, Motorcycle Mojo magazine referred to the screen as “the least effective windshield known to man.” Sensationalist? Sure, but you get the picture.

Looking down I find a wide comfortable seat with a 27.2″ seat height between my legs. At 5’10” I have no issues touching the ground at a stop. Even the bike’s kick stand is easy to reach.

Yamah V-Star Deluxe 1300 Special Edition Review - Adrian

The Yamaha V-Star 1300 Deluxe SE is really a heavy, low, cool, short trip bagger. The bike has a low center of gravity. The 66.5″ wheel base does it’s part to keep the 730 lb. tourer well balanced and stable. The big bubble wheels (130/90-16 front, 170/70-16 rear) and suspension (wheel travel: 5.3″ front, 4.3″ rear) eat up bumps and grooves with ease. Roadway imperfections get soaked up on a plush ride.

The distance from the grips to the steering column felt evident in corners in my first two rides. The motorcycle’s rake is not overly dramatic, but the upright plush ergonomics call for a handlebar that is swept high up, back, and extra wide. With practice however, the V-Star can confidently be pushed horizontally  to the limit of its floor boards. By the end of the week you’ll comfortably lanesplit through downtown Toronto traffic. The latter is definitely better left to smaller motorcycles, but it is doable.

Still ahead – Check out the next page for Technology and Performance

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  1. From this review i am not overly impressed. It looks like an ugly bike, and the seating looks none too comfortable for the rider or pillion. I’ll stick with my BMW.

  2. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I guess. I’ve got a 2014 V Star 1300, and it’s got plenty of character and personality. It’s nice looking, got plenty of power, fun to ride, and reliable as a rock. Not to mention it costs about 1/3 less than an equivalent American cruiser. I think I’ll keep it.

    • Hey Dave. Any thoughts on the VStar 1300 versus the Deluxe SE model?

      • Oops, sorry I didn’t see this earlier. I haven’t ridden the Deluxe SE model, although I sat on one at a dealer. ;-) I didn’t buy the Deluxe because I didn’t want a bike that massive. That’s just my personal preference, I have no problem with others riding and liking full baggers.

  3. I welcome further feedback as I am seriously considering upgrading my 09 Vstar 1100 to the 2017 Deluxe model. My ride is slow but the balance and weight are very impressive to me as I always feel like the bike could ride itself. I want the hard saddlebags and hate my almost useless Shark Audio and this ride, with engine guards, Mustang Seat(s) and light bar fits what I want perfectly. My only problem right now is wether I should take the 16 model in grey/blue with discounts, or wait for the factory backorder on the new 2017’s black with red.

  4. i traded my 09 gs for a 2year left over 14 deluxe . 40 years of riding decided to try cruiser . awkward at first . sawed heal shift off , thats better . 2 years later got used to it and now love it . yamaha replaced stereo at 1000 miles . i’m with dave , “great bike”

  5. Thanks folks. I pulled the trigger and should have the 2017 in my garage by Thursday. I am pumped for my new ride.

  6. Anyone have any comparisons on the C90T vs v-Star deluxe ? Looking at 2016s on both. C90 much cheaper and I’m leaning that way. Wondering if the extra features on the V-Star deluxe make it worth it. I use ear phones for music and phone for gps so probably not…

  7. I have a 2015 1300 Deluxe. Metallic Black with lots of chrome. Nothing blacked out!!! Plenty comfortable for 500 mile plus days. Very reliable. Did I mention Very Reliable. Came with a much larger windshield than the 2016-17. Added clear plastic lowers and the ride is perfect. Just enough wind to keep you cool on a hot summer day. Average 46 mpg consistently. Would love a 6 speed gear box rather than I speed, but its not a biggy. I can hear the sat. radio or streaming from my Iphone easily at 65 mph. Garmin GPS – always works great. Floor boards are just where you would put them. Rides 2 up just as easily as 1 with plenty of power – even at Colorado altitudes. Purchased mine new in 2016 for $9000. Great buy, great bike.

  8. Hi Adrian circumference on forks is 7 3quarters to just under 8 inches took my new 2017 1300 deluxe vstar tourer out for first good ride yesterday nice still would like lowers thanks barry

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