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.
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.
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.
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.
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