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Yamah-V-Star Deluxe 1300 Special Edition Review

Yamaha V-Star 1300 Deluxe Special Edition Review

This is page 2 of a 3 page Yamaha V-Star 1300 Deluxe Special Edition Review. If you haven’t already read the first page, please click here to start from the beginning.


At $14,000 to $15,000, the motorcycle runs a little more expensive than Suzuki‘s C90T, but the Yamaha compensates by offering more amenities. Compared to Honda‘s CTX1300T, the V-Star 1300 Deluxe SE is significantly less expensive. You can do a lot of customization to the Deluxe SE with the money you’ll save, but I suggest you start with heated grips, and an iPhone Lightning to 30-pin Adapter.

Yes, that’s right. The  2017 Yamaha V-Star Deluxe Special Edition still comes with a 30-pin iPhone connector, and not the Lightning connector which has been used with every Apple product since the iPhone 4S in 2011. This is done deliberately for reasons known only to Yamaha senior management and God himself, but one can speculate.

Yamah V-Star Deluxe 1300 Special Edition Review - Handlebar Controls

Yamah V-Star Deluxe 1300 Special Edition Review - GPS

Moreover, the audio controls at the handlebar did not seem to do a good job (or any job) of controlling audio playback from my iPhone once connected. This could be attributable to user error, or a one-off issue, but the problem was aggravated by a lack of FM radio on the bike. While satellite radio is possible via Sirius Satellite XM, a simple AM/FM radio would’ve been an inexpensive and welcome addition.

Another miss was the lack of rider/passenger communication system. While this wasn’t an expected feature given the Deluxe’s price-point, it only further underlined that the audio experience seems to be a bit of an afterthought on this bike.

Where the V-Star Deluxe SE really shines, as far as technology is concerned, is the encased, removable, Garmin Zumo GPS device. With all of my audio woes, more often than not I found myself listening to the GPS’ voice alerting me of turns ahead, and showing me visual distance countdown until my turn. The GPS was easily visible, even in peak daylight, as it is well shrouded in the dashboard. The appearance is that of a sealed built-in unit, however, pressing on a tab will open the carrying area. This makes it easy to remove the device or lock it away for security.

Yamah V-Star Deluxe 1300 Special Edition Review - Profile


The V-Star’s 1,304cc (80 cubic inch) v-twin engine produces a nice, albeit quiet rumble. Some aftermarket exhausts wouldn’t hurt and a full stage 1 kitting would likely unleash more power. Dyno-testing from Cycle World magazine reveals that the motor puts out 65 horsepower and 81.8 ft-lb of torque at 4,100 RPM (64.8 at the rear wheel) from factory.

Final drive was via low-maintenance belt drive and top speed is about 105 mph or around 170 km/hr. Off the line, the V-Star 1300 Deluxe SE is un-intimidating and shows no will to launch itself at take off. With some throttle twisting it will pull, hard, but never quite lunges itself fully. This is a very Japanese cruiser. Smooth, reliable, and uncharismatic.

Yamah V-Star Deluxe 1300 Special Edition Review - Performance

The five-speed transmission shifts smoothly. My demo unit had roughly 300 km on it when I picked it up. It never slipped or left me wondering which gear I was in, and clunks between shifts were as expected from a Japanese motorcycle of this class. Not quite a click, but a soft and gentle clunk. I did find that I prefer using only the toe shifter, as my size 12 Harley-Davidson boots felt too big and made shifting cumbersome on the V-Star. This was a problem that I also faced on the Honda Gold Wing F6B. Big-footed folks, watch out for that.

In Canada, the V-Star 1300 Deluxe SE is Yamaha’s only cruiser/tourer to boast liquid cooling. In the US, liquid cooling can also be found on the Stryker, but not on the Raider, as the cruiser community continues to wait on OEMs to provide the same level of standard equipment found on more performance-oriented motorcycles.

Still ahead – Check out the next page for Performance, Storage, and our Final Conclusion

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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

What do you think?