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We Could Use one of Those: Yamaha XJR1300

    “My other bike is a Bolt …. now where did I leave it?”

    2015-Yamaha-SR400-EU-Matt-Grey-Static-001There has been some fuss made around the fact that Yamaha’s SR400 is retro-a-no-go in Canada. But truth be told, and there are going to be a lot of you that might disagree, an air-cooled 400 single no matter how appealing for the nostalgic value doesn’t make a lot of logical sense in today’s world of motorcycles where a modern engined water-cooled, multi-cylinder bike of equal displacement would be more satisfying in all but retro appeal. But the SR400 has a kick start! That’s going to lose it novelty pretty fast.  The SR400 would not be an inexpensive machine if sold in Canada making it even more of a marketing challenge to the folks at Yamaha Canada. The fact that ST400 is available in the USA makes it a little odd that it isn’t up here to but these things do happen.

    The Yamaha XJR1300 is offered in two guises in the UK – standard and Racer.  It is so cool that the fairing on the Racer version doesn’t even have to match the rest of the bike! The heart of the matter is a 98hp air-cooled 1250cc four attached to a four into one 2015-Yamaha-XJR1300-EU-Power-Blue-Studio-002exhaust and supported by an Ohlins rear suspension. Seriously, who need modern when you have displacement? Beyond the fairing the Racer also gets clip-ons rather than the bar of the standard version. Following the Bolt’s lead there is a closet full of accessories for the XJR1300 should you want to dress up (or down) the bike further.

    The XJR1300 has been in the line-up in Europe for years but as the machine was looking dated the 2015 version is a new take and seems remarkably fresh because it has embraced the past.

    Not available for us – maybe that is one of the reasons it looks so darn good.


    Alas, there are further reasons to lament the lack of the XJR1300 on our shores. Most likely due to the classic outline and the air-cooled motor combined with the XJR’s longevity and availability of inexpensive used examples, the bike has proved to be popular with custom shops. The results run the gamut from cafe to retro sport. Below are example of bikes built and included in Yamaha’s Yard Built program.

    So pretty sweet results.

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