1997 Tourer Comparison: Yamaha Royal Star Tour Deluxe

Last but not least on the 1997 Tourer Comparison is the 1997 Yamaha Royal Star Tour Deluxe

Tour Deluxe
The chassis of the Tour Deluxe draws its design from the other two 1997 Royal Stars.Fran Kuhn

Now only in its second year, the Royal Star line has grown to three models with the addition of the Tour Deluxe. This third member of the clan shares the same engine, chassis and other underpinnings as the two 1996 machines—the base model and the Tour Classic—and falls between them in price.

The most obvious difference between the Classic and the Deluxe is the saddlebags. The Deluxe debuts 50 percent bigger hard bags which are color-matched to the bike. Like the windshield, they are made in the USA. There are several other more subtle differences. The bags use a different mounting arrangement involving chrome rail which double as saddlebag brackets. These curve around almost to the back end of the Deluxe’s rear fender. To make room for the bags, which are bigger than the leather-covered bags on the Tour Classic, the Tour Deluxe gets a pair of two-into-one exhaust systems instead of the four individual pipes on the other bikes.

The engine on the 1997 Yamaha Royal Star Tour Deluxe was unchanged from the previous year.Fran Kuhn

The passenger backrest, which has a new angle, and the passenger portion of the Deluxe’s saddle may be removed to reveal a small luggage rack. Up front, the rider gets a re-contoured saddle with a deep bucket for support. The ignition lock as been moved from atop the right side panel to the left side beneath the front of the fuel tank. The location is less awkward with saddlebags but requires a stretch from the saddle.

To emphasize that fifth gear is an overdrive ratio and remind riders that they should downshift to get serious acceleration, the Tour Deluxe lights the engine diagnostic light in the speedo when you select fifth gear. It flashes when there is an engine problem. The front fender has a cast “Tour Deluxe” emblem that deeper than the one on last Tour Classic we sampled, and the bumpers are fastened with screws rather than adhesive. Finally, the Tour Deluxe gets wide whitewalls on its Dunlop D404 tires.

The V-4 engine is unchanged from the one introduced last year in the other Royal Stars. It uses the same layout as the V-Max but with more fins, nicer contours, no counterbalancer and a lot less peak horsepower. The horsepower was sacrificed in favor of more bottom-end power and fewer peak rpm with smaller carbs, milder cams, less compression, smaller ports and valves and a different ignition curve.

The basic chassis is also the same single-shock design as the other two Royal Stars, with dimensions, angles, suspension components and other major components matching their Tour Classic counterparts. This means that most of the over 160 Royal Star accessories Yamaha has developed will fit. At 793 pounds, this machine weighs 8 pounds more than our ‘96 Tour Classic. The price is a lot lighter though. The Tour Deluxe weighs in at $1000 less than the Classic.

This article was originally published in the April 1997 issue of Motorcycle Cruiser.

High Points: Low Points: First Changes:
The most finished appearance in the class Lackluster engine performance does not justify V-4’s cost or complexity Install retaining lanyards on saddlebag lids
Much improved brakes Heavy steering and limited cornering clearance Replace plastic tank divider with something stylish
Good suspension performance Saddlebags require extra key
Excellent wind protection and comfort Mild vibration
Considerable accessory support
Sensational warranty and roadside assistance
The 1997 Yamaha Royal Star Tour Deluxe has a put-together look with the bigger, color-matched hard bags.Fran Kuhn
Seat height: 28.3 in.
Wheelbase: 66.7 in.
Wet weight: 793 lb.
GVWR: 1175 lb.
Overall length: 97.8 in.
Rake: 30° (degrees)
Trail: 5.0 in.
Designation: XVZ13LTJ
Suggested base price: $14,999
Standard colors: black, black/white
Extra cost colors: NA
Standard warranty: 60 mo., unlimited miles
Recommended service interval: 4000 miles
Engine & Drivetrain
Type: liquid-cooled 70-degree V-4
Valve arrangement: DOHC; 2 intake, 2 exhaust valves, adjusting shims
Displacement, bore x stroke: 1294cc, 79mm x 66mm
Compression ratio: 10:1
Carburetion: 4, 28mm Mikuni downdraft
Lubrication: wet sump, spin-on filter, 4.5 qt.
Transmission: wet, multi-plate clutch, 5 speeds
Final drive: shaft, 2.566
Wheels: cast alloy, 16 x 3.50 front, 15 x 4.00 rear
Front tire: 150/80-16 Dunlop D404 tubeless
Rear tire: 150/80-15 Dunlop D404 tubeless
Front brake: 2 double-action four-piston calipers, 11.8-in. discs
Rear brake: double-action four-piston caliper, 12.6-in disc
Front suspension: 5.5 in. travel
Rear suspension: single damper, 3.8 in. travel, adjustable for preload
Fuel capacity: 4.8 gal., (.9 gal reserve)
Handlebar width: 33.4 in., 1.0-in diameter
Inseam equivalent: 33.3 in.
Electrical & Instrumentation
Charging output: 320 watts
Battery: 12v, 18AH maintenance-free
Forward lighting: 55/60-watt headlight, position lights
Taillight: single bulb
Instruments: speedometer, LCD odometer/tripmeter; warning lights for high beam, turns signals, neutral, low fuel, low oil level, high temperature, engine monitor/overdrive indicator
Fuel mileage: 36 to 40 mpg, 37.3 mpg average
Average range: 179 mi.
RPM at 60 mph, top gear: 2690
200-yard top-gear acceleration from 50 mph, terminal speed: 66.4 mph
Quarter-mile acceleration: 14.57 sec., 90.0 mph