First Look: 2007 Yamaha Star V-Star 1300 Motorcycle

Though cast in the same clean, classic mold as other recent Star motorcycles, Yamaha's new-for-2007 1300cc V-twin uses liquid-cooling and electronic fuel injection, which we expect to see on more big cruisers as emissions requirements become more stringent

The only new cruiser motorcycle announced by Yamaha's Star brand for 2007 was the all-new V-Star 1300. Its 1304cc displacement makes it a straight-up competitor for Honda's VTX1300 and gives Yamaha a burlier player in the 1000 to 1350cc range that some cruiser enthusiasts consider a middleweight displacement class. It will come in two versions, with a touring version joining the straight cruiser As with the Honda 1300, Yamaha's V-Star 1300 does not displace the existing V-Star 1100 series but simply joins it and adds new choices.

The new V-Star 1300 also reflects the new reality for cruisers. Unlike the rest of Yamaha's recent Star V-twin engine designs, the 1300 uses liquid cooling, which permits the tight clearances needed to meet more stringent emissions standards. It also has standard fuel injection. The two-into-one exhaust system has a three-way-catalyst to further tidy up its exhaust.

Like the smaller Stars, the new engine uses a chain-driven single overhead camshaft atop each cylinder to operate two 36mm intake and two 32mm exhaust valves through roller rockers. The cylinders have a 60-degree V angle, about midway between the 48 degrees of the 1700s and the 75 degrees of the 1100s. The forged connecting rods share a single crankpin, and like Yamaha's 1854cc V-twin engine, the 1300 has dual counterbalancers to keep it smooth.

Yamaha says power is substantially greater than the 1100's, with an additional 18 horsepower and 19 foot-pounds of torque. The fuel injection employs two 40mm injector bodies. The 100mm-wide forged pistons have 83mm strokes and compress the mixture to a 9.5:1 ratio. The cylinders are chrome lined. A wet, multiplate clutch passes power to a belt final drive through a five-speed gearbox.

A completely new all-steel cradle-type frame bolts to the engine at four points (including the front cylinder head) for rigidity. A 41mm covered fork performs front-end suspension duties with 5.5 inches of travel, and a braced, tapered swingarm with a single preload-adjustable damper operating through a linkage allows the tubeless 170/70-16 rear tire and seven-spoke cast wheel to swing through 4.5 inches. Up front, a 130/90-16 tire resides under a mid-sized fender. Both fenders are steel. Three 298mm brake discs carry the stopping load.

The wheelbase stretches to 66.4 inches, under a 28-inch-high saddle with a generous-looking passenger section. The tank also has a stretched style. Yamaha avoided making it look too chubby while still offering 4.5 gallons of capacity by using a sub-tank tucked away in the frame. The sub-tank holds the fuel pump. Yamaha calls the tank "seamless," although there is a flange it the front around the frame tunnel. However, the bottom of the tank is clean. So is the top, which unlike most other Stars, does not accommodate the instruments. The red instrument pod, which includes an analog speedometer, LCD window, diagnostics, and warning lights (including low fuel and coolant-temperature warnings), mounts atop the handlebar.

Even in a room full of Star motorcycles, spotting the V-Star 1300 was easy. Its multi-reflector headlight has a distinct shape, and the thin chrome strip on the tank—which subtly provides the only brand-identification on the motorcycle with a small "Star" inscription—is different from anything else in the line. The two-into-one exhaust design is also distinctive. The taillight is an LCD-type. Floorboards are standard.

The touring version adds a tall windshield, passenger backrest, and leather-covered hard saddlebags. Note that this version of the V-Star 1300 is called the "Tourer," not "Silverado" a departure from the touring versions of the Road Star and other V-Stars. The name reflects a slightly different, more streamlined and less-western style, noticeable particularly in the saddlebags and in the lack of conchos (the post-Brokeback Mountain effect, perhaps). The additional equipment adds $1100 to the cost of the basic V-Star 1300, which carries a $10,090 MSRP. The Tourer is $11,190 in a single color (red or black) or $11,390 in the two-tone silver/silver. The base model is available in red, blue or the inevitable black.

The rest of Yamaha's Star cruiser line-up returns intact and unchanged except for graphics and pricing. Even the V-Max makes another tour as Yamaha ponders what its successor will look like. You can get a glimpse of a prototype and offer your thoughts about what MadMax2 should look like at the survey site that Yamaha has set up to collect customer input.

2007 Yamaha Star V-Star 1300

Suggested base price: $10,090 ($11,190 for Tourer)
Standard colors: Black, blue, red
Engine type: Liquid-cooled 60-degree tandem V-twin
Valve arrangement: SOHC; 2 intake, 2 exhaust valves per cylinder
Displacement, bore x stroke: 1304cc, 100 x 83mm
Compression ratio: 9.5:1
Carburetion: EFI, two 40mm bores
Transmission: 5 speeds
Final drive: Belt
Seat height: 28 in.
Claimed dry weight: NA
Fuel capacity: 4.8 gal.
Wheelbase: 66.4 in.
Front tire: 130/90-16 tubeless
Rear tire: 170/70-16 tubeless
Front suspension: 41mm stanchions, 5.5 in. travel
Rear suspension: 1 damper, 4.5 in. travel, adjustment for spring preload

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Clearly from the Star lineage, the new-for-2007 V-Star 1300 brings fresher technology that will serve it in the future.
Called Tourer rather that Silverado for its less-western style, the traveling version of the Star 1300 V-Star adds a windshield, leather-covered saddlebags, and a passenger backrest for $1100 more.
The overhead-cam, fuel-injected V-Star 1300 engine is liquid-cooled and has a 60-degree V-angle.
All the V-Star 1300's instruments fit in a single compact pod on the handlebar.
Only a small brand logo on the tank's chrome strip and the airbox inscription tell you wnat it is.
Though you can see the family resemblance, the Yamaha V-Star 1300 is easily distinguishable because of its exhaust pipe, fenders, headlight, V-angle, and unique chrome tank strip.
A unique shape and a painted shell help you spot the multi-reflector headlight of the V-Star 1300.
Putting 66.4 inches between the axles gave Yamaha space for a roomy saddle for rider and passenger.
By using a sub-tank, Ymaha was able to keep the tank from growing too chubby. It holds 4.5 gallons.
This two-tone-silver rendition of the Tourer is the top of the V-Star 1300 line. Offering a variation already equipped with traveling amenities gives Yamaha something that other maker of 1300cc cruisers doesn't offer.