Featuring a relaxed, upright riding position, high-torque air-cooled engine and high specification braking and suspension systems, the Yamaha XJR 1300 has established a reputation as being one of the most enjoyable and easy to ride musclebikes in the large capacity class.
For 2002 a number of changes have been made both to the engine and chassis which not only reduce overall weight by a full 6kg, but also give the bike a slimmer mid-section. Together with its enhanced braking and suspension performance, the latest XJR 1300 delivers easier handling, higher levels of riding comfort and improved manoeuvrability.
The XJR's 1251 cc four-cylinder air-cooled engine may be old technology - it dates back to the FJ1100 of the early Eighties - but it features a wide range of improvements for 2002 that help boost the low to mid-range torque feel and also make it run cleaner and quieter.
For even more low to mid-range grunt the latest version is equipped with larger carburettors which help increase maximum torque output to a massive 10.7kg-in (104.7Nm) at 6500rpm, making the XJR 1300 one of the gutsiest musclebikes in its class. As well as being more compact than the '01 design, the new BSR37 carburettors are also lighter by substantial 1kg.
Complementing the new carburettors is a redesigned 4-into-1-into-2 exhaust system featuring 42.7mm diameter header pipes. The new system uses multi-stage expansion inversion mufflers with three expansion chambers packed with glass wool, and features larger 25.4mm diameter tail pipes which enhance the XJR1300's low to mid-range torque feel. The clutch has also been beefed up.
To meet EU-i regulations an air induction system is fitted, and this reduces CO and HC emissions by introducing fresh air into the exhaust ports. The latest XJR 1300 engine is also quieter as a result of the use of new camshafts with different profiles, while overall engine appearance is improved with the use of new corrosion-resistant engine sidecovers and a new cylinder head cover.
The chassis has undergone a series of detail changes aimed at improving the overall ride quality and overall weight.
A new-shape fuel tank gives the same 21-Litre capacity, but features a narrower rear section that makes for a much smoother tank/seat joint, and the sides of the seat are also made slimmer for riding comfort, easier manoeuvrability and reduced weight.
The XJR1300's high quality suspension systems feature flex-resistant 43mm forks with revised settings that are aimed at delivering a superior ride quality. At the rear end the dual Ohlins shock absorbers also run with modified settings, and feature larger and softer bump-stop rubbers, as well as modified piggyback reservoir mounting brackets.
Braking feel and performance are improved, and unsprung weight is reduced with a compact new one-piece opposed dual-piston caliper and sintered pads. The new-design YZF-R6-type clutch lever and brake lever are lighter than the previous designs, and feature five-step adjustment.
Unsprung weight at the rear end is reduced by fitting an RI-type ultra-lightweight hollow three-spoke wheel, as well as a lighter swingarm assembly and a new larger-diameter hollow 28mm rear wheel axle shaft.
The XJR1300 SP version is more expensive - but you get a neat paint job and a stepped seat to go with the Ohlins' rear shock.