Yamaha XVS1300 Custom

Haven’t I seen you before?

YAMAHA’S VXS1300 Custom is, according to the official blurb, a ‘new’ model. But if you’re thinking it looks familiar that might be because in this worldwide, internet-connected era you may well have seen pictures and even tests on its twin sibling, the Star Stryker.

In America, Yamaha’s cruisers aren’t called Yamahas. They’re Stars instead. And the Stryker was a model introduced three years ago to fill the ‘chopper’ end of the line-up and face-off with Honda’s US-market 1300cc Fury.

So while it’s new to us, the XVS1300 Custom (come on Yamaha, can’t we just call it Stryker instead?) is actually a well-proven machine.

Inside there’s the firm’s 1304cc SOHC V-twin, water-cooled, of course, hence the massive radiator that rather taints the ‘chopper’ styling. Yamaha isn’t talking numbers, but safe to say it’s tuned for torque rather than power.

The chopper-esque styling means it’s got a massive wheelbase and long, stretched out forks – with 40 degrees of rake it’s not going to be a bike for flicking around back lanes – while the for-the-sake-of-style 210-section, 18-inch rear tyre is at odds with the spindly 120-section, 21-inch front.

In a Harley-dominated market for such machines, price will make or break it’s chances, but there’s no word on European prices yet. In America, the Stryker starts at $11,690.