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When my wife Catherine and I first met, she rode a Honda C90 Cub and had done so for many years. Before long she upgraded to a Honda NTV650, but eventually even that was not quite enough. After long deliberation, we selected a big black Yamaha XJR1300 and she is happy now! We both ride it and wonder at its characteristics. The engine is very smooth and powerful, with a seemless flow of stupendous torque. When overtaking, it makes articulated lorries very short! What sold it to us is the wonderful wide saddle (perfect for the fuller bum!), the well placed footrests and comfortable riding position. We have improved this by fitting a perspex windscreen. It has wonderful suspension and very powerful brakes and is remarkably stable and confidence inspiring. Catherine found it a bit tall in the saddle, but our dealer was able to lower the suspension about half an inch, which means her feet reach the ground that bit more securely. The press give this bike the image of being a thug's bike, but it is more like a big luxurious high performance saloon car, which we have converted it into, with carrier and top-box - all the things a girl needs!
The XJR1300SP, in my opinion, is the best looking retro available. The engine is based on the tried and tested FJ1200 engine. It is superbly smooth at all revs and will pull from 1500 rpm in top gear making it excellent for round town. On the open road the power is gradual and refined not sudden and dramatic like the Bandit 1200. The build quality is superb, I have the 1300SP in blue, black and white and the quality of the paintwork is excellent. The riding position for me is just right (I am 5' 11'') and seems very natural. The only minus point is that the fuel consumption is not very good but if you want to save money on fuel buy a Cub 90. Compared to the Bandit it does cost more but ''you get what you pay for'' really does apply.