FIRST LOOK: New 2015 Yamahas

An early glimpse at the XJR1300 and MT-07 Moto Cage, two new Yamahas being revealed at INTERMOT 2014.

Yamaha XJR1300 group shot

Yamaha has provided us with an early glimpse at two new 2015 models that will be revealed tomorrow at INTERMOT 2014.

YAMAHA XJR1300

The new XJR1300 (and its XJR1300 Racer sibling, above left) represents the return of a great classic born some 20 years ago. The fact that Yamaha, in a tough economic climate, indulges in a nostaglic operation based on such a significant piece of machinery can be viewed as bad or good. It's bad in that it indicates a lack of new concepts (which is not the case with Yamaha, with the FZ-07 and FZ-09) in the motorcycle industry. On the other hand, it's good if Yamaha has taken note of the classically elegant Honda CB1100 and decided to offer an equally attractive alternative that is an excellent value.

This new XJR1300, at a fraction over 10,000 euros, really is a good value, especially for a bike in its class with 100 horsepower. Yamaha’s XJR1300, you may recall, was the king of the air-cooled era and its return will warm some hearts. The engine was, and still is, strong, the chassis was good, and the style has been slightly refreshed. A state-of-the-art fork and twin gas-charged Öhlins shocks make the best out of the shorter chassis, which is now fitted with a slimmer tank, a solo seat, new instrumentation, a multi-focal headlight, and a high-performance 4-into-2-into-1 exhaust system.

The Racer variation, inspired by the works of tuners who make tough-looking cafè racers from old XJ1200s, is an attractive bike featuring a top fairing, front fender and solo seat cowl made of carbon fiber, plus clip-ons and other minor components. But let it be known that the XJR1300 Racer is not a production bike; it’s a dealer-installed conversion kit.

Yamaha MT-07 Moto Cage studio 3/4 view width=

YAMAHA MT-07 MOTO CAGE

The MT-07 MotoCage is a graphic exercise aimed at extracting the wild soul of the MT-07, which is effectively the FZ-07 model sold in the US. Yamaha says the MT-07 Moto Cage, inspired by stuntmen, features additional protective bars fitted to the frame and under the engine, plus a number of wild graphic touches. These include a red front wheel and a black rear, plus lots of red add-ons to enhance the bike's extrovert spirit. When it's unveiled at INTERMOT, the MT-07 Moto Cage will be ridden on stage by Stunter 13, a.k.a. Rafal Pasierbek, the Polish stunt specialist. Seems like manufacturers will do anything these days to sell one extra bike.

Yamaha XJR1300 and XJR1300 Racer.

Yamaha XJR1300 - instrument panel.

Yamaha XJR1300 - engine

Yamaha XJR1300 - studio front 3/4 left-side view

Yamaha XJR1300 - studio right-side view.

Yamaha MT-07 Moto Cage - studio front 3/4 right-side view

Yamaha MT-07 Moto Cage - studio rear 3/4 right-side view

Yamaha MT-07 Moto Cage - studio front 3/4 right-side view

Yamaha MT-07 Moto Cage - studio right-side view

Yamaha MT-07 Moto Cage - studio rear 3/4 left-side view