Swiss chassis builder Egli have been crafting frames for over 100 years, but the Fritz W.1300– named after founding father Fritz Egli – is their first new bike for nearly 30 years. It features a Yamaha XJR1300 engine in an instantly recognisable steel frame with Öhlins suspension and Beringer brakes – and weighs some 32kg less than its standard engine donor.
Sometimes the first few minutes with a bike are the most telling and in the case of the Egli it was the first few corners. Winding out of the undulating hills in which Egli reside, the bike made me feel like a chump. I was taking corners at speeds that felt right but ending up far too tight, so I sped up. Then I sped up some more. Then more again until my jeans were clinging on for dear life and the three little digits on the speedo were dancing a jig that would illuminate even the most stone-faced Swiss policeman.
The W.1300 carries its speed so well that the immense Beringer brakes are almost redundant. Such is the fantastic poise of the Egli chassis and the way it holds itself mid-corner that you barely need to slow down at all. By stiffening the chassis and lifting the engine, Egli have created the bike that the XJR1300 Racer yearned to be.
If the Fritz was to be found lacking anywhere, it would be on power. The XJR1300 engine has a decent amount of grunt, but it’s so outclassed by the steel surrounding it, the big shove you want out of a corner never arrives. The power is definitely there, but the chassis tempers it so well that it lacks any real drama in its delivery – which is half of the fun in my book.
Open road poise is superb, it just needs a little more power to match
As a tribute, Egil’s founder would be rightly proud