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Old 04-21-2013, 04:25 PM   #1
ArmyApe
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Opinions on V-Star?

I'm just looking for opinions and/or experience on the V-Star line (any models)? I've seen a number of positive reviews regarding comfort for both rider and passenger as well as long-term reliability and decent handling. I'm looking specifically at the 950 line since torque and/or speed are covered by my ZX10R. This bike will be purely for joy rides, distance rides and taking the wife out for some fun

Any experience, opinions, or just things I should know about specific years will be appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 04-21-2013, 04:54 PM   #2
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Uncle had a vstar 1100 that i took the wife out on a few times. Nice riding bike. Comfortable with a passenger.
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Old 04-21-2013, 05:04 PM   #3
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In terms of handling and corners, was it easy-going, or clench inducing? Say 1-10, where 10 is no difference between straights and turns and a 1 is you had to slow down to 7mph just to stay in control.
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Old 04-21-2013, 05:10 PM   #4
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950 tourer is a good bike. Have had a few come through the dealership, and i like the way they ride. But honestly after having ridden the roadliner/stratoliner platform, all the other v-stars are obsolete.

whatever you do end up going with, i'd suggest doing air cooled, fuel injected, belt driven, and dual front brakes. The 950 is single front, and it's a little bike.(even for me and i'm a small guy). the 650/1100 platform is prone to some mechanical issues. but i am told that it's fixable and livable. though i'm still not sold on that platform.
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Old 04-21-2013, 05:35 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brian1570 View Post
The 650/1100 platform is prone to some mechanical issues. but i am told that it's fixable and livable. though i'm still not sold on that platform.
Can they be fixed at purchase, or is it one of those "just wait until it breaks" issues? What is it about them that's the final turn off for you?
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Old 04-21-2013, 05:35 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArmyApe View Post
In terms of handling and corners, was it easy-going, or clench inducing? Say 1-10, where 10 is no difference between straights and turns and a 1 is you had to slow down to 7mph just to stay in control.
I never had to slow down. I rode the speed limit and it handled fine. Test ride a few different models since cruisers aren't your area of knowledge and see which one you like.
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Old 04-21-2013, 05:39 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by j_e_hurst View Post
I never had to slow down. I rode the speed limit and it handled fine. Test ride a few different models since cruisers aren't your area of knowledge and see which one you like.
Once my arm heals up, I plan to. I'm looking at the V Star since my wife likes them based on reviews, so I thought I'd get some opinions on long-term ownership before I even get to the test ride.
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Old 04-21-2013, 05:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
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Can they be fixed at purchase, or is it one of those "just wait until it breaks" issues? What is it about them that's the final turn off for you?
depends on the dealership. the most common thing i see with them is oil leaks. you might have to replace some seals/gaskets and it can get costly. we also had one break a middle drive shaft. that particular bike was down for quite a long time.

however we are not a yami dealer so we don't have the backing and resources that a yamaha dealer would.
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Old 04-21-2013, 05:46 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brian1570 View Post
depends on the dealership. the most common thing i see with them is oil leaks. you might have to replace some seals/gaskets and it can get costly. we also had one break a middle drive shaft. that particular bike was down for quite a long time.
Optimistically, it was just the one. The gaskets issue sounds like something that could get pretty tedious. How about the Roadliner/Stratoliner? Similar leak issues, or not as much?
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Old 04-21-2013, 05:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArmyApe View Post
Optimistically, it was just the one. The gaskets issue sounds like something that could get pretty tedious. How about the Roadliner/Stratoliner? Similar leak issues, or not as much?
only problem i know of on the road/strato's is how hard they are on batteries. at least the ones we've had come through here have been. big pistons with a long stroke can be hard to crank at times. a battery tender and a high quality batt would be a good investment for a bike like that. but for me that's just a small blemish on an otherwise kick cruiser.
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Old 04-21-2013, 08:38 PM   #11
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I had an '03 V-Star 1100. I loved that bike and thought it handled great(for a cruiser). I had it lowered a bit, so I would drag the pipes on occasion. There are a ton of accessories for it. Check out Pacific Coast Star!

The only issue it had was the starter twisted a bit. This was a common problem for the 1100's, but from what I understand, the later years Yamaha corrected this problem. I guess I was a lucky one as I still had the stock battery in it for 3 years, which is pretty rare for any bike. Then again, I did ride it quite often, so maybe that kept it cycling more often than most. Bottom line is if they still made the 1100, I would consider buying it again.
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Old 04-21-2013, 09:06 PM   #12
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I had an 2007 vstar 1100 custom. It was a comfortable ride, handled pretty good, but didn't like it for me. I didn't feel comfortable on the freeway. It felt like it was a gear too short, and didn't have the pick up after 70 mph, which we all need at times.
I used to ride it to work, which was perfect, as I only used back roads.
Another issue on my model was the oil filter location, but they did offer a relocation kit.
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Old 04-21-2013, 11:17 PM   #13
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I have an 06 Vstar 1100. I love my bike, I think it handles fine for what it is and has plenty of pickup. Not sportbike pickup but plenty to get you into trouble and to stay out of trouble. Has an almost limitless amount of aftermarket accessories. I have put over 20k miles on it since I have owned it the past year and a half.

Now would I recommend it to someone, I don't know. In the time I have owned it the middle drive nut came loose on me. I was one of the lucky ones that is didn't shatter and lock up the rear wheel on me. It is a pretty common occurance on these bikes for that to happen. It took me probably 15 hours worth of wrenching to take apart the rear of the bike and swingarm in order to retighten the bold and make sure it would not come loose again. I had to get 4 gaskets changed that were all leaking and will leak unless they have been changed. The oil filter is pretty awful since you have to take the exhaust of to change it out, and if you are not careful you can easily break the aluminum piece that holds it in. But as mentioned there are oil relocation kits that move it out to where you can simply unscrew the filter. Other that those items it has been basic oil, tire, and brake changes, along with a clutch replacement. And the fact that dealers usually don't have replacement parts on hand is a hassle.
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Old 04-22-2013, 09:19 AM   #14
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[QUOTE=Jefe;3548993]I had an 2007 vstar 1100 custom. It was a comfortable ride, handled pretty good, but didn't like it for me. I didn't feel comfortable on the freeway. It felt like it was a gear too short, and didn't have the pick up after 70 mph, which we all need at times.
QUOTE]

I agree. I constantly was searching for another gear. That was until I modified the airbox. I drilled two 1" holes in the front side of the black portion of the airbox. This made a semi ram-air effect, but still filtered the air. It helped significantly. Plus, because the bike was jetted VERY rich from the factory I didn't need to re-jet.
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Old 04-22-2013, 02:11 PM   #15
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I currently own a Star 650 and it is my first and only bike. I love it but as brian mentioned above, oil leaks have been an issue for me. I've owned it for about a year and a half and am on my second oil leak. First was the neutral switch (very common) and right now, I have another leak that I am yet to troubleshoot. Other than that, I haven't had any mechanical issues.

The bike is very buzzy around 70 mph and feels like it needs another gear. The stock seat is quite uncomfortable after about 30 minutes but I can ride a few hundred miles a day if I take breaks. The stock horn is pretty poor and the headlight could use an upgrade, but the bike is quite fun. Cornering is decent although clearance isn't that great so you have to slow down a bit...I scrape pegs often but never the pipes.

I do not regret getting the bike as I like it a lot for a first bike but a 650 is seriously lacking power and I'm not a big guy. Not sure how much better the 1100 is. For me though, the bike gets the job done, even riding 2 up with my girlfriend. Oh yeah, and it is VERY customizable...lots of aftermarket parts that are easy to swap out.
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Old 04-22-2013, 05:41 PM   #16
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Man, that's... a lot more info than I've found anywhere else. Thanks again guys, this has definitely been a help. I'm still going to give it a test ride, but it's good to get an owner's perspective.
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Old 04-26-2013, 10:56 PM   #17
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We have a couple of friends with 650s and they are the most sensitive bikes to carb gunking than I have ever seen. Dont let them sit without regular starts or they they may need a good carb cleaning.
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Old 04-27-2013, 12:15 AM   #18
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go ahead and get a cruiser, Chris. you'll fit right in with the old guys at work.
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Old 04-27-2013, 12:33 PM   #19
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Quote:
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go ahead and get a cruiser, Chris. you'll fit right in with the old guys at work.
With ol' Chuck Whistles and Chad "Missing Finger," right?
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