V-Star 650 Classic: An Owner’s Review
The best part about the V-Star is the shaft drive. No chain lubing, no stretching. You do need to change the shaft oil every 10,000 miles. If you have never had a shaft drive it is so much easier than a chain. Everything else is standard. The oil filter is inserted into the engine instead of a screw on oil filter.
Big front wheel/customization
The big front wheel and full fender makes the V-Star look like a bigger bike. Not only does it look good but it helps make the bike the bike more stable on our grooved and cracked California highways. The looks are what initially attracted me to the bike and there is a ton you can add to it to make it a personal work of art. Yamaha offers a bunch of their own accessories but you can find all sorts of aftermarket accessories for the V-Star that will really make it unique.
The V-Star 650 could use a 6th gear. It runs fast at 80mph, although I have cruised at 80 all day and the bike is fine. The Yamaha engine can take it, but it would just sound better with a 6th gear, and maybe help the range of the V-Star 650 which tops out at around 170-180 miles per tank. The stock seat on the other hand requires dismounting every 100 miles on a long ride. It is hard and looks great, but creates pressure points that need to be relived. Windshields vary in size to give you a lot to minimal wind protection. The switch was made the year after mine to floorboards instead of pegs. If you do a lot of twisties the pegs give you a little more clearance but for touring the boards are best. Aftermarket pegs are cheap and easy to install.
The fit and finish of the V-Star 650 cannot be beaten for the price. It will never be a specialized touring bike, but if you can get used to a high reving engine, it won’t let you down. The bike is a favorite among shorter riders and women because of it's low seat height, but for me at 5'10" it offers a lower center of gravity and increased flickability factor. The V-Star 650 comes from the dealer well suited for everyday riding but I would recommend you an air kit and less restrictive pipes to help it breathe better. Horsepower and fuel economy will increase if done well.
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