1998 Yamaha V
LOS ANGELES, June, 1998 Over the past couple years, I been invited to action model just about every conceivable Japanesecruiseron the market. Now I have been given an opportunity to ride Yamaha new 650V Star Classic.
If you were to visit any of your local motorcycle dealers today and browse through a few of the brochures, chances are the rider you be looking at most often is this funny looking,cruiserwanna be guy me. From aKawasaki Vulcanto aHonda Aero, I ridden them all. Who would have thought a professional roadracer would also have some fairly good knowledge of streetcruisersas well? I happy to say that I been fortunate.
How did the new V Star stack up to the competition? In my opinion, many of thecruiserson the market are very similar in design, performance and appearance.
When I arrived in my pick up to load the bike and take it home, I figured I would throw the V Star into the back and haul it home. It just a little 650cccruiser, right? Wrong. This bike is a full sized, honest to goodness street machine with big tires, a wide tank and beautiful, heavy chrome pieces everywhere. Would you mind driving the truck back by yourself? I would hate to throw my back out or something trying to load it right before the next race. rush hour traffic.
Needless to say, if this had been a 390 pound R1, I could have easily thrown it with practically one hand into the back of the truck. how to paint motorcycle fairing The first thing I noticed when slicing through traffic were the very widehandlebars. They felt wider than ones on othercruisersI had ridden recently. I had to be really careful not to slap too many car mirrors on my jaunt home; you never know if one of the cars you hit belongs to someone that happens to live just down the street from you.
On the other hand, the R1 is skinny enough that you would have to be a pretty lame rider to actually hit a car mirror while splitting lanes, not that it would matter much, since the driver would not be able to make out the blur that just flew by.
Once the traffic opened up a bit, I was able to cruise at a higher speed and feel what this bike would be like to ride across the country. The seat was very comfortable, and even the placement of the foot pegs, shifters, and brake controls were all in a perfect location. Don stop for sandwiches if you don want to hear the whining. Tammi was not a happy camper on the back of that token slab of foam, especially when her knees are practically higher than her ears. In another setting, this is not an altogether undesirable position, but for a day of carving a canyon road on your shiny R1 sportbike, I think Tammi would normally opt to remain back at the ranch.
However, the V Star did have a couple slight shortfalls when ridden above 65 mph. For starters, its tiny little mirrors start vibrating to the point of becoming useless, and although the chassis is as rock solid as any larger bike I ridden, the 5 speed gearbox wants another gear as the 650cc engine really starts to over rev. Personally, I would prefer a larger displacement engine on anycruiserI would own, but a slightly smaller rearsprocketon this bike would be a great start, giving it a little more top speed. harley sportster fairing Nonetheless, for the mere $5,899.00 price tag that Yamaha is asking for this machine, it has plenty enough motor to get you around, even two up. The added bonus of having a smaller displacement is that fuel economy is very good. I could comfortably go 175 plus miles for the 4.2 gallon fuel capacity, riding the hell out of it every second the engine was on. And who cares what the mileage is like on the R1?
The sleek, exposed driveshaft.
. The four piston front brake caliper performs with excellence on the V Star, and the rear drum brake works equally well. One fun thing acruiserdoes better than any sportbike is this: You can back these things sideways going into corners, and the chassis will settle in, just like a flat track bike, giving you tons of feel. My neighbors are going to be very happy when I have to return the V Star to Yamaha. I keep painting black skid graffiti marks everywhere I go in the neighborhood. One could almost track my every daily move by just following the skid marks. Sorry, but it just too fun.
This is Mark Miller on his funny looking racebike.
I would be more leary of backing an R1 around street corners if I were any less experienced a rider than I am. The chassis, wheelbase, and steering head angle on an aggressive sportbike like an R1 can make things very twitchy when sliding into a corner, full opposite lock, street fighter fairings particularly if you don know what to do with the clutch, the downshifts, the engine rpm, the front brake, and finally therear brake. Plus, every cop within six blocks would probably end up seeing you doing it and, if you have my kind of luck, he want to make an example out of you.
Beefy forks for a 650.
The only other nitpick I have against the V Star is that I don care for having to look so far down to get a read on the tank mounted speedometer. It still connected and operational on both my race bikes. The fastest I measured it (I keep trying to remember to look down at it when I on the fastest straights) was 158 mph. I be curious to know if it has a topped out reading, like 190 mph. I let you know.
Overall, theYamaha 650V Star Classicis a well rounded, affordable, fun bike to ride. It has good ground clearance, a good gear box, comfortable seat, powerful brakes, and a price that won require that you get a second mortgage to acquire one like some of the Americancruisers. And I willing to bet that it will probably continue to run like new well after you overhauled your product a couple times.
Sure, it will lose out on the racetrack or canyon road against theYZF R1, but with the right riders on each bike, they may be closer to each other than you might think. Tammi loved the V Star so much she even refused to go with me back toMarina del Reyto return the bike. motorcycle fairings for sale If that isn a strong recommendation, I don know what is.