Vstar 650 vs 1100



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Thread: Vstar 650 vs 1100

  1. #1

    Vstar 650 vs 1100[UPDATE: Bought 1100, Pics of bike attached]

    Hey folks,

    I'm a new rider looking to purchase my first bike. Debating whether I should go for the 650 or the 1100. I've heard great things about both, but I'm not sure if starting out on a 1100 is a good idea from a safety perspective. Also is the insurance cost also that much more for the 1100 vs the 650?

    Thanks!

    Update: Got the 2007 1100 Vstar Custom!



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    Last edited by alphaChaser; 04-03-2012 at 01:02 AM.

  2. #2

    Re: Vstar 650 vs 1100

    both are great bikes and can last you a long time. Really depends on what you are looking for.

    I ride a 650, 2nd season, no complaints. Riding 2 up is OK but not great, but that could be just me not used to it. I converted it into a solo bike because my wife is not interested in motorcycles.

    I dont want to go to a heavier bike as I like the fact that the 650 is relatively light, and excellent on gas.
    insurance on the 650 will be cheaper.

    go to the dealership and sit on both, then try and ride them and decide for yourself.
    I might change the 650 down the road, likely when it completely dies on me!

    I will be travelling soon, back in the last week of April, I can meet you somewhere and have you take it for a spin.
    Last edited by mrefaat; 03-29-2012 at 02:32 PM.

  3. #3
    Gummiente's Avatar
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    Re: Vstar 650 vs 1100

    Quote Originally Posted by mrefaat View Post
    I can meet you somewhere and have you take it for a spin.
    You're not serious.... are you?
    Mike "Gummiente" Palmer
    '07 H-D Road Glide

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    Re: Vstar 650 vs 1100

    I wish you luck with the choice and process. Enjoy it.
    I started last season and after a month or so looking around, I went with the vstar 950 tourer (used).
    I am tall and anything smaller just didn't feel right and I didn't want to out-grow the bike within months. I shared your feeling on an 1100 for safety and insurance. My opinion is 950 is about right, it's a nice mid-range for power and the insurance won't kill you.
    Oh and I strongly suggest a safety course for knowledge and savings on ins.
    Go get it and enjoy.

  5. #5
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    Re: Vstar 650 vs 1100

    No offense to anyone who might think otherwise, but I had a V-Star 650 and found it gutless. I upgraded to a 900 vulcan and the difference was night and day. I would strongly suggest getting the 1100. Once you get the hang of riding you'll be glad you did.
    Current bike - 2008 Vulcan 900c





  6. #6
    MadPoet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buddhacide View Post
    No offense to anyone who might think otherwise, but I had a V-Star 650 and found it gutless. I upgraded to a 900 vulcan and the difference was night and day. I would strongly suggest getting the 1100. Once you get the hang of riding you'll be glad you did.
    No offense taken, it is somewhat weak when loaded up with heavy cargo. However as a starting bike it is amazing. It is my second season and I love my bike. OP you won't outgrow a 650 if you are solo rider. I wish it had a 6th gear. I am a heavy rider 280 lbs now and it is just perfect for commuting, shopping and all the daily stuff.

    1100 will be harsh on the insurance, I am 31 with clean record and it is $1200 for the 650. My advice to the OP is get the 650 if you are comfortable riding it, wait few years then sell it and upgrade, at least the insurance won't kill you then. Another advice is to get one that is already customized ( saddle bags, windshield, luggage rack and passenger back rest). That was my only mistake, the stuff is very expensive to customize now. Good luck with your choice, enjoy the process.
    2009 Yamaha V Star 650 Midnight Custom

  7. #7

    Re: Vstar 650 vs 1100

    Thanks for all the great input. Based on the above, I'm kind of leaning towards the 1100 now. Will it very difficult to start with for a beginner like me? This is going to be my first bike so I'm pretty nervous regarding the engine size.

    @mrefaat: thanks for the offer. Hopefully I'll have a bike by then and we can go riding together.

  8. #8
    Lunatic's Avatar
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    Re: Vstar 650 vs 1100

    Engine size is really not the issue. It's the weight of the bike. The 1100 doesn't really make scary power, it's quite smooth and easy to control in that respect. The biggest issue you will have is muscling it around at low speeds. That is a skill that takes time to develop, and is more difficult to learn on a heavy bike.

    I've seen larger guys start on big cruisers without too much trouble, but those of a smaller stature tend to have more difficulty. Practice your slow speed clutch and throttle control!
    2006 Kawasaki Vulcan Mean Streak 1600
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    Re: Vstar 650 vs 1100

    I took a Vstar 650 for a spin a few years ago (probably 30 km). Personally I hated it. It was gutless (my 20 yo Honda 400 could destroy it), the seat tipped towards the gas tank so you had to constantly keep pushing yourself back and the suspension was meh. I also hated having my feet so far forward (this is obviously a problem with me not the bike), too many years on bicycles makes me want to stand up when things get ugly (or when you are going over train tracks with mediocre suspension).

    The owner of the Vstar had many of the same complaints and traded it for a Royal Star. AFAIK he still has the royal star years later and loves every minute of it. If it were me and I felt comfortable with the weight of the 1100, slow speed manoeuvring (rider training courses are a great place to practice slow speed manoeuvres with someone else's bike) and insurance I wouldn't even think about the 650. If you feel that a 650 is better to start with, go with it for a year or two. As long as you start with a used and bruised bike, you can get most of your money back when you sell it.

  10. #10
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    Re: Vstar 650 vs 1100

    Quote Originally Posted by alphaChaser View Post
    Thanks for all the great input. Based on the above, I'm kind of leaning towards the 1100 now. Will it very difficult to start with for a beginner like me? This is going to be my first bike so I'm pretty nervous regarding the engine size.

    @mrefaat: thanks for the offer. Hopefully I'll have a bike by then and we can go riding together.
    The 1100 would be more awkward to learn on, but if you go slow and dont push yourself you will be able to master it in about the same amount of time as the smaller bike. Trust me, I'm not one of these guys that needs to go 300km/h on a bike, but I didnt even feel comfortable on the highway on my 650. Anything past 120, and it was not a natural feeling to me. On my vulcan I've been 2 up with full luggage for 6000km stretches at a time and never felt I needed alot more. The 900 vulcan is the market equivalent to the 1100 vstar. I personally prefer the vulcan because its fuel injected and water cooled, but the v-star probably performs about as well.

    When I was shopping I was reading all the threads and articles by people cautioning new riders to only start out with small displacement bikes. I was hell bent on getting a honda rebel, and when I called the shop the guy talked me out of it. He was honest and correct, for booting around town you can ride anything. And dont get me wrong, the v-star 650 is really nice looking and fun to ride, but if you want to really hit the road you need something that's going to allow you to outpace traffic on the 400 if you need to. Fast bikes can be deadly in the right hands, but slow bikes can kill you too, lol.
    Current bike - 2008 Vulcan 900c





  11. #11
    Yeah I'm signed up for the motorcycle course and I've ridden (not extensively) before. The rain why I'm buying a bike is because I want to do long trips up North and to the states with my gf as my passenger.

    I'm 5"11, 190 lbs and she's light, 102 lbs. Would a650 be able to carry us wool on the highway? Thanks for the tips!

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  12. #12
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    Re: Vstar 650 vs 1100

    Quote Originally Posted by Lunatic View Post
    ...The biggest issue you will have is muscling it around at low speeds....
    I have started on 1100 and this is my 3rd season.
    I do have to be honest and 100% agree with what I quoted from Lunatic... it is heavy bike and you can feel it at low speeds.
    I was thinking about 650 when I was buying my bike, but now I'm glad I did not.
    After I got used to the weight, it's a very nice bike to ride.
    Insurance wise... I don't know honestly what's the difference between 650 and 1100, but I was paying $1500 for the first year with Jevco.
    After that it dropped about 40%.

    Anyway, whatever you decide to buy, enjoy it and ride safe.
    \m/ Horns-Up \m/
    2007 Yamaha Royal Star Venture
    2007 Yamaha V Star 1100 Classic - SOLD

  13. #13
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    Re: Vstar 650 vs 1100

    Quote Originally Posted by kmalek View Post
    I have started on 1100 and this is my 3rd season.
    I do have to be honest and 100% agree with what I quoted from Lunatic... it is heavy bike and you can feel it at low speeds.
    ...
    After I got used to the weight, it's a very nice bike to ride.
    +1

    The 1100 is a heavy bike to learn to ride, but so is the 650, the difference between the two is only about 30kgs. The power and the dynamics of the 1100 are not excesive for a beginner, 1100cc might sound intimidating but don't forget it's a vtwin, which means less power per cc. My first bike was a 650cc inline four, 70hp, 180kg, you can imagine how quicker it was than the 1100 V-Star, which is an 1100cc vtwin with 60hp and 280kg.

    As other have posted, the 1100 is a better choice in the long run. Ride safe.
    If it's too loud you're too old.

  14. #14
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    Re: Vstar 650 vs 1100

    OP - a few questions....and a tip
    when asking for advice state your weight and height, age and intended use as it makes a difference.



    What's your intended use for the machine and why specifically the Vstar.?


    Insurance will be higher on the 1100 as it goes by cc and if you are young you will get hammered.

    I assume since you are asking in this thread you are looking at touring??
    If it's in town commuting and just bopping around the 650 will be better.

    All my riding life I've been more comfortable with the mid range bikes and most can do just fine against larger displacement if you are willing to run the RPMs into the power range and keep them there rather than rely on the torque of the bigger motor.

    Low speed handling will be easier on the 650 and it's where most newbies have trouble and taking your M on a big bike ( either of them ) will be a bear - you may want to use theirs.

    But if you answer the age, weight, height and use question you can get better advice.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by MacDoc View Post
    OP - a few questions....and a tip
    when asking for advice state your weight and height, age and intended use as it makes a difference.

    ••••

    What's your intended use for the machine and why specifically the Vstar.?


    Insurance will be higher on the 1100 as it goes by cc and if you are young you will get hammered.

    I assume since you are asking in this thread you are looking at touring??
    If it's in town commuting and just bopping around the 650 will be better.

    All my riding life I've been more comfortable with the mid range bikes and most can do just fine against larger displacement if you are willing to run the RPMs into the power range and keep them there rather than rely on the torque of the bigger motor.

    Low speed handling will be easier on the 650 and it's where most newbies have trouble and taking your M on a big bike ( either of them ) will be a bear - you may want to use theirs.

    But if you answer the age, weight, height and use question you can get better advice.
    I'm 25, 5"11 and 190 lbs. I plan on using it primarily for highway cruising. I wanted to make some trips up North this summer and maybe some riding down to the states, not so much for city driving.

    The only thing is I don't have a garage and the bike will be parked outside (street parking) with a cover.


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  16. #16
    MadPoet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alphaChaser View Post
    I'm 25, 5"11 and 190 lbs. I plan on using it primarily for highway cruising. I wanted to make some trips up North this summer and maybe some riding down to the states, not so much for city driving.

    The only thing is I don't have a garage and the bike will be parked outside (street parking) with a cover.


    Sent from my HTC Panache using Tapatalk
    Whatever your choice is, you will eventually get used to the bike you choose. Most of the hiccups you will encounter will be during the first couple of months regardless of your choice. So if you are primarily using for highway cruising then the 1100 will give you a more comfortable ride. I am curious as to what your insurance will be though. Enjoy the course and listen to the instructors.
    2009 Yamaha V Star 650 Midnight Custom

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by MadPoet View Post
    Whatever your choice is, you will eventually get used to the bike you choose. Most of the hiccups you will encounter will be during the first couple of months regardless of your choice. So if you are primarily using for highway cruising then the 1100 will give you a more comfortable ride. I am curious as to what your insurance will be though. Enjoy the course and listen to the instructors.
    I got a quote of 1100 per year, liability and theft from statefarm, but I'm also insuring my car through them

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  18. #18
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    Re: Vstar 650 vs 1100

    Not horrid for a new rider and you are big enough for either bike. - It's really your call but why restricted to the VStar?

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by MacDoc View Post
    Not horrid for a new rider and you are big enough for either bike. - It's really your call but why restricted to the VStar?
    No specific reason, I just dig the looks of it. any other recommendations?

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  20. #20

    Re: Vstar 650 vs 1100

    Get the 1100. I know your a starter but to be honost the vstar is completely gutless, worse then a Harley. The 1100 will at least get you moving better and you won't have to upgrade when your bored. Cruisers are different, 1100 is still tame and you will enjoy it.

    Then when your a big boy you can get an M109R with the 1800cc and have the best of both the sport and cruiser worlds! Enjoy your new bike
    Lets Ride

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