yamaha belt drive v-star 1300
November 21, 2007 at 9:31 pm #1179jayboydogParticipant
I’ve been browsing different cruiser motorcycles. fuel injectors and liquid cooling seem modern! the Suzuki Boulevard c50 (805cc, shaft drive) looks interesting with the plastic fenders and net weight of 542 lbs. the Kawasaki Vulcan 900 (belt drive) is pretty at 558 lbs. the Yamaha v-star 1300 (belt drive) is attractive and weighs 624 lbs. I’ve never ridden a motorcycle so this search is like looking for a wife. I weigh 180 lbs, stand 5′ 08, know nothing about choosing a wife, and less about choosing a motorcycle for recreational riding through the streets of Los Angeles. Ignoring price for this candy store fantasy, which one of these three would you get and why?November 23, 2007 at 5:47 pm #4788AnonymousGuest
I suggest you read the “Why a 600cc Motorcycle is Not a Good Beginner Bike” Guide on this web site.
Do yourself a huge favor and get a used 250 c.c. Honda Nighthawk or similar for your first bike. If you simply must have a bigger bike than that, consider a Suzuki Savage (renamed the Boulevard S40), which is cruiser styled, 650 c.c. and very light weight.
Believe me, those bikes you’re talking about are far too heavy for a beginner to handle.November 25, 2007 at 2:44 pm #4793Justme68_86Participant
I agree with the previous poster. The V-star is a very heavy bike. The 624lbs is the dry weight of the bike, not the curb weight.
I am a beginning rider as well, my husband owns a V-Star 1100 Silverado which has a dry weight of 639lbs, but with full tank of gas, all the fluids, saddle bags, windshield and all it is close to 700lbs if not well over (depending on how much junk we have in the saddlebags lol).
I have ridden it a few times in an empty parking lot, but the bike is just extremely heavy to try and learn on. Hard to learn while your fighting the bike to keep it from falling in curves & what not.
If you like the V-stars have you checked out the V-star 650? Looks just like the 1100 & 1300’s but lighter weight and more forgiving for new riders. Or as the previous poster mentioned the Savage/S40 is a sharp cruiser and lighter then the C50 & Vstar 1300 would be.
While at a Suzuki dealership a few weeks ago looking at used bikes, the salesman had me sit on the C50 & M50. Both extremely nice bikes. Problem was that I could barely stand either of them up off the kickstand….So for me, those were definately too heavy. I also sat on the new GSX650F (Im in love!!!) is brand new to 08 and is the replacement to the Katana. Suzuki is apparently billing this as a entry level bike alongside the GS500f. But have decided that bike will have to wait to be my 2nd bike – its pretty heavy also for a sport bike at around 500lbs (476 dry weight) also alot of HP for the newbie at 85bhp.
Im currently looking for a lighter bike to learn & build confidence on because the v-star 1100 is way too much for me to handle in the weight dept. Im assuming that the 1300 would be even heavier after you add all the gas, fluids & extras. Im not a petite lil girl either, about 5’10. Currently I’m looking for good used Ninja 500/ GS500e or if I can hold out, the new Ninja 250 if the dealerships here ever get them.
Just my .02 cents. Happy Hunting & visit LOTS of dealerships and sit on everything so you can get a better feel for weight and sitting position/comfort of all types of bikes. Take a small notebook with you so when you leave the dealership you can make notes on what bikes you liked/didnt like and why.
All of your dreams can come true – if you have the courage to pursue themNovember 28, 2007 at 12:25 am #4803KickprivateParticipant
I ride a 2007 ex500R (ninja 500) and love it. It’s fun and easy to ride and even more it’s easy to work on. I’m getting ready to do my valve adjustment as I have had it a month and a half already and I am 50 miles over 1000 and I refuse to pay the 200 bucks it would cost me. Plus I get to make sure its done right!December 14, 2007 at 3:27 am #4796jayboydogParticipant
Thanks for making your ideas part of my decision-making! I looked at the two cylinder Suzuki GS500F (review here at BBM) online and my first impression is there is a lot of plastic faring which looks expensive and breakable. Four cylinders seem desireable rather than two cylinders each having 1/2 the total displacement of the engine although I have read that fewer cylinders produce a more thrilling acceleration from a stop. Four cylinders are said to be more forgiving to the throttle mistakes of an new rider because a four cylinder bike exudes its power when the engine is revving high. The two cylinder GS500F has handlebars rather than racing style clip-ons so I like the standard riding position of the GS500F. the GS500F is air cooled– there is no radiator and it uses carburetors–it does not have fuel injection. I notice the chain drive and I am thinking how messy oiling a chain could be! Contrast to the Suzuki GS500F would be the Yamaha FZ6 which has four cylinders and chain drive. One aspect of the farings which seems weird (yet is common on bikes) is as the handlebars are turned, the faring stays straight with the chasis of the bike. I assume this would not be a problem to anyone who rides but for my visual sense such seems awkward. The Suzuki sv650 (review here at BBM) is available with or wirthout an upper faring. Does anyone have any thoughts on a 650cc single cylinder machine? The dual purpose bikes seem to be one cylinder. Suzuki makes a DR 400SM (review here at BBM) which feels comfortable with a low seat height. I am most excited by the cruiser bikes I see around town but I realize that stop and go traffic between LaCienega and downtown Los Angeles might be an environment better suited to a lighter weight, narrower, urban street concept! The Yamaha V-star 1300 has my attention now, but I am not engaged to it! I have a hunch that riders soon get bored with the power of an 800cc cruiser and want to ride a cruiser with a bigger engine.January 30, 2008 at 4:16 am #5006AnonymousGuest
I started on a huge cruiser, a Vulcan 900. I hated it. I never felt confident riding that thing. To be honest, it’s performance wasnt that great either. I got a ninja 250, took the fairings off so it didn’t look so ugly, and I’m so much happier now. The ninja is muuuuch cheaper, muuuuch funner, and honestly, is probibly about equal for acceleration, and top speed isn’t really an issue unless you feel like doing 90mph isn’t enough.
My words of advice. Getting a big cruiser is a baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad idea.January 30, 2008 at 6:37 am #5007SuperMotoRiderParticipant
Just go out and buy it, hate it, then sell it…
You’ll learn a good lesson.
I think its more of an ego thing with people starting out on big bikes. I just hope your ego doesn’t hurt you or worst… We can only pray…April 10, 2008 at 1:40 pm #5559eddy kubenaGuest
I recently purchased a Suzuki s40 and love it. It is geared perfectly for city commuting and does fine on shorter highway rides.
I have put 1500 miles on it so far and it has been trouble free. Also, I love the simplicity of the bike. At first I wanted a Yamaha V Star 1100, but was told that I had to remove part of the exhaust pipes to change the oil filter. Then I learned that fuel mileage varies from the hi 30’s to the 40’s per miles to a gallon. With gas going to 4 bucks I want something that is very stingy on gas.
Heck, I could buy one of those little Toyota cars and nearly get that kind of mileage with it. I do recommend to s40 for manageability, fuel economy, ease of maintenance, reliability, very reasonably priced, and pure fun. ekApril 11, 2008 at 12:47 pm #5573MattParticipant
It is interesting that you think more cylinders is better. While this is as generic as saying more CC’s is better, I’ve always been of the other opinion.
Yes, a single or twin has a lot more low end torque, so if you twist the throttle hard, you’ll jump more than you would on a four cylinder. But the power is also much more linear. It is much easier to gague what increase in power a turn of the wrist will give you, because no matter where you are in the power band you’ll get a similar result. With an engine tuned for peak horsepower, you get drastically different results based on what rpm the engine is turning.
Twins are almost always described as forgiving engines. Whether it is V, L or parrallel, they are consistently called “friendly”.
As for singles, these are an even safer bet. Yes they have the most torque per cc, but they also have the lowest revs, and frankly, the lowest power. A 40hp single is not going to be throwing the front end of a cruiser in the air. On a dual sport that is pretty easy to do because the bike is so light and designed to do that.
So this shows what I see as a hole in your logic. You say the idea of a single doesn’t sit well because it’ll have more torque per cc, and thus be more jerky on the throttle. But, while the inlines and V-twins have less torque per cc, they also have more CCs (unless you are talking about another 500-650). So the net power is in fact greater – often even at the same rpm.
If you want to learn more about the various engine layouts, and what characteristics they have, these links here are pretty good (the entire beginner section at total motorcycle is pretty good imo):
And lastly, Kari has some REALLY good points about weight. I’m 6 foot, 180 pounds, and I am fairly fit. I find handling even a 450 pound bike to be real intimidating. I don’t think I’d be comfortable moving a 600 pound cruiser around on uneven or sloped surfaces. And not all parking spots are flat!
One last tip – always back into parking spots… no reverse gear = hell to push a bike up out of an inclined parking spotApril 12, 2008 at 10:29 pm #5589wishpoolParticipant
In regard to your question about 650cc single-cylinders, I bought a Suzuki DR650SE dual sport as my 1st bike. It’s a 650cc single with the bike weighing 324 lbs dry. I had it lowered at the dealership 1.5 inches so I could flat-foot it (I’m 5’9″).
It’s been a great bike to learn on and the power’s very manageable. A lot of fun to fling around. Depending on your comfort with the height of the bike, any of the Suzuki DR series bikes would make good 1st bikes. (DR-Z400S, DR-Z400SM, DR200SE, DR650SE) They all handle great and have manageable power. Plus if you drop them at low speeds there’s typically not much visible damage if any.
Alternatively, The S40 (Formerly Savage) is a good starter bike. Especially for those just starting off who like cruisers and plan to spend a lot of time on the highway. The displacement of the S40 is more suited to maintain highway speeds for long durations than a 250cc cruiser. For you I’d also recommend maybe looking into the Buell Blast. They’re great little urban bikes and have all the cool Buell features like the underslung exhause and belt-driven.
Ultimately, you need to visit lots of dealerships and sit on a lot of bikes. Find something with beginner-manageable power that fits like a glove. A bike won’t do you any good if you get scared when thinking about getting on it for a ride.April 20, 2008 at 6:24 am #5712Metric Cruiser GuyGuest
I must say I agree with the start small and work your way up. I love big cruisers. Recently sold a honda vtx 1300… Looking at getting the vstar 1300 tourer. But for a beginner, start small. Start used. Smaller bikes are easier to learn on and you dont feel as bad if you go down on a cheap used bike. For your second bike go mid sized. A 750 cruiser is a good sized second bike. Then when that feels too small, get the big cruiser of your dreams. It is also a very good idea, as a beginner, to take a motorcycle training course.June 9, 2008 at 3:21 am #7156AnonymousGuest
if weight is a factor for u when riding then you are not riding the bike right go take a class.June 9, 2008 at 10:17 pm #7167RydRyParticipant
I read on another forum something that seems to be prevelant in most cases like this one:
the person said “you already know what you are going to do, you are looking for validation, someone to say do it- so just do it”
and I hate to say it but when you havent ridden- which was me just 3 months ago- you are dangerous, because you think you know alot, or at least you reason alot- and then you want it to be- its not- 1300 is just going to end up as fun as driving bigfoot when you should b enjoying a tacoma truck-
maybe we will ALL be wrong and youll somehow make it to the point where you are comfortable, but youd be there soo sooo much faster on a smaller bike and then build the needed foundation- I knew a guy who was the same, took the safety course and now is afraid to even ride, he is taking it to parking lots slowly trying to get used to it- oh and the it is a 1200 haaaJune 17, 2008 at 7:52 pm #7455AmberGuest
I am getting ready to buy my first motorcycle and have now decided on a sport bike. Now, the only decision I am having trouble with is if I should buy a Suzuki GSX650F or SV650. I want the feeling and look of a sport bike but want to be able to commute to work and go on joy rides without having my wrists hurt after an hour from leaning foward so much. These two bike seem to be the most comfortable out of sitting on 10 different bikes. I am a 23 yrs old woman (5’7″ and 130lbs) looking for comfort but an adrenaline rush for a beginner. What is your opinion?
VirginiaJune 17, 2008 at 8:01 pm #7456MattParticipant
Each has a trade off, the GSX650 is a MUCH heavier bike than the SV650. Just from that I’d go with the SV650.
Also, if you are talking about the SV650S or 650N (faired sportbike look, or naked bike). The S has lower handlebars and might not be as easy on your arms as the N or the GSX650.
Have you considered the Gs500 or Ninja 500? Both are smaller and lighter than the SV ang GSX while still being plenty of quick. Depending on where you live, those 150cc can make a very large difference in your insurance. But in other places, they’ll make none-at-all (wish I lived in one of those places).
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