Motorcycle Club » Star 1100 Classic & Custom

As a first bike?

27 posts from 15 voices
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  1. atrifd
    #

    Hey there folks.
    I'm in my early 30s and have never had a bike before and figure its about time now that i can finally afford it
    The closest I've come to driving a bike was as a teen on an old moped and then later on my brothers piece of junk old Honda bike, but again, that was long long ago.
    Anyways, I was immediately drawn to the styling of the vstar classic line when i first started looking into bikes to get. I just love the lines and the timeless look. Originally I was thinking of getting a 650 because it seemed like a great price for such a great looking bike, but after reading up on online reviews of it and talking to a couple dealers I'm now leaning towards the 1100. I'm 6'1" and over 200 lbs. and think that the 650 might be a bit small for me. I've also read that you start wanting another gear towards the top ends of the 650.
    Anyways, my question is... do you all think the 1100 is a good first bike? Should i start on something less powerful or do you think that I should be able to get the hang of an 1100 with a little time?
    I'll probably be taking an motorcycle safety course before actually riding... the idea of totaling a bike right out of the dealership because i let off the clutch too soon or something like that kinda freaks me out (then again, i've heard that a lot of riders do learn the hard way right out of the dealership).

    Ok, sorry for being so long winded and nice to meet you all.

  2. MigejCojode
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    don't discount the 650. There is very little difference in the frame between the 650 and 1100 so the seating position is almost the same. The 1100 does have more legs(faster) than the 650 but you only notice that over 90 mph, the 650 has no problems keeping up until then even 2 up. Me at 230 and the gf at 140 lbs. The 1100 is not worth the price of admission when you have the 650 on the market.

    I would be leaning towards the 1300 if anything. The dealership here has them on sale for almost the same price as the 1100 but the 1300 is much more bike. Much different seating position than the other stars (although I don't really like the seat that much) much more of a forward control style cruiser. The only drawback, IMHO, is the 1300 is water cooled; I never liked the look. But that same cooling allows for closer tolerances in the engine, producing more viable horsepower and torque.

    Definitely take the MSF basic course. You can't loose with it. I bet you will spend more on accessories leaving the showroom floor than the cost of the course so it is definitly worth it. I wish Yamaha would sponsor the MSF courses with their Yami bucks. I don't doubt that there would be many more safe riders out there.

  3. atrifd
    #

    don't discount the 650. There is very little difference in the frame between the 650 and 1100 so the seating position is almost the same. The 1100 does have more legs(faster) than the 650 but you only notice that over 90 mph, the 650 has no problems keeping up until then even 2 up. Me at 230 and the gf at 140 lbs. The 1100 is not worth the price of admission when you have the 650 on the market.I would be leaning towards the 1300 if anything. The dealership here has them on sale for almost the same price as the 1100 but the 1300 is much more bike. Much different seating position than the other stars (although I don't really like the seat that much) much more of a forward control style cruiser. The only drawback, IMHO, is the 1300 is water cooled; I never liked the look. But that same cooling allows for closer tolerances in the engine, producing more viable horsepower and torque.Definitely take the MSF basic course. You can't loose with it. I bet you will spend more on accessories leaving the showroom floor than the cost of the course so it is definitly worth it. I wish Yamaha would sponsor the MSF courses with their Yami bucks. I don't doubt that there would be many more safe riders out there.
    Thanks the advice Mikey. I really appreciate it. Thank you.

  4. vstarrider281
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    I bought the 1100 Silverado straight up, but I also plan long tours 2up (I doubt I'll be cruising at 90mph). The 650 is very road capable. Like MigejCojode, do the MSF course first. You'll learn the clutch/gas/break , which could get you out of the dealer parking lot and home safely, phenomena there. You will also pick up some great tips.
    Good Luck and ride safe!

  5. Ravhite
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    Take the course first and foremost. Once you have that out of the way go to your local Yamaha dealer and test ride the entire line-up. Take them through the course paces as well open road riding and make your decision based on your comfort level. DO NOT LET SOMEONE ELSE MAKE THAT DECISION FOR YOU! I shouldn't yell but it is imperative that you decide what ride is right for you.

  6. MigejCojode
    #

    Take the course first and foremost. Once you have that out of the way go to your local Yamaha dealer and test ride the entire line-up. Take them through the course paces as well open road riding and make your decision based on your comfort level. DO NOT LET SOMEONE ELSE MAKE THAT DECISION FOR YOU! I shouldn't yell but it is imperative that you decide what ride is right for you.
    Best advice yet.

  7. rocgjmarciano
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    I am 25 and the 1100 is my first bike....I am so glad I didnt get the 650...if you want something that will feel good on long road trips do the 1100...if you will be riding with other folks get the 1100 becasue the 650 prolly would fall behind a bit hehehe

  8. atrifd
    #

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ravhite-
    Take the course first and foremost. Once you have that out of the way go to your local Yamaha dealer and test ride the entire line-up. Take them through the course paces as well open road riding and make your decision based on your comfort level. DO NOT LET SOMEONE ELSE MAKE THAT DECISION FOR YOU! I shouldn't yell but it is imperative that you decide what ride is right for you.
    yep, sounds like pretty good advice, ill do that. thanks. Just out of curiosity, what are your thoughts about bikes outside the Yamaha line with the same classic look and price range? One dealer was trying to get me on an 800cc Boulevard, but kind of side stepped my questions about the gash on the tank, chrome and mirror... and the reviews i read about that bike didn't appear to be as praise worthy as the vstar line.

  9. atrifd
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    I am 25 and the 1100 is my first bike....I am so glad I didnt get the 650...if you want something that will feel good on long road trips do the 1100...if you will be riding with other folks get the 1100 becasue the 650 prolly would fall behind a bit hehehe
    hehe, thanks for the advice. i'll keep that in mind.

  10. oltkeeser
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    I'd have to say that Yamaha is one of the best metrics made. However, my wife's second bike was an 800 Suzuki Intruder and it was very road worthy and is still going strong. In fact, we took a 2100 mile, 10 day vacation with her riding the Intruder.

    My son in law waffled between the 650 and 1100. He got the 1100 and is glad he did.

    So, like has been said before, first and foremost, take the MSF then get the bike that is the most comfortable for you.

  11. MigejCojode
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    I am 25 and the 1100 is my first bike....I am so glad I didnt get the 650...if you want something that will feel good on long road trips do the 1100...if you will be riding with other folks get the 1100 becasue the 650 prolly would fall behind a bit hehehe
    Hmmm. Anything over 90 mph is beyond where I want to run anyway. If I wanted to go that fast I would have bought a sport bike. Up to 90 I can guaranty you won't loose me, likely even be looking at my tail lights.

  12. chilibebber
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    Just so you know, you drive a car and ride a bike..... jk....I would go with what you feel comfortable on and also like stated a couple of times earlier, take into consideration what, where and how you will be riding on trips. Long trips or short daily commuter trips,speeds etc... Are you solo or will you have a passenger....lot to take into consideration.

  13. MigejCojode
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    I stand corrected.

  14. atrifd
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    Just so you know, you drive a car and ride a bike..... jk....
    lol, I suppose you do. biker lingo faux pas on my part

    Quote:
    I would go with what you feel comfortable on and also like stated a couple of times earlier, take into consideration what, where and how you will be riding on trips. Long trips or short daily commuter trips,speeds etc... Are you solo or will you have a passenger....lot to take into consideration.
    yeah it is. I realize you're not asking exactly, but to be honest I'd love something that would do good on both short commutes and long trips. Perfect bike for me would be one I could take to work on occasion or travel half way across the U.S. EasyRider style. Something that probably won't have a passenger on it most of the time, but if my girlfriend really wanted a ride she could hop on back.

    Thanks again for all the recommendations folks. I'll be going up to a Yamaha dealership this weekend (oddly enough used V-Stars are a hard find in my neck of the woods) to get some ideas and get a better feel for the bikes.

  15. rocgjmarciano
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    Well the group i ride with gets up and goes....and a 650 wouldnt hang with the guys/girls we ride with...also just rember that the 1100 is a big bike....so if you are uncomfortable with a big bike try the 650...i just felt to big on the 650 and that didnt make me feel good at all. yeah the 650 can go 90 but getting up to 90 is where you will fall behind...they are both good bikes dont get me wrong...

  16. zcoddjraj
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    (oddly enough used V-Stars are a hard find in my neck of the woods)

    Yeah, I ran into that. I think that speaks volumes about the quality, and reliability of the Star line. I could find Suzuki's, Kawasaki's, Honda's, and especially Harley's, everywhere, used. But not the Star's. It was a real find to see a Star in our local classifieds, and the ones I did run across, where so expensive, that I just opted for a new one.

  17. chilibebber
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    If you want the all around bike that wiil do all of the things that you require, I would say buy the one that will meet your hardest extremeties. You can commute on a scooter but cant make it half around the country comfortably. LOL, I have to be carefull here because yesterday morning on my way into work, I was cruising down the highway about 65, relaxed as all get out on my way in to work when this guy on one of those liitle scooters went by me doing about 80 mph. Those suckers move on now. But I digress.......just buy what will work for the extreme and it will work for the casual.

  18. N2cr7zharg
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    Well, I thought I would throw in my $0.02 with all the good statements above (and there is a LOT of good advise here!).

    I too am in my mid 30s and just got my endorsement on Fathers day. I never rode before but I took the MSF course offered by the state (Ohio) and then proceeded to get my new ride. I originally was looking at getting a Honda 750 Aero, but like you stated, decided that:

    A> Being over 6ft and well over 200lbs, I would be too big for the bike.
    B> Decided I could get a used 1100 size bike for the same costs as a new 750.

    So I went out and tried a few used 1100 size bikes on for size. I wasn't even looking at the Yamaha's. Instead I really looked at the Honda 1100 Sabre. But after sitting on them, I just wasn't comfortable on the Sabre. Then a friend of mine saw a VStar sitting there and suggested I try it on for size. Well, it just felt right.

    But I didn't buy that used bike right away. Since I hadn't done any homework or research on the VStar, I didn't know what there price range should be in and I didn't know what their quirks were (All bikes have some inherent quirks - depending on the model). I read about the PITA oil changes and the changes in the exhaust due to the EPA in 2006. Decided that I was fine with that and I would take the plunge. But I didn't buy the used one as I found a dealer selling NEW VStar 1100s going for cheaper than the used one I saw.

    I had a friend who has been riding for quite some time ride it home for me (dealer was about 2 hours away but well worth it cost wise) and then I practiced in the local high school parking lot...running through the MSF drills and getting used to its size. I now have around 3k miles on it and definitely am happy I got the larger bike....

    My only regret is having a carb and not EFI. But otherwise, it is great bike.

  19. tcarl
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    Take the course first and foremost. Once you have that out of the way go to your local Yamaha dealer and test ride the entire line-up. Take them through the course paces as well open road riding and make your decision based on your comfort level. DO NOT LET SOMEONE ELSE MAKE THAT DECISION FOR YOU! I shouldn't yell but it is imperative that you decide what ride is right for you.
    I second taking the MSF class. I've ridden motorcycles (dirt bikes/enduros) for years and still learned a lot. If nothing else, it made me more aware of my surroundings while riding on the street. The other point I was going to make is; most dealers will not let you test ride a bike unless they're running what is commonly referred to as "Demo Days". There is too much liability for the dealer to let a person take off on a bike (especially an inexperienced rider).

  20. wzdar6
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    a test ride in my area is out of the ??. heck, they won't even fire one up so you can hear it run. i guess they figure that if it sounds like a sewing machine you won't buy. it's tough being a first time buyer. wish i had found this site before buying. i most likely would have got the roadstar. the 1100 is performing well so far and only like a few more mod. to get it where i want it. i'm thinking that when i finish i'll want to trade bikes and start over. does anyone else feel this way. it's like an addictions. one person discribed it as christmas every time you get a new part.

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