Motorcycle Club » Star 1100 Classic & Custom

Can't Feel The Love...

18 posts from 11 voices
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  1. cazear
    #

    This is another Honda Shadow VT1100 vs. Yamaha V-Star 1100 post, but maybe with my own unique questions.

    Background: I'm a new adult rider (riding 11 months and quite long in the tooth). Right after the Basic Rider course, I rode a Suzuki GZ250 for a month (1000 miles), and then into a 2000 V-Star 650 Custom which I have loved and bonded with. My plan was to keep the 650 for about a year and then upgrade to an 1100cc. Considered both Shadow and V-Star 1100s, but felt the Honda had the edge because of the low maintenance (no valve adjustments), water cooling and alloy wheels.

    So two weeks ago I found a 2004 Honda Shadow Spirit VT1100C in nice condition at an attractive price on craigslist and bought it. I haven't sold the 650 yet so I'm riding both bikes. The Shadow runs great and has no major faults, but I just don't like the bike as much as the V-Star 650. So now I'm thinking the Yamaha 1100 would have been a better choice, but I haven't ridden one.

    If any of you have ridden both maybe you can help me out:
    Gearing: The Shadow VT1100 gearing is taller than the V-Star 650, which is nice on the highway, but I find there are many slow, tight turns (into side streets, etc) where 2nd is too tall, so I have to drop to 1st, which slows me down abruptly and too much. Seems like I'd like a shorter 2nd gear. Are the gear ratios on the V-Star 1100 more similar to the 650 or to the Shadow 1100?

    Seating position: Seating is higher on the Shadow and the bar ends are higher, so I kind of feel like I'm climbing the bike. Much prefer the lower seat and more level handlebars of the V-Star 650 Custom. Does the V-Star 1100 preserve the low feel of the 650 - just on a bigger bike? I gotta say though that the Shadow seat is very comfortable.

    Alloy wheels: spoked wheels look great, but they have some disadvantages compared to alloy wheels, right? Do any V-Star 1100 models/years have alloy wheels?

    Maybe I'm too picky, but when I look at them both in the garage my eye keeps going back to the V-Star 650 - nice two-tone paint, nice balance of chrome and paint, lower lines.

  2. silverfox39
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    As are you, I am somewhat "long in the tooth" and have ridden about 2,000 miles since completing the course. I bought a nice '02 Honda Shadow 1100 and rode it for about 200 miles before a neighbor decided to sell his Classic V-Star 1100. I bought his bike after a test drive and have never regretted it even for a minute. I can't speak to the gear ratio comparison, but I can tell you I find the Yamaha more comfortable, better looking and just more fun to drive. Mine is an '02 and has been lowered, chromed and looks good. Although the Hondas are bulletproof, I think the V-Stars pretty much are too.

    Since I don't have any answers to your technical questions, I doubt if my input is much help. It's just more of a "gut feel" thing. Performance was about the same with both bikes.

    Good luck.

  3. quicgmicg
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    First..it looks like your first post....WELCOME!!!...

    The best thing to do would be to find an 1100 to ride.

    Bear in mind, though...that things like seats and handlebars can be changed/adjusted to fit you. I don't have much experience with the VT 1100, all I know is that I personally liked the Yamaha a lot better.......it's air cooled and it just fit me better.....but that is just me.

    On wheels....spokes = inner tubes which means that roadside tire repair is almost impossible. Also they are hard to keep clean. But they look awesome.... Alloy wheels are easier to clean and if you carry a can of "fix-a-flat" you can at least ride to where you can get a new tire. Most "Classic" versions of the XVS 1100 have cast alloy wheels .....most "Custom" versions have spokes.....

    It looks like we may be close??? I'm in Vail.....and if you can't find an 1100 to ride....maybe we could meet up.... You could cruise around on mine for a bit if you want.

  4. yaro
    #

    First..it looks like your first post....WELCOME!!!...The best thing to do would be to find an 1100 to ride. Bear in mind, though...that things like seats and handlebars can be changed/adjusted to fit you. I don't have much experience with the VT 1100, all I know is that I personally liked the Yamaha a lot better.......it's air cooled and it just fit me better.....but that is just me.On wheels....spokes = inner tubes which means that roadside tire repair is almost impossible. Also they are hard to keep clean. But they look awesome.... Alloy wheels are easier to clean and if you carry a can of "fix-a-flat" you can at least ride to where you can get a new tire. Most "Classic" versions of the XVS 1100 have cast alloy wheels .....most "Custom" versions have spokes.....It looks like we may be close??? I'm in Vail.....and if you can't find an 1100 to ride....maybe we could meet up.... You could cruise around on mine for a bit if you want.
    Can I come and ride it? I would like to see what changes to the stock can do for the performance.
    I think he needs to find a dealer and test ride it. Your bike has been so customized that it probably doesn't have the feeling of stock anymore. Unless you want to show him how to awake the beast.

  5. MigejCojode
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    I know how you feel.

    Well I've been riding my 650 for 5 years now and still love it. I recently took an 05 Dyna for a run. It was all done up, fuel injected, drag pipes, intake and remapped. As far as power goes it blows the 650 out of the water. But I got back on the 650 and I still love the bike. Something about it just calls to me like no other bike.

  6. yy45daco
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    My dad had a 05 or 06 shadow (I keep telling him I wanted a v star) and he went up and test rode the 05 v star and traded his bike for it the same day. I would say the v star does sit lower and has a better ride to it. From what I have heard from my dad. Now I have always been on yamaha atvs and motorcycles but own different atvs and they all have there pros and cons. So I am sure the motorcycles do as well. I would definetly recommend going to a yamaha dealer and test ride a v star. Who knows you may want to get one that day as well. LOL
    JJ

  7. quicgmicg
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    Can I come and ride it? I would like to see what changes to the stock can do for the performance.I think he needs to find a dealer and test ride it. Your bike has been so customized that it probably doesn't have the feeling of stock anymore. Unless you want to show him how to awake the beast.
    Actually I haven't done anything to the motor (yet) other than pipes and intake.

    ...and yes....come on over.....anytime!!

  8. quicgmicg
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    I know how you feel.Well I've been riding my 650 for 5 years now and still love it. I recently took an 05 Dyna for a run. It was all done up, fuel injected, drag pipes, intake and remapped. As far as power goes it blows the 650 out of the water. But I got back on the 650 and I still love the bike. Something about it just calls to me like no other bike.
    I hear ya about the 650.....I'm going to pick one up one of these days to have some fun with.....they are really sweet.....

  9. cazear
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    Thanks for the replies to my post. You are all correct, of course. I'll need to look around for a V-Star 1100 at a dealer or local seller, at least sit on it, and hopefully give it a ride. In the meantime, I'll put some more miles on the Shadow Spirit and see if it grows on me a bit more. Might look for a 950 as well.

  10. Sduplyumbr
    #

    I know how you feel. I still love the bike. Something about it just calls to me like no other bike.
    I know exactly what you mean, I have taken a few other bikes out for a test ride but, I keep going back to mine. Something about it and it just can't be bested.

  11. RWilliamz
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    I got a deal on a 2001 Honda Shadow Sabre it is geared a little different and has a different ignition timing curve than your bike supposed to be the hot rod of the Shadow line. Nice bike runs like a bandit had a 650 classic sold it to my son point blank the Honda is just not as a good looking bike as the 650 OR 1100 Yamaha my problem is size wise the 650/ 1100s are too small for me I am 6 ft 285 I had moved the controls forward on the Yamaha helped some I would love to ride an 1100 Star to compare although from what I have read the Yamaha will not run with the Sabre I just love the look of the Yamaha I am learning to like the look of the Honda slowly maybe over time I will go ride an 1100

  12. CruizerBruizer
    #

    RWms...an 1100 would do you fine. I go 6'1" and 250-ish, and with my 120-lb son riding two up with me, my 1100 has plenty of get-up-and-go! The ergos are good for someone our size, too. I've never had any problem hitting 90 mph or more with him aboard. Try it, you'll like it!

    Ride safe, watch out for cagers on cell phones, and thank The Man Upstairs for every safe ride.

  13. RWilliamz
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    The 1100 is just a 1/2 to 1 inch bigger on the dimensions over a 650 the 650 just feels small after riding the Honda I still would like to ride an 1100 V Star to compare though.

  14. micg10
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    The 1100 is just a 1/2 to 1 inch bigger on the dimensions over a 650 the 650 just feels small after riding the Honda I still would like to ride an 1100 V Star to compare though.
    bike size is all personal preference. i.e. you say the 650/1100 feels small for you, i am 6'1 and the combined weight of my wife and i is around 380 lb (i ride 2-up alot) and the 650 is very comfortable. mine is mostly stock and power wise, it does everything i ask.
    so bike size is personal preference.

  15. einzdan
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    I got my 1100 Classic in August after totalling my beloved Suzuki C50T. I didn't test ride the V Star when I bought it and absolutely hated it for about a month and wish I had bought another C50 instead.

    However, after adding 3" extensions for the floorboards, which alleviated the leg cramping, replacing the horrible stock mirrors (IMHO) with Muth signal mirrors, and adding on a few of the other custom niceties that the C50 had, I love my Classic now.

    It took me a bit of riding to get used to the V Star because I was always trying to compare it to the C50 before I realized it's not a C50, it's a different bike that has different handling characteristics than the old bike that I was used to had. I'm perfectly comfortable on my Yammie now and am very pleased that I chose it. It has a lot more zip on the highway than the C50, where I do most of my riding.

    Most of the metrics are great bikes, and the best one is probably more someone's subjective opinion.

    quicgmicg offered good advice; bike's can be tailored to fit you better and it's a lucky buyer who finds a stock model that doesn't need a bit of tweaking to make the bike feel more comfortable.

    You might want to ride the Honda for a bit so that you don't throw the baby out with the bath water. I seriously considered trading the 1100 in those first few weeks of ownership and it would have been a very big mistake on my part if I had.

    Also my Classic has cast rims which was one of the many factors that influenced my decision to purchase it in the first place. I bought a set of cast rims to replace the OEM spoke rims on my C50 because tubed tires can blowout, making for a very uncomfortable situation at highway speeds.

    If anyone read has read this far, sorry, I never intended this to be so long winded when I first started typing.

    Good luck with your choice!

  16. RWilliamz
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    I have put over 3000 miles on the Honda in the 2 months I have had it . It is a great bike it is just not a beauty in my eyes although I get a lot of compliments on it I really can not afford to upgrade so I will have be content with it and be thank full I have it and and it is paid for . I see people every day who have lost everything . I think sometimes we all need to learn to be satisfied with what we have no matter how we think we have it someone always has it worse.A family here in town just buried their 12 yo son after he was ran over by a school bus after he darted out in front of it. I personally know the bus driver he was absolved of any blame but I can not even fathom what he must be going through. It is just the American way to always want more and not appreciate what we have.

  17. CruizerBruizer
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    RWms, sounds like you have a great head on your shoulders!

    GREAT POST!

    It would be nice if more people thought and acted like that. I've been out of work for 6 months and am appreciating a lot more things that I took for granted before.

    I've often wanted something bigger than my 1100 until I realize that I'll have to go way bigger (can you say Stratoliner!?!) to make it worth my while. Going up to a 1300 would be ridiculous. Would have to be at least a 1500 or 1600 something, but then I realize my 1100 has all I need and I really enjoy riding it and can't really imagine myself without it. I could get something else, but would keep Bruiser just cuz I like him so much. And then that would be excessive, and I don't need that.

    The 1100 is more than just adequate. I was riding last night--my bike has Shogun Ripsaw with the baffles removed, so it's loud--and it seems to me that when some cagers hear me, they seem to want to race. This guy in a big Expedition kept jackrabbiting from lights, or if I was ahead of him would speed up and zoom past me. At one light I'd had enough...I like to try to stay out of people's blind spots...so I twisted it and Bruiser stood up nicely and I was gone. Like I said, what more do you need?

    einzdan...don't worry about the length of your posts...I tend toward diarrhea of the fingers. Witness my rants. People can choose whether to read or not. I didn't mind your post and actually enjoyed your comparison of the C50 and 1100.

    Ride safe!

  18. einzdan
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    Experience has taught me RW, and I've told my kids (now adults) more than a time or three, that anytime you think your life sucks, just talk to other people and find out how much worse it could be.

    Safe riding and I hope you enjoy many happy, carefree hours on your Honda.

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