Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
Looks like I'm done - V-Star is about dead
In August I fulfilled a life long dream and bought my first road bike. A 2005 Vstar 1100 Classic. Previous owner had really dressed up. She was pretty with all the extras - tach, 2n1 pipes, BAK, ORK, mustang seats, every piece of chrome you can find was on it. I got it at a good price with 27K miles on it.
About a month after I got it, the starter clutch went out. I spent $400, got the Yamaha replacement parts and did the work myself. I enjoy turning wrenches, especially on "my bike". Took a while but I got it all repaired and back on the road with no problems.
I have been riding this bike every chance I could get - long weekend rides, commuting to work, trips to the store. I have loved being on this bike. Even purchased cold weather gear and was riding to work in the high-30s/low-40s.
On Thursday, December 8, I was on I40 heading into Raleigh, NC for work. Thank God, and I mean that sincerely, I was in the left lane. I looked down and noticed my speedometer was sitting on 0. I knew that was not right. I was starting to slow down and take a look when I heard and felt a "thunk!" The rear-end immediately locked up and started sliding. I was able to get it into the concrete median, hit the front brake without locking up. I slowed it down but wound up hitting the concrete barrier. The highway bar took most of the hit. I was uninjured, thankfully, and consider it a miracle as I was doing about 70MPH. I was able to get it towed to the local Yamaha dealer.
I suspected a middle drive failure that I have heard so much about. The local dealer confirmed that is the issue. The estimated cost is going to be around $3,500 to repair. That is what I paid for it. I don't have it and I am really questioning if I would sink that much into it if I did have it. I have looked through the manuals and been doing a lot of research to do this work to do myself. I am handy. But, tonight I have accepted that fact that this is WAY over my head. I do not feel comfortable and it is just too much.
I am absolutely crushed. Devastated. Unless someone on here knows someone, somewhere that can help repair this for less than a couple thousand I guess I am done and will try to sell it "as is" or salvage. I am so bummed and ABSOLUTELY PISSED at Yamaha. This middle drive and starter clutch problem appears to be very common but they won't address. Meanwhile I am still paying on a loan for bike I can't ride.
Oh, well, it was absolutely awesome the few months I got to be a motorcyclist. Back to the cage.
One a side note, as I stood on the side of I40 for 2 hours waiting on a tow, EVERY motorcyclist that came by with the exception of 2, stopped to check on me. The two that didn't stop, one came over with his hand up in the "What the??" gesture, I gave him the thumbs up and he went on. The other guy, literally cut across two lanes in heavy traffic, to get to me and I gave him the thumbs up and he went on. I will NEVER forget that. Total strangers checking on me. That will be returned by me.