there are kits you can get to put a single carb on a 650 or 1100
for future reference, the Road Star carb bikes have only one that feeds both cylinders, and push rods - the quintessential "as simple as can be" V twin engine
and in the opposite direction, my Royal Star has 4 carbs, 16 valves (4 per cylinder) and instead of adjustable valves it has those flat disk things you have to change out to get the right valve clearance
some bikes (like the Road Star) are very low maintenance, and others not so much
the 650 and 1100 are in the middle
once you get your carbs cleaned and adjusted right, if you use a fuel stabilizer when the bike is parked more than a month or so, you should never have to take them apart to clean them - most of these "Vstar for sale, needs TLC" situations come from a previous owner who just stopped riding, and left the bike sit for years with E10 gas in the tank.
My 2005 Vstar 650 and 2000 Royal Star 1300 V4 are fully stock, were well maintained by the previous owners, and the carbs have never been touched.
I hope this is encouraging. For normal maintenance the only thing you will have to do (once the carbs are fixed) is pull them off as an assembly out of the way so you can adjust the intake valve clearance every 15,000 miles or so. Trying to relocate the carbs might be more work than it will save you over the life of the bike. You should be able to configure your valve covers so you can get to the exhaust tappet covers without taking anything off the bike.
Putting intake pods on the bike will get you more HP (if you re-jet the carbs in the process), but most after market pod kits expect the carbs to be in their stock location.
I know its frustrating when your bike is not running, and you have it all pulled apart. Once you get it running well, you will just want to ride it, and most of these "there has to be a better way" thoughts will drift away in the wind blowing in your face. When a VS1100 is running well, it runs very well.
Last edited by KCW; 04-27-2019 at 06:37 PM.