It had been almost 30 years since I had been on a motorcycle. I gave up my Triumph Trident when my first son was born.
So about three years ago I got the bug again. I bought a used Virago 750. An awesome bike. My wife is riding it now.
But I was ready to upgrade. I researched several motorcycles in and around the one litre range. I knew for certain I wanted a touring style bike. I had culled my choice to about four bikes. My first choice was a Star 1100 Silverado with the second choice being a Triumph Bonneville-America. The third & fourth were the Star 950 & 1300.
I eliminated the Triumph as it was still chain drive and the closest dealer was 75 miles away. The touring add-ons for the Tiumph were quite expensive. My Yamaha dealer didn't have a V Star 1100 in stock so the 1100 was out as well.
So my choice was between the V Star 950 & 1300. I went with the 950 Tourer because the black Cherry color really stood out in the showroom next to a silver colored 1300. I upgraded to the medium windshield and added the front light bar.
I now have about 1000 miles on the bike and the first service was done at 610 miles. My dealer, Dan's Powersports has been awesome. I will definitely buy another bike from them in the future. Sales and service have been second to none.
Things I like about the bike...
1. There is plenty of power. I was very comfortable on the freeway. High gear almost seems like an overdrive gear. It gets around town with no problem at all. It handles curves as well as my Virago. I have never scraped the floorboards (yet), even with a some hard cornering.
2. The medium windshield is the perfect height for my 5'9" frame.
3. Fuel mileage is awesome. I have averages from 46 to 52 MPG, better than my Virago.
4. The fuel injected engine fires right up (as long as I remember to allow time to prime the injectors before hitting the start button.)
5. The rear monoshock sucks up bumps and chuckholes. The result is a very smooth ride.
6. Nice big leather covered hard saddle bags.
Some suggestions I would make for modifications on the 950...
1. Bring back the shaft drive. My belt drive is a little jerky at times like a chain.
2. Adapt the 1300 console to the 950 and eliminate it from the top of the tank. It may look great on the tank but it is difficlt to see the speedometer while wearing a helmet.
3. Do something about the seat. It is butt numbingly uncomfortable on an all day ride. I have replaced mine with a Mustang.
But, knowing what I know now, I would have paid just a little more and got the 1300. I'm not at all unhappy with the 950, quite the opposite. Like the bike. But after some riding experience on the 950 I think the 1300 would have been a better fit for my riding style. Riding two up on the 950 strains the bike a little but it is still well within the acceptable range. No problems even on long steep hills. But if you are going to ride two up, get the 1300. (Now that my wife has her license we don't ride two up any more.)
The 950T is an awesome motorcycle as long as you're not into big displacement and tons of torque. That said, the 950 has done everything I have asked it to do with plenty of power & performance in reserve. It looks much bigger than it really is but it handles nimbly. My wife will probably be taking the 950 in a couple years. By then I might be ready for that Stratoliner.