Rev'ing my 650 to death?! - Star Motorcycle Forums: Star Raider, V-Max, V-Star, Road-Star Forum
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-16-2016, 09:38 AM Thread Starter
KCW
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Rev'ing my 650 to death?!

never gave too much thought to how fast or slow im reving my VS650 in each gear.

I normally cruise pretty easy, and hit 4th around 30mph and 5th around 45mph. Will let the bike slow to 40mph in 5th if Im riding a steady speed and dont need to speed up quickly.

Been reading a few threads on where VS rider shift up and down, and there is quite a bit of variation in how people are riding.

I pulled out my manual and holy crap!

V Star 650 2005 owners manual, page 5-4. Recommended shift points

1st to 2nd: 10mph (ok)
2nd to 3rd: 15mph (seems a bit low...)
3rd to 4th: 20mph

ok... the 2nd year I had my bike I stopped kicking down to 2nd gear on most intersection corners. If I kick down to 3rd then bike has enough pull through the turn, has that low rmp sound winding out to speed, and only need to shift twice to get to 5th.

I look down once in a while to see my speed in the corner - 20mph is not a fast turn on a clear intersection. Manual is saying I sould be in 4th on those corners?!

it gets better

4th to 5th: 25mph !

Im pretty sure I have never ridden down to 25mph in 5th gear, but the manual clearly states:

"Always shift gears at the recommended shift points".

Im going to give the mechanical engineers that designed my bike credit for knowing what they are doing, in which case - holy crap! I have been rev'ing the crap out of my bike, thinking I have been riding it pretty easy!

Missing from the manual are the engine red line specs, the enging RPM at any given gear and mph.

Planning on taking a ride today and will see if I have been totally off on this. I owned a 175 2cycle Yamaha enduro bike for 20 years, and you do ride those at pretty high rpms.

One thing that might put this into proper perspective: Does a V star engine fire both pistons on the same revolution, like a Harley?

Fire1 + 90° Fire2 + 630° Fire1....

or are the pistons firing on opposite revolutions:

Fire1 + 450° Fire2 + 270° Fire1...

because that would make the engine sound like its spinning twice as fast/slow based on the exhaust notes.

(BTW I know the pistons are not 90° apart, just using that for the timing example).

95% of the time when riding Im in 5th gear going over 40mph - so its not like Im red-lining the engine all the time - but according to the Yamaha engineers I have been shifting way too late.
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-16-2016, 12:20 PM
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That's one of the grate Yamaha mystery's,, I think in 1948 it was translated from the original Japaneses and lost some thing? Your bike has a rev/limiter that will keep you from over revving.
I have watched a fully loaded 650 do 75-80 all day long.
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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-16-2016, 12:58 PM
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I don't own a 650 but have owned four bikes and multiple manual transmission cars and trucks and the manuals that I've read ALWAYS want you to shift way too early. The manuals are probably written for you to shift at just enough speed to not bog the engine to the point of stalling.
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-16-2016, 01:40 PM Thread Starter
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Took a 30 mile ride on back roads and the manual is correct, at least that you can shift into 5th gear at 25mph and then wind it up. The primary concern for bogging the engine would be the oil pump is not spinning fast enough to keep the pressure up. If the factory engineers say 25mph in 5th is good, then I wont worry about that.

From a stop it takes a couple seconds to get to 10mph then ShiftShiftShiftShift you are in 5th gear and going 30mph already.

It does not take much throttle at all to shift all the way to 5th as recommended in the manual. You almost cannot shift fast enough.

The bike feels completely different. Over the last 4 seasons I have been riding it harder and harder. Getting into 5th gear by 30mph feels like you have $1,000 in your back pocket and you are going to get a cheeseburger for lunch. It also makes the riding experience very different, you get the bike into 5th gear and leave it there, from 65 to 25 and back you do not 'have to' shift, or think about what gear you are in. You just cruise.

After thinking about this, if the two pistons are firing on the same revolution then the bike really is more like a thumper than a traditional 2 cylinder.

Im going to try riding it this way for a few weeks and see how it goes. Will also see if my gas mileage improves.

I have a couple manual transmission cars that have the up-shift light. When you are rev'ing the engine harder it waits till higher rpm before it tells you to upshift. Obviously if you need to take off fast, or on a hill you stay in the lower gears longer.

But in all I think I have been riding more like a sports bike. Riding a cruiser is a different mentality, and keeping the engine rpm's low and all that extra HP in check... it does have a certain feeling of class riding through town.... I could light this baby up any time I want... but Im not ..... for now...
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Last edited by KCW; 10-16-2016 at 01:45 PM.
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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-16-2016, 01:54 PM
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Those shift speeds are not correct. I know in the 1100 manual they have about the same numbers....then give downshift speeds of 15.5 MPH in ALL gears. Like I'm sure I'm going to be going 15.5 MPH in 5th to downshift to 4th? That should be a clue that something is not right with any of the shifting info in the manual. The 650 and 1100 are short stroke higher revving bikes and need to be ridden accordingly

Just use a little common sense and shift accordingly. Once you understand the machine, you'll understand when it needs to be shifted.

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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-16-2016, 02:19 PM
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KCW, I don't doubt that you can shift at those points but I think it comes down to if you want to or not. The 1300 which I own is also a short stroke engine and wants to be revved higher than the average cruiser. In that regards you are right that it wants to rev more sport bike like than your average V Twin cruiser.
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-16-2016, 05:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smittyrock View Post
KCW, I don't doubt that you can shift at those points but I think it comes down to if you want to or not. The 1300 which I own is also a short stroke engine and wants to be revved higher than the average cruiser. In that regards you are right that it wants to rev more sport bike like than your average V Twin cruiser.
I second this. And don't worry... you cannot hurt this bike by reving it up; shift it just as you would any other bike. The rev limiter prevents one from messing things up, so just enjoy your bike and don't be afraid to rev the [email protected] out of it! It's tougher than you think!

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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-16-2016, 07:27 PM Thread Starter
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did some checking on the transmission drive ratios for the 650

in 5th gear the ratio of engine rpms to back wheel is 5.31 : 1

the service manual idle speed is listed at 1200 rpm

my math comes out, in 5th gear the engine is turning:

1750 rpms at 25mph
3500 rpms at 50mph
5260 rpms at 75mph

and the 7000 rpm rev limiter kicks in at 100 mph

I think if something is missing in the owners manual, it would be the words 'minimum shift speed' for each gear going up.

The manual does say to shift down at 15mph for all four gears. I would interpret that to mean when you are stopping.
In 5th gear you hit the 1200 idle speed at 17 mph, so you should not lug the bike slower than that when slowing to stop.
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-16-2016, 09:24 PM
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I have not read the manual for the 650. Um, nor have I fully read the manual for the 950, (my bike). But I want to say, Yamahas like to rev!! Not only is that something that I've heard/read, but I tested it when I recently crossed the country.

I was traveling for days on 80 mph highway that everyone goes 90 on.... - And my bike did fine. Top of its game, yeah. But no engine proplems. Don't forsee any, nope, nope.

Change oil, keep engine tuned, and rev the !*×#! Out of it!

Keep moving, learning, loving, and living.
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-17-2016, 07:18 AM
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Y'all are hitting on some things I have been thinking about. I will be riding and try to shift up at highway speeds. I keep thinking I should have another gear. I do not travel interstate much, I do not like pushing her hard for long periods of time. YamaMassGirl, you say you do interstate speeds for hours with no problems with your 950?

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