Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: New Brunswick, Canada
Welcome from Atlantic Canada, Dan. I don't think you'd be happy with a 650 for your needs. It's a great bike and can hold its own on the highway, but riding two up on the highway might be a little much for it. I'm sure some of the 650 riders here can give a better review, though. (KCW?...lol)
I have an 1100 and the two of us weigh about the same as you two. It's great around town and on the highway solo. With both of us it's still good around town and it's adequate at highway speeds, but I wish I'd have gone a little bigger. It'll cruise along at 70 or 80 with two no problem but has to work a little harder on hills at highway speeds. It's good for short highway cruises but if I were going to do any amount of touring I'd want something with a little longer legs.
I think the 1300 would work great for you. Personally if I were to trade up it would be to a Road Star, mainly because it's a long stroke, air cooled, old school kind of bike, but that's just my preference (I like high torque at low RPM). You should be able to find one in your price range too. Don't let the 1700cc worry you - they're nicely balanced and don't feel as heavy as you'd think.
In the end, you can't go wrong with any of the Star bikes as far as being dependable, but make sure you get the one that will suit your needs best.
2007 Vulcan Nomad
2000 V Star 1100 Classic (Sold)
All stock except for:
Switchblade Quick Release Windshield
Ugly but somewhat functional saddlebags