this comes up frequently with the smaller engine vstar bikes
If you are use to riding a Harley with its long throw low RPM engine, then vstar bikes will sound and feel like the engine is rev'ing too fast. But the Vstar engines are made with wider pistons with a shorter throw length. Vstar bikes rev higher, and they have more power per CC.
When I got my license I was planning to get a HD Iron 883. Its rated at 45HP. A VStar 650 is 40 hp. For the displacement increase an 883 would be 54HP if they used the vstar engine format.
People do some bad things to Vstar bikes to make them feel and sound more like a HD. For one, they reduce the idle speed. Its suppose to be 1200 rpm. If you slow it down so it putt putt putts like a HD, the oil pump will not build enough pressure at idle to keep the overhead cam bearings pressurized and flowing with oil.
Depending on which bike you have, the lower compression engines will let you ride with the RPMs down pretty low, as long as you dont let it drop below ~1500. On my 650 I can take corners in 3rd gear, and I can ride thru town at 35 in 5th gear. The engine will not shudder or balk. When I get to the edge of town and the speed limit changes to 55, rotate the throttle up and the bike winds right up to 60 all in one smooth climb, picking up HP as it gets to the higher rpms.
Its a surreal feeling, the bike accelerates faster at the higher speed, because the engine is reaching its peak HP rpm.
I get that it sounds like it needs another gear at 75mph, but it doesnt. Its designed to run that way, and it will run at 80mph all day long.
The bigger engines, like the 1300 on the Royal Star V4, and the 1600 and 1700 bikes have a higher compression ratio. Not high enough that you cannot use regular octane gas, but they will shudder if you let the engine rpms drop too far, and then get on the throttle hard.
The Royal Star has a great transmission gearing for cruising. 5th gear is 0.75, and its a V4. At 80mph its just purring along, and sounds great with its quad independent exhaust pipes.
Im really pleased with the two bikes I have now, the 650 is great for commuting, riding around town and the 1300 Royal Star comes out of the garage for longer road trips, and riding at higher speeds.
I paid $3300 for the VS650 6 years ago and have put 25k miles on it, and paid $2500 for the Royal Star last fall. I could easily spend that much total on just one HD bike, and not have the same utility.
Last edited by KCW; 03-14-2019 at 07:25 AM.