with your experience on the Honda and HD, one thing I would suggest:
the Vstar engines are different from the long throw piston, low RPM engines on HD machines. Vstar engines have about the same throw as the width of the piston, they are designed to rev higher.
If you are use to riding a harley, a Vstar bike will sound like its rev'ing too fast, esp on the highway at 85mph. Its not, it will run at highway speeds all day long.
It will also sound different at low RPMs and idle. Some people immediately think its idling too fast, and start turning down the idle speed screw on the carb'd bikes. (the 950 is fuel injected and does not have an idle speed screw). (BTW: dont turn the idle speed down from the specs, the oil pump will not build enough pressure at idle, and it will oil-starve the bearings).
My suggestion is, before you change the exhaust and intake to get more HP, ride the bike for a thousand miles or so, look at the HP curves and dont be afraid to rev this up higher than you would (by the sound of the engine) on a harley. The bikes are pretty well tuned from the factory. Im pretty sure they all have a rev limiter, so you wont red line the bike unless you kick it down to a lower gear and let out the clutch. If you are riding it so it sounds like a Harley you will be lugging the motor, and it will run like a dog.
Then if you want more HP or your want louder exhaust, go from there. A good tune up is a great idea, and replace the air filter if it is not white like paper.
Personally I love the way my 650 stock intake growls at its peak HP RPM when the throttle is WFO. It does it at about 55mph in 4th gear and the bike surges, and it does it again at about 70 in 5th gear (your peak will be a bit different on the 950).
Changing the exhaust and intake is common practice on HD bikes. There are a lot of us who love our stock Vstar bikes just the way they came out of the factory.
Last edited by KCW; 03-20-2019 at 02:13 PM.