which bike to get depends on your preferences
Yamaha started out the Vstar Cruiser line with two well proven engines, and put them in the Vstar 650 and 1100
Vtwins, overhead cams with rocker arms and timing chains, clearance adjustable with an allen wrench , twin carbs, mono shock, electronic ignition.
They took the 1300 V4 proven engine from the Vmax / venture touring bikes and made everything from a base model Crusier (Royal Star) to a royal star touring bike with classic windshield and saddle bags, and continued the Royal Star Venture with a fairing, hard bags, and full passenger seat. The V4 is water cooled with overhead cams, started with 4 carbs, and at some point Im pretty sure it switched over to fuel injection. The Royal Star V4 bikes are the closest thing to a Goldwing, but without the horizontal 4 or 6 engine, it does have some vibration at highway speeds, esp when you get on the throttle.
Going up in size they made the Vtwin Road star bikes, 1600 then 1700, with push rods, air cooled, one carb fuels both cylinders. This is the simplist Vtwin big engine bike you can get: no timing chains, no fuel injection (until later years), no coolant or radiators. The Stratoliner and Road Liner are upgraded bikes with versions of the same engine.
In between they made the water cooled fuel injection 950 and Vstar 1300 Vtwins.
If you know what you prefer in engine design, there is a Vstar bike out there for you.
I feel obliged to point out: Yamaha stopped making all these great, highly reliable bikes. The only Vtwin they sell now is the New Venture transcontinental touring bike, which is in a class all by itself.
Last edited by KCW; 05-13-2019 at 07:15 PM.