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Discussion Starter #1
As the title implies 950 vs. 650. Or the other way around. I'm wondering about your thoughts, opinions, experiences, demands, complaints and other comments. I really like the way size of the 650, the looks of it, but I've also been riding for 20 years and live and ride at altitude (Colorado). About me, I'm 5'6", about 165 lbs.
Fuel injection is great, carbs aren't a problem. I like shaft drive but belts are just about as easy.
I do think that the treatment on the tank of the 950 goes too far down the tank but maybe I can do something about that. The taillight needs to go on the 950 too.
What about the size of the bikes? Comparable?
Thanks for any input!
 

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I have the 950 and my friend had a 650. We went on a trip together and he sold his 650 shortly after that as he couldn't keep up with me. So if you're going to do a lot of riding above 60 mph the 950 would be a better choice. The 950 got better gas mileage but the seat on the 650 was more comfortable. Both are great trouble free bikes and it really depends on what you want from a bike to figure out which would be better for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the link, bebo. Sounds like a heckuva bike. Best part about going for the 950 is that I wouldn't have to sell my other bike before picking up the 950, could work it into a trade.
 

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Some other things to consider is how you are going to ride.

The 650 is a great bike to ride naked and solo.

If you want to ride two up, or if you want to get on the interstate and put a windshield and fork deflectors on the bike, that will really suck some of the life out of a 650,

I have the advantage of having a windshield on both my VS 650 and my Royal Star 1300 V4.

On the 650 its like dragging a cinder block on a rope. The mileage drops from 58.. 59mpg naked to the high 40s with the windshield on the bike and riding on the highway.

My Royal star by contrast gets about 44...45mpg all the time, whether I put the windshield on the bike or not.

The 650 has 40HP and the RS is 73HP. It makes a big different when you start to load the bike up with a windshield, saddle bags, or a passenger.

You can expect a 950 or 1100 to be similar to the Royal Star, less sensitive to riding with a windshield or a passenger.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Most of my riding is on 2 lane roads. I25 is straight up dangerous in a 30,000 truck, let alone on a motorcycle. Swear to god people try to be bad at driving. Girlfriend has a bike of her own albeit a Rebel 250 but if we were to take a trip it'd be loading both bikes (mine more than hers just because of the chasm between skill levels) so it'd be a slow trip anywhere. I'm ok with that. I've had chest compressions done on me and I really don't want to be in that situation again. Slow is okay. Please keep your comments coming. I really appreciate the insight. I've been going through bikes for the last couple years and it's not only expensive but a pain in the butt.
 

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I own a 650 and I'm explore the two lane roads of Nor-Cal, where 60 MPH would probably be speeding. Either bike is great.
I had a 2014 650 and if I rode on roads like yours I would probably still have it. I traded it on the 2010 950 only because I ride a lot of highway miles. In Texas, you can't help it. It's a long way to everywhere and we drive fast.

I was a little concerned the 950 might not be enough since I'm 215 lbs and want to cruise comfortably at 80. It has performed perfectly. I keep up with everybody, the fuel injection has been a joy (starts instantly hot or cold), I get 55 to 60 mpg (more like 50 @ 80mph), and the bike is still relatively light and maneuverable. The 650 carbs and choke worked fine even on cold days, but that only made me appreciate the fuel injection even more. And the 950 actually gets better mileage!

Yamaha did a fantastic job with these two bikes. The 650 was solid. No mechanical or other issues. It felt very well balanced and was a pleasure to ride. The 950 has been solid, too. Zero issues. They are both very good looking bikes. I get lots of compliments. I thought the 650 was a gorgeous bike. See my garage pix. Silver on silver. Dual pipes. The 950 is a really great looking dark red and I think I actually like the 2 into 1 exhaust better.

The drive shaft was my first. It wasn't as quiet as I thought it would be, but it was quiet and beat the hell out of a chain. I was a little surprised the 950 wasn't shaft driven, but the belt has been quiet and worry free.

Floorboards and heel toe shifter on the 950 took a lot of getting used to, but it's second nature now. I like the floorboards.

The 650 has a reserve tank switch which is a pain when you get surprised. The 950 has a low gas warning light that comes on when you have about 30 or 40 miles of gas left and the odometer begins a countdown from 0 to -xx miles to let you know how far you've gone since it came on. I like that much better.

They're both very reasonably priced. I'm happy with the way things worked out. I liked the 650. I like my 950 even more.
 
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