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Discussion Starter #1
I'm riding a vstar 1100 custom and looking for more power & comfort. I rode 570 km's yesterday half highway & 1/2 coastal roads. It's the highway where I feel I want more power and it feels like I need a 6th gear. I was riding with my friend who has a Roadliner and he loves it. I never thought to ask how he liked it on the highway as I assumed with that engine he did power wise. I read someone comment on the same 6th gear issue on roadies and was looking for some feedback here.

As far as looks, I was looking at a HD Roadking for next bike. Yesterday I mistook a roadstar for roadking and asked myself "do I want a knockoff looking bike". The name sounds like a roadking and it looks like it. Why would Yamaha do that. The roadliner has its own look and I was liking it more and more as I looked closer.

Any feedback appreciated. Is 6th gear an "issue" on roadies?
 

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This is my humble opinion.
RoadKings are great bikes, if that is what you're looking for. I rode my friends a couple of years ago and took it for a 20-30 mile run. At the time I rode a 950 so it was all I had to immediately compare it to.

It has a lot of power, that can't be denied. It's heavy and it felt heavy to me. The clutch would be impossible for me to deal with, PERIOD. It wasn't a balanced ride for me. The seat was back too far and the handle bars were to far front and low. I had a lot of issues trying to get the kickstand deployed. Once it was going, the ride was very smooth in fun. Brakes were inadequate for the weight of the bike.
I don't count gears when riding I just keep shifting until it won't anymore and I still tried shifting in the top gear of his bike. A sixth gear in not nirvana for me.

I wouldn't have traded bikes with him at that time.

I now have a Liner and love it more than my 950. It's heavy, but doesn't feel heavy. It's center of gravity is pretty low which makes this bike a pleasure to ride. All of the turns that made me sweat on the 950 can now be navigated 5-10 more mph faster without my heart coming through my mouth. Power, wow power! It rivals that of the RoadKing if not betters it. It puts a smile on my face everyday. I ride a 9 mile stretch of interstate on my way to work everyday and sometimes never hit 5th gear, however in other instances I shift to 5th and then try to shift to 6th. This is me not knowing which gear I'm in, not the fact that i feel I need more gears.

It's easy to road test a Harley, but not so much a Yamaha. I don't how to answer your question any better than I've already attempted. I would not trade in my bike for a RoadKing or any other HD product. If I had the money, I'd maybe have a Street Glide or Electro Glide in my garage for week end excursions, but not for longer trips. I came up through the ranks riding with HD owners and I always had Yamaha's. We spent hours on rides tweaking their bikes. I know this may sound like Harley bashing, but it's not. I rode their bikes and loved them and always thought that maybe I'd have one someday, but even then I knew it wouldn't be my only ride.

If you want 6th gear, buy the HD, Victory or Indian, but I don't believe that alone is worth the extra $$$. If the other features add value to your ride (not gagetry), then they may be the bike for you. It truly is a personal decision. That's why there are this many choices out there.
 

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6th gear on all harleys is always a 1:1 ratio unless it has an aftermarket overdrive put in. except on the new liquid cooled ones, im not sure what that it.
also im not sure what the road star 5 speed is either.

anyway when HD went from a 4 spd to a 5 they just added another one in between, same with going to the 6 speeds. the difference is that the HD and the road stars, have a belt drive, that you can change pulleys and customize the final drive.

ive got an 1100, im searching for a way to change that final drive, it being a shaft drive. in all the searching, ive also figured out that my shock might be bad.
before you decide to change bikes or decide on a bike to change to, look into the final drive, it might be all you need.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the replies! It's not that I want a 6th gear, I just don't want to feel like I need it like I do now. From your reply and my friend who owns one, it doesn't sound like an issue. I was surprised to find a few owners make this comment. I mean this is a big engine bike.

I'm getting the feeling that the Roadliner is preferred vs the Roadstar for riding experience. Roadstar is more traditional looking and easier to customize. I need to demo one for myself. Yes Harley's are all there to demo once a year at dealers & Yamaha show up with a couple sport bikes & a bolt.

I'm looking at an 07 roadliner with very low mileage for $6500 cdn
 

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To give you an idea on how much more power the rodie/strat has over the HD cruisers...the 5 speed in the strat/roadie has a 1:1 3rd gear and both 4th and 5th are overdrives..
 
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