Well...stock...the 1100 has more power. Only drawback to the 1100 is that you have to drop the front exhaust pipe to get at the oil filter, unless you invest in an aftermarket spin-on oil filter attachment.
The 1100 is not listed on the Yamaha site anymore so it's been cut from production. The 650 is still listed but who knows how much longer it will be made?
I have a 650 and I love it. But that's me.
I know two guys that have 1100s and one has the oil filter kit, the other one has plans for one. Both nice sounding machines with an aftermarket exhaust.
The 1100 is the clear winner as far as power is concerned but then again, it's been dropped from Yamaha's lineup in favor of the 950, which from reviews I have read, is a good machine.
I had both but did not ride the 650 much. I made one long 3k mile trip on the 1100. If the money or weight is not the problem then I would go for the larger bike. Many people buy the first bike to learn on or maybe save money then trade up to a bigger bike. This is fine but if new you will loose some serious money in the process. Most people do eventully trade for a bigger bike. Both are reliable well made bikes that have that nostalgic look.
The kit to move the oil filter up front from inside the motor behind the exhaust cost $250. I would consider this part of the deal. It looks good and helps with cooling.
If you are looking at new consider the 950. It is smoother and better balanced. Fuel injected, it performs with the 1100. I believe The 1100 is being dropped because there is a 950 1100 and a 1300 all to close together in price and size. The bigger bikes would be better on the highway. Smaller bike may have some advantage in town.
We have both, I have an 1100 and my wife has a 650. I ride hers a lot and it is a lot of fun, lighter, lower and easy to manuever. I prefer the 1100 though, better ride, more power. They both look nearly identical though so I guess it would depend on what type of riding you'll be doing and how big you are. I'm 5'8" 165 lbs and the 1100 is nothing to handle.
I agree with the other guys before me. It does depend on what type of riding you are going to do, and if you go two up much or not. I got an 1100 vstar for serious rode stuff and trips, and an old 750 Virago, one of the first ones, for just puttering through the back roads enjoying the hell out of it, it's much lighter and so easy to handle, but for long rides it's weak on comfort. Both are great rides
(650 vs1100), It's a personal choice, have a ton of fun, thats what they are for.
Well said by everyone. I had a 650 for my first bike, since I was very new to riding. I rode it for about 8 months before I traded up for the 1100. I am a bigger guy (6'1", 215lbs) and I felt huge on the 650. When my wife rode with me, it was a chore for it, although it handled us well. On the 1100, I think it's a smoother ride and it has a lot more power with a passenger. Anyway, just my $.02. Hope it helps, and safe riding!
As every one has said its all to do with your perspected use and what ya want outa the bike.
I stated riding on a 650cc v-star and rode it for two years and im 6' 285lbs.
Had another bike in between but now i ride a 1100 vstar and still get to steal my old 650cc for the odd ride (i gave it to my mother to replace here dying suzuki).
I much prefer my 1100cc bike but am still glad i started on the 650cc. That being said i still love that 650cc bike and still dont think its underpowered. Its a fun little bike thats damn reliable and fun to ride.
I have ridden both the V Star 1100 Silverado and the new V Star 950. Both are nice bikes. I ended up buying the 950 and love it!. Again, it depends on what kind of riding you plan to do. Power wise, I have no problem staying with my buddy on his 1100. The handlebars for me on the 950 are much more comfortable. I'm 5'5" so the pull back handlebars do it for me. The 950 is still a good sized bike, not sure how it compares to the 650. But generally, bigger bikes are more comfortable on longer rides as I've heard that the weight will soak up the bumps better. Finally, depending on your size, seat height may be an issue. The 950 has a seat height that's better for me, I believe that its an inch and change lower than the 1100.
Good luck in your choice, I dont think you can go wrong with either one.
I had the same dilemma as TonyB, but I went with the 1100. The 1100 "fit" me better than the 950. I just felt more comfortable on the 1100. I've been riding off-road bikes for over 30 years, and the 1100 is my first road bike. I'm very happy with the bike. My best suggestion is to try out each bike your looking at, and pick the one that fits you best.
Not much more to add. I went with a 2000 1600cc and between me (330 lbs.) and my wife it handles us just fine. I came off a 1200 Goldwing but like the torgue at the lower end better. I think that low end torgue is important for us big guys + passenger. I'd say go the biggest you think you can handle now, cause it will become even more comfortable as you ride. Good luck
Add me to the list of 650 owners that moved up to the 1100! The smooth ride and the power of the 1100 was well worth it. We took three trips through NY state this summer and enjoyed every minute of it. I'm not a motorcycle mechanic and I enjoyed changing the oil filter! When I have $250 I don't know what to do with I'll consider an external filter kit. The 950 sounds like an option from what I have heard.
Best Wishes! Get out there and Ride.
Yeah, I have heard nothing but good about the 950's, wish they were a choice when I was lookin. Got a 1100 classic and flat out love it, but I still wonder with all I've saw and heard, how it would have been. Ride safe.
I went with the 1100 moving up from an old 920 virago. After all you can't go down in size. It has been a great bike and has taken myself and my girlfriend all over in all types of weather. Love the bike.
I havent ever ridden a cruiser and hadnt ridden any bike for 35 years, had never attended a class, so when i consider buying a bike a was concerned about size/weight. i took the msf class, got appropriate riding gear and safety gear, and went with the larger bike, i got a used, 2000 vstar 1100 custom and really enjoy riding it, i practice turns in parking lots and it has been a very reliable bike, i have ridden 2000 miles in the five months i have had the bike . i weigh 250 so the bike seems fair on power, it doesnt really jerk out from under you, is easy to turn, a great bike to ride and learn on. enjoy and ride safely
I started riding this year after not riding in a long time (30+ years). In addition to this long layover, I was unsure about how confident I would feel on a bike. Rather than getting a "big" bike, I purchased an '03 800cc Suzuki Intruder in mid-Summer. Within 3 months and almost daily riding, I felt confident most of the time except when on the Interstate where I was always looking for a bit more power and a more stable ride. I traded that bike in for a '08 Midnight Custom that only had approx 1000 mikes on it. I couldn't be happier with this new bike. I am, however, glad that I started with the smaller bike which was lighter and much easier to handle. If I had to do it again, I would follow the same path. If you start off with a larger bike like a 1100 right off, you may find it a bit tougher to handle due to its higher weight and addtional power.
If you are think about buying a new bike, the 950 would be a great option.
One thing that you should strongly consider, and I am sure almost all of the people who posted prior to me is that you should enroll in the MSF Basic Rider Course. I took it prior to buying the Intruder and it was worth every dollar and time spent. Completing the course will also give you a decent discount on your insurance in most, if not all, states.
The instructor in the course advised me not to buy a new or big bike since it was most likely that I would dump it at least once once I started riding. His logic was that it made no sense to damage a brand new bike since the chance of dumping was high. As it turned out, he was right. Ten minutes into my first ride, I tipped it doing a slow-speed u-turn in a driveway. More damage to my ego than the bike, but a lesson well learned. I would have been really bummed if I was riding a brand new bike and did this.
Good luck with whatever you purchase and ride safe!
My wife has a 650 custom and I ride a 950. My wife is petite and the 650 was her first bike. After only a few months, she wants something bigger. The problem is that when we trade things, it usually costs us more money. The smart move would be to start with the biggest bike you can afford. The 950 is worth the extra $ over the 650. Just my 2 cents worth.
I posted earlier but goda add in again about the little 650.
My brother flew in last summer to visit. And we are both avid riders but have never really ridden togeather (we live on opposite ends of the country). So while he was here he borrowed my mothers motorcycle (Wich is my old bike a 2000 V-Star 650 classic). We set off on one of my favorite loops (about 400kms). Speeds were a bit over the posted limits.
About mid trip i let my bro try my bike and i got back on the old 650 for the first longish ride in a good 3 years. And it was great i was able to keep up without issue it was allot of fun railing threw the twisties, and although it is noticibly smaller and down on power it never has felt too small for my 6' 295lbs frame or too slow it always had more on tap when cruiseing. Further more my brother felt fine at 6'2" but much lighter at 240lbs.
There really is nothin wrong with rideing the little 650cc bike. if you ego wants bigger well you wont be happy with the 650cc but in all honesty thats the fault of the rider not the bike. The 650 can go anywere you want to go and will easily exceded any speed limits i have seen.
Hell my mother did even longer rides ona 97 suzuki savage 650cc SINGLE cyl bike. even did a iron butt 1000MILES in 24hrs on that bike.
Oh and if your wonderin the top speed of the 650 classic v-star with a 6' 295 man on it is dead on 160km/hr (just apout 100mph). My 1100 is not much faster it just gets to that speed alot faster.
I too have posted on this thread, but, TinyBear my man, I totally identify with the point you are making. For local and short runs you just can't beat(to me) something light and just flat out fun to ride,Ol Sugar Bear is gettin a shade old to make the long runs(2000-3000+) on a light ride, that's where his Silverado comes in, and then all is well again. What you say is really something for folks to think about if long runs are not what they do.
I agree with all you blokes,950 would be ideal if it suits your size & you feel comfortable on it.
Here in oz the 950 has had great wraps,mid size bike,at a mid size price range & a bike a new or experience rider can get on & ride off into the sunset quite comfortably.
I myself tried out all cc ratings before finally purchasing my 950,WOW what a ride.
All that matters is that you enjoy what ever you may ride
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