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Discussion Starter #1
Hello Everyone,

I'm just looking for some help on my decision on a first bike. As the title says, my decision is between a 2007 V-Star 1100 Custom and a 2009 V-Star 1300. For the most part, I've been told that either would be good for a first bike. With regards to power, I've also been told by a Yamaha sales person that the 1100 would still be strong enough for my 290lb frame to take on a trip from San Jose to Los Angeles.

On the other hand, I've also been advised to pick the 1300 over the 1100 since it's a much older engine technology that's been around since the mid-90's. Another advantage the 1300 has is liquid cooling, fuel injection and a belt drive. And with more power (I know it's only 200cc's more), I'll have room to grow into this bike.

Lastly, I've been told by another sales person that the V-Star 1100's gearing wasn't ideal especially for the open road. I'd like to hear comments on this as well.

Anyway, if you could give me pros or cons on either bike or even your opinion on which would be the better choice, please let me know. I'm pretty torn and would like as much help as I can get.

Thanks in advance for your feedback and help!
 

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Hard choices

Kuyiwal,

There are just a bunch of satisfied 1100 V Star owners out there. I had one for a year put 12,000 miles on it maybe half that on the Interstates. Other than a lot of vibration, mostly just seen in the mirrors above about 70 MPH no complaints. I would not say it's gearing is wrong. I like that traditional look. It is an old design with carburetors. But a good design just the same. Reliable and with adequate power. I made several 500 and 600 mile days. The proven design has been around a while lots of accessories, mod's and advise would be available. With your near 300 lbs you would still get 100 MPH if you wanted to. I think the weight rating of the bike is near 450 lbs. I did however trade up to a Liner after 12,000 miles and one year.

Never rode a 1300 V Star so some of this is just hear say and reading. The 200 cc's doesn't tell the whole story. Since it is a more modern design, the weight is lower. The belt drive gets a small percentage more of the power to the road. The fuel injection gets a small percentage more power from the engine. I have never owned a water cooled bike so can't say much about that. But, air cooling is not a problem. If you ride two up or a lot of highway riding I suspect you would like the extra power. I don't believe the weight rating is much different on either bike and both are pretty conservative ratings. I see people over that often.

I would lean toward the larger bike but you won't be sorry either way. Buy what you want and what you can afford. Maybe consider most people that advise are biased. Either their own choice or profit. I agree either would be a good first bike and either could be around for a long time. But, many people trade up after a while from what ever their first bike is.

Dave
 

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Lastly, I've been told by another sales person that the V-Star 1100's gearing wasn't ideal especially for the open road. I'd like to hear comments on this as well.
that's retarded. my apologies to any retards. i don't have personal experience on either of these models, but a brand new 1100 should perform as well on the highway as any other production model bike by yamaha. what does that even mean, 'open road'? it should have more than enough power for your size to go anywhere you want, as long as the road is still 'open'.

if this is your first bike, i would recommend the 1300. more power, belt drive, fuel injection, all advantages over the 1100, in my opinion. i think you'll have less to have to 'deal with' or maintain on the 1300.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks LinerDave and Bevo! Your opinions are much appreciated. By the way, this weekend, I went to the dealership again and this time, I revisited the Stryker. It's certainly different from the V-Stars as far as styling is concerned but after sitting on it again, I was suprised at how comfortable it was and how well it fit me. In fact, of all the bikes I've showed my girlfriend, she liked the Stryker the most. With that said, it has definitely put the Stryker on my list of possible first bikes.

If you, or anyone else for that matter, have any thoughts about the Stryker, I'd like to hear them.

Thanks again, cheers!
 

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What you like and can afford.

The Stryker is defiantly a really great looking bike. If you are going to have a passenger you might consider letting her sit on it with you. To make my bike comfortable for the wife I added , back rest, passenger floor boards, and a much more comfortable passenger seat. Without floor boards passengers tend to burn boots on the exhaust. Without a backrest some have fallen off the back on hard acceleration. Stock passengers seats tend to be narrow and thin. No doubt some changes will be necessary no mater which bike you get. Even though it is not as striking a bike the V Star might be or have stuff to make more comfortable for the passenger.

But, buy what you like and if will be fine with me. Don't rule out a Liner. Big bike for a first bike, 750 lbs dry but with the low center of balance not as hard to ride as you might think. The over 100 ft lbs of torque at the wheel could get you in trouble and the stock passenger seat stinks. But, I really like my Liner. In the long run you will be happy with any of the bikes you talked about. The used 1100 might be a good start that you could get most of your money back if you decided to move up. You might be less upset if you scratched it.

Dave
 

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I ride a 1300 and it's all i need.

Been riding it since 07 when I got back into riding after a 30 yr hiatus

I can keep up with the bigger displacements with ease even when its 2 up riding with my wife.

The Stryker is a totally different animal from the 1300 in looks and style. It seems to be Yammies answer to Hondas' Fury. It may be a great bike for just the looks

If you're gonna do a lot of 2 up riding definitely look at the 1300 tourer

As always when this question is posed.. go with what you feel comfortable and can afford
 

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Get the biggest, meanest, prettiest and most comfortable bike you can afford. You will always be happy, that way. If you buy an 1100 you will urn for a bigger bike, especially if you do long trips.
I ride an 1100 Silverado and I love it. I go about 250lbs. I wish I had the cash to buy a Stryker, just for the looks.
 

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That is a tough ? when you ask about a Star motorcycle.In my opinion the whole Star line are awsome bikes from the 250 through the Liner models.That sales guy didn't know his arse from a hole in the ground.Yamaha made these bikes to ride on city streets to the hiways and through the twisty mountain roads.Any model will give you a big smile and the need for more.As picking between the 2 bike is tough. I my self would go for the newer technology but on the other hand if your in to customizing then the 1100 makes a great project.Sorry not much help if I had the money and the place to keep them I would have 1 of every model.
 

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The 1300 is a great bike. It is a heavy bike and I would definately recommend you take an MSF course if you have not. I rode a Suzuki Volusia 800 with my 300+ lbs and never had a bit of trouble. Granted it was not the fastest bike on the road, but I could run 70 on the slab all day long and did several trips including a 1800 mile trip to Arkansas and back on it.

All I am saying is get a bike that is comfortable to you and don't worry about the power. It will be there.
 

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In the hopes of adding to the confusion, here's a few more thoughts on the matter. I have an '07 1100 Classic and I can give you some specific feedback on that model. I've not rode a 1300 but I'm sure it's a great bike.

1) On the gearing issue I've heard that before and there's some truth to it. The 1100 has a wide power band and it's turning fairly high rpms at 70 mph. If someone is used to a Harley or a Roadstar the 1100 feels like it's rapping-out on the freeway. If you want to pass somebody, however, you turn the throttle and it still has plenty of power up to about 85 mph. If I was going to ride the Arizona freeways all day in the summer time at 85 mph I would probably choose something other than the 1100. Most of my riding is at about 60 to 65 so this isn't an issue for me.

2) The engine on the 1100 is quite a bit different than the 1300. The 1100 is a dual crankpin design vs. the 1300 which is a single crankpin (like a Harley). The dual crankpin has some mechanical advantages and it's easier to make the engine run smoother at high rpm. Everybody wants their V-twin to be just like a Harley so the dual crankpin design has largely been abandoned. Personally I prefer the design of the 1100 because it lends itself be an inherently better balanced engine.

3) The other major difference between the 1100 and 1300 engines is the power curve. The 1100 has the incredible characteristic of developing nearly full torque at 2200 rpm. Then it maintains full torque until 5000 rpm where it starts to drop off. The 1300 has a power curve that develops torque more gradually in the rpm band. This means that at low rpm the difference in performance you feel will be less than you might think. The Roadstar is an extreme example of a high torque engine. It develops nearly full torque at under 2000 rpm and then drops off at 3000 rpm. The riding experience on a Roadstar is quite a bit different than an 1100 and I would guess very different than a 1300.

4) One question you should ask yourself is if you plan to customize your bike with a bunch of bells and whistles. The 1100 was one of the most popular bikes ever made and the accessories are very available. There's plenty of stuff for the 1300 but people have done everything conceivable to the 1100 and there's just more stuff out there, particularly used stuff on ebay. When I went to add aftermarket pipes to my 1100 the choice was almost ridiculous.

5) It's been said in various ways above but pride of ownership is a huge thing with a motorcycle. If you connect emotionally with a certain model the details are really not going to matter that much. If you look at a certain bike and just lust over it then go with that bike. If you don't you will always be thinking, "Damn, I wish I would have bought that other bike." The 1100 did that for me but some guys like blonds and some like brunettes.

It's interesting that some of the other posters have moved up from an 1100 to a 'liner. I figure I'll keep my 1100 for a couple more years and then hit the big time with a Roadliner. I couldn't afford it first time around but I just love the looks of that bike and the fact that it 's one of the best handling cruisers is icing on the cake.

 

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I recomend the 950T, I know it's not on your list but it's got all the power you'll need. I own one and I know.;)
 

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I got my 1100 in june of 2011 and i would say go with the biggest bike you can get that appeals to you. you will be able to handle any cruiser pretty quickly so engine size isn't a big factor is controlling it.
Just my thoughts on it anyways.
 

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Never rode a 1300...Before I got my 1100 I was looking at them...Theres alot of great deals out there on 07/08 leftovers...Bikes that are pretty much brand new with 0 miles...The one I was looking at was selling for 7k...The afternoon I went to go look at it and potentially buy it, a guy came in that morning and bought it, lol.

For me the 1100 is just right. Plenty of power, I don't do too much thruway/highway riding, but never had a problem merging, or cruising at 65 mph..I am 6'2 and 190 and am just fine on it.

I highly recommend doing the MSF course..Before I got my Vstar, and before I took the course, I had a Sportster 883 Low...I was at about my limits with it, and the sportster is quite a bit smaller bike...After the MSF course, when i first got my Vstar I had 0 problems handling it...And they also teach you alot of stuff you won't just pick up on..
 

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Yea min wage here is considered 7.25 with many places not offering 40 hours a week if the pay is that low.

Your min wage is 41,000 USA min wage with a 40 hour a week job is 16,240. So i would say that plays a big roll in things like that.
 

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Hello Everyone,

I'm just looking for some help on my decision on a first bike. As the title says, my decision is between a 2007 V-Star 1100 Custom and a 2009 V-Star 1300. For the most part, I've been told that either would be good for a first bike. With regards to power, I've also been told by a Yamaha sales person that the 1100 would still be strong enough for my 290lb frame to take on a trip from San Jose to Los Angeles.

On the other hand, I've also been advised to pick the 1300 over the 1100 since it's a much older engine technology that's been around since the mid-90's. Another advantage the 1300 has is liquid cooling, fuel injection and a belt drive. And with more power (I know it's only 200cc's more), I'll have room to grow into this bike.

Lastly, I've been told by another sales person that the V-Star 1100's gearing wasn't ideal especially for the open road. I'd like to hear comments on this as well.

Anyway, if you could give me pros or cons on either bike or even your opinion on which would be the better choice, please let me know. I'm pretty torn and would like as much help as I can get.

Thanks in advance for your feedback and help!
what bike did you get?

I went through the same question.
My view 1100 has carburetor, drive shaft, air cooled. Older design has been out there for years and a good bike, but dated design. The 1100 has been dropped from the lineup in 2012.

So I went with the 1300, fuel injected, belt drive and water cooled. I got a 2009 mode.l I call it Goldilocks not to big not to small but just right. Feels solid under me and it's balanced well. Easy to ride and maneuver in traffic and has enough punch on the highway. Plus the oil filter looks easy to change.
 
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