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In August I fulfilled a life long dream and bought my first road bike. A 2005 Vstar 1100 Classic. Previous owner had really dressed up. She was pretty with all the extras - tach, 2n1 pipes, BAK, ORK, mustang seats, every piece of chrome you can find was on it. I got it at a good price with 27K miles on it.

About a month after I got it, the starter clutch went out. I spent $400, got the Yamaha replacement parts and did the work myself. I enjoy turning wrenches, especially on "my bike". Took a while but I got it all repaired and back on the road with no problems.

I have been riding this bike every chance I could get - long weekend rides, commuting to work, trips to the store. I have loved being on this bike. Even purchased cold weather gear and was riding to work in the high-30s/low-40s.

On Thursday, December 8, I was on I40 heading into Raleigh, NC for work. Thank God, and I mean that sincerely, I was in the left lane. I looked down and noticed my speedometer was sitting on 0. I knew that was not right. I was starting to slow down and take a look when I heard and felt a "thunk!" The rear-end immediately locked up and started sliding. I was able to get it into the concrete median, hit the front brake without locking up. I slowed it down but wound up hitting the concrete barrier. The highway bar took most of the hit. I was uninjured, thankfully, and consider it a miracle as I was doing about 70MPH. I was able to get it towed to the local Yamaha dealer.

I suspected a middle drive failure that I have heard so much about. The local dealer confirmed that is the issue. The estimated cost is going to be around $3,500 to repair. That is what I paid for it. I don't have it and I am really questioning if I would sink that much into it if I did have it. I have looked through the manuals and been doing a lot of research to do this work to do myself. I am handy. But, tonight I have accepted that fact that this is WAY over my head. I do not feel comfortable and it is just too much.

I am absolutely crushed. Devastated. Unless someone on here knows someone, somewhere that can help repair this for less than a couple thousand I guess I am done and will try to sell it "as is" or salvage. I am so bummed and ABSOLUTELY PISSED at Yamaha. This middle drive and starter clutch problem appears to be very common but they won't address. Meanwhile I am still paying on a loan for bike I can't ride.

Oh, well, it was absolutely awesome the few months I got to be a motorcyclist. Back to the cage.

One a side note, as I stood on the side of I40 for 2 hours waiting on a tow, EVERY motorcyclist that came by with the exception of 2, stopped to check on me. The two that didn't stop, one came over with his hand up in the "What the??" gesture, I gave him the thumbs up and he went on. The other guy, literally cut across two lanes in heavy traffic, to get to me and I gave him the thumbs up and he went on. I will NEVER forget that. Total strangers checking on me. That will be returned by me.
 

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I am so sorry to hear that. I am glad that you are OK. - This might be a long shot, but is there anyway your insurance could cover the bike? I really don't know what else to suggest. It just doesn't seem right. That kind of failure should be covered somehow.
 

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Thank you. I have not thought about that but that is a good idea. The repairs are right up there with the value of the bike. I am going to call tomorrow just to see. I doubt it....but you never know.

They did with my Expedition.....Yes, two days before this I was T-boned in my car. Haven't been in a wreck EVER in my life. I've been driving 35 years and within 72 hours I trashed two vehicles. Just have to laugh I guess.

I will post what I find out.
 

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Thank you. I have not thought about that but that is a good idea. The repairs are right up there with the value of the bike. I am going to call tomorrow just to see. I doubt it....but you never know.

They did with my Expedition.....Yes, two days before this I was T-boned in my car. Haven't been in a wreck EVER in my life. I've been driving 35 years and within 72 hours I trashed two vehicles. Just have to laugh I guess.

I will post what I find out.
So you hit the concrete barrier when you wanted to stop for a quick break. When you got back on the bike it wouldn't move anymore so you called a tow truck.
Wink wink
 

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Yup...fixed mine for less than $50 and an afternoon of my time. That was 4-5 years ago and it's still going strong.....if not better than before. Just follow the link in the wKB that Nick left and fix it.
 

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Like others have said, glad you're alright. If you don't fix it, I'm with Yamamassgirl on the insurance claim. Since your bike was towed and you struck the concrete barrier, you should be able to make a claim. Just a suggestion, please keep us updated.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Sounds like you have my kind of luck. Sure glad yer ok, but ya can't let it go down like that. If you have any mechanical ability, and even if ya don't, you can fix it yourself. And like Nick said there are people here willing ta help out with any info you may need to get help get the job done. And for a fraction of the cost of a shop. I recommend ya get yerself a manual, if ya haven't already. and read up on it. After all, yer payin for the bike. It's yours to do with what ever you want. Why not try to fix it yourself. Ya can't hurt it any more than it is already, right? A little at a time. A little patience. Good luck and keep us updated with what ya decide to do.
 

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One thing that would concern me....of the hundred or so mid-shaft failures I've seen over the years....none have ever caused the rear wheel to lock up. The bikes have always kept moving and more than able to be ridden home...... if you could put up with the noise and possible damage of the shaft moving around a lot (speedo sensor etc).

There could also be other issues. It would be a good idea to make sure you check out the entire final drive before you make a decision on what to do.... Just an FYI.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thank you for posting that. I had totally forgotten about that. I remember seeing that article while back when I was perusing the knowledge base after getting my bike. The "preventive measure" was on my list of to dos that was obviously never done. An ounce of prevention, right?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
That is good to know. I am hopeful, well I was, that I could do this fix. I called the shop earlier as they still have my bike. I asked about the process and they said they had done it before, not recommended but would do it. However, for mine they said it was not a clean sheared off break. He said it was more extensive. So, I won't know until I get it home.



Yup...fixed mine for less than $50 and an afternoon of my time. That was 4-5 years ago and it's still going strong.....if not better than before. Just follow the link in the wKB that Nick left and fix it.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I am sorry you have this kind of luck too.

You are absolutely right and that is what I keep telling myself, that pfft, I can't make it any worse, right?

I do have the manuals, Clymer and Yamaha shop manual. I used them for the starter clutch replacement. I have went through them both a couple of times on this mid-drive replacement and it is really involved. Way more than anything I have ever done; of course so was the starter clutch. I keep reading about checking back lash, and rotational tolerances and I am thinking, can I really pull this off in my garage? But, like you said, not like I can make it worse. Lol.

That is my hope. I am going to ask around and run some ads. I really need an adviser. Just someone to help guide me through - which I will pay them for - that can maybe come over a Saturday morning or two and check behind me and guide me through the next steps. Let me do the "grunt work" which I can. I just need that safety net and someone to look it over before I hop back on it and go down the road again. I am hoping I can find someone. I agree, go slow, patience, a little time.





Sounds like you have my kind of luck. Sure glad yer ok, but ya can't let it go down like that. If you have any mechanical ability, and even if ya don't, you can fix it yourself. And like Nick said there are people here willing ta help out with any info you may need to get help get the job done. And for a fraction of the cost of a shop. I recommend ya get yerself a manual, if ya haven't already. and read up on it. After all, yer payin for the bike. It's yours to do with what ever you want. Why not try to fix it yourself. Ya can't hurt it any more than it is already, right? A little at a time. A little patience. Good luck and keep us updated with what ya decide to do.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thank you. Yes, I agree there might be, and sounds like there is more.

As I mentioned in a prior reply, the shop is saying the can't do the tap and bolt fix. There is more messed up than just that. It locked up. I mean it was locked. It's hard to see in the picture I attached, much more visible standing there, but where it was slding can be seen. There is a lot of loose "marble" stuff over there.

That's the other thing too. The bike actually rolled about another 10 feet or so passed. It was heading back into the road. I was able to forcefully back it up. But, it would not roll forward. When the tow truck got there we attached the cable to winch it up it was sliding. The operator was using skates, but then it started turning. I could feel it catch as I was on it, walking it up on the flat bed.

I am fearful, like the shop is saying and as you suspect, there is a lot more going on here.





One thing that would concern me....of the hundred or so mid-shaft failures I've seen over the years....none have ever caused the rear wheel to lock up. The bikes have always kept moving and more than able to be ridden home...... if you could put up with the noise and possible damage of the shaft moving around a lot (speedo sensor etc).

There could also be other issues. It would be a good idea to make sure you check out the entire final drive before you make a decision on what to do.... Just an FYI.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks all for the replies, sharing, information and encouragement. This, is why I like being a motorcyclist, it carries over from the road like those guys wanting to help me. Total strangers looking out for each other.

As I noted in some of the replies, shop is saying the damage is more extensive than the sheared mid drive shaft. I am going to go pick it up Saturday. It will be a little while after Christmas but I will see then.

I have contacted my insurance company to see what they say. As soon as I hear something I will post.

Again, thanks all.
 

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Sorry this happened to you and glad you were not hurt.

You have got nothing to loose by bringing the bike home and taking it apart to see what happened. There are lots of used parts on ebay and if you can change the starter clutch I would bet that you can do this too. Once you get through this you will be better than new.
 

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it's strange that when i tried find a used middle drive unit for you, all i could find were ones for the 650, the 650 ones weren't much money and there were plenty to be had, if you keep searching for a used one that's complete you should eventually find one, if i had an 1100 and knew about the shaft issue i would have removed the yoke nut put locktite on and maybe even staked it, like i know that 650s are prone to stripping out splines so i clean and grease mine every winter, if i find a complete unit i'll pm you with the details, unless you decided to part the bike out instead, i'm on disability so i know how it feels to not have the money for things you need, but with some patience and a bit of luck i always seem to manage, if you do find a used one you'll have to play around with various oem shims to get the right gear tooth pattern because you'll be using mismatched gears, it's really not all that hard to do
 

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You won't find used 1100 mid-shaft sets because it requires complete engine disassembly and the cases must be split to get to it. I'm sure the seller would much rather sell the entire motor than go through the trouble. These are also matched components so you would need both shafts and all bearings, seals, shims and etc to replace things. It's a huge job that would also require some speciality tools.

98% of the time the fix is cheap and easy, so there is a very small market for replacement mid-shafts. For a wrecker tearing down an 1100, it's probably not worth the time and effort to get to it since the demand for internal engine components is equally as small....they seem to last forever. I don't think I've ever seen an internal engine piece sell on ebay in the years I've been watching.
 
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