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Discussion Starter #1
About rod knock. Im still hunting for the right bike and attempting to sell my F6B. While I was poking around ye olde interwebs I ran across a couple of comments saying something along the lines of "a vstar's engine is only good for 40,000 miles, then it WILL develop a rod knock and be trash," and "i was at the yamakawsukinda dealer and they had 20 vstars in the back with rod knock problems."

Now, anyone can go onto a forum and spout whatever drivel they want to and I know this. I also know certain engines can be susceptible to a common given malady and that most, not all, engines can last a long time with proper use and care.

Is there any truth in this claim that v star engines are prone to rod knock? At any mileage? Obviously if someone is revving the holy life out of an engine from day one it is not going to live a full and happy life but is this a thing to be wary of?

Thanks!
 

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LoL!
Go to Consumer Reports website. THE MOST reliable motorcycles are vstar bikes, followed by Honda.

The only way to make our bikes knock is to ride them with no oil.

Testify brothers!
 

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KCW is 100 percent correct. Here's a few articles to substantiate his statements. Don't know where you were getting your information but it is incorrect.







 

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Dbmanthe, I don't think you have a thing to worry about. I can honestly say I have never heard of a V Star with a bottom end engine failure and there have been a lot of V Stars sold it is a very popular bike. When I bought mine a few years back the noises that I could hear the bike making worried me a little too. I have an 1100 Silverado and when your sitting behind the windshield it seems you can hear every noise the engine makes. It's an air cooled v twin it makes some noise. Thousands of miles later I can say with a big grin on my face that it is the best bike I have ever owned hands down. I know my bike and I love my bike and wouldn't part with it for nothing. I doubt that the dealership that said they had 20 in back with rod knock even cracked the engine cases to verify, probably just had bikes on the floor that they wanted to unload.
 

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some things are self contradictory and need no further investigation

if a guy claims:
"i was at the yamakawsukinda dealer and they had 20 vstars in the back with rod knock problems."
?! he went to a dealer and was TOLD they have 20 vstars with rod knock? Told by who, the guy trying to sell him a yamaha?
the owner of the business trying to bankrupt himself?

are these 20 vstar bikes on hand all waiting to be rebuilt, in which case they are getting 20 blown engines every.. month?!

did the dealer take in 20 bikes on trade in, knowing the engines were blown?... for what purpose?

it just makes no sense on the face of it.
 

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Is there any truth in this claim that v star engines are prone to rod knock? At any mileage?
Excellent question! I can't wait to hear the responses. I've only got 19k+ miles on my 2010 vstar 950, so that's why I'm interested in the answers.

For whatever it's worth, I put 15k miles on in the last 2 or 3 years and have been completely trouble and noise free and I have not heard any complaints about vstar rod knock anywhere.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks guys! I knew it was fishy but the fact I ran across multiple statements rambling about rod knock rattled my cage.
The language that was used made me doubt the validity of their claims too. You know, along the lines of if you ride a motorcycle then you will die in a horrible gas truck accident type claims.
It pays to talk to the people who know. Just gotta get rid of the Honda.

Then decide between 650 or 1100....
 

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other than the F6B that you said is really more bike than you want for riding solo, what are the other 3 bikes you mentioned previously that you have in your garage?

When I was looking for a second bike over the last few years I wished there was some place where I could rent or borrow or swap motorcycles for a few days or a week. I have relatives that have harleys, and a honda 750/4. It takes more than a few hour ride to get a real feel for a motorcycle. Usually riding a different bike just makes you uncomfortable for a while, because everything is just different enough that you feel like you dont know how to ride the thing.
 

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Both are good, dependable bikes. As has been said they are very reliable and you were fed a line of BS about engines failing after 40,000 miles. Mine's a 2000 with 30,000 on it and I wouldn't hesitate to ride it anywhere.

Which one you chose depends on how you use it. For commuting and two lane back roads, the 650 will perform just fine. If you want to get out on the highway, maybe take a passenger, then go for the 1100. It's still easy to handle in city traffic but can cruise along at 70 with a passenger and windshield and still have some in reserve. Yeah, you'll hear the tappets and other noises, but it's just normal for an air cooled v twin. I did a lot of research before I chose mine and I have absolutely no regrets as far as it being a bike I can jump on anytime and go wherever the wind takes me, and the confidence it will bring me back home.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
As far as the riding I want to do i like cruising the canyons, taking trips in the mountains. Sometimes the wind/ steepness/altitude impacts a bike hp fairly negatively so i was debating the 1100 but i also have a KLR650 and it does fine so the 650 should be just fine. I really like the way the fenders look on the classic. The 650 also has a windshield and the 1100 has a thing on the headlight bucket. It's partially malted. Looks like something hot was put on it. Rear fender too.

As far as the bikes in the garage, I have the KLR650, a 1995 DR350SE, and my girlfriend has a 2013 Honda Rebel. I'd like to get rid of the DR, and the F6B and pick up one of those 2 V Stars.
 

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you have a nice collection of bikes in your garage

I bought a new IT175 in '78 when they first came out. Had nothing but that enduro bike for most of my adult life, was never really interested in riding on the street, had too much fun riding thru the woods and jumping the bike 10 feet in the air and landing 60 feet downwind.

Your honda is essentially a stripped down version of a gold wing, right? The reason I got my Royal Star (1300 V4, water cooled) is its very much like the early goldwings. She is a bear, but once Im up over 20mph it rides and handles like a dream.

If you lived near me I would gladly let you borrow my 650 for a week. I have to warn you, once I got the Royal Star and put a 1000 miles on it, I really feel the difference on the 650 now. Ive had the 650 for 6 years now, Im really in tune with it, I can roll up to a stop sign at 1mph and creep it without putting my feet down, and take off again. I cannot do that with 'Ursa', not yet.

Compared to Ursa, the 650 feels more like a dirt bike to me now. Not that Im going off road or jumping it over school buses, but I can horse the 650 around, esp in traffic going slow, and in parking lots. With the Royal Star I have to be aware of things like nosing into a parking spot that is slightly down hill, it is a bear to push backwards with my feet - always looking for a pull-thru spot now.

Last I read you only put a few hundred miles on the Honda. If you get a 650 you will notice the difference. If you get an 1100, not so much.

Once last thing, the 650, 1100, Royal Star, and Road Star are all carb'd bikes... the Road Star was switched to fuel injection at some point. If you are really into the mountains, like the continental divide-passes kind of mountains, then you might want to get a fuel injected engine. It will compensate for the changes in air pressure, a bike with carbs will stumble... Im not sure if it leans out or runs rich... I think you have to advance the timing to run correctly in thin air... but a fuel injected engine will keep going without skipping a beat.

And to be fair, only Harley Davidson and BMW make fully closed loop fuel injection systems. If you are going to be riding up Pikes Peak 15,000 feet, they would be better machines for that kind of riding.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks KCW! I do like my collection for the most part.

Im not entirely sure about getting rid of the DR. It's a lot of fun in the dirt. The main issue(my issue) is that I live too far from the dirt. The stock tank is small enough that when i ride to the dirt i can only ride about 40 miles on the dirt before it's time to head back. So i bought a tank that gives me 350 miles of range.
The KLR isn't much different. Heavier, slower, but on the interstate it's light years ahead. Which I don't like riding anyway but it's a necessary evil.
As far as the altitude people have been using carbureted conveyences for years and the stock lean jetting usually brings the afr closer to ideal than in other places. It's always blown out of proportion on forums.
I'm not worried about not having the horsepower. I'm no speed demon, I lightweightish(170lbs), pack light.
The 650 is perfect and includes a windshield, I really dig the 1100 but it has a couple blemishes but more power
Just gotta figure out which way to go
 

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I would not say the issues with carb'd bikes thru mountain passes is exaggerated.

In 1982 I took a 74 VW superbeetle to Colorado. We made it up thru Independence pass ok (12,000 ft). It was a slow road, mostly straight. When we went up Pikes Peak (14k feet) the last few miles of road the car was in 1st gear, just putting along at 10mph, and if it was 16k feet I dont think it would have made it. I could have stopped 3/4 way up and adjusted the timing to make it run better, but the air is thin, and with an air cooled engine it runs hotter in the thin air.

On modern carb bikes with electronic ignition, there is no way to adjust the timing.

Riders that live in that part of the country say the difference between carbs and FI is noticeable.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Used to live in Winter Park and Berthoud pass IS the continental divide. Would be over that and the Eisenhower tunnel, which also the continental divide, quite often. Im not saying there's no difference. EFI is clearly better, more efficient, cleaner, easier.
I just find that there's a LOT of people who don't understand the effects of altitude and how to deal with it.
You're absolutely correct that the thinner air doesn't burn the mixture as well since there's less air and that it doesn't cool as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
KCW, I was thinking about my last post and I want to clarify that I wasn't trying to be insulting towards you or anyone else on this forum.
I frequent many different kinds of forums and meant that the statements in the last post as a generalization, and actually this entire thread is about the misinformation that can easily be found on forums..
I apologize if it sounded like i was putting you or anyone down.
 

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^ I didnt catch any sense of a squabble at all in any of your posts.

When I drove across the divide back in the early 80s, I observed after driving thru Iowa and Nebraska and eastern Colorado, as flat as can be, we did not see any cars broken down on the side of the road.

Then as we started the climb up to Denver, and past that to Aspen on the interstate, we reached a point where a car or truck was on the shoulder of the road every few miles. Driving across the flat plains only pulls about 8HP from a car engine, but when you hit the mountains a car with a smaller engine is close to holding the pedal to the floor to maintain 55mph in 4th gear.

None of that is due to the altitude, its just a big long climb for many miles.

So if a car gets past that, when they do reach altitude and the thin air, most people do not understand the air/fuel ratio is changing, and the timing is not where it wants to be. So that last few thousand feet of altitude to the pass is not dramatically different if they had their foot to the floor for the last 20 miles.

Its when you get up around 15k feet where the thin air really kicks in on a vehicle with carbs. When you drop down to 2nd, and then 1st, and the pedal is to the floor, and the engine is putt putt putt just hanging in there, its something you will never forget.

Also its not just the car, at the top of Pikes Peak you will get altitude sickness within about an hour. I understood what I was experiencing, and it was interesting watching people walk around in a daze, like they were all getting drunk and did not know why.

Personally I prefer bikes with carbs, because if they are clean there is very little that can happen to a carb to leave you stranded a thousand miles from home. But a fuel injected engine has about 20 components & the computerized controller, that all have to work, or the engine just quits, or drops into limp-home mode. Those sensors can fail without warning, and unless you have an OBD scanner with you, you wont know which one to replace.

A bike with carbs fits my desire for a vehicle that is as simple as possible. That maps to reliability.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Me too as far as carbs go. Fewer parts and they're more understood by the average person. Broken wire or dirty sensor can too easily muck up electronics.
Your comment about people acting drunk brought up a funny memory for me. When I worked at Winter Park I would have to be at the very top on occasion. (12,060 ft) and yes the altitude would definitely have a funny effect on people. Sometimes I would sit with the lift operator and just watch them because quite frequently they wouldn't know what is going on!
Was looking around for 1100s and found quite a bit more than I was expecting. It takes the pressure off to get a specific bike, just knowing how many there are
 

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I dont know about your area, but where I live a used older motorcycle in good condition with good tires, with 10 to 20k miles, is about $3000. It does not matter if its a 650 or 1100, 1300 royal star or 1600/1700 road star. It seems the price drops off quickly from new, and after several years they all bottom out around $3k. At least here in Upstate NY.

To have a good running bike it needs tires and brakes and lights and shocks, a reasonable maintenance record history, it has to pass inspection here, and the drive train has to run. I guess no one is willing to let go of a good motorcycle for less than that. It does not matter either if its a naked bike, or has a windshield, saddle bags, passenger back rest... A motorcycle is a motorcycle is a motorcycle....

Not surprisingly, its also true for smaller cars.

Once they put the caveat "Needs TLC" in the ad, or someone did a cafe racer / bobber / "bopper?!" number on it, the price can fall down to $500. Then you get a basket case.
 
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