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Discussion Starter #1
Can someone tell me why does Yamaha no longer make the Star models anymore? I see them til 2017. Went to a Yamaha dealership and all they had were Bolts. Were they not selling well so they dropped the line?


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It's a combination of things, but basically, no they were no longer selling like they used to. Sad but true. My theory why is two fold: First, the market has shifted and riders today are moving away from cruisers. Adventure touring bikes are now the next big thing. Secondly, VStars are incredibly reliable and have styling that is timeless. They haven't changed much since they first appeared in '98 or '99. So why would you trade in your 10 year old VStar for a new one that is almost the same bike when there's nothing wrong with the old one? I'm sure a marketing and economics professional would give a much more comprehensive explanation, but I believe that's the gist of it.

As for my trusty old 1100, Yamaha offers nothing now that would entice me to even consider trading her in on a new one.
 

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NortherRider explained it well. Here's a good read that goes into a little more detail.

https://www.rideapart.com/articles/247352/say-goodbye-to-star-motorcycles/

Those of us here still think the Vstar is one of the best cruiser available today, even used.

Here another interesting read from Consumer Reports to validate that the Vstar was well made and had very few issues



Yamaha, Suzuki, Honda and Kawasaki are among the more reliable motorcycle brands. Conversely, Triumph, Ducati, BMW and Can-Am are among the more repair-prone brands. That's what we found based on the feedback of more than 11,000 subscribers reporting on over 12,300 motorcycles purchased new between 2008 and 2014. The graph shows the percentage of motorcycles from each brand that we predict will need a repair by the fourth year of ownership. Our statistical model estimates failure rates for 4-year-old motorcycles not covered by a service contract and adjusts for mileage driven over a 12-month period. The mean annual mileage is around 3,800 among all motorcycles included in this analysis. Differences of fewer than 10 points between brands are not meaningful. Note that models within a brand may vary, and design or manufacture changes may affect future reliability. Still, choosing a brand with a good repair estimate can improve your odds of getting a reliable motorcycle.

Brand
Repairs or Serious Problems
Motorcycles

Yamaha/Star
11%
Suzuki
12%
Honda
12%
Kawasaki
15%
Victory
17%
Harley-Davidson
26%
Triumph
29%
Ducati
33%
BMW
40%
Can-Am
42%
 

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The last year for US sales for the Vstar was 2016 but in other markets (Canada) the sales continued till 2018.

 

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I'm an old guy and started riding in the 60's. Harleys were very rare and the only one I saw belonged to a guy I knew. It was an old Harley with a stick shift. Speed was not something we wanted in those days. The 2 stroke bikes were faster but they broke down a lot more often. Now, I see that people want speed and more CCs. I see people who are happy having a bike with 1900 cc engines. That's more than a lot of cars. I had a Toyota station wagon with 4 wheel drive and the motor was only 1300 cc. I wish I wasn't so hard on it because I would love to have it again. In the 60's, big bikes had 650 cc engines. I remember my 1969 Triumph very well. I rode all over the province of Quebec with it. I did not even have a car then. I didn't feel that it lacked speed or strength. Seats on the bikes were high in those days. I could not flat foot on each side of the bike like I can on my V-Star now. I don't know of any highways here in Canada that allow a person to drive faster than 70 mph. Just about any bike can reach that speed. Big engines are so popular and so much in demand that the companies charge more for such bikes. I can't see why. Making a larger motor does not cost very much more except for the cost of the metal. All the parts are the same except a bit bigger. So it goes to show that the motorcycle companies make more profit by making larger engines. Yamaha is going to regret eliminating their cruisers. I may not live to see it. Today's bikes are not made for 2 up riding and hauling baggage. Harley is going to win the race after all.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'm an old guy and started riding in the 60's. Harleys were very rare and the only one I saw belonged to a guy I knew. It was an old Harley with a stick shift. Speed was not something we wanted in those days. The 2 stroke bikes were faster but they broke down a lot more often. Now, I see that people want speed and more CCs. I see people who are happy having a bike with 1900 cc engines. That's more than a lot of cars. I had a Toyota station wagon with 4 wheel drive and the motor was only 1300 cc. I wish I wasn't so hard on it because I would love to have it again. In the 60's, big bikes had 650 cc engines. I remember my 1969 Triumph very well. I rode all over the province of Quebec with it. I did not even have a car then. I didn't feel that it lacked speed or strength. Seats on the bikes were high in those days. I could not flat foot on each side of the bike like I can on my V-Star now. I don't know of any highways here in Canada that allow a person to drive faster than 70 mph. Just about any bike can reach that speed. Big engines are so popular and so much in demand that the companies charge more for such bikes. I can't see why. Making a larger motor does not cost very much more except for the cost of the metal. All the parts are the same except a bit bigger. So it goes to show that the motorcycle companies make more profit by making larger engines. Yamaha is going to regret eliminating their cruisers. I may not live to see it. Today's bikes are not made for 2 up riding and hauling baggage. Harley is going to win the race after all.
That may be true but I hope not - I'm a 48 year old guy and the price of the Harley's kinda has me like ummm no thanks. I love the history of the Harleys - I watched their documentary and it was fascinating. I have to admit I got me attracted to Harleys. But when you look at the price and the reliability and the cost of the upkeep has me like ummm no thanks. So what is basically being said is that the Yamaha V Star made their stuff so good they don't sell as well yearly so as result their sales decline so they cancel it. I have been looking around knowing many V Stars are out there for sale - I know their reliability - but the concern for me is how well did their owner keep up with the upkeep. And I agree - Im not looking for speed - but merely reliability and what can literally make it easy for me to move from point A to point B and not struggle - especially on the highways.
 

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The issue buying any used bike is not necessarily the maintenance question. If you get a bike with about 20k miles on it regardless of age you are only talking about a few oil changes that might not have been on time. The tires will properly be old and need replaced. The biggest maintenance issue is a bike sitting with fuel in it. If it's been any length of time at all you are going to have to go thru the entire fuel system. Search this site and you will see many questions every spring about people's bike not running right. 9 out of 10 times it's a fuel issue. Any bike you might buy make sure and look inside gas tank. If it has rust, walk away unless you are willing to deal with an entire fuel system cleaning. Smell the gas, is it fresh? You will know by smell if it's not. There are other item like brake fluid and air filter but these are easy. Not true 100% of the time but if you want to know if a bike has been sitting for a long time check bottom of bike for cobwebs and rust. Most people will not clean the under side of bike to sell it, only what can easily be seen. All this goes for any bike. I can tell you that many here have bought 8 to 10 year old bike, bring all maintenance items up to date and drive them for years without issues. Good luck on your search.
 

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Nothing wrong with buying used and like Les said, there are tell tale signs if it's been looked after. I bought mine in 2016 with 16,000 miles on it (it's a 2000 1100 Classic). At the time I didn't know a whole lot about buying a used bike, but I'd looked at a couple that were less money and I stayed away. One was hard to start and I remember the owner giving it a lot of throttle to get it running. I didn't know about the starter clutch issues then and I probably dodged a bullet not getting that one.

When I went to see the one I bought I could tell that it had been cared for and in talking to the (second) owner I could see he was very meticulous about his house, garage, his cars, and his motorcycle. Since then I've about doubled the mileage and I've continued looking after it with regular maintenance and proper winter storage. Other than the rectifier going and frying my battery the first spring I rode it, it has never given me any problems. Maybe I just got lucky and found a good one, but it pays to be patient and shop around. Yamaha sold a pile of Stars and there are still plenty out there to choose from.
 

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the upkeep is easy: if they dont have their maintenance records written in the owners manual, or they dont have shop records, then as far as you are concerned, it was NEVER done.

there are three easy ways to ruin a motorcycle:

1. let it run out of oil and keep riding
2. never change the oil or filter
3. rev it up near the red line, then kick it down a gear and let the clutch out. Usually the pistons mash the valves.

the less destructive thing people do is store the bike without a fuel stabilizer, then your gas tank and carbs are full of goop and must be cleaned, or store the bike with and empty tank, that then turns into rust.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
the upkeep is easy: if they dont have their maintenance records written in the owners manual, or they dont have shop records, then as far as you are concerned, it was NEVER done.

there are three easy ways to ruin a motorcycle:

1. let it run out of oil and keep riding
2. never change the oil or filter
3. rev it up near the red line, then kick it down a gear and let the clutch out. Usually the pistons mash the valves.

the less destructive thing people do is store the bike without a fuel stabilizer, then your gas tank and carbs are full of goop and must be cleaned, or store the bike with and empty tank, that then turns into rust.
Yes that is why with the people I have been talking to - I inquire when was the last time the bike was ridden, did they upkeep with their bike. Were they the first owner or ? Was it garage kept - just to get an idea of what kind of condition the bike might be. With Houston being so large and the bikes are all over place - to save a trip driving to look at it.
 

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personally the golden motorcycle for me is one that was purchased new and is still 100% stock, esp the exhaust, intake pods and filters, and the engine jets or fuel injection mapping.

If someone knows what they are doing its possible to put after market exhaust, low restriction air filter, and then adjust the jets and PMscrews, or remap the fuel injection, and have a bike with more HP. If they dont know what they are doing they can easily screw up the engine and never get it running right, run the engine lean and burn the valves and piston crowns, or run it rich and carbon up the engine to where the compression is 12:1 and its pinging on hi test fuel.

I think the Vstar bikes are perfect the way they were designed. A 650 is 40HP, compared to 30HP for a Harley Sportster 883. If I want more HP I will get bigger engine Vstar (I did, Royal Star is 73HP stock and screams).

I would rather have a bike from a guy who knows nothing about engines except filters oil and spark plugs, than to buy one that someone FUBARed and now is dumping it because it runs like crap on a stick.

BTW, keeping a bike in a garage makes a big difference. If the bike is kept outdoors, even with a cover, every night the dew will soak the frame and engine as if it has been drizzling all night. A bike that is kept in a closed garage or walk in basement will stay dry everynight. If you walk in the grass in the morning and your feet get wet, you cannot keep a vehicle outside.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for that insight! So keyword stay away from folks who don’t tinker with their bikes. :)


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^ I know you meant that the other way

stay away from people that dont maintain their bike

stay away from people that think they can modify the engine better than the engineers who designed it. Some can, many cannot. Not worth the risk.

The engineers at Yamaha have proven they know what they are doing, by the result: incredibly reliable motorcycles.
 

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One of the things I love about Star bikes is we will be able to find good used bikes for decades.
Right on Yamaha Pat. I haven't bought a new bike since 1970 as a dumb kid. The low mileage deals out there are incredible.
 

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the only articles i could find is that Yamaha has now established its brand name with production motorcycles enough to not need the Star brand to continue anymore, but i don't care what name they are called nor do i think the average consumer cares. what's important is they decided to stop selling cruisers to the American market and no one can give insight into that. this was the closest thing i found:

https://www.rideapart.com/articles/247352/say-goodbye-to-star-motorcycles/
 

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I'm an old guy and started riding in the 60's. Harleys were very rare and the only one I saw belonged to a guy I knew. It was an old Harley with a stick shift. Speed was not something we wanted in those days. The 2 stroke bikes were faster but they broke down a lot more often. Now, I see that people want speed and more CCs. I see people who are happy having a bike with 1900 cc engines. That's more than a lot of cars. I had a Toyota station wagon with 4 wheel drive and the motor was only 1300 cc. I wish I wasn't so hard on it because I would love to have it again. In the 60's, big bikes had 650 cc engines. I remember my 1969 Triumph very well. I rode all over the province of Quebec with it. I did not even have a car then. I didn't feel that it lacked speed or strength. Seats on the bikes were high in those days. I could not flat foot on each side of the bike like I can on my V-Star now. I don't know of any highways here in Canada that allow a person to drive faster than 70 mph. Just about any bike can reach that speed. Big engines are so popular and so much in demand that the companies charge more for such bikes. I can't see why. Making a larger motor does not cost very much more except for the cost of the metal. All the parts are the same except a bit bigger. So it goes to show that the motorcycle companies make more profit by making larger engines. Yamaha is going to regret eliminating their cruisers. I may not live to see it. Today's bikes are not made for 2 up riding and hauling baggage. Harley is going to win the race after all.
I agree with your statement EXCEPT the last 2 sentences. I can tell you for a fact that the SVTC was specifically made for 2 up cross country touring. Honda went more of the Sport Touring route with their new Model. My best friend had an 09 Ultra Classic all dressed out YET when he talks about going on a SERIOUS trip with me, he’s buying a 2007 or later Goldwing.
 

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The simple answer to the original question is: Yamaha could not make enough money selling cruiser bikes to keep the line in production.

The more interesting question is: Why couldnt yamaha make enough money selling THE MOST RELIABLE cruiser bikes on the market for almost 20 years?

I think the answer is that humans are primarily emotional beings. We do things because of how it will make us feel, and for many people the cultural and family-history attachment to Harley bikes is the primary driving (emotional) factor.

Lets be honest here: most people do not ride motorcycles, and most people who own motorcycles do not ride them very much.

Having a motorcycle is a thing.
Riding it often and everywhere is a separate thing.

you can have a motorcycle in your garage that you ride twice a year, a $500 leather jacket and boots, and look in the mirror and tell yourself "Im a motorcycle guy!"
 

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Another thing also to consider is that many of the V Stars were considered "beginner cruisers" (650,1100,950,1300)

Now the Road Stars, and the bigger bikes weren't beginner bikes, but they suffered from the price is too much for a "Metric" V twin syndrome.

Also the resale was horrible which makes them great in the used market because how cheap you can pick them up at. But that killed new sales. No one would by a new one because you could get a slightly used one cheap.

Many will say they don't care about re-sale. But here is where it kills companies. Products that take huge depreciation losses hurt because people are more likely to buy used units at huge discounts than new higher priced versions. When re-sale is higher, it is easier to by the "new" bike because the slightly higher price nets you warranty and new, etc.

Also margins weren't very good. Metric V Twins had to be sold cheap to get people in to them. Yamaha found that out with the SVTC series. They priced them in the Harley/Indian range and had terrible sales and now that bike may be permanently gone as well.
 
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