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Discussion Starter #1
never gave too much thought to how fast or slow im reving my VS650 in each gear.

I normally cruise pretty easy, and hit 4th around 30mph and 5th around 45mph. Will let the bike slow to 40mph in 5th if Im riding a steady speed and dont need to speed up quickly.

Been reading a few threads on where VS rider shift up and down, and there is quite a bit of variation in how people are riding.

I pulled out my manual and holy crap!

V Star 650 2005 owners manual, page 5-4. Recommended shift points

1st to 2nd: 10mph (ok)
2nd to 3rd: 15mph (seems a bit low...)
3rd to 4th: 20mph

ok... the 2nd year I had my bike I stopped kicking down to 2nd gear on most intersection corners. If I kick down to 3rd then bike has enough pull through the turn, has that low rmp sound winding out to speed, and only need to shift twice to get to 5th.

I look down once in a while to see my speed in the corner - 20mph is not a fast turn on a clear intersection. Manual is saying I sould be in 4th on those corners?!

it gets better

4th to 5th: 25mph !

Im pretty sure I have never ridden down to 25mph in 5th gear, but the manual clearly states:

"Always shift gears at the recommended shift points".

Im going to give the mechanical engineers that designed my bike credit for knowing what they are doing, in which case - holy crap! I have been rev'ing the crap out of my bike, thinking I have been riding it pretty easy!

Missing from the manual are the engine red line specs, the enging RPM at any given gear and mph.

Planning on taking a ride today and will see if I have been totally off on this. I owned a 175 2cycle Yamaha enduro bike for 20 years, and you do ride those at pretty high rpms.

One thing that might put this into proper perspective: Does a V star engine fire both pistons on the same revolution, like a Harley?

Fire1 + 90° Fire2 + 630° Fire1....

or are the pistons firing on opposite revolutions:

Fire1 + 450° Fire2 + 270° Fire1...

because that would make the engine sound like its spinning twice as fast/slow based on the exhaust notes.

(BTW I know the pistons are not 90° apart, just using that for the timing example).

95% of the time when riding Im in 5th gear going over 40mph - so its not like Im red-lining the engine all the time - but according to the Yamaha engineers I have been shifting way too late.
 

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That's one of the grate Yamaha mystery's,, I think in 1948 it was translated from the original Japaneses and lost some thing? Your bike has a rev/limiter that will keep you from over revving.
I have watched a fully loaded 650 do 75-80 all day long.
 

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I don't own a 650 but have owned four bikes and multiple manual transmission cars and trucks and the manuals that I've read ALWAYS want you to shift way too early. The manuals are probably written for you to shift at just enough speed to not bog the engine to the point of stalling.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Took a 30 mile ride on back roads and the manual is correct, at least that you can shift into 5th gear at 25mph and then wind it up. The primary concern for bogging the engine would be the oil pump is not spinning fast enough to keep the pressure up. If the factory engineers say 25mph in 5th is good, then I wont worry about that.

From a stop it takes a couple seconds to get to 10mph then ShiftShiftShiftShift you are in 5th gear and going 30mph already.

It does not take much throttle at all to shift all the way to 5th as recommended in the manual. You almost cannot shift fast enough.

The bike feels completely different. Over the last 4 seasons I have been riding it harder and harder. Getting into 5th gear by 30mph feels like you have $1,000 in your back pocket and you are going to get a cheeseburger for lunch. It also makes the riding experience very different, you get the bike into 5th gear and leave it there, from 65 to 25 and back you do not 'have to' shift, or think about what gear you are in. You just cruise.

After thinking about this, if the two pistons are firing on the same revolution then the bike really is more like a thumper than a traditional 2 cylinder.

Im going to try riding it this way for a few weeks and see how it goes. Will also see if my gas mileage improves.

I have a couple manual transmission cars that have the up-shift light. When you are rev'ing the engine harder it waits till higher rpm before it tells you to upshift. Obviously if you need to take off fast, or on a hill you stay in the lower gears longer.

But in all I think I have been riding more like a sports bike. Riding a cruiser is a different mentality, and keeping the engine rpm's low and all that extra HP in check... it does have a certain feeling of class riding through town.... I could light this baby up any time I want... but Im not ..... for now...
 

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Those shift speeds are not correct. I know in the 1100 manual they have about the same numbers....then give downshift speeds of 15.5 MPH in ALL gears. Like I'm sure I'm going to be going 15.5 MPH in 5th to downshift to 4th? That should be a clue that something is not right with any of the shifting info in the manual. The 650 and 1100 are short stroke higher revving bikes and need to be ridden accordingly

Just use a little common sense and shift accordingly. Once you understand the machine, you'll understand when it needs to be shifted.
 

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KCW, I don't doubt that you can shift at those points but I think it comes down to if you want to or not. The 1300 which I own is also a short stroke engine and wants to be revved higher than the average cruiser. In that regards you are right that it wants to rev more sport bike like than your average V Twin cruiser.
 

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KCW, I don't doubt that you can shift at those points but I think it comes down to if you want to or not. The 1300 which I own is also a short stroke engine and wants to be revved higher than the average cruiser. In that regards you are right that it wants to rev more sport bike like than your average V Twin cruiser.
I second this. And don't worry... you cannot hurt this bike by reving it up; shift it just as you would any other bike. The rev limiter prevents one from messing things up, so just enjoy your bike and don't be afraid to rev the [email protected] out of it! It's tougher than you think!

Glen
 

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Discussion Starter #8
did some checking on the transmission drive ratios for the 650

in 5th gear the ratio of engine rpms to back wheel is 5.31 : 1

the service manual idle speed is listed at 1200 rpm

my math comes out, in 5th gear the engine is turning:

1750 rpms at 25mph
3500 rpms at 50mph
5260 rpms at 75mph

and the 7000 rpm rev limiter kicks in at 100 mph

I think if something is missing in the owners manual, it would be the words 'minimum shift speed' for each gear going up.

The manual does say to shift down at 15mph for all four gears. I would interpret that to mean when you are stopping.
In 5th gear you hit the 1200 idle speed at 17 mph, so you should not lug the bike slower than that when slowing to stop.
 

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I have not read the manual for the 650. Um, nor have I fully read the manual for the 950, (my bike). But I want to say, Yamahas like to rev!! Not only is that something that I've heard/read, but I tested it when I recently crossed the country.

I was traveling for days on 80 mph highway that everyone goes 90 on.... - And my bike did fine. Top of its game, yeah. But no engine proplems. Don't forsee any, nope, nope.

Change oil, keep engine tuned, and rev the !*×#! Out of it!
 

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Y'all are hitting on some things I have been thinking about. I will be riding and try to shift up at highway speeds. I keep thinking I should have another gear. I do not travel interstate much, I do not like pushing her hard for long periods of time. YamaMassGirl, you say you do interstate speeds for hours with no problems with your 950?
 

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Y'all are hitting on some things I have been thinking about. I will be riding and try to shift up at highway speeds. I keep thinking I should have another gear. I do not travel interstate much, I do not like pushing her hard for long periods of time. YamaMassGirl, you say you do interstate speeds for hours with no problems with your 950?
Many people say they wish the 950 had a 6th gear.

I told my riding companion that my bike sounds "angry" when I pushed it to 80 mph or more. But by the time we actually got to those long stretches of 80 mph roads out west, it seemed my bike got used to it. Haha.

Either it was my perception had changed, or something. My EFI did change. It seemed to be idling at a higher rpm when stopped, no matter the elevation.

By the time we were returning from the west coast my engine "sounded more comfortable" at those higher speeds.

So I don't know. My stock exhaust also was perceived as louder by my riding companion after about 3,000 - 4,000 miles of highway.

I definitely "broke my bike in" crossing the country. I now feel more comfortable getting in a traffic situation on 65 mph highways here in New England.

I've always been easy on my engines, but it's nice to know what it's capable of too.

So, there you have a long-winded answer. And I'm back to short shifting through town as I like. Gotta love that low down torque.
 

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Many people say they wish the 950 had a 6th gear.

I told my riding companion that my bike sounds "angry" when I pushed it to 80 mph or more. But by the time we actually got to those long stretches of 80 mph roads out west, it seemed my bike got used to it. Haha.

Either it was my perception had changed, or something. My EFI did change. It seemed to be idling at a higher rpm when stopped, no matter the elevation.

By the time we were returning from the west coast my engine "sounded more comfortable" at those higher speeds.

So I don't know. My stock exhaust also was perceived as louder by my riding companion after about 3,000 - 4,000 miles of highway.

I definitely "broke my bike in" crossing the country. I now feel more comfortable getting in a traffic situation on 65 mph highways here in New England.

I've always been easy on my engines, but it's nice to know what it's capable of too.

So, there you have a long-winded answer. And I'm back to short shifting through town as I like. Gotta love that low down torque.
I love the low end grunt that's for sure. It is a ton of fun keeping up with bigger CC bikes until 50ish. I have surprised a couple already.
 

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I'm recently back from an epic 6 day 2000+ mile loop, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, Reno, back home to SF. Lucy Belle ('04 VStar 650) was the smallest bike of 4 so I had to ride her hard. We jumped 5 out of 6 days including two 400+ mile days and a 500+ mile day and on our day off the gang and I took a couple hour tour up into the mountains of SLC, absolutely beautiful!

Fully loaded in both saddle bags, sissy bar suitcase and with extra all the thingz on her rear seat I pulled off hours of 90-100 mph stretches and topped out at 110+ on a bit of a downhill. Mostly I hung out at 90 - 95 mph. Every day the temperature was 80-90 degrees and we rode morning to dusk.

I was concerned at first about having Lucy rolled on full for only having touched full throttle a couple of times for less than 30 seconds each time. After the first few minutes full twist,... and then 1/2 hour,... hour and on and on I came to trust and understand I could push Miss Thang hard and put her away wet at the end of the day. Not that I intend to as that was a pretty crazy ride but there you have it. After the 1st push full on and there were several, Miss Belle certainly felt hot and loose but in a good way. It was as if she had just run a marathon and of course she had, and her lungs were open with just a bit of a soft pant at shut down.

The results?

Clean oil changed just before the trip looked a bit dirtier than her usual change if my eyes and imagination weren't deceiving me.

Yes, there were a couple of other thingz but not directly related to the engine such as front fork sprung a leak, rattled a screw out and so forth.

Mostly I'm gentle with Miss Lucy but I thought I'd mention the upper end too.

Meow.
 

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Yeah. Wow. Sounds like a good ride Luscious! Glad to know the 650 can hang with bigger bikes too. Yamaha engines are bullet proof.
If a 650 isn't hanging with bigger bikes then it's not being pushed hard enuff. Lol
 

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the whole idea of shifting is to always be in the low to middle range of the power band in any gear so if you need to speed out of a bad situation you can do it with out shifting, the low end of the power band on my 650 is 10 mph in first 20 in second 30 in 3rd 40 in 4th and 45 to 50 in fifth those points are closer to the low end of power band. to get to middle of the band raise the speed by at least 5 mph in each gear. don't be in to high a gear for engine speed or you won't be able to get out of the way of danger, the one thing i never liked on my 650 is at 70 mph your almost at the top of power power band with not much left to power out of danger, the power band on a 650 is like 3000 rpm to around 5500, with the peak around 4000 rpm it starts tapering off pretty quickly after 5500 and at 6000 there's nothing left
 

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Those shift points in the manual are ludicrous. Sure you can shift there but why would you want to? Your lugging the poor engine and making the. Ike seriously underperform. Let it rev up, it loves it.
For those worried about hurting it, I rode mine 20000 miles last year, mostly commuting at 75-85 mph on the interstate. The bike loves to wind out, you won't hurt it one bit.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
"......Sure you can shift there but why would you want to? Your lugging the poor engine ....."

well.. that is the point.

why would I want to putter through town on my vstar at 25mph with the engine calmly ticking over at 1800 RPM
going Brpp........Brpp.........Brpp........Brpp......... as I sit up, back straight, chin up 7.5° ?

Ever see a kid on a sport bike riding through town, at 40mph, in second gear, with the engine screaming at a steady 13,000 RPM all ....the.....way......down..........the .................street......?

does he really need to nearly redline his motor to hold 40mph?!

that why.

We can ride our cruiser bikes at the peak of HP or the peak of torque anytime we want
and we can also cruise calmly with the engine just ticking overs and show these kids some class.

to quote Shakespear:
"“Have more than you show,
Speak less than you know.”

(and "make more than you owe")

as for lugging the engine, Im pretty sure the shift points in the manual are there to spec out the min speed at which you can shift without lugging the engine. They are not the optimum acceleration rpm's they are the minimum speed in each gear.

which again, is the point of this thread - I never expected I could ride down to 25mph in 5th gear if I wanted to.

The local bike shop where I got all my riding gear had an event day, and I stopped in to see the new bikes, the gear on sale, they had a stunt rider doing stuff in the parking lot, free food.....

When one kid left on his sports bike he leaned forward, put on the front brake, and red lined his back tire all the way across the parking lot, smoking about $100 of tread off his back wheel, and impressing everyone within 100 yards of just how much an idiot he was.

When i left on my VS650, I put all my gear on, closed my visor, started my bike without touching the throttle

and proceeded to ride across the parking lot and out onto the street, at 1mph, dead steady, engine at idle speed, slipping the clutch just enough to keep the bike moving, in a manner worthy of a Fallen Warrior Funeral Motorcade.

Riding dead slow and rock steady straight without dragging your feet is also a learned skill :^)
 

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Ride like you stole it!

I have been riding my 650 Custom since 06, now have 54,000+ miles and she still runs like a stripped ass ape. ( I hear the stripped asses are the fastest of all apes--LOL)
I only use the clutch for stopping and starting, I have slip shifted motorcycles for 55 years with no problems.
I usually shift into 5th about 35, and she pulls great up to highway speeds.
I have run 80+ for over 3 hours at a time with ease.
I do my own maintenance Shell Rotella t6 Synthetic and Fram filters, 5,000 miles between oil changes, rear end every other oil change. Changed oil Thursday for trip today, only about 250 round trip.

I run regular unleaded but when I go highway trip I top off with PLUS as it runs slightly cooler than 89.
I change my filter every 15,000 just because, I use fram inline fuel filers, much less than Yamaha OEM filters, K&N intake air filter, clean every other oil change.
I have a spread sheet I designed and log EVERY maintenance done, date, miles, cost, where purchased and if available part number for the part, not including fuel.
When I go on road trips, I load her like picture shown below, plus my Dawg Fred rides everywhere with me.
having trouble posting pictures.
ThaOldMan & Fred

http://imageshack.com/a/img923/8837/0fZgTW.jpg
http://imageshack.com/a/img923/7221/RZRpzV.jpg
 
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