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Discussion Starter #1
I'm a fan of anything with two wheels (sometimes 3). I'm selective who I ride with because I find most motorcyclist annoying and would rather hang with the scooter crowd or the group that didn't spend 10,000+ on their ride. I've been called a dick.
 

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Welcome to the forum, matt. I assume from the title you ride an 1100 and I agree that they're great bikes. Hang out here for a while and maybe your impression of bikers will change. This is an amazing group of friendly, knowledgeable people who go above and beyond to help other riders. Post a pic of your ride when you get a chance. We love pics here!
 

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which bike is the best Vstar depends on how you ride and where you go

owner reports on Consumer Reports magazine has put the Vstar line of bikes at the top of the list for reliability, and within the line the mid-size bikes have the fewest reported issues. I think they are referring to the 650 and 950.

The 1100 has a few quirks you need to be aware of, but yes: oil, tires, gas and basic maintenance should take you at least three laps around the Earth (75,000 miles)
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
The bike is a 2004 1100 vstar classic, I've owned UJM's and dual-purposes and this is my first cruiser bike. Upon receiving the bike I had to drive it back 800 miles home and was pleasantly surprised at how comfortable (mustang seat) it was. Unfortunately I had to make some adjustments to the carb (previous owner needs to stay away from tools) but after dialing them in and synching, the bike is purring like a kitten. I removed the ugly and useless AIS system adjusted the valves and lubed the final drive components. As far as all the motorcycles I owned this is hands down the easiest to maintain (with exception to my single cylinder scoots) and most comfortable, simple straight forward bike ever. my only complaint so far is that it handles like a cement truck.
 

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what did you use to lube the drive shaft spines? I think there are 4 on the 1100.

If you use a 60% moly paste in theory it should be good for 100k miles. Most people still check them everytime they change the back tire, just for piece of mind if for no other reason. To pull the 'nose' cover off the spline enclosure and look at them, or wipe them down and put new moly on them takes about 20 minutes. If something happened and they did run dry, its about $500 in parts to replace them all.

The AIS blows air into the stock exhaust when you are compression braking, to purge the cat converter. It makes a kinda Pwhoosh sound when you shift if are pushing the bike hard. If you have an after market exhaust with no cat, then its not doing anything useful.

The truck feeling is what makes it a cruiser bike. Its partly due to the steeper rake on the front fork, and partly to the heavier than standard tires - both of which make the bike really hands-off stable, and which requires you to push harder on the grips to counter steer. You can lean the bike over till the pegs scrape on curves, the bike will take corners leaning over nearly 45 degrees, it just takes more push in the arms. When you let off the pressure on the grips the bike will stand up and go straight nicely all by itself.

If you want the bike to feel more sporty, put lighter tires on the next time you change them. The OEM Bridgestone tires are pretty stiff and heavy. The OEM Dunlop tires are lighter. If you look at tires at an online sales store they normally list the weight of the tire - so its easy to pick what you want.

Personally I like the stable feeling of my 650 - Im mostly cruising on secondary roads at 50 to 60mph, and the bike feels very secure.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Kcw, the purpose for aquiring the 1100 was for 2 up touring with comfort so I accepted the fact that I have heavier than used to lumbering vehicle. The Metzler Marathons do the job well in wet and dry conditions and hold the bike on the pavement despite cornering while scraping the floorboards.
 

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Hi matteblack,

Welcome to the forum from the Netherlands.

Looks like you seem to have realized the main drawbacks of cruisers so far, especially the scraping floorboards. Having said that, there is nothing as reliable as a Yamaha/Star bike, and handling wise, as a cruiser. there is nothing like it. Bikes like modern HDs and Hondas have imitated Yamaha in this regard, but Yamaha/Star stil stands out as the best from this POV.

If you do want to improve your ride further, fairly cheaply, I'd suggest changing the front springs with progressive ones. It makes handling/steering even better.

Kind regards, Wim
 
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