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Discussion Starter #1
I've done a lot of cross country riding on this bike, some trips over 7,000 miles. These are the problems that I'm trying to fix with this mod: The spoked rear wheel is a big problem if you get a screw, nail or other puncture, especially if your in the middle of nowhere, its happened to me more than once. The stock rear wheel is not designed to support the kind of weight that I'm putting on the bike. I've poped spokes before and the races for the wheel bearings are showing wear. Lastly we all know that 650 doesn't have a great top speed for highway riding, I don't like to cruise mine over 80 mph, 85 tops and that's kind of pushing it. Also, I've notices a little bit of wobble at high speed when the bike is fully loaded down and in a turn.

So, what I have planned: Extend the swing arm by about 6" to increase the stability of the bike and allow me to modify the width of the swing arm for the wider 1100 mag wheel and final drive. I think that this will address all of the issues that I'm concerned with. The mag wheel can easily be plugged if a puncture occurs. The 1100 wheel has two wheel bearings on each side to support more weight than the 650 wheel. The 1100 drive with its taller gear ratio should help my top end speed, hopefully I don't loose too much power off the line. The additional wheel base should stabilize the bike.

I already have the rear mag wheel from an 1100. I want to finish planning this mod before I purchase the final drive unit. If anyone has one for sale, please let me know. I was hoping that someone wouldn't mind taking some measurements of there 1100 final drive unit for me? Most critical at this point is the dimension from the wheel side of the final drive housing to the outer side at the axle. I'm trying to figure what width I need for my swing arm. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

93296
 

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DamItJames are you crazy?!

get a Royal Star Venture - its designed for touring - You can find good used ones for about $2500

all that stuff you have packed on that bike is incredibly unstable - it cant be any fun to ride loaded like that, so whats the point?!

BTW: welcome to the forum - the VS650 is a great bike and you are abusing yours terribly :^)

a naked 650 is great bike for riding around for a day or two, excellent up to 65mph on secondary roads
but just putting a windshield on it sucks the life out of it

you want a touring bike

from your photo it looks like you are in California
if you lived closer I would let you borrow my Royal Star for a weekend, then there would no going back for you.
 
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I like doing mods to bikes, but this one would cost more than selling your perfectly good bike and getting a larger one to compliment your riding style. @Jspree is correct about needing an entire rear disk setup and all hardware. Mounting the caliber would be challenging. Another issue I see, if you extend swing arm the tire would be hitting the rear of fender. So you would need to modify fender and supports. Good luck on your decision.
 
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Discussion Starter #5
I like doing mods to bikes, but this one would cost more than selling your perfectly good bike and getting a larger one to compliment your riding style. @Jspree is correct about needing an entire rear disk setup and all hardware. Mounting the caliber would be challenging. Another issue I see, if you extend swing arm the tire would be hitting the rear of fender. So you would need to modify fender and supports. Good luck on your decision.
Thanks for the comments guys. I get it. I'm definitely going to get a bigger bike. Probably the Indian Chieftain or the Harley Street Glide. I've ridden both. But that aside, I like fabricating parts and I've already made tons of custom mods to this bike, fabricated my own exhaust, body parts, engine upgrades, lights, all kinds of stuff. It's barely a Vstar any more. I plan on keeping it even when I get a new bike. I already have the wheel, disk & brake caliper, they didn't cost much used. besides I'm kind of trying to create something that can do heavy touring without being a heavy bike to start. You might be surprised how well that thing handles even with all that gear. I did 7,027 miles packed up like that in 2019. With that said, I'm doing this mod. Yes, I planned to move the fender back and I'm aware of the complexity of what I'm planning. So, if anyone wouldn't mind giving me some measurements off of there 1100 final drive, I'd greatly appreciate it. Thanks.
 

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As much as you like to travel, go and look at a Yamaha Stratoliner. My wife and I love to travel on the bike and it is just about the best motorcycle I have ever ridden. It has a double counter balanced crank so the vibration is almost none existent . Also at 80 mph you will get 45 mpg.
I have owned Harleys, Kaws, Hondas and a ton of Yamahas , this is my #1 favorite out of all of them for travel.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you so much for offering to take some measurements. See the picture below. If you could just measure the housing width, center lines on the drive shaft cover bolts and the inside width of your swing arm where the axle bolts through, that would be a huge help. I'll have to purchase an 1100 final drive before I fabricate parts but your measurements will help me assess my strategy. Thanks again.

1100 drive pic dimensions needed.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hi guys, here is the latest on installing VStar 1100 mag tear wheel on my VStar 650. I’ve been gathering lots of info and it is so interesting how similar the parts are between the two bikes. In fact, there are similarities in the final drive across most of the models that Yamaha has made for many years.

So, my bike is still intact. I bought two used swing arms, one from an 1100 and one from a 650. Next I have to figure out where I want my cuts to be and if I’m extending the swing arm length and moving the fender back. I’m taking the axle section of the swing arm from the 1100 and welding to the 650 section that attaches to my bike. The swing arms mount to their corresponding bikes differently. The 1100 swing arm is wider at the axle by approximately 1 1/2” and accepts a larger axle diameter. Interestingly, the mounting holes for the final drive are exactly the same size and spacing on both swing arms. I believe that all of the Final drive housings are the same size. Another interesting fact is that both the 1100 and the 650 have the same gear ratio in the final drive, 32/11 gears for a 2.91 ratio. Actually almost all of Yamaha’s shaft drives use those gears including the Entire Star lineup with shaft drive,Virago’s and the XS’s. The VMax and Royal Star Venture have lower gear ratios, 33/9 and 33/10 respectively. I was hoping to find something with a taller gear but no luck. I have some other ideas to correct the gearing but that needs more investigation.
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Discussion Starter #15
Hi Guys, I just posted this on a different thread in response to a question, then realized that what I wrote is part of my story as it relates to this project. So I am posting hear in this conversation that I started.

Hi toomanybikes, That's a good question. There are many reasons that come to mind for me, so hold on, this is going to take awhile. Probably the number one reason is that I have made tons of modifications to this bike in order to make it the way that I want it. Not just bolt on mods but custom fabricated parts. Honestly, I get asked all of the time, "what is that bike" and I'm kind of proud that I've made something unique. My mods including fabricating my own two-into-one glass pack exhaust, Custom brackets for mounting Harley CVO bags, Custom hardware and circuitry to convert rear light to a two light system from the stock three light system, Custom made low profile luggage rack, and lots of other mods. So If were to start with the 1100, it would take tons of time and work to make it the way that I want it to be. I don't want to start over. The other thing is that I have ridden larger bikes that in some ways do the job of cross country riding better than my 650, but most of those bikes are awfully heavy. Ever ride on a gravel rode? or a dirt road in the rain? now add 150 lbs of gear on the back and in the bags, and maybe a passenger. The last thing you want is a super heavy bike. The weight also affects the handling on paved roads. Sometimes you want to carve up a windy mountain road and really dig into those corners. The lighter bike transitions better from lets say a left turn into a right turn when you need to lean the bike over from one side to the other quickly. On that note I will say that the Harley Street Glide road pretty nicely for being over 800 lbs. of bike, not fun to back that thing up though. So weight vs. ride-ability / handling is the issue there. My 650 handles wonderfully even fully loaded. Another thing that I've noticed, and this is just my opinion, The 650 has nicer lines than the 1100. I think its just a better looking bike. Again, just my opinion, no offence meant to all of my 1100 brothers. Honestly, I love all bikes no matter the make or model. Another thing that somehow affects my way of thinking here is that I am the original owner of this bike. I've done over 60,000 miles of riding on it. much of that riding was going cross country in the US and Canada. So, I think that all of those miles, experiences, even the road side breakdowns that occurred in someway connect the rider (me) with the bike. I guess that's a sentimental attachment. I would say that all of those mods that I did, my personal work with my own hands to create what this bike is now, well, there is something that creates a connection with the bike. I guess I'm getting a little Philosophical now. Perhaps I should start a podcast :) The biggest problem that the 650 has is the need for a 6th gear. that top end is the limiting factor. I have potential solutions for that but one mod at a time. Power is sufficient but would be nice to have more. Again, I have ideas for that. So there you go. Those are my reasons. I would love to hear what yo guys think about all of that.

a couple of photos:
My exhaust is a little beat up in the second photo, took a spill at a river crossing in Utah early on that trip. BTW, the only reason the cop car is there is because I got a flat tire on the front of my bike, no ticket. Some advice on that note: When ever you change your tires, physically check the size of the inner tube that they are installing. Your looking at a new front tire there, they put too small of a tube in it and it blew out on the freeway. Scaaaary!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Hey guys, here's an update on this project for those that are following it. So, I have everything that I need to change out the swing arm and convert to the 1100 rear wheel and final drive.

Some of my findings: The final drives are interchangeable on the swing arms, the 1100 drive bolts right up to the 650 swing arm and vise versa. The gear ratios in the 650 and 1100 final drives are exactly the same. There are some cosmetic differences in the shape of the final drive housings. The biggest difference in the final drives is that the 1100 accepts a larger diameter axle than the 650, as does the wheel. Differences in the swing arms: Axle slots are larger on the 1100 swing arm for the previously mentioned larger axle, the 1100 swing arm is actually shorter than the 650 swing arm, the shock mounts are in different locations. the 1100 swing arm is wider to accept the wider wheel. Interestingly the dimensions, angles and bends on the left side of both swing arms are exactly the same from the pivot point back, so all of the additional width is on the right side of the swing arm when comparing the 650 and the 1100.

So, you may have noticed that this project is going slow and that's for good reason. Because I'm making such a big change to the bike I want to make sure that I've considered all of the possibilities and design decisions before I start cutting, welding, changing, etc. So, I'm taking my time with it. Also, I'm thinking of doing another big road trip before I tear my bike apart.

Here is the decision I'm struggling with right now: Do I stretch the swing arm and the length of the bike as part of this project. Now is the time if I'm going to do it. Expected benefits include better stability in the handling (not that its bad now), better weight distribution between the wheels when I'm loaded up with gear or a passenger, longer lower leaner look. One of the challenges that I'm facing here is the seat. The stock seat doesn't work well with the bike stretched. So, I made need to fabricate a seat. I've never done that before so I don't know if I can do a good job. I removed the rear fender section of my bike and propped it up into place to get an idea if what this stretched idea would look like. By the way I'm considering stretching the length of the bike by 3" and pushing the rear wheel 1" further back into the rear fender, so about a 4" stretch on the swing arm. Here are some pics showing: current setup, stretching the bike and keeping the seat at the current location, and stretching the bike and moving the seat back. I came up with a filler idea behind the seat if I keep it forward. If I move the seat back it doesn't line up with the frame bends. I'll probably make up a styrofoam seat to see what shape works and what that seat might look like. Check out my pics. I would love to hear any feed back or opinions on what you guys think would look good.

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2001 Yamaha XVS650 Dragstar Classic and 1999 Honda NT650V Deauville
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Stretching will require lengthening the shaft and get it 100% straight. You will also struggle, I suspect, to get nice lines in the swingarm if you stretch it, unless you make a full build almost from scratch. Finding something to fill the gap back to the new placement of the fender may also be a challenge. But it is your bike and you must go for your one desires. Follow with interest!
 

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What about the room behind the side cover? Guess you could make a luggage box to mimic an oil tank or sum'fin.
 
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