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Discussion Starter #1
Gents,
I have been considering a second VStar with more juice for longer rides. I am totally pleased with my 650 for around town, back roads cruising, and commuting to work one day at week and intend to keep it for a while.

There is a 2012 VStar 950 in my local listing w 7,314 miles in the odometer. There is also a 2009 VStar 1300 w 17,500 in the odometer. The price difference of the bikes is within my budget.
My gut feel tells me to go for the VStar 1300 since I am very close to the 950 in terms of engine power.
What are the known issues of the 2009 VStar 1300? Anything in particular to watch out for? or Should I save a bit more money for a newer VStar 1300, maybe a 2011 or newer?.
 

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The only issue I have with my 950 is I would like it to have a 6th gear. It is just a sound thing for me. I know they are engineered this way but it just sounds like I need to shift. I do not spend a great deal of time on freeways. I am perfectly content on back road cruising 50 mph. I am not sure if changing the pulley would have a great amount of difference to this or not. There are threads here talking about the pulley change but I did not spend a great deal of time reading through all of it. I do not have a tach so I can not tell you how many rpm's it is running but other than that nit picky issue I have no issues with my 950.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The only issue I have with my 950 is I would like it to have a 6th gear.
@Redbird58 - funny that you mentioned it. I feel the same way about my 650, when I'm on 5th gear, open highway, at a steady 55 MPH that's when I wish my yammy had a 6th gear but that's just me.
 

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i agree with your assessment that your 650 is too close to the 950. what i've read over the years is that the 950 is essentially a bored out 650 engine. so i would advise going with the 1300 so you get a much starker difference in riding and a bike more suited for highway speeds. as for whether or not to get a newer 1300, sure if the money is the same. but at only 17K miles, the one listed is just broken in and still considered at the front end of its life. so unless you found one several years newer with even fewer miles for roughly the same price, i don't think it makes a difference.
 

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I’d have to agree with bevo, 17k is nothing on a 1300, or even a 950. Having owned both a 650, 950, and ridden a few 1300’s, I’d definitely consider the 1300, but that’s just me.


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I have never even seen a 950, but I have had my 1300 since 2010 and recommend going that route. 650-660 lbs or so, ready to ride. Plenty of power and great brakes.

The 1300's are set very, very lean. They surge at slow speeds in 1st / 2nd gear. Drilling the exhaust, drilling the airbox, adding a K&N air filter and a Cobra Power Commander FMS, and doing an O2 sensor bypass helped clear up the issues.
The original clutch cables had the adjustment situated down near the clutch housing so that once you ran out of adjustment at the lever, you would have to work in a small area in order to adjust the cable and then reset your lever adjustment. The newer cables are set up so everything is on the top end of the cable. (At least my OEM replacement was set that way).

If you can get past the muffler looking like it was designed by Jacque Cousteau, it's a decent looking bike too. Good luck, hope you find what you like. Keep us posted.
 

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I've never ridden either the 950 or the 1300 but when I was shopping for a bike I tried out a Road Star and while I liked it, I thought it might be too big. Who needs that much engine right? So I got an 1100. Great bike and it worked really well around town and up to 50 or 60 mph. But it just seemed to be revving a little high above that and halfway through my first season I was wishing I'd gone with the Roadie. I know that's how they're designed to work, but it was the one thing I wasn't entirely happy with. My Nomad is just what I wanted...a long stroke that putts along at 70 mph on the highway with more in reserve. Yeah, its heavy, but not that bad once I got used to it.

I guess my point is, if you want a bike that's comfortable at highway speeds, go with the 1300. I'm not saying the 950 is a bad bike - just the opposite, but from what you're saying, it's not going to be enough. Like the others said, 17,000 on a 1300 is nothing. You have the 650 for around town and short trips, go bigger for a highway cruiser. You'll be glad you did.
 

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I owned a 650 for a year then upgraded to a 1300. Best decision I've ever made. The power is there if you want to use it. If you don't you don't have to. I bought my bike 3 hours away. Drove it home in a wind storm. The first time getting on the interstate I got into the throttle what felt like 55 was 80. I got used to the bike quick. lol
 

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Discussion Starter #10
No issues that I no of. I bought my 09 v star 1300 in 2014 with 2400 miles on the bike. I have 41000 on the bike .2019 the hub bearing went bad. That's the only problem I've had with the bike. The v star 1300 is 1 of the best bikes on the road.
Roughly what range do you get from a full gas tank or MPG?. I know this varies by driving conditions, I'm just looking for an estimated number in miles. Currently, I'm getting 45 MI/Gal on my 650, mostly around town, stop-n-go traffic. Haven't had time to hop on the highway for an steady drive.
 

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Have owned both the 950 and the 1300. As others have said, you'll sometimes be wishing for a 6th gear on the 950, however, that's only due to us being picky about our RPM's. Either bike will cruise all day long at 80 mph, but for that more relaxed ride/engine speed, the 1300 gets the nod.
The 950 is an air cooled motor with less maintenance involved due to that. The 1300 is liquid cooled.
There is a 50 pound difference in wet weights between the two bikes, not a big deal but upgrading from a 650 you'll probably definitely notice it.
The 950 has the speedo mounted in the tank. The 1300 has it mounted just under the handlebars in a much more visible location for me.
For me, I preferred the 1300 but I've owned 35+ bikes over the years. With that being said, I'm in the process of "downgrading" back down to a Vstar 650 Custom for my solo riding. The bigger bikes will be for when I ride with my wife or do a long trip on the highway.
Hope that helps and you can't really go wrong with either one, it just depends on your preference.
 

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Roughly what range do you get from a full gas tank or MPG?. I know this varies by driving conditions, I'm just looking for an estimated number in miles. Currently, I'm getting 45 MI/Gal on my 650, mostly around town, stop-n-go traffic. Haven't had time to hop on the highway for an steady drive.
I average out to 45-50 ish mpg. A little less two up. That is with the muffler and air box drilled out, K&N air filter and Cobra fuel management system hooked up. The fuel light comes on anywhere between 130 to 145 miles for a tank. Don't do the math...these are rough numbers. It's an almost 5 gallon tank, less than 1 gallon 'reserve' (light comes on), and when I fill it, it takes about 3.5 gallons. I don't stand the bike up to get that last partial gallon.
 

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My 2 cents......I have been riding for 53 yrs. I am on bike # 16......and what I have learned about getting a new bike.....figure what type of riding you want to do, dirt, around town, freeway or a combination.....then figure out your budget and get the most bike you can afford to do what you want it to do....don't go halfway , you will not be happy with it .
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Excellent point Jspree! I used a similar theory with the purchase of my 950t, and then the Roadie.

figure what type of riding you want to do, dirt, around town, freeway or a combination.....then figure out your budget and get the most bike you can afford to do what you want it to do....don't go halfway , you will not be happy with it .
Thank you both @Keith Post and @Jspree, that was my mentality when I first got the 650. First I wanted to get a feel of a cruiser bike for around town, back roads and highway riding. The reason I got a 650 to begin with, is because some reviews describe the bike as an entry level cruiser. A bike not too light but not too heavy, like a middle weight cruiser. I am loving the way the bike handles in back roads curvy roads / stop-n-go traffic around town. In open highways she has no problem reaching 55-60MPH but this is what is making me get a second bike for freeway riding, and longer rides, something with more juice. From the research I have been doing in the last few days, I understand the 1300 comes in 2 flavors, a 1300 and a tourer version. The difference in weight from my 650 to either 1300, is somewhere around couple of hundred pounds more. I think wet weight of my bike is 545 lbs vs the 712 lbs of the 1300 touring version.
 

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Thank you both @Keith Post and @Jspree, that was my mentality when I first got the 650. First I wanted to get a feel of a cruiser bike for around town, back roads and highway riding. The reason I got a 650 to begin with, is because some reviews describe the bike as an entry level cruiser. A bike not too light but not too heavy, like a middle weight cruiser. I am loving the way the bike handles in back roads curvy roads / stop-n-go traffic around town. In open highways she has no problem reaching 55-60MPH but this is what is making me get a second bike for freeway riding, and longer rides, something with more juice. From the research I have been doing in the last few days, I understand the 1300 comes in 2 flavors, a 1300 and a tourer version. The difference in weight from my 650 to either 1300, is somewhere around couple of hundred pounds more. I think wet weight of my bike is 545 lbs vs the 712 lbs of the 1300 touring version.
With the low center of gravity these bikes have you’ll only notice the weight when duck walking it. Of course it’ll take a little more lever and pedal to slow it down too but that will soon become second nature. Well worth the weight increase for me. I went from my 1100 that was somewhere around 600 to a little over 800 with the nomad and didn’t take long to get used to it.
 

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I personally have to lean toward Deeks line of thought and put a plug in for us Raider ('Liner) guys haha. Probably not much difference in price and mileage, but significantly more motor. Plus low speed turns may get you thinking you are the length of a school bus. Just an innocent plug. between the 950 and 1300 though, I would lean toward the 1300 if you are thinking of doing any distance or interstate travels. If you are looking at cruising on backroads and enjoying the scenery on short/medium trips, maybe with a few stops, the 950 should be more than enough. Old adage is cheaper to grow in to a bike than to outgrow one.
 
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