2006 Yamaha V-Star 650 Custom
Great starter bike and a head turner!
In 6000 miles of having this bike, the only thing that has gone wrong was a short somewhere in the turn signal wiring that was blowing a fuse. The dealership mechanic figured it out, and had it fixed in under an hour.
This is my first bike, and I'm also vertically challenged. This bike really found me as opposed to me finding it. As soon as I sat on it, this bike knew it had a new owner. The low seat height and low weight is a great combination for a new rider.
All last summer I rode the bike to work every day, 100 miles round trip until the weather just got too cold. The seat is just fine for stock until you get over an hour on it, then it does become uncomfortable. The passenger seat is a complete joke, so if you plan on riding with a hottie on the back, get something nicer.
This bike just cruises and corners wonderfully in the mountains where I live, and on the highways doing 65-70. It would be nice if it had a 6th gear, but that would put it at a price point where it's not competitive with other 650's, so it just is what it is. The shaft drive means less to deal with. My wife's bike is an older chain drive, and she needs to clean it often.
I would agree with other commenters about the clutch. It doesn't engage until it's almost all the way out, which did take some getting used to. I don't stall it any more, but I sure did the first couple weeks of riding.
Overall, the bike has been great fun. It already came with a louder exhaust from the first owner and I've added saddlebags and a windscreen. The "Midnight", blacked out look is a head turner everywhere I go, and most people guess it's a much bigger bike than it really is.
Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 22nd March, 2010