Yamaha V-Star Classic.
Mid segment cruisers have one distinct feature; every bike has an advantage over the other in some respect.
What comes to mind at first is the engine displacement; V-star with 650cc, Shadow ace and aero with 750cc, Suzuki’s M50 and C50 with 800 cc, Harley Sportster with 883 cc, and finally the Vulcan’s with 900 cc. These bikes hence cannot be compared directly head to head, but have to be compared on relative performances. All the bikes here are derivatives of the bigger models of the flagship companies, but make no mistake, they have the same appeal.
For me V-star 650 classic came out to be the winner due to combination of price, mileage, displacement and style. When I set out to buy a bike, I was not looking for a gas guzzler. I had made up my mind that I wanted a shaft drive for now, so my options had come down to Honda Aero 750, and M50/C 50 Boulevard.
The Honda Aero is a good bike but doesn’t look right. Its fuel tank is a big disappointment, and the front tire looks small for its size. So the Aero went out of the competition, just based on aesthetics.
Main contenders were 650 classic and M50 Boulevard. In the show room we pulled both the bike together to compare, and could see it pretty easily that V star classic was visually the clear winner. Also the plastics on Suzuki were annoying. The price and Yamaha financing was top class. The bike came out of the showroom at $5682; I felt that it was a good deal.
After we got it on the road, I was expecting cruiser style performance, where engines are usually unresponsive. To my surprise 650cc was behaving way bigger for its class. Throttle response was amazing, mid range torque could be felt all the time. At third gear at lower throttle, you can cruise, and if you suddenly squeeze the throttle, it bursts out like a rocket.
Handling the V-star is really good also; it also was the most comfortable feeling bike on the showroom floor. The dimensions are pretty much comparable to any big bike on the highway. The bike handles great; its big fat wide tires grip the road with confidence, and the bike is also easy to swerve at higher speeds.
Being in college, it makes a great bike for everyday commute. It looks good, feels good, excellent value, unbeatable package.
Cal state Long Beach CA.