2003 Yamaha V-Star 650 Custom from United States of America

Summary:

A pleasure to ride and easy to own

Faults:

The motorcycle has been flawless. Do check the fastener tightness every now and then, as some of the bolts seem to chronically loosen.

General Comments:

This is a great motorcycle for commuting and general fun riding. I have found it to be very comfortable for commutes (50 miles / day) and long trips (6-7 hours / day).

It gets around 54 MPG in town and around 43 MPG on the highway (generally 70 - 75MPH). It starts and stops easily and is well balanced. It carries its weight relatively low.

The maintenance schedule calls for frequent valve adjustments, but with oil changes every 2000 - 2500 miles, the clearances are in the middle of the spec after 7500 miles without adjustment.

Taller riders (> 5'10") would probably be a bit cramped on the bike.

It has some limitations: It's a touch low on power, but will run with the 1100 / 1200's just fine - just lacking some torque. 5th gear is a bit too low for long trips above 65 MPH - vibrations start to creep in (not annoying ones though).

My biggest gripe: Ground clearance - this bike is low - be careful in the twisties and turns, especially on crowned roads. Any decent rider will easily push the cornering limits of this machine. Worse yet, there is very little warning when you run out of clearance. Don't try to keep up with high ground clearance cruisers or aggressive riders. You will reach the bikes limits far before others or the limits of the tires. I hit the pegs daily and catch the bottoms of the highway bars weekly (yes - I like curves).

My general take on this bike - it is good at everything, but excels at nothing. Which makes it a nice bike to jump on and ride. I'm looking for a more capable bike in the curves, but I can't match the everyday comfort and ridability of this bike. So - till then, I will enjoy this machine.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd July, 2008

20th Mar 2009, 12:35

I agree with your review of the 650. I own a 2003 650 Classic and have had very little in the way of breakdowns or problems. I have gone through a few clutch cables, but mostly that's my fault. I run with "apes" and had to use cables that are not OEM (my latest cable came from an old Harley Shovelhead-4 spd.)

I have 49,000+ miles on mine now, in the 6 years I've had it (bought new) and am just now making my first valve adjustment. My experience, from seeing other 650 owners, is do not make unnecessary adjustments!

Spot on about taller riders... I'm 6'0" and feel cramped with stock setup. To alleviate I ditched the seat and put a stock 2006 Harley Duece seat in it's place. This put me lower and farther back plus added better padding. The taller bars keep me from doing the "forward shoulder roll" trying to reach the low stock bars.

Great little bar-hopper bike, but pushes hard trying to keep up with my buddies on the highway (80+mph)... I either need slower friends or a bigger bike!

28th Mar 2009, 23:31

I just got my 2000 650 V-star. I have never been as pleased as I am with this bike. I really fit it well too. I think I'm gonna move up to the 1100 or the 1300 in a few months, or maybe a year at most, and put the wife on this one. I think this bike handles well and I have made the pipes a little louder. I have gotten many thumbs up on it. It has lots of extra chrome and I am not ashamed to ride with any custom bike out there. I just wanted say to those who are thinking of getting a nice looking and comfortable bike, try the STAR. You will be more than pleased.

God Bless you All,

Pastor Angel.

11th May 2009, 20:10

The 650 is a great all around bike. I was concerned with the valve adjustments, but have decided not to worry with it. Maybe at about 10,000 miles I'll adjust them, but the bike seems to run great so I figure they have to be close. Some people say at 70 mph the bike shakes; not mine, it is very smooth.

28th Jun 2014, 14:41

I just bought this bike last night... and it's slow. It really needs an overdrive gear!!!

6th Nov 2014, 20:22

Hi,

Looking to buy a 2003 V-Star 650 this week. I'm basically gonna use it for a daily commute (20 miles one way). When you said slow, did you mean slow like on the highway, or even on the regular streets?

Appreciate any feedback.

P.S. This would be my first ride >150cc :)

2003 Yamaha V-Star 650 Custom from United States of America

Summary:

Great bike for starters or the vertically challenged!

Faults:

Nothing wrong to date. It looks like a shock was replaced somewhere by a previous owner. (I'm the 3rd owner)

General Comments:

This is a great bike - both for a beginner (me) or an advanced rider. The styling catches attention, performance is adequate to keep up with the crowd, handling is easy, and it's well balanced.

A couple of gripes - starting on up-hill slopes can be a challenge. The clutch engages right at the end of your fingertips - where you have the least control of things (or at least I do). Also - the roll on the throttle is very mild at the beginning - requiring quite a bit of roll on to get things going without stalling.

Seat is very comfortable - but if you're taller than 5'7", I'd consider a bigger bike. I find myself up on the back seat now and then for a stretch.

Stock pipes are very quiet, vibrations are minimum, and fuel economy is around 53 MPG city streets. The bike is at home on either highway or city streets.

I can see an 1100 in the future...

Short of it - great bike for the price!

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th September, 2007

22nd Sep 2008, 10:17

I just bought a 2002 V-Star 650 Classic, and I think it's the perfect starter bike for a beginner like me.

The only thing I would want to change is the way the clutch works. It engages when it's almost all the way out, as opposed to the half way point. The mechanic at the dealer says that's how it is on that particular model bike. Does anybody know if the clutch can be adjusted?

1st Jun 2013, 13:16

Yes, you can get a part that's sold on eBay. It's a spring and tube, and works great, and lets you adjust it to where you want it.