I bought the 2007 Yamaha VStar 650 Custom for my wife a year ago. We've both ridden it and now have about 1300 miles on it.
I haven't had any of the fuel problems mentioned here, but am not sure ethanol is being added here in San Diego. So far, on regular unleaded gas, she fires up just fine, even after sitting for a couple of months (with no stabilizer added). You do have to use the choke -- she'll stumble before she's warmed up, but anyone with prior manual choke experience will find this normal. The colder outside, the longer it will take to warm up. Her in Southern California, even on an average 75 degree day, the bike likes to run with the choke on for about a minute, and then I let it run for a couple more minutes without the choke. I know she's ready to ride when I can give her some gas at idle while in neutral and the engine doesn't stumble. This is important to do from a safety standpoint. Riding a cold bike engine is not only hard on it from a wear standpoint, but could also cause an accident as the bike is not fully able to respond to throttle commands yet.
I love the look of the bike. Have had a Harley rider pull up beside me before thinking this was an 883 Sportster.
Fun to ride! Quick steering. Low center of gravity and low seat height combine to give a sense of comfort and confidence. I ride much bigger bikes (this one's for my wife), but I must admit I like riding this one as it's like a little sports car. Plenty of "get up and go", though!
I agree with the bike needing a little better seat and a 6th gear. I plan to replace the seat with a Mustang. If you ride two up on the stock 2nd seat, the passenger isn't gonna want to ride for long, and will complain of tailbone shock the next day. But hey, it's a cruiser! And a darned good one at that.
I highly recommend this bike. Sounds like we just need to figure out the fuel problem in certain areas, get a little more experience in some cases with the choke, and buy that Mustang seat, and life with the bike will be near perfect.
I just bought an 01 V-star from my Dad, and am experiencing similar fuel problems. Dad parked it because the rear cylinder stopped firing. Took the carbs off, and found the cap from the bottom of the slide valves laying in the bottom of the bowl. Got a new one to put in, thinking this would solve the problem. Still misses on the rear cylinder, but not all the time.
I took it for a cruise, and under load, the bike never misses. Seems to be a mid-range stumble. Idles fine, but coming away from a stop sign requires a little bit of clutch slippage. Not sure where to go from here. I'm sure Dad ran ethanol in it. I'll start with draining the tank, and go from there.
06 650 V-Star Classic: first 1000 miles no problem. Let it sit for a month, gas went bad in carb, no idle, no power, hit the throttle and the engine dies.
Ran 4 cans of carb cleaner in the air cleaner, improved a little but not ride-able. Ran sea foam (half can for 3 gal) into tank, ran another can of carb cleaner at same time while working the throttle, now can idle on choke.
Finally got it into a ride-able state and took for a 50 mile trek without choke - poor low/mid range performance and still can't idle (choke off). I'm hoping that the sea foam works its way into the carb some more by tomorrow. NEVER let these buggers sit for more than a few days, definitely run the carb dry if you are gonna let it sit for any time, use fuel stabilizer, and buy quality gas.
I've owned 2 Harley's - an old Sportster and a 07 street bob. I'm 53.
The bob was so unbalanced I never was comfortable at stops.
I rode Honda's and Yamaha's when I was young. This 08 classic is what I was missing. I don't care what HD people say - this is a better built bike for a third the bucks. Sweet ride, all the power I need and I'm happy to cruse at 60-65.
The bob motor sounded like an old sewing machine - this 650 doesn't crackle when it's hot at the end of ride - super balance - I could go on and on.
95% of Harley's are still on the road - the other 5% made it home.
I enjoy reading all of the comments about fuel, choking, and the stalls. I bought my 2007 V-Star custom last week with 1430 miles on it. I am a new rider also. I thought it was just my inexperience that was causing it to stall a lot. I'm thinking it is a combination of all of the above. I was really frustrated this morning when it stalled on me three times at a stop sign.
The dealer I bought it from used said that he thinks the clutch should be adjusted too. Does anyone else have any problems with the clutch? I like the ride when it runs but I'm having some big time seconds thoughts on my purchase. A little positive re-assurance would be great. Thanks.
MD in PA.
MD in PA update:
I had my Harley ridin' friend take it out for a spin to see if it was the bike or me. He did not stall it once. So I'm guessing the stalling issue is my inexperience. I also called the gas station to see if the fuel has ethanol in it. No to that.
I won a clutch kit on eBay, and should have that installed this week sometime. I'm letting it warm up a bit longer as the manual says to. I've been riding to work, about 7 miles and it's running great. I just need to practice pulling out. Later.
MD in PA.
I have an '07 V-Star 650. Great looking bike, but the carb sucks.
I've had it overhauled 3x in a year now. It's been the same thing every time, the carb gets gunked up, and only after it sits for about a week.
The dealer told me the same thing that the others have posted - it's the crappy gas they sell now with the ethanol and additives... that it's killing carburetors.
All gasoline is required to have 10% ethanol by law (at least in my area). Therefore, I have no choice.
It still seems absolutely crazy to me that you can't let a bike sit for a week without requiring a carb overhaul.
The last bike I had was over 20 years ago, a carbureted Yamaha. I let that thing sit for months without draining anything and never had the problem.
Is it really the gas or a crappy carb design?
I bought a 2003 V-star Custom just this year. It's my first time buying and riding a road-bike, and I've gotta say THIS IS ONE GREAT BIKE! I can let it sit in the garage for a week or two and it will fire right up (pull in choke to warm up) and runs great and rides great!
Handles real well on side roads and big roads. I'm GLAD I BOUGHT THIS BIKE!