cruiser motorcycles

Yamaha V Star 650 Classic XVS65A: Specs, Background, Performance & More

Yamaha V Star 650 Classic XVS65A Specs, Background, Performance & More

In the past, many people frowned upon the idea of riding motorcycles. Their concerns regarding safety and practicality were the main reasons non-riders refused the possible advantages of motorcycling. However, many youths have now adopted motorcycling as a lifestyle. From daily commutes to camping trips, motorcycles are being used for a variety of reasons in this era.

It has been observed that more and more bike enthusiasts are interested in cruisers that are reliable and have multiple functions. Therefore, motorcycle companies such as Yamaha, Kawasaki, Honda, and others are trying to outdo each other and manufacture reliable machines that can be driven on dirt tracks, hills, forests, and urban streets.

Yamaha’s V Star 650 Classic is one cruiser that fits the requirements mentioned above perfectly. The bike has eye-catching looks, a powerful engine, great levels of comfort, and good maneuverability.

Viking Bags brings you detailed specifications of the Yamaha V Star 650 Classic. An awesome cruiser, we are sure this bike won’t disappoint you.

1. A Brief History of Yamaha V Star 650 Classic XVS65A

The Yamaha V Star 650 XVS65A has many names, such as the Yamaha Dragstar 650, Yamaha V Star 650, or Yamaha V Star 650 XVS650. The bike owes its engine design to the Yamaha Virago 535 engine. However, the cylinders of the Yamaha Virago 535 were bored at 76 mm and stroked at 59 mm. Meanwhile, the Yamaha V Star 650 Classic was a big-bore cruiser with cylinders bored at 81 mm and stroked at 63 mm. This configuration allowed the Yamaha V Star 650 Classic to produce a displacement of 649 ccs.

The Yamaha V Star 650 was launched in 1997 and was available in two distinct trims:

  1. The Yamaha V Star 650 Custom
  2. The Yamaha V Star 650 Classic

These motorcycles shared the same engine design and technology but had different dimensions. The different specifications are listed in the chart below.

Differences Yamaha V Star 650 Classic Yamaha V Star 650 Custom
Length 96.9 in 90.4 in
Width 36.6 in 34.6 in
Height 43.5 in 41.9 in
Seat height and width 28.0 in, wider saddle 27.4 in, narrow saddle
Bodywork Long, sleek look Shorter body
Curb Weight 545 lbs 500 lbs
Wheelbase 64.0 in 63.4 in
Ground Clearance 5.7 in 5.5 in
Trail 5.7 in 6.0 in
Front Wheel Wide 130/90-16 M/C (67S) Narrow 100/90-19 M/C (57S)
Fenders Metal fenders Plastic front and rear fenders
Tail light Standard Recessed tail light present under the rear fender.
Blacked-out treatment Absent Available in a Midnight Custom model that featured a mysterious blacked-out treatment. It had black wheel rims and metallic black paint.
Chrome Styling Subtle Profound
Handlebars Drag style Standard

In the United States, the Yamaha V Star 650 lineup was introduced for entry-level motorcyclists. This line was manufactured from 1998 to 2008 and was available in two distinct models:

  1. The Yamaha V Star 650 Classic
  2. The Yamaha V Star 650 Silverado

Both models were middleweight cruisers powered by the same 649 cc V-twin engine and had the same dimensions. The motorcycles were fuel-efficient and easy to handle. The two trims were made available to bring some variety that would appeal to the target audience.

The differences in specifications are listed in the chart below.

Differences Yamaha V Star 650 Classic Yamaha V Star 650 Silverado
Saddlebags & other touring accessories Absent Present

To manufacture its V Star 650 lineup, Yamaha conducted extensive surveys and research. The motorcycle company realized that its audience was looking for a stylish middleweight cruiser with a stylish look, performance, reliability, and comfort. Inspired by the Royal Star’s Palette, the Yamaha design team built the V Star 650 bikes with the utmost creativity. For riding comfort, the bike was configured to provide a full-sized riding position so that both tall and short riders can ride comfortably. The V Star 650 is unique in its handling due to its new suspension, brakes, and drive train. The engine, though borrowed from the Virago 535, was tuned up for greater displacement (649 ccs), power, and reliability.

These features worked in perfect sync to make the V Star 650 Classic and other motorcycles in the V Star 650 lineup a massive success. The design team at Yamaha did an outstanding job providing a motorcycle to the customers in an affordable price range.

The production of these vintage-style middleweight cruisers came to an end in 2019.

2. Yamaha V Star 650 Classic XVS65A at First Glance

Yamaha V Star 650 Classic XVS65A at First Glance

Yamaha V Star 650 Classic Styling

The Yamaha V Star 650 Classic is a beautiful bike with a long profile. The bike is longer than a Harley Road King. This motorcycle’s 96.9-inch length and 64-inch wheelbase give it a sleek look that adds to its charm manifolds. At the rear, the bike features a large tire and hidden rear shock system that gives it a classic hardtail look. The 41 mm telescopic front forks are placed under the brushed stainless steel covers. A heavily valanced shiny metal fender decorates the “old school” spoke wheel at the front to give this vehicle a vintage-looking character. The black, red, or burgundy paint on the fuel tank and tank-mounted accessories look stunning.

Tank-Mounted Accessories

The instrument cluster is tank-mounted and consists of a speedometer, odometer, trip meter, turn signals, warning lights for high beams, and neutral sign. The tank-mounted instruments are easy to read and provide all the necessary information. Unfortunately, the rider has to take his eyes off the road to glance at these instruments which can be a safety concern if the roads are crowded.

Yamaha V Star 650 Classic Engine

At the heart of the Yamaha V Star 650 Classic lies a powerful engine that offers aesthetic appeal with its heavily chromed valve covers, air cleaner, and bottom covers. Unlike the fuel tank, the engine has a glossy black finish.

Performance-wise, the V Star 650 engine is the same as the Virago 535 engine. The engine’s bore and stroke were increased by 5 mm and 4 mm respectively. The new bore and stroke figures became 81 mm x 63 mm.

Compared to Virago’s 535 cc displacement, the V Star 650 Classic engine has a larger displacement of 649 ccs. However, it retained the same compression ratio of 9.0:1 and the single overhead cam (SOHC) configuration. The 2x Mikuni carburetors of the V Star 650 Classic engine improved the combustion efficiency and fuel economy of the bike.

Yamaha V Star 650 Classic Handling

The V Star 650 Classic engine generates great power that is delivered to a five-speed gearbox through a wet, seven-plate clutch. The engine power translates onto the ground through a clean shaft drive. In low gears, the throttle is quite responsive and produces a pleasant sound that emits from the exhaust. At top speeds, the engine power falls abruptly because the engine is not fuel injected. To overcome this problem, it is important to shift gears quickly. The shifting of gears requires minimal foot action thanks to the position of the footpegs. The vibrations are minimal at normal speeds, ranging from 60 to 70 mph. However, at top highway speeds, the harsh vibrations make it difficult to maintain high speeds.

Yamaha V Star 650 Classic Suspension

The reliable suspension allows riders to travel for more than two hours straight. The bike can glide over bumpy roads and you won’t feel a thing. Both front and rear suspensions offer plush wheel travel for a smooth riding experience.

Yamaha V Star 650 Classic Brakes

The Yamaha V Star 650 Classic has reliable brakes. The single 298 mm front disc offers linear braking power due to its twin-piston caliper. The 200 mm rear drum brake allows quick stops even in wet weather conditions and also keeps the bike stable while turning corners.

Yamaha V Star 650 Classic Wheels

The Yamaha V Star 650 Classic touches the ground with its 130/90 x 16 front tire and 170/80 x 15 rear tire. The motorcycle owes its commanding profile to its beefy rear tire. The tires offer great traction, contributing to the stability and handling of the bike.

Yamaha V Star 650 Classic Comfort

The Yamaha V Star 650 Classic has a two-piece seat. The seats are wide and well-cushioned, providing the same level of comfort as expensive showroom seats. The riding position feels natural in all settings. The forward-mounted footpegs are neither too far for short riders, nor too close for tall riders. Therefore, both tall and short riders can drive this bike for long distances without difficulty. The handle grips are within reaching distance, and the wide handlebars make steering an effortless task.

3. Yamaha V Star 650 Classic XVS65A: A Buyer’s Guide

3.1 How Much Does Yamaha V Star 650 Classic Weigh?

The Yamaha 650 V Star Classic has a tear-drop-shaped fuel tank that can hold 4.22 gallons of fuel. On a full tank, the motorcycle weighs about 545 lbs.

3.2 How Much Horsepower Does the Yamaha V Star 650 Classic Have?

The Yamaha V Star 650 Classic has a powerful V-twin engine that can produce a peak horsepower of 40 hp at 6000 rpm.

3.3 How Many Miles Per Gallon Does Yamaha V Star 650 Classic Get?

The Yamaha V Star 650 Classic has a carbureted engine for efficient fuel combustion. The bike has an average mileage of 41.2 mpg.

3.4 Is Yamaha V Star 650 Classic a Good Bike?

The Yamaha V Star 650 Classic is a middleweight cruiser. The motorcycle has many fans because it is easy to handle and affordable. Reliable and low-maintenance, the bike features a strong 649 cc motor that generates peak torque of 50.9 Nm at 3000 rpm. The torquey engine makes cruising fun and interesting. The bike’s design is able to balance weight well. Therefore, beginners can also ride this bike with confidence. The reliable suspension and brakes further improve the riding experience.

3.5 Is Yamaha V Star 650 Classic Shaft or Belt Driven?

For a clean look, the Yamaha V Star 650 Classic features a low-maintenance shaft drive. The shaft drive has high transmission efficiency and offers a quiet and smooth riding experience.

4. Detailed Specifications (Yamaha V Star 650 Classic XVS65A)

4.1 Dimensions

Length 96.9 in
Width 36.6 in
Height 43.5 in
Wheelbase 64.0 in
Ground Clearance 5.7 in
Seat Height 28.0 in
Curb Weight 545 lbs
Rake 35°
Trail 5.7 in
Fuel Capacity 4.22 gal (reserve - 3.0 l)
Fuel Economy 41.2 mpg

4.2 Chassis

Type Double cradle steel
Front Suspension, travel Telescopic fork, 41 mm, 5.5 inches of wheel travel
Rear Suspension, travel Swingarm with mono-shock, spring preload adjustment, 3.9 inches of wheel travel
Front Tire Size 130/90-16 M/C 67S
Rear Tire Size 170/80-15 M/C 77S
Front Brake Single disc, 298 mm, twin-piston caliper
Rear Brake Drum brake, 200 mm

4.3 Engine

Type Four-stroke, air-cooled
Bore & Stroke 81.0 x 63.0 mm
Displacement 649 cc
Cylinder arrangement Two-cylinders, V-type
Compression Ratio 9.0:1
Valve Train Chain-driven SOHC, two valves per cylinder
Fuel System/ Induction Carburetor, 2x Mikuni BDS28
Lubrication Wet sump

4.4 Performance

Maximum Power 40 hp at 6500 rpm
Maximum Torque 50.9 Nm at 3000 rpm
Acceleration 0 to 100 km/h (0-60 mph) 7.82 sec
Top Speed 91 mph

4.5 Drivetrain

Clutch Wet, multi-plate, cable-operated
Transmission Manual, five-speed
Final Drive Shaft
Primary Reduction 1.789
Gear Ratio 1st 2.714
Gear Ratio 2nd 1.900
Gear Ratio 3rd 1.458
Gear Ratio 4th 1.167
Gear Ratio 5th 0.967

4.6 Electrical

Ignition TCI (digital)
Battery Capacity 12V-10Ah
Alternator A.C. magneto
Starter Electric

4.7 Others

Colors Raven
Base Price $8,799
Warranty Five-year warranty

5. Aftermarket Parts & Modification Options for Yamaha 650 V Star Classic XVS65A

Most cruisers don’t make for good touring bikes. Thankfully, that is not the case with the Yamaha V Star 650 Classic. A mid-sized cruiser is an excellent vehicle for daily commutes and can function as a “bagger motorcycle” whenever the need arises. Owners can take this bike for long adventurous rides and motorcycle camping trips.

The bike has nimble handling and weighs a little over 500 lbs. This allows the riders to mount luggage racks, saddlebags, and other Yamaha-specific motorcycle luggage without worrying about increasing the bike’s weight

The seat and ergonomic configuration of the Yamaha 650 V Star Classic allow you to ride 350 miles a day without feeling tired. A large variety of aftermarket parts like seats, backrests, and sissy bars are available online. Therefore, improving the comfort of this bike is not a problem.

The Yamaha 650 V Star Classic is a naked bike and lacks fairing to provide wind protection. You can easily install a windshield or fairings to reduce air drag and harsh wind that usually comes with highway speeds.

Make sure to buy high-quality accessories to get the maximum value out of your bike. This lightweight cruiser has immense customization potential. Not only will it make the bike travel-friendly but it will add a modern touch to its vintage look.

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