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Thread: 650 vs 1100

  1. #1
    Contributor 3000 Posts! Lucy55's Avatar
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    Nov 2007
    North San Diego County, CA

    650 vs 1100

    I have a V* 650 and I've toyed with the idea of moving up to an 1100 one of these days. Will those of you who have made the switch post the benefits and differences in handling. Difficulties with the switch?
    2005 Honda Rebel 250 - sold 5/27/08
    2003 Yamaha V Star 650 Custom - sold 6/01/10
    2009 Yamaha 950 Tourer

  2. #2
    Hittin' The Twisties
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Live & travel fulltime in RV
    I have an 1100, and though I have never owned a 650, I have ridden a couple. Besides the obvious power difference, the bikes felt pretty similar to me. I do notice the extra weight of the 1100 on windy days seems to make it a more comfortable ride for me.

  3. #3
    Contributor We've stopped counting... MsPotatoPotatoHead's Avatar
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    Jan 2005
    Potato Ranch, CO
    While I had my first bike, a Virago 535 (the predecessor to the V*650), I rode a friend's V*1100. It made me really want one. It is a very well-balanced, comfortable bike. I won't say the difference in weight wasn't noticeable, but it was very well managed.

  4. #4
    Hittin' The Twisties Ken_T's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    San Antonio TX
    I bought a 2001 650 Custom when I started riding again in 2004 "cuz I'd been away from motorcycles for a while and didn't think I should jump right back in on a bigger bike. After a while I started thinking about moving on up to the 1100. I finally took the plunge on a 2006 1100 Custom in April of this year and have no regrets. Besides the obvious benefit of more power, the 1100 actually seems to handle better. Don't know if it's the extra weight (not really noticeable otherwise), the bigger tires, or just that the 1100 is 5 years newer. Whatever the reason, I really like riding this bike, feel very comfortable on it. It's nice to have the extra "oomph" on the highway, I do a lot of Interstate riding. Good luck with whatever you decide!

    2009 Road Star

  5. #5
    I have an 1100. A Honda Shadow Spirit. I came from a Honda VLX which is a 600. The 1100 is almost an exact duplicate of the VLX but bigger. I just love the hardtail look. Chopperesque if you will. Anyhoo, the weight difference was small but the height difference was major for me. I think you have the advantage though if you stick with the V Star line. The are low sitting bikes and extremely well balanced IMO. Shouldn't be an issue for you. Go sit on one. You'll love the powaaaaaaaaa!!
    Resident Hillbilly!

    09 BMW F650GS

  6. #6
    Hittin' The Twisties psychedup's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Bremerton, WA
    My father-in-law bought a new v-star 1100 this spring. He's actually dropped it one time - I don't remember how that happened. He said he was very worried about being able to pick it back up, but discovered that because it is so well balanced, he didn't have any trouble at all.
    79 Honda CX500 Custom

  7. #7
    This I actually know something about. I started out on a 650 as first motorcycle and owned 2 of them, the 2nd one newer was the only difference. Moved up to a V-Star 1100 and really agonized about that jump in size and weight. It became a non issue rather quickly really, as the 1100 is not that big a jump all things considered and looking back. When I moved up from the 1100 to the Road Star 1700 THAT was a leap. From my experience on the 1100 vs the 650 no question the power is better for freeway handling. Plus for me at 6'2" the 1100 was bigger for my long legs. The Road Star is really bigger and far more comfortable than the 1100 ever was. It seemed OK in the mountains until I got on the Road Star and noticed I was doing much better on those mountains. Maybe partly due to just getting to be a better rider along with the better handling due to more weight of the Road Star. Not that I'm a fast rider in the mountains anyway. Another rider with an 1100 also got rid of it over handling issues and went to the 1300 and really was very please with the move.

    Before moving up to the 1100 take a serious look at the V-Star 1300, not much heavier and all the power and handling you would ever need. Stick with the 650 until you are really comfortable with your skill level and the 650 seems too small then consider moving up. Unless you get tired of the sewing machine motor sound of the 650.
    Richard rider-77!
    Yamaha 2012 Road Star Silverado "S" with 9,200 miles SOLD the 2009 with 75,000 miles

    President [for life] Wrinkle Riders. Member Sons of Angioplasty. Fringe member of a Splinter Group. The Ride is the Destination.

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  8. #8
    Flirting With The Redline 2000 Posts! monhaued's Avatar
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    May 2007
    Bakersfield, California
    I starting on a Honda VLX 600 and recently moved up to the VTX 1300. When I was on the showroom floor, the 1300 seemed huge and daunting, but after riding it around, it fits like a glove. Now when I ride it, I can't even remember why I ever thought this bike was huge, because its just the right size.

    I had the same experience on the 600, by the way. After riding a 125 in the MSF course, I bought the 600 and almost immediately thought I made a mistake. But after a while, the 600 just felt too small... not small as in lacking in power, but physically small.

    I gotta watch myself, because even though I've had the VTX for only a few months, my stomach is getting hungry for a bigger bike, and I know I'll never need it!
    Eric: Not helping the situation since 1983

    2007 Honda VTX 1300c
    1999 Honda Shadow VLX

    Quote Originally Posted by Afflo View Post
    For the record, Stephen Hawking has proven, via fancy mathematics and strange experiments with a particle collider, that the city of Bakersfield exists in the plains of Oklahoma, and a strange bubble in space allows it easy geographic access to the Inland Empire. Merced and Fresno are out of luck.

  9. #9
    Coming from another girl - My first was an 05 V-Star 650 Custom (a pretty little thing), when I dropped it and the insurance company decided it was in their words "totaled" we decided to move me to my husband's 02 V-Star 1100 (so he could move up to a new Roadstar). At the time I too worried about the bigger bike. WOW what a great bike the 1100 is, Iíve been on it about 2 and a half years now. It is so much easier to handle, I tell my husband the bike wants to stay up right on itís own! The clutch on the 1100 is MUCH easier than the 650, there is actually play in the clutch on the 1100 where that seems to be an issue in 650's (not just mine from what I hear), the weight difference is so insignificant that I really never noticed the difference. The extra power is nice, although I never really had a problem with not enough power on the 650, I seemed to manage to keep up. So for my 2 cents, I love everything about my V-Star 1100.

    Secretary & Webmistress

    "I love you more than my bike, my old one not my new one"

  10. #10
    Rollin' On lionfour's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Glen Burnie, Maryland
    Unless you get tired of the sewing machine motor sound of the 650

    Ouch that hurt, just got one!
    Actually you may be right now that I think of it,
    a "pipe job" is definatley in the near future.
    2000 Yamaha 650 V Star "Lucy"

    "I suppose it is much more comfortable to
    be mad and know it, than to be sane and
    have one's dbouts."



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