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View Full Version : Ironhead Dad's Yamaha VStar 1100 vs. my 69 CH


snow
31st May 2012, 22:54
Dad passed away last year & mom wants to sell his '02 V Star. He got it new when he turned 70, but only put 2500 miles on it. It made me quite nervous whenever I watched him ride, I guess as nervous as I made him when I first started on bikes. Since the 50s he'd owned Indians, Vespas, Cushmans, BMWs, Kawasaki, Honda, Yam, etc., but that VStar was just too big, heavy & clunky just like all those Japanese-wannabe-Harleys. As his health declined, I'd ride the stupid thing around the block for him to keep it up.

Last night was the first time I rode it any distance--- 50 miles on the mountain roads. It's big & slow, but smooth, and there's a lot to be said for that starter button & modern electrical conveniences. However, I really prefer the CH. It's snappier, quicker, lighter & gets better gas mileage. The CH is much more responsive, as well--- short wheelbase, lighter, skinnier wheels. Breathe on the throttle and it romps, back off & the engine compression slows it down better than the brakes. With the Vstar i felt somewhat disassociated from the road, like I was in a bubble while everything was happening out there. It runs the stock Mikuni carb & bigass mufflers, so that may have something to do with the feeling of being insulated from the ride. The ride on the CH is almost as harsh as a rigid, but the feel of the road is immediate & direct.

I understand the Japanese deliberately dumb down their product to mimic HD Big Twin characteristics, but a lot is lost in translation.

tiderider
31st May 2012, 23:09
Hey Snow, sorry for the loss of your father, we lost my Dad two years ago, it's tough. I had a Vstar 650 for a couple of years back in the late 90's, I needed something to ride 150 miles a day and just change oil so I bought the 650. Like you said nothing very special about it, but it did exactly what I needed and never let me down. I put 15000 on it in nearly 2 years and sold it for nearly the same money. I bet there won't be alot of those Vstars still running around 40 years from now.

DirtyCory
31st May 2012, 23:09
i feel the same way when i ride my dads 98 heritage springer softail. it dont even feel like a harley to me. feels like a car that only has 2 wheels. not any fun to ride at all. i wouldnt buy that 15000 dollar bike for 5000. all the new stuff sucks

Tracker
31st May 2012, 23:10
I have and '07 Fatboy as well as may Ironhead and I know exactly what you're talking about. The two bikes are soooo different. The Iron feels like a real machine. It shakes, smells and is much more responsive than my Fatboy. But the Fatboy is much more fun on the long high speed runs that make my hands, feet and butt go numb on the Sporty. I love them both, though, and won't give up either one.

Grumpy_Chef
31st May 2012, 23:13
I had a '99 Vstar 1100 and loved it. It ripped stop light to stop light like nobodies business and could cruise all day on the highway. would still have it if that idiot hadn't ran the red light when I was going through the intersection :)

does the '02 have fuel injection? I, myself, have never been a fan of FI bikes, they feel weird and disconnected to me for some reason....

brucstoudt
31st May 2012, 23:34
i feel the same way when i ride my dads 98 heritage springer softail. it dont even feel like a harley to me. feels like a car that only has 2 wheels. not any fun to ride at all. i wouldnt buy that 15000 dollar bike for 5000. all the new stuff sucks

a,couple more post's like that,and my big twin dream's,will become nightmare's. thank's,D.C.!

muskramble
31st May 2012, 23:39
It may be not politicall correct to say that but...
I recently tried an EFI rubber mount sportster from the dealer (a 48 actually).
It was a better bike than mine in many aspects: smoothness of the commands, torque and power, easy to rev, quietness, handling...
The guy from the shop asked about my impressions when I gave it back (in hope for a trade) and I just told him: "it feels like a Japanese bike" - my honest opinion.
And I don't even ride a ironhead (rigid mount carbed evo).

IronMick
31st May 2012, 23:44
I had a '99 Vstar 1100 and loved it. It ripped stop light to stop light like nobodies business and could cruise all day on the highway. ...

The stock V-Star 1100 had only ~50 HP compared to the Virago 1100 ~61 HP. But you could get a factory sup-up kit for them. I wonder if yours had the kit?

I have always thought of the Virago 1000/1100 as next best thing to a Sportster - V-Twin, air cooled, huge torque, manoeverable in city, rock star on the hiway, easy to work on, classic styling. I had 3 of them myself and they are still great bikes.

brucstoudt
31st May 2012, 23:52
i,feel like i'm,at a,wedding now,with all this rice,raining down on me. plus rice coming from the h-d dealer now, good,lord!

snow
1st June 2012, 00:01
Grumpychef: Dad's '02 has a Mikuni carb, and I must admit the overdrive gear is really nice. When I do 75 mph-85 (?--- no speedo) on the CH, my fingers go numb. But the CH could eat the Vstar's lunch all day, traffic or twisties.... Especially after reading Mick's post about the 50 HP. The CH may not make that much power, but it's way lighter. I'm not sure, but the V feels like it weighs twice as much as the CH...

bobber58
1st June 2012, 00:03
The new sportsters do not feel like the classic itonhead by any means, but are the closest thing to a classic Harley feeling. I have a 2010 883 Iron. It has Z bars, 2.2 tank, and a seat from a 48. It handles great (im always scraping pegs evem with those stupid warning bolts removed) amd its responsive, and it still has that feeling of being connectes to the road. Its low and agile, amd the FI has icredible throttle response. You can drive hard into a turn amd pull hard coming out. And even though its rubber mounted, there is still a good bit of vibration passed on to you thru the seat, pegs, and bars. Not the same feeling as my ironhead where I feel like I held onto a lawnmower all day, but it's not entirely soulless either like the metric and newer BT bikes are. My friend has a softail amd riding it im affraid I could fall asleep if I was coming hime late at night from work on it. All cushy amd stuff.

Grumpy_Chef
1st June 2012, 01:14
....But you could get a factory sup-up kit for them. I wonder if yours had the kit?...

I didn't have a factory kit, but I did put on free flowing air filter, exhaust, jets; the usual stuff and woke the motor up a bit....

Grumpychef: Dad's '02 has a Mikuni carb, and I must admit the overdrive gear is really nice. .. But the CH could eat the Vstar's lunch all day, traffic or twisties.... .. I'm not sure, but the V feels like it weighs twice as much as the CH...

Yea, the Star is a bit on the heavy side, but I still liked it... And my Evo 1100 would pound the crap out of it too, unless it was a distance race on the highway :) I gave a friend of mines rubber Sporty a spin and came away a bit disappointed... Not to dump on it, but there must be something about the ridged mount that makes it feel more visceral

bud095
1st June 2012, 01:25
had an 07 v star 650 good bike but i agree it was almost too perfect to the point of boardem ,,,,,,bud

micwag2
1st June 2012, 02:16
I still ride my 650 V-star Classic every day to work. Sure, even with pipes and an air cleaner it is lacking in the power department, but I didn't buy it to race it. My Sportster is my toy. Take it out on nice days and for fun.

Big Rob
1st June 2012, 02:43
I own an 02 roadstar warrior 102 cubes drag pipes loved it for 3 yrs handles great pretty light buttloads of torque put 50,000 miles no glitches dummy proof it fits me since im 6ft 275 but it sits in the garage after i built my rigid 97 sporty i love that stupid little quad cam freak do miss the torque but twistin that sporty to 6800 is fun also !!!

sgtgeorge
1st June 2012, 02:55
I have my '72 and a 07 Honda Shadow Spirit. I bought the Shadow for commuting, 60 miles a day and my ironhead for play. The Ironhead feels like a real bike. All the others, my Shadow included, have a vagueness to them.

IronMick
1st June 2012, 03:43
I have my '72 and a 07 Honda Shadow Spirit. ...

I bought a Honda Shadow Spirit 1100 new in 1997. First year for the bigger fuel tank and a bunch of other changes including the name Spirit. Great bike. Pass big trucks on two lane hiways on windy days. Not as nimble as as the Virago in city traffic but better on the hiway as it is heavier, bigger, and has a taller seat position.

rivethog
1st June 2012, 04:21
Ya just have to learn how to ride them baggers.
2010 Harley Bagger on the Dragon - YouTube
Police Motorcycle Competition - YouTube

sgtgeorge
1st June 2012, 12:53
Check out Donnie Williams. He has won numerous competitions with his skills. I was a NYPD Highway Motor Operator. This guy would blow me away. By the way, the foot boards scraping the pavement means you are doing it right.

Tried to upload video but it wont go. See youtube

snow
1st June 2012, 17:48
I'd like to see those bagger riders kickstart a 69 CH on a hot day.

Grumpy_Chef
2nd June 2012, 00:20
I own an 02 roadstar warrior 102 cubes drag pipes loved it for 3 yrs .......

I had a 2005 RoadStar 1700. It was the worst bike I ever had... I must of had a lemon because i know a few people with them and never had a problem... Kept chasing a rear cylinder miss. as in would fire most of the time. I wound up trading it straight up for the '75 Iron Head I'm working on now :)