STYLE FOR MILES
Yamaha’s Star Motorcycle division claims to be the top-selling metric cruiser brand, and it’s easy to see why. Star has eight model families, and a total of 22 different models to choose from, everything from the diminutive V Star 250 to the domineering, 179-horsepower Vmax.
Nestled between the 649cc V Star Custom and the V Star 1300 is the V Star 950, which has an air-cooled 942cc 60-degree V-twin with a single-pin crank and belt final drive (the same powertrain is used in Star’s popular Bolt models). Like many Star models, the V Star 950 has a factory-custom look and great attention to detail, with black-and-silver cast wheels, bobbed fenders and a low-profile gas tank emblazoned with stylish graphics. The base model ($8,690) and the Tourer ($9,790), which adds a windshield, leather-covered hard saddlebags and a passenger backrest, are unchanged for 2015 except for colors. Our 2014 test bike is painted Raven; the 2015 V Star Tourer will be available in Deep Blue or Pearl White.
At 942cc, the Star’s engine has the highest displacement in this comparison, and it cranks out the most torque: 57.2 lb-ft at 3,400 rpm. Jett Tuning’s dyno recorded 48.7 horsepower at 5,600 rpm, putting the Star second behind the 56-horsepower Triumph. The Star averaged 47.2 mpg—the lowest in this test—and its 4.5-gallon tank yields 213 miles.
2014 Star V Star 950 Tourer
Base Price: $9,790 (same for 2015)
Warranty: 1 yr., unltd. miles
Type: Air-cooled transverse 60-degree V-twin
Bore x Stroke: 85.0 x 83.0mm
Compression Ratio: 9.0:1
Valve Train: SOHC, 4 valves per cyl.
Valve Insp. Interval: 16,000 miles
Fuel Delivery: EFI w/ TPS & 35mm throttle bodies x 2
Lubrication System: Wet sump, 4.3-qt. cap.
Transmission: 5-speed, cable-actuated wet clutch
Final Drive: Belt
Ignition: Transistor Controlled Ignition
Charging Output: 461 watts max.
Battery: 12V 11AH
Frame: Tubular-steel double cradle w/ steel swingarm
Wheelbase: 66.3 in.
Rake/Trail: 32 degrees/5.7 in.
Seat Height: 26.6 in.
Suspension, Front: 41mm stanchions, no adj., 5.3-in. travel
Rear: Link-type single shock, adj. for spring preload, 4.3-in. travel
Brakes, Front: Single disc w/ 2-piston pin-slide caliper
Rear: Single disc w/ 2-piston pin-slide caliper
Wheels, Front: Cast, 3.50 x 18 in.
Rear: Cast, 4.50 x 16 in.
Tires, Front: 130/70-H18
Wet Weight: 655 lbs.
Load Capacity: 421 lbs.
GVWR: 1,076 lbs.
Fuel Capacity: 4.5 gals., last 0.8 gal. warning light on
MPG: 87 PON min. (low/avg/high) 39.3/47.2/53.7
Estimated Range: 213 miles
Indicated RPM at 60 MPH: NA
This motorcycle review was part of a larger motorcycle comparison article called Touring Twins, which was published in the January 2015 issue of Rider magazine, along with individual reports on all four motorcycles. Follow the links below to read the individual reviews and see full specs on each motorcycle.
2014 Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Classic LT
I’m 5′-6/150 lbs and considering this 950 Tourer but wondering if the short windshield would buffet my helmet as much as it did your testers? You didn’t mention how tall they are. Being able to see above it would be nice too.
I’m 5’8″ 155 lbs ride have a 2009 950Tourer and had no issues with wind due to windshield height. I love this bike, handles me and my wife just fine and looks great! In the spirit of full disclosure I did just replace the stock windshield with a Memphis Shades Batwing fairing and Cee Bailey’s 11″ Memphis Devil windshield, change was for looks and had nothing to do with stock windshield. Today was first ride with new setup and I like, but can tell no difference from stock. I hope that this info helps.
I am 5’6 and own a 2015 Yamaha V-Star 950 Tourer. I traded in my Yamaha 2011 V-Start 650 Custom last August for the left-over 2015 v-star 950. I loved my 650 and put over 50,000 miles on it. I really love the 950 it is everything the 650 was but better (much better). It has plenty of power and is a very stable ride. The suspension is excellent and the ride is very smooth. The bike is extremely comfortable and changing gears takes a very light hand. On a trip last summer form Buffalo, New York to the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon two follow riders who ride Harley Davidson’s were amazed with how well my bike rode. They really liked the stable smoothness of the ride. I can’t wait to spring hoping to put between 10,000 – 15,000 miles on the bike.