Riding Yamaha's New V Star 1100 Classic
Helmet: HJC CL-12
Gloves: Tour Master Custom Middleweight Glove; Pants: Tour Master Sport Touring Pant
Action photos by: Frank Hoppen
Yamaha adds the V Star 1100 Classic to cruiser line
Recently Yamaha brought members of the press together in Del Mar, California to sample their entire line of Cruiser offerings. This is a long list indeed as Yamaha's extensive line consists of multiple models ranging from Royal Stars (3 models), V Stars (4 models), the unique Road Star (3 models) and their deluxe touring mount the Venture (2 models). There are so many models, mind you, even some journalists are beginning to get a bit confused.
Yamaha's cruiser line is riding high as a result of two extremely successful sales seasons. If you believe Yamaha's numbers, and we have no reason not to, their cruiser sales have increased much faster than even the cruiser market itself. This would indicate that Yamaha is gaining in overall market share. For 2000, Yamaha is offering some new colors, a new model based on the V Star 1100 Custom, and two pearl white Y2K limited edition models.
click here for a 2000 model overview
We focused a good portion of our time aboard the new V Star 1100 Classic. The verdict - this is one nice motorcycle! Based on the V Star 1100 Custom, introduced just last year, the Classic uses the same engine and frame as it's sibling but it takes styling a bit further. There are new valanced front and rear fenders, a 16 inch front rim replaces the Custom's 19 inch rim and sports a wide 130/90 tire. The conventional forks are masked with polished covers to create a bolder look. In addition, the Classic has wide pullback bars, forward mounted floorboards and a wide seat with thicker padding.
What hasn't change on the Classic, is the bikes exceptional rider friendliness. The V Star 1100 is simply one of the most pleasing-to-ride cruisers around. When you head down the road, all just seems to be right with the world. The comfortable layout lets you relax, leaving you to enjoy the road you're traveling. If that road calls for some performance, the big Yamaha has you covered as roll-on power is very good across the rev range and handling is light and precise as with all the new Yamahas we've ridden over the last two years. The only drawbacks to the bike are how easily the comfortable floorboards repeatedly scrape the pavement with more aggressive riders aboard and how the bars hit the knees of tall riders during parking lot maneuvers.
The bike's excellent road manners, light steering and low seat height, however, combine to make the 1100 feel smaller than your typical open class cruiser, so it's not too hard to manage. Oh, did we mention the brakes? They just happen to offer the best feel of any cruiser we've ridden to date, and there's ample stopping power to get the job done. (Don't get us started about the anemic brakes mounted to so many of today's cruiser models).
The sound put out by the stock exhaust is music to your ears - throughout the rev range. Some cruisers sound good at particular RPM, the Yamaha sounds great throughout the useable rev range. Added to this are comfy ergonomics provided by low wide bars, floor boards complete with heel shifter and a comfortable wide seat setting only 27.9 inches from the ground. If it sounds to you like we like the V Star 1100 Classic, you're wrong. We loved it and so will you!
2000 Cruiser Model Overview | 2000 Cruiser Prices
1999 Venture Model Information | 1999 Road Star Model Information
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