YAMAHA XVS1100 DRAGSTAR (1998-on) Review

Published: 24 November 2006

"Somewhat old tech but light weight and manageability are always useful"

Yamaha XVS1100 motorcycle review - Riding

"Somewhat old tech but light weight and manageability are always useful"

Overall Rating 3 out of 5

The Yamaha XVS1100 - a big  cruiser of yesteryear is more a mid sized cruiser of today. It's an evolution of Yamaha’s long running XV1100 Virago which used to be its custom-style range topper but now it’s dwarfed by the near-two litre megacruisers. The Yamaha XVS1100 is somewhat old tech but light weight and manageability are always useful.

Ride Quality & Brakes 3 out of 5

Steering is light and easy – it’s not a very involving ride which means you can concentrate on posing when you're out and about on your Yamaha XVS1100. Rear shocks are a little harsh for a cruiser and can make the rear wheel skip about or transfer the shocks of bumps straight into the riders lower back. The Yamaha XVS1100's brakes are competent.

Engine 3 out of 5

The Yamaha XVS1100's big V-twin is softly tuned offering just 62bhp. Torque is a more respectable 63ftlb. There’s enough low down poke to keep the Yamaha XVS1100 nippy around town but if you want to go quick it needs revving – and can vibrate. While the engine produced the same power when in the 1100 Virago, weight is up 40kg which dulls the performance somewhat.

Build Quality & Reliability 3 out of 5

Reliability is pretty good on the Yamaha XVS1100 – even though the engine traces its roots back to the early 80s or before, problems are rare. As with so many cruisers, corrosion is the big enemy as motorcycles such as the Yamaha XVS1100 sell on looks.

Insurance, running costs & value 3 out of 5

The Yamaha XVS1100 wasn't that expensive but, when new, you could have bought a Harley-Davidson for less. The Yamaha XVS1100 doesn’t hold its value as well as those Harleys but residuals are strong as the Yamaha Star range has quite a following. Japanese rivals are close enough you should make your decision on looks. Find a Yamaha XVS1100 Dragstar for sale

Insurance group: 11 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 3 out of 5

Poor headlight, pillion seat and mirrors but otherwise all the basic gear is there on the Yamaha XVS1100. Screens, panniers and louder exhausts are popular add ons. Shaft drive works well and is low maintenance. Yamaha XVS1100's hidden rear suspension gives that authentic hard-tail look.

Owners' Reviews

2 owners have reviewed their YAMAHA XVS1100 DRAGSTAR (1998-on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your YAMAHA XVS1100 DRAGSTAR (1998-on)
Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 4.5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 3.5 out of 5
Engine 4.5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4.5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4.5 out of 5
Equipment 3.5 out of 5
4 out of 5

23 May 2016 by Charles Quinn

One of the last of the long, low, lazy air-cooled cruisers the Japanese used to sell by the boatload before cruiser riders started caring about stuff like performance and equipment. It's a bike intended to slow rather than quicken the pulse and it... Read more does it beautifully. Riding it is almost as good for you as meditation. Surprisingly, it also handles and stops pretty well.

Ride Quality & Brakes
3 out of 5
3/5 might seem low but I would rate most cruisers lower than that. Front and back wheel and tyre sizes are closer than on most customs, which makes for decent and fairly effortless cornering. Ground clearance is good but you can scrape the floorboards if you choose to. Brakes are among the best I've found on a cruiser, which still isn't saying much. The Classic is so low at the front that windblast is an issue at speed without a shield. But it's comfy and floorboards allow you to shift position.
Engine
4 out of 5
It's a lazy, lolloping V-twin engine of style that's pretty much gone out of fashion now among mid-size cruisers. It has enough grunt to put a smile on your face but not enough to make your heart race. There's no rev limiter and the sound of floating valves isn't nice if you change up too late. Otherwise it sounds absolutely gorgeous with a pair of slip-ons. As with most cruisers of this era it's geared like a car -- fifth is drive, everything else is for getting there.
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
I've seen better finishes, particularly on fork legs and cast wheels, but overall everything fits together nicely and there's metal in places most other Japanese cruisers have plastic. And as far as I can tell it's bulletproof.
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
It's air-cooled and carbed so you can do pretty much everything yourself if necessary. Lots of people make a fuss about the bits that have to come off to change the oil filter but really it only makes the job a bit longer. It's still not hard. In terms of fuel consumption you should be able to squeeze 200 miles out of the 17L tank.
Equipment
2 out of 5
There's a single trip meter and hazard lights, but otherwise it's as bare bones as you can get. No clock, no tach and no fuel gauge, not even a warning light (familiarise yourself with the petcock location). The best single upgrade you can make is a decent set of tyres -- Michelin Commander II are recommended -- you'll be surprised how well it handles then.
5 out of 5

Underrated Monster! /Harley killer!

08 July 2015 by Imani Odufuye

Overall its simply a terrific all around bike! I have two other bikes 2007 Hayabusa and 2015 Honda Goldwing Valkyrie... both devastating dream bikes however I will never part with my beloved V-Star 1100. The best features would be the performance,... Read more balance and sheer fun.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
The brakes are great however the ride could be a bit more comfortable, however you can't have everything for 8 grand! still, an almost perfect machine!
Engine
5 out of 5
The bullet proof 1100 can take a tremendous amount of punishment I can run in triple digits all day and the thing just asks for more...I put a kurakyn hyper charger and hard chrome pipes...
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
In terms of quality and reliability, I've had my V-Star 1100 for 9yrs and north of 12000 miles and I haven't replaced one thing other than the oil! By the way I would consider myself a hard rider every time I jump on the bike I'm in the triple digits...The bike likes to be driven hard it simply does everything I ask of it and more...
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
5 out of 5
One of my favorite features is the factory metal flake two tone paint. In fact I ask the salesman if it was a custom paint job! LOL!
Read all 2 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 1998
Year discontinued -
New price £6,999
Used price £3,000 to £6,000
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 11 of 17
Annual road tax £82
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 62 bhp
Max torque 63 ft-lb
Top speed 110 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 15.4 secs
Average fuel consumption 46 mpg
Tank range 171 miles
Specification
Engine size 1063cc
Engine type 4v V-twin, 5 gears
Frame type Steel cradle
Fuel capacity 17 litres
Seat height 710mm
Bike weight 261kg
Front suspension None
Rear suspension Preload
Front brake Twin 298mm discs
Rear brake 282mm disc
Front tyre size 110/90 x 18
Rear tyre size 170/80 x 15

History & Versions

Model history

1998: Original Yamaha XVS1100 launched.

Other versions

Yamaha XVS1100A Drag Star Classic: more retro looks, spoked wheels (front smaller than regular bike), bigger headlamp, more flamboyant mudguards.

 

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  • Yamaha XVS1100 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Yamaha XVS1100 motorcycle review - Brakes
  • Yamaha XVS1100 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Yamaha XVS1100 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Yamaha XVS1100 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Yamaha XVS1100 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Yamaha XVS1100 motorcycle review - Side view
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  • Yamaha XVS1100 motorcycle review - Engine
  • Yamaha XVS1100 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Yamaha XVS1100 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Yamaha XVS1100 motorcycle review - Engine
  • Yamaha XVS1100 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Yamaha XVS1100 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Yamaha XVS1100 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Yamaha XVS1100 motorcycle review - Brakes
  • Yamaha XVS1100 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Yamaha XVS1100 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Yamaha XVS1100 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Yamaha XVS1100 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Yamaha XVS1100 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Yamaha XVS1100 motorcycle review - Front view
  • Yamaha XVS1100 motorcycle review - Top view
  • Yamaha XVS1100 motorcycle review - Engine
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