YAMAHA XVS950 MIDNIGHT STAR (2009-on) Review

Published: 19 January 2009

"Does everything a larger custom does and is considerably cheaper"

Yamaha Midnight Star - a lot of bike for the money

"Does everything a larger custom does and is considerably cheaper"

  • At a glance
  • 942cc  -  55 bhp
  • 53 mpg  -  196 miles range
  • Insurance group: 13 of 17
    Compare insurance quotes now
  • Low seat height (675mm)
  • £6,999

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

You’d never guess this was an entry level custom cruiser, at only £6500 it’s a hell of a lot of bike for the money. It questions whether you need a larger bike, as it does everything a larger customs does and is considerably cheaper. It feels large, like a proper custom bike, comfortable, strong engine, more than enough for two up touring, yet is still easy to ride and rider friendly.

Ride Quality & Brakes 3 out of 5

You have to remember it’s a custom cruiser and obviously aimed at very different audience to a sports bike. However, for me the foot boards still scrape far too early, ground clearance is limited. But I’m told most custom buyers aren’t bothered about a lack of ground clearance. Stability is excellent and the brakes aren’t half bad either, better than the competition from the US. Comfort wise it’s near perfect.

Engine 4 out of 5

The 90 degree V-Twin is an entirely new engine and not a bored out version of the old model. It actually produces more torque than bhp which is ideal for this market. It’s not arm-ripping torque like a large capacity Harley-Davidson but more than enough for this bike. The fuel injection is faultlessly controlled by Mikuni.

Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5

Some of the plastic chrome does let the bike down in places, for me it’s a little too much. It doesn’t pass the quality tap test, however you have to remember the very low price tag. On the whole the finish is high, the exhaust looks quality. Reliability wise the low revving motor should be bullet proof and the belt drive reduces running costs.

Insurance, running costs & value 5 out of 5

This is where the new Yamaha XVS950A Midnight Star really scores its points. It feels quality, rides and looks far better than the low price tag suggests. An entry level custom that does everything its larger brothers do but considerably cheaper and easier to live with and ride. Find a Yamaha Midnight Star for sale

Insurance group: 13 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 4 out of 5

The Yamaha XVS950A Midnight Star is straightforward as it’s a custom cruiser, however the rear still has 8 way preload adjustment for taking a pillion and luggage. Just a single disc brake up at the front, which is asking a lot, stopping a hefty 279kg. Analogue speedo is incorporated into the tank in true custom style. Compare and buy products for the Yamaha XVS950A Midnight Star in the MCN Shop.

Owners' Reviews

4 owners have reviewed their YAMAHA XVS950 MIDNIGHT STAR (2009-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.

We’re currently improving the way this section works, which means we’ve had to suspend the submission of new owners’ reviews for a short period. Please check back soon.

Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4.5 out of 5
Engine 4.5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4.8 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4.8 out of 5
Equipment 3.8 out of 5
5 out of 5

XVS-950A

16 January 2010 by Blue echo

XVS-950A great bike had mine now for 3-month, first service done and dusted, changed my GSX-R600, for the Yam, should have done it earlier, no more aching knees, well I am 63-1/3, loving every minute riding It, Thanks to Dave at South Wales... Read more Supper-bikes for their help and advice. It does what it says on the CAN !!

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5

VXS950A 2009 Part 2

12 October 2009 by ssnow

Just had 1st service today 12/10/09 - no problems, the bike continues to impress me with every ride, its one of those bikes you can just ride and ride....If any of you thought 'no way would I ride a cruiser', I've got news for you! You may well be... Read more suprised and enjoy it!! I am and look forward to many thousands of comfortable riding. Thanks to Pheonix Motorcycles of Trowbridge,Wiltshire a great bunch of guys and great service. Thanks.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
5 out of 5

XVS950A 2009

28 September 2009 by ssnow

Well what can I tell you?, I have px'd my 2006 ZX10R Sports bike for the Yamaha XVS Midnight Star 950....Why oh Why I here you cry!!...Well I'm nearly 50 now, so it was time for a change..the 10r was a fantastic speed machine..105mph in first... Read more gear,180+ mph etc......It just came to the fact that you can't use all that go on UK roads....So,enter the XVS950..Why the 950?, because it looks great,heavy it is,but not as much as the 1300's or larger cruisers..Quality is very good, mines black and sets the chrome off, belt drive is a plus(no lube),nice cast wheels,great comfort and v good fuel economy 55 to 59 mpg avearge. No it won't do 120 mph as MCN states - about 112 indicated is yer lot ( about 105 actual) unless you get flat out down a very long slope,then you might see 115 -120 on the clocks. Handling is acceptable as are the brakes ( rear brake if good and progressive),handling spoilt and limited by the running board skids touching down at the mearest lean angle( but it puts a smile on your face). To quiet as standard...so put a 1" hole cutter up the can,you will need a 14" extension piece..Now it sounds great with a nice Blat Blat....also look at the airbox it takes its air from between the cylinder bank ( read very hot)...so drill two 22mm holes in the underside of black plastic airbox...Ah!, fresh cool air.... Fitted a Puig screen from Ebay 108 euro from Germany...bargain, good fit and £200 less than Mr Yamaha.... A good bike, I am pleased with it. They are now £7120 otr.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
5 out of 5

JUST RIGHT FOR ME

09 June 2009 by 88RMH

JUST GOT IT AND I LOVE IT !!!!!!! Read more

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
Read all 4 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2009
Year discontinued -
New price £6,999
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 13 of 17
Annual road tax £80
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 55 bhp
Max torque 58.1 ft-lb
Top speed 120 mph
1/4-mile acceleration -
Average fuel consumption 53 mpg
Tank range 196 miles
Specification
Engine size 942cc
Engine type 8v (85 x83), 5 gears
Frame type Steel cradle frame
Fuel capacity 17 litres
Seat height 675mm
Bike weight 279kg
Front suspension 41mm conventional forks
Rear suspension Single shock, preload adjust only
Front brake 320mm radial 2 piston caliper
Rear brake 298mm disc single piston
Front tyre size 130/70x18
Rear tyre size 170/60x16

History & Versions

Model history

N/A

Other versions

None

Photo Gallery

  • Yamaha Midnight Star - a lot of bike for the money
  • Yamaha Midnight Star - engine makes more torque than bhp
  • Yamaha Midnight Star - ground clearance is limited
  • Yamaha Midnight Star - side view
  • Yamaha Midnight Star - belt drive
  • Yamaha Midnight Star - exhaust looks quality
  • Yamaha Midnight Star - tank mounted speedo
  • Yamaha Midnight Star - do you really need anything bigger?
  • Yamaha Midnight Star - single disc up front has to haul up 279kg
  • Yamaha Midnight Star - a lot of bike for the money
  • Yamaha Midnight Star - engine makes more torque than bhp
  • Yamaha Midnight Star - ground clearance is limited
  • Yamaha Midnight Star - side view
  • Yamaha Midnight Star - belt drive
  • Yamaha Midnight Star - exhaust looks quality
  • Yamaha Midnight Star - tank mounted speedo
  • Yamaha Midnight Star - do you really need anything bigger?
  • Yamaha Midnight Star - single disc up front has to haul up 279kg