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Yamaha XVS650 DRAGSTAR Custom Motorbike Review

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Yamaha XVS650 Dragstar motorcycle review - Riding
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MCN overall verdict rating is 3

The Yamaha XVS650 Drag Star is a fun and hassle-free way to enjoy your cruising. It’s got a low, comfy seat, big bike looks, ease of use and nice styling on its side. Add that to a low purchase price and the Yamaha XVS650 Drag Star makes a good case for itself as an affordable alternative to Harley’s 883 Sportster or Triumph’s Bonneville.

Engine

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

With the 40bhp, SOHC, air-cooled  V-twin doof-doofing quietly beneath you you’re only ever going to be in for an unhurried ride on the Yamaha XVS650 Drag Star. Which is fine, since there’s more to life than tearing about.

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4

Despite its faux-hardtail looks the Yamaha XVS650 Drag Star rides very well. It’s no featherweight, but the weight is carried low and the steering is neutral right over to the peg, the exhaust and the chassis you’ll be gently chamfering on your favourite corner. The Yamaha XVS650 Drag Star's brakes on the other hand are less than stella performers and you’re well advised to proceed with that in mind.

Equipment

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 3.5

The Yamaha XVS650 Drag Star is backed up with a veritable Aladdin’s cave of aftermarket booty. You can buy everything from luggage to lights, chrome bars to tassles and everything in-between for your Yamaha XVS650 Drag Star.

Yamaha XVS650 Drag Star (1997-current)

Detail Value
New price £5,499
Dealer used prices
£3,780 (2006) - £4,740 (2011)
Private used prices
£3,400 (2006) - £4,260 (2011)
  View full used price info
Engine size 649 cc
Power 40 bhp
Top speed 96 mph
Insurance group 8 of 17
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 3 rating is 4
Engine rating is 3 rating is 4.5
Ride & Handling rating is 4 rating is 4
Equipment rating is 3 rating is 3.5
Quality & Reliability rating is 4 rating is 4
Value rating is 4 rating is 4.5

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4

The Yamaha XVS650 Drag Star's finish is very good, with high quality chrome and paintwork and thoughtful touches like rust-resisting, resin-coated spokes. It’s shaft-drive, too, reducing mess and promoting longevity. The Yamaha XVS650 Drag Star's motor is very unstressed and should be good for years to come.

Value

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

The Yamaha XVS650 Drag Star replaced the Virago in the Yamaha line-up and it’s by far the better bike. You can pick up a Yamaha XVS650 Drag Star very cheaply, with older bikes available for about a grand privately. It doesn’t have the feel or the distinctive sound of a Harley but your neighbours won’t know and at that price you won’t care. Find a Yamaha Drag Star for sale

Insurance

Insurance group: 8 of 17

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Model History

1997: Yamaha XVS650 Drag Star introduced to replace Virago XV535.
1998: ‘Classic’ version of Yamaha XVS650 Drag Star introduced.

Other Versions

Yamaha XVS650 Drag Star Classic: Comes with fatter mudguards and shrouded forks and was at a £200 premium over the stocker when new.

Specifications

Top speed 96 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 15.6 secs
Max power 40 bhp
Max torque 37 ft-lb
Weight 229 kg
Seat height 710 mm
Fuel capacity 16 litres
Average fuel consumption 47 mpg
Tank range 160 miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group 8 of 17
Engine size 649 cc
Engine specification 4v, V-twin 5 gears
Frame Tubular steel cradle
Front suspension adjustment None
Rear suspension adjustment Preload
Front brakes Single 298mm disc
Rear brake Drum
Front tyre size 120/60 x 19
Rear tyre size 170/80 x 15

See all Yamaha XVS650 DRAGSTAR motorcycles for sale

Yamaha
XVS650 DRAGSTAR

8410 miles

£3,991

Yamaha
XVS650 DRAGSTAR

10952 miles

£5,199

Yamaha
XVS650 DRAGSTAR

5376 miles

£5,499

Yamaha
XVS650 DRAGSTAR

3630 miles

£4,699

Yamaha
XVS650 DRAGSTAR

30157 miles

£1,995

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 4(4 reviews)

  • Great looks

    Jugster

    Average rating rating is 3.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    I have a '99 model having passed my main bike test last year. I love the looks and the seat is very comfortable. It has plenty of acceleration and is fine on big corners. The low weight and seat make it easy to stop and get your feet down. However, you will need to do this because at very slow manoeuvring speeds it's a little awkward. Beware making a sharp turn at very slow speed because the bike becomes unbalanced and tends to fall over. Other than that, the handling is fine. Not a fan of the foot pegs - they are too far forwards, so am changing them for boards. On long trips they become uncomfortable. Also, there is little equipment in the way of fuel gauge or gear indicator, so it's pretty old school. One other annoying feature - the oil. There's no dipstick, though I think you can get them as an extra, and the viewing port is right under the engine, gets covered in muck and you can't see anything in it anyway. So, yeah, that isn't very good. Otherwise, it's comfy, it looks great, it has decent power and its fun to ride.

    22 March 2014

  • excellent bike

    s3lee

    Average rating rating is 5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    ive had a 97 xvs650 for a couple of years and have covered thousands of miles, most 2 up with plenty of luggage, apart from the rectifier having to be replaced there has not been one day when it hasnt started 1st time, and the highway hawk slash cuts give it a brilliant thumping tone...overall a highly recomended bike..

    18 April 2009

  • Dragstar 650 Classic

    bobdalby

    Average rating rating is 4

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    my birthday treat last year a brand new classic. Hit the big 6 - 0 and thought I needed to minimise the risk as reaction time goes south from now on. The Dragstar classic ticks all the boxes. I can still enjoy a bit of speed, but shouldn't flip it doing wheelies. Then seats 3-4 hour rating (without a break) and all in all very pleased. Oh it looks gorgeous, get lots of comments and its fun to ride. Still living the dream!

    22 February 2008

  • Good old ride!

    rushybike

    Average rating rating is 4

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    A great ride and very reliable. Not the most exciting ride but it does the job and really looks the part!

    20 December 2007

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GOWPETCH

GOWPETCHsays

1999 DRAGSTAR CLASSIC

I have been riding my Dragstar since buying it from a friend in 2004 and found it an excellent ride with comfortable seating even with two up.  Rode in convoy following and leading all the Yamaha cruiser bikes to Ireland, Wales and northern England last year proving to be great fun.  Reliable, economic and cheap and  great looking with great extras.  Mine has luggage, screen, engine bars, cissy bar, spot lights, navigator, running boards, on board battery maintainer and the rest.  Great reaction from passers by.

A pleasure to ride.

21 July 2009 15:11

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