YAMAHA XVS1100 DRAGSTAR (1998 - on) Review
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£1,500|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
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 & brakesNext up: Engine
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.
EngineNext up: Reliability
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.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
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.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
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
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.
|Engine type||4v V-twin, 5 gears|
|Frame type||Steel cradle|
|Fuel capacity||17 litres|
|Front brake||Twin 298mm discs|
|Rear brake||282mm disc|
|Front tyre size||110/90 x 18|
|Rear tyre size||170/80 x 15|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||46 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£93|
|Annual service cost||£1,500|
|Used price||£2,900 - £6,000|
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How much to insure?
Top speed & performance
|Max power||62 bhp|
|Max torque||63 ft-lb|
|Top speed||110 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||15.4 secs|
|Tank range||171 miles|
Model history & versions
1998: Original Yamaha XVS1100 launched.
Yamaha XVS1100A Drag Star Classic: more retro looks, spoked wheels (front smaller than regular bike), bigger headlamp, more flamboyant mudguards.
Owners' reviews for the YAMAHA XVS1100 DRAGSTAR (1998 - on)
3 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.
Summary of owners' reviews
|Ride quality & brakes:|
|Reliability & build quality:|
|Value vs rivals:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£1,500|
Annual servicing cost: £1,500
37000 hub spline failure ,45000 mid shaft failure , 60000 shift fork failure . I love riding this bike but serious failures
To many big things break
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 does it beautifully. Riding it is almost as good for you as meditation. Surprisingly, it also handles and stops pretty well.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Version: XVS 1100 Classic
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, balance and sheer fun.
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!
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...
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...
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!