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Yamaha V-Star XVS650 Custom

Yamaha V-Star XVS650 Custom

4.5 from 30 reviews

See the Best Cruiser Bikes in 2019 as rated by Australians on ProductReview.com.au.

I used to own a 650 custom. I loved it and put over 50,000 miles on it. Great first bike.

Yamaha makes a good bike!
I, now ride a Yamaha v-star 950. I have put over 16,500 miles on my 950 since I bought it, (August 2017). I love this bike! It's a great looking, light and stable riding machine. It's a great second bike. It's the perfect size bike, powerful, light and stable. If your looking for a bigger and more powerful bike then the V-Star 650. I highly recommend the V-Star 950 Tourer if you are an experienced rider looking for a good all purpose cruiser/touring bike that is affordable. If you are a new rider or a rider with limited experience then the Yamaha 650 custom would be an excellent first bike.

Date PurchasedAug 2017

Great Bike!

Bought an 03 Vstar 650 Custom as a birthday gift for myself (50th). Great for riding around town, I find myself cruising for hours to destination nowhere. Took it to Sturgis for the 2018 Black Hills Rally and had the time of my life. Needles highway was a blast and so is Iron Mountain Road, they were perfect for smaller, lighter cruiser bike like the Vstar 650, handled the twisties and tight turns like a champ.

Date PurchasedApr 2018

Great ladies bike or learner bike

Love my V-star 650 Custom it has the power I need plus the looks to make heads turn, It's a great learner bike as it handles well and is very comfortable over long distances. I've ridden it to Ayers rock and to Cairns from Brisbane. It has a god size tank and only needs filling after 250 km + a tank normally sets you back about $20.00 AU, I'm not tall and this is a great bike for short people. If your tall you can fit put rider pegs to give your legs stretch room. Ive seen the bike tricked out for men too and it does look good.

Date PurchasedApr 2011


I want to put vance and hines cruzer pipes on my yam 400xvs.
Will they fit? Ive been told its risky as they are slightly different.
One place said they will refund if theres absolutely no scratches whatsoever when fitting them.
Should i take the risk?
Any help and advice please

Date PurchasedJul 2003

Its a keeper.

I bought my 2011 650 Custom a few yrs ago, when i retired from work,and has given me hrs of sheer pleasurre. The first thing I did was to change the pipes for Vance and Hines Cruzers, it gives it an awesome tone, and has more than enough power for one old bikie.

Date PurchasedApr 2015

New to riding and love the bike

Hi, I'm 46yo and have just bought my first bike, a 2017 XVS650 custom. At first I was apprehensive about buying a cruiser to learn on but had a few mates that had this bike previously and reassured me it was a great bike to ride. I've only had it for 3 weeks and have found it to be a great ride and really comfortable, there is plenty of power going through the gears and it pulls up easily. I don't have any problems turning at low speed, ie going around roundabouts or turning at intersections. It is a great learner legal cruiser and would recommend it to any new rider. My next wish list is some new pipes to give it a more unique sound.

Date PurchasedJul 2017

Good bike

The biggest cruiser available for L platers - I knew it is going to be fun and it did deliver! Easy handle and powerful enough to keep a rider entertained a few first months / years until full license. Even after full - quite a few people keep it. Did 20000k within 2 years on the bike, never had any issues.

Date PurchasedJun 2013

Had mine for 4yrs love love love it .

Very reliable never let me down have done 15000 ks never missed a bet . Lots of chrome. Paint good love my flames. If I have anything bad to say it would be the mirrors have trouble keeping them tight .highly recommended if you are interested in getting one go for it !!

Date PurchasedFeb 2013

Love it, Great reliable bike with enough go

It is what it is. A LAMS approved mid sized cruiser. But it does highway speeds comfortable plenty of power to overtake at 110km without being scary. Light and nimble for cornering. Well balanced. Great resale value. Love this bike. It's no big Harley but for what it is it is great. No problem blowing off a commodore or falcon. It is a great beginner bike. I am thoroughly impressed. I Put cobra boulevard 2" dragster pipes, rejected carby, baron big air kit, 4" forward control extensions and some Viking saddlebags . It will serve me well until I get my full license.

Date PurchasedFeb 2016


I bought my XVS650 just before Christmas as a gift to myself. I could not be happier with this bike. It has a wonderfully smooth, torquey engine, great riding position, decent lights and switch gear. The low center of gravity makes it a joy to ride and tour on.

This is no café racer. It is a bike with long legs for cruisin'. It is the perfect bike for someone who would like to ride a Harley, but is limited to a LAMS bike. Having said that, I don't think that I would get sick of this machine and it could well suit me for years to come.

(I am a rider returning after 20 years and need to go back to a LAMS machine. Previous bikes that I have owned include RD400, BMW R65, Z1100 and Ducati 900).

Date PurchasedDec 2016

Nice n easy

I recently purchased am XVS Custom , awesome Lams bike handles great easy to ride comfortable as, it's got more then enough grunt for its smaller engine capacity sits on 120 kph (70 mph ) no worries at all love it haven't had any clutch probs once I got used to it and it brakes pretty good I suppose it's a lot on what you're you want and what you're expecting as for me more then pleased

Piece of "Doggy Doo Doo", too small and underpowered!!

Was without a doubt, the worst experience in a motorcycle purchase I have ever made. Way underpowered, couldn't go anywhere on it. I could feel the bike begin to top out at about (45 m.p.h.), and anything over (50 m.p.h.) just plain didn't excist. I had a salesman at a Harley dealership who was "HOOKED ON CRACK". I put less than (100 miles) on the v-star 650, and knew right there that it was never gonna work for me. I now have a SOFTAIL Harley Heritage, and even that seems a little small at times, I am going for the (Road King) next, and never gonna look back. If a motorcycle ride to you means simply riding from your house and going around the block and then back home again, than the v-star 650 is probably no doubt the right choice for you, but if nice long rides in the country are what (float your boat), as that is what floats mine, don't be talked into buying the v-star 650, it'll become way to small for you and quick.

Fun Sporty Bike

XVS-650 custom Yamaha cruiser
This bike has been a top seller in Australia for a while now and for very good reason. One of the most stylish mid weight cruisers on the market and a very good pick as a first bike. Or as a sporty fun cruiser bike to hit the weekend roads with. Apart from the good looks they are well build very comfortable to ride and handle very well in the tight bends around the hills. Stopping power is good however I do find you do need to put more into the levers to pull up very quickly than some other bikes. But this makes for panic braking to a novice rider a far safer setup anyway.
Power, Power out the box they are 40 HP. One way to put that into perspective is. Form a standing start a stock SVX-650 will blast past any standard V6 Holden or a 6cyl ford family car in an all out race so is that quick eh! Well it’s v8 speed off the line and that’s fine. Another way to rationalize the power question is to compare. A Vulcan 900cc is 53HP, the S40 Boulevard is 31HP, and a Shadow makes 41HP wile a mighty heavy Harley 883cc Sportster dribbles out 53HP to the bum. Mine has been worked somewhat so it punchers out more than all of the above. Do I know what I am talking about when it comes to a fair opinion on the Yamaha XVS-650? Well Been a ZX-1400cc Ninja owner (one of the fastest bikes in history on this planet) well I feel I do.

Good mid-size no-frills V-twin cruiser

Not fancy, just a plain-jane cruiser. Lots of after-market parts so you can change the seat, controls, exhaust, etc to whatever you like. If you hunt around, you can get some great prices on these bikes. Very reliable. It's not a very exciting motorcycle but it gets the job done.

Great for getting back in the saddle.

First bike after 30 year, perfect size and weight. I sit on 130 km to work and have road trains (semis with 4 trailers @120 kph. I don't notice being moved as they pass just the hit in the chest by the wind. So a very stable easy to ride bike. After a week i would have liked a bit more power but even if i bought the bolt i would be feeling the same.

Great bike

Iv had my 2013 v star 650 custom for a few weeks now and I couldn't be happier its a perfect bike for learners. Its very reliable and holds its own with the big boys (few mates have Harley 48's and 883's) and mine looks fine beside them.
If your on your L's which most people that buy these are one thing i didnt know was the classic model is slightly bigger than the custom so if your going for size go the classic! Most come with modifications done to them such as V&H exhaust and handle bars which to the letter of the law aren't legal but hey nothing cool ever is really.

Best all around bike for me

First of all, I'm a 5'9" 135 lb guy, so take that into consideration. If I was a lot taller or heavier, I don't think I'd like this bike as much as I do. Secondly, this is a cruiser, not a sport bike. I wanted a cruiser, so that's what I got. If you want a sport bike, get one of those instead. Don't expect this bike to be what it's not intended to be.

This was the least expensive middleweight cruiser that I could find. Even a new one for $7000 isn't a bad deal compared to many bikes, but that price range was out of the question for me. However, there are plenty of used ones in this area for around $3000. I bought a 2011 model used with 340 miles on it for $3000, so I considered that an excellent value. I could ride it for years and still resell it for nearly the same amount. I'm just lucky, I guess, that the bike I could afford turned out to be the bike that I most wanted. I wouldn't trade this for a Harley, or any other bike for that matter, even if price wasn't an issue. I've been riding it every day of half the year for three riding seasons now and hope it lasts forever because I don't want anything else. Could I ride a bigger bike? Yeah. Do I want a bigger bike? No.

I really like the way the custom looks. I like it as naked a bike as I can keep it, with just a small removable bag on the back seat to carry my stuff and a shortish windshield (I think 17") so I don't get blown off the bike. I've left the original pipes because I'm not looking for extra noise. These things are just my personal preferences.

For power, this has all the power I have ever needed. The fastest road in Alaska is 65mph, so power isn't even a question like it might be if the speed limits were higher. When I need to get around someone fast, it jumps up to 85 immediately. Riding with a passenger takes a hit on the power, so except for the occasional 2up around town, I've pretty much avoided that, plus I doubt that back seat is very comfy. Speaking of comfy, the stock riders seat has been adequate. When my bottom starts getting numb on long rides, I straighten my legs to lift myself back off the seat slightly for ten seconds and that seems to fix that problem for awhile. OK, you might want a wider seat if you are a wider kind of person.

For riding style, 90% of my riding is city and back highways, and this is perfect for that, light and nimble, lots of torque at the lights. One to two-hour long rides out of town on the main highways is absolutely fine. If there is some small buzzing around 65 mph, I haven't minded it. Maybe I'm just not that finicky. I like knowing I'm riding a bike, and I like the raw feel of the road when I'm riding this bike. If you want a luxury touring bike, then buy that. I just rode 400 miles from Anchorage to past Fairbanks, mostly 65mph winding curvy mountain highway roads, and loved it. Came back a couple days later in the rain. Not as much fun, but the bike didn't mind. Even had to navigate several miles of slick mud due to road construction, and the bike was solid and easy to control, though it became so covered in mud that you'd never know there was chrome on the bike.

I get about 45 mpg, and my wife who has the same bike in 2003 model gets 49 mpg. I think that is due to me riding mine more aggressively than she does hers.

For weight, I really wouldn't want a heavier bike. Sometimes it's all I can due to back it up through the dips in my driveway when I'm parking it. Tight corners are no problem with the lighter weight. If 90% of my riding was on the freeway riding on long tours at high speeds, I'd probably want a big touring bike. Each bike has its purpose. Riding a big heavy bike in town wouldn't be near as much fun as this bike, in my opinion. I can say that even though the wind or turbulence from big trucks throws me around sometimes, it's no big deal at all, and I've never felt out of control. Like I said, I like to experience the ride, not be overly buffered from it. And remember, I'm not a huge guy, so you have to find the bike that suits you physically.

The clutch lever is easy to hold down for long periods of time, such as at lights. The downside of the clutch is that you have to let it out almost all the way before it disengages, instead of being gradual. I've heard it said that if you can handle the clutch on a v star 650, you can handle just about any clutch. Anyway, both my wife and I learned on these bikes and really had no problem with smooth starts after the first few weeks.

The brakes stop me... I don't know what else to say about that. Haven't had any problems with them. Oil changes are easy. I put a throttle lock on it which is really handy when I need it. If you want to put on saddlebags, you can easily move your helmet lock to the back license plate, which is what I did for my wife's bike, and incidentally, I didn't have to move her rear turn signals to install the bags, as is sometimes stated as fact.

Bottom line, if you aren't a large guy or gal, if you do most of your riding around town and on short trips with the occasional longer trip, don't want to spend a ton of money, don't care about name brands, ride to suit yourself and not the other guy, want a cruiser, ride where the speed limits are generally less than 75 mph and agree that the speed limits and the other rules of the road do apply to everyone, want a good looking bike (subjective, I know), and want a bike equally suited for a beginner or an old hand, then allow me to recommend this bike to you.

Pretty good but not as good as everyone says...

I owned a 2011 custom. Easy bike to ride and learner friendly. Major gripe was the rear drum brakes, seriously watch out, very grabby and will lock up with ease.... I had never rode on a road bike before (2 or 3 times on a dirt bike) and bought the bike (2nd hand from [name removed] at Victory melb, legend of a bloke, he delivered the bike for me) before even doing my Learners test. I tried riding the bike around my court and I was scared out of my mind, I couldn't believe what I had done. I could turn and it felt ridiculously heavy but I was reassured I would be fine. Once I did my test, 2 days later, I rode it down my street and I was in love instantly....

It was a wet, cold and foggy night and I couldn't get enough. 1am and I was still riding. The best advise I was given by my instructor was to ride in any and all conditions, it's the best way to learn. Great advise..... I did the test in May 2014, it's now November 2014 and I just passed my full license test last weekend. I've since sold my Bike.. After riding a Yamaha XJ6N I realized what an old out of date bike the XVS650 was. It vibrates alot of 90kms. The throttle is too touchy and jumping in slow corners and slow moving traffic. It's too low to the ground and you can't see over parked cars, not good at busy intersections that have not traffic lights. It felt under powered at hwyway speed. Engine was harsh sounding at 100kms. You couldn't hear the engine with standard pipes in heavy traffic and with no tacho you had no idea if you had to change gear. My left big toe went numb on ride longer than 30 mins.

The seat and riding position hurt my lower back. I got a new Danny grey seat but it wasn't cushioned enough and the vibration was crazy, only rode with it 3 times before taking the seat off. Hit neutral way too many times mid corner. Rear brake wore quickly had to adjust the nut on the drum brakes, I only rode it 2000kms, it seemed odd I had to adjust it, it's maybe nothing but I seemed like the rear breaks wore to quickly but it passed road worthly when I sold it and they were the original brakes (5,000kms). Engine got really hot in traffic, I live 7kms from work but it's often very heavy traffic and I didn't split lanes.... The good points... Easy clutch, it's light, allows very quick shifts for a cruiser and would suit a commuter. Large enough for 6ft riders, but you may need forward controls. I rode with 2 mates who had harleys, I kept up on the fwyway and country roads but I was push it when they where just cruising. However I was surprised at how well I kept with them. Quality seem good to, not much plastic. seat was basic but seem durable. Rear drive shaft was noisy but added to it's quality I believe, kinda bullet proof in comparison to chain or belt.. .

Although it would expensive to fix I assume. There are also a tone of after market parts, none I liked but they are available... In Summary, it's not the Harley I thought it might be, not even close. I rushed my decision cos I got a stella price (sold it for more than i bought i for). These days you can get a second hand sports bike which is lams approved, is a better ride, better value, more fun and cheaper. If your buying new, maybe wait for the new Harley, looks decent value and will probably be better, although it doesn't look like a Harley which the Vstar kinda does. The XVS650 won't disappoint but it won't keep as interested you as you could be.... Thats my problem, I can't ignore the fact I can get a better bike for less... Kawasaki ER6NL, looks good ( too me) and it has ABS and more power....

One of my better decisions

Bought this '97 bike in Jan 2014 in Wales, Trailered it back to Essex, had 26k on clock, test drove it, and instantly loved it, most comfortable bike I've owned. read the reviews before I bought it , and have to say the brakes are better than expected, if you use them hard they just get better.handles pretty well and can ground the furniture easily , feels very stable and solid. Tank holds 3 gallon before reserve, and it does exactly 150 miles on that 3 gallons. seat very comfortable for 150 mile jaunts, pillion seat pretty good too, (so I'm told). Goes better that I would have expected, reasonably quick off the lights if you gun it just about lifting the front wheel, will cruise comfortably up to 80 mph but vibrates uncomfortably above that. Guess Vee engines are impossible to balance decently. ..only niggles, motor feels a bit harsh mechanically when accelerating hard, (this may just be this bike only) indicator cancelling button , would be better with a 10 second timer to switch it off.. would be good if it sounded a bit more manly with the standard pipes... It has whetted my appetite for something a bit bigger. but love this bike, lotsa fun,very reliable, looks the part., it's the biz..

Brilliant second hand bike

You will see that I have posted
For the laro street pro, and the hyosung Aquila 650, out of all 3 this is a perfect bike for a lams and bike I will keep for a long while. I bought it with 27k got it serviced and it is running beautifully. I am 6'2" seating position is great and very very comfortable. My only issue with this is the manual choke and no fuel gauge other than that I highly recommend it.

Manual choke, no fuel gauge

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Questions & Answers

I have a 1999 Yamaha xvs 650a euro spec and would a later engine with AIS fitted work ok, or would i have to remove it. Thanks. Mark.
No answers

What year carbs will inter change with a 2007 vstar 650?
No answers

How much does the Yamaha VSTAR 650 weigh with windshield and bags? Aprox.of course.
1 answer
I owned a v-star 650 custom and it weighted 515 lbs and with side bags, windshield, sissy bar and rear rack it weighted about 540 lbs. The 650 classic weights about 540 lbs and with the above mentioned additions would likely total about 565 lbs or around there. Hopefully this information is helpful. Remember to always ride safely.


Yamaha V-Star XVS650 Custom
CategoryCruiser Bikes and Learner Approved Bikes
Engine Capacity649cc
Release dateJan 2007

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