Common Problems With The Yamaha V Star 650

The Yamaha V Star 650 is a great bike for beginners and the fact that it’s a cruiser makes it an easy bike to ride.

With its upright riding position and large cushy seat, the V Star 650 is a comfortable ride that handles like a heavier bike. The bike’s large tires are fine for cruising around town or country roads, but if you want to travel on the highway, the bike’s heavy weight will feel cumbersome.

What are the common problems with Yamaha V-Star 650?

#1 Oil leak from neutral safety switch

If you go into the left side of the bike, you can see the neutral safety switch by removing both covers.

This is a common failure of V-Star 650 because of the bottom bolt is running into the actual plastic resulting cracks from years of vibration and heat. You can fix the neutral safety switch oil leak by watching the video below.

#2 Vibration in the handle bar

Vibrations when riding a motorcycle is perfectly normal. You will feel less vibration on a V-Star 650 at a cruising speed of 80-90 km/h. But you will feel the handlebars and seats start shaking at 100-110 km/h.

Some people may find the vibration uncomfortable while some can tolerate and ok with these vibrations.

Note: A few things that could cause the vibration are: loose bolts, loose mounting of handlebars, loose mounting of engine, bent forks and / or loose forks, loose footpegs, loose shifter, loose footpeg mounting, worn-out engine, worn-out transmission, worn-out rear wheel bearings, worn-out steering head bearings, fork seals, too much air pressure in tires, misalignment, worn-out front wheel bearing, worn-out rear wheel bearings.

#3 Starting problem

The solenoid sparks to send current to the starter but the starter doesn’t turn. The starter will either be faulty or the solenoid is faulty. If the starter can’t be turned, check the solenoid. If the starter does turn, check the wiring and connections and make sure that there is no corrosion or any other obstructions.

Note: If you have no idea why your bike won’t start, it is best to contact a motorcycle mechanic in order to get your bike fixed properly.

#4 Look out for stripped bolts and nuts

The Yamaha v-star is a metric bike so what you’re going to want to check for is if there has been any stripped nuts and bolts on the bike and one bolt to look for specifically is the oil drain bolt which is just located under here and what you’re looking for is if it’s been rounded off at all from using the wrong wrench

Since it’s a 17 mm wrench but if they use an imperial wrench it could be rounding off the the edges and it’ll be way harder to change your oil.

Note: While the V Star 650 is a great starter bike, the weak points in the design means that the bike is prone to these failures. That said, these failures are easily fixed and with a few safety precautions, and the bike is a great way to learn about motorcycles.

#5 Dried out final drive

A common failure on the 650 is the final drive Yamaha from factory did not put a lot of grease on the splines so it tends to dry up over time if the splines strip out you’ll need to replace the entire final drive unit with the new one.

Final drive assembly will cost anywhere between 700 to a thousand dollars. Always check with the owner if or when the last time the splines on the pinion shaft gear was regreased.

The best time to regrease your splines is when you need new tires as you will need to remove the rear wheel in order to access the final drive. Since this bike is shaft driven you should check with the owner how often they change the final drive oil.

Ideally you want to change it every oil change but you can probably skip and wait and do it every second oil change but it’s easy enough to do it every time the drain bolt is visible.

Buying Used Motorcycle Tips

Here’s a few things that you can check on that’s not V-star specific when you’re buying a used motorcycle is to look at the tires.

Make sure that there’s no cracking or weird wearing. Play with all the electrical components such as:

  • Kill switch
  • Horn
  • Signal lights

Make sure they’re all working Take a look at the exposed wiring making sure that there’s no fraying of the wiring last thing you want to deal with is electrical gremlin on your pre-owned bike.

Check the owner’s registration.

To make sure it’s an active title and not rebuilt. Some people don’t like to buy rebuilt bikes.

Make sure to start the bike from cold.

Touch the engine and the exhaust and it should be cold cold because if the bike’s already warm it could be hiding a lot of underlying issues and most owners wouldn’t do that. Sometimes there’s some shady people out there.

Test drive the bike.

Make sure everything’s working and working good if this is going to be your very first bike bring a friend who has been riding for a long time and have them test drive it for you. Never buy a bike without test driving it.

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