'02 Yamaha V-Star XVS1100. New to motorcycles. Help a noob?

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My buddy bought this bike yesterday for $1500 OTD. Neither of us have ever been on a motorcycle. Ever. So I'm trying to give/get sound advice in the maintenance department. My only bike knowledge is extremely limited and comes from someone who owned a HD Road King, and I'm sure there are huge differences. Therefore all of my input is based on my car knowledge. What I know about the bike (I haven't laid eyes on it yet): *'02 Yamaha XVS1100 *About to roll over the 30,000 mile mark *Seems to be a quality ride, as he had a friend who is an excellent car dealership mechanic/veteran rider go with him to look at it. *Some kind of custom exhaust *Bought from a dealer, so no history I've skimmed the owner's manual already, and here is what stood out (correct me if I'm wrong!). Calls for either 10W-30 or 20W-40(?!?), SG or higher, and 3.28 quarts with filter. It will get a filter change every time contrary to the manual. I'm leaning toward either a 10W-40 or 20W-50, obviously NOT PCMO. I'm a fan of synthetics, he's not shrug. But our summers get pretty brutal, it's at 30k, and he's 6'3" 375-390, so I think it needs all the help it can get. He can be convinced if it makes sense. It calls for 87 octane (8.3:1), but I'm under the strong impression he should use 91 octane (and 0% ethanol in any octane, which is very easily obtained here). Due to unknown maintenance history, plugs, air filter, fuel filter, gear oil, and oil change w/filter should be done immediately. Plugs will be NGK BPR7ES like the originals (or is something else better?). Gear oil says SAE 80 or 80W-90. I'm leaning toward a synthetic 75W-90. As for the owner, he's 30, a big guy, and definitely NOT the hot rod type. He honestly wanted a small engine, like 400cc, but came across this and couldn't pass. Yes, he's aware 400cc for his size was vaslty underpowered, but he just wants to ride slow and easy. 1100 is more than enough, and he plans on taking things extra slow. At least with 1100 he can take the highway to work LOL. He plans on taking it to a very remote area to ride it a few times to get comfortable with it. Just enough to not embarass himself when getting his license. Hopefully I'm not missing much... am I missing anything? Please chime in, and please feel free to call me an idiot on anything I assumed incorrectly. Any and all advice appreciated! I am very interested in learning how to maintain a bike. I like a challenge. Thanks in advance! Edit: I'm also a Techron fan. He's [unfortunately] a Lucas fan... sick Are there any cleaners that can be used?
 
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Quote, you said, "Neither of us has ever been on a motorcycle. Ever. So I'm trying to give/get sound advice in the maintenance department. My only bike knowledge is extremely limited and comes from someone who owned a HD Road King, and I'm sure there are huge differences. Therefore all of my input is based on my car knowledge."Unquote. guys, if that's your 1st time motorcycle, you best get someone who rides to assist--IMHO that's way to much M/C for a 1st timer....but I do know from life experiences that you guys are in love with the thrill of riding and have never driven one of these...you are asking for trouble without some help. Note: would you fly a plane without lessons??????????????
 
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MSF Course. Don't see any big holes in your maintenance plan, should not be that complicated of a bike. It may be one of those that the oil filter nut interferes with some filters, so if you use a Non-OE filter check that very carefully.
 
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Before you get too deep into maintenance concerns, take a riding course. Every year a bunch of new riders die around here after buying powerful motorcycles without the experience to control them. Get solid training and live to experience the ride for many years to come.
 
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I use to ride motorcycles. Do you and your loved ones a favor and don't buy one. Your much better off having a fun car to drive.
 
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There is a lot of technique and knowledge involved in riding a motorcycle. You can't learn to ride safely and skillfully by practicing on your own or with the help of a well meaning friend. Sign up for a Motorcycle Safety Foundation New Rider Course.
 
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I learned before I ever heard of MSF courses, and I still recommend taking the course. There are some things like countersteering that you have to practice, as well as stopping and coordinating your brakes while you're doing a panic stop. You want to be well practiced before an event happens.
 

CT8

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Originally Posted by Jarlaxle
That. (Though a V-Star 1100 isn't exactly a superbike.)
It is not under powered though.
 

CT8

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Originally Posted by Jarlaxle
That. (Though a V-Star 1100 isn't exactly a superbike.)
It is not under powered though.
 
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First and foremost take the www.msf-usa.org courses. I'd suggest the basic and several advanced rider courses. I recall one guy that came out to the roadracing school I was helping to teach. He said: "I came here thinking I had 30 years of riding experience. Now I realize I had 1 year of experience, 30 times." As for the V-star 1100, it is most definitely NOT a powerful bike. But it does have more than enough power to get someone with no riding experience in trouble. Get the riding instruction before heading out onto the road. As for maintenance, with the stock exhaust the front header has to come off to change the oil filter. Not a big deal, but kind of a dumb design. The custom exhaust might have addressed that. Lots of people use 75w90 in the final drive. It's not a high performance engine, so 87 (R+M)/2 should be fine. I'd only use higher octane in the event he experiences pre-ignition. Hopefully the jetting was adjusted to suit the non-stock exhaust. I'd probably use a 20w50 owing to the hot weather. I know Morgan Lucas, met Forrest, good guys in my estimation. I'm not a fan of their products. One last thing, I'm all for people having the freedom to ride with no protective gear if they wish. I'm also going to say that crashing with no protective gear really sucks, if it doesn't outright kill you. I personally prefer ATGATT (All The Gear, All The Time). Good luck, and have fun.
 
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Finding a place to practice is a good idea, you need to be somewhat proficient at slow speed maneuvering to pass the motorcycle test. Something like a closed down Kmart parking lot works well. Do an online search and find out the right way to pick it up when you drop it, it will happen. When taking to the road just assume none of the cars see you and try to be prepared for when they pull out or turn in front of you. If you can find an online forum devoted to your model it will have a few fanatics with lots of miles on them. These guys will have tried all the oils, plugs, tires, etc.
 
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If you don't have an owner's manual, I would suggest you get one and do the required service with the specified fluids, etc. At 30k and not knowing any history I would do everything. Stuff like fork oil change and valve adjustments, steering and swingarm bearings and such are often ignored. I don't know about the schedule for your bike but valves on metric bikes are often done at least once before 30k. I think your engine has adjustable tappets which are much easier (cheaper at shop, too) than shim and bucket. Shaft drives are not service free, either. Universal joints often require interval lubrication. I had a Nomad that needed a new rear seal in final drive every other rear tire. I would give all the rubber a good once over with a bike as old as your friends. +1 on specific model forum. The biggest thing about not ignoring the PITA service (imo) is that you get to inspect stuff in the process and look for problems. Have fun.
 
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I've ridden a long time. I have metal in my ankle and my arm, and two broken neck vertebra that help remind me every time I mount up, that riding is serious business. Anything can happen, please tell your buddy to take the MSF course before just mounting up and trying to ride that beast. Nothing gives you that "It just got real" feeling faster than departing the motorcycle at <insert speed here> and dancing with the ground for a hundred feet.
 
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Oil choice is really simple for your friend. Its one of two choices - 1. Valvoline Conventional 4 Stroke motorcycle oil - 20w50 (less then $5 a quart in Walmart or Walmarts website) or 2. Valvoline Synthetic 20w50 4 stroke motorcycle oil. The above is assuming he rides in 50 plus degree weather. If its mostly cooler weather riding of not more then 85 degrees. ANY 15w40 sm, sn CJ4 and/or dual use CK4 diesel oil.
 
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Oil choice should be the least of his worries at this point. He doesn't have to own a motorcycle to take a MSF course. Most larger dealers offer MSF courses using dealer owned motorcycles. After completing the safety course, he may well decide motorcycling isn't for him before spending a lot of money on a motorcycle he won't ride.
 

tony1679

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Originally Posted by alarmguy
Its one of two choices - 1. Valvoline Conventional 4 Stroke motorcycle oil - 20w50 (less then $5 a quart in Walmart or Walmarts website) or 2. Valvoline Synthetic 20w50 4 stroke motorcycle oil.
For some reason, I previously couldn't find Valvoline Synthetic 20W-50. Just found it on WM's website. $40.xx isn't bad for 6 quarts. We previously settled on Castrol full syn for $50.xx. Thanks. thumbsup
 
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Interesting, I see what you mean. Looks like maybe Walmart is clearing out Valvoline MC oil now that they have their Super Tech house brand. Honestly, if you change your oil on time, I think syn is overkill for the bike, but that is just me, I never used a syn in any of my bikes, I do change at and normally before the recommended OCI. I think I would go an buy a couple years of this if you wanted to use synthetic who knows how long WM will continue to sell it now that Super Tech MC oil is coming out. (oops, just noticed its now a 3rd party seller) https://www.walmart.com/ip/Quicksilver-20W-50-Motorcycle-Oil-1-gal/35792202
 
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tony1679

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I can actually grab the Quicksilver local, but haven't looked into it's info yet. However, I think he decided on a synthetic because it's air cooled. Plus, he's a bit of a name brand type of guy, so if he did choose a conventional, it would probably be the Valvoline you suggested. Thanks though.
 
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