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

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Originally Posted by skyactiv
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.
Not everyone wants to live cocooned in bubble wrap.
 
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Originally Posted by tony1679
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
Originally Posted by tony1679
Calls for either 10W-30 or 20W-40(?!?), SG or higher, and 3.28 quarts with filter.
Originally Posted by tony1679
It will get a filter change every time contrary to the manual.
Not needed. Filter is over size for the engine, and can easily last several oil changes. Complete waste of time and money to change it, especially if the manual tells you to change it every other change.
Originally Posted by tony1679
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.
Sounds like you need convinced, not him. You don't put synthetic oil into a 17 year old engine with higher mileage and unknown maintenance history. Conventional oil is fine and likely preferred. And very likely to offer better shifting performance, in my experience.
Originally Posted by tony1679
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).
Run non-ethanol 87-91 octane if you can easily get it. If you are running 10% ethanol, than just buy regular 87 octane. 10% ethanol 91 octane offers no benefits in that motorcycle, at such low compression.
Originally Posted by tony1679
Gear oil says SAE 80 or 80W-90. I'm leaning toward a synthetic 75W-90.
Conventional gear oil here is fine. What gain are you getting with synthetic? The potential for blown seals? No thanks.
Originally Posted by tony1679
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 embarrass himself when getting his license.
Don't drive a motorcycle without a motorcycle license, period. In most states it is an arrestable, go straight to jail offense (no ticket, no warnings, bike gets towed and impounded). They consider it a SERIOUS safety violation and zero tolerance. Go take the motorcycle class first, get the license, and then he can learn his motorcycle. The class is very easy and designed for beginners. You don't need to have ever rode a motorcycle. My motorcycle license class was full of 65 year old women that had never ever ridden a motorcycle and they did fine, with slow patient instruction.
Originally Posted by tony1679
I'm also a Techron fan. He's [unfortunately] a Lucas fan... sick Are there any cleaners that can be used?
My experience with older carbureted stuff is that if it runs fine, leave it alone. The second you introduce cleaners into the fuel, is the second your carburetor bowl gasket, needle seat, and/or fuel lines start leaking. I've seen it so many times, it cant be a coincidence. Yes you can over maintain your stuff, and break what wasn't broken before (fix it til its broken). Rotella 15W40 JASO MA is a very good oil, and likely the most used oil in Japanese bikes. As to synthetic, it shifts like garbage in the Japanese bikes I have personally maintained. Tried to be good and feed the bike a "higher quality synthetic" and it just paid me back with terrible notchy shifting. Changed it back to conventional oil and it shifts like new. At the end of the day, its a $1500 bike. He is going to treat it like a $1500 bike. Don't put a lot of money into it. He willlikely sell it within 18 months and upgrade to something else, or decide that motorcycling isnt for him, and sell it. Probably not a long term investment here. The bike has 60 hp, so its not too powerful, but not a beginner bike either. If he is careful, he should be fine. 25-40 hp is a nice starting point for beginners.
 

blupupher

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good advice there bubbatime. I have never understood why people think it is OK, to buy and ride a bike on the street without a motorcycle license. This unfortunately gives the rest of the motorcycling community a bad image ("some stupid biker crashed into me, doesn't even have a license" comments happen all the time). I knew at age 15 I wanted a motorcycle, so I went and took the MSF course, got my license, and then got my bike. Kept my "M" endorsement for over 30 years, even though I did not have a bike, but did ride occasionally borrowing friends bikes. My daughter wants a bike, but wife has said no. For her 18th birthday, I am going to do a MSF course with her. If she wants a bike still then, that is when she will get one, AFTER she has a motorcycle license. As for the XVS being a beginner bike, while not that powerful, it is heavy and a little awkward to control at low speed (especially for a beginner). If past experience with dirt bikes, it would help, but a 600lb+ bike with 60 HP vs a 250 lb dirtbike is totally different.
 
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Quote
Don't drive a motorcycle without a motorcycle license, period. In most states it is an arrestable, go straight to jail offense (no ticket, no warnings, bike gets towed and impounded). They consider it a SERIOUS safety violation and zero tolerance. Go take the motorcycle class first, get the license, and then he can learn his motorcycle.
There is this thing called a "learner's permit", you know.
 
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Originally Posted by Jarlaxle
There is this thing called a "learner's permit", you know.
Never heard of one for motorcycle licenses. Might be state specific though. We definitely don't have them.
 

blupupher

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Originally Posted by bubbatime
Originally Posted by Jarlaxle
There is this thing called a "learner's permit", you know.
Never heard of one for motorcycle licenses. Might be state specific though. We definitely don't have them.
Texas has one. You have to have a licensed motorcycle rider age 21 or older in sight, and must have completed the MSF course. I am not sure of requirements of other states though, but the OP and his friend have not taken a MSF course (stated in first sentence "Neither of us have ever been on a motorcycle") A permit would mean some sort of formal instruction, not just a guy that just bought a bike, never having ridden one and then taking it out on public roads. A danger to themselves and others. But to the questions asked, any 15w-40 conventional oil will work just fine (grab a gallon jug of Supertech for less than $10). It is an air cooled engine, so in the heat of summer if low speed riding, then maybe a 20w-50. Run Ethanol free if you can, but even e10 87 is fine for that thing. Carb cleaning should be done manually if needed, but low dose additives could be used to keep it clean after that (that is what I do). For the shaft drive, I have read of many having issues with synthetic gear oil in shaft drives, I am using Supertech 80w-90 conventional gear oil. Super easy to change in mine, not sure about the V Star.
 
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A permit generally requires only a written test, no actual motorcycle experience. Oklahoma's restrictions seems similar to Texas. It varies by state...offhand, in New Hampshire the only restrictions are no carrying a passenger and no riding at night.
 

tony1679

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I do appreciate all the responses, and I've read them all. I especially appreciate bubbatime's. All valid points. Perhaps my maintenance strategy was a bit overkill. We're still figuring it out, but not in a rush. To reply to everyone's input, I fully agree about riding without a license and taking the MSF courses. I have extended family members that are responsible, veteran bikers. I know all about the 'idiots' giving bikers a bad name. I see it all the time. However, he is extremely stubborn and a bit frugal, and no matter how much I've tried to convince him, he won't do it. He sees it as a waste of money. I literally ask him everyday if he's gonna sign up for a course today, and give a different scenario each time I ask. I even say he'll find out he should have taken them the hard way, but it's just wasted breath. So considering he won't budge on a course, I guess he's doing it the [next] smartest way possible. He took it Saturday in his truck to a very, very remote country area near some of his family's house and rode almost all day. If it's any consolation, he didn't lay it down, and he said he needs more practice & won't ride anywhere else (on the real streets) without several more hours/days/rides under his belt. He knows he's still completely underskilled. He left it at their place. He also was pleased with how underpowered it was for an 1100, but still wishes it had a little less. He really isn't a 'let's see what it can do' guy. Edit: maybe I'll convince him a bike is like a firearm, he has been through an absurdly extensive amount of training prior to owning his pistol. More than anyone I know. He knows every law under the sun regarding one. He even knows the what ifs of every scenario. Strangely, almost all of it he did voluntarily knowing it wasn't required. He wanted to make absolutely sure he knew what he was doing in any situation so nobody would end up involuntarily hurt. Kind of ironic how it doesn't apply to a bike. I'll keep trying, maybe he'll crack... As for me, I know I can't ride and have NO desire to. Not even just down the driveway. No thanks.
 
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blupupher

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Some people are just odd that way. So he will take days/weeks to learn to ride incorrectly on his own, or he could spend 2 days being taught by experts on how to do it right? Bringing the gun analogy into it may help or sure. Ask if he knows how to shoot correctly. Ask him how he knows that. If he says "somebody showed me the correct way and I practiced", then there you go. You can't learn how to ride a bike safely on your own, you need instruction, there are things that you don't think about, and if you come across them on your own, it is too late. I do find it odd that he thinks the 1100 is underpowered. Since he has no comparison, how does he know? You can't compare a V-twin cruiser and and inline 4 street bike by engine size. A 600cc street bike has more "power" than a 1100cc v-twin (more HP, and maybe torque, but the torque of the 1100 will be lower), but either will beat most run of the mill 4 wheel vehicles. I was about his weight a few months ago, and my 1100 Shadow has about the same power as his, and even with my 120 lb daughter on the back of the bike, I felt I had plenty of power.
 
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Originally Posted by tony1679
I do appreciate all the responses, and I've read them all. I especially appreciate bubbatime's. All valid points. Perhaps my maintenance strategy was a bit overkill. We're still figuring it out, but not in a rush. To reply to everyone's input, I fully agree about riding without a license and taking the MSF courses. I have extended family members that are responsible, veteran bikers. I know all about the 'idiots' giving bikers a bad name. I see it all the time. However, he is extremely stubborn and a bit frugal, and no matter how much I've tried to convince him, he won't do it. He sees it as a waste of money. I literally ask him everyday if he's gonna sign up for a course today, and give a different scenario each time I ask. I even say he'll find out he should have taken them the hard way, but it's just wasted breath. So considering he won't budge on a course, I guess he's doing it the [next] smartest way possible. He took it Saturday in his truck to a very, very remote country area near some of his family's house and rode almost all day. If it's any consolation, he didn't lay it down, and he said he needs more practice & won't ride anywhere else (on the real streets) without several more hours/days/rides under his belt. He knows he's still completely underskilled. He left it at their place. He also was pleased with how underpowered it was for an 1100, but still wishes it had a little less. He really isn't a 'let's see what it can do' guy. Edit: maybe I'll convince him a bike is like a firearm, he has been through an absurdly extensive amount of training prior to owning his pistol. More than anyone I know. He knows every law under the sun regarding one. He even knows the what ifs of every scenario. Strangely, almost all of it he did voluntarily knowing it wasn't required. He wanted to make absolutely sure he knew what he was doing in any situation so nobody would end up involuntarily hurt. Kind of ironic how it doesn't apply to a bike. I'll keep trying, maybe he'll crack... As for me, I know I can't ride and have NO desire to. Not even just down the driveway. No thanks.
When I was helping teach advanced and roadracing classes, the most common thing I saw were riders that had been riding a long time, never learned proper skills, and as a result had a lot of bad and dangerous habits. I cringe whenever I hear the phrase: "I had to lay her down". What they are really saying, usually without realizing it, is that they have no clue how to control a bike in an emergency situation. Most of the riders I see on the roads could stand to get more riding instruction. I would argue with your friend that bikes need at least as much instruction to ride competently under widely varying conditions, as the safe handling of a firearm, and when and where to use it.
 
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take the final drive off, and inspect the splines on the shaft. they need a high moly content paste, and should be service roughly the same time you would take the wheel off to replace a tire. a lot of v stars either weren't or if they were, just had a regular grease used on the splines that instantly burned up...
 
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