I am writing a review on the 2012 V-Star 950 Tourer. I just purchased this on 01/07/12. I traded in my 2004 V-Star 650 Classic which was a great bike, though I felt after 3 years and 10,000 miles I needed something with a touch more go.
It is usually hard to get out and ride this time of year in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania with the extremely cold temps and wintery conditions but this winter is one for the record books, one of the most mildest winters I can remember here.
Anyhow, I have had a chance to get out and ride this bike a few days and have put about 250 miles on it. Every mile has brought a grin to my face.
The belt drive is virtually maintenance free, the oil level is now checked via a dipstick on the oil fill cap, (no more getting down on one knee, balancing the bike with hand, and having to look through the sight glass) and my most favorite feature has to be the Mikini Electronic Fuel Injection.
The bike is usually garaged all season but since we have had a few nice days I decided to keep it out. The bike sat outside for three days (covered of course) with the temps in the mid 20's.
I went out Sunday, turned the key on, the fuel pump in the tank ran for about two seconds, hit the start button and bike fired up instantly, it barely even cranked.
Where as with the ol' 650, you have to pull the choke out on full, get a sputter, try again, get it running, but then have to wait about three to five minutes for it to warm up before you could drive off without it acting cold blooded.
The other thing I like about the 950 is that it seems like the 5th gear is very tall, meaning when you are cruising at 70 on the highway the bike is just purring along without sounding overworked (cough, cough ol' 650...).
The bike really looks sharp, with its 18-inch front wheel, cast rim, and impact blue color, and lots of chrome. I am sure that within about four weeks I will be in heaven since we will then be in March and old man winter will have hopefully moved on and I will be able to hopefully ride quite often.
It also looks like Yamaha extended the valve adjustment intervals too, the old 650 was every 4,000 miles according to the book. The new 950 is every 16,000 miles which is nice.
It handles terrific, too. The ride is very smooth, although I have read when doing some tight cornering, the floor boards will get scraped up pretty good.
But I say that this bike is a cruiser and is designed to do just that...cruise. If you drive it as intended and not like a sportbike, you will have no problems making it through the turns without scraping.
I too had a very nice 1990 Kawasaki ZX750R Ninja sportbike, but sold it after only one month because I found myself in the triple digit speeds too often. No need to go that fast or act that crazy.
When you are traveling that fast you can only concentrate on thing and that is where you are going, you can't enjoy the views which kind of takes away from the sport.
Well all, as I get a chance to put more miles on this bike. I will update you along the way. Be safe, ride smart, peace out...
Upgrades/Accessories: The bike came from factory as the Tourer model which includes lockable hard leather saddle bags, a passenger backrest, and windshield. Other than that, the bike is all stock for the time being.
Reviews are provided on an "as is" basis with no warranty and should be considered entertainment only. Reviews should not be used for any purpose whatsoever, including but not limited to, making decisions about any referenced vehicles, products, modifications or other information.