2009 Yamaha V-Star 950 Review - First Ride

Star's newest cruiser brings big bike feel for small bucks


Well, I just got through spending a whole day riding Star’s newest cruiser around the gorgeous backroads of north Georgia. In the process, I discovered that riders need not spend upwards of $15,000 to get a stylish and competent cruiser.

In fact, the ’09 V-Star 950 fulfills the requirements of most cruiser riders, combining a classy visage with decent performance and a considerable presence. To do all that with a retail price starting at just $7890 is impressive to say the least. 

A cursory look at the V-Star gives no clues that this could be a “budget” bike. It looks like a sizeable piece, but that impression diminishes once aboard – it actually feels and handles quite nimbly. It’s quite dexterous at lower speeds, and its handling on the open road is amazingly neutral. A low, 26.6-inch seat height enables short riders to feel in control.

Power from the 942cc, 60-degree V-Twin is stout, if not arm-wrenching, and it provides a rumbly feel that belies its relatively small displacement. Strong thrust is readily available, offering what seems to be a bit punchier powerband than its obvious class competitor, the Kawasaki Vulcan 900. Clutch and shift effort is light and easy.

We’ll be bringing you a full ride report from the V-Star 950’s launch, including video, early next week. Stay tuned to find out more on this big-bang-for-the-buck cruiser from Yamaha’s Star brand.

The V-Star 950 impressed us with features, style and performance for its reasonable price. Seen here is the Tour version, which comes with a windshield, bags and backrest starting at $8,990.

Related Reading:
2009 Yamaha Motorcycles Released

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