Yamaha began manufacturing the middleweight V-Star 650 for the 1997 European model year. It was introduced in the United States for the 1998 model year. The V-Star 650 is available in two distinct models, the Classic and the Custom. The differences are largely cosmetic, to attract different types of riders. The Classic is the more American-style, with a fatter front tire, and the Custom has somewhat firmer suspension.
The engine on both the Classic and Custom models of the Yamaha V-Star 650 are identical. Both are 649cc V-twin, air-cooled SOHC engines with two valves per cylinder. Two 28mm Mikuni carburetors deliver fuel to the engine. The V-Star 650 has a transistor-controlled ignition system.
The Yamaha V-Star 650 delivers power to the rear wheel via a five-speed — one down, four up — transmission. Both the Custom and Classic models are shaft final drive, rather than belt or chain systems. As with most motorcycles, the V-Star 650 has a wet, multi-plate clutch.
Both the V-Star 650 Custom and Classic are built around a double cradle steel frame. The Custom model has rider foot pegs while the Classic has floorboards with a heel-toe shifter. Both models feature 41-mm telescopic front forks to provide front suspension. Both models also have a single, adjustable rear shock. The rear shock on the Custom has 3.4 inches of travel and the Classic has 3.9 inches of travel. The Classic has a fatter front tire, 130/90-16, to the skinny 100/90-19 on the Custom. The brakes on both models are the same, 298-mm hydraulic disc up front and 200-mm drum in the rear.
Yamaha V-Star 650 Custom Dimensions
The Yamaha V-Star 650 Custom is 92 inches long with a 63.4 inch wheelbase, 42 inches high and 34.6 inches wide. It has a ground clearance of 5.5 inches and the rider sits 27.4 inches off the ground. The fuel tank holds 4.2 gallons. The V-Star 650 Custom has a dry weight of 474 pounds.
Yamaha V-Star 650 Classic Dimensions
The Yamaha V-Star 650 Classic is 96.5 inches long with a 64 inch wheelbase, 43.5 inches high, and 36.6 inches wide. It has a ground clearance of 5.7 inches and the rider sits 27.9 inches off the ground. The fuel tank holds 4.2 gallons. The V-Star 650 Classic has a dry weight of 495 pounds.