V star classic 650 Vs Honda phantom???? - Motorcycle Forum
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Old 05-20-2010, 02:46 AM   #1
pjo777
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Default V star classic 650 Vs Honda phantom????

I want a nice bike to learn on, not too heavy or over powering, got it down to these two bikes, well three if I count the shadow aero, both have almost same pros and cons, just have to make the choice and i am stuck at stupid on this one. tried both out both feel good, but the phantom is almost perfect for my hirght or lack there of.
what say you ??????
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Old 05-20-2010, 09:38 AM   #2
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Love my Phantom. Comfortable. Easy to ride. Sounds good...a little tough to keep clean! (Black vehicles are always dusty...)

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Old 05-20-2010, 08:50 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pjo777 View Post
is almost perfect for my hirght or lack there of.
what say you ??????
What is your height? I'm 5'10" and my V Star 650 Custom is just a tiny bit small for my long legs (short torso), but it's an easy adjustment to make. Reviewers say 5'8" is about it for that bike. Nonetheless, I love the bike. It's about 30 lbs less than the Classic, a little narrower, handles a little better (according to reviews) with that narrower front tire. In one review, 2 of the reviewers preferred the big bike feel of the Classic however, and I certainly like the looks of the Classic.

I was convinced I was going to buy a M50 until I tried one. Then I tried a Shadow and liked it a lot, then the V Star, which won due to low miles - only 2K. Plus I liked the way the V Star felt. I think you'd be happy with either, depending on your height. The Honda's a little bigger. Both are great starter bikes.

I assume you're buying new. The Phantom's a new model, right? If these are close in price, I'd go with the Honda. The V Star is air-cooled and has carbs. Both have shaft drive. Honda has the advantage, imo.

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Old 05-20-2010, 08:57 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptCrashIdaho View Post
Love my Phantom. Comfortable. Easy to ride. Sounds good...a little tough to keep clean! (Black vehicles are always dusty...)
CaptCrash,

would you come out to calif (sf bay area) and teach me how to handle my big ol' 650? I'll buy you lunch.

Had been practicing figure 8's already and added your right turns after seeing this video a few days ago. I'm not coming close to your radius's. You using the clutch? Rear brake?

thx for the videos!

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Old 05-20-2010, 10:57 PM   #5
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I am 5'8" and sometimes my VStar 650 Classic doesn't seem long enough for me to stretch out my legs...going to try highway pegs...I find that if I just get off of it and walk a little I am good to go...I just put 8,000 miles on my bike in 15 mos...just learned how to ride...I love the handling of the Classic, I haven't compared it to the Custom...but I like the wider wheels..especially when going over rough road conditions...handles better than my bf's narrow wheels on his Harley...
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Old 05-20-2010, 11:15 PM   #6
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I am 5'7" 30 inch inseam, from what I read the phantom is tailor made for someone like me. the liquid cooled amd fuel injection is a big plus, cuz I feelif I want a air cooled monster I should go harley. I believe eventually I will buy a hraley down the road, but getting my new miles in I want to take it slow.
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Old 05-21-2010, 12:50 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluesjr View Post
CaptCrash,

would you come out to calif (sf bay area) and teach me how to handle my big ol' 650? I'll buy you lunch.

Had been practicing figure 8's already and added your right turns after seeing this video a few days ago. I'm not coming close to your radius's. You using the clutch? Rear brake?

thx for the videos!

bluesjr
Clutch is your buddy! Don't be afraid to use it. You have to 'balance' the throttle with the clutch. No shame in using the rear brake to smooth it all out.
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Old 05-21-2010, 01:18 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pjo777 View Post
I am 5'7" 30 inch inseam, from what I read the phantom is tailor made for someone like me. the liquid cooled amd fuel injection is a big plus, cuz I feelif I want a air cooled monster I should go harley. I believe eventually I will buy a hraley down the road, but getting my new miles in I want to take it slow.
You might consider used, if you're interested in upgrading in the future. My V Star cost me $2900, less than half what the dealer wants for a new one.

At 5'7" either bike should fit you fine. In my case, if I want to upgrade (no plans currently), my son gets mine, and he's 5'8", so it's a good match for him.

Quote:
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Clutch is your buddy! Don't be afraid to use it. You have to 'balance' the throttle with the clutch. No shame in using the rear brake to smooth it all out.
Thanks for the tips. I'll experiment. I was trying the rear brake a little yesterday to get a feel for it. The V Star is notorious for a poor friction zone though, so that approach will take some skill. Actually my impression is that the throttle requires the most delicate touch of all three (during slow speed maneuvers). Btw, when I first saw the video I thought "that's cool, but why is it important?" The driveway example was brilliant.

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Originally Posted by 4Raven View Post
..I love the handling of the Classic, I haven't compared it to the Custom...but I like the wider wheels..especially when going over rough road conditions...handles better than my bf's narrow wheels on his Harley...
Yeah, can't compare yours to the harley - too many variables - but if you drive to california I'll let you compare yours to mine. That would be cool, and a real apples to apples thing, and I'll make you the same lunch offer I made CaptCrash! What I imagine the wider wheels give you is a more solid feel, and someone up in the hills on a fast bimmer (with a narrow front) said you get better braking too, and that's worth a lot. Oh yeah, the dealer told me your wheel (I was comparing classic to custom vulcans) does better in the rain grooves. Do you have rain grooves in Ohio?

Last edited by bluesjr; 05-21-2010 at 01:39 AM..
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Old 05-21-2010, 02:58 AM   #9
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...and I'll make you the same lunch offer I made CaptCrash!
Yeah, but did he go to Awalt (now Mountain View) High School? Does he know what a TOGO's pastrami sandwich tastes like? AND I haven't eaten at Chef Chu's in what...10 years?
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Old 05-21-2010, 05:17 AM   #10
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Lovin my Honda VT1100C A.C.E., try one you might like it.

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Old 05-21-2010, 08:51 AM   #11
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I'm around 5' 10" with 31" inseam and my V Star Silverado (Classic) is just a tad short for long rides...I have to get off and walk around like Raven does, which gives me an excuse to do some junktique shopping. I too am going to get some pegs to help alleviate that problem.

The Classic's tires make the difference in handling over the Custom. I did not try the Honda, but did the Suzuki and did not like the "top heavy" feel of it.

Used is probably the better option, great deals can be had with all the bells and whistles that would add to the price of a new bike.

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Old 05-21-2010, 05:22 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptCrashIdaho View Post
Yeah, but did he go to Awalt (now Mountain View) High School?
I did not know that - Awalt that is. I tutored some at MVHS last year. They have a LOT of bright students (like a lot of silicon valley schools). Seems like a nice school all around. My son's (Paly) Lacrosse team just beat Mt. View for the division championship last saturday. It was a big deal. Paly had a 1st year team, so it was a real Cinderella season. Paly girls won the same tournament.

But getting back to M/C's. From what little I've heard and read (keep in mind, I'm new at this), narrow tires change direction more quickly (better for handling the twisties), fat tires are more stable (better for freeways, rain grooves and braking). Yes/no? Opinions?
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Old 05-21-2010, 05:30 PM   #13
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Fat tires mean more contact patch, thinner may be more nimble but not necessarily better handling. It's a trade off with many variables: riding surace, rubber compound, tread design, weight, etc.
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Old 05-22-2010, 09:51 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluesjr View Post
You might consider used, if you're interested in upgrading in the future. My V Star cost me $2900, less than half what the dealer wants for a new one.


Yeah, can't compare yours to the harley - too many variables - but if you drive to california I'll let you compare yours to mine. That would be cool, and a real apples to apples thing, and I'll make you the same lunch offer I made CaptCrash! What I imagine the wider wheels give you is a more solid feel, and someone up in the hills on a fast bimmer (with a narrow front) said you get better braking too, and that's worth a lot. Oh yeah, the dealer told me your wheel (I was comparing classic to custom vulcans) does better in the rain grooves. Do you have rain grooves in Ohio?
That is a good idea to buy used first...I bought my VStar used, but with only 250 miles on it...so I still paid book for it at $5,200 but it was in fantastic shape....

Some places have those rain grooves, I mostly see them on bridges in Ohio, but some highways do have them here too...what I really notice is that when they are tearing up the blacktop and leave those huge grooves in the roads...my bike handles fantastic over those things too...like those wheels...
On the last trip, the guys (two of which ride Kawi Vulcan/Nomad) were going over tires and wear and tear...and they really liked the way my tires held up...because I put just as many miles, similiar road conditions, and my tires hold up really well....also noticed that my chicken strips are really thin!!! LOL
But I don't weigh as much, and I don't have a trunk and their bikes weigh a little more than mine too...so that may be why their tires aren't lasting as long...

As far as twisties go...I can handle them just as well, although sometimes the guys go a lot faster through the areas because they tend to "throw caution to the wind," know the roads a little better down in WV, and have more experience. I don't really notice any "sluggishness" when going through the twisties, because of a wider tire...

As far as lunch....I haven't been in that area for many years....last time stayed in Palo Alto....not sure when I will return though!
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Old 05-22-2010, 01:02 PM   #15
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Quote:
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Fat tires mean more contact patch, thinner may be more nimble but not necessarily better handling. It's a trade off with many variables: riding surace, rubber compound, tread design, weight, etc.
All that said, it's usually best to stay with the tire sizes the manufacturer sells the bike with. You can change if you want but there will be handling and clearance issues.

Is tire size a factor in bike selection? Yes. One of the reasons I bought the Phantom is the 17 inch front tire looks reeeeeally cool.

I'd suggest test rides if you can get them so you can feel how the bike handles.
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Old 05-22-2010, 05:01 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptCrashIdaho View Post
Is tire size a factor in bike selection? Yes. One of the reasons I bought the Phantom is the 17 inch front tire looks reeeeeally cool.

I'd suggest test rides if you can get them so you can feel how the bike handles.
Insurance: Yeah, I went to the dealer. Can't test ride the bikes - what!? Insurance issues. It's kind of amazing to me they get anyone to pop for retail prices without a test drive.

Style
: It's funny, I initially liked the Classic much more, especially setup for touring, but I found a deal on a Custom. It took a while, but now I think I prefer the stripped down look of the Custom and the tall front wheel and smaller fenders - at least for running around town and riding the twisties. I generally stay off the highway. I do think the fat tires and full fenders are pretty awesome looking, and a big departure from when I rode 30+ years ago.

Geometry
: One thing we haven't talked about is front end geometry in handling. I was reading an old review of a Honda Shadow with the big front wheel (19" I think), and the reviewer gave Honda raves for getting the geometry right to accommodate that wheel. I know Yamaha tweaked the geometry of the Custom, because I can't get progressive springs for it (or can't find them), although they are available for the Classic.
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