Yamaha V-Star 1100 Classic Unit Spotlight
The V-Star 1100 Classic Yamaha motorcycle was one of Japan’s finest entries into the cruiser market. Equipped with an air-cooled, V-twin powerplant and a shaft drivetrain, the motorcycle evoked some of the best traits of a full-on street machine. The long wheelbase and low seat framed the entire package in nostalgia, making it a favorite to this day.
Manufactured from 1998 to 2008, the XVS 1100 DragStar went by the handle V-Star 1100 in North America. Customers could choose from two versions: the 1100 Custom, a more modern style, and the 1100 Classic, with a more rounded, throwback styling that came in just a few pounds heavier. The Classic came equipped with longer fenders, floorboards, bigger levers, cast wheels, and big fork covers. In later iterations, customers could choose a tricked-out version with a passenger backrest, windscreen, and soft sidebags.
The V-Star 1100 Classic came with a torquey 1063cc V-twin engine. Inside the motor, lightweight forged pistons improved throttle response, and ceramic composite plating on the cylinder walls managed heat to extend engine life. A silky-smooth 5-speed transmission with a classic heel-toe shifter gave riders solid options for the city and the highway, with 5th as an overdrive gear that would allow the engine to sip fuel a little slower. The whole engine was covered in chrome and trimmed with big cooling fins, helping to solidify its street cred as a classic street cruiser.
Underneath, a double-cradle steel frame kept the weight low to provide sure-footed handling. A smooth ride came from a 41mm front fork with 140mm of travel and an adjustable rear shock with nine preload adjustments to custom craft the ride. Braking came from a 298mm rotor up front and 282mm out back, both covered up with twin-piston calipers.