Buying a real cruiser, tourer or custom has absolutely nothing to do with cylinder capacity. That’s the first idea you get when checking out the 2010 V Star lineup, especially the 650cc trio, the Classic, Silverado and Custom. These bikes are built with reliability, comfort and fuel efficiency in mind and it is by now a fact that beginners love them mostly due to offering diversity in the form of entry-level products.
Does 40-cubic-inch of V-twin motor ring a bell? This is one of the first engines to power a Yamaha cruiser-type motorcycle and ten years after being introduced it still rocks…on three stylish different models.
Star doesn’t perform any mind blowing upgrades to the V Star, but the real question here is if the bike actually needs them. For instance, the 40-cubic-inch, air-cooled, 70-degree V-twin; SOHC, two valves per cylinder engine is the most appropriate one for the specific type of motorcycle and the 28mm Mikuni carburetors fueling the cylinders do not only stand for good throttle response, but for fuel efficiency as well. In fact, the V Star 650, no matter model, will go 49 miles with a single gallon of gas. Considering the fact that the fuel tank keeps 4.2 gallons, gas stops shouldn’t become a reason of worry on this bike.
Star didn’t fit their 650s with belt final drive for 2010 and it might not replace that shaft a long time from now. The five-speed tranny and multiplate wet clutch are also consecrated features of the bike, so it is unlikely to get it wrong with this Star.
The bike is destined to beginning riders, meaning it is light (in between 513 lbs and 587 lbs depending on the model of choice) and has a low seat height 27.4 inches without sacrificing wheel travel. The 41mm telescopic fork features 5.5 inches of travel (which is good even for larger models), while the single shock features 3.4 inches of travel, meaning that anything smaller than a speed bump will hardly feel disturbing.
Brake performance is great thanks to a 298mm front hydraulic disc and 200mm rear drum, but while technically the bike doesn’t bring anything new, style is what makes the difference. The 2010 Star V Star 650 sells either as a Classic, Silverado and Custom, each one with plenty of distinctive features.
Star Motorcycles is the only one to offer this much diversity on bikes with this small engine capacity so any alternatives are likely to have bigger motors and be more expensive. The 2009 Boulevard C50 ($7,799) and C50T ($9,099) are both powered by the same fuel-injected 805cc, liquid-cooled, OHC, 45-degree V-twin engine, but one’s a Classic and the other a Tourer. Suzuki offers no Custom, just a Special Edition model.
The only appropriate thing you’ll find to the 2009 V Star 650 Custom is Honda’s Shadow Spirit 750. Starting at $6,999, the 2009 Spirit features a low 25.7-inch seat, drag-style handlebars and a 21-inch front wheel and the power source is a 745cc, liquid-cooled, 52-degree V-twin with SOHC and three valves per cylinder that is also carbureted. Apart from the Spirit, Honda sells the Aero also for $6,999. This one is the corresponsive for the Classic V Star as it features deeply valanced fenders, spoked wheels as well as a lot of chromed pieces. The engine is the same, so it is all a matter of style, just like in the case of our three bikes.
Any cruiser lineup must feature an old timer and in this case it’s the 2010 V Star 650 Classic. The bike distinguishes thanks to retro looks with deeply valanced fenders and a teardrop tank. Given the nature of this bike, it features a low seat, wide handlebars and spacious floorboards. But what really makes this model look from a whole different time period are the laced standard spoked rims with beefy tires as well as the great number of chromed elements that are standard on it. Modern fit and finish consists in a stylish Deep Blue color scheme and a clean Candy Red one.
Wrapped up in a range of touring goodies such as a medium-size adjustable windscreen, low-profile studded touring seat with backrest and studded leather saddlebags, the 2010 V Star Silverado indicates the open road as the favorite direction of travel even though it will do just fine within city limits as well. The only color available for the 2010 model is Raven, the appropriate choice for the lively little tourer.
The cherry on the cake is the 2010 Star V Star Custom. The lightest among all three models and the coolest looking, in my humble opinion, the Custom has that long, low and mean style, which also increases handling performance, but not comfort. The biggest difference compared to the other two models most likely concludes in the form of those bobbed fenders, drag-style handlebars and that 19-inch front wheel, but the lack of chrome on the Raven painted Midnight Custom sure helps too. Still, for those who can’t conceive a cruiser with no chrome, Star also offers the Pearl White color scheme. Very nice!
The 2010 V Star Classic has an MSRP starting at $6,590 regardless of color choice, being the cheapest retro motorcycle of its class. The Touring model’s MSRP starts at $7,890 and the Custom is found in between the two, starting at $6,790 not matter color.
With the 2010 V Star 650 lineup, Star shows how the magic trick can be performed with the help of style and low suggested retail prices rather than that of big V-twin’s. Although experienced riders have nothing to discover in what these bikes are concerned, starters find them as being the most appropriate ones both for their learning and traveling needs. Mission accomplished!
Engine and Transmission
Displacement: 40-cubic-inch (649cc)
Type: air-cooled 70° V-twin; SOHC, 2 valves/cylinder
Bore x Stroke: 81mm x 63mm
Compression Ratio: 9.0:1
Carburetion: (2) 28mm Mikuni® CV carburetors
Transmission: 5-speed; multiplate wet clutch
Final Drive: Shaft
Chassis and Dimensions
Suspension/Front: Telescopic fork; 5.5-in travel
Suspension/Rear: Single shock; adjustable preload, 3.9-in travel
Brakes/Front: Hydraulic disc, 298mm
Brakes/Rear: 200mm drum
Length: 96.5 - Classic"; 92.0 in - Custom
Width: 36.6 in. - Classic; 34.6 in - Custom
Height: 43.5 in - Classic; 42.0 in - Custom
Seat Height: 27.9 in - Classic; 27.4 in - Custom
Wheelbase: 64 in - Classic; 63.4 in - Custom
Ground Clearance: 5.7 in - Classic; 5.5 in - Custom
Fuel Capacity: 4.2 gal
Fuel Economy: 49 mpg
Wet Weight: 544 lb / C: 548 lb - Classic; 583 lb / C: 587 lb - Silverado; 513 lb / C: 517 lb – Custom
Warranty: 1 Year (Limited Factory Warranty)
Features & Benefits