Yamaha, the Japanese company, began producing motorcycles in 1955, starting with small-displacement bikes and then a developing a strong line of powerful competition bikes. In 1994 Yamaha established the Star brand, a line of cruisers, specifically for the U.S. market. The V Star 1100 cruisers, like other Star bikes, are designed in the United States. In 2007 Yamaha produced the V Star 1100 Custom, Classic and Silverado models, all design carryovers.
Powered by air-cooled, 1063cc, 75-degree V-twin engines with a single overhead cam, four valves per cylinder, the V Star 1100 models have two Mikuni downdraft-style carburetors. Ignition is electric. The five-speed manual transmission, with overdrive, works with a sturdy shaft final drive. A heel-toe shifter is standard. A telescopic fork with 5.5 inches of travel provides the front suspension for all three models; the rear suspension is a twin-sided swing arm and an adjustable spring preload shock. The front brake is an 11.7-inch disc; the rear brake is a 7.9-inch drum.
Of the three V Star 1100 models, the Custom is the lightest at 571 pounds dry; the Classic weighs in at 593 pounds, and the Silverado at 639 pounds. The Silverado is also the longest of the three models, just over eight feet. The two-piece seat on the Classic and the Silverado is a low 28 inches; the Custom’s seat is an even lower 27 inches. All three have the upright rider position typical of cruisers. The barebones instrumentation is also typical of cruisers: you get a speedometer and an odometer. Yamaha doesn’t provide an estimate of gas mileage; the tank holds 4.5 gallons.
It comes with lockable underseat storage, but a wide variety of saddlebags and tank bags are available, along with a huge selection of accessories to customize the bike and add bling. You can install an optional windshield, which will make highway riding more comfortable; and you can replace the standard two-piece seat with a solo seat if you prefer. Because the Silverado is designed as a touring bike, it has a standard adjustable passenger backrest, which can be detached. The passenger portion of the Classic’s two-piece seat is also detachable.
Yamahas are well known for being reliable, durable machines, and the V Star 1100 offers retro cruiser style and a smooth ride as well.