ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

2011 Yamaha V-Star 950

Updated on March 20, 2011

Let's face it, most cruisers are just way too big. Does anyone really need two 55 cubic inch cylinders powering a single human being down a highway? Sometimes it seems that the whole essence of modern cruisering is to thump your way through town to show that you're king of the castle and the epitome of cool. That's fine since it's obvious some people need the validation on the street from total strangers. However, if you happen to be a motorcycle rider who appreciates the retro metric cruiser look but don't need to wrestle ungainly bulk around powered by Buick Estate Station Wagon sized pistons, there are precious few choices. The competition is only the Honda 750 Shadow series, the slightly bigger Suzuki 800 Boulevards, and the somewhat bigger Kawasaki 900 Vulcans. The 2011 Yamaha V-Star 950 thus is the king of the class castle itself, and merits a close look by anyone interested in a midsized metric cruiser.

Although motorcycle manufacturers are wont to round up their displacements to fit various pre-conceived classes Yamaha resisted this temptation with the 942cc, four-valve, SOHC, V-Twin power plant. Too big to be a 900 and too small for a one-liter nomenclature, the V-Star became a 950, possibly only to differentiate it from the Vulcan.

The V-Star 950 is certainly class-leading in most respects. The seat height is a righteously low 26.6 inches. The five speed tranny has been totally redesigned for 2011 to better match the engine's impressive torque curve. The engine itself is so well engineered that it's one of the few V-twins that does not feature a counterbalancer. Surprisingly, it's also the only metric cruiser in the class that is air cooled and thus lacks the bulk, weight, and complexity of the water cooling systems found on the competing models.

The styling overall is fairly typical of metric cruisers, but there are some styling anomalies that can't simply be overlooked. For some reason Yamaha has chosen to leave a gaping opening behind the triple clamp. Certainly the inspiration was taken from the old Ironhead Sportsters where the peanut tank was set far back from the tree, but in this iteration it just looks like the front end is only connected to the rest of the bike by an oversize rubber band. The left side cantilever, swingarm and belt cover assembly looks like a left over prop from a Frankenstein movie. The ludicrously disproportionately small sidecover doesn't seem to have the Star logo set straight. The purple psychedelic dust wafting along the tank and rear fender looks like the owner was experimenting with his first airbrush kit. While you're hallucinating the body color headlight shell brings back nightmares of the 1968 Yamaha YDS5E. All in all a B for styling effort and a D- for execution.

The 2011 Yamaha V-Star 950 is very close to the best metric mid-cruiser around. With a bit of inspired tweaking, the 2011 model could easily be #1.

2011 Yamaha V-Star 950 At A Glance

Base MSRP: $10,999
Engine Displacement: 942 cc
Engine Type: 4-stroke, air-cooled, SOHC, 8-valve, 60 degree, V-twin
Bore & Stroke: 85 x 83mm
Ignition Type: TCI / Electric
Compression Ratio: 9:1
Transmission Type: 5 speed
Final Drive Type: Belt
Front Tire: 130/70 x 18
Rear Tire: 170/70 x 16
Wheelbase: 1,685mm (66.3")
Saddle Height: 675mm (26.6")
Curb Dry Weight: 278kg (611.6lb)
Fuel Capacity (US): 16.7 litres
* Specs/pix apply to 2010 model, updates as released


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)