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Two Wheel Tuesday: Standards Rule, Cruisers Drool

Peter Tanshanomi December 4, 2012 Two-Wheel Tuesday 32 Comments

My wife had an ’09 V-Star 950 for about two years. She got rid of it because it turned about as quickly as a battleship, and the handling was just…weird. But over the weekend we were talking about how much we’d liked the motor — smooth, silky clutch, spot-on EFI mapping, not a ton of power but very fun. She said she wished Yamaha put that motor in a frame more like her current W650. Well, thanks to a rare slow day at work, I decided to see what a standard-style “XStar 950” might look like.

The two original images. their relative scales have been matched using the wheelbase specs as reference.

I took side-view photos of a V-Star 950 and a late ’70s Yamaha XS11 and mashed them up over lunch. I ran out of time, however, so don’t look too closely. There are a few little of problems with the details…such the fact that the rider has nowhere to put his feet!

But regardless of the retouching deficiencies, you can get an idea of the concept. What do you think of it? Would something like this be more appealing to you than Yamaha’s current long-and-low cruiser version?

  • DemonXanth

    I like this idea. Too often I see motorcycles as lumped into extremes. The automotive equivalent would be like saying you have the choice between a 1964 Impala, an Ariel Atom, a trophy truck, or a Unimog. Very little focus seems to be on a good every day machine.

    • Maymar

      Oh, and don't forget the gap in reasonable engine sizes, that you've got to pick a 1.0 I4 or a 6.0L diesel or V8.

  • rpdred6

    love it.

  • Drill those discs and you have a deal.

  • Number_Six

    Yes! Reminds me of my old Honda CB900 Custom, which is a very good thing.

    What's your stand on the Yamaha MT-01? Botched execution aside, I'm still drawn to it for some reason.

  • Before I scrolled down I thought a) That's an extremely avantgarde looking engine presentation for an early '80s bike, and b) "what on earth is an Xstar 950?"

    Then my brain kicked in.

  • Kogashiwa

    Something like this then –

    <img src="http://www.womenridersnow.com/docs/stories/2702/5580.jpg"&gt;

    Have to say l like the looks of yours better though. The GT1000 has that massive gap to the rear fender that's always bothered me, makes it look like an old dirt bike.

  • Maymar

    I like the idea, but I can't get behind that late 70's, early 80s standard look, you know, early alloys and John Player Special paint job?

    Then again, I get the feeling a newish Triumph Bonneville would be pretty much all the bike I need (or a Suzuki SV650, if I'm not so concerned with style).

  • XRSevin
    • sporty88au

      If only it had enough power to be highway-friendly. Or, if Moto Guzzi built a bigger brother to it – I'm thinking tuned California engine (or maybe the 940 Bellagio engine) in a short-swingarm Tonti frame, top-shelf suspension and brake parts, and the bodywork from the original 850 Le Mans or the early-90's 1000S.

  • So engine swap?

    Actually, after a few ill-advised searches, would it be easier to get to your motorcycle by buying a smooth sportbike type and then stripping the over "katana" esque farings off?

  • The idea wasn't to find a good standard v-twin, but rather to take an engine we really liked and imagine it in a bike more suited to our tastes.

    • I'd love to see the Triumph Rocket Triple somehow crammed into the frame of a Tiger…..

      • Kind of like Men In Black, where a 20 foot alien can somehow walk around in a 6-foot body?

        • Yeah, like when I went to work wearing Nicolas socks.

          That's the one aspect of her undergarmentry I've ever worn, I hasten to add.

  • Rover1

    Maybe it's because I started riding on the earlier twin shock bikes,( both off and onroad ), that I really noticed the improvement in ride/handling with the arrival of single shock rear suspension in the late 70s. So much was the improvement that I would not even consider buying a motorbike with a twin shock rear end. To me this would be like going back to crossply tyres with inner tubes or acetylene lighting just for the sake of being Retro. I don't think bikes should impair function so much for the sake of appearance. Even the tractor/Cruiser Harleys have to go round corners and take on bumpy surfaces or see at night.

    • Meh — there's good and bad dual-shock setups, and good and bad linkage setups. Granted, many more good than bad on the monoshock side, but I wouldn't put twin shocks in the same category as acetylene lighting!

  • Long live the UJM.

  • But a v-twin would not be a UJM, which is by definition a transverse inline four cylinder.

  • dtargo

    anything would be more appealing to me than Yamaha’s current long-and-low cruiser version. Only one company makes cruisers…

  • Slow_Joe_Crow

    Big Japanese standards are the diesel manual station wagons of motorcycling, Loudly clamored for by a coterie of enthusiasts and generally slow sellers when actually offered in the US market.
    I share your disdain for cruisers as form over function since I imprinted on a BMW R90S in elementary school. On those rare occasions I have ridden a Harley or Japanese cruiser I have found the forward set controls and laid back riding position totally unnatural compared to leaning forward over the front wheel.
    Perhaps your wife should look at the vertical twin BMWs or naked Triumphs, or go for some bodywork and get an ST1300 which is a fantastic bike.

  • Ridetillidie

    Hopefully I am not the only one aware that this beauty is coming to town this Spring… http://powersports.honda.com/2013/cb1100.aspx

    Ohh, and this fuel-injected 1140cc badass will only be $9999 .

    just saying…

    • dtargo

      very cool…if only they'd color match the sidecovers…!

  • ridetillidie

    Well at least color matching the sidecovers would be a cheaper and easier project than buying two bikes and doing a motor-swap like the author would like to do…

    • A revvy four-cylinder like the CB1100 is a totally different riding experience than a big V-twin. I don't get your point.

  • Cynical Rick
  • Cynical Rick

    One more try

    <img src=http://greenagain.smugmug.com/Other/XV920R/13916097_8vwqPH#!i=1021475670&k=KwZCRsd>

  • Cynical Rick

    One more try

    <img src=http://greenagain.smugmug.com/Other/XV920R/i-GWCzT4h/0/M/DSCN0364-M.jpg>