Common Problems With the Yamaha V Star 650

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The Yamaha XVS650 is also known as VStar 650 and can be classified as a cruiser/tourer. The XVS650 has a very classic cruiser design. They will usually have a front bumper, but no fairings and body panels.

The Yamaha V Star 650’s most frequent problems are:

  • The failure of chain tensioners is reflected in their loosening or sheering.
  • Problems with the ignition system, such as faulty starters or ignition coils, can make it difficult to start the bike, especially when it is cold.
  • Poor batteries or parasitic draining can lead to starting problems.
  • Carburetor jets & syncing issues
  • Clutch adjustment and slipping

To help you decide if a Yamaha V Star 650 is right for you, make sure to read the following list. You can’t expect a motorcycle to be perfect so make sure you do your best judgment.

The Most Common Issues – Explained

V Star 650 motorcycles were very popular and were made for a number years. These are the issues that you need to know if your are considering buying one.

Because the V-twin engine has two moving pistons as well as two sets valves, it can be sensitive to timing. Timing chain tensioner problems can cause excessive slack in your chain. This could lead to timing issues. The engine will not start if the timing chain tensioner isn’t repositioned.

Timing issues can cause ignition or spark problems. Timing chain problems can also cause symptoms similar as no spark. Spark issues require diagnosis of other components of the engine such as spark plugs and wires.

A problem starting an engine can have many causes. Bad batteries are a common problem. Incorrectly stored batteries can cause battery degradation. The battery’s life will also be affected if it is subject to a short circuit that drains the battery constantly.

There is also some discussion about the engine operation and the jets in carburetors backing off. Without disassembling the carb, this can be difficult to diagnose. This issue can cause poor acceleration and poor starting.

Speaking of carburetors, it’s worth noting that the V Star models have dual carburetors, which require some tuning and syncing. Carburetors can become out of tune due to engine and road vibrations. Adjuster screws are gradually being loosen. Low-end power and poor idle are two symptoms.

It is normal for the clutch to wear over the life cycle of the motorcycle. “Clutch slippage” A condition where the friction between clutch plates is reduced “slips” Before engaging fully. Symptoms include poor acceleration in lower gears. You should also use the right transmission oil to protect your clutch.

Apart from these problems, it is important to note that these motorcycles use a driveshaft rather than a chain. This isn’t specific to Yamaha; other manufacturers use this setup. Although a drive shaft should be quite reliable, there can be issues with u joints and final drive gears.

What can I do to address these issues?

There is no “fix-all solution” For timing and ignition issues. To diagnose a problem, you need to confirm that each component is functioning properly. This can take a lot of time and be difficult.

Repairs can only be made if you have reliable information. While online forums can be useful for learning, it can prove difficult to communicate with specific issues. Yamaha’s XVS650 manual is a solid resource of information and is available online. Manuals can be found at This is a great resource that I use.

For someone who has little experience in mechanics, the timing chain tensioner will require a complex repair. It is possible to do it at home but extra care should be taken when removing the engine. The tensioner wears out should usually prevent the chain from being worn out. Therefore, replacing the tensioner is not a common practice. It is important to remember that this is a case-by­case matter and that discretion should be exercised.

To diagnose ignition problems, it is safest to start at spark plugs. TThe condition of the spark plug will indicate how well it is working. Examine for signs of oil fouling, excessive rich/lean conditions or damaged plugs. Make sure to check spark plug coils and wires, and replace as necessary. Advanced diagnosis will require extensive testing and inspection.

Clean the carburetor as often as you need. This can include cleaning out or replacing the jets. If you’re having performance issues, double-check jets are clean and installed correctly. You should also keep an eye on the condition of your air filter and replace it if necessary.

Aftermarket is a common option for owners who have been in the property before. “performance” carburetor jets. This can cause performance to be a little unpredictable as you will need to tune the jets. If you are not sure of your abilities, OEM parts are the best option.

The dual-carb configuration requires that the carburetors be synchronized. Syncing refers to adjusting each carburetor’s idle to where they are “synced”. This is different from the idle adjuster which adjusts engine idle.

While adjustment is straightforward, it requires a type of gauge. The gauge uses a vacuum to measure the adjustment. There are many gauges available online. You can also make your own gauge set.

It is crucial to resolve clutch problems in order to maintain rideability. Typically, if your engine rev’s up without a corresponding spike in speed, the clutch is likely slipping. This issue can be fixed by adjusting the clutch handle linkage. The clutch should engage halfway through release of handle.

If the linkage is adjusted and you’re are still having the same symptoms, it is likely that the clutch plates will need to be replaced. You should ensure this is done by a skilled technician.

The oil must be changed every few months on the final drive. Make sure to use the right oil, and be aware of any metal bits in the old oil. To prolong the life of the U-joints, the drive shafts require a little grease.

Maintain your bike’s condition by performing regular maintenance. Make sure to inspect your bike before you ride it. For an emergency repair, have spare parts and tools readily available.

Is it better to buy a new or used car?

V Star 650 was made for many years, but not all models were available in America. The 650 is no longer in production. However, Yamaha has a 2020 VStar 250 and a 2021 VStar 250. Yamaha also makes Star touring bikes, however they are not available in the 650.

There are many models to choose from, but availability will vary depending on where you live. Although buying a used bike has its risks, it is possible to find a great motorcycle for a reasonable price with careful navigation.

Consider these things when you are thinking about buying used.

  • Never buy sight unseen. To get the best feeling for the bike, take it to the dealer, ride it, and speak with the previous owner.
  • Most likely, older model years will have higher mileage. Higher mileage means lower selling prices, but also higher chances of experiencing problems.
  • To have a more thorough inspection, take the bike to a trusted mechanic or dealer. A trained eye may spot things you didn’t see and could save or ruin a deal.
  • As we have already mentioned, the market is both geographically and demographically dependent. You may need to travel if you don’t find any deals in your local area.

Would I recommend one?

Overall, the V Star 650 is a sturdy motorcycle. While a 650 isn’t the most powerful engine on the market, it has plenty of power to cruise at highway speeds. It is designed to maintain these speeds without you having to use the throttle. Most riders will be able to take a comfortable seat and cruise along whatever road leads them.

You may not have ever ridden a motorcycle before so it is not a good idea to start. While they aren’t overpowered, they do weigh over 500 pounds which can be a lot for a beginner.

This bike would be a good upgrade for someone who isn’t a complete beginner, but still has some experience. The 650 is powerful enough to cruise along the highway, as has been stated. This allows riders to explore the city or commute more easily, and gives them more riding experience.

Even if you’re a veteran at motorcycle riding, the 650 will still be a worthy choice. But you might feel overwhelmed.. Although there are many after-market modifications that can be made to the 650 to make it your own, it might not be the best option if you are used a larger bike. This is dependent on your preference.


Overall, the 650 is an excellent bike to start with and to upgrade to later on. It is a stylish bike that can be customized to suit your needs. While there are a few common issues to be aware of, and after taking careful consideration of the specific bike you’re interested in, the Yamaha V Star 650 will provide a great ride for commuting or adventuring.

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