An Honest Guide About Common Problems With The Yamaha V-Star 1300


Whether you currently own one or are thinking about purchasing one, you may have a few questions about the Yamaha V Star 1300.  It’s always a good idea to be aware of possible issues and what you can do to help and/or prevent them.

What are the common problems with the Yamaha V-Star 1300? Some of the most common problems with the Yamaha V-Star 1300 are with the brakes, the ground clearance, and possibly the belt drive. In general this is a reliable motorcycle but it is heavy, and this strains the braking system when it is driven aggressively.

Though these issues may arise with this specific motorcycle, there is plenty that can be done to easily prevent issues and ensure a long life of your Yamaha V-Star 1300. We can explain to you how.

Common Issues Of The Yamaha V-Star 1300 Explained

To be honest, as a mechanic it was difficult for me to pinpoint the issues of the Yamaha V-Star 1300 simply because they’re pretty reliable motorcycles.  But for the sake of answering this question, I connected with a fellow mechanic at a Yamaha dealership.  Directly stated from a Yamaha mechanic, the Yamaha V-Star 1300 is not prone to many issues.

It is a reliable and mechanically sound motorcycle that only really goes into the shop for oil changes and standard preventative maintenance.  With that being said, if there is going to be an issue with the Yamaha V-Star 1300, this is what they’ll be.

The 298mm disc brakes on the Yamaha V-Star 1300 are fully capable of stopping the 712lb motorcycle (Yamaha Motorsports). However, aggressive riding will cause the brakes to work really hard when you need to come to a stop. This can be an issue since this motorcycle is meant for highway riding i.e. high speeds, which could lead to the need for strong stopping power to escape dangerous situations. This may be more difficult due to the size and braking capabilities of this cruiser.

Cruisers tend to have more low-end torque, but this means that they don’t accelerate as quickly as a sports bike. The Yamaha V-Star is a cruiser and as such, it has a slower acceleration and braking speed, but it is able to comfortably travel at highway speeds for an extended period of time. Highways are generally a higher speed route but since the V-Star 1300 brakes slow, riders will need to take this into account when riding and plan their escape routes from dangerous situations with this in mind.

The ground clearance on the V-Star 1300 is 5.7 inches which means that some speed bumps will be too high for you to ride over. And as with all motorcycles, you will need to be very careful of debris on the road. Also, the V-twin engine holds quite a bit of oil, so fitting an oil pan that is large enough to hold all of the oil under the bike is difficult. On the flip side, the oil filter is in a very accessible spot.

Belt drives are a good option, and offer many benefits, but they are made of rubber, so you need to be mindful of your surroundings and get them checked out at every service interval. If the drive belt snaps then you will be stranded and in need of a part that can cost upwards of $500.

What Can I Do About These Issues?

To mitigate these issues, it is important to have your Yamaha V-Star 1300 regularly maintained. Keeping the brakes in good working order allows them to stop your motorcycle at their fullest potential. Also staying vigilant on the road will allow you to use your bike to keep you safe.

When you are planning to go on long road trips it is always wise to have the motorcycle looked over by a service professional. Or you may want to go through it yourself, be sure to check the belt, and the brakes for signs of wear. Cracking on the belt indicates that it needs to be replaced. You will want to also check your tires, make sure the treads are good, and check your sidewalls for cracking. 

Since this motorcycle is liquid cooled, checking the coolant both visually and with a test strip will allow you to be sure that your bike’s cooling system is working optimally. The engine oil should also be checked for level and health. According to the service manual, you should change the oil every 4000 miles. 

The Ground clearance can be worked around, as long as you are aware of the limitations of your bike, you can go around the speed bumps or find center stands that will allow you to easily change the oil and perform preventative maintenance on your motorcycle.

Because the drive belt is a key component of your motorcycle, it needs to be serviced according to the recommended service intervals. The belt needs to be checked every 2500 miles or 4000 km. This maintenance schedule should keep you well informed of the belt’s condition so that you can replace it when it shows signs of wear instead of when it snaps and strands you in Montana. Not that I have any experience with being stranded in Montana due to neglecting service intervals or anything like that…

Is It Better To Buy A New Or Used One?

The Yamaha V Star line was built from 2007 to 2017 so if you are lucky enough to find a new one, I would recommend buying it, but most of us will have to settle for a used bike.

When buying a used motorcycle there are many important things to consider. Such as the current condition of the bike, the service history, and how competent and confident the seller seems to be.  You can read our more in-depth guide about this from our article “How To Buy A Used Motorcycle From A Private Seller: A Pro’s Guide.”

When assessing the current condition of Yamaha V-Star 1300, it is good to have the bike cold, so you can look over the tires and the cooling system. It doesn’t hurt to pull out a multimeter and a coolant test strip to check the battery and the coolant respectively. As you look over the bike be sure to keep talking to the owner because the way they act can tell you a lot about how much they know, and how well they likely took care of the bike.

Once you start up the motorcycle, you can listen for knocking or ticking and talk to the owner about taking the bike for a ride. After the ride, be sure to check for leaks again and check the oil level because the engine is warm now. 

Once you have learned all you can by looking closely at the motorcycle, listening, and smelling it for any burning oil, you can talk to the previous owner about the service history or, if you have already done that, you can walk away or start negotiating a price.  

Would I Recommend Getting One?

All things considered, I would recommend getting a Yamaha V-Star 1300 if you can find one in good condition. Yamaha made a very reliable and mechanically sound motorcycle in the V-star 1300, and I am always a fan of well-built and mechanically sound vehicles.

I would only recommend that you purchase a V-Star 1300 if you find it comfortable and enjoyable to ride. My buddy has a V-Star 950, and the tank is wide enough that his knee will start to hurt due to the angle when he rides for 14 hours over two days.

Also, his handlebars are a little too far forward for a relaxed riding position due to the length of his arms. So, my advice boils down to this: make sure to sit on the motorcycle and be sure that you can be comfortable on it in your riding position for the kind of trips that you plan to take. I’d recommend sitting down with your feet on the pegs, or in this case, floorboards, and your hands on the handlebars.

Then if you relax your shoulders, and stretch your legs out like you might need to on a long ride, you should have a decent feel for whether or not the bike is comfortable for you. Then you can decide if the bike is comfortable or if you need to nix the purchase or modify the bike with handlebar risers.

Regardless of how comfortable the bike is initially, when ridden for 14 hours the bike will become more uncomfortable, but making sure that you are comfortable when riding for at least the first 15-60 minutes will ensure a much more enjoyable ride.    

This article has been reviewed in accordance with our editorial policy.

Kyle Cannon

Kyle currently works as a mechanical engineer and graduated with a minor in automotive engineering. He loves restoring motorcycles, has a vast knowledge of how they work, and has sold his restoration projects to customers from all over the United States.

Recent Posts