Common Problems With The V Star 1100 That You’ll Want to Hear


If you own or are considering buying a Yamaha V Star 1100, you may be interested in knowing what the common problems are. This article could save you time and money down the road.

So, what are the most common problems with the V Star 1100? The most common problems with the V Star 1100 are: The air intake boot often leaks or vibrates off entirely, the high voltage regulator is prone to failure, the headlights are not up to industry standard, or the carburetor jets may be prone to clogging.

Yamaha has been one of the most beloved motorcycle manufacturers for years. They have made some great bikes and they have made some bad bikes. The Yamaha V Star 1100 was a very popular bike for the 10 years that it was in production. Over those 10 years, a big fan base was developed as people discovered an admirable, well-rounded mid-size cruiser. Even today, many of these bikes can still be seen cruising down the road. Many of these bikes have made it past 80,000 miles.

While the bike itself performs very well, there still are some causes of complaint, as there are with any bike. Apart from the issues previously explained, there are also several big maintenance complaints. The first of those issues being that in order to change the oil filter, you have to entirely remove the exhaust. While this is not a terribly difficult thing to do, a quick maintenance task takes much longer than it should. There are oil filter relocation kits you can purchase that will help make your filter changes as quick as they were meant to be.

The other common complaint is that the V Star 1100 calls for you to check the valves at every 4,000-mile service. That makes your routine maintenance a much longer task each time it comes around. Although, there is rarely any action needed, apart from a verification that they are working as they should, it’s still an annoyance to have to do this every 4,000 miles.

Common Problems The V Star 1100 May Have

One of the big problems with the V Star 1100 is the intake boot. It is known to leak and to pop off unexpectedly. When this happens, it will not always be apparent that something has taken place. The danger of this is that the engine is now sucking in unfiltered air. You also run the risk of gas coming out of the line where the intake boot should be. You can start to get a small mist of fuel spraying out from the intake boot area. If you do notice a leak or that intake boot has come off entirely, the parts are fairly cheap in order to reseal everything.

Another big complaint with the V Star 1100 is the headlights. Plenty of riders have complained that the headlights are awful because they give a very low level of visibility at night. Fortunately, with a little bit of money, this is a fairly simple problem to resolve. There are tons of different aftermarket headlight options. You can go to HID/Xenon lights or even LEDs. Each of these will offer quite a bit more visibility while riding and make the V Star 1100 much more enjoyable to ride.

The high voltage system is another known common problem with the V Star 1100. The main problem of this system is the high voltage regulator. If it does fail, you will likely notice that your headlights are fluctuating between dimmer and brighter. If you experience this, you will want to test out the system.

First, check the voltage on your battery while it is sitting idle and make sure the regulator is still in place. Then, start the bike while measuring the voltage to ensure that it doesn’t drop too low. If it is still in range, your battery should not be the issue. Next, measure the voltage across the battery while twisting the throttle. If your voltage jumps up above 14.6, then you know that the rectifier is toast. 

How A Rider Can Prevent These Problems

As a rider, are there things that you can do to prevent these problems? There actually are. As far as the headlight issue goes, it is fairly simple. You can easily purchase aftermarket headlights that will allow you to see much better at night. This is a fairly cheap and quick fix that you can do yourself.

The intake boot issue is a hard problem to prevent; although, it is not a difficult thing to remedy, as soon as it does occur. The best thing that a rider can do is check the intake boot regularly for leaks. The last thing that you want is for the boot to be leaking, unnoticed, for weeks while you ride around. You could bring all sorts of contaminants into the engine, along with the risk of spraying fuel everywhere. Just pay close attention to it while you take care of your bike and you should be fine.

To make your rectifier last longer, make sure that you are always using a good battery. If you use a weak or dying battery, your rectifier will have to work harder, causing it to get a lot hotter. This will cause it to fail sooner. So always check your battery for problems, it is best to replace it sooner rather than later.

Is It Better To Buy A New Or Used One?

If you are considering buying a V Star 1100, should you buy it new or used? The answer to this question is very simple because your only option is to buy one used. Despite being a fairly popular bike, Yamaha only produced the V Star 1100 from 1998-2008. This is no longer a bike that you can purchase new.

If you are looking to purchase one, you may be interested in knowing a little bit about what model you want to buy. The V Star 1100 gathered a pretty decent fan base very quickly because of their original design. As such in 2000, they introduced the classic model. This one offered some new bonus perks, such as a 7-inch headlight, fork covers, a larger front tire, bigger brakes and shift levers, some longer fenders, magnesium wheels, and floorboards. Later on, the Silverado model was introduced. This was meant to be the nicest model because it offered side bags, a backrest for your passenger, and a windscreen.

If you are looking to buy one of these bikes, you will need to decide which of these models has what you are looking for. If you care for all of the extra amenities, the Silverado may be the fit for you. If you are looking for a project motorcycle to play with and learn about bikes on, the original, or the “custom” may be your choice. Regardless of which model you are interested in, you will have to buy it used. As long as the bike has been well maintained, you do not need to worry about it breaking down on you, as these are very reliable bikes.

Would I Recommend Getting One?

So, now comes the big question, would I recommend getting a Yamaha V Star 1100? The answer is yes. The V Star 1100 is an all-around excellent bike. It has a good amount of power that can keep you satisfied without being overwhelming. It rides and handles very well. These bikes are known for being very reliable. All in all, it is a very well-rounded, mid-size cruiser. If you are looking for a bike that has a decent amount of power and rides comfortably on trips, this may be the bike for you.

The V Star name has a big fan base in the motorcycle world for a reason. People loved the V Star 1100 for the 10 years that it was in production and still love it today. Yes, there are some caveats and challenges to owning it, but I do not think that those problems outweigh the benefits in the slightest. I think that if you want an affordable, exciting, comfortable, and reliable bike, the V Star 1100 is a great choice. It is up to you to look at the pros and cons now and decide if this bike is for you.

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