STYLE FOR MILES
Yamaha’s Star Motorcycle division claims to be the top-selling metric cruiser brand, and it’s easy to see why. Star has eight model families, and a total of 22 different models to choose from, everything from the diminutive V Star 250 to the domineering, 179-horsepower Vmax.
Nestled between the 649cc V Star Custom and the V Star 1300 is the V Star 950, which has an air-cooled 942cc 60-degree V-twin with a single-pin crank and belt final drive (the same powertrain is used in Star’s popular Bolt models). Like many Star models, the V Star 950 has a factory-custom look and great attention to detail, with black-and-silver cast wheels, bobbed fenders and a low-profile gas tank emblazoned with stylish graphics. The base model ($8,690) and the Tourer ($9,790), which adds a windshield, leather-covered hard saddlebags and a passenger backrest, are unchanged for 2015 except for colors. Our 2014 test bike is painted Raven; the 2015 V Star Tourer will be available in Deep Blue or Pearl White.
At 942cc, the Star’s engine has the highest displacement in this comparison, and it cranks out the most torque: 57.2 lb-ft at 3,400 rpm. Jett Tuning’s dyno recorded 48.7 horsepower at 5,600 rpm, putting the Star second behind the 56-horsepower Triumph. The Star averaged 47.2 mpg—the lowest in this test—and its 4.5-gallon tank yields 213 miles.