Just walking up to a V-Star Classic elicits a favorable impression of the bike. When we tested the V-Star for the February '98 issue of Motorcycle Cruiser, we asked riders and non-riders what they thought the V-Star's displacement was. The responses were never less than 1000cc, with many topping out at more than 1500cc. The V-Star's 96.5-inch overall length (which is longer than all but one of the 800 class of cruisers) obviously played a role in the misperceptions. Features found on Yamaha's Royal Stars add to the full-sized feel of the V-Star. The Classic's full, valanced, wraparound metal fenders are uncommon on a sub-$6000 motorcycle. Stainless steel fork covers add bulk to the front end. The tasteful application of chrome and black paint to the engine helps to make it stand out. The speedometer, odometer, and warning lights are inset in the tank, like the bigger Star's instrument cluster. Even wide levers contribute to the sense of a bike that is more substantial than 650cc. Put a rider on the V-Star, and the roomy riding position builds on the impression of a large machine. But it's not size alone that creates the perception that the V-Star is more than a budget-priced motorcycle.